Early September 1995 and my first week of high School. Wright Robinson, or Wright Robby as I later called it once I become “cool”, was not my first choice, but I am so glad it was the school that took me in.That definitely makes me sound like a stray cat.
I like to think it was just a coincidence that I was placed in the form 7GO. My form tutor,Mr Goddard, didn’t take any prisoners and looking round at some of the “Class Clowns” (Mark McGrath, Phillip Gibbons, Tom Campbell) he couldnt afford to. It felt like our primary schools had gave our new stomping ground a heads up. Mr Goddard let us know from day 1 that he was in charge.However he didn’t last 12 months, he left before we started 2nd year. Nothing to do with us,rumour was, he was involved in a Tractor Accident.
I was never bullied in school, I like to think I was one of the “cooler” kids, but in reality I was just one of the many Class Clowns and no-one wants to hurt a clown.
I think it was year 8, Id already quickly established myself as one of the big hitters on the Class Clown circuit, mostly getting cheap laughs from my classmates, until Geography with Mr Entwistle. He was head of Geography and although not as frightening as our old form Tutor, his was a lesson you didn’t really mess about in. Id say he reminded me of MR Gilbert from the Inbetweeners, he seemed like he was going through the motions, lost his love for the job and was a little miserable. As usual the class was silent and Mr Entwistle was telling us about the rainforest. With chalk drawings of 2 groups of trees on the blackboard we was told that the forest on the left was called the “Virgin Forest”. Male Tribe members from the other Forest would take Female Tribe members to the Virgin Forest and impregnate them. Before I had time to be scared of the consequences I shouted out and delivered with confidence……………….. ” But they wont be virgins then sir” I broke him, he gave a reluctant little chuckle, Darren Green on the other hand had tears streaming down his face, He proper lost it, Darren was in bits, It might sound a bit strange that all these years later I still remember “GREENY’S” reaction. But I wanted Darren to control himself, the more he laughed the more it reminded this Blueprint of Mr Gilbert that I had been disruptive. He was one of those few teachers we all had, the ones where you behaved in their lessons. Likewise we all remember those teachers whose lessons you effectively ran.
Back to 7GO, It was Friday, last lesson and our timetable read IT with Mrs Toothill. As an adult looking back on my Friday afternoons in the IT room, I feel genuinely sorry for what we put her through, I don’t think it was just 7GO that gave Mrs Toothill a hard time but we had quality and depth in our class when it came to fooling around. We was like the Barcelona of the school idiots. Literally no one cared in that lesson, some just never bothered turning up. I always did, room 302, Friday, 2:15pm, that was my first real gig, with Support from Gibbo and Mark we always put on a great show. In fact, that room was where some of the quieter pupils got their first laughs. Whilst I have plenty of memories from school, of which I will save for another time, one of my most bizarre was under the supervision of Mrs Toothil. Nothing out of the ordinary another standard Friday afternoon. Me and Mark McGrath would strategically sit at opposite ends of the class so we could throw things at each other. We would wait for Mrs toothill to have her back turned away from us before we through things. We wasn’t animals. Mrs Toothill was stationed at her desk in the middle of the room so she could see me and Mark, clear as day. This wasn’t the first time we was being watched like Hawks so we was prepared, the signal was sent to the one kid in the corner who actually wanted an education and she called Mrs Toothill for an imaginary question, She was our decoy, 7GO invented Call of Duty before the Megadrive even went on sale. Mrs Toothill, now in the corner is showing our decoy just what that Microsoft Paperclip is capable of. That was our cue to fire, a few missiles went astray before I launched a sharpened down pencil, the size of a cigarette 20 feet across the room at Mark.
IT LANDED AND RESTED ON HIS EAR.
A few years back I found out Mrs Toothill had died. I never got the chance to say sorry.
You must of genuinely dreaded Friday afternoon. So on behalf of 7GO I would like to apologise for our actions. And on behalf of myself I would also like to Thankyou. Thankyou for having a teaching style that allowed me to express myself, to make people laugh and to create some fond memories.
Was I a bully? I prefer to think I was just a really Annoying Heckler.