Saturday, December 8, 2012

Cruel Kids- Part II

I may have done my share of persecution as a kid, but sometimes I think about situations where I played victim, painful as they may be, because self-pity can be so comforting!

So this particular tragedy took place several years prior to our previous episode. It was a rainy day outside, with the sort of cold weather that lashes at your face like a whip. A group of six and seven-year-olds huddled around their teacher on the thick, soft carpet of their classroom's "book-corner". The warming radiator and the soft voice of the teacher sitting before them made them feel all cosy, tucked in safety away from the fierceness of the world outside the window.

I sat cross-legged with all my classmates on that carpet, listening intently to our form teacher and trying very hard to contain my excitement and mirror their expressions. POSTMAN PAT was coming to our school! Postman Pat with his black and white cat! 


'He's not even a real person,' said one bored boy.
'Yes, he is,' the teacher's smile remained unwavering. 'He particularly asked to see you lot. He will be telling you all about the secrets of his job, and taking individual pictures with each of you. Wouldn't you like a framed photo of you and Postman Pat?'
I noticed I was sitting up on my knees by now, and quickly re-positioned myself.

'Now what I want you to do is think about any questions you might want to ask him. Think carefully because you might not get another chance at this.'

I knew right away what I wanted to know. Everything to do with how letters my sister and I were writing to our father overseas, with lame school rhymes and crooked arabic lettering, were reaching quickly enough for him to read and reply. 'I'm going to ask him about post between different countries', I blurted out. 

'Not now...keep your questions in mind and ask Postman Pat in person.'

So a few days later, Postman Pat and his black and white cat arrived, and we all stood there shyly while he let us stroke his cat and told us all about the mail and how it worked. I kept trying to peer into the open mouth, which is where my sister had told me a disturbing night before I would find a pair of eyes of the person suffocating under a costume. 

It was finally time to ask questions. Several arms shot up in the air, including mine. 'Let's just go in order, shall we?' he said, stroking his chin and pointing at the first person in line. He continued answering questions until there was just one person in line before me. He pointed at her.

'Dear Postman Pat,' she recited loud and clear. 'I  would like to know about post between different countries.' 

'Oh, my! I was waiting for somebody to ask that question! Come here, my girl.' She sat on his lap as he delivered the explanation with renewed enthusiasm, an explanation that I was only half listening to. And then too soon it was my turn, and I stood there tongue-tied as he went, 'No question? Not curious about anything?' 

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I KNOW. It's silly and I wouldn't give it a second thought if something similar happened today. Who cares about who asked the question as long as it was answered? But seeing as how I can't look at that photograph of Postman Pat and myself in a strained smile without remembering this, I know kids can be super-sensitive sometimes.

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In other news, I read The White Tiger, The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency, and The Very Thought of You for the December 1st-3rd Read-a-thon, and have reviewed them here if anybody is interested.


10 comments:

  1. Nothing worse to be put on the spot. Especially as a child.

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  2. If you are super sensitive, you remember all those humiliating moments from childhood (and beyond). He should have just moved on and not said those hurtful words.

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  3. I know...self-pity is a terrible indulgence.
    Easiest way to produce tears!
    And about cruel kids...yeah,it's pretty direct, the way children react but I've never experienced the kind of cruelty you've had to go through...is the girl in both stories the same person?

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    1. Haha, no, different girls! I'm actually in touch with this one, no hard feelings :P

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  4. D'aw. You poor thing. For some weird reason, I really feel the pain of that situation... oh, right, flashback. It has happened to me -_-'

    But the point is, you met Postman Pat!! :O

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  5. That sounds a lot like many experiences in my childhood too! It makes my face flush just thinking about being put on the spot like that--and that girl stealing your question! I could have throttled her!!

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  6. OMG GHADEER. I'm sorry, I laughed. But I can feel your pain. I used to hate it when children did that! Everyone used to steal my ideas because I was unfortunately quite vocal about them. The part about someone suffocating inside Postman Pat's costume was hilarious!!! :P

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  7. How. Rude.

    Lol. I get worked up easily and would be just as frustrated as you were, and I'm an adult!

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  8. HAHAHA I loved this post. So funny. It's amazing how things like that can mean so much when you're young. :)

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  9. I can feel how frustrated you were, because it has happened quite a lot of times to me, too, when I was younger...

    Hey happy new year!

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