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(original Broadway windowcard: Wikipaedia)


Oh look!  Here comes Peabrain Minor’s mater, alias Head of The Grievance

Committee, expostulated Virginia Fisher-Gyles, PA to The Headmaster of

St Birinus Middle School.

Late again, commented Mr Augustus Snodbury, Senior Master, on his way

to Registration via his partner’s office.

The aforementioned parent hopped out of her 4×4, still in a onesie, or

her pyjamas.

Gives a new aspect to the adjective ‘deshabille’, he added. Mind you, I

wouldn’t mind if you turned up for work in that rather fetching negligee

which the saleswoman persuaded me was entirely appropriate as a Christmas

gift for a friend.  I think you would make a better understudy for Shirley

Maclaine than Mrs P does.

Let’s be professional. Virginia stood on her principles- as well as her

four inch stilettos.

Oh, the subjunctive- and so early in the morning, quipped Snod.

You say ‘pyjamas’ and I say ‘pajamas’, countered Virginia, closing the

conversation and starting to hum ‘I’m not at all in Love.’

The Carry On Teaching vision with choreography by Fosse faded from

his magisterial brain, but not before he had noted the similarity

between Virginia’s embonpoint and that of a certain fictional Gladys

Hotchkiss.  Yes, they no longer produced the great musicals of

yesteryear. That Lloyd Webber character…  Sigh.

(Does anyone out there recognise the etymology of ‘magisterial’ ??

Are we all going to adjust our spelling to ‘ognon‘?)  The Editor.

There was a peremptory rap at the door.

Enter! boomed Virginia.

Peabrain Minor’s mother appeared in her usual matitutinal


I’ve just brought a bag with a change of clothes for Noah, if I could

leave it in The Office for him, she announced.

Oh, we are a Left Luggage Establishment now, Snod thought, but

didn’t remark aloud.  That was a forbearance that he had learned

from Virginia, in the course of their relationship.

I’m afraid I don’t quite understand, said Virginia.

Well, it’s just for the lesson after break.  Noah doesn’t respond well

to formal learning strategies and, if Mr Snodbury doesn’t mind, my

son would be more comfortable in his jim-jams.  Oh, Mr Snodbury!

She had just noticed the schoolmaster lurking behind the door.

Ah, his namesake was quite comfortable with appearing in a

Post-Diluvian Apocalyptic public space au naturel, Mrs P, Snod

pontificated. But, unfortunately, even the members of the patriarch’s

family took exception to his informal, nay  casual,  plein-air approach.

I take it that that’s a ‘no’ then, Sir?

She left, with the Waitrose bag of clothing, looking rather


Not exactly Doris Day, said Snod in his habitual report-speak.

But more intelligent than you’d think.

Doris Day - 1957.JPG