4 February 2002
29 April 2014
30 May 2014
1 May 2014
14 November 2013
11 July 2014
It's promotion time again in the classroom, and the Lawyer, who fancies himself a kingmaker in these matters, is advising Subjudice, who's going for head girl.
"You have two strategies," he told her. "Threaten to leave, or find someone whose leg you can cling to."
"What about working hard and being popular?" asked Subjudice. The Lawyer snorted, and Subbie cut to the chase. "How would it help me if I threaten to leave?"
"Trust me," said the Lawyer. "At current rates you're worth £8,000 a year to them. They won't let you go."
"What an awful lot of money, Daddy," said Liability, her big blue eyes shining like an angel dropped down from heaven. "Do you spend that much on me?"
I sometimes wonder where they get it from, and then I saw the Lawyer nodding his head vigorously, when I know Liability's reception class fees are half those of Subbie's, and I know exactly where they get it from.
"But I like going to school," said Subjudice.
"That leaves you with leg-clinging," said the Lawyer.
She spent a week trying to find an appropriate leg. The headmistress soon noticed Subbie following her around, picking up stray pieces of paper and holding doors open. "It's not me you should be trying to impress, dear," she said. "I don't even know who you are. Try your head of year."
Subbie switched her attentions to those lower down the food chain, and tried to up her 'notice me' factor. She chivied me into bulk-buying Kit Kats, because she knows the average teacher's weakness for quality biscuits at breaktime. She started hanging around the staff toilets in the hope of catching teachers for a quick briefing, the quiet chat in the lavatories having universal application.
Soon she had signed up most of the staff, and only needed the pledged support of 70 per cent of her classmates, which she duly purchased with liberal helpings of Quality Street and free goes on her mobile phone.
Then came the forms to fill in. "Why do I want this job?" she asked.
"The real answer is, generally, wads of cash, a vain attempt to win your family's respect, and a chance to lord it over everyone else," said the Lawyer. "But you'll have to put some rubbish like career and personal development, team building and bringing the school to the next level of success. And the word profitability always goes down well."
"I'm not sure how I can use it," said Subjudice. "I suppose we could always charge more at the tuck shop. Creme Eggs are ludicrously cheap."
"What about lateral hires from rival schools?" mused the Lawyer. "I think I'm going to have to teach you how to do lunch."
Of course, things went wrong at the interview. Subbie took the question "What can you bring to the party?" quite literally, thinking it might refer to some head girl inauguration bash, and started blathering on about finger foods and fruit cocktails. "And you needn't worry about the cost: my daddy's a lawyer, and my granny is always saying he is ridiculously overpaid!" she announced, as the clincher.
As is so often the case, the judging panel were biased against lawyers, harbouring memories of conveyancing and divorce, and the position went to Tabitha Strangeways, whose daddy is a university lecturer.
"Bleeding heart liberals," said Subjudice. "Shall we try the leaving strategy next time?"