Dumbstruck by ' Village Teens' Failure to Make the Grade'

Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England), September 2, 2012 | Go to article overview

Dumbstruck by ' Village Teens' Failure to Make the Grade'


Byline: MIKE LOCKLEY

THE stench of cordite hangs heavy over the parish school following news that all seven of our teenagers - the acne-riddled future of this community - have failed their GCSE English exam on a technicality.

They can't read or write.

It's nitpicking, frankly. Such eye for detail wasn't evident last year when all five village juveniles passed with flying colours, including Darren 'Six Fingers' Trubshaw whose signature is a simple 'X'. He got an A* for artistic interpretation after adorning his 'X' with a doodled climbing rose.

He's come on a bundle since the unexpected exam success.

"You know the one fundamental question I ask myself when confronted by the works of Danish philosopher Kierkegaard?" he mumbled. "Do you spell it with a kicking 'kur' or a curly 'kur'?" Thanks to an extremely lenient examination board, one of our own - a lad who left school barely able to sign a cheque - is now head of the parish library. "Have you got On The Road by Jack Kerouac?" I asked yesterday.

"Dunno," he sniffed, "what does it smell like?" "Why weren't we told," demanded Mary Biggins, her face flushed with anger, during a hastily arranged meeting with education chiefs at the Assembly Rooms, "that this year they've moved the goalposts, that these young people would lose marks for not being able to spell their own names? Lucky "Why weren't we told this year that our kids had to do more than put their lucky gonks on the desk to earn an A?" A legion of spud-pickers, poachers, thatchers, rat-catchers, beaters, willow weavers, coopers, muck-spreaders, pheasant pluckers and ferreters stood up and applauded loudly.

Poultry farmer Ted 'One Eye' Warner stood up and scanned dignitaries on the top table with his working, yellowed optic. "Never did bother with school," he drawled. "Never did bother with readin' and 'rithmetic, let alone them fancy O Levels."

"Never held me back," he grinned. "Know how many turkeys I plucked this morning? Four thousand, one hundred and fortythree!" An embarrassed youth tugged One Eye's grubby sleeve and whispered: "You miscounted, dad. It was 14."

"I have got to tell my daughter Donna," spat out Mrs Biggins, "that she is a failure. As a mother, how do you think that makes me feel?" Donna - heavy with gamekeeper Dwayne's child - lisped: "What does 'failure' mean, mum?" Mrs Biggins ignored the plea. …

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