Thursday, 10 January 2008

A seasonal sprinkling of projectile vomiting

It's the first day of term and it's been ten minutes to five for the past hour. I'm having difficulty deciding whether time really does go slower at work or if I've just died.

But no - it's flat batteries, a seasonal speciality, along with the faint sound of 'Silent Night' coming from the cupboard under the stairs: the head's patented carol singer trap, baited with glasses of sherry and mince pies, has scored a record number of victims this year.

It's cold, too, and dark, though only inside. The thermostat was buried weeks ago along with most of the light switches and can only be reached by ripping off the layers of cotton wool snowmen, angels, cards, Jesus, three kings, shepherds and the very timid student teacher on a placement who was accidentally glued on to the Nativity tableau on the last day of term and was too shy to complain before it set.

I can cope with all this, but what's getting me down is the seasonal sprinkling of Novovirus which I'm convinced is coating every surface.

"Do you think we're at risk of catching it?" I ask the head.

"What gives you that idea?" she says, busily dousing her desk, pupils, staff and lunch trolley with a pump action, industrial size antibacterial spray.

"Do you think it lives on recorders?" I ask.

"Probably, with all that warm spit to breed in," she says. "But look on the bright side. Get them to play 'Au clair de la lune,' and I guarantee the vibrations will finish them off."

I'm still not convinced. "How would you feel if I stood somewhere else for the lessons?"


"I thought the other side of the street would work for me."

"I've got a better idea," she says. "The hamster's dead. Let's soak the spare bedding in disenfectant and put it outside the classroom door."

"Fair enough," I say. "And I've got a leftover shepherd's crook from the Christmas play. If they get their hands the wrong way round I'll prod them with it."

I suppose it could be worse. Thanks to Novovirus' new, improved symptoms there'll be no more boring conversations in the staffroom - we can just draw a target on the notice board and play competitive projectile vomiting instead.


Crystal Jigsaw said...

Funny how time seems to stop when you are bored witless. We had a letter come home from school on Tuesday telling all us vigilante parents about all the bugs and viruses doing the rounds. Again. Now, everytime a child sneezes, coughs or says they aren't hungry, school secretary reaches for the phone.

Crystal xx

Casdok said...

I love the way you make me laugh over somethings which are serious!!

Expatmum said...

Hmm. now I'm worried. I have just spent the morning helping four year olds make quesadillas at pre-school. (Yes, very ambitious but one of the helping dads is part Sioux, Navajo and Mexican so we were golden, as they say here.) I did have the kids wash their hands at the start, but witnessed at least one finger up the left nostril, and most of the kids by-passed the spoons and used their fingers to distribute (and eat) the shredded cheese. However, the quesadillas were then baked at 450 degrees, so perhaps that killed the dreaded lurgy off?

Mya said...

Projectile vomiting - wonderful. Best combined with a spinning head...for thorough and even coverage. Enjoy.

Mya x

Iota said...

You could patent that as an absolutely fool-proof way of losing weight over the Christmas period. While some are gorging mince pies and chocolates, others are immobilised in cold empty classrooms, glued to nativity scenes. You could make your million. Just make sure that student teacher doesn't nab the idea first.

Potty Mummy said...

Or, you could just get the parents who send their sick children into school to come in and clear up the resultant mess...

Omega Mum said...

CJ: Bored or terrified - that's teaching for you

Casdok: Underneath it all I am a little sunbeam, if a little twisted in shape

Expatmum: You don't mention whether you sampled the stuff or not. I think some children leave bodily debris that, along with cockroaches, would survive a nuclear war, but I may be wrong.

Mya: I knew we were missing something. what about Dairylea for the finishing touch?

Iota: It's OK. I've made her sign a legal disclaimer with her one free hand.

Potty Mummy: That's not a bad idea at all. Thanks.

mutterings and meanderings said...

When I had the projectile vomiting bug two yeras ago I honestly thought I was dying, I had never felt so ill in my life!

Omega Mum said...

M&M: I make light of it but it is horrid and I am very scared of catching it - and with 120 potential carriers (excluding staff) I fear it can only be a matter of time.

Jaywalker said...

Oh joy, January isn't January without being submerged in the digestive juices of the under 5s, is it? Am knee deep in sick sons here in rainy Belgium and wondering what the dutch for 'hazmat suit' is.
Couldn't you decide to have a recorder ceasefire and have a percussion fortnight instead? Harder on the ears but easier on the stomach. Dust down that glockenspiel...

Frog in the Field said...

I've missed something, are you teaching now? Have you always been teaching? I really must try to concentrate, you won't give me a yellow slip will you?
I would don a face mask at all times in the school building, wear gloves and on no account breathe.

Omega Mum said...

jaywalker: percussion is a great idea, as long as I can stop them sucking the drum sticks......Hope your family recovers its health very soon.

Omega Mum said...

finthef: I do teach and blog about it occasionally, but not too often in case I'm fired.