One fat kid's persecution was average to low, until one day a weak-minded teacher tried to make us feel sympathy. In a catastrophically stupid attempt to get us to like the big lizard, we were told that the fat kid could not wear boy's trousers, but had to have old man's trousers cut off just below the knee. The result was, spectacularly enough, a barrage of abuse that resulted in a watershed moment of growing up, the first time I heard a contemporary say "cunt", as in "Ha ha, you wear old man's trousers you fat stinking cunt." Marvellous.
A weekly process, involving writing 'freak' backwards on the blackboard and then shoving the pre-selected freak onto it. Tragically for Alan Tucker, he was a regular nominee and began to refuse to wear anything but a white shirt to school. His wintry shivering was especially pointless when someone found one of those green "calligraphy" pens that all schools bought in bulk in the early 1980s, and scrawled freak on his shirt in a primitive Times New Roman-style font.
Like Morrissey and Sade, this chromosome-laden girl was a constant source of mystery at school. Kept behind for a number of years, the six-foot tall behemoth lumbered around the playground stamping her foot and drooling. One way to pump up her wrath was to describe cruelty to hamsters, the one form of creature that she seemed to empathise with. Telling her that you had "raped a hamster until it popped" or had enjoyed "hamster pie for dinner" soon turned her into a raging fiend. There was a dark twist in the tale though, as after some nameless crime had been committed, and every bag in the class was searched, the soon-to-have-a-breakdown caretaker found a dead hamster in Carmel's bag. It was like seeing Jill Dando assasinate someone.
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