We used to gather in the hall and sing the hymns that popped up on the overhead projector. For a start, I was terribly envious of the people who got to change the plasticy sheet thing- I was sat on the floor with all the other unwashed masses of children whilst the chosen ones got to stand on the stage and flick between the plastic sheets. How I hated them. Either way, assembly at Junior School was always calamitous. After the lacklustre drone of ‘Good morning everybody’- possibly the most impersonal and uncongenial method of greeting ever devised, the head teacher would light a candle and get us all to say a prayer. It wasn’t even a Christian school, and even as a small child I was overwhelmed with how distinctly ridiculous the whole charade was, but the thing I did love about morning assemblies were the stories. The nonsensical, ridiculous stories.
These are just a small selection of the tales we used to be told, which probably go some way to explaining why I spend my time drawing bunnies with fangs. I hope that you enjoy, and that you aren’t too disturbed by the dire state of British education at the end of it all.
The Delivery Man
Image from Google
A delivery man in those ol’ medieval times was told by his King to take a parcel to the castle at the top of a mountain. As the man sets off up the mountain full of hope, the villagers comment amongst themselves in classical ‘suspicious villager’ mode, that he will never reach the top, as no-one had ever done so before.
He valiantly sets off, but soon encounters a problem. A witch appears (it’s fine, it’s in medieval times) and tells him that he will never reach the top and that he should give up. He shrugs off the green harbinger of doom and whining- much to the applause of the children listening to the story- and continues up the mountain. He walks for hours, days, yet each time he looks up at his destination the castle seems to get further away. The witch appears again and does a little cackle and tells him to give up. For weeks he walks, desperate to fulfil his promise to his King, yet he begins to feel weary and he still never gets any closer. The witch is always by his side and eventually he succumbs to her whims; he is much too exhausted. He knows he will never get there.
He does the only thing he can now do, and admits defeat. He swallows his pride and turns back to make his way down the mountain and… ALL OF A SUDDEN HE’S AT THE CASTLE! He’s very happy as he gets to deliver the parcel and eventually makes his way home, much to the pleasure of his King and his smelly wife, and whatnot.
The Moral of the Story: GIVE UP. What the fuck though, really?! The story essentially says that no matter how hard you try, you’re never going to get to where you want to be, but if you listen to the lazy arsehole inside, you’re bound to get somewhere. But not only that: it tells us to actively reject any notion we have of doing anything proactive because it will make you all tired and sweaty, and you’re probably going to be trapped on a mountain and get eaten by a bear. Or something. It also tells us to listen to strangers who randomly appear and laugh in your face, which is apparently totally normal.
Whenever I think about this story, my mind implodes slightly from its absolute senselessness. I can barely fathom the reason for ever telling anyone this story, let alone a child, and the fact that this was shared in an educational environment makes me choke slightly on my own saliva, through intense giggling. But why are you even still reading this? You should just give up and wait for a llama that shits out hamburgers to arrive or something. Which is clearly what everyone wants, and is absolutely achievable through engaging in the strenuous activity of sweet fuck all.
Part II coming tomorrow…