Saturday 24 December 2022

Merry Christmas!


Thank you, again, for your excellent company this year, Dear Reader.

Here's to wishing you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Pipistrello x

Image credit: via Reddit

Thursday 8 December 2022

Public Enemies Series: Grammar v Forrest

It's a jungle out there

"Grammar Grubs! Grammar Grubs! ...", went our frantic refrain as the packed Girls' Grammar School bus sailed past our bus stop of a morning. The posh tinies at the Church of England school became momentarily like rabid, small green dogs as they pressed their sweetly snarling faces against the glass and clambered over each other to stand on seats, squeezing their rosebud lips into the sliding openings atop the windows to scream back their abuse, "Forrest Frogs! Forrest Frogs! ..."

And so went the morning ritual. As far as insults go, "frog" didn't really sting (and who ever heard of a red and yellow frog?) as it was merely an alliterative rejoinder to the Grammar girls' much more scornful label "grubs", for they were clad all over in larval-green. But it was a time-honoured ritual, nonetheless, passed along to the emerging generations of children along the primary schools' bus route in Our Nation's Capital, like all playground traditional knowledge.

There was a bus for a local Catholic primary school, too, but since our driver most often scooped us up before their frazzled driver passed us on his route, we only occasionally got to yell at them and the mysterious Catholic epithet was never thus ingrained into memory.

No girls from the Grammar school used the bus stop at the end of our street, as it was merely walking distance to their school at this point, so the bus was fully laden with green-girlies and on its final leg by the time it went past. In spite of the apparent avowed enmity between them and we Forrest frogs from the local public school, any grubs in the 'hood were still playmates at home.

But something tribal and territorial happened to us of a school morning. One minute you would be squatting in the dirt near an ant nest, fixated upon poking at it with a stick, or busy with hopscotch scratched onto the footpath, all childish innocence. The next we'd spring to our feet as one when their bus hove into view, screaming mayhem for the several seconds it took for the almost listing vehicle to sweep past, and then blithely turn back to whatever we were up to, Forrest's Public Enemy #1, the Grammar Grubs, immediately forgotten until the same time the next day.

Image credit: City of Sydney Archives

Bats In The Belfry