Anyway, school was the usual roundelay of reading, writing and 'riffmatic, and was therefore unremarkable until we finished the class book, bet you didn't even know we had one. For the last X weeks we've been reading Anne Frank's Diary in the little leftover windows of time at the end of the gruelling day, where we can lift our collective noses from the grindstone and enjoy some gruel. And since the girlies chose this book, it was the chappies' turn to choose the next one.
What meaningful tome could follow on from the thought-provoking diary of an innocent captive girl, condemned to die pointlessly before her story could be heard? What intellectual titan would slice the Gordian knot of opposing priorities and choose a book we all could love? And what balanced democratic system would choose a heroic elder statesman to wield the finger of ultimate power?
Well, we knew the answer to question 3. We have a plastic cup with a load of ice lolly sticks in it, with the name of one member of the class written on each, and the teacher pulled one out. It was a girl's name: as was the next, and the next. Finally, a male lolly stick was pulled from the cup of fortune, and lo and behold, it was the name of possibly the most Norbertronic sneezebucket in the whole class, and we knew we were done for, for he is a spanner, and not even an adjustable one.
So, what book did he choose? A Clockwork Lemon? Warren Peace? Tequila Mockingbird? The Blueberries of Wrath? No, we got a 10-page fairy adventure where the cathartic climax involves a fairy pulling a fallen stone off a friend who has got stuck. And, hoist by our own petard of misfortune, there was a wailing and gnashing of teeth, for we had missed our chance and the girls would be choosing the next class book again.
At home I sorted my entire collection of approximately 600 Pokémon cards into equal piles of 17 with a rarity on each pile and a stack of Code cards and Energy cards on the side. I shall give them away to deserving Pokémon players at school over the next couple of working days, because I don't collect any more and I could use the space. And maybe some new friends. I did keep my 10 rarest ones in the loft to give to my own kid, alongside my boxed collection of Mr Men books.