When I got to the school it was surprisingly quiet. It
was never like this in my day I thought, as I rang the buzzer. A 200
year-old Scotsman came around the corner and told me to ‘b….. off’. I called
him Mr Connery and he immediately warmed to me, thumping me only once with
As luck would have it I
hobbled into the PE teacher as I was retreating to the car park. I showed
him my bruises and he shook his head sympathetically, but with less interest
than if I’d been an attractive young woman. He showed a lot more interest
when I told him why I was at the school.
‘Interview me’ he said
‘It’s really the maths
angle I’m interested in’ I said equally emphatically.
‘Crap’ he pushed me
towards my car ‘you a journalist ...? I know all about Gordon
Brown, maths … and everything.’
I looked at his 6’7"
frame, the lumps of muscle leaking out from his vest. I wrapped my coat
tightly around me and pulled my woollen hat firmly over my eyes. I wasn’t
going to let this oaf tell me how to do my job.
‘Hop in the car’ I
suggested ‘we’ll do the interview in there.’
He was never going to fit
in my Fiesta. I looked at his unlikely bulk and my small, albeit trendy, car
and shook my head happily. He opened the passenger door and tore out the
front seat effortlessly and stuffed it unceremoniously into the back.
He climbed in and slammed the door, tossing the handle disinterestedly over
‘So … what can you tell
me about Gordon and his maths?’ I sighed.
His big, ugly, PE face brightened
with enthusiasm ‘A good lad, puny though … a bit like you. Put a rugby ball
in his hands and I could crush him like a bug.’
‘I think I’ve probably
got enough’ I said, starting the car.
‘But you haven’t
interviewed Gordon’ he said, and with that he leapt from the car, strode
into the school and was back in no time with a skinny youngster with big
eyes and knock-knees. He climbed into the car, not seeming to notice the
‘And you are?’ I asked
‘Gordon Brown’ he said.
‘I don’t suppose you’ve got a fag for me … sir?’
This is what journalism
is all about, I thought happily.