A boy at school who studied hard was singled out for abuse from classmates, recalls Laurie Taylor in his weekly column. But who had the last laugh?
“Please sir. Please sir. Please sir. Me, sir. Me. Me sir.”
By Laurie Taylor
BBC News Magazine
Can clever pupils ever be popular?
Whenever McNulty got as anxious as this to answer a question in class, whenever he started calling out and waving his arms in the air to attract the teacher’s attention, the rest of us in the lower-fifth at St Mary’s would do our utmost to thwart him.
The boys in the front rows would try to obscure his waving hands by raising their desk lids while the rest of us would start up a low moaning noise in an attempt to drown out his voice or would all raise our hands simultaneously so as to suggest that there was nothing at all special about his knowing the answer to this particular question. Look. We all know it.
If McNulty was eventually selected by the teacher to answer the question then he might well find that he had to do so from a desk that as the result of successive toe-punts from the boys who sat alongside him, was now positioned in the middle of the aisle that ran between the other rows.
Neither was it unusual for McNulty to find, after he’d briefly stood up to answer the question, that his desk had been moved away from under him as he spoke and had to be retrieved from the clutches of a neighbouring boy. Full story.