The Big Idea – Day 3

‘Yes, let’s go!’  said Hardy.

‘OK, man’, said Jimi, ‘but you’ll never guess what we’ve got here!  This is going to be awesome!’


After the excitement of the storm, the base, and Jimi’s extraordinary discovery, Friday at school just seemed to go on and on.

And on.

And on.

‘What time is it anyway,’ Wil asked his brother in the playground.

‘It’s about thirty seconds after the last time you asked what the time was’, Freddy replied.

‘So?  What time does that make it?’

‘Well, we’re out here, so it’s not lesson time, is it?’

‘Have we had lunch?’

‘Well how does your tummy feel?’

‘Oh, yes!’

Freddy looked at his brother and smiled.  Innocent, he thought, not a care in the world.  Doesn’t even know what time of day it is.

There was a mass game of football going on across the broad, wet playground.

‘It’s two-fifteen, Bro, that’s quarter past two, a quarter of the way round the clock face, the big hand is pointing at the three, and the little hand is just past the two…’

‘Yes, OK,  I know what you mean’, said Wil, sounding a bit put out.

‘Sorry.  Why don’t we join in this game?’

‘OK, which way are they going?’

‘Good question, I’m not sure’.

The game seemed to be a mass scramble for a dusty old tennis ball.  There was a goal marked out on one wall at the far end of the playground, and at the other end was a pile of school jumpers acting as goalposts.  The teams were only distinguishable by their heights.  The short team was made up of Year 4s, and the tall team was made up of Year 5s.  And the tall team featured one player in particular, slightly taller than the rest.

‘Right, right, stop the game!’ he shouted above the noise of the game, and the assorted noises of the playground.

Year threes, playing a mad game of ‘it’, where the school bin was ‘home’.  Several year threes were standing on the bin, trying to escape the clutches of the latest ‘it’ person.  The bin was wobbling ominously.

Year twos, having a brilliant game of ‘take-down bulldog’, which currently featured every single year two, on the ground, nursing some kind of injury or another.

Year Ones, experimenting with a new game called ‘girls catch boys’, the rules of which seemed rather complicated, but generally seemed to consist of the girls, well…catching the boys.  Screaming from the girls, hollering from the boys.

And the Reception kids, crying because three minutes ago someone had been their best friend, and now was their worst enemy.  Oh…and now laughing, because they’re best friends again.  Oops, and now crying again!

And of course, the Year Sixes, sitting around in small groups, discussing their homework (sure!)

‘I said, like, stop the game!’ repeated the tall team captain, holding up his arms, then grabbing one of the smaller members of the opposition, and holding him there, a vice-like grip around his arm.  Wil grabbed Freddy.

‘Oh no, what’ve we let ourselves in for here, that’s… Barry!’

‘I know, don’t worry, leave him to me’.

Barry sneered at the two new arrivals.

‘Hey, this looks like, like fun.  Look who’s like, here!’ said Barry to the group of players that had gathered round as the game was halted and Wil and Freddy had walked over.  Barry advanced on the pair, pulling a smaller group of his team with him.

‘So, like, what do you, like, want.  This game is full,’ he mocked.  Wil recoiled slightly as Barry came closer, but then put his hands up karate-style to remind Barry of their last meeting.  Barry in turn recoiled and turned to Freddy.

‘I said, like, what like, do like, you like…want?’  Barry was almost shouting now.  Several of his mates snickered like jackals pathetically sniffing around for an easy kill.

‘We don’t like, want, like anything’,  said Freddy, to the delight of some of the younger players standing a few paces behind Barry, who was unaware that he was being imitated.

‘Yeah, well, you’re not like…playing here!’ The jackals howled with laughter.  Freddy moved forward.

‘Whose game is this…er…like?’  said Freddy.

‘We like started it, and we don’t want anyone else playing.  In fact, like, we don’t, like, like you!’  One of the jackals fell on the floor clutching his sides in hysterics.  The others jumped on him and started tickling him for good measure.  Barry looked down proudly at his mates.

‘Well Mr B,’ scoffed Freddy, ‘we don’t really care what you think.  This is, like, our playground, and we’re going to, like, play!’

A gradual round of applause spread across the group.  Someone shouted ‘I like it, like!’

Freddy and Wil took their places as the game resumed.

Michael, who had been watching these events unfold, had joined in too.  When the match restarted, it was him who carved a path through the opposition to score the only goal of the game, and it was he who managed to further embarrass Barry, by flicking the ball through his legs, dropping his shoulder to the left but then going right, and skipping on to score.  Barry, who had tried in vain to pull Michael down as he passed, was left sitting on the ground cursing miserably to himself.


The game finally came to an end, and the last school hour finally passed.  For Freddy, an hour of angles and degrees, and for Wil an hour of bangles and beads.

And for tonight, and tomorrow, and the weekend, back to HQ, in the daytime, to find out Jimi’s secret discovery.


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