Thursday, 5 April 2012

Chicken Surprise

'I had the shock of my life this morning,' says Mrs Pumphrey. Mrs Pumphrey has come to help me sort out some school paperwork and is being a darn sight more helpful than Pandora Kitten whose idea of helping is to sit on a pile of sorted paper and rip it to shreds, starting at the outside and working her way gradually inwards with all the skill of a cat who has done this sort of thing a million times before.

'What were we talking about?' I say, filing odds and sods of 'Macbeth' in a file labelled 'SKS3/4' for Shakespeare Key Stages 3/ 4.
'Oh, you and your excessively long, explanatory sentences,' says Mrs Pumphrey. 'Call yourself a writer?'
'Yes, I do,' I say. 'It's just a pity the people who dish out the book deals don't.'
'We were talking about the shock I sustained this morning,' says Mrs P. 'Where would you like me to put 'Writing to Inform?'
'In the Writing Triplets File KS4,' I say. 'There....under The Great Gatsby KS5 and Dickens KS3.'
'And Tips for SLD?' says Mrs P.
'AEN file. Next to 'How to Manage ODD and EBDS.'
'It's all initials in teaching, isn't it?' says Mrs Pumphrey. 'Why's that then?'
'We don't have time to say things in full,' I say. 'So what was this shock you had this morning?'

'Ooooh, my heart is still fair thumping at the thought of it,' says Mrs Pumphrey. 'You see, I was making my breakfast. The usual.'
'And what is the usual?' I say, because Mrs Pumphrey can be very fickle and changes her usual on a regular basis.
'Chopped grapes, cold pasta, a sprinkle of garlic powder and some cornmeal if the weather looks chilly,' says Mrs Pumphrey.
'Nice,' I say.
'I know,' says Mrs Pumphrey. 'And I thought, I know I'll add some frozen slug. I like a sprinkle of frozen slug. Adds a good crunch.'
'I can imagine,' I say.
'They've been a Godsend really,' says Mrs Pumphrey. 'They've cut down on my biscuit consumption a lot. Been a great help in maintaining my trim figure.'
'Are frozen slugs particularly low in calories?' I say.
'No,' says Mrs P, 'but they're more difficult to eat than biscuits. On account of them being so small.'

'So what was the shock?' says I. 'Mrs Slocombe finished the bag off, did she?'
'Oh no,' says Mrs Pumphrey. 'She won't touch anything that's been frozen. Says you never know what undesirable 'things' might have got in during the freezing process.'
'A wise bird,' I say.
'As it turns out, yes she is,' says Mrs Pumphrey. 'For there I was, sprinkling some frozen slug on my breakfast and something odd plopped out of the bag.'
'Really?' I say.
'Yes,' says Mrs P. 'At first I thought it was a pink rhinestone from Tango Pete's professional dance cod-piece, then I thought, what would a pink rhinestone from Tango Pete's professional dance cod-piece be doing in my bag of frozen slug?'
'The mind boggles,' I say.
'So I looked at this 'thing',' says Mrs Pumphrey. 'It seemed very familiar. And then my mind went back to Spring last year when I went on that 'Detoxify With Assorted Berries' health farm weekend. Remember?'
'I do,' I say. 'When you came home you self-seeded an entire bed of redcurrants by yourself.'
'Yes,' says Mrs Pumphrey. 'And then I realised what had plopped out with the frozen slugs.'
'Go on,' I say.

'It was a frozen....' began Mrs Pumphrey, and here she gave an almighty shudder. '....raspberry! YUKKK! How disgusting is THAT?'

'I can imagine,' I say.

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