Friday, 3 February 2012


I read a report in the paper the other day highlighting an apparent outbreak of tourette's-like symptoms in teenagers across a region of America.  At first i read it with interest before realising this could be the latest ploy by school kids to see how far they could push the teachers!  If this is legitimate then we have had the problem in our own towns and cities since before i was born.  I base this on the fact that kids of a certain age, which seems to be getting lower and lower, are regularly littering their sentences with profanities and verbal filth.  It appears that "acceptable" types of swearing are on the increase more and more.  Possibly in the not too distant future there will be more expletives than normal language!  Either that or they are just practicing for when they are older and take up D.I.Y, like myself.  I find that the more serious outbreaks usually occur when a screw or fitting is clearly made wrong or doesn't understand that it's only role in life is to do as its told and " JUST. **CK**G. FIT!"

However, the vision i have of school kids swearing randomly and then trying to suggest to teachers they have a legitimate reason, due to the outbreak of "tourettitus" or the highly infectious "tourettes by proxy" reminded me of some of the thing SOME school children used to do to irritate teachers and avoid direct responsibility:

"The Hummm."
At first it is almost undetectable but soon it rises, spreading throughout the room until eventually the teacher believes the sound is in their own head.  Some experts in the field even perfected the technique of producing the noise from the back of the nose, thereby becoming capable of opening the mouth so it would appear impossible that they were part of this crescendo of irritating buzzing.

"The Cough."
Sometimes this would be inadvertently started by a genuine cough. After the second or third cough, many more "throat clearances" would follow.  These would range from the slight clearance of phlegm to the huge smokers-like-totally-over-the-top hack, though this was only done at huge risk by the individual risking discovery. Eventually this may have even turned into a "last cough", as in who will cough last, very similar to.......

"The Clap."
No sexual jokes here please.  This is a genuine title that many of you will recognise.  It describes the attempt to have the last clap during a round of applause and has almost no weakness.  This is because it is started genuinely (and usually by a mature adult) as an honest gesture of appreciation. The clapping generally fades out until only the most hardcore of challengers remain. It has echos of an auction by now, the odd clap coming from the few left, as if calling out a new bid, waiting nay hoping that theirs is the final coming together of now sweaty palms. I am sure i read somewhere that the greatest gap between claps was 5 minutes...

At this point i do need to make it clear that i never was part of any of the above scenarios and ....oh nose appears to be growing....

1 comment:

  1. I like those three definitions a lot...took me back to my secondary school days. The Hummmm in particular! Keep up the good work.