IF I was an EU powerhouse, I’d seriously consider having all teenagers rounded up and shipped off to angst-ridden oil rigs somewhere in the North Sea.
Then I’d release them back into society at 19, saving bus travellers, off licence owners and phone-bill payers a whole heap of misery.
Sure, the lefty do-gooder types would no doubt dub me draconian, but I’ll tell you something – cyber-bullying and ‘happy slapping’ would be eradicated overnight.
Plus, forget your anti-ageing creams and Regaine hair gels – expelling teens would immediately take 10 years off schoolteachers worldwide.
Still, until such a law is passed, I guess we’ll just have to put up with the ill-mannered idle-lescents.
This week, I had a run in with a highly-strung 17-year-old, who felt a bit miffed over his report. Sensing he was getting nowhere, he decided to boot a backpack and rip a mouse cable out of its USB port (LA riots it was not!).
The next morning I went to his tutor: “I want an apology,” I said. “That wasn’t on.”
“It’s just his age,” came his tutor’s defence. “Hormones, and all that.”
Hormones? BLOODY HORMONES? Do you know where my ‘hormones’ used to get me?
A well-directed board rubber – that’s where.
Every time I felt ‘hormonal’, I’d receive a chalky clunk, which soon took the wind out of my stroppy sails. Like Mrs Corr used to say, ‘concussion builds character’.
Talking of concussion, I nearly passed out this week – when an interview for a ‘dream job’ deteriorated into chaos.
The position was spun to sound like a senior, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity at a ‘21st century school’.
By this, I imagined a Kubrick-esque building with zero gravity classrooms and Android teaching assistants.
I was so excited, I began pricing up NASA baseball caps on eBay.
On the day, I rushed straight home from work, logged into Skype – and waited for that weird ringing chime – y’know, like a Sony Walkman drowning.
Unfortunately, because of an error with my dongle, we were forced to conduct the interview via phone instead.
Despite a shaky start, the interview went well and I felt I gave some rip-roaring answers.
For example, when asked how I’d perform a lesson on Shakespeare’s The Tempest – I explained how I’d turn my classroom into the scene of a stormy shipwreck – and grab half-arsed learners by their short and curlies (although as they’re Spanish kids, and hairier than Barry Gibb in a tank full of guinea pigs, it would probably be ‘long and curlies’.)
Anyway, after wittering on for half an hour about ‘long-term ambitions’, ‘putting my stamp on things’ and other inane cliches, I was hit with a curve ball.
“Whenever I employ new staff,” she said, “I like to know a bit about their interests, to find out what kind of person they are.”
“OK…” I replied, tentatively.
“When you said you wrote for the Olive Press, I decided to research a few of your articles.”
“Hmmmmm…” I replied, even more tentatively.
“I have to say Mr Scott, I don’t know quite what to make of them.”
Twelve months of risque articles whizzed through my mind.
What exactly had offended her? My streaking on Mallorcan nudist beaches? Or candlelit suppers with New York hookers, perhaps?
It was even worse. For five cringe-worthy minutes, I listened – head in hands – while she recited an entire column on Jimmy Savile sex-slides and masturbating monks.
She finished by saying: “We’ll let you know on Monday.”
Needless to say, I won’t be placing any more bids on that NASA baseball cap…