It seems like an eternity ago now, but just before the lock-down, we had the Hornswood Ladies College (my daughter’s wonderful school) parents-meet-teachers night.
Being Hornswood (the mythical little suburbs snuggled between Hornsby and Chatswood), nearly every mum or dad there was dressed in a suit or something equally as nice. I drove with another parent, “Bolschy” (his poker call-sign) who’s a great mate of mine, both wearing thongs, T-shirts and shorts. A tad underdressed.
I’ve always relied heavily on the fact that one overweight yobbo in a big crowd, just blends into the background. But when there’s two, in a sea of expensive attire, we stood out like a Trump-fake-tan and laughed when we saw our reflection in the glass of the entry door.
We arrived early, which meant we got full advantage of the coffee and hand-made, buttery golden biscuits. I grabbed three, two for me and one for Bolschy but due to their irregular size, the lowest bickie dropped off the bottom of the stack onto the floor. It landed near the table.
Me – “That was your one, Bolsch.“
Laughing, I handed Bolschy one of the two I held and stayed for a moment to eat mine. As I returned to the table, an exceedingly attractive middle-aged teacher was about to step on the biscuit and grind it into the immaculate carpet. So I bent down behind her, just as her high-heel landed right in the centre of it, unbeknownst to her, breaking it neatly into 3 pieces.
I thought to myself no prob, seeing I’m down here any way, it makes no difference if I pick up three bits or one, it was now going in the bin (there’s no 5-second rule at an HLC function).
But wouldn’t you know it, just as I was picking up the third and final shard of biscuit, she takes a full step backwards, tripped on to me, stumbled, spilled her tea, crushed the bickie and her butt went right into my face as I looked up.
She was understandably surprised to find a man crouched down behind her, in such a thinly-populated space. She was shocked by the stumble and, well, me.
Attractive teacher – “WHAT ARE YOU DOING??”
My clothing did not put her mind at ease at all.
Me – “My um… my biscuit” was all I could come up with.
Anyway, Bolschy and I went and sat in the classrooms and thankfully the teachers doing the presentation to our group of parents, were really quick. We were out of there before any others were done and decided to go and find our close mate Dange (short for “Danger”, another self-attributed poker call-sign).
With each of the classrooms in this auditorium, the wall that faces inwards is glass, so you can actually see into all the rooms. We positioned ourselves so we could see Dange sitting at a desk, he could see us, but the teacher out the front couldn’t. When he turned around and saw the two of us just deadpan and giving him the ol’ stink-eye, he laughed.
Like students trying to cut class, we did everything we could to get Dange to come out and blow off the last ten minutes of the talk. But he’s a polite Canadian, so he wouldn’t leave. He was just sitting there, being… attentive.
We had to go after him.
Bolschy wandered in, plonked down next to Dange without taking his eyes off the teacher. I could see him through the glass trying to subtly convince Dange to come out, with a few quiet words and a couple of pokes to the ribs, but no, conscientious Dange was committed until the end. So Bolschy picked up Dange’s phone, held it up in front of his head for facial recognition, and then fled with his now-unlocked, phone.
Outside the room Bolschy and I were having a ball. Now that we had his phone and he could see us, we were pretending to be perusing, looking through all his messages and photos, surfing, all the stuff you don’t want two mates doing. We watched Dange the teacher’s-pet, squirming, wondering what irreversible damage we were doing to his beloved phone.
We were halted by the exceedingly attractive middle-aged teacher who accidently sat on me earlier.
Ms Attractive (I think it’s a French name)– “What the heck is going on here?”
We were busted. We dropped into silence. In the room, Dange knew we were sprung and was now the one trying to control his mirth.
Ms Attractive – “Other parents are trying to learn what their daughters are going to be doing for the next year, and you two are being silly?”
Me (nervously) – “Very sorry, we… we were just teasing our mate in there.” We pointed through the glass to Dange, and he looked quite disappointed to see us dob him in.
Ms Attractive – “Teasing? That’s rather immature. How do you think that makes him feel?”
Me (looking at the ground guiltily) – “Not very good.”
Bolschy (also looking downward) – “Pretty bad.“
Ms Attractive – “Do the two of you think that’s a good idea? Do you think you are improving this situation? I would expect better of my Year 7 girls.”
Bolschy (looking contrite, like he would have looked when this used to happen thirty years and forty kilos ago) – “Sorry.”
Ms Attractive – “I think it’s time you two left. We’ve had enough of your trouble making.”
Me (shyly) – “But we… sort of… have his phone.”
Ms Attractive just shook her head in disgust. “Well one of you is going to have to go in there and return it, aren’t you?”
Moving with the speed of a startled gazelle, I grabbed the phone out of Bolschy’s hand and said “I’ll return it”, thinking he would then have to stand with the beautiful, but angry, Ms Attractive .
BUT SHE CAME WITH ME!!
Ms Attractive apologised for the interruption and I slunk in and returned Dange’s phone. Luckily the teacher then introduced her to all the parents in the room, so the attention wasn’t on me.
Ms Attractive then rejoined Bolschy and I outside the classroom. Having promised my daughter I would be on my best behaviour, I had then been accidently sat on by a teacher and busted razzing Dange.
Me – “Is there any chance you could not tell our daughters?”
So Bolschy and I made our way to the carpark.
Bolschy – “Let’s go. Dange isn’t coming out.”
Me – “Let’s just wait for him. He’ll ring us.”
Bolschy – “No he won’t. He’ll just drive home.”
Me – “Oh he’ll definitely ring us.” I jingled car keys in front of him. “I palmed his keys.”
We laughed and we laughed, having checked Ms Attractive wasn’t around.
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