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Sunday, October 14, 2018

The Power of One (Grade One)

A soccer ball whacked me in the back of the head on Friday when I was supervising on playground duty. It’s not the first time I’ve been hit but it’s been a while. 

Normally, I’m on the lookout for flying projectiles, marauding children who aren’t looking where they’re going and I always make a concerted effort to avoid inadvertently wandering, bleary eyed, through a rambunctious game of Bullrush.

On this occasion, however, I was discussing something with Mrs. M who was on duty with me. I can’t remember what we were discussing. I’ve lost some memories from the incident. Traumatic amnesia it’s called.

When the ball ricocheted off my head, all I saw, after the stars had settled back into my retinas, was a semi-concealed but highly amused expression on Mrs M’s face.

“Sorry, I should have told you that was coming but I didn’t see it until it was too late,” Mrs M tried to muffle her guffaws.

At next break, I complained about my injury in the staff room.

“Who kicked it?” asked one of my unsympathetic colleagues as she ate her ham and salad sandwich.

“A grade one-er,” I replied sheepishly.

Indifferent looks were passed around the table. If it had been a grade sixer I may have had grounds to whinge but a grade one-er booting a ball hardly has the power and capacity of Cristiano Ronaldo now, does he?

“But it was Seamus!” I added dramatically. “It was Seamus O’Toole who kicked it.”

A couple of staff members mumbled in reluctant acknowledgement. Seamus is definitely the toughest of all the grade one-ers. Seamus isn’t your average grade one-er. Seamus has swag. Seamus has a decent bloody kick on him.

Plus, it was at an extremely close range that my head intercepted the ball. It struck me a second after it had left the diminutive Adidas runner on Seamus’ tiny foot. The ball had lost no momentum and my head felt like one of those watermelons they use to demonstrate what happens when you don’t wear a bike helmet.

I might add that it was a morning duty and Seamus was most likely fuelled up on cake from the tuckshop, fully energised and in top form.

Seamus was noticeably upset about the incident and went all red in the face and teary. I had to give him a hug and tell him I was okay, even though I wasn’t.

I     had     to     give       HIM       a       hug!

Anyway, on Saturday my head continued to spasm and I was sure I was bleeding on the brain.

Scotto ignored my whining as soon as he heard it was a grade one-er who kicked it but he doesn’t know Seamus and his fancy footwork and the forceful thrust behind his twenty kilogram frame of steel.

This morning, the pain had moved to my neck and upper back.

Whiplash, my friend.


I’m definitely going to protect my precious watermelon from now on and ask the boss if I can wear a helmet when I’m duty… and I’ll be carrying some yellow cards around with me too.