Tuesday, 7 September 2004

Back to School

Me and the Yoof are at the bus stop. I'm on my way to a meeting. They've just got out of school. Its a new academic year. There are newbies in perfect, crisp school uniforms, blazers and everything. All oversized - for growing room. Big rucksacks, laiden with books, quiet(ish). The others, second years and over, all broken voices, loud out of school playing-out after being trapped in a classroom all day (especially difficult after a long summer break).

"When are you going to start growing?" says a tall one to a short one, "when you're 15 or sommat?"
"When are you going to stop being annoying?" comes the retort, "And when are you going to start shaving that fluff here?" (finger laid over top lip)
The "conversation" blusters on like this for an age.

One boy in the group falls for his kid sister's trick question, which is heavier a kilo of feathers or a kilo of bricks? She's eager and bright eyed. Trying to get one of the brother's mates to play cat's cradle with her. Her bro is not impressed by being caught out.
"They both weigh the same!!" she exclaims. He shushes her.

The bus arrives, a scrum ensues as school kids scramble for the top deck, all back of the bus people I should imagine without going up to check. Its that time of year when the buses after school stink of BO (too soon for winter school uniforms with jumpers, haven't covered personal hygiene in biology or citizenship yet).

Hell is the top deck after school.

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