Chapter 5: Sports Day

The inter-school sports day was held every year. The day before, Mr Allen had cut out an "S" for "Springhill" in red material. We were to get our mothers to sew it onto a white singlet.

The next morning the bus arrived at home to pick us up. Mum had sewn the S on from the inside. It was back to front on the outside.

"Ha! Ha! Ha!" laughed the bus. We had to rush inside for Mum to do a quick change over.

When we arrived at Waipawa School, everyone from the other schools shouted "Hey! What's the S stand for? Sausage?" In those days such things mattered. It was not going to be a good day.

The thing was, I wanted to go to the toilet - "Front Ways". I asked someone where the toilet was and they said, "Down there". So I went "Down there" and couldn't find it any where. In fact I spent the entire morning going "Down there". Back and forth, back and forth.

Race time came and we were made to sit in rows according to age. The wait was forever. I was desperate, desperate, desperate. I briefly thought about getting it out and weeing as we sat cross-legged on the grass.

Desperate! The lines moved forward. Only three races to go.

"On your marks! Ready! Set! Go!"

Desperate! Desperate! Only two races to go.

"On your marks! Ready! Set! Go!"

Desperate! Desperate! Desperate! Only one race to go.

"On your marks! Ready! Set! Go!"

My race. "On your marks!"

Hurry! Hurry!

"Ready! Set!"

Hurry! Please! Hurry!


I took off at the speed of light. In slow motion an onlooker would've noticed a dark patch appearing on the front of my little grey trousers. But it wasn't slow motion, it was gigantically fast. It was a run, a race, a river. The whole world watched my world crash. If only I had black trousers! But no! They were light grey - once all over.

I do not know if I won the race for I did not stop. I ran all the way to the macrocarpa tree where I had left my things. All afternoon I sat there - far far away from the madding crowd - frantically fanning dry the patch with my sun hat.

One person stopped to talk - a girl from another school. I put the hat over my front. "What does S mean?" she asked kindly.

"Springhill" I said.

"Oh," she said. "I thought it was Sausage".

Somehow, being called a Sausage no longer mattered. She went away.

On the bus on the way home they whispered: "Bruce Goodman wet his pants! Ha! Ha! Ha!"

Now you know why I'm not that keen on sport. Much.

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