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Believe Only Half Of What You See In Thurles

Solitary-boyReflecting and speaking as a respected local Town Councillor, I suppose it was an honest enough mistake when I now think back.  After all Miss Jenkins, the new blonde teacher and the latest to arrive here in Thurles, had grown up in an atmosphere of shall we say, “a somewhat sheltered subsistence.”  Most of her early years it seems she had spent in the grasp of an exceptionally controlling mother figure, in a dwelling not a hundred miles from the suburbs of Sandymount, in Dublin 4.

She was never the sharpest knife in the drawer,” was how her father had actually put to myself, as he slipped the few quid, Frank Dunlop style, into my jacket breast pocket, demonstrating, as he said himself, his personal gratitude and appreciation for my having successfully petitioned the local School Board chairperson, thus securing her that badly needed full time pensionable teaching post.

It was only later that I learned that the same blonde Miss Jenkins had just about scraped through most of her University examinations with no great distinction and indeed she had similarly obtained, with some slight reservations, her Higher Diploma in education. Latter it was whispered she had obtained mainly via the generosity of a Department of Education Inspector of the opposite sex.

He, if rumour and the very knowledgeable Miss Mary Brown, then head of the Women’s Institute spoke true, appears to have been very visually bemused and astounded by her display of six inch stiletto heels, a rather short hemline, and her more than ample bosoms, latter which despite all the then known laws of gravity, she managed effortlessly to adeptly control, by means of a loose, low cut, see through linen blouse, rather than by any previously badly prepared daily ‘Lesson Plans,’ she may or may not have produced during her short term as a teachers apprentice.

Thus Miss Jenkins had, possibly without even her own knowledge, succeeded in outwitting our Labour Minister for Education and Skills, the well known Mr Ruairi Quinn TD.  Of course the Minister it was said had himself, on that particular day, been busy plotting to save the long term future of the Irish nation, with the systematic annihilation of all religious beliefs from the current Irish Education Curriculum.  (That’s of course another story and for another day.)

Anyway to cut a long story short, it was during a routine stroll at lunchtime supervising antics in the children’s playground that, from the reflection cast by her small handbag mirror, the blonde Miss Jenkins noticed a boy standing all alone in the field. Nearby, all the other 35 children in her over crowded, noisy, tousled class room were running about laughing, shouting and having fun.

Having double checked that hair, lipstick, eye shadow and eyebrow pencil markings were all suitably replenished and realigned, Miss Jenkins was overcome with an abnormal, yet hasty impulse, to query more closely the reason for this young man’s obvious chosen solitude.

Walking over to where her young pupil stood, she squatted down, bringing herself to the eye level of her pupil and asked, “Are you OK.”
Yes Miss.” stated the apparent isolated and introverted brat.
You can go and play with the other kids you know.” she said, in a voice displaying tones of ‘permission granted.’
Miss I think that it’s best that I stay here.” her pupil replied.
Why ?” asked the now sympathetic yet confused blonde Miss Jenkins.
Because I’m the fecking goal keeper Miss,” replied her pupil.

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