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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Munchkins, Hunchbacks and Bananas!

“I’m all stocked up, Mrs Poinker,” said my nine year old student, Isolde, grinning broadly and holding up a wad of tissues in my face. I was relieved because Isolde tends to suffer massive nose bleeds when she’s nervous.

It was D day. After weeks of rehearsals we were finally off to perform our Year Four play at the local Eisteddfod.

Naturally, Darius had forgotten his garish Hawaiian shirt costume and we had to send someone off to do a mad raid of the After School dress up box. I could have strangled him with my bare hands but shoved a fistful of Nicorettes in my gob instead and chewed maniacally whilst staring at him with the glare of Sauron of Mordor in my eyes.

The bus was waiting in the hot sun as my troops skipped out; glittery wigs, sequins and enough cellophane streamers to shoot the sequel to "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert" trailed behind us. The kids were rowdy and exuberant; the smell of greasepaint affecting their mental stability.

Not only that, their teacher was struck dumb with Laryngitis and unable to govern the tiny but terrifying natives of Lilliput with any modicum of efficiency.

We passed my colleague and friend O’Reilly, returning with his class from their Choral Speaking performance and victoriously wielding a trophy around his head.

Why don’t I enter the Choral Speaking instead? I thought. It’s so much less fraught with danger… and then I remembered why… A most traumatic experience!

I sat alone on the bus trip there, turning around in my seat every now and again to mime slashing my throat at the boys who were raucously singing football songs in the back seat.

Bus drivers of children are a touchy lot. I didn’t want him to throw a tanty and turn the bus around because of obstreperous behaviour.

“Ulysses is crying, Mrs Poinker!” declared little Cressida as we passed one of my favourite watering holes on the road. Oh, how I wished I was inside its chilled confines sipping on a holiday wine.

I decided to ignore Ulysses’ tears. If I was going to be mute I may as well play deaf as well.

Ulysses can be a bit of a drama queen and cries at the drop of a hat and he was probably just overwhelmed with titillated anticipation. I was correct and didn’t hear another peep about it.

As we drove past the new inflatable waterpark little Troilus screamed out at the top of his lungs, “If we win today will you take us all to the waterpark, Mrs Poinker?”

I smiled wanly and may have imperceptibly nodded.

A massive cheer erupted. I looked nervously over at the bus driver’s ears which were bright red and twitching in an unnatural way and motioned for an immediate shush.

As the bus pulled up at the Civic Theatre I spotted Kyles the music teacher, waiting on the footpath for us. “Thank the fudge for that,” I thought. She looked like an angel descended from a luminescent celestial body… a fudging, beautiful miracle.

Kyles was there to help me with my class and I’d designated the Munchkins as her personal responsibility. The Munchkins’ troupe was comprised of the… er… most ‘dynamic’ of my boys.

“Are you sure I should have the Munchkins?” she coughed, “Wouldn’t it be better for me to have the Bananas?”

“NO! You stand on the Munchkins side of the stage and I’ll control the Slaves and Bananas and Hunchback,” I insisted in a wheezing but desperate rasp.

Before we knew it they were on stage. They were vibrant, entrancing and very sparkly under the lights. I knew they’d excelled themselves because, as is my custom, I burst into tears as I pressed the button to start the finale music.

I only burst into tears when I get a peculiar feeling we’ve hit a special home run.

Our first place trophy!

Anyway… guess who is on a dodgy promise to take twenty-six kids to the inflatable waterpark?

So not happening.

Thank you to Kym and Tanya for making props and for your brilliant moral support.
And of course Kyles x