© Bruce Goodman 18 November 2022
“Why do they say we live on the Blue Planet when it’s grey and overcast most of the time, and the sea is grey and dull, and it’s so misty I can hardly drive the car on the grey highway amidst the grey landscape?”
Clearly the children’s teacher was in a bad mood. These days Ms Atholby was frequently in a bad mood. Her boyfriend had proposed marriage and she had said “No!” Why people still went for these old-fashioned, dated practices she had no idea. They had lived together for three years so why get married?
“And so children you’ve only got to look out the window to know that the climate has already changed. When I was younger it was sunny most days. Now it’s all drizzle and piffle.”
Most in the class didn’t know what “piffle” meant. Sophia thought it sounded like a swear word. Nicholas agreed. He had heard his mother use the word “piffle” quite often, especially when she was talking about his father’s sister, Aunty Autumn. “Piffle” and “Twaddle” – they were both swear words.
“You see class,” continued Ms Atholby, “a lot of people think that climate change is a load of twaddle, but that’s hogwash.”
This was proof enough for the young students. “Piffle”, “Twaddle” and now “Hogwash” were all swear words and to be whispered in the playground.
“You hear so much hogwash from climate change deniers these days.”
Naughty Dominic called out “TWADDLE!” and the whole class laughed.
Ms Atholby put the class on detention. How she wished she’d said yes to the marriage proposal.
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