Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Raspberries, Gurning, Paintballs and May Queens

While introducing my Paintball Gove game to a Year 8 class today I mused as to why humans always feel the need to blow raspberries at authority figures. I supposed that it was the same impulse that made students pull faces behind their teachers' back.
 "Oh Sir" one protested, with leaden sarcasm, "We don't do things like that..."
"Well you must be the first generation of schoolkids in history who don't!" I  responded.

When I was a child my Grandma Kate recounted how she had once pulled a face at a teacher who had told her off for some minor misdemeanour. Unfortunately the teacher caught her in the act and reprimanded her yet more strongly. Kate protested,
"But the sun was in my eyes Miss".
Driven to a rage by her cheek, the teacher cried,
"Kate Presland! You shan't be Queen of the May!

And that was more than a hundred years ago.

Footnote:
As a result of this story a family saying grew up, for use whenever feeling hard-done-by,
"Well, you won't be Queen of the May"...