Saturday, June 27, 2009

Papal nasal hair

There are many reasons not to go into the teaching profession, children being among the more numerous of those reasons. But for those with a strange desire to spend their working lives in the arcane and underground world that is the educational system, one of the prerequisites should be that one’s name be devoid of any aspect that could be construed as silly or rude. Should, for example, your surname be Pelvicthrust, or your name Mr P. Nightly, then a career in accountancy, where nothing ever amuses anyone, is what is required.
I was at college with one young lady who had a name that is guaranteed to make anyone from the age of 3 to 93 turn purple with mirth. She went on to become a teacher. I expect that she got married and took her husband’s name before she dared introduce herself to her students. I recall only one incident involving this lady that had little to do with her name. I was paying an all too rare visit to my college, and sitting in the canteen with six or seven other young men. The lady in question entered the canteen, and commenced to hand cards to everyone at my table, except me. She had been to visit an establishment of a discreet nature in a local town, and had been advised to invite certain of her closer friends to pay a similar visit. I had very mixed emotions; delighted not to have to make that trip, but concerned as to why I had not been in the group dealt the invitations. I shall not, because I am a caring person, tell you her name, but will say that I believe it is Lancastrian in origin.
My first chemistry teacher had an even more inappropriate name. I can think of very few situations in which the name would not cause embarrassment. At the time, however, the implication in the name was not in common usage, and I was not aware of anyone who drew sexual connotations from it. It would certainly not be the case today. I very much doubt whether she lived up to her name, and I am fairly certain that I would not want to find out. My memories of her are very vague, but I do recall a dislike of her that went beyond intensity and bordered on pathological loathing. She should not have been a teacher even if she had an unamusing name, because she was crap. Note how kind I am in not identifying her.
At my junior school there was Mr Horne. Today he would have to change his name before he considered passing through the school gates. At that time, again as far as I recall, and certainly in my school, there was no rumour that the gentleman was in a state of constant arousal.
It is Mr Horne that I want to tell you about, because he was a damned good chap. He didn’t teach me, but was the teacher given the job of coaching the football team. This is because he was male, 84 years younger than Mr Stevens and 17 stone lighter than Mr Nixon. Our school football team was top rate, and one of the best in the city. I used to go to the practice and training sessions that were held one evening a week after school. I was crap. Utterly, totally, useless. There was, however, never any suggestion made that I should not attend. There were a few of us who knew we would never make the first or second team, and would rarely get a game in the practice sessions, but we loved playing and were not just tolerated but encouraged. In my last year at primary school, the football team won every game in the league (not the top division) and got to the cup final where they narrowly lost. This meant that virtually every Saturday morning in winter, Mr Horne would leave the comforts of his hearth to accompany a group of raucous pre-pubescent thugs and their supporters to wherever the game was to be played. It would probably have been less fun if the team were losing, but it still showed a fair degree of commitment.
What, however, made Mr Horne so outstanding was that, in addition to all of this, he arranged a game for those of us who were regular attendees at training, but would never be picked on merit. The team consisted, if I recall accurately, about six or seven of us donkeys, and four or five good players. I loved it, even though no-one thought to pass the ball to me, I probably got half a dozen kicks of the ball in the game, some of which may have connected, but I was really happy and proud to be in a team which bore the school’s name.
This treatment is in complete contrast to the games teachers I encountered later - a bunch of ignorant, callous fascists who only had contempt for those with little ability. I would gladly frogmarch them all out of their piss soaked retirement homes, make them dress in vest and shorts and set the bastards on a ten mile cross country run.

So, thank you Mr Horne. I hope that you are happy and fulfilled.


Pamela said...

Vicus, what a touching story!

No, I mean that. And not in a sexual way.

Rog said...

Upper Ramsbottom

Richard said...

I like to feel that by not going into the teaching profession my potential pupils' attention spans have been longer thereby enabling them to attain far higher qualifications and be an overall boon to society. It is for this that I feel society ought, in some way, to reward me, perhaps in the manner maybe of a banker bailing out of a revered institution prior to it going tits up. Had Dick Spunk been a teacher it would have gone tits up two decades ago.

Dave said...

There is a letter 'w' missing from one of your words, boy.

Write the whole thing out again, and use a proper pen next time.


I hope this helps.

Dave said...

Oh, and what Pammy said too.

Vicus Scurra said...

Thanks Pamela. It is nice not to be sexually harassed. It makes such a difference.
Rog. Close but the name was even funnier. I shall not be commenting further on the accuracy of any guesses.
Richard. You are a loss to the teaching profession. Think back to the those that taught you and other teachers that you know, and consider whether you would do a better job.
Dave. I wrote that at 1:15 a.m. in the knowledge that there were likely to be typos. I thought that it might give you something interesting to write about. I see that I failed.
And thank you too.

Richard said...

Dave, I noticed that too but I didn't want to rub it in.

I, Like The View said...

I'm confused (easily done, I know). . .

. . .what has Papal nasal hair got to do with it?

*awaits enlightenment*

KAZ said...

I had a perfectly sensible name when I started teaching. Then I married the jazz fan and foolishly took his name.
The students often called out 'Boing Boing' after me as I walked down the corridor.
No details - you work it out

Vicus Scurra said...

ILTV. Apart from my missus. No more clues.
Kaz. Perhaps it was not your name that was the source of the comment.

Donn said...

A lovely stroll down memory lane :)

I too was bamboozled by the title and was expecting yet another playful poke at ole Ratzy. I certainly wasn't prepared for To Sir With Love and Goodbye Mr Chips.

I kept waiting for some Browning type dysfunction or a bit of controversy, perhaps you were a Droog for a time, but it was not to be.

Very well then.
I hoist my glass high to Mr Horne and celebrate his Enlightenment.
This nostalgic love letter was so heartwarming that I had all but completely forgotten about Miss Heidi Schnitzel? Candi Grabsum? Frieda Bohnar? Bren Dover? Buffy Beverful? Betty Swallows? Ivanna Drillon?

zIggI said...

teachers should have inappropriate names, it should be in their job descriptions, what other fun is there to be had in a school?

I like Mr Horne, do you have his number?

tom909 said...

Vicus, it is not that long since you wrote a 'funny names' post. I'm not complaining - I enjoy them. In fact it is the one area of life that I find almost amusing.
As one of my close friends at school, Richard Head, often said, what's in a name, after all.

Donn said...

I was thinking that aside from Ratzenheimer, the most famous German Catholic in all of history would have to be Hitler...
no wait, Luther before he went medieval on (all) that papal bull!?

Oh right, this post had nothing to do with the title..
sorry...never mind.

Millennium Housewife said...

I was about to make a pithy and extremely entertaining comment, then I noticed that the word verification is liciart, says it all. See, a computer random generating machine is funnier than me time to let go of the dreams.