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Saturday, 10 August 2013

The Strange Scotsman (Part the Third)

I was sitting quietly in my office (not my little office, but my big office.  I keep the little office under my control just in case I f*ckup magnificently and get demoted.  Again.)

One of the school office ladies popped her head round the door and told me that someone wanted to see me.

This type of statement always fills me with fear and trepidation.  Who the f*ck wants to see me?

I make a mental list, in order of their respective fear-inducing quotient.
  1. A policeman
  2. A parent
  3. A representative of the underworld
  4. A large and annoyed sibling of a pupil under my punishment.
  5. My Beloved.
Who is it?

"Who is it?"

"It's someone who wants to be a relieving teacher" she says.

This is a bit strange (as I explained in my previous post.  Pay attention, there may be a quiz) it's not often that we get a drop in.

I asked her the usual questions
"Is he wearing a straight-jacket?"
"Does he have a seeing-eye dog?"
"Does he use a walking frame?"

 But I jest.

No, really, I was glad to see someone who was willing to try some relief teaching, and I asked her to send him along.

He made a good impression as he came in my door.
He was even taller than me, about 6' 3", big shoulders, erect posture and a neatly trimmed moustache.

I noticed his highly polished brown shoes.

He was carrying a motorcyclist's helmet and wearing a leather jacket.

He spoke, and I was even more impressed. He was Scottish.
From his accent I placed him on the West Coast of Scotland, probably from Glasgow.

Sometimes I still miss Glasgow.

He explained that he was a qualified and registered teacher of Science and Maths, and that he had recently moved into the Wellington region and was looking for relief teaching work.

I checked his NZTC registration card against the NZTC database, and it all seemed OK.

As we talked, certain patterns of speech led me to believe that this bloke was ex-mob. (He had been in the British Army)

I promised him that I'd try and get him some relief work soon, but that I couldn't guarantee it, as it was so dependant on teacher illness.

The following week, we had a small epidemic of flu and I called JV (a pseudonym, to protect me and JV) to come in for 3 hours.

Again he turned up in his motorcyclist's gear and I again noticed his highly polished brown shoes, (called bulled shoes in the services) which I thought a little odd.

Most soldiers have at least one pair of extremely highly polished shoes or boots for parade use, but we don't tend to use them for every day events, and certainly not for riding a motorbike, where the chances are they'll become badly scratched.

I always ask for new relievers to come in and have a chat after their first session of teaching, and I like to do a quick evaluation on their mental state at such times.

My mental state after a day of teaching at NLHS

He seemed to have survived, and without the usual twitches and stunned look I often see.  I completed his forms and he started to chat.

He just wouldn't stop, he just went on and on and on.  I had lots of work to do, but he wouldn't take the hint and kept on talking.

He started to talk about his time in the Balkans, and as he talked I became aware of some little oddities in his stories.

He told the tale of being an Olympic grade pistol shot, who had been tasked by his commander to demonstrate trench clearing techniques to a group of observing Balkan officers.  JV described how he had used his pistol marksmanship and battle skills to clear the trench.
You don't use this

Now I had never been in the Infantry, and as a Gunner only knew the most basic drills, but even I knew that you didn't use a 9mm pistol to clear a trench, you used machine guns, grenades, mortars and even rocket launchers.

You use this

Or you use this

Something was not quite right about JV, and I made a mental note to do some more checks after I had finally made the bugger leave.

I forgot all about the checks I was going to do when the next mini-crisis swept down upon us, when 3 girls were discovered drunk as skunks in the toilets.  They had shoplifted a 3 litre container of red wine from the local supermarket, and were now throwing up, screaming and singing as they made their merry way around the school.
If they were going to get pissed, you think they'd have chosen a better grade of wine to steal.

I was reminded to do the checks the very next day when I found out what else had been going on.

Oh darn, must go now, prepare for the next mammoth session of house hunting.


  1. Hah! - gift of the gab like a typical Scotsman! He was probably in the catering corps and can't resist making up stories about his combat experience. I wouldn't hold it against him - you don't need to shoot people to be a teacher.

    1. You are quite close to the mark, but do not yet appreciate the sheer horrendousness of the upcoming situation. Good try though, 3/10

  2. Any plans of finishing this story?

  3. you're back! I've been on a bloggy break as well .... only now catching up. And went through all your recent posts only to find a cliff hanger? damn

    1. Welcome back as ell. Not so much a cliffhanger as a 10,000 foot vertical drop into the fabled Sh*t Creek. All will become clear.

  4. All very James Bond I think he is a plant that is checking up on you.

    1. Jamesh Bond? If he was a plant then he was an especially large weed.

  5. You might as well steal a cheap wine because after you can't tell the difference anyway.

    1. Possibly, but have you never heard the saying "May as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb"?

      Mind you they probably couldn't differentiate a good Bordeaux to Buckfast afterwards.

  6. Mmm, that motorcycle helmet he carried under his arm is worrying.
    Are you sure there wasn't a head in it?

    1. You know, I never thought to look. Silly me.

      Enjoying Canada?

  7. Drawing conclusions based on a man's wardrobe, are we? Well, it usually turns out to be pretty close to the bone. Carry on with this plot thread, if you don't mind.

    Speaking of wardrobe, I ate at a restaurant called the Tilted Kilt today. The gimmick was that the waitresses were all young, incredibly hot and wearing Scotland's finest threads. I could barely concentrate on my meal. We were waited on by these lasses. It was like Hooters for Scotsmen.

    1. Oh, I will, but it', I don't want to reveal too much at this stage.

      I envy you your meal.

      Unfortunately, Mrs TSB would not allow me to eat in such an establishment.

      She says I drool too much.

      I say it's the lovely smell of the food.

      She just looks at me.

      We don't have Hooters in NZ, but I think I'd like too visit one.

      I've heard the buffalo wings are especially good.

    2. Of course, I've been in establishments of this ilk before but I was really taken aback this time. The girls are so sexed-up and look so delicious in their tiny kilts. It was like being on the set of a soft-core pornographic movie. I realized that I've finally become a leering, creepy middle-aged man. So sad.

  8. Come on...come on! Get on with the story man...
    ..or I'll have you arrested, incarcerated and sent to our Penal Colony called England..

    1. Speed is not all. Remember, the speedy hare cannot outrun a 7.62mm messenger of death...or something like that. Have patience and all will be revealed...eventually.

      No, no, not bloody England. Have pity man.

  9. Replies
    1. Yeah bloody school work. Saw the dancing bear in the bakery this morning. I made a little joke but he wasn't very friendly. Maybe it was that stuff about schools on Stuff.Co.NZ?

  10. Hmm, I think "mob" might mean something different in the US.

    1. Possibly, probably even, but I'd put my Mob against your mob any day. My mob have nukes, challenger tanks and sweet tea.

  11. OMG this sounds like a story in progress. I do not think this guy sounds like the sort of person I would have wanted looking after my own little dears, from what you say.

    1. Hiya Jenny,
      yes it is based o a very real and very scary story. I agree with your sentiment.

  12. You need to finish this story soon, as I want to make sure this dude doesn't turn up at the school where I work if he did something really horrendous. Is he still a registered teacher?

    1. Hiya VG, yes he is still a registered teacher. I cannot say more at the moment, as it will defuse the carefully crafted tension of the final climax...all will be revealed.

    2. Well in the meantime I shall be very wary of any new male relievers turning up at school with a Scottish accent, highly polished leather shoes and possibly a crash helmet.

    3. Good idea.

      Actually, be wary of has always worked for me


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