New Recruits

‘All right you filthy maggots! Line up, go on, get in a line! What’re you doing there, sonny? Get in line – no, no, don’t push in there, go to the back! I said go to the back! You’ll be the last to get food tonight, so you’d better ‘ope the rest of the brats leave you something to chew on!

‘Now then, let’s ‘ave a look at you all. Oh, they’ve brought me a right ‘orrible lot this time, ‘aven’t they? No wonder nobody loves you lot – oh, look, tears! Wipe your eyes and get to the back of the queue, go on. Move it!

‘Listen up! My name is Mister Whitaker, but you’ll call me “Sir”. When you answer my questions, you’ll say “Yes, Sir” or “No, Sir” or “Sorry, Sir”. And if I ‘aven’t asked you a question, then you’ll keep your trap shut! Are we clear, hmm?’

‘Yes, Sir.’

‘And let’s keep it that way! Anyone ‘oo doesn’t know ‘ow to stick to the rules’ll meet the end of my belt. Is that clear?’

‘Yes, Sir.’

‘Well, thank goodness for that. The last lot were a disaster! Mind you, some o’ you lot don’t look much better. He looks a mess. Look at him! Are you still crying at the back there? Dry those tears and get inside, come on, all of you, stay in line and head over to the table for some soup.

‘Now, there’s a lot o’ you here, and there are two things that I ain’t made of: money and soup. So it’s half a bowl each and a roll of bread. Hold up your bowl, now, sonny … and move along and take your bread from the end o’ the table. Jeez! Do you even know ‘ow to use a spoon? People’d think you were raised in a zoo! Go on over there, sit down on the floor, and let the next one get some.

‘Oh, look here, look here now. It’s Mister I-Can’t-Stand-In-A-Line and Miss Crybaby. What a shame – no soup or rolls left for you two! You can lick the pan and spoon clean if you want – go on then, take ’em. Well? What’re you looking at me for? Go and sit down with the others.

‘Well now that you’ve all eaten, you can get off to bed. Go on, lie down there – here, there’s a few o’ these blankets for you. I guess you’ll all have to huddle together if you wanna keep warm, won’t you? Go on kid, like I said, I ain’t made o’ money. And I ain’t made o’ blankets either!

‘What. Is. This? What’ve you done? Nobody ever taught you to go to the bathroom, huh? Had to wet the bed, did you? Get up, get up, go over there and lean over the desk, looks like it’s time to take off the belt and teach you a lesson already …’


Author’s note: this was how the teacher greeted the class at the beginning of my first drama lesson.

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