Sunday, 5 February 2012

Storytelling Sunday - Toasted cheese

It's Storytelling Sunday again, as hosted by Sian over at High in the Sky.  It's the perfect kind of day to snuggle up next to the computer screen with a mug of hot chocolate and enjoy the stories that people are sharing.  Well, that's if you live in the UK; for those of you in warmer climes, maybe a glass of iced tea in the shade!
I had two stories relating to my primary school days but as we have woken up to 6" of snow this morning, I shall choose one that is set in winter time.  This is the school I went to between 1963 and 1969.  It was part of the church buildings and after it closed to relocate in a new building in 1970, it was converted into housing.  It was a really old building and every class room had two huge water pipes that ran around about 3' from the floor.  One was hot water and one was cold.  So to set the scene, it is a cold day in the 1960s.  The only heating in the classroom is from the hot water pipe and that pipe was scalding hot.  (Today's Health & Safety would have had a fit!)

Mrs Bishop:   Michael Cheeseman!  Stop balancing on the back legs of your chair, you will overbalance and fall.
{Sound of crashing}
Boy sitting next to Michael Cheeseman:  Miss.  Michael's fallen off his chair and his face is awfully red.

The rest of the class immediately turn to look at Michael, whose chair has slid from under him and in his fall, his elbow has wedged between the very hot water pipe and the very cold one.  Michael is well and truly stuck.  The fire brigade is called.  Mrs Bishop has the not so good idea to grease Michael's arm with butter from the school kitchen to try and make it slippery enough to be pulled out.  This was not one of Mrs Bishop's better ideas.  Michael is now cooking between the pipes.
Fire brigade arrives, class is sent out to play in the playground and Michael is finally removed from the pipes and taken to hospital to have his burns dressed.
It happened over 40 years ago, but I can still remember it as clear today as it was then. And I still shudder when I see kids balancing on the back legs of their chairs!





28 comments:

Amy said...

Oh dear, Micheal was a naughty little boy! Sounds cold over there Deb, keep warm and enjoy your Sunday!

Lynn said...

Poor boy but does make a great story. We have snow too but not as much as you!

Alison said...

I'm really sorry, but I actually LAUGHED at poor Michael (or maybe it was more at the stupidity of poor Mrs Bishop) , buttered up, cooking between the pipes...I do hope his burns weren't too bad...stay warm Deb- our temps are back to normal I'm glad to say
Alison xx

Ruth said...

Oh, dear, a funny tale, but with a warning. Snow here, too, about 2".

alexa said...

Oh my goodness - I bet he remembers it too! Yes, H and S didn't really exist in our childhoods, did it! Beautifully told.

Peachy Stream said...

Ahh I laughed so loudly at "michael is now cooking" - poor Michael I was terrible for swinging on my chair. No snow here, just miserable weather!

Miriam said...

Oh my goodness, like Alison, I laughed at this story, beautifuly told. Poor Michael. I remember 'don't swing on the back of your chair' chanted by all adults it seemed! and for good reason Michael would say.

Chipper said...

I really shouldn't have laughed at his missfortune, but you told it so well I could picture him cooking!

heart.hearth.home. said...

What a story and a timely reminder to remind the grandchildren not to rock back on their chairs.
The image of his buttered arm though did make me laugh. Poor Michael! Thanks for sharing.

K said...

Oh my word OUCH!!!!

Jane said...

Michael certainly learnt the hard way!!

Deb @ Paper Turtle said...

Oh my goodness! How scary for Michael and the rest of the class. He sure learned his lesson - and the rest of the class did too.

Louise said...

your story made me smile....poor Micheal.

Lizzie said...

Oh gosh! Poor Micheal... hope he wasn't "scarred for life"!
I'm sure that, for the rest of the class (school even?), this was one of those cases where you defintely learned from another's mistake!
Of course, nowadays, Health & Safety wouldn't allow such pipes to be uncovered... and if a modern Mrs Bishop were to think of butter... well, I daresay "Micheal's" parents would sue!!
Great story though and the title is very apt - if a bit cruel, in a tongue-in-cheek way!

Karen said...

Poor Michael but I love your title of Toasted Cheese :0)

Sian said...

Gosh, as soon as I saw the photo and read the timescale I was right back to the smell of my dad's school when I was little..and then as the story progressed of course I had a different smell to think about! I love it.

A great cautionary tale for this month's Storytelling Sunday

scrappyjacky said...

I'm afraid I smiled a little at this one.....and I remember the days when butter was thought to be good for burns as well!!

Scrappi Sandi said...

That brings back memories of fat hot pipes at skirting level in our Primary School & warming one foot at a time in the cloakroom! Poor Michael...I bet that taught him that a chair has four legs for a reason!! We have deep snow & as there's a 'Red' weather warning, both boys are hoping for no school tomorrow!!! :)

Cheri said...

I'll bet Michael doesn't lean back in chairs anymore!

Fiona@staring at the sea said...

Oh My! How awful for the poor boy and yet still so funny, the way you have told it. Mrs Bishop really did butter him up!

Maria Ontiveros said...

Oh my goodness! What an amazing story.
rinda

Ifa said...

ouch, that must have hurt. I hope Michael didn't have any permanent scar from it.

Scattychick said...

I might get my DD to read this one she drives me nuts balancing on the back legs of her chairs.

Kai said...

Ouch. I bet he never did that again. My son used to balance on the back legs of his chair until one day I pulled on it when he least expected it causing him to fall backwards. I caught him before he hit the floor but it was a heart-stopping moment for him. Love your title and it's subtle relation to the story!

Missus Wookie said...

Ouch on the burns and butter :sheesh: Hope you've stayed warm with the snow.

Jimjams said...

Ow ow ow! Bet he sat safe for a while after that!

Amy said...

"Michael is now cooking between the pipes". I actually started crying when I read that, I think I'll be giggling for a while (poor Michael!).

jennifer said...

ooh, ouch. I bet you never, ever, balanced on your back chair legs after that! x