The International Writers Magazine: Lifestyles: School Day
Tom is a hundred years young today.
To his delight, family and friends have made him a surprise birthday
party. Everyone is sat at the large table when suddenly, great
grandson Bobby, nine years of age, stands-up and asked him...
'What is the secret to living a happy, healthy life like you grandpa?
How do you keep so cheery and youthful at a hundred years of age?'
(He was very precocious).
'Well Bobby, I have
never grown up and become a staid and somber man like people many other
people I knew. I have never looked at life as serious-minded hurdles
that needed to be tackled. I still love playing games and tricks on
folks who take life far too seriously. Let me tell you a tale when I
was your age...
'I remember, as
a cheeky kid of nine years of age, reluctantly attending school. I was
full of simple mischief and fun. Nothing in comparison to what children
do today with drugs and the like. Nonetheless, it still got me in hot
water with my teachers, but I would always own up to any impishness
I caused. This meant I spent many unhappy hours outside the headmasters
study waiting for his sadistic punishment. He was a beetroot faced character,
permeated with the wrong kind of mean spirit - Whisky, I suspected,
by his breath, but what does a nine year old kid know?
'In those days (1914) we would receive a leather strap smacked against
our hand or backside, six times. They called it 'Six of the best.' It
stung for a few minutes, but I always went out singing a nice tune,
whilst the headmaster fumed with exasperation. I remember one instance,
it was the start of a new term and we had the pleasure of a young, fresh
teacher, who the class regarded as an idiot savant ... Nicknamed, Dopey,
to us kids. It was a golden opportunity for me. Every lesson, he struggled
to teach English to a class of nine year olds, who preferred to be outside
playing games in the playground.
'One day, early in the morning lesson, I asked him if I could go see
the doctor as I felt an affliction coming on. Without question, he agreed
and as quick as Jack flash, I ran out of school. There was a great circus
and fun fair that just came in town and I wanted to enjoy the opening,the
free afternoon show.
'As I was always honest, I did go down to the doctors office, which
just happened to be around the corner to the circus. I waited in the
doctors surgery (No appointment needed those days.) He called me into
his office. I informed him "I've discovered two bumps on my head
behind my left and right ears." After a careful examination he
laughed at me. He was a good natured man and liked my sense of humor.
He declared, "You are fooling around aren't you. Those bumps have
always been there, everyone has them. You are a cheeky little juvenile.
Go home and bandage your head with vinegar and brown paper and keep
it on for a month, without that saucy smile" he laughed teasingly.
' Well, I had the day off school and on the way to the circus, a new
scheme was hatching in my cheeky mind. The next day I came to school
with my head bandaged-up and a very serious look on my face. Everyone
was taken back for they have never seen my face looking distressful.
I told the teacher "What I have requires careful, cautious treatment,
so I need to sit at the back of the class and not be involved with any
work." He asked me; "What have you got" and I replied;
"The doctor said I must not smile for one whole month. The least
that people know about my affliction, the quicker my bandages will come
off. After the month is out, I will tell everyone about my affliction."
' He seemed a little puzzled, but replied "OK, you can tell me
what affliction you have next month." Well, for one whole month
I sat at the back of the class and read my comic books with a sedated
look on my face. I didn't do any homework and got off gym class. It
was a month of pure unsophisticated loafing around. For a nine year
old with no interest in school - Paradise! I could not get into trouble
for playing truant and had the teachers blessing to do nothing but relax
and read comic book stories. Money could not buy such cheer for a nine
year old youngster ... Not that I had any money, apart from two pennies
each week, to buy my comics, and a bag of candy. When you play tricks
there always come a day of reckoning and when the month was up the teacher
called me out to the front of the class. With the head master by his
side, to hear my explanation, he demanded an answer...
"Now then Levy" he said in a stern voice, trying to impress
the headmaster who was looking grimmer than ever. "Tell us all
what affliction you have been suffering." As quick as a flash I
whipped off the bandages, jumped up on the desk and shouted out-loud....
"I have been afflicted with... CHUTZPAH!"
'The class roared with laughter and to my surprise so did the headmaster
and the teacher. I think they were glad to see me smile again. It did
not stop the headmaster from giving me a hard clip around the ear and
I almost needed the bandages.
That is a true story that happened almost ninety-one years ago. I am
still a cheeky kid and I still have not lost the wisdom of a child who
understood... Life is far too short to be taken seriously. Even when
we are made to do things we don't care for ... we can still make it
Most of the story is true apart from the facts I'm not
hundred years old and my name is not Tom!
When I left school aged sixteen I told the teacher I will have a Rolls
Royce by the age of twenty-six..He looked down at the holes in
my shoes, patted me on the head and said, 'You have kept us all amused
with your antics . Dream-on Michael we wish you well.'
Well, I did dream-on I laughed and joked with everyone I met and enjoyed
my first Rolls Royce when I was twenty-eight.
"It is not education that breeds success, rather, it is the
success (Spirit) in the breed ...That educates others."Michael
© Michael Levy Feb 4th 2005
In 1998 Michael established Point of Life, Inc., as a vehicle to project
his philosophy and spiritual understanding. The website www.pointoflife.com
and the associated newsletter (Point Of Life Global Newsletter) are
visited and read by thousands of people around the world every month.
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