Celtic Illumination, part 41, hanging around in toilets with boys
Most of you will already know that a twelve or thirteen year old boy in a toilet block with a hacksaw blade is not a very good idea. This chap decided that he would pull a practical joke on the next person to use a certain toilet. These were the type of toilets that had a cistern at head height and a chain you would pull to operate the flush. The boy sawed a notch in the down pipe and inserted a sliver of plastic into the notch, now, if a person was to operate the flush they would be showered with water.
This idea created another and a second boy took the hacksaw blade and sawed through the securing bolts that held a roller towel to the wall knowing that the next person to use the roller towel would pull the unit from the wall. The third boy took the blade and went to the block of six, three against three, sinks in the centre of the block. These sinks had standard pressure release taps. You pressed down on the tap and water would flow from the tap which would gradually release and stop the water flow. He sawed through the knuckle, probably inspired by the boy who had sawed through the downpipe from the cistern, blocked the outlet with toilet paper so now when you pressed the tap the water showered upwards .
We all thought it a great laugh and I honestly, honestly, had nothing to do with any of the vandalism that occurred that day. The three boys were only evading one class so at the appropriate bell they went back to their respective classrooms I however remained in the toilet block. The Wee Scut called in on one of his patrols and caught me. He made me stand in the centre of the toilet block as he inspected the toilet block for any other boys. He noticed the water on the floor and began to inspect the facilities more closely. Once the damage had been uncovered it was assumed that I was the culprit.
I was marched off to the president’s office and the interrogation began. There was no proof that I had committed the damage but they persisted in accusing me that I had. They reminded me that as a matter of honour I should admit to what I had done, plus it was a sin to tell a lie. It is what a young gentleman would do, tell the truth and shame the devil. I kept telling them that I had nothing to do with the damage; this they said was a lie, which of course was a sin!!! Had they known then that I was a prospective Master Candle maker they would have known that lying was not in my nature.
They had sent for my parents. It wasn’t the first time they had sent for my parents. Once, during a midterm break I had gone back to Belfast for a long weekend. I didn’t really look forward to these trips home. During my first year I had got into the house in Belfast stood in front of the fire to warm myself and my father asked to count to one hundred in Latin. I couldn’t, so I spent the rest of that weekend in my bedroom with a Latin text book.
This time I was more careful. My sister by now was fluent in French and as I had a lengthy French essay to produce, I asked her to do it for me. It took her a matter of minutes I had thought it would give me a bit of peace and quiet for a couple of days from the French tutor. How wrong was I? I wasn’t aware but they had called for my parents and only when they arrived at the school was I brought forward. The Wee Scut shook the offending essay in front of my parents and I was accused of being a cheat. A young gentleman would never cheat; this was a terrible breach of the school etiquette.
I explained that my sister had written the essay for me and thought that would be the end of it but the Wee Scut thought he saw an opportunity and began to inform my parents that I might not be cut out for Violent Hell. My father, and this is only one of two times that he ever stuck up for me, asked if they actually knew what my IQ was. When informed, you could see that the formula of highly intelligent boy and proven top academic school wasn’t computing in this fellows brain, all he knew is that I was a bad lot and that was the end of it.