I met up with some old schoolfriends last night for dinner and ten pin bowling (another thing ticked off my 101 Things list! And yes – I am as rubbish as I remembered being), and it was really funny to be sitting there as “adults”, nearly ten years after leaving Sixth Form – especially since I really didn’t notice any difference in any of us.
We chattered away merrily about the Good Old Days, and I laughed till I cried as we reminded each other of school incidents.
One of my own personal favourites involves a charity fundraising event held in the school assembly hall one lunch time. I went to an all girls school, but the boys’ school shared the same name and was right next door. The Sixth Form was mixed, possibly to introduce us to members of the opposite sex before we went out into the real world having never spoken to a boy, but for the first five years it was something of a novelty to be in the same room as (gasp) boys. The fundraising event was therefore very well attended, since members of both schools were allowed to go.
The assembly hall was packed full of giggling girls and gangly boys as the pupil-run production of Blind Date began. The headmistress, incidentally, was strictly anti-boy, and presumably not happy about the event to start with – she watched from the sidelines with a less than genuine smile on her face. It started off fairly innocently, with cute, scripted answers getting lots of laughs… but then one of the jokers on the stage decided to leave the script behind in favour of bigger laughs. “I play the fiddle,” said Sexy J, the “chooser”, “do you play any musical instruments?”. “Well,” said contestant number one, “I don’t play anything, myself… but I’d love to have a fiddle with your instrument!”.
Well. To an audience on the TV show, this would probably have been mildly amusing. To an audience of teenagers thus far deprived of the company of the opposite sex, it was absolutely hilarious. To the deeply religious, anti-male, spinster, some-might-say-prudish headmistress, it was a catastrophe on a par with some sort of natural disaster hitting the school and killing everyone on the spot.
Hoots and whistles and howls of laughter filled the air, and the Head rushed immediately up on to the stage, clutching her swirling skirts as she rustled up the steps and demanded the microphone. “Girls! GIRLS!” she cried out of habit, following it with an uncertain “Erm… and boys! This is utterly disgraceful, and I am ashamed of you. Stop this at once!”
The unfortunate thing for the Head was that the microphone had had something done to it in order to disguise the voices of the Blind Date contestants. This resulted in her strict admonishment (already something of a high-pitched shriek) flooding the hall in a voice not dissimilar from those of Alvin and the Chipmunks. I don’t know how she ever restored order in that assembly hall. Everyone was practically on the floor, and the angrier she became, the funnier the high-pitched voice was. It was the end of joint school productions, sadly… but it was worth it.
Ah, the memories.
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