P&J Column for 25.8.14

‘The Ice-Bucket Challenge’; or, as the C.I.A. used to call it, ‘waterboarding’

Jonathan M Lewis, local headteacher

The start of the new term is always the highlight of any teacher’s summer. I personally enjoy nothing more than the sight of pupils and colleagues alike, shuffling in through our hallowed doors, pretending they are not delighted to be back to rejoin the quest for knowledge. And so it saddens me that this otherwise joyous time has been darkened by unfounded allegations of incompetence and negligence on my part.

First of all, Garioch Academy is not ‘a warzone’ and our student population are not ‘completely out of control’ as implied by some of the many phone calls I have received recently. Yes, Mr Reid, our new media studies teacher, did indicate to a parent at the school gates that it was “like ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes'” but this was a reference to our technologically advanced teaching materials, akin to the CGI work in that summer block-buster; not, as some have wilfully misinterpreted it, to liken the teachers to a band of embattled human survivors who are at the mercy of fearsome, rampaging simian creatures whose eyes burn with a terrifying intelligence. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Staff members are not being ‘hunted down’ by marauding groups of young people. These silly scare stories seem to have come about because the pupils have been enthusiastically pursuing their latest charitable cause, and who would be so mean spirited as to criticise them for that? The fun all started when three of our sixth year boys nominated Mr Taylor from Geography to take part in the ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’. He was reluctant at first, and in the spirit of the thing he pretended to ‘put up a fight!’ but a very significant number of pupils very quickly showed impressive community spirit and good citizenship by helping him to fulfil his fundraising obligations.

I’m no social media expert, but the video footage of Mr Taylor hooded and gaffa-taped to his chair being drenched in bucket after bucket of ice cold water certainly caused me to ‘ROFL’. And what an inspiration! The young people have since nominated all the remaining teachers, and those who haven’t already will be taking up the challenge just as soon as the barricaded staffroom door gives way. Meanwhile, the hospital tells me Mr Taylor’s pleurisy is clearing up nicely, and I’m sure that he’ll be delighted to discover that his efforts have raised the princely sum of £5, when he eventually regains consciousness

Doddie Esslemont, leader of the campaign for independence from Scotland of 39G Seaton Drive

There has been a great deal of talk in the papers this week about Scotland’s oil. How much is left? Will more be found? How will we cope when it has all been used

These are important questions, but they are hardly specific to Scotland. We (by which I mean, I) in the People’s Democratic Republic of 39G Seaton Drive, also face the difficulties associated with a dwindling supply of oil. How much is left? About half a chip-pan full. Will more be found? It is hard to say. We can be confident that there is not any new oil to be found at the front of the press, although there are areas towards the rear that remain comparatively under-explored.   How will we cope when it has all been used? This is the hardest question of all. At the moment it is a toss-up between re-cycling it by trying to strain it through an old sock, or switching to margarine.

Cava Kenny Cordiner, the sports reporter who goes in studs up

You could have knocked me down with a tether this week when I seen a message from Sir Ian Botham pop up in my twitter feed. To tell the truth, I never really followed his sporting career too close, because I’m not really a croquet fan, but I is a great admirer of all the work what he has did for charity. In that reflect, we have a lot in common, what with him doing all that charity walks, and me with the sponsored hot-dog eating contents I used to run in Enforcer’s winebar. One year I had 25 and Melody got in touch with the Guinness Book of Records, but regretfully, my frankfurters was not regulation.

So I was chuffed to get a photo message from Beefy, but when I opens it up and seen what it was I nearly lost my breakfast out my nose. My mate Dunter Duncan messaged we straight after, saying “At least Beefy still getting a bit of shape through the air, and there doesn’t seem to be any trouble with his googlies!” “LOL”, I says, which is what I sometimes always put when someone texts me a joke what I do not understand. I says it recently to Makly McKay. I’m just really hoping that one doesn’t come back to haunch me.

Anyroad, Sir Ian says it wasn’t him what put the photo up and it was the work of a hacker. I don’t know about you but that just doesn’t sound right to me. I was a total hacker for the whole of my football career, but I never stuck no pictures on the Internet of croquet players in the buff!