Singing Over a Cockroach

There are many stories in the archives. Stories of great deeds, even if they were never recognized in the wide world. Stories of great minds, the thinkers and the doers. Stories of ideas, great and small. But the stories I enjoy the most are stories of student’s hijinks. Today’s story is from the memories of N. S. Curtis, who was a Marjon student in the years 1931-34. He later became a teacher and a principal of Landsdownre Boys’ School, Linwood Boys’ School and Soar Valley Community College. We have many of his things, including a blazer, a tie, some exercise books and photos. But the most interesting for me are anecdotes from his time in Marjon. One of them seems to me like an absurdist sketch.
The food in Marjon at that time was far from perfect. In fact it was really basic and plain. One day, after dinner, the boys were served rice pudding. Instead of it being completely plain, there were raisins in it. That was something unheard of. But the joy was short-lived as somebody found a cockroach in the pudding. The offending insect was put on a plate and passed to the teachers’ table, to the attention of the principal. The principal himself rose from his seat, ordered Non Nobis to be sung and the meal ended. Many boys were absolutely convinced that the cook knew of the roaches infesting the pudding and added the raisins as a camouflage. As for me, I can’t get rid of the image in my head of the whole school singing a hymn over a body of a dead insect resting on a plate:-)

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Filed under humour, long time ago, people

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