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I have been troubled lately by a memory of Miss Rumsey. Strangely, it is my only memory of Miss Rumsey, and stems from an age (no, not 34 that boy at the back) when I did not know where naughty bits go, but knew that what I was witnessing was very erotic, if I only knew what erotic meant.
Miss Rumsey, if, as I hope, she is still possessed of her physical body, will now be in her 70s. I very much doubt that she is still Miss Rumsey. If my memory of her is anything to go by, I expect she has seen out at least 3 husbands.
I was very young. Anywhere between 6 and 8, at a guess, and seated for school dinner at a table with several other children. This is very strange, because I can’t recall any other school dinner at my primary school. I can’t figure out where the room where we ate was. There must have been kitchens somewhere, but I can’t locate them in the mental map that I have of my school. This rambling has nothing to do with anything, other than the fact that I don’t know why this memory in particular should lodge in my mind when millions of others have vanished. Anyway, back at the dinner table, where it was a requirement that one of the teachers sit at the head of each table. The poor sods. On this day – and for all other days at primary school for all I know – Miss Rumsey sat at my table. I wouldn’t recognise Miss Rumsey, even as she was then. I have no idea what her face was like – it must have been reasonably attractive. I think that she had long dark brown hair. She wore a very tight skirt. It was knee-length, and probably virtually impossible to walk in. The next bit is very difficult to describe. My shortcomings as a writer of narrative will be exposed for what they are if I attempt it, so I need you all to indulge me. We are going to re-enact the tantalising manoeuvre that Miss Rumsey negotiated on this day in 1958 or whenever it was. For this exercise, you will need a simple dining chair, one without arms. Stand in front of the chair, with your back to it, and attempt to sit down, keeping your legs tightly together. If, like Dave, you are wearing a tight knee-length skirt when you do this, you will probably find that it helps. You will find that in order to achieve this with some decorum, you will have to swing your buttocks in a downward zig-zag movement. This is the exercise that Miss Rumsey performed on this day. Her curvaceous buttocks swung from side to side, accompanied slightly off-key by her generous bust. Had it not been for the chair back, the view from behind may have been even more startling. All that I know is that I was captivated by this dance. Never had anything had such a profound physical effect upon me. Fortunately, I was paralysed by the sight. At a later age I would have groaned like
I can only pray that all young boys undergoing the draconian regime that is the British educational system in this dark age are able to share the experience of being in the audience at a performance of something like Miss Rumsey’s dance. It is these formative experiences which make schooling beneficial.