Rhyming Tourette’s

3 CHARACTERS: SCHOOL HEAD, BARTLETT (PUPIL) & ENGLISH TEACHER

FX: SCHOOL ACOUSTIC (KIDS RUNNING/SHOUTING, DOORS SLAMMING. SCHOOL BELL RINGS. EVERYTHING QUIETENS DOWN.)

HEAD: Bartlett, I thought I made it clear: any more of this means expulsion from the school.

BARTLETT: Calling me a fool?

HEAD: I’m warning you …

ENGLISH T: You see? He can’t help it. We’ve been doing so much poetry this term. He’s absorbed it too fast …

BARTLETT: Couldn’t be arsed!

ENGLISH T: [DOGGEDLY CARRYING ON] … he feels compelled to complete rhyming couplets.

BARTLETT: Pinecone chicklets!

HEAD: That doesn’t even rhyme.

ENGLISH T: He’s exploring assonance.

HEAD: It’s all very well, but I’ve had complaints. Yesterday at lunch Mr Franklin asked for mushy peas and Bartlett said he was ‘mired in sleaze’.

ENGLISH T: Well, he is Head of Politics.

BARTLETT: Lemon rubber tits!

HEAD: Shut up!

ENGLISH T: He needs help, not abuse. I feel responsible. If I hadn’t enthused so much about the metaphysical poets …

HEAD: We don’t all read Blake and get Tourette’s!

BARTLETT: Badger sex!

HEAD: Get out.

ENGLISH T: Can’t I leave him in the library for now? It’s quiet there. He can’t copy anyone.

BARTLETT: Up your bum!

HEAD: [SIGHS] All right. Let’s see if this wears off. Last chance.

ENGLISH T: Thank you. Come on, Bartlett. How about that?

BARTLETT: [LEAVING THE ROOM] What a tw –

FX: DOOR SLAMS SHUT