COVID-19 AND ME – APRIL 1 2020











So, here we are April Fool’s Day 2020. Spring has sprung. Easter and Passover are nearly upon us.  The “home-schooled” children will soon be on vacation. And in a week’s time it will be my birthday.

And we’ve been told we may all be in lock-down for another six months at least.

Hard to believe we’re not all players in a worldwide April Fool.

To cheer myself up, I was remembering the kind of April Fool’s Day tricks we used to play on the teachers at my long gone grammar school.

Once we completely turned the RE (Religious Education that was) teacher’s desk right around so he couldn’t find his drawer. Took him a few minutes to realise what had happened.  The class was in hysterics. What was even funnier was to see him red-faced and exploding with temper – before slamming out of the room to tell the Head what his pupils had done.

Worse still was when the boys in the class unbeknown to the girls (who, were of course, very well behaved goody little two shoes all the time) unscrewed the bolts of the classroom store cupboard. We were in the middle of a French lesson with the charming, pretty French mamselle (the only class where the boys always chose to sit in the front row) when all of a sudden the cupboard door came crashing down on the back row desks (where the boys would normally be sitting in other lessons).  The boys were expecting it of course. We girls all jumped out of our skin.  Our French mamselle screamed, burst into tears and fled out of the room – never to be seen again.  Clearly, something the boys hadn’t thought about when they devised their prank.

As you may have gathered by now, I was in the “naughty” class. We had all passed the 11+ and we were all at a top notch Grammar school but we had all performed badly in our first year exams and had been relegated to the B form. Whereas our peers were being taught Latin, French, Spanish and German – we were limited to French and also, sadly, relegated to the less able teachers.

There was Casper (I won’t give his real name) who was only interested in the boys.  “Come out dear heart and write on the board”  he would say to his favourites.  Casper was camp in the days before we knew the meaning of camp.  Then there was the physics master who refused to have any girls in his class – I kid you not.  And there was the maths master who scared the wits out of us with his bullying manner until one day we saw him carrying all his wife’s shopping while she yelled at him to hurry up and get on the bus.  Behind every bully there is often another bully.

Our most memorable teacher was our English master who marked our work on how well it was illustrated rather than on how well it was written.  He had lost his hand many years before and, like Captain Hook in Peter Pan, had a giant hook at the end of his wrist where his hand should have been.

One day our history teacher was absent and this teacher was asked to take his place. “What is the meaning of war?” he asked the class.  No one answered. “What is the meaning of war?” He yelled. No one stirred.  “This,” he shouted, shaking his hook in everyone’s faces, “THIS is the meaning of war!” Many years later, after we had all left school, we found out that he had lost his hand when he had caught it in the closing doors of a tube train!

I digress. Back to April fools. A favourite trick of mine was to get hold of my father’s newspaper before he had seen it, remove the front cover and wrap it round yesterday’s paper.  It took my dad a few pages of reading before he realised he was reading yesterday’s news.

So here we all are AC (after Covid-19) possibly taking part in the biggest April fool of all.

They say God laughs at your plans.


© Andrea Neidle, My Life in Poems



3 thoughts on “COVID-19 AND ME – APRIL 1 2020

  1. Your school sounds great fun! When I was a teacher I did an April Fool on my class. I wrote a lot of things on the board, some of them quite contradictory The class duly copied it into their notebooks till a boy noticed a line about mountain goats being afraid of heights and tawny owls being afraid of the dark! At break time i was offered joke chewing gum, For some time after they read anything I wrote on the board (which wasn’t often) with great attention.


  2. Nice one Andrea. Takes me back to my decidedly not top notch grammar (est 1557!) and the bunch of equally not top notch but delightfully memorable teachers. Maybe l will write something one day…


  3. Thank you Andrea. Your School days sound much like mine! I was wondering if we weren’t all in one huge April Fool!


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