1981 was a cold winter and it had been snowing for the last few days. Leaving for school one morning I noticed some huge icicles hanging from our garage roof. I got my Dad to break one off for me so I could carefully carry it to school to show everyone. However, on arriving at the school gates with the precious foot-long icicle wrapped in paper under my arm, my instinct for showmanship got the better of me, and I thought “wouldn’t it be better to wait til lunchtime and get the teacher to do a special announcement?”.
I thought of the professionalism that my teacher could lend to the occasion, she was good at that. She’d probably gather the class round and do a speech, and then the grand unveiling to amazed gasps and wondrous eyes. There would probably also be a round of applause for me, for having a garage that got ace big icicles on it sometimes. So I waited.
The morning passed more or less without incident – Rebecca knelt on a drawing pin, Shaun locked Lewis in a cupboard, Euan spelt his name wrong again. As lunchtime approached I decided my public had waited long enough, and I went to Mrs Paisley’s desk to tell her the good news and hear how she wanted to organise the unveiling.
“Mrs Paisley, I’ve got a really big icicle and I’d like you to show it to everyone please.”
“Really? Where is it?”
“In my bag. I brought it in this morning”
Far from being impressed, she seemed concerned. Probably jealous, I thought, as I followed her over to the cloakroom. She picked up my bag from the small puddle that had formed around it, and opened it for me to see inside – No icicle, just the wet newspaper I’d wrapped it in.
She started explaining what had happened but by that point I wasn’t listening, I was introducing new parts of my brain to each other and making them promise they’d stay in touch.