Sunday, 25 December 2011

Milk Monitor

Jennospot 48  Milk Monitor

It's the day after Christmas; an' it's that sorta day when everyfink feels kinda flat, if'n you know wot Oi mean. It ain't only that, 'cos this mornin', my 'ead feel like it ain't got nuffink much inside it 'cept cold Christmas puddin' an' custard, wot ain't particularly good fer composing this week's blog. Any'ow, speaking o' custard, makes me fink o' milk. an' that reminds me of school milk, of wot Oi ain't particularly fond, an' that reminds me of the first toime that Peter 'ad ter be one o' the milk monitors fer the day. It were 'is classmate Golfball wot was the ovver monitor. Peter didn't know wot it were all about, so 'ee asked:

‘Okay, Golfball, what do we have to do?’

His answer surprised me; I would not have thought this gloomy, strangely-named Golfball capable of such a flight of dry humour. ‘What we 'ave to do is our national duty,’ he declaimed, drawing himself up into a parody of stiff military attention. ‘We administer a government programme for the benefit of present and future generations.’

‘See this table at the classroom door?’ he went on, saluting it smartly. ‘We 'ave to go'n fetch, from the duty teacher at the service entrance, twenny-eight bottles of milk and twenny-eight straws. We place the bottles on the table. As the pupils come out for mid-mornin' break at 'alf-past ten, we 'ave to see that each one takes a bottle and we give each one a straw.

‘When they've drunk the milk, we 'ave to make sure that there are twenny-eight empty bottles come back. We 'ave to make sure that the waxed paper cap is still on the bottle and that each one 'as a straw passing through the 'ole made for the purpose in the cap. If anyone 'ands in a bottle what is not completely empty, or without a cap or a straw, we 'ave to take 'is or 'er name.

‘When all the bottles are back, we return them to the service entrance, then we can go back into class.’

He made a face and shuddered. ‘I 'ate milk and I 'ate bein' milk monitor.’

‘I hate milk too,’ I said. ‘Can't one refuse?’

‘No way,’ he replied decisively. He then recited, as though he had learned it by heart, ‘We 'ave to be thankful for our free Government milk, provided generously at the risk of men's lives so as we can grow up to be strong an 'ealthy.’

He shuddered convulsively again and made a vomiting noise.

 ("Gang Territory" Chapter 2)

'Ave yerself an 'appy Boxin' Day.

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