Sunday, October 15, 2006

The Rules --- jcarolek

When I lived in England I attended school at a Convent -- Charlton Park Convent, in Cheltenham England, to be specific (not that you cared, I understand.) If there is one thing the British school system excelled at, it was RULES. We had them for EVERYTHING.

A short list is provided here for

demonstration of my point.

  • Uniform must always be worn neatly.
  • Hat must be positioned on head, with elastic under chin
  • Gloves must be on hands.
  • Outdoor shoes must be tied and polished.
  • Blazer of Coat (depending on season of year) must be buttoned neatly.
  • Socks must be held up in place just below knee by garters.
  • Tie must be tied neatly and snuggly.
  • You must WALK while wearing your uniform outside of school grounds
  • No eating in uniform outside school grounds.
  • Satchel (similar to back pack, but made of heavy leather) must be sitting on back squarely, with shoulder straps in place.
  • Students must say, “Good Morning Sister,” whenever passing one of the nuns who were our teachers.
  • Outdoor shoes must be removed and replaced with indoor shoes upon arrive to school.
  • Plimsoles (sneakers) were to be worn in the gym.

The list goes on, but you get the picture.

Imagine my friend, Linda, and me, 11 or 12 years old at the time, basically bent on breaking as many of the rules as possible in one fell swoop.

  • First, let me mention we were budding songwriters. She hated her form room teacher “Sister Mary” and I helped her express her distaste through cunning words and music.
  • Second, let me explain that the was an ALL GIRLS SCHOOL and the ALL BOYS SCHOOL was just down the road.
  • Third, Let me explain that we ALL were required to catch the bus at the bus stop closest to our school.
  • Fourth, let me explain, before leaving school each day, every student was subjected to an inspection, to ensure none of the rules were being broken.
  • Fifth, let me explain, My friend and I were pretty keen on a couple of the boys at our “brother school.”
And so it was that the plan was born. Linda and I wanted to catch the bus at the Boys bus stop. We knew we’d have to run like crazy to get there in time to catch the bus, but we thought we could do it. We also would have to skip the inspections, and really, we’d have to skip the whole changing of the shoes, putting on of the hat and gloves process.

On that fateful day, the day we had planned so well, we executed it to perfection.

  • The final bell rang
  • We flew down the stairs two and three at a time.
  • We were first to the cloak room, where we grabbed our blazers, boaters (straw hats), gloves, outdoor shoes and satchels.
  • We then ran to the bathroom.
  • We opened the window and climbed out (thereby avoiding the inspection station at the door.)
  • We ran out the gates and started down the alley. Our hats were attached to our necks by the elastic, but they flew behind us! Our uniforms were askew as we ran at top speed through the alley in our indoor shoes!
  • And then it happened…Sister Mary came walking down the alley toward us, returning from our brother school. We were caught! But we could not stop! We HAD to get to the bus stop! We blew past her yelling, ”Good Afternoon Sister!”
  • We arrived just in time to catch the bus. We told our tale to the boys and they were duly impressed. And then we sang our song about Sister Mary, to the impressed boys.

Hairy Mary

“Hairy Mary had a canary
Up the leg of her drawers
She pulled a string to make it sing
And down came Santa Claus.
It really was Father Mike riding on a motorbike
Hairy Mary had a canary
Up the legs of her drawers
When she farted, it departed
With a round of applause.”

The boys roared. We were SO PROUD!!! We were so happy.
That is until the next day at school. Detention is not the word for what we had to endure for our lack of respect of


1 comment:

frugaldougall said...

The "Hairy Mary" that I recall comes from Scotland in the 1940's. It went something like this:

Hairy Mary had a canary
Up the leg of her drawers.
It wouldna come doon
For half a croon.....

That's all I remember. I was hoping I'd find the rest of it. Instead, you have a brand new version. Any idea how my version ends?