5:00 AM. I awake to the sound of a crying child, staggering across the landing. Child Unit 2 is awake and feeling a little sorry for himself, hurrying to the toilet to, how can I put it delicately? Puke his tiny guts up. Having spoken to god on the great white telephone and after a cuddle and clean-up, the boy seems absolutely hunkydory-doodledandy-fit-as-a-butcher’-dog. Back to sleep.
7:30 AM. I awake to the sound of a wailing alarm clock and after performing the normal morning routine, wash stuff, brush things, cover bits with clothes and fall down the stairs, I find Child Units 1 and 2 perched on the sofa, watching Doctor Who. They devour a hearty breakfast of porridge-like substance and cheerily ready themselves for school. Marital Unit and I decide that Child Unit 2 is hale and hearty and perfectly capable of attending school. Nevertheless, we agree that it would be best to notify the school of his night time eructations, just in case any further pukey problems arise.
After throwing the Child Units from a moving vehicle in the general vicinity of the Education Pod, I shot home to make a few phone calls and hurl cuss-words at telesales callers. Around ten o’ clock, I realised that i’d forgotten to let the school know about the late night Exorcist episode from the boy and gave them a quick call. “He’s fine…probably something he ate…happy as larry this morning…yeah i’ll come and collect him”. Balls.
As it turns out, if a child is sick during the night, you’re supposed to keep him home from school for 24 to 48 hours. OK, fair dinkum, sure, why not? I went straight up to collect him and now he’s happily feckin’ about on Banjo-Kazooie and occasionally issuing a smug grin for getting out of a day’s learnin’, good for him. I don’t blame the boy, I don’t blame the school, I don’t blame anyone necessarily, but I am a bit flummoxed.
Y’see, we recently had a letter from the school authorities, explaining that there was a new sheriff in tow…sorry, i’ve been watching a lot of John Wayne films. The letter explained that there was a new attendance policy in place and parents of students who missed too many sessions (two sessions to a day) would be fined. The letter spoke of unauthorised absence, which would basically refer to any sick day where you didn’t get a doctor’s note and the like.
I’m sure this is all good, right? I mean, obviously we need to make sure kids don’t miss too much school. There’s just a couple of wee problems with it…
First up, there’s the fact that Child Unit 1 has asthma and Child Unit 2 has tonsils that look like an allergy prone elephant’s bee-stung testes, so the slightest hint of a cough, cold or bug and the pair of them sound like Darth Vader choking on a peanut. If one of them has been awake all night coughing their lungs out, chances are i’ll deem it necessary to keep them off school. I could send them in, but they’ll fall asleep face down in their watery gruel and they’ll be far too tired to operate a loom, so i’m not sure what good the school thinks they’ll be?
Also, there’s a note in the letter about “exceptional circumstances”, which is entirely fair. One report that I read mentioned allowing children absence to tie in with a family member’s leave from the armed forces and quite rightly so, that’s the kind of exception that I fully endorse. But there was also mention of “parents in good standing” or words to that effect and that didn’t sit quite right with me. Who is a parent in good standing? If I pay for the school to have gold plated toilets, can I take the kids to Butlins for a week in term time? If I punch a teaching assistant, do they have to go in on Saturdays?
The worst part is that the school actually hands out certificates for perfect or near-perfect attendance, which makes those unfortunate enough to be born without Wolverine’s healing ability feel bad when the incredibly immune children (or those who are tied to a school chair home hell, high water or haemophilus influenzae) are rewarded for their attendance record. The poor buggers who did nothing wrong, save not managing to fight off one of the hundreds of bugs, viruses and government created nano-plagues (i’m on to you, Cameron) which are floating around the school yard on a day to day basis, are left feeling as though they have somehow done wrong, with no real idea what it is they’re supposed to have done.
If my children are sufficiently unwell, they stay home from school. I’m not saying they’re hauled out for every sniffle, but I won’t send them in with fluids coming from every orifice and a temperature which can melt tooth enamel. If that means they miss out on a bit of blue paper and a handshake from the head, so be it. Sooner that than puking in the pencil pots.
The village school is fantastic, don’t think i’m knocking it. The problem is, as has long been the problem with our education system, that somebody seems to be employed solely to come up with bullshit. The Office Of Bullshit. Bullshit Production Team. They’re out there! Five or six of them, crowded into a dingy basement room, bitter and twisted wee bastards who’ve not seen daylight in sixty years.
BULLSHITTER 1: “What can we do to screw with them today?”
BULLSHITTER 2: “Well, i’ve been working on a little something. How about making a really big deal out of attendance. Schools will send letters home, come up with bullshit…”
ALL: “BULLSHIT!” *salute*
BULLSHITTER 2: “…little reward schemes, anything to make sure bums are in seats, given the fear of god we’ll put into them.”
BULLSHITTER 3: “Hmm, yes. Yes it has potential, but might I suggest one small change?”
BULLSHITTER 1: “Proceed.”
BULLSHITTER 3: “We make it policy for children who have been sick within the last 48 hours to remain home so as not to contaminate other children. It doesn’t matter if it’s something they ate or they’ve made themselves gag, they stay home. That way, even parents who are trying their damnedest won’t be able to achieve perfect attendance!”
*much orgasmic writhing*
That’s exactly how it happened. Weird, troll people coming up with crap in a basement. I may be a tad sleep deprived. Anyway, that’s the problem. It’s all bullshit.
Today on Twitter, we’ve been having TREMENDOUS fun with a new hashtag, #50FactsAboutMe. Facts have ranged from the very mildly interesting, through tedious and out into deep-dull, the boredom so intense that it can actually stop hearts and end worlds.
I decided to spice things up a little bit and while away a dreary Monday by coming up with my own list of 50 “facts”, which i’ve gathered together here. Educate yourselves.
EDIT: I have been challenged by @LBJ41 to do #50FactsAboutMe every day this week. I’ll update throughout the week.
50 FACTS ABOUT ME – MONDAY 2nd JUNE 2014
1) I had a small role in The Nightmare On Elm Street as Freddie Kreugers body double in sex scenes.
2) I am allergic to allergies. I can’t be around anyone who is unable to eat peanuts or i’ll break out in hives.
3) The worst job I ever had was as a carpet fitter in an M.C Escher drawing.
4) I once beat Barack Obama in a game of hopscotch.
5) I can quickly ingest large amounts of water to turn myself into a virtually inedible ball several times my normal size.
6) I have an FAQ which I will shamelessly plug at random intervals. Find it here.
7) With 14 nominations I, along with Titanic and All About Eve, am one of the most nominated films in Oscar history.
8) I’m Spartacus.
9) I inspired the naming of The Rolling Stones after noting that Mick Jagger was relatively free of moss.
10) I am the law.
11) I spend my spare time burning images of Jesus into toast.
12) I have received critical acclaim for my inspirational quotes, published under my pseudonym, “Anon”.
13) I was the most visited country in 2012, attracting over 83 million tourists.
14) I’ve been around the world and I, I, I…I can’t find my baby
15) I once had a summer job, driving a Mini for Minnie Driver.
16) I was assassinated on 28th June 1914, precipitating Austria-Hungary’s declaration of war against Serbia.
17) I can complete a Rubik’s Cube in 12.4 seconds. With my tongue.
18) I still haven’t found what i’m looking for.
19) I once Rickrolled Rick Astley, causing a tear in the space-time continuum.
20) I am the only marsupial native to North America.
21) I am free with every promotional packet of Kellogg’s Rice Krispies. Terms and conditions apply.
22) I am printed on recycled paper.
23) I have the largest wingspan of any living bird, typically ranging from 2.51 to 3.5 m.
24) The TV series 24 was inspired by my attempts to get home in time for Countdown after missing a bus.
25) I am a nymphomaniac who is only attracted to Jewish cowboys.
26) I did not have sexual relations with that woman.
27) I once had a summer job making prosthetic legs for snakes.
28) I am prized by chefs for my elegant taste and ethereal fragrance.
29) Since my initial release, I have been translated into over twenty different languages worldwide.
30) I am filmed before a live studio audience.
31) I have never been mistaken for the popular singer, Donna Summer.
32) I am a man-made fibre, used primarily in the production of inexpensive carpets.
33) I am a Rage type Pokemon and the evolved form of Vimhling, native to the Kanto region.
33) I am an active stratovolcano on the east coast of Sicily, Italy.
35) I have a severe phobia of the number which precedes 35, often replacing it in lists with a second 33.
36) When threatened, I roll up into a tight ball.
37) I was the little girl in the original Miracle on 34th Street. My work on the film left me with a terrible fear of beards
38) When exposed to sunlight, I rapidly decompose to elemental silver and chlorine.
39) J.K Rowling based the Harry Potter series on my repeated attempts to learn the bunch of flowers trick.
40) If needed, I can be found wherever there is injustice. That, or at Greggs.
41) I am the centre of our solar system and I burn with a temperature of approximately 5500 °C
42) I am the largest land predator on earth, standing over 11′ high and weighting over 1,700 lbs.
43) I was the original Justin Bieber, before being recast due to creative differences.
44) I control 51% of the voting stock of successful air freight business Higher for Hire.
45) I am the motion capture actor behind Sonic the Hedgehog.
46) I organise my DVDs in order of least to most uses of the word “quibble”
47) The Michael Myers mask from Halloween was based on my face after a particularly gloomy summer.
48) I own 97% of Belgium, having won it in a poker game.
49) The Lord of the Rings trilogy is based on my three years as a member of the Ramblers Association.
50) Humans share 96% of their DNA with chimps. I share the other 4% with a guy named Geoff from Iowa.
51) I can’t count.
50 FURTHER FACTS ABOUT ME – TUESDAY 3rd JUNE 2014
1) I am a ductile, silver-white, chemically active metal with a hexagonal close-packed crystalline structure
2) I’ve got some fucking Jaffa Cakes in my coat pocket!
3) I wrote the script for 2004 film The Day After Tomorrow after a particularly wet fishing weekend in Devon.
4) I can’t, I can’t, I can’t stand losing, I can’t stand losing you.
5) I am water resistant to 100m
6) I was around when Jesus Christ had his moment of doubt and pain.
7) I am easily startled but i’ll soon be back, and in greater numbers.
8) I once attained nirvana, gaining complete understanding of all things, but I was distracted by a 2 for 1 offer on pasties and forgot the lot.
9) I spent three years living inside John Malkovich.
10) I-i-i-i-i-i like you verrrrrrrry much.
11) My orbit outside the distortion of Earth’s atmosphere allows me to take extremely high-resolution images with almost no background light
12) I am not a crook.
13) I know who the song “You’re So Vain” is actually about.
14) I’ve got a lovely bunch of coconuts.
15) I was originally well received but sadly I was not renewed for a second season.
16) Until 1997, I was unaware of the existence of cheese.
17) I received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002 after breaking up a fight between two traffic wardens outside a Lidl in Skegness.
18) I don’t trust Klingons and I never will. I’ve never forgiven them for the death of my son.
19) I can strip a human carcass to the bone in twelve seconds. Faster if there’s ketchup.
20) My attempts to start my own business failed miserably, as I discovered there was little call for a Hobbit cobbler.
21) The childrens cartoon Penny Crayon was based on a particularly unpleasant acid trip which I suffered in 1974.
22) I work in the Street View department at the Human Genome Project.
23) I am both highly impressionable and allergic to cat hair, which sadly means I have never been able to read Garfield comic strips.
24) I am Keyser Soze.
25) Gordon Ramsay employs me for two weeks in every year to chisel new lines into his face.
26) I gave Kelis the milkshake recipe that she’s so fond of.
27) In winter, I forage in mixed flocks with house sparrows on the ground or low in trees.
28) I want to know what love is.
29) I have a photographic memory but find it difficult to get film for it since the rise of the digital camera.
30) I genetically engineer otters to look more like Benedict Cumberbatch.
31) I find shoelaces slightly bewildering.
32) I have a straight, fine and even grain, and am relatively free of voids and pockets.
33) I won’t wear green clothing in case I happen upon a green screen and am driven into a panic at the apparent loss of body parts.
33) I was Billy Ray Cyrus’ writing partner. He came up with achy, I thought up breaky. Heart was a joint effort.
35) The Matrix film trilogy is based on my attempts to replace a dodgy disk drive in my old IBM after an 18 hour Doom marathon.
36) I do not have a respiratory system, as my skin is thin enough that my body is oxygenated by diffusion
37) I once built a fully functional Tardis using only stuff from under the sink and a deconstructed toaster.
38) I control the horizontal and the vertical.
39) I generally have one litter per year that typically consists of 4 babies. Although I can have 3 to 7.
40) My favourite colour is the smell of freshly mown grass.
41) I had a small role in the original Star Wars trilogy as Han Solo’s brother but was cut from the finished film. Then re-inserted. Then cut. Then given a complete CGI makeover. Then cut again. Then recast. I’m back in the sequels.
42) I had a succesful professional wrestling career in the eighties under my stage name, “Jason P. Crotchrocket”
43) I am the windiest place on Earth, with winds averaging more than 40mph on at least 100 days every year.
44) I have had my buttocks insured for £3.4 million.
45) I occasionally accuse furniture of spying on me.
46) I would go out tonight, but I haven’t got a thing to wear.
47) I inspired the Spandau Ballet hit Gold when Tony Hadley spotted me fiddling with some Ferrero Rocher in a Woolworths.
48) I am the brainchild of Doane Robinson, located in the Black Hills of South Dakota.
49) Under extreme stress, I fire barbed quills from my back to deter predators.
50) I have named each of my internal organs after famous historical figures.
ANOTHER 50 FACTS ABOUT ME – WEDNESDAY 5th JUNE 2014
1) I don’t wanna wait for my life to be over.
2) I had an important role in popular television series “Breaking Bad” as Walter White’s hat.
3) I am drifting approximately 3.8 cm away from our planet every year. It is estimated that I will continue to do so for around 50 billion years.
4) I was hunted to extinction in the 12th century for my meats, pelt and scent glands.
5) In 2032, I created the world’s first time machine.
6) I am Connor MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod. I was born in 1518 in the village of Glenfinnan on the shores of Loch Shiel. And I am immortal.
7) Edvard Munch painted “The Scream” after I told him how much it hurts when to tread on Lego with bare feet.
8) I am fluent in thirteen languages, none of which are real.
9) I am conditioned to salivate at the ring of a bell.
10) I have no collarbone and can fit through any opening the size of my head.
11) Whenever I eat a Kit Kat, I save the foil wrapper to make robot costumes for mice.
12) The Encyclopaedia Britannica is actually a novel which I wrote many years ago about an aardvark’s adventures on his way to the zoo. It lost it’s punch in editing.
13) I am powered by twelve AAA batteries.
14) In 1940, the University of California presented me with the Most Nearly Perfect Male Figure Award.
15) I cannot be seen with the naked eye.
16) I am the very model of a modern major general.
17) I wrote the lyrics for Aerosmith’s “Pink” after spending a mishap at a fairground which led to me spending six days wrapped in candyfloss.
18) I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.
19) I am worshipped as a god in one small street in Grimsby.
20) I was appointed as the commanding general of the Continental Army on June 15, 1775.
21) I can haz cheeseburger.
22) I own the largest collection of doors in the world. I display them on homes all across the UK.
23) On the third Tuesday of each month, I spend six hours helping Helena Bonham Carter organise her CD collection.
24) I am the eggman.
25) I am the walrus.
26) I’m not entirely certain how to spell “Goo-goo-ga-joo”. Goo-goo-ga-choo? Goo…that.
27) I come in a remarkable variety of colors and sizes, ranging in length from about 4 inches up to 40 inches.
28) I don’t know much, but I know I love you.
29) I have my doubts about Katie Melua’s claims that there are nine million bicycles in Beijing and have launched a large scale survey to check the numbers. Results are expected sometime in 2018.
30) I have an unusual level of control over my internal workings and am able to play a variety of pop hits through the medium of flatulence and intestinal gurgling.
31) One of my hobbies is removing single puzzle pieces from jigsaws in charity shops.
31) I am the longest novel on record, containing an estimated 9,609,000 characters.
32) My left foot doubles up as a condiment dispenser.
33) I spent six years in Africa, studying the movements of polar bears. Eventually I realised that I was in the wrong place.
33) I’m every woman.
35) I accidentally invented the @ symbol while trying to write the letter “a” after drinking a large quantity of tequila.
36) My scrotum was the inspiration for Yoda.
37) I have an irrational fear of crazy paving.
38) I have launched 21 ships during my reign as Queen.
39) I am a rare infection of the deeper layers of skin and subcutaneous tissues.
40) I am the third Olsen twin.
41) I had what she was having.
42) With a full charge, I have a battery life of approximately 18 hours.
43) I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.
44) I am worth 12 points in Scrabble.
45) I solved the famous P versus NP problem in 2003 but sharing the answer would ruin everyone’s fun so I burnt all my working out and killed my assistant.
46) Experiments have shown that I show most interest in things coloured red, yellow or orange.
47) My blood type is A+. I only scored a B- for my other fluids.
48) I get no kick from champagne.
49) I am visible from space.
50) I am rich in Omega 3.
To be continued…