Wednesday, October 10, 2007


Having trouble staying awake? Go here for an image guaranteed to drive sleep away.

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 Dunbar at the sight of General Dreedle’s nurse. Eddie Stephenson. I remember Eddie Stephenson. I only remember Eddie Stephenson in this one episode. As far as I know, I never talked to him. I can remember nothing about dear old Eddie apart from this one incident. Why do I remember his name? Dunno. He was in the seat next to Miss Rumsey, and was not blessed by the paralysis that engulfed me. He tittered. His tittering set off several other boys who knew that they had witnessed something arcane and wonderful, without having any idea as to its real meaning. Miss Rumsey pretended that nothing unusual had happened.

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.


Dave said...

Thank you for sharing that with us. I think we can now all understand why you grew up to be the man that you are.

How true the Jesuit axiom "Give me a child until he is 7, and I will give you the man."

Rol said...

There was something about this which made me feel I'm reading the memoirs of Norman Bates.

I approve.

Vicus Scurra said...

Sorry to disappoint, but I was transfixed rather than traumatised.
Possibly confused and mesmerised also.
Would you care to take a shower?

Betty said...

I can remember having to share a table at dinnertime with Mr Dams, an ex-army type who used to smell of bootpolish. He told me off for not having a generous helping of the vile school custard. "It's lovely, it tastes like ice cream!" he told me. Then he wolfed down all the food and had second and third helpings, the pig.

I, Like The View said...

"I need you all to indulge me"

wonderful to know you have needs, vicus



Richard said...

She wasn't Miss Rumsey, she was Miss Celia Hanrahan and she was doing teacher training around 1971 at Hamstreet CP. I still have her autograph and her telephone number. I expect she's moved now.

I've just realised, she'd be as old you.

Vicus Scurra said...

But nowhere near as sexy.

I, Like The View said...

that would be difficult

Richard said...

I'm tempted to write "slapper". Only tempted, mind.

Anonymous said...

Does it sully your memory to think of all the other guys having the same fond memories of that particular dance?

Not a single sexy moment ever transpired in my school life involving a teacher. I was hit in the head with a dodge ball by a lesbian gym teacher once; maybe that's why I don't like girls.

Vicus Scurra said...

Hoosier. I had not thought about the effect on others. I would be surprised if any of them remember it. I expect that at the age of 9 they were all sexually active anyway, and I was just a late developer.

Romeo Morningwood said...

My Word!
Nothing warms the cockles like a good old fashioned reminisce. Now I too shall cherish Miss Rumpsey's chair dance until the end of days.
To think that people say Benchwarmer like it's a bad thing?

Perhaps I shall treat myself and give the Kink's Schoolboys In Disgrace a spin. Everybody needs an Education..indubitably!

Barry Lawrence said...

Bloody Nora, Vicus!!

Does the American phrase "sharing too much" mean nothing to you?
Luckily, no-one reads all this otherwise "the men" would be round pdq and you would find yourself sharing bedtime with Mr Nuttynutjob.
On a point of interest, I had moist relations with the teacher in question and, in the moment of passion, she cried out "No thanks Vicus, I don'tsmoke."

Anonymous said...

Hot For Teacher.

Geoff said...

Toasty's back, oh Oracle.

Kyahgirl said...

Riveting! You have no shortcomings in the narrative department Vicus. That description gave me a very vivid picture. I can just see you, all agog as this bit of heaven on earth unfolded in front of you :-)

Dave said...

It's OK, I'm back from holiday. You can write another post now.

Unknown said...

Well, I suppose that explains a lot now doesn't it.

I think I need a shower.