Beyond Good and Evil?

Share your memories and stories from your days at school, and find out the truth behind the rumours....Remember the teachers and pupils, tell us who you remember and why...

Moderator: Moderators

Post Reply
Donsimone
3rd Former
Posts: 33
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2010 7:54 am

Beyond Good and Evil?

Post by Donsimone » Tue Mar 01, 2011 5:13 pm

More slapped than tickled myself while at CH .... brothers and sisters, I have this tit-for-tat anecdote for your perusal.
IMHO the responsibility of maintaining the status quo while resisting the temptation to transgress into the indulgence of personal pettiness is perhaps, whether we like it or not, a trick beyond many of those who infest the corridors of power and position...


Tea over, the long trek from Dining Hall down to the bottom of the Junior end where Hunt B loomed, was always a bit of an adventure. Blood sugar replenished, biorhythms roaring, it was, in the reigning monotony, a brief firework of exquisite anarchy albeit one inevitably doomed to splutter out in the limbo of evening homework. Yet for a fleeting moment, the keys of the city were almost within my grasp.
In particular, the Winter darkness colluded in concealing any misdemeanours, granting the forces of chaos the freedom to roll out the carpet unheeded by the stern, prying eyes of masters intent on swooping back to house like executive jets on their private runway. With no threat of sanction more serious than the odd Senior end boy making his way magnanimously through the throng on some unspecified errand, taunts were routinely exchanged, schoolboy scores settled, the day's doings rapidly consigned to memory as the tide of boys wound their way, like a stream of shrouded spermatazoa, back to the relative comfort of their respective House-wombs.
That my blissful antics on this occasion would nonetheless invoke the prompt punitive intervention of a member of the school gestapo came as a bolt from the bluest blue.

As I approached Barnes house in the gloom, a peculiar Dalek-like shape out on the front lawn arrested me from my reverie. A second take, but there it remained sure enough, silent and immobile. No perceptible attempt to staunch or in any way disturb the passing flow of humanity.
A snowman. That day's generous fall had been put to traditional use by the squits and the result now stood in pride of place, imperiously, for all to admire. An honorary, if temporary, member had been added to the Barnes B houseroll.
At the time, I was still smarting from a beautifully executed uppercut received courtesy of Barnes B's captain during the interhouse rugby. Overwhelmed by a sense of glowing opportunity, a spot of retribution of my own didn't seem unreasonable. Thus disposed, from a distance, I swear the snowy interloper winked a charcoal eye in my direction. What's that?! Could that really have been a carroty snoot cocked at the expense of my ambling innocence? Before I knew it, the spirit of Don Quixote had surged forth and my legs had sent me hurtling across the crusty snow and into a flying rugby tackle which instantly demolished the offending mutant. Mission accomplished, I trotted off with a skip in my step and rectitude in my heart.
Admittedly, I should have known better. Original Sin was everywhere in those days and guilt seemed permanently camped out at the foot of my bed. The reaction, swift as it was brutal, caught me by surprise all the same.

Back at house, David Bussey, English teacher of the idiosyncratic but not entirely gormless breed, was the emissary. “I don't know what you've done but Mr Goodall wants to see you in his study in 5 minutes”.
I'd never been in Barnes B before and Housemaster 'Bwana' Goodall ( he'd taught at a boys' school in Kenya ) was a marginal figure in my world. I succumbed to the familiar kaleidoscope of impending dread, so much so that the sniggering accompaniment to his study by one of their squits didn't register with me at first. Invited in with a deft hand gesture of bogus welcome, no sooner was I inside when the door slammed shut just as my feet were lifted off the ground, my bodyweight was hanging from my throat which found itself in the unrelenting grip of the bear-like Bwana and I was suddenly, back pressed to the wall, eye-to-eye with the most irate beetroot of a visage I'd experienced up to that point. I was fisted hard once, maybe twice, in the stomach.
Was that my pounding heartbeat I could hear – or the pulsating rumble of African drummers? Was I about to be ritually speared by some misplaced avenging witchdoctor? In any event, Bwana's inner tribesman had most definitely blown a gasket and was throwing a thrombic of deific proportions. I was quickly stampeded over by the righteous hoofbeat of his ire, the thunderous gist of which barely carried through the rippling pain and discomfort I was in. I was an utter ****** for the premeditated slaying of the squits afternoon endeavour. Which, with freezing hands, they had so lovingly and painstakingly laboured on. Which he himself had personally supervised. Which they had been ecstatically proud of. And which I was to recreate without further ado. Otherwise a promise of more of the same. Now get out.
With the jeering squits hanging out of the windows like a row of dirty washing, the monument to folly was ( sort of ) singlehandedly restored by the ( purportedly ) chastened renegade. Inglorious ******** then the whole lot of us.

All this was doubly galling as in my own house Killer Fry, moniker notwithstanding and with an unusually distinguished military service record to his name, never resorted to this kind of clumsy textbook cowardice with his charges. His weapon of choice was that voice, neither stentorian nor wheedling, perfectly pitched to send any thought-criminals scurrying, cur-like, for the nearest safe haven. Or to glory. A triumph of Pavlovian conditioning.

But there again, wasn't it the Duke of Wellington who once said that in this life there is only one thing worse than defeat and that is.... victory.
There's food for thought for you.

User avatar
englishangel
Forum Moderator
Posts: 6955
Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 12:22 pm
Real Name: Mary Faulkner (Vincett)
Location: Amersham, Buckinghamshire

Re: Beyond Good and Evil?

Post by englishangel » Wed Mar 02, 2011 8:28 am

Great writing!

A tad of an over-reaction from the Bwana, an (anonymous) snowball down the back of the neck in the darkness should have been sufficient retribution I would have thought.
"If a man speaks, and there isn't a woman to hear him, is he still wrong?"

User avatar
Mid A 15
Button Grecian
Posts: 2925
Joined: Thu May 19, 2005 1:38 pm
Real Name: Claude Rains
Location: The Patio Of England (Kent)

Re: Beyond Good and Evil?

Post by Mid A 15 » Thu Mar 03, 2011 3:48 pm

Excellent piece Simon.

"Bwana" was a pleasant gentleman 99.99% of the time but if he lost it you knew about it as I also found out when he cuffed me round the head once and I literally saw stars. I'd never believed that saying prior to that!

I should add, in the interests of fairness and balance, that I had given a bit of "lip" which was very much frowned upon in the sixties and early seventies although at this distance I cannot remember what it was I said that prompted such a reaction!
Ma A, Mid A 65 -72

User avatar
jhopgood
Button Grecian
Posts: 1713
Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2004 6:26 pm
Real Name: John Hopgood
Location: Valencia

Re: Beyond Good and Evil?

Post by jhopgood » Thu Mar 03, 2011 6:23 pm

Bwana was Barnes B Housemaster in the last year before it became a Junior House, when I was a study monitor. It always struck me that he was more comfortable dealing with Juniors than Seniors, which is probably why he was appointed. The other master was Johnstone, both of whom appeared pretty ineffectual to the remaining seniors.
Mind you, they had little to do with running the house.
Barnes B 25 (59 - 66)

User avatar
NEILL THE NOTORIOUS
Button Grecian
Posts: 2612
Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2008 10:01 pm
Real Name: NEILL PURDIE EVANS

Re: Beyond Good and Evil?

Post by NEILL THE NOTORIOUS » Mon Apr 18, 2011 12:19 pm

As to the Barnes B Captain's uppercut ---- I should beware a similar fate, nowadays !

Since it is now inhabited by Ladies, such an assault would be both painful and embarrassing ! :oops:

I hope I am not "Sexist" but I admire Women's Rugby, and I cannot stand Women's Boxing ! ! :shock:

Donsimone
3rd Former
Posts: 33
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2010 7:54 am

Re: Beyond Good and Evil?

Post by Donsimone » Fri Apr 22, 2011 9:56 am

NEILL THE NOTORIOUS wrote:As to the Barnes B Captain's uppercut ---- I should beware a similar fate, nowadays !

Since it is now inhabited by Ladies, such an assault would be both painful and embarrassing ! :oops:

I hope I am not "Sexist" but I admire Women's Rugby, and I cannot stand Women's Boxing ! ! :shock:
Well Neill, that very much depends on what you mean by 'Ladies' - have a look at this definition and you'll agree we were all better off with a little straightforward testosterone poisoning...I quote Joris-Karl Huysmans:

"No longer was she merely the dancing-girl who extorts a cry of lust and concupiscence from an old man by the lascivious contortions of her body; who breaks the will, masters the mind of a King by the spectacle of her quivering bosoms, heaving belly and tossing thighs; she was now revealed in a sense as the symbolic incarnation of world-old Vice, the goddess of immortal Hysteria, the Curse of Beauty supreme above all other beauties by the cataleptic spasm that stirs her flesh and steels her muscles, - a monstrous Beast of the Apocalypse, indifferent, irresponsible, insensible, poisoning."

He was talking about an image of Salome to be fair. Haven't set the cat amongst the pigeonsI hope? :D

User avatar
englishangel
Forum Moderator
Posts: 6955
Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 12:22 pm
Real Name: Mary Faulkner (Vincett)
Location: Amersham, Buckinghamshire

Re: Beyond Good and Evil?

Post by englishangel » Fri Apr 22, 2011 12:51 pm

You really shouldn't post stuff like that. Poor Neill and JR will need a lie down now

:oops: :lol: :oops: :lol: :evil: :oops: :lol: :evil: :axe:
"If a man speaks, and there isn't a woman to hear him, is he still wrong?"

User avatar
J.R.
Forum Moderator
Posts: 14816
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 4:53 pm
Real Name: John Rutley
Location: Dorking, Surrey

Re: Beyond Good and Evil?

Post by J.R. » Sun Apr 24, 2011 11:47 am

englishangel wrote:You really shouldn't post stuff like that. Poor Neill and JR will need a lie down now

:oops: :lol: :oops: :lol: :evil: :oops: :lol: :evil: :axe:

............. and a quick rub-down with a damp copy of the 'Sporting Life' !!
John Rutley. Prep B & Coleridge B. 1958-1963.

User avatar
NEILL THE NOTORIOUS
Button Grecian
Posts: 2612
Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2008 10:01 pm
Real Name: NEILL PURDIE EVANS

Re: Beyond Good and Evil?

Post by NEILL THE NOTORIOUS » Mon Apr 25, 2011 11:35 am

AAAAh -- what is testosterone ?
Memory failure again !

Come aboard my yacht, my dear --- and explain to me !! :evil:

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest