There they were all the high school pupils and their teachers. Only older and uglier than I remembered them.
There was Joseph Nosebleed. We called him that because for some reason he often got nose bleeds. In those days we were told to hold our head back with a nose bleed, and pinch the nose. And you couldn't breathe and opened your mouth and nearly choked on your own blood. I wonder what he's doing now he's grown up. I bet he gives lectures on nose bleeding. That's all he was good at.
And there was also Mini Apparitions. We called her that on account of her short skirts and open buttons in her blouse. We were cruel at the time with our name calling.
All the boys liked to sit next to her in class. She was good at Maths. A genius even. She became an accountant. The Maths teacher mixed the class sitting arrangements so that good pupils sat with those less able. I was terrible at Maths that year. Suddenly I did not know how to count my lucky stars!!!
John Beans was there too. He was good at sports he was. He was the fastest at the 100 metres, 500 metres and the marathon. We called him runner beans. He was bald now, probably to make him more aero-dynamic so he could run faster. He was as boring as I remembered him then. He became a dentist and continued to bore people who came to his practice.
I recall he was good at cricket. Him and Jim Melbourne. We called him Mel. There was another kid in class called Sydney; so we called Jim Mel for short. I was bad at cricket. It's an English game played with a hard ball like baseball. One man throws the ball, another hits it with a bat, it flies in the air and you have to catch it. But the sun was in my eyes. I did not see the ball, then it came out of the sky like a meteor and hit me in the face throwing my glasses in the air. There I was on all fours searching for my glasses on the ground. Stupid game. Seeing those people brought it all back to mind.
Oh, the teachers were at the reunion as well. They were as old as they were then when I was at school. How is that possible? They were old then and more old now. Maybe they'd been pickled in vinegar and let out for the reunion.
There was Sister Sinister. I went to a Catholic high school. There were some nuns there teaching us how to misbehave. I mean ... kind and gentle they were not. One day I was walking in the playground and unthinking I pulled a leaf from a bush. Suddenly, Sister Sinister appeared from nowhere, got hold of my hand, and hit it hard several times until I dropped the leaf. "You must not damage the plants!" she said, "Jesus would not do that would He?"
"There were probably no bushes in the desert where He lived," I replied. That did not help me much. She wrote to my parents about me being impertinent.
In those days nuns used to glide rather than walk. They had these long habits that came down to the ground and you could not see their feet. They just glided from one place to another. Maybe they were on roller skates. How did they get up the stairs? We had one of them old staircases at school with gaps in between the rungs or risers. You know, the bit you step on. So I hid under the staircase to see Sister Misery go up to the classroom. Oh, she was a miserable nun she was. Never smiling. Gave Christianity a bad name I thought. What's the point being good and spending eternity with her in Heaven?
There was also Mr Big Horn. We called him that because he had a big nose. One day, whilst we were waiting outside the classroom in the corridor, we heard him blow his nose in class. When we got in we noticed one of the windows was broken. Rumours spread fast that his blowing his nose was so loud that he cracked the glass. We called him Big Horn Soprano.
He taught English Literature. He was vicious he was. In those days we had blackboards and chalk in class. None of this modern technology with monitors and electronic gadgets in class. I often wonder, we spent millions modernising the schools with electronics and technology and computers and the kids are just as thick as they always were.
We had blackboards and chalk. Mr Big Horn used to throw the blackboard rubber at you in class if you were talking. He always missed you deliberately, and then shouted, "Pick it up!"
"Why should I? I'm not your dog!" I thought, but still picked it up and gave it to him.
He had amnesia he did. Once he shouted at me and said, "Who do you think you are, talking in class?" So I told him my name. He reported me to the headmaster for being impertinent. If there is one word I learnt at school is impertinent. They used it often when speaking to me.
One day another kid answered a Shakespeare question wrongly. Mr Big Horn said, "that is more lame than Stephen Hawking". No political correctness in those days.
On another occasion he told a boy who was misbehaving, "you are a good reason for contraception". Which is ironic considering we were in a Catholic school.
I remember when I was younger I did not know what contraception was. I asked my father. He said, "it is a discussion on when to have sex". A Catholic joke, I suppose!
Also at the reunion was Mr Wooden Head. We called him that because he was our wood works teacher. He was cross-eyed. When he spoke you did not know if he was speaking to you or the kid next to you. I once answered him and he said, "Stop talking when I'm not talking to you!" How was I to know who he was talking to? On another occasion I thought he was talking to the kid next to me, and he hit me for not paying attention to him. You never win with Mr Wooden Head. Can you imagine? Him teaching wood work with all those dangerous machines and sharp instruments and he could not see properly. Maybe he could, I don't know.
I nearly killed him once. I was working on the lathe. You know, that machine that turns a piece of wood round and round electrically and you use a sharp chisel knife to shave bits of wood off. Anyway, somehow the chisel knife got caught in the spinning piece of wood, flew out of my head and landed on the teacher's desk like you get in knife throwing acts. He jumped out of his cross-eyed life and shouted "Who is the ******* who threw that?"
I failed woodwork that year ... and all the years thereafter.
So, all in all, I did not enjoy the school reunion. Apart from meeting Mini Aparitions again. You could always count on her. Up to two, anyway.