Once upon a time, when the world was young, a nine year old me was given the slipper for coming down to breakfast with uncombed hair. It seemed perfectly reasonable at the time; I mean, those Christian Brothers, into whose care I’d been entrusted when my soldier father was posted to Germany, were kind, compassionate men.
Later that day, I was in trouble again, this time for day-dreaming in class. Still, at least I wasn’t poor Michael, my young friend from Gibraltar, who stubbornly refused to grasp long division despite the efforts of the good brother who thrust his tearful face into the blackboard. And David, far from his parents in Zambia, well, he obviously enjoyed the pain of those whacks to his backside so much he deliberately failed the daily spelling test. Fortunately for me, my maths was passable and I was top of the class at English.
I was forty before I finally realised what I still know to be true. We all like a good story, and sometimes it’s difficult to know where the truth lies. My hair is still just as wild, the envy of many and undoubtedly the secret of my success with women. One day I’ll let it grow, and perhaps I’ll have the strength of Samson. Until then, I’ll keep up the pretence.
I’ve never ceased to day-dream. Who knows, it might one day come true.