Lesson of a Lifetime


Folks, with the kids back at school, grandparents around the country are flopping into their recliners and breathing a massive sigh of relief.

Actually, I didn’t mind returning to school as a lad, it was a chance to catch up with mates and to compare scars. Because, if you hadn’t been hurt during the break, then it couldn’t have been much of a holiday.

Anyway, going to school was an education, but I also received some lessons I never forgot. Especially as I got older and, like all teenage boys, became increasingly interested in biology, to the point of obsession in some cases.

Notably, I recall the day when we were handed a scalpel, and a rat pinned to a foam board, and were told we were going to dissect it. Happily, the rat was dead, so we weren’t asked to murder it in the name of science.

Anyway, as I was about to make my first incision, another biological specimen I’d been studying in secret for some time appeared in a cloud of perfume at my side; let’s call her Naomi. Oddly, Naomi normally wouldn’t have looked sideways at me if I’d been on fire, but here she was now smiling coyly and pressing against my arm, and it was all I could do to keep the scalpel falling out of my sweaty paw.

“Greg, I can’t cut this poor mousey up, can you do it for me?” she breathed through her perfect teeth. Well, with Naomi’s shampoo wafting through my flaring nostrils, I carved that rat up with an efficiency that would have left a fishwife gobsmacked. Afterwards, I twirled my scalpel like a veteran gunfighter and squeaked, “There you go little lady.”

The smile vanished from Naomi’s face faster than a rare frog who has seen a scientist with a net, and she flounced back the cool girls’ table laughing, “See, I told you I could get some idiot to do it for me!”

I felt about as gutted as the poor rat splayed out in front of me, but it was a lesson I never forgot.

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