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Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Tuesday Anger and Laughter

Pretty average day at Nuova Lazio High School. (Richard {of RBB] decided on this anonymous nomenclature some time ago).

NOTE: To Kiwis (The inhabitants of the lovely South Pacific Paradise called alternatively New Zealand or Aoteroa) AVERAGE denotes a pretty crappy experience.
The usual happened.

Boys skateboarding up the corridors in class time.

Girls trying to scratch each others eyes out because of boyfriend problems.

Boys smoking outside Richard (of RBB)'s music room.

Boys running on our roofs during class time.

A completely random and unknown kid sticking his head round my door while  I was teaching a particularly alert Year 11 class and screaming at the top of his voice "FUCK YOU MISTAH"

Hearing a particularly troubled... 


I must switch from teacherspeak. 

"Troubled" in teacherspeak means that the kid concerned may well have a troubled family background, but apart from that


(who mostly want to learn exciting new facts regarding recent advances in the wonderful world of computing science)





Poor wee F*CK OFF
I will continue. 
I heard the troubled boy refer to a Deputy Principal as "you fucker", not once, not twice, not thrice but FOUR times.  Luckily it's Mr Pompous (as Richard [of RBB] refers to him.  I prefer Mr Braces.) so the kid will be out of school for at least 5 days.

Apart from that it was a normal day.

Until I returned home.

I was a bit early.

For the first time this week, I was out of school by 4:45, and as I turned up the driveway of chez TSB I was met with an unusual sight.

Our parking area has room for 2 car ports, a garage, and room for another 3 cars.  It was completely chocka.

So the poor bastard who has been working for 12 hours straight has to park his own f*cking car at the bottom of his own f*cking driveway, because there is no room to f*cking park.

Is it my imagination, or is this f*cking driveway getting longer and steeper?
What The F*ck was going on?

As I trudged up the drive, I could see that m'son's car was amongst the 4 vehicles parked randomly in the yard, then I saw my Beloved's little sports car parked in the small area behind some hedges.  But both car ports were unused.

I asked myself again, WTFWGO?

Into the house, and saw another strange car parked in the garage.

AH, all was becoming clear.  As I walked into the main upstairs living area, I saw my Beloved sitting around a small table with other ladies of  "a certain age".

It was either the local coven having their usual, tea, fairy cakes and eye of newt


It was the delegation from the area's spiritualists asking my Beloved's help in getting me to tone down my "negative vibrations" (I've been told that since I moved into the area, not one ghost has appeared in the entire area of Upper Hutt!)


It was my Beloved's Mah Jong group round for their weekly game with associated character assassination.

I saw the tiles with the Chinese script. 
It was the Mah Jongers
I tried to hide my displeasure at the parking shambles below, smiled at the ladies and departed to the kitchen.

Hell's Teeth.  They'd completely cleaned out the fairy cakes AND the sausage rolls.  Nothing left but crumbs.

Now the fun part.

They started to pack up and leave, and I as a gentleman of the old school (Hillhead High, Glasgow 1962-1969) gave them a hand down the stairs with their Mah Jong tiles, stands tables and cauldron.

Then they drove away.


M'son and I offered to help the ladies manoeuvre their vehicles safely, but our offers were spurned, at least initially.

The first vehicle to move was the last one in, and it would obviously have to reverse down the drive to the main road.  It's about 100 metres down a fairly steep slope, but it's straight and smooth..
The lady driving this car had a rictus of terror fixed to her features as she started.
You want me to REVERSE?

She stalled.

I didn't know it was possible to stall an automatic, but this lady did.

She put a full lock on, and her back wheels quickly went grinding down the concrete edges of the drive.  Then she put the other lock on and went across to the other side of the drive until the screeching began again.

The approximate path of her car down the driveway

She progressed slowly, very slowly in this manner.  It was like watching a slow-motion billiards game.

My Beloved leaned over and whispered "Why don't you offer to help them Dear?"
I whispered back "No"

I said no for a variety of reasons.

  1. I had offered before (grudgingly, but I had offered) and been spurned.
  2. I was a believer in equality to all. If they had bought the damned cars, AND passed the frighteningly easy Kiwi driving test, then they should be able to manoeuvre safely.  Even backwards down a 100 metre hill drive.
  3. It was too much fun.
M'son, who needed to move his car soon, stalked off in a sulk when his plan for manoeuvring the vehicles (logical and safe) was ignored by the other ladies.
Over the next 10 minutes I watched them desperately trying to do:
  • 17 point turns, then realising that there really wasn't enough room to complete the manoeuvre , do a 19 point turn to get back to where she was originally.
  • Reverse into an empty car port, then drive out on the same lock, so they ended up where they started.
  • Drive into my garden hedging.
  • Drive into my Rhododendron bush.
All the time the screeching from the lady reversing down the drive could be heard, slowly diminishing with distance.
As I stood there, a smile on my face, I realised I was making it worse.

My presence seemed to be unnerving the ladies.  They were all sweating by now (but to be fair, at their time of life it could well have been "Hot Flushes")

There seems to be an innate understanding that blokes are just better at this sort of thing.

Even now, after nearly 30 years of driving in the UK and NZ, my Beloved expects a round of applause if she manages to parallel park her car in an area with room enough for a Chieftain tank.

Try again Dear, you're a wee bit too close this time.
I always give her a little kiss and a smile of encouragement.  That's what blokes do.  Mentioning that we're parked a good ½ metre from the kerb would just end in tears, so I stay quiet.

Back to the entertainment.

It really was fun, but I was becoming a bit worried that my presence was driving the ladies insane. One car reversed and advanced about 9" each time, and was going absolutely nowhere.

A loud screech of brakes and the sound of a warning car horn announced the final arrival of the lady reversing down the drive at the main road. I could swear I heard a bloke's voice bellowing something about "stupid bloody women" but I could have been mistaken.

I smiled again and left.

Enough was enough.

I departed the scene and went upstairs to the lounge.

I knew I'd get a much better view from the large bay window upstairs.

I was content.

My equilibrium was restoring.

A large whisky completed the balancing, and all, once again was well.

You can't get much weller than this


  1. Hilarious! I bet next time those ladies attend their meeting at Chez TSB they will park on the road! That's if they can be bothered coming back again. You Twisted menfolk may ahve scared them off for good perhaps.

    As for student behaviour - I too have noticed it denegrating rapidly as we are into Week 8. Weahter not helpign either. BUt yesterday we had an entertaining presentations for students. I attended the Year 10 one on "Sex with Attidtude". Interesting....but I'm sure the content went way over the heads of many there, possibly even some of the teachers. However the presenter was a pretty cool dude.

  2. VG: As far as parking on the road is concerned, I'm not too sure. They'll probably forget the chaos (and the scrapes).
    Maybe I should offer a valet parking service?
    How could we TSB men scare them off. We were perfect gentlemen. I didn't even laugh out loud once.

    Most of the kids are OK, it's the usual suspects I'm afraid.

    Sex with Attitude??
    Strewth, I'm glad I wasn't giving that lesson.

    Learning Objective:
    How to have sex and keep your bloody aweful attitude.

    Success Criteria:
    Find a girl that's not actually sick when she sees you.
    Remember to always wear a paper bag.
    Remember to offer protection.
    Remember that you're a smelly, acne covered adolscent, and you haven't got a snowballs chance in Hell.
    Rmember to bring a girly magazine, because that's as near to seeing a lovel girl as you're going to get.

  3. Dear Twisted, I was impressed that the child who told you what to do with yourself added Mistah. I think that there is always a place for manners. My driving leaves a lot to be desired but if it had been me doing the 3 trillion point turns, I would have been laughing myself silly. It is a pity Mrs T's friends felt embarrassed. Had any been on the sauce? I have been away with the fairies recently but the good thing is that there are a fair few of your posts to go all cat's bum at! love Lindaxxx

  4. Oh dear, very comical. You don't have this sort of problem on a bike.

    What's sex with attitude?

  5. fantastic - would loved to have seen the parking exit game... actually that is my next pitch the ITV to replace X-Factor, prime time Saturday TV - "Female car reserve races"... No?

    Moving on...

    My wife was fuming the other day - a little darling in her year group had in one day broken a chair, sworn at every adult, spat at a kid, hit another kid and some other stuff. A productive day in education again as 29 other kids sit about waiting for the nonsense to stop before learning anything ... Anyway she was stating how she felt about this (i.e. ranting) and one of the teachers just said "well we have to give him space, the father is a bit of a drinker you know"... She walked away biting her lip to say "Listen my old man was a raving alcoholic for 14 years of my sons life but that doesn't mean the child has to abdicate responsibility too you know!"

  6. Oh yes and I never mention that when she is ranting about this stuff when she picks me up from the station in the evening that she never once indicates on any turn at all... I did just mention it once and after strenuous negotiations the divorce has been just avoided ;-)

  7. Linda in Chile: So nice to hear from you again. I was getting worried that you'd shuffled off this mortal coil, or worse. Our kids always use Mistah, I think it's genetically ingrained. They could well have been on the sauce, but I think the embarrasment was due to me being there.

    I really, really hate to ask, and I just know I'm going to regret this, but, what has a cat's bum got to do with my posts?

    1. Dear Twisted, Is the phrase 'to go all cat's bum' Australian? It probably is. It describes quite beautifully the pursing of one's lips in disapproval - think CWA lady of the 1950s. Not that there is anything unpollitically correct about your posts (gentle cough!). I was thinking about why we hate driving criticism. I actually woke Mr LiC up to ask him what he thought and he dearly would like to know too, particularly as women are not backwards at criticising their husbands' driving. I think we hate being at a disadvantage - and driving critcism which would seem to question our competence puts us there. These days I let Mr LiC drive - in our 7000km drive to Patagonia and back I drive 2 meters to move the car in a petrol queue. We are now all happy. Lindaxxx

  8. looby: No, you're right, they don't have this problem with bikes, but neither do you get wet, bitten by irate pit-bulls or knocked off into the ditch by a passing 40 tonne truck.

    Sex with attitude? It'spart of an educational series that has been developed to help our kids navigate through the problems of sex, mostly about self respect. See

  9. Furtheron: Yep, I just wish I'd video'd the incident, guaranteed winner on any of the home video shows, plus YouTube.

    You've put your finger on the main problem. It's lack of accountability; it's always someone else's fult, never theirs. I refer to both kids and their caregivers (In NZ, we can't always assume that the caregiver is a parent) Drug and alcohol abuse, plus gang/criminal behaviour are the main factors, but I know lovely kids, who, despite a terrible and corrosive home life try their best. It's those kids that every teacher is willing to go the extra mile for.

    Furtheron: Ah, wise move. I ONCE criticised my Beloved's driving skills ("Be carefull my Dear, that's a low wall behind us") She got out the car and walked home. Leaving me with a baby in the back seat and wondering how on earth I was going to get to Edinburgh airport.
    Silent amusement (with a stone face) is always the safest option.

  10. Last week when we were travelling North I had the temerity or should I say stupidity to question the Old Girl's driving. A asked her why she was driving so fast and did she need to be so aggressive. After about 40km's of silence she finally and still furiously (the driving that is) questioned my driving skills. Believing (at 115KM an hour on winding roads) that silence was the best response I turned up the audio book and settled down for the rest of the drive. We had a frosty evening when home. Why do women hate it when their driving ability or manner is questioned?

  11. Comeinyourpants, doesn't sound like you've learnt much about women over the years. Me neither.
    My special friend got upset the other night because she couldn't see the new pipes the plumber had put in. The poor bugger had tried to hide his work. Maybe he should have left a big hole for her to look in?

  12. TC: Wise move, keeping quiet. It is often the best policy.
    As regards their sensitivity towards constructive criticism, I really don't know, unless it's somehow linked to technical ineptness, spatial un-awareness and just sheer incompetence.

  13. Richard (of RBB): "Special Friend"?

    You have a special friend and you haven't been telling us?
    Does Shelley know?

    In my experience, ladies aren't too keen on looking in big holes.

  14. Oh, this was funny. You'd think people would think ahead and not just blithely pull into a driveway that's going to be impossible to back out of.

    We have a difficult driveway too. Backing out involves a steep uphill grade, with a blind spot because of the hill, and the very real danger of crashing into a telephone pole or the next-door neighbor's car. Or getting crushed by the city bus as it tops the hill. Complicated by my crazy dogs that want to bark at and circle any car that tries to exit. We have had people have total panic attacks when trying to leave our driveway.

  15. Patience_Crabsrick: It's strange how some people don't plan ahead. But it was funny.
    Reversing easily just takes practice, but I'm not to sure about the dogs...too much distraction.

  16. I like games. Hopefully I can come to the next mahjongg outing.

  17. Dear Linda in Chile,
    Thanks awfully for explaining that phrase. It's all very (regretfully) clear now. That image is not nice. I wonder if lemon could enhance the look?
    I bet Mr LiC was very happy to get woken up to get asked that question; did he shout much?
    I must admit, my Beloved doesn't drive much when we are all in the car,but that'sher choice, I don't insist in driving. Maybe it's some sort of unconscious radiation of disapproval.

    Patagonia sounds so;
    Desolate Wasteland?

    Have fun.

  18. Laoch: you'd certainly be welcome, but just so you know, they don't play for money.

  19. Yikes! Make sure you put a sign up saying "No trailers", just in case.

    Please come and submit another haiku. The one you submitted was awesome, just not up to specs. You can always change them.

  20. Curmudgeon: What? Seriously I don't know what you mean by "No Trailers"

    I'll certainly have another go at a Haikuwhen I have some time. The 5-7-5 is a bit constrictive, but I'm sure I'll get the hang of it.


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