Wednesday, 3 July 2013

More confessions (self-service buffet-style)

Dear William Hague and GCHQ,

I have a new confession.

When I was little I attended a quite horrible school that was run by sadists and pederasts. Apparently this was normal in England in the 1970s. The headmaster there was a man named Lucas whose initials were JRL. We were obliged to call him by his first name which was "Jeremy". In retrospect this seems, while superficially progressive, a wholly stupid and really rather twisted idea. I think I remember that I noticed that in recent years Mr Lucas has stood on several occasions in local elections in the Colchester area on a Conservative Party ticket. What a rotter. He may be dead now. I can't think of anybody from those times who would be sad about that.

I've only ever seen him on one occasion since those days and it was when I was around 16. I arrived at Colchester Station and he was buying a ticket at the counter. When he saw me he kind of bolted. He may have been late for his train. Who knows. All the same I've never seen anyone move so fast.

Anyway, when I was around 7 or 8 (which is to say younger than my daughter is now), I embarked on a secretive and unilateral graffiti campaign. The central focus of my work was a piece on the upstairs bathroom wall which proclaimed "Shit off! Love, JRL xxxxx". I should probably explain: at this age I was already familiar with the everyday greeting "piss off" but had yet to learn "fuck off" and it seemed to me that "shit off" must be an improvement over "piss off" in terms of escalating the vulgarity.

So, there was a big fuss and lots of macro-examination of prime suspects' handwriting. And I didn't fess up. I was only 7 or 8 and I didn't feel like it. The idea of ownership of this project scared me. The upshot of which was that the whole school got a two-hour detention as a sort of collective punishment, such was the high feeling about this outrage among the boss class at the time.

I wish now to set the record straight and apologise to all concerned. By all means please feel free to add it to my permanent record.

Yours, etc
D Arigâteau

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