For generations, schoolkids in Harold have looked forward to the lunch-time bell, and the little treats tucked away for ‘after their sandwiches’. A couple of Woodbines, a miniature bottle of scotch, or a horse valium to get them through a hard afternoon’s colouring-in.
Melody Hallett was one of the first to complain about the latest excess of a ‘nanny state’, despite not having any children to worry about.
“It wouldn’t have been a school dinner without a filter tip for dessert”, said Hallet. “We used to love tucking into one after we’d choked down the main course. But now, kids aren’t even allowed to pick the magic mushrooms that grow on the school field. Is it any wonder so many of them look bored?”
Tobacco and whisky are just the latest items to feature on the school’s ‘contraband list’, joining sugary drinks, crisps and Fugu, the Japanese delicacy made from poisonous blowfish.
“Any of these things can kill you if you consume them in high enough quantities, or if you can’t find the antidote fast enough at the bottom of your satchel”, admitted Hallett. “But do we really want to grow up in a society where more than 60% of children survive beyond their 12th birthday? If you ask me, that’s still up for debate.”
Hallett insists her hand-rolled ‘five a day’ never did her any harm, although that’s not a view shared by her oncologist.
“You’ve got to die of something”, shrugged Hallett. “So you might as well start them young. If you don’t, this place will be teeming with risk-averse teenagers. Hanging round in bus shelters, listening to their music at levels approved by the European Directive on Noise 02/49/EC. Tutting at passengers if they dare to whip out a Kit Kat.”
“Would you rather go from acute alcoholism, or because there were chocolate sprinkles in your yoghurt? If you ask me, kids these days are all too well aware that they’re born.”