“It’ll come in a bunch of five, I’ll tell you that much.” is something my fat geography teacher used to say. She was a nasty piece of work, with a chip on her shoulder as big as her enormous arse, which was also the cause of the chip on the shoulder. She ended each lesson with a threat of violence and humiliated anyone who happened, through no obvious fault of their own, to be stupid, clever, pretty, ugly or just pretty ugly.
I could never work out how geography could bring out such strong emotion in a person. This was geography of danish bacon and how rain was made…i.e. bloody boring. (It was the early eighties, for some reason, interesting geography, that of WHERE PLACES ARE, had been taken off the curruiculum). Yet there she stood twice a week, wearing brown clinging jumpers and brown nylon extremely clingy and enormous trousers… (why did geography teachers ALWAYS wear brown clothes?) demanding that one of us tell her how butter production was useful to the pig deliverers or some other uninteresting bollocks or “I’ll give you a bunch of fives in a minute”… or “I’ll give YOU an I don’t know in a minute, IN THE BACKSIDE!”… or “I’ll wallop you in a minute if you don’t know the answer”. Christ. She was horrible.
But little saintly me (for “saintly” read “utter coward”) who never did anything wrong, was never rude to teachers, did everything she was told, tried to melt into the background (until, of course, proper adolescence took over and the “saintly” could be replaced with “twattish and gaga over boys”) always managed to gauge her quite well and avoid her “fat arse wrath”. And she was fairly pleasant with me. As fairly pleasant as a mean spirited old cow can be.
One day, I was in the school’s fast food joint, an outrageous attempt by the school to get us to eat more shit than ever before, leaving the upstairs refectory with its more traditional school food for the saddos, the kids with glasses, the kids whose parents were teachers in the school and the lamos, and the geekoids, and the spazzes. And the dorks. And the wallies. And the nerds. And the swots.
And there I saw the fat arsed bitch from hell. Bringing out with her a reasonably healthy looking lunch of a baked potato. As I drew nearer, to get into the queue for chips with lard sauce, I realized that it wasn’t just one baked potato… it was two… gigantic… baked potatoes. Just at that moment, my adolescent hormones took full control of my brain, kicking the slightly geeky, shy, nice little girl out of my head….
“OI, MISS!… THOSE’LL MAKE YOU FAT!”
Holy mother of god, what did I do that for?
She streaked across the room, as fast as her enormous arse and the enormous arse sized chip on her shoulder and the two enormous baked potatoes would allow….putting out her left arm (the potatoes were safe in the right) she shoved me up against the wall by my neck while lifting me up a good centimetre off the ground. As I was pinned there, she spat horrible words at me, but I have no recollection of them, as my eyes were blacking out with lack of blood to the brain as I tried to think of a grovelling excuse. All the other kids just looked on aghast… but there were no other teachers around (all in the refectory upstairs, I expect, wearing their glasses) to get her off me. When she finally let go and stormed out, I found I had gained a little kudos from the other pre- and peri-adolescents, for finally not being such a damned goody goody. But I still ran off and cried in the loos.
I discovered many years later that she had lost her fat arse and got married and become a nice person. Charming. Bloody charming. Couldn’t she have done that then and spared us the violence and the grief?
And I can only wonder…if it was now, I could have sued the bitch.