It’s All In The Nickname

Public schools, the breeding ground of our future leaders, captains of industry and an elite who will save us the energy of thinking for ourselves while they subliminally mould us into acquiescence.

Let me begin by saying, as a man who was educated at comprehensive schools in 1970’s Gateshead, in the north east of England, I have no experience at all of what a public school education looks or feels like.

I’ve heard there is a strong smell of TCP, linseed oil and entitlement throughout the hallowed corridors of our elite educational institutions. Although the person who told me that had never been inside a public school either, so it’s probably bollocks!

To clarify this isn’t some ‘working class hero’ rant at those who’ve had the privilege of expensive tutorage. Far from it, I realise (probably too late) of the pleasure you can get from broadening your mind and I envy to some extent those who passed through these establishments. 

I’d guess my grammar would be a lot better if I’d have attended the Paragon of Virtue public school in Deckham, but would I have met such good characters as Spats, The Enforcer and Jason Bourne.

Incidentally, the Jason Bourne who attended my secondary school wasn’t the fictional character portrayed with gusto in the movies by Matt Damon. If he had of attended Breckenbeds, I’d doubt his Gateshead council education would have resulted with him a role in the CIA…. You never know though!

No, this Jason Bourne was a kid from Bensham whose family were so poor they shared the same pair of dentures. These aids to food breaking had been purchased from a church ‘Bring & Buy’ sale by his granddad Stan.

Bourne’s family took it in turns to eat meals with these ill fitting false teeth. The last person to use them not only had the coldest tea, but also the ignominy of having to remove any supper debris with Stan’s pipe cleaning knife.

Jason has the misfortune of having to share these dentures for a short while after losing his teeth in a fight during rugby lessons. This scrap occurred during a scrum after he took exception to being called a “smelly, ugly, unhygienic, thick shite!”……. It was one hell of a fight during which Jason lost his teeth and the teacher lost his job for inciting his pupil.

During the time he was missing teeth, he could only eat soup at school dinner time (as the dentures stayed at home). This caused him the occasional problem, such as the day they ran out of clean bowls and he received his meal in a napkin.

This resulted in him carrying a cloth serviette full of leaking soup to our dining table in the school canteen. When he got to his seat most of his hot liquid refreshment had been spilled, leaving only a napkin heavily stained in tomato soup.

It was the first and only time I’ve ever witnessed anybody attempt to gain nourishment by sucking tomato (or indeed any other flavour) soup out of a serviette.

Tomato soup serving suggestion. Use a bowl not a napkin!

Image result for tomato soup

Spats was a different creature to Bourne. His family were quite well to do for Gateshead and were the only family on the Chowdene estate with two cars. As no one in Spats’ family could drive it was seen by many on the estate as a blatant act of showing off their wealth, winning them few friends.

I don’t recall how he got the name Spats. It certainly wasn’t because he adorned his Chelsea boots with spats. Jason Bourne claimed he got the nickname as his mum worked in a Post Office and “Spats is nearly stamps spelt backwards!”

However, I suspect that is incorrect because his mum worked in a bakers and there isn’t an ‘m’ in Spats either so it doesn’t spell stamps backwards! If he’d had the nickname Snub (buns spelt backwards) I’d have been more inclined to go with the mum’s occupation theory put forward by Jason.

Spats -If written backwards it nearly spells stamps!

Image result for spats

The Enforcer received his nickname due to his dad being a policeman. The people who made up his nickname  obviously took the decision not to reverse his name as was alleged with Spats’. I can only conclude that was the result of deciding that Recrofene sounded too much like a headache medication than a half decent sobriquet.

What would our future leaders and captains of industry, with their privileged private educations have made of these characters? Probably nothing, I assume they will have their own bunch of eccentric characters amongst them, only with smarter uniforms and a better grasp of Latin.

The only real difference between their peers and Spats, The Enforcer and Jason Bourne was the environment they were born into. Their biology is the same (although one might be slightly more inbred than the other).

Had the three lads from dysfunctional north eastern families had the luck of being born into a life where they could all afford false teeth, eat soup from a bowl, owned driving licences and had better nicknames, who knows how different their lives might have been!

If their sobriquets had been Tarquers, Woofer or Ten Guineas, instead of Spats and the Enforcer would they have been given a more opportunities to enhance their existence?! Would their dentures cost the equivalent of a Faberge egg?…… And more importantly have you just broke wind?!

No point in dwelling on the obvious answers to my rhetorical questions above, apart from the last comment you disgusting article….. Blimey, it appears I’ve been subliminally brainwashed into just accepting the status quo!

Incidentally, apologies to anyone who was eating while reading the paragraphs above on shared false teeth above!

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