Monday, 10 March 2014

Die Fledermaus

This caricature was devised during a similar wine fuelled conversation with @rlj1981 and LONG before I had met the real person.  In fact, I never thought I'd meet the real person behind this post, but I have and publishing this is potentially a BIG gamble.  As with 'The Velvet-Smoking Jacket' it was written with affection (not malice, never malice) and I hope, pray and beg that this doesn't back-fire.
  This is also important to note - this is a caricature of what little I knew of this person via Twitter from about 8 months ago.

With not a hair out of place, Oberon surveyed his class, all of whom stood like the finest of the Queen's regiments behind their desks. Chatter was fading so that the silence could overtake the room. Inching at the same methodical pace it always does, the minute hand travelled to 3.30pm. Seconds before it reached it's destination, the silence won. The room was still. Oberon fixed his pupils with a gaze that would make an aggressive cobra stop swaying, and, like Pavolov's dogs, the class stood up straight, returned his gaze for a brief second, and uniformly and subtely bowed their heads in deference to their master.

A subtle nod of the head was all the signal the class needed to file out (for they had been trained using Pavlovian theory) beginning with the first row, whilst the next flowed immediately after, snaking out in serene silence. Oberon surveyed the rows looking for any kink in the straight edges of the desk. Typically, Jacob's desk was the cause of the kink in the third row. Oberon withdrew his notebook, resembling that of a police officer's, and wrote down the culprit's name purposefully, jotting down, 'litter picking' next to it. He smiled.

All that was left for him to do was to cleanse the room of the day's work, so that he could begin again at the crack of dawn tomorrow. The blackboard was freed from the scars of chalk, and the over head projector was carefully dusted; whilst the day's acetates were neatly filed into a leaver arch folder entitled 'GCSE Maths, Higher Tier'.

Weary footsteps echoed as Oberon marched out of the school with purpose. He arrived at his sleek black Daimler convertable, (second hand, of course), greeting it with a barely percabtable smile. it wouldn't do his reputation any good if his smile was noticed. Should you take the time to look carefully enough, in an even darker shade of matt black, 'Die Fledermaus' was visible in a Gothic font along the boot of the car, just above the bumper. Neither pupils, nor colleages had ever noticed this.

Mercifully, the traffic flowed fairly fluidily, so Oberon did not have to engage any of his traffic avoidance hardware. This had been specially installed some months ago, and yet again, casual obervers, pupils and colleagues were blissfully unaware. That is exactly how he was told it should be.

The Daimler was coaxed carefully on the drive of his isolated, imposing house, the garage door, also subtely emblazoned with 'Die Fledermaus' opened gracefully so that Oberon could ease his car into what evetually turned out to be a vast, Cathedral like cavern.

As soon as the engine stopped, the bank of LCD flatscreen televeisions and Apple computers came alive. Cold, blue light flooded the cave, to only just make visible the dagger like stalactites that clung on the damp ceiling overhead. Unusually, the constant drip of the cavern's water was a comfort to Oberon when he had returned from his day job.

An automated voice began a conversation, "How was your day, master Oberon?" The voice had a subtely masculine tone, whilst the delivery resembled that of the Star Trek Enterprise years William Shatner. It had taken some years for Oberon to become accustomed to the odd pauses, and a good six months before he stopped interjecting between them.

Before he could work out whether he should reply or not, the voice asked another question, "How did the lessons I planned go? Did the Year 13s finally grasp the Fermat's Thoerum?" This time there was a sense of anticipation lurking behind the unnerving pauses.

Oberon stood squarely in front of his car, and replied, "As you predicted, Robin," Oberon's voice was flat and resigned, "the pupils did not put a foot out of line. I think we've finally cracked snake wrangling, I mean classroom management. As for that Thoerum, well, thank ye gods and little fishes that you taught me 'ninja' algebra the night before, or I'd have remained clueless in that Year 11 lessson"

"Well done Fledermaus," for this is who Oberon had become, come nightfall, "now, I've written this week's blogpost. Ofsted have issued yet another report about another area that teachers are failing in, this time it is dress sense, which is hardly news is it? As usual it's been thoroughly deconstructed. Time to do your homework and read it, you'll be live tweeting this later."

Whilst in his specially allocated changing room, Oberon, also as well trained as Pavolov's dogs, quickly removed his tired tweed jacket, crumpled Marks and Spencer shirt, his greying suit trousers that had originally been the deepest of blacks, his favourite colour, and what he hated most of all, his pale grey, tasselled loafers. He opened the wardrobe to find his freshly cleaned, and tumble dried 'Die Fledermaus' uniform.

It has been fashioned from the highest quality neoprene, he really had drawn the line at rubber. This has been the only time he'd ever answered back to Robin who he knew, although he had never acknowedged it, was the real master. He had never, and would never, do it again.

Years of training in the dojo had paid off, for he was far more muscular than his school costume ever alluded to and the neoprene Die Fledermaus completed the transformation. He was ready to complete the night's mission. He waited patiently for his companion, for tonight, Fledermaus and Robin were to meet in the flesh for the first time.

A door far above him opened and closed. He awaited the sound of footsteps for sometime. Only when he? It? They? seemed to be near the bottom of the steps that had been carved into the cave by hand (whose? He had been to afraid to ask) did there seem to be the sound of movement.

Robin padded calmly down the staircase and spoke, "Time for us to finally meet Fledermaus, are you truly ready?"

Oberon's stomach clenched briefly, he stepped out of the changing room, standing at ease as Die Fledermaus. He looked around the cavern, which seemed to be oddly empty.

"Good evening, Fledermaus." Robin's greating was firm, but not yet said with any warmth, despite their proximity.

Die Fledermaus again, glanced around the cavern confused.

This time, the instruction from Robin was quite abrupt, "Down here, by your feet."

Against his better judgement, for occasionaly he did have some of his own, Die Fledermaus did as instructed. At his feet was a dog, a dachshund, whose coat was a glossy bright red, whilst he had a natuaral it seems, (although neither Oberon or Die Fledermaus were experts on hair dye) yellow 'belt' around what would be his, erm, waistline.

Fledermaus studied the dachsund's coat and markings carefully, thinking to himself, 'At least the name makes some kind of sense.'

Robin's collar flashed as he barked, but a bark did not emerge, these words did, "So, shall we crack on with the homework or are you going to stand there open mouthed all night? Log into Wordpress and Twitter, check the blog for anything that maybe perceived as a little canine biased, I know that's caught you out before, and tweet it as soon as possible."

Die Fledermaus eventually formed some words of his own, "No explanation? You are a dachshund with an intellect to rival Einstein, the pedagogical knowledge that I can but dream to aspire to, and you CAN TALK!"

Robin sat on his haunches, and looked him squarely in the eye, dog to man, and said, or was it barked? "You're not the brightest bulb in the box are you? You think we have time for lengthy explanations about meta-cognition and nano-robotics using lego, as usual, when Ofsted are up to their old tricks?"

"Point taken," Die Fledermaus replied, still with some confusion in his voice.

He sat down, logged into Wordpress and began proof reading Robin's blogpost. Annoyingly, apart from the odd reference to four legs, rather than two, the blog was almost faultless. The night's work had just begun, explanations would just have to wait. Twitter was about to go into melt-down.

No comments:

Post a Comment