I received an invite, yesterday, to Doctor Lyre's Christmas Party for the Children of his School.
It had the usual groveling tone.
Dear Chairman and Friend,
I have decided this year to give a Christmas party. We all want you to come and grace the occasion. It will just be an afternoon affair, so won't take up too much of your valuable time. I will be providing tea, but of course any little additions you would like to bring would be welcome, and if you felt like giving a silver scramble I would not object. And if your regal mind felt that the headmaster, who is usually forgotten on these occasions, should have some small token, then I would welcome it. But these are trivial matters. The great thing is to have you, you, you. Do please come.
A LYRE, M.A., B.SC., M.O.U.S.E.
I did not much like the letter, but decided, for the sake of the children, to attend.
I took plenty of food because knowing Lyre he wouldn't be getting them much for Christmas tea.
There was a big crowd of children and parents. Dr Lyre led me onto the stage and made an announcement. "Now that the Chairman of our Governors has arrived our festivities can begin. I would just like to say it has been a splendid year. Quite a number of boys have learned to read and write, but most importantly everybody has learned the importance of respect and obedience."
"Rubbish!" came a cry from the back. Dr Lyre went puce. "Which boy said that!" he demanded. A skewer thudded into hid mortar board. We all looked in the direction it had come from and there was Hitmouse dressed as a schoolboy standing on a desk!
"Yeah do as you are told or no invites to Christmas Parties - that's the way it goes ain't it UNC!" he shouted. "Rise Up, Rise Up before you are turned into mindless zombies by the Capitalist hierarchy !" he continued... before throwing one last skewer at me and jumping out of the window. Luckily, I was able to fend it off with a copy of Dr Lyre's History of Lion Tower which some unfortunate child was due to receive as a prize for good behaviour. A singularly tediously boring book.
After this little fracas the day improved. I had brought a large sack of toys for the children - containing mechanical models of all kinds, tool kits, games, bows and arrows, books, and chemistry sets. Perhaps the children would take Hitmouse's advice and blow the school up. One could not condone such behaviour but with a Headmaster like Dr Lyre one also could not blame them.
We then sat down for tea. As I suspected Dr Lyre had made scant provision - a bun and a cup of tea for each child. He claimed that it was all the school funds would allow but I could not help noticing that his study had been recently lavishly redecorated and a new portrait of him was displayed in the hall.
Luckily, I had brought mince pies, iced cakes, sausage rolls, ginger nuts and chocolate biscuits. So we had quite a feast in the end.
As for Hitmouse - I say again, I will not be brow-beaten into giving them invitations to my Christmas Eve Party !