The Law of the Playground
the letter c
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Secular assembly song. The line "West Virginia, mountain momma" was all too easily changed to "Wet Vagina, mounting momma"
approved Nov 24 2002, submitted Nov 24 2002 by Peter Gasston
"I'd like to build the world a home,
And furni-SH IT with love..."

We only ever sang that one once.
approved May 23 2005, submitted May 23 2005 by The Boy Tucker
Rural fun based on the cow's inability to move sideways. Generally results in cow being killed. Sometimes, if it's been raining, and if urban myths are true, the child will take a run up, hit the cow, slip through the cow's legs, and get landed on by a freshly tipped cow. Then they both die.
(Rural readers! Have YOU ever tipped a cow? Did you chortle as the cow, its fate sealed, lay helplessly on the ground? Did her big, confused eyes look at you as though to say this was a horrible accident, right? Or do you just make it all up to impress gullible city folk? Answers in the usual way)
approved Oct 9 2003, submitted Jul 31 2003 by Andy Mansh
9:50am is Cowboy Time. If someone asks you the time, and it is 9:50am, you must tell them that it is Cowboy Time. It's a fair bet that you'll be met with a blank stare, in which case you can launch into the following rendition of the Lone Ranger theme song*
Ten to ten to ten-ten-ten
Ten to ten to ten-ten-ten
Ten to ten to ten-ten-ten
Tennn to ten ten ten

With enough people aware of Cowboy Time, the first lesson of the morning can be turned into a rousing Wild West chorus.
* non-Philistines will of course recognise this as Rossini's William Tell Overture.
approved Jun 24 2005, submitted Jun 13 2005 by Phil Glansvile
In a wild bid to become more popular, the fat kid in our class boasted that he knew everything there was to know about drugs.
One of his many claims was that Crack Cocaine got its name from Duran Duran when they had wild parties and took the drug from naked ladies' front bottoms. This earned him a severe kicking, not because it was a complete lie, but for liking Duran Duran.
approved Jun 7 2005, submitted May 15 2005 by Shamim Cortazzi
Young John claimed to have tried "slap".
Though this may not have been true before, it most certainly was after.
approved Jun 7 2005, submitted Jun 3 2005 by The Boy Tucker
Study periods and an unguarded changing room = free time and a place to smoke. Kinda like a male, uncool version of the cool girls in American school toilets.
The one time a teacher walked in, and asked the inevitable question - "What are you doing in here?" - we surprised each other by answering "fixing the toilet, sir" at the same time.
This togetherness must have lent the crap excuse some credibility, as the teacher seemed happy enough. Perhaps he just didn't give a shit.
approved Mar 11 2004, submitted Mar 5 2004 by Ben Whetter
One teacher's loathing for school whipping boy Richard Fenwick was confirmed on the day she caught us stealing from his blazer, which was hung in the cloakroom.

"Why are you rifling through Richard's pockets, Emily?" she asked.
"i'm checking for grenades, Miss," I replied.
"Oh, okay then. But don't be late for your next class, the bell has gone twice."
approved Apr 13 2005, submitted Mar 26 2004 by Name Withheld
The Geography department's Scrap Paper box.
approved Aug 8 2005, submitted Jul 4 2005 by Alana S
Conkers and marbles year after weary year, school crazes were the very bedrock of playground life. For some inexplicable reason, we broke from tradition, and mouth fresheners were the fashion one year. Unfortunately being approximately 9 or 10, it involved a myriad of schoolchildren waltzing into the local chemists and proclaiming they wished to buy some mouth freshener. To which the response would almost always be - "Are you smoking love - give it up, it will kill you one day" not realising none of us smoked but were too embarrassed to admit it.
approved Nov 24 2002, submitted Nov 24 2002 by Phil Othen
For a while in 1988-89 small bouncy rubber balls became the thing to have...it got to the point where 30 boys would be throwing bouncy balls up and down a corridor at the same time.

Also that year, Micro Machines became stupidly popular and finger boards, especially home made out of shatter-proof rulers.

(See also Dummies, which, despite ecstasy and acid house not trickling down to the crap West Country suburbs until, ooh, last Wednesday, were startlingly popular amongst the under tens during raves heyday. I had a small silver dummy on a small silver chain and was considered quite the trendsetter about town. Susan)
approved Apr 29 2003, submitted Apr 16 2003 by graf1771
Sachets of tomato ketchup from the canteen made excellent 'collectibles' for a while. At five pence each, it was an inexpensive hobby, and admirably pure - we did not tolerate brown sauce or vinegar sachets. They simply don't count, I mean, don't even go there. At its peak, the hobby resulted in people giving up on meals so they could buy more sachets of tomato ketchup.

People with particularly large hoards (say, a locker full) would be accorded chin-stroking respect, except from those who didn't collect five pence ketchup sachets, who would stare at us with well-fed, condescending eyes. But who cares what they thought, those non-tomato-ketchup-collecting losers.
approved Jul 23 2003, submitted Jul 8 2003 by Jimbob N
Magic: The Gathering. No one would understand the rules for a couple of years, but the pictures were pretty and the 'flavour text' was often funny. Mostly, people would make their own cards up out of paper, usually something like Overlord Jeff that would destroy the other player instantly. Unless they had a piece of paper with Archdeacon Barney Rubble of the Yard written on it, which easily beat Overlord Jeff.
approved Oct 2 2003, submitted Sep 25 2003 by Name Withheld, Jon Blyth
Collecting ketchup packets became popular among some in my American high school one year. However, since they were free this considerably upped the ante for what made an impressive cache of the packets. Shortly after one zelous collector filled a trash bag with the packets, the school switched to pump bottles of ketchup. THESE then started disappearing until they were chained down to the counter.
approved Jun 14 2005, submitted Jun 13 2005 by anonymous user
We had a craze for broken stubs of pencil lead, which we hoarded in those oblong metal pencil cases. One day, after inspecting our jealously guarded treasure troves, it finally dawned on us just how far we had descended to a sub-stamp-collecting level of rubbishness, and decided to just flick them at the girls.
approved Jul 15 2005, submitted Jun 17 2005 by Ross Gillson
I was a foreign exchange student in Iowa in 1988 and can attest first hand to the craze of stealing ketchup sachets. However, the real beauty of this apparently mindless thievery was the skill involved in placing them strategically under the rubber stopper of the toilet seat, so that the next person who sat on it would set off a small red vinegary explosion.
approved Jul 13 2005, submitted Jul 11 2005 by Name Withheld
Knowing that smoking at school was frowned upon, we found that it was possible to purchase snuff from a local newsagents.

Cue the start of the great snuff craze, which led to entire lessons disrupted by bouts of sneezing and the frenzied groans of kids trying to hoover up lines of the stuff like proper druggies. Those who couldn't afford snuff cleared local supermarket shelves of cinnamon, ginger and anything else in powdered form that could be shovelled up the nostrils.

The craze died on the Day of the Nosebleed, when the Reverend Ratings' assembly sermon was disrupted when Andy Chapman sneezed a torrent of blood over the six rows in front of him. Just say no, kids. Tabs are much healthier.
approved Sep 6 2005, submitted Aug 25 2005 by Harry Grout
Works when the tables are arranged in a three-sides-of-a-square formation. While the teacher is out the room, one person is nominated to select desks in or desks out , which is written down and passed around the room once the teacher returns. This may seem fairly pointless, but it adds to the general feeling of naughtniess. Every time the teacher turns his back to write on the board, everyone should move their tables in or out, according to the mandate. Some teachers can be extraordinarily slow to catch on to this, and therefore it can be quite upsetting for them to realise that no-one's been paying attention at all, and have been simply laughing for the last ten minutes.
approved Nov 24 2002, submitted Nov 24 2002 by William Scott
(We had one teacher, who was especially slow to notice, and coupled with our sliding of the whiteboard just out of his reach, he would break down into tears. His name was Phylis.)
approved Nov 24 2002, submitted Nov 24 2002 by Anon
A game that involved eating a Creme egg faster than your opponent.
The game was short-lived, and effectively ruined in its early rounds, when a competitor managed to somehow empty his mouth in three seconds. There seemed little point in choking ourselves to beat such an admirable and physically impossible record, so we went back to whatever we did before Creme Egg Speed Eating.
approved Jun 24 2005, submitted Jun 10 2005 by Name Withheld
A 20 metre square cock and balls motif drawn on the school field in creosote. This killed the grass and meant that the spectacle was visible for an entire school term (and then some). In true crop circle fashion the artwork only made sense if viewed from the top floor of the tower block.
approved Oct 1 2003, submitted Sep 26 2003 by Anthony Bishop
Did you go to school with Neil Buchanan?
approved Oct 31 2003, submitted Oct 29 2003 by Steve M
Cribbage is a disease that causes the sufferer to freeze in a comedy pose. If, during a conversation with your friend, his fists raise to his face and press his cheeks into his eyes, it is polite to ask "ooh, nasty cribbage there?", then carry on talking.
It was funny for exactly one and a half days, by which time we'd run out of comedy poses.
approved Oct 1 2004, submitted Apr 29 2004 by anonymous user
Something all children are not in the least adept at. For example writing "Madame Bishop est un cons" on the front of your own French exercise book in really small letters. Didn't have the first idea how I was going to spend the time in all those detentions. Other examples include spending all your mother's change on bubblegum when she knows how much change to expect and you're not allowed to chew bubblegum. And coming back smelling of it. And your mum having a temper like Carrie.
approved Nov 24 2002, submitted Nov 24 2002 by Tuppence
"Dense Yense" copied someone's work during a physics test. Right down to their name at the top of the page.
approved Jan 26 2003, submitted Jan 22 2003 by anonymous user
Similarly lacking in mental agility was crime-ambitious Peter Wynne who decided to loot our local post office's sweet counter.
Not entirely devoid of logical thought, Peter got there as early as possible, to minimise witnesses, donned his open faced balaclava and thieved as much as he could, before the post mistress had a thrombo.
Peter ran home, mission emphatically accomplished, the perfect crime, perfectly executed.
Until the police collared him at his house about 10 minutes later. Was it a trail of dropped Kola Kubes that grassed poor Peter up? Nothing so unmoronic... it was the perfect set of footprints in that morning's fresh snowfall.
Peter's was betrayed by his own Gola copies. Seriously, though. Gola copies. You might as well Xerox a cat turd.
approved Apr 21 2005, submitted Sep 24 2003 by petrocelli .
My friend Vicky used to wait until you were filling your name in the box at the top of an exam paper, before leaning over and muttering the name of a male teacher in your ear. If you were concentrating on ponies and weren't paying attention you might write HIS surname after YOUR OWN first name. Then, it might look as if you'd just made a Freudian slip expressing your desire to marry the hideous old ghet. Bleuchhhh!!!!
approved Apr 12 2005, submitted Jan 17 2005 by Het Phillips
Four boys from my year stole 1500 worth of equipment from the music department, without noticing that there were closed-circuit TV cameras on permanent lookout.
In a further stroke of criminal mastermindness worthy of Moriarty himself, they then proceeded to try and sell it all on eBay. They used the school computer network to place the items online.
Amazingly, they were tracked down immediately and expelled.
approved May 5 2005, submitted Apr 30 2005 by leo humphries
Word that was thrown at me on various occasions because my wheelchair bound Mum has MS. It's not funny, but I'm hoping that those lads, having now grown up and perhaps become fathers themselves, will read this and in a paroxysm of sheer guilt and self-loathing, take their own wretched lives and those of their no doubt equally brain-dead offspring.
approved Nov 24 2002, submitted Nov 24 2002 by Ruby
The standard, boring sandwich found in an average school packed lunch could be converted into a spectacularly crunchy culinary delight by the deceptively simple act of adding a layer of crisps between the bread and filling. I cannot remember a single instance of anyone not doing this at my infant/junior school.

I recently started doing this again after a break of around twenty years and am at a loss to understand why I ever stopped.
approved Oct 29 2003, submitted Oct 28 2003 by Pete Smith
The pinnacle of this practice was:
SANDWICH: Ham & mustard on white bread.
WITH: Beef Monster Munch (sadly no longer with us).
DUNKED INTO: Chicken & Mushroom Pot Noodle.

Lloyd Grossman eats these. He told me.

-Imagine how Lloyd pronounces the word "monster". Brrr, horrible.
approved Nov 4 2003, submitted Nov 1 2003 by Andy Mansh
As well as adding crisps to the regular filling, try removing the regular filling and replacing that with a Mars Bar.
Not neccesarily the basis of a balanced diet, and not really that nice, either.
approved Mar 27 2004, submitted Nov 14 2003 by Noders .
Five Doritos fit perfectly into half a medium sliced sandwich. Primary school maths taught me this is known as a 'tesselation', a word I have never needed to use until this moment.
approved Mar 23 2006, submitted Mar 16 2006 by anonymous user
The Champion's crisp sandwich is, however, a complex beast. Each layer of the sandwich requires a different flavour of crisp and a different sauce. My personal best was seven layers, presumably not long after my mum had returned from shopping.
approved Aug 8 2006, submitted Jul 17 2006 by Rich Musk
The Smiths Tubes Cannon - Chew up one Smiths Tube until it's good and spitty, then using a second tube like a pea shooter, blow globs of masticated potato at fellow diners.
Sadly, Smiths Tubes are no longer with us, but I'm confident that this will definitely work with Golden Wonder Wheat Crunchies.
The Long Wotsit - Take some Wotsits and nibble a small piece off each end. Using enough saliva, the Wotsits can be pressed together to make a single freakishly long cheesy stick. This will invariably lead to somebody declaring, "that's no Wotsit", in an Alec Guinness voice and then a dinner lady will gasp and faint.
approved Apr 26 2005, submitted Apr 25 2005 by Uncle Squalid
Wheat Crunchies also make excellent smoking receptacles. You look like a true spiv.
approved Jul 13 2005, submitted Jun 14 2005 by Dan B
Hitching a ride on a bike clearly designed with only one rider in mind. The compromised lateral stability of the bike, coupled with the fact that the 'passenger' invariably had to stick his legs out miles, invoked mirth and terror as this lurching four-legged monster wobbled between kerb and road. Matthew Blissett, a boy at my primary school was rumoured to have slid off of the seat and onto the wheel and had his scrotum 'eaten' by the mudguard. Naturally, once enough people heard this rumour it was accepted as truth.
approved Nov 24 2002, submitted Nov 24 2002 by Stephen Barker
One variant of the croggy is the 'Barrey' in which the passenger sits on the crossbar. I can only imagine that this was inflicted as some sort of punishment, or perhaps to recruit for the school choir.
approved Mar 3 2003, submitted Mar 3 2003 by R DL
Legendary cross-eyed music teacher with no control whatsoever over her pupils, either kind. Chronological age 30, but with white hair brought on by being made to cry, thrown down stairs, shut in cupboards etc. by lower stream classes on a daily basis. In retrospect, hope she wasn't finally driven to mental illness/death.
approved Nov 24 2002, submitted Nov 24 2002 by Rob Adey
In Coventry, children were too poor to call it British Bulldog and had to invent their own name for it. 'Crop the wanker' was cheerily shouted across the Coundon area as little children's kneecaps were kicked in by 15 bigger boys.

Hurray! We've snuck British Bulldog in, under the wire. Phil will be FURIOUS!-The other Eds.
approved Oct 3 2003, submitted Oct 3 2003 by Ginger Snaps
Responding to allegations of being left behind during the evolution of teaching methods, our R.E. teacher decided to show us this film during one double period. It details the admirable story of a minister who devoted his life to saving the souls of New York gang members, pimps, hoes and thugs, by spreading the word of God.
Naturally, you would expect some gritty dialogue and scenes of a violent nature. Instead, we were met by a gang who looked like the extras who had been rejected from Michael Jackson's 'Bad' video for not being 'Bad' enough - Coupled with memorable lines such as, "I hear you like Rap. Well two thousand years ago, this cat called Jesus used to rap - About God."
Note to teachers: Hear me up, jive-turkeys. Any attempt to be 'cool' is destined to fail. If you had any concept of coolness, your choice of profession would have been different. You dig?
approved Apr 13 2005, submitted Dec 20 2004 by Justin Cider
Gentle art of running about a quarter of the distance you're supposed to by ducking into a graveyard and waiting for the runners to come round again. Under no circumstances should one recommence as the leaders come through, therefore breaking ones personal best by about ten minutes and getting thrust into the school team, only to embarass yourself when trailing in last by a huge margin at an inter-school event.
approved Sep 9 2003, submitted Sep 8 2003 by Nath Dogg
Sage advice, and sadly not heeded by one J.C. Royston in his efforts to skive the once-yearly school run. His effort consisted of ducking under a bridge approx 200m from the start/finish line, and treating himself to a crafty kip.
On waking, he peeked out, troll-like, from under the bridge, and saw the finish line was absolutely deserted of everyone bar the timekeepers. Coming to the natural conclusion that everybody else must have finished, he came out from his hiding place and put in an impressive sprint finish.
On crossing the line, however, he was informed by a (curiously unimpressed) teacher that he had just knocked 28 minutes off the previous school record of 44 minutes.
J.C. Royston was not promoted to the school team on the basis of this superhuman feat; he was put into detention, where he presumably had to write out "I must not run at twenty five miles per hour" a thousand times.
approved Sep 27 2004, submitted Nov 15 2003 by Rik Burke