Sunday, October 31, 2010

Puberty 1, Mathematics 0

From The World of Simon Raven:  The Green Years:

At the end of the Easter Term the maths master had very properly followed the call of the bugle, and the school had been compelled to employ a middle-aged temporary called "Wally" Wallace.  Although Wally knew little mathematics and less science, he was quite a plausible bluffer and had the wit to discover straight away which boys had some reputation at his subjects and then, as it were, to pace himself by them.  If he were uncertain how to solve a problem, he would not flounder about trying to do it himself, he would set the whole class on to it and then announce that the school swot had come up with the correct answer.  The school swot ("Lotty" Loder he was called) would then be invited to come up to the blackboard and demonstrate his solution to the accompaniment of grateful and approving nods from Wally ... who, however, was calamitously found out on the day when Lotty had been introduced by his neighbor to the delights of self-abuse.

Wally by now had such trust in him that he summoned him to the blackboard without even bothering to look at his work; whereupon the wretched child came limping forward with a huge erection clearly visible under his grey shorts and no solution to propose to his audience.  After a few feeble attempts at improvisation he asked to be allowed "to go to the bog, sir, please", stayed there exploring the full possibilities of his new-found hobby, and left Wally to do his own job for once.  

And a sad mess Wally made of it.

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