I’ve blogged about my school days in a previous entries here and here but I was asked why I am so mischievous and is it all down to my mother and it turns out it’s not all down to just her, it seems I may have to blame my chemistry teacher as well.
Perhaps I better explain.
The secondary school I went to was more like a Borstal/Reform School/Prison and it was a very tough school, the teachers were pretty brutal and when they said jump you shouted “Yes Sir how high Sir!” However, in fourth form the Chemistry teacher left and the school got a new teacher in the name of Raymond Blair. Ramie Blair looked like he had just stepped out of a Scooby Doo cartoon, he was an unreformed hippy, long curly hair and he kind’a didn’t follow any rules – ever.
During our first month with him we found out that he and the French teacher, Miss Roberson had done the dirty deed in the store cupboard. We also found out that he and the Physics teacher spent most evening smoking weed and blowing it out via the fume cupboard. He also told us about the time he got struck by lightning in the Alps and lived (obviously), and that he used to be a roadie for Led Zeppelin. He was meant to be teaching us chemistry but one afternoon he took us all in the school mini-bus (there was only nine of us doing chemistry that year) to Helens Bay and we spent the afternoon messing around at the beach whilst he went swimming in the sea. I’m not actually sure if he brought swimming trunks or just swan in his underwear.. After that we always brought our swimming trucks to chemistry. We got to use them, more than once.
He used to play this trick on us when we were concentrating on some experiment on the workbenches, he would come along and bash the underside of the bench with a big hammer and we’d nearly have a heart attack. Bastard.
One afternoon when we were meant to go into the classroom he came out into the corridor and instructed us to come in very quietly and as we came in the previous class also left quietly. One of the pupils had fallen asleep at the back of the class so he left him sleeping there and we went in and he started the lesson. Eventually the kid woke up and realised that he was in a room full of strangers and was utterly confused. We all laughed.
Ramie Blair was entrusted with taking thirty of us on a ski-ing holiday to Italy, there was the Physics teacher as well so it was bound to be OK, wasn’t it? We arrive at the resort and there wasn’t a drop of snow so he told us all to sit together and think think think snow, so much snow that we could hardly open the doors. We all laughed at him but he insisted and we all sat there (in the bar!) praying for snow. We went to bed and next morning there was so much snow we could hardly open the hotel doors! We were totally amazed!
We vaguely remember seeing Ramie at breakfast time and that was it until next morning so we spent a lot of time falling down the nursery slopes during the day and drinking really cheap wine all night long, there was about 20 of us boys in each dorm and I’m pretty sure we never went to sleep before daybreak for the entire week. Ramie joined us most nights and told us stories about his LSD days. Did you know that LSD stays in your system for a few days and even after a few weeks afterwards you still have the odd whooaa moment but the strange thing is, if you eat just a tiny piece of chocolate the effects of LSD are completely nullified, it’s like an instant cure.
Needless to say none of us passed Chemistry.
(but since then I’ve been dying to try LSD!)