There was I, spreading happiness and light about the grounds when I was approached by a student wielding a large medical swabbing stick and a Petri dish.
“Mr P?” asked he
“Yes my young hope for the future!” sayeth I.
“We are doing a biological experiment.”
“And a jolly good thing too. Students should do such things I believe.”
“Speak up chappy!”
“Don’t delay young man. Youth is a precious thing.”
“We..that is, I, was wondering if…”
“Yeeees?” I looked meaningfully over the rims of my glasses
“Can we test your beard for bacteria?”
Now I have been asked many things in my life, but not to offer up my beard for scientific experimentation. It seemed the biology class had been sent out to test common items around the grounds for the level of bacteria on them. Aside from my beard obviously being ranked a “common item” I had many other real objections to having my head being tested for bacteria (good or bad).
Not wanting to crush the child’s spirit I declined firmly but kindly and directed him to the door knob of the Deputy Headmaster’s office assuring him that it was probably covered in the most noxious bacteria from the hands of the many reprobates who were obliged to use it prior to being expelled.
He took the hint and left.
Now I am petrified that my beard may be a seething nest of horrors.
Another joy of being an educator.