The fiercest tyrant in my life
by Paul Easton
(Excepting here my – dear, sweet – wife)
Was one Sebastian Victor Vaughan,
A teacher who was made, not born.
Vaughan always thought it quite absurd
That children should be seen, not heard;
Indeed, the sound of children’s screams
Was bliss beyond his wildest dreams.
To leave one’s homework on the bus,
To speak in class, or make a fuss,
Or, asked a sum, to gape tongue-tied
Were tantamount to suicide.
Consider, if you doubt my case,
The punishment of Bonnyface
Who, thinking he would not be heard,
Let out a less-than-seemly word.
(Teachers then were fuddy duddies –
You now hear worse in Cultural Studies!)
Anyway, Vaughan had heard that oath,
Grabbed his ears and squeezed them both
Until I thought his eyes would pop
And even then he didn’t stop,
But whirled him in a dreadful spin,
Then launched his human javelin
With such a brisk and careless aim
He almost missed the climbing frame,
So altering the line of flight,
He drifted skywards out of sight.
(It wasn’t until some time later
That our reluctant aviator,
Mistaken for a UFO,
Was brought down three miles east of Stowe.)
Thus it was, in every boy a
Fearful sense of paranoia
Grew until we cried as one:
‘Enough! Please! Something must be done! ’
Whose plan it was some disagree
But there is no controversy
Since on this subject I’m correct:
Bonnyface was the architect.
For whose but his distorted mind
Would ever have conceived that kind
Of plot and then have thought to dole
Out to himself the starring role?
Whoever ’twas, the plans were laid,
Our tasks assigned, arrangements made
To make quite sure that he was fed
From morning till he went to bed
With morsels rich enough to sate
The taste buds of a potentate.
At each half-hour we duly popped
Into his mouth, like chocolate drops,
Onions pickled, onions raw,
Curried beans and then some more
Onions so that, in his sleep,
His gut (that rotting compost heap)
Would groan and gurgle, creak and fizz,
Belch and bubble, until that is,
At last, the great day came to pass
When Bonnyface broke wind in class.
Imagine the scene if you will:
Dressed in gown and cavalry twill,
Vaughan surveyed his class that morning.
Some asleep, the others yawning,
Appeared to him a routed mob.
And Bonny? Just an idle yob,
But to those of us more in-the-know –
A ticking bomb, about to blow.
The explosion, by no means loud,
Produced a sort of mushroom cloud:
A rumbling, rancid wave of stench
Which, oozing forwards, bench by bench,
Sent us scuttling to retrieve
Gas masks, nose pegs, handkerchieves.
Yet Vaughan, from some perverted pride,
Merely shook his head and sighed.
Then Bonny, not the least contrite,
Squeezed his loins with all his might
And launched from his derriere
A blast that ripped the silent air.
Alas! But he had underrated
The power of mush so gurgitated
And as that very last expulsion
Generated jet propulsion
It shot him, with a loud report,
As fast as any cosmonaut,
Hurtling through that stinking air,
Still firmly planted in his chair.
Restricted by the sheer G-force,
He used his wind to steer a course,
Pinned back his ears and closed his eyes,
And zoomed towards his chosen prize.
The look upon our teacher’s face
As gas-fuelled rocket gathered pace
Defies my powers to convey,
Nor, whence I cowered, can I relay
What hit him first: the fear or smell,
Or Bonny like a cannon shell.
Suffice to say, Vaughan’s injury
Was reckoned of the first degree
And the trauma to his brain
Ensured he never taught again.
Bonny was ambulanced to Wells
Where damage from his chronic smells
Is the real cause, I must suppose,
The hospital has had to close.
Now, looking back from this place,
I can’t forget that Bonnyface,
But it’s true, as my thoughts re-wind,
It’s his other end that comes to mind.