07 November 2019
By Neil Tidmarsh
Come in, young Wallop, come in. So you’re after some careers advice, are you? Well, you’ve come to the right place, I am the school’s careers officer, after all.
Thank you, headmaster, I think I can take it from here. Oh, if you could just unlock those handcuffs before you go. No, wait, let me empty his pockets first. Let’s see, young Wallop, what have you got in here? A black Balaclava helmet. A box of matches. A hammer. A knuckle-duster. A knife. An air pistol. My word, Wallop, what a lot of kit you’ve managed to stow away inside your blazer.
You aren’t going to try anything silly now the handcuffs are off, are you? After all, I’m still in possession of that tazer Miss Williams confiscated from you last week. Jolly good. Sit down, then. Let’s make a start.
I have your school records on screen here. Your CV, your reports. Let’s have a look. Qualifications: GCSE passes – none; S level passes – none; A level passes – none. An ‘E’ in metalwork, you say? I don’t think that really counts, do you? I see you’ve been with us here at the Academy for only two terms. Before that you were at St Edmund’s – where you were expelled for burning down the tents during a Duke of Edinburgh’s expedition. And before that you were at Aston High – where you were expelled for shooting at the deputy head’s dog with an air rifle. And before that you were at Aston Secondary Modern – where you were expelled for posting an envelope full of – ugh, how disgusting – through the headmistress’s letter box (well, at least there was no problem taking a DNA sample from that delivery, identifying you as the culprit).
And your record since you’ve been here at the Academy… let’s see… You were excluded for a week last term for extorting dinner money from first formers (you threatened to do what to them?). Excluded for another week for bullying second formers. And you’ve just returned from another week’s exclusion for trying to smash the head girl’s tiara with a hammer at the school prom. You only managed to hit yourself on the thumb, did you? Well, perhaps if you’d paid more attention during your GCSE Woodwork classes you’d have learnt how to avoid such workplace accidents.
Right, here’s a report from your form master – “Wallop is the worst pupil I’ve ever come across. He is stupid, aggressive, violent, lazy, selfish, sadistic, greedy and careless. He is extremely unpopular with his classmates. They have every reason to dislike him. As for his prospects – they are completely hopeless. He is surely destined to be one of life’s losers. I predict a future of unsuccessful petty crime lived mostly in one of HM’s prisons at the expense of the UK tax payer.”
Have you given any thought to a possible career, Wallop? The Armed Forces, you say? Well, I’m afraid the modern soldier has to be intelligent as well as strong – all that hi-tech weaponry, you understand. And I really don’t think you’d take to the discipline, do you?
But don’t despair. I disagree whole-heartedly with your form master. I predict a brilliant future for you. You are indeed fortunate to live in these present times – there’s a huge demand for men of your calibre all around today’s world. There are massive career opportunities out there for thugs like yourself. Foreign travel, generous remuneration, job satisfaction, apparent immunity from the law. Stable, reliable employment – might even come with an enviable pension scheme. Here, I’ve put together a brochure for you. Look at these case studies (job descriptions, if you like):
“Hong Kong: Last month, a gang of at least four hammer-wielding men attacked protest leader Jimmy Sham. It wasn’t the first time Mr Sham, a leading figure in the pro-democracy demonstrations, had been assaulted. His assailants left him lying in the road, bleeding. He was taken to hospital with head injuries. Three months earlier, at Yuen Long railway station, a mob of at least one hundred men armed with iron bars and wooden clubs attacked protesters returning from a demonstration. Forty-five people were injured. The victims also included civilians not involved in the protests.
Lebanon: Last week, following two weeks of demonstrations by more than a million anti-corruption and anti-government protesters, a crowd of black-clad men attacked a protest camp in Martyr’s Square, Beirut, beating demonstrators and burning down their tents.
Iraq: Masked men dressed in black fired tear gas and live rounds at protesters camping out in Education Square in Karbala this week. At least 18 people were killed and hundreds wounded. More than 240 people have been killed since anti-government protests, demonstrating against corruption and Iran’s influence, broke out earlier in the month.
Russia: Masked men reportedly threw buckets and bags full of shit over anti-government activists on the streets of Moscow prior to the recent municipal elections. The activists were trying to collect signatures to qualify opposition politician Lyubov Sobol as a candidate for a seat in the Moscow Duma. Ms Sobol is an aid to anti-Kremlin activist and politician Alexei Navalny, who has himself been attacked on more than one occasion – he was violently attacked at Anapa airport three years ago (a colleague was taken to hospital) and he’s had a bright green anti-septic die thrown in his face twice in the last two years, a painful assault which inflicted a chemical burn to one eye.
Venezuela: “Colectivos” – armed and motorbike-riding gangs of pro-Maduro militants – have been helping the security forces to violently suppress pro-Guaido and anti-regime protests and demonstrations across the country. Wearing black and often masked, they operate with apparent impunity.”
So there you are, Wallop, today’s world is your oyster. So leave these premises immediately, please, and go forth and gather those tainted pearls. You’ll forgive me for not shaking your hand as you leave. I’m sure you won’t be surprised to hear that you wouldn’t be welcome at any of the school’s reunions. And you’re unlikely to be invited to give the prizes away at speech day, no matter how successful you are in your new career. So goodbye, young Wallop, and good luck. Sorry, I mean, good riddance.