The Law of the Playground
the letter i
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See! You can't deny it, CAN you?
approved Aug 26 2005, submitted Aug 26 2005 by Nick Hunt
There was an emotional conditioning song at school: "If you're happy and you know it clap your hands." If you weren't happy (or were happy, but didn't know it), then technically you shouldn't clap, but if you didn't clap you got told off, so you learned to smile and join in and keep the dark thoughts for the bedroom. Anyway, me and Kevin Smith managed to sing "if you're happy and you know it crap your pants" many times, unnoticed, until it caught on and became the accepted chorus. Then, stiff disciplinary measures were taken.
approved Nov 24 2002, submitted Nov 24 2002 by Summy
Martin Price was not happy and everyone knew it. He had just had a severe telling off from Miss Wells for being caught spitting and was in floods of tears. So as the rest of the class of seven-year-olds sang the jolly song complete with 'claps' Martin reluctantly sang along, his face streaked with tears and snot; his whole being in complete contradiction with the uplifting ditty. Miss Wells ignored him for four whole verses and choruses before sending him to the toilets to wash.
Miss Wells didn't like dirty children. She once dragged Paul Hoskins out to the front of the class for farting and whacked him across the arse with a gymshoe, not knowing he'd actually shat himself, thus creating a far bigger clean-up job than previously necessary.
approved May 19 2005, submitted May 6 2005 by Bob Rogers
One of the possible results of pushing a small and hitherto powerless child too far. The results can be positive, or catastrophic; the best case scenario is that the bully will step back, filled with a newfound respect. He will then proceed to befriend or ignore the victim. The worst case scenario is that the bully will simply beat the child up. The shock of the runt sticking up for himself will subside quickly when he is rolling around on the floor, clutching his sorry little bollocks.
approved Nov 24 2002, submitted Nov 24 2002 by Jon Blyth
Another way of choosing who's 'It'. As well as the more mundane 'Eenie Meenie Minie Mo', there was the one about Inky Pinky Lane, and the my personal favourite, illy dilly dog's willy.
Illy Dilly Dog's Willy
Inside Out
Press A Little Button
And the shit flies... OUT!
approved Dec 9 2002, submitted Nov 24 2002 by Peter Gasston
Ip Dip was another variant. It ran thusly:
Ip Dip, Dog shit
Hanging off a lady's tit.
O U T Spells OUT you must go.
Why any lady would have dog shit on her tits, or how this related to why one boy or girl must go 'out' has never been adequately explained. Perhaps it was that child's mother.
approved Mar 9 2003, submitted Jan 24 2003 by Peter Marshall
The theory that it's possible to avoid being bollocked for misbehaviour if it's so blatant that the teacher will be unable to believe it actually happened, or incapable of responding in a dignified and appropriate manner. For instance, a twenty minute tirade about "stringy chicken dicks" and "this woman, right, gets shagged by a horse" in response to reading Animal Farm (qv) will generally result in a feeble "that's enough now, Paul" Immunity in excess does not extend to those laughing, however, who will be punished with misdirected severity.
approved Nov 24 2002, submitted Nov 24 2002 by Vince Clortho
This theory was pushed to its very limits when we set fire to a desk and started doing deodourant-flamethrowers in front of a cover teacher in our drama class. Punishment? Not a sausage.
approved Jul 27 2005, submitted Jul 23 2005 by Bionic Sheep
Clint brought a dead dog he found in the road into our form room and proceeded to make the corpse dance on his desk. After taking a moment or two to absorb the true horror of Clint's actions, our form tutor merely asked him to "put that away until break". This suggested that playing with dead animals at school was acceptable provided that it didn't distract us from answering the register.
approved Aug 1 2005, submitted Jul 28 2005 by Tony Green
I was lucky enough to experience immunity in excess one Thursday afternoon, when my P.E. class whiled away the idle hours by ripping down the blinds and using a metal metre ruler to poke holes in the ceiling. Apparently, public schools are made from Plaster of Paris hidden by a thin coat of paint.
approved Aug 18 2005, submitted Aug 17 2005 by Loki Girl
"In the jungle, with George and Bungle, and Zippy on the drums, Geoffrey swimmin', with naked wimmen, and showing off his bum..." It's a lovely scene, and an Edinburgh classic.
approved Nov 24 2002, submitted Nov 24 2002 by Stephanie Correia
Zippy and Bungle
were in the jungle,
Lying in the grass,
Zippy got silly
and pulled out his willy,
and stuck it up bungles arse.
approved Mar 19 2003, submitted Jan 30 2003 by Tim Taylor
This was also sung as: In the jungle with Jeffery and Bungle, Zippy bit my foot (ow!) In the jungle with Jeffery and Bungle, Zippy bit my foot (ow!) I limp away, I limp away, I limp away... etc
approved Nov 24 2002, submitted Nov 24 2002 by Peter Gasston
In Kidderminster, nationally accepted standards for playground terms were circulated, mis-heard, and got wrong. Perhaps we'd heard the right version from some dusty-jacketed, worldly wise band of travelling schoolboys, and not understood their Queen's English.
Take jaffas, the well-known and logical word for boys who shoot blanks. We called them "jaspers". But we also called wasps Jaspers. It was a confusing time for impotent boys and wasps alike.
Similarly, skill - to us - was and American Bum Disease, even though an American Bum is a tramp, and African Bums are just funnier.
The Kidder version of the Rainbow "Lion Sleeps Tonight" song was;
In the Jungle with George and Bungle, Zippy on the drums.
Jeffrey farted, an earthquake started, and down the rocks they fell.

This is self-evidently a bit crap.
Most inaccurate versions of playground games can be traced to a national game of Chinese Whispers - when they passed through Kidderminster, and we got it really wrong.
approved Nov 29 2005, submitted Oct 30 2003 by lucy n
After coming out as gay to some people, they will sometimes feel the urge, as part of a bonding process and demonstration of acceptance, to confide something back in you. This often consists of "I've thought about it myself", or "I've got a gay mate / brother / hat". One of my flatmates, however, came back with the revelation that he'd slept with his brother, which initially didn't bother me, until he elaborated that they'd done it recently, that his brother was around eight years older than him, that he'd enjoyed it, and that there nothing stopping him from doing it again. I still didn't really mind, as my laissez-faire morality saw that they weren't going to breed monsters, so they're not harming anyone. So, I kept quiet until my flatmate insisted that we should meet each other. Why that would have been appropriate, I cannot guess. Perhaps his brother had been complaining about how he never gets to shag anyone except the family, and fancied a change.
Well, fuck me if he didn't look like Bob Carolgees. My tolerance collapsed - it was all too much for me. Even my slack, slack morality couldn't tolerate shagging Bob Carolgees. I told everyone I knew, and felt immediately better for it. A secret shared is a secret halved - by the time I'd finished, the individual portions of secret were microscopic.
But no less sweet. It's not every day you get to betray a confidence so humiliating.
approved Oct 2 2003, submitted Oct 2 2003 by Jon Blyth
Using one of those black indelible markers we would get some kid (it worked better on blonde ones) and give him a 'Spanish' or 'Mexican' moustache, glasses, sideburns and, sometimes for good measure, we'd write 'fuck' on one cheek and 'cunt' on the other. If you went over it a couple of times it was almost impossible to erase for days. If the kid already wore glasses a variation was to colour in the lens.
approved Nov 24 2002, submitted Nov 24 2002 by Bob Rogers
Indelible make-up is very funny until a particularly waggish group of your school chums pins you down on the cricket field and gives you a full Groucho Marx job just half an hour before your GCSE German oral exam is due to start. Fortunately, you can't fail GCSE German just for turning up to the exam looking like a complete tit.
approved Dec 14 2002, submitted Dec 14 2002 by gordon riot
As a six year old, I was blown away by the amazing film Indiana Jones: Raiders Of The Lost Ark.
At that age, I was oblivious to the stigma attached to Nazism, but was somehow subconciously affected by the film's sensitive portrayal of the Nazi war effort and the beautiful colours of their regalia.
The next week in class, we were asked to design a hot air balloon. My balloon was perfunctory, adorned with the usual childhood scribble. The picture was completed with a toothsome couple in leather jackets and milkbottle glasses, saluting to the people below.
Oh yes, and there was sign with a giant swastika on it, jutting out of the side of the basket.
I was really pleased with my effort. The teacher, however, was disgusted. And at the end of the year, when all our work was traditionally returned to us to take home to our proud parents, my nazi balloon masterpiece had mysteriously gone missing. My guess is it's either in my permanent record (providing a silent warning to employers that they have a potential Nazi sympathizer on their hands), or my teacher has it framed on her wall at home. In her secret Third Reich bondage dungeon. The filthy bitch.
approved Jun 14 2005, submitted Jun 14 2005 by anonymous user
While playing 'Where Eagles Dare' (a film where the goodies dress as Nazis), myself and a friend proudly ran around the estate in hastily improvised Jerry clobber. Wellingtons made ideal jackboots and paper eagles taped to our 'uniforms' gave extra authenticity.
However, drawing a massive black swastika on the front of my 'London Zoo' cap was deemed going too far and led to the inevitable parental lecture on why swastikas are very bad.
approved Nov 15 2005, submitted Jun 15 2005 by Tony Green
My vote for the best Joey in the school was Paul Smith. Unlike his namesake in the fashion word, our Paul would wear a smeggy parker every day, even during summer and would walk around saying "indicator mash potato" whilst moving his arms in the same way as car windscreen wipers. No one ever knew why, or the correlation between why he was saying indicator when in fact his arms suggested windscreen wipers. Perhaps just that it rhymed with mash potato. He also used to hang around with bus drivers. This made him happy.
approved Sep 23 2003, submitted Sep 19 2003 by Philip Keightley
Ineffectual racism is crap, because it leaves you looking both morally repugnant AND bloody stupid.
Bullied to the point of "the rage" (q.v.) by a sikh boy, I decided in my desperation to retaliate by being racist, as I'd been told that this was "the very worst kind of all abuse".
Alas, my chick-pea eating, Greenham-common-supporting upbringing got in the way, and all I managed was a rather oblique comment about "things having a rather dark complexion."
He just looked a bit perplexed. However, he must have brooded about it nightly for a long time, because after not seeing him at all for four years, he suddenly approached me and threw me down a stairwell.
approved Apr 23 2005, submitted Jan 9 2005 by anonymous user, Name Withheld
The inventors of Infra-Red Remote Control watches allowed the disruption of many an Apaches video.
Adjust the volume.
Hopefully, the television will be before on-screen displays of the volume, so it would just seem like a mechanical glitch. The teacher will be concerned, but not enough to stop the video.
Pause. Resume.
Timing is everything. First, quickly stop-start the video to let everyone know something is amiss. The second time, not too long after the first, and only resume when the teacher gets out of her chair, leaving her hovering in mid-air, unsure which way to go. Then leave it for a minute or two, until everyone thinks it's working again, then pause and leave it until she actually gets to the video before you hit play. Then hit pause the second she sits down. When she gets back to the video, move to the next stage.
Fast Forward / Rewind
Convince the teacher that something is seriously wrong by pressing something on your watch immediately after she presses something on the video. She presses play? Hit rewind. Continue until she is hopelessly flustered, and fetches another, more male, teacher.
Resume Normal Service
When the other teacher is in, you obviously let the video run normally. You should also complain that this video on the Bayeux Tapestry is really interesting, and it's frustrating that you can't seem to watch it in the manner the programme makers intended. The other teacher will leave, perhaps rolling his eyes at the flapping woman in his wake.
Tear Her Soul Apart
No mercy. The second he has left the door, bombard the video with everything you've got. The look of pained helplessness and growing panic on her face will inspire sympathy in only the gayest of children.
approved Oct 11 2004, submitted Feb 5 2004 by anonymous user
Where lots of arguments end up.
- You guffed!
- Yeah well you guffed twice.
- Yeah well you guffed times a hundred!
- Yeah well you guffed infinity times!
- Yeah well you guffed infinity times plus one!
- You can't have infinity plus one!
- Yes you can!
- Alright, you guffed infinity times two times!
- Plus one.
- Infinty squared!
- Plus one.
approved Dec 12 2003, submitted Mar 7 2003 by Steve Carter
This potentially tiresome argument can be ended with the statement, 'well infinity's not a number anyway, so using it in an equation makes no sense'. This will take you into a new argument, where you will find yourself mocked, shunned, and probably struck.
approved Nov 29 2005, submitted Aug 29 2005 by Salad Meringue
The well-established method by which you evaded catching cooties. A simple stabbing mime, and you're footloose and cootie free for up to an hour.
This also works when playing it. You can not become it by injecting yourself, thus becoming immune to being caught. This is roughly equivalent to simply "not playing".
approved Oct 22 2003, submitted Oct 13 2003 by caroline nightingale
Similar to Andy Graham Disease. So-called game whereby nasty little middle class fuckers would stab each other with their forefinger "giving" each other 'Katie Burgess Fever'. The 'injection for life' bit, of course, meant that you couldn't give it back. Oh, how I laugh now when I go back home and see all my old school chums (who I'm led to believe make up the majority of this country's single mother/unemployed paedophile demographic) with their shitneck existences, and tell them all about my own, pretty damn near fucking perfect life. See? You do get over it, you really, really do.
approved Nov 24 2002, submitted Nov 24 2002 by Katie Burgess
On top of a French teacher who told us that "he was going home to beat his wife" at the end of every lesson, our English teacher was asked his opinion of gay men during the discussion of a Shakespeare play. His response of "men, women, tried 'em both, much the same" was so witheringly put that we could only stare helplessly at him.
approved Nov 24 2002, submitted Nov 24 2002 by Conrad Giles
My fifth form tutor shagged Sue Cooke (of TV's "CrimeWatch" fame). There was a story about it on page three of The Sun. And a picture of some tits.
approved Oct 31 2003, submitted Oct 30 2003 by Mark Patterson
It's spelt, 'inappropriate', by the way.
We know. It's, um, ironic. Oh piss off you KEENER.
approved Dec 20 2003, submitted Oct 31 2003 by anonymous user
In Upper Sixth, our form-tutor noticed a boy called Gideon, who happened through no fault of his own to be Jewish, fiddling absentmindedly with some lab apparatus. To a shocked classroom, he called out "Stop that, you thieving little Jewboy."
From then on, that teacher was owned.
approved Apr 13 2005, submitted Nov 19 2003 by anonymous user
It's spelled 'spelled' by the way. Irony in a basket.
approved Dec 20 2003, submitted Dec 3 2003 by anonymous user
Mingepiece - M.I.N.G.E.P.I.E.C.E.
This is a spelling contest right?
approved Apr 15 2004, submitted Dec 30 2003 by Tom Wardley
We had a woodwork/metalwork teacher who would announce, when he entered the workshop at the beginning of a lesson, "Open a window. This place smells like the inside of a Turkish brothel". Every single damn time.

I can only assume that he frequented the kind of Turkish brothels that reek of sweaty teenage children, swarfega, wood shavings and oxyacetylene torch gas. In which case, he must really have loved his job.

(Also nice that he distinguished from the smell of the outside of a Turkish brothel, a smell which must have tormented him until he finally plucked up the courage to go inside.)
approved Sep 29 2004, submitted Jan 28 2004 by Matt Fasham
Mr Torpy, our physics teacher, would often chastise pupils in his class who were playing with the gas taps with the killer line "this isn't Auschwitz, boys."
approved Feb 15 2005, submitted Oct 31 2004 by chin tee
Our sadistic, moustachioed CDT teacher became rather excitable and worked up during one of his lectures, spraying a nearby girl with a shower of spittle. His only response was, "Don't worry, love. You need a pint to get AIDS".
approved Jun 24 2005, submitted Jun 15 2005 by Uncle Squalid
Kevin Presley (an unfortunate boy who looked like Chunk from The Goonies and had to screw up his whole face to blink) was feeling particularly flatulent one day. Our Geography teacher, somewhat concerned with Kevin's wellbeing, took it upon himself to advise him, "Go to the toilet now, before you shit yourself!".
approved Oct 13 2005, submitted Oct 12 2005 by Edison Carter
In 5th year Geography I knocked my pencil case onto the floor at the end of the lesson. I bent to pick it up and experienced a very definite *slapping* sensation across my buttocks. I stood up and slowly turned around. Amazingly, there was Mr Nicholas holding a ruler. The pupils left in the classroom were staring in shocked silence. The teacher laughed nervously and said "Sorry Susanna, but some targets are too good to resist."
Nice save sir. Nice.
Peter Sutcliffe writes: Oh bum! If only I'd thought of that, rather than my frankly piss-poor 'God told me to do it' defence!
approved Oct 14 2005, submitted Oct 13 2005 by Sus K
My dad and some other teachers conspired to ensure that the first letters of each line on some kid's report spelled out 'LITTLE SHIT'. Brilliance.
Hold on, I'll just get the bullshit detector. Beep beep beep BEEPBEEPBEEPBEEPBEEP.
Oh, go on, then - mansh
approved Nov 15 2005, submitted Nov 10 2005 by Name Withheld
Listening to your english teacher call his fellow staffmate a 'fucking wanker' is just heavenly.
approved Nov 17 2005, submitted Nov 16 2005 by Faye Wickham
Kathryn Wakeman had to leave A-level physics early one afternoon for a dentist appointment. At the appropriate time, she was excused, and squeezed past Mr Howarth's desk where he was explaining a particularly complicated bit of physics. In doing so she managed to knock some papers onto the floor and bent over to pick them up.

Mr Howarth immediately turned around and pretended to shag her from behind. He did a 'phwoar' face and everything. It's fair to say we were astonished.
approved Oct 3 2011, submitted Nov 20 2005 by Gareth Lewis
Pupil A: "Pupil B is a gay icon, you know, miss!"
Teacher: "Well, he can't help being attractive."

This was made all the worse by the fact that said teacher was the fattest cake-mountain ever to roll her merry way into our school. I mean, she once told us there might be stains on our books because she'd been eating chocolate cake while she marked them. If that isn't asking for it, what exactly is?
approved Mar 21 2008, submitted Nov 21 2005 by Bionic Sheep
The year after I left school, I discovered that one of my old RE teachers had, in his new group, an Arabic boy named Osama. On discovering this, he remarked "Oh, so you're a little terrorist."
I hear he has been suspended.
approved Jul 25 2006, submitted Dec 18 2005 by Osiris of Egypt
Our headmaster allowed a playground fight between the two thickest boys in the school to escalate to the stage where one participant was hospitalised and the other suspended, simply because it was the week before the SAT tests and the school's league table scores ended up being a lot higher without those two dragging the average mark down.

*checks score on chinometer* Hmmm. Ah, fuck it. I suppose it COULD have happened.
approved Feb 17 2006, submitted Jan 31 2006 by anonymous user
Mr Moretto, AKA Mario The Legend, was the best year head we've ever, ever had.

My form tutor at the time was a disgusting creation with absolutely no redeeming features and a peculiar notion of what should be punished and what shouldn't. Basically, I should be punished and the rest of the class shouldn't.

We had many an argument, and every time she went to Mr Moretto and complained. She would then send me to see him too. I was in his office once and he said, in his brilliantly stereotypical and funny Italian accent, "She piss me off too, but we both have to put up with her eh? Just deal with it for my sake, OK? I cannot stand the bitch."

I have worshipped the man ever since. I also managed to trick a boy into saying "fuck off" really loudly in Italian in his lesson. Mr Moretto got furious and sent him out, then as soon as the door shut he started giggling and said "He tell me fuck off!" in a delighted tone.

approved Oct 13 2007, submitted Mar 10 2006 by Meri Powell
When I was 7 we had a teacher called Miss Woodcock who would wield complete control over the rowdy boys in the class by threatening to KISS them if they didn't behave.
So terrifying was the prospect of Miss Woodcock's lips making contact with us that instead of having to shout at us to sit down and shut up, she would simply go to her handbag, get her lipstick out and slowly start applying it.
I should point out that she never actually made good on her threat. I suspect, also, that she never tried this on secondary school boys.
approved Aug 29 2006, submitted Aug 27 2006 by bob epworth
Even when I was in school we still used the customary Joey Deacon spastic impression.
And it was for this that the headmaster of my primary school pulled me, and a group of mates into his office for 'bullying'.
By way of 'punishment' he proceeded to perform the most outrageous impression of a handicapped since Daniel Day Lewis:
He flailed his arms and legs all over the place, whilst spitting and drooling, and made primitive grunting and hooting noises.
His idea was to shock us into realising how unpleasant we had been, but the result was simply 4 naughty boys with tears rolling down their faces as they dismally failed to stifle their astonished, choking laughter.
approved Oct 28 2006, submitted Oct 26 2006 by Karl Mercer
Along the lines of "rubber balls and liquor", this gag relied on someone being excited enough by mystery to agree to saying 'Inspector Fanny' after everything you say. After securing this agreement, you say;

Who put you in jail?
Who let you out of jail?

And inevitably:
What did you do when a girl came around the street corner?

My love of this gag led to me writing "You will Inspector Fanny" on a bit of scrap paper and giving it to another kid I'd been playing the joke on, just to relive the finest moment of the joke. He passed it to the teacher, who proceeded to ask me if I knew what a fanny was.
approved Dec 20 2005, submitted Sep 12 2005 by Aidan Cross
Witty response to come back with when labelled a 'bitch' at school:
'A bitch is a dog, a dog barks, bark is part of a tree, a tree is part of nature, nature is beautiful, so thanks for the compliment.'
Can be altered slightly for other insults too; 'a twat is a fanny, sweet fanny adams, adam and eve were in Genesis, so was Phil Collins, so actually you're calling me Phil Collins, so thanks for the compliment.'
And if it's any consolation, a fucking cunt must be an attractive cunt, otherwise it wouldn't be fucking.
approved Jun 8 2004, submitted May 12 2004 by amy jordan, Jon Blyth