So when I was telling you about my recent Florida trip, I promised to tell you a bit more about the missed exam/screeching business.
Before I left, we all sat down and synchronised diaries. No stone was left unturned. And no teenager was scheduled to be left alone in the house for enough time to a) have a party or b) burn it down.
Picture the scene, then:
We’re all in the bloggerbus, tootling happily across Florida on our way to Cape Canaveral. My phone rings. It’s the school. This is not good. I’m in Florida, the boys’ Dad is training in Hampshire (after dropping them off at school early) and my Mum is in Venice. With a startlingly accurate sense of ‘oh shit’, I answer the phone:
‘Oh hello’, says Perky Voiced Lady, ‘it’s the school sixth form manager here’
Me: ‘Oh hello, how can I help?’
PVL: ‘Well, your son was supposed to be in a Biology exam this afternoon…’
Me: ‘WHAT?! What do you mean SUPPOSED TO?…’
PVL: ‘Ahaha well yes, that’s the problem. He hasn’t turned up, and the exam started ten minutes ago’.
Cue panic. MAJOR PANIC.
A quick mental tally of the facts brings up the following hastily-arranged pre-Florida plan: the Prof has a Biology exam Monday afternoon. He doesn’t need to go to school with the Death Wish Dude in the morning, so one of his BFFs who has just learned to drive is picking him up and taking him to the exam.
So what went wrong?
After promising to investigate, and leaving PVL to find out how long after an exam has started the candidate can still enter, I grab my phone and ring the boy. No answer. I ring again.
There’s a weird mumbled snuffling. And then, wailed, ‘Muuuuuuuuuuum… I missed my exam!’
This is bad. All sorts of hideous things rush round my head. Is he drunk? At 1pm? Has he been drugged? Been attending an all-night party?
I settle for the first thing that comes into my head: ‘WHERE THE *HELL* ARE YOU?’
Prof, still wailing: ‘I don’t knnoooooooow!’
Ah, well that explains it then. I’ve woken him up. The Prof is one of those weird, deep sleepers who talks rubbish for approximately ten minutes after you’ve woken him up. As a small child, he did lots of walking into cupboards and weeing in the laundry basket. I’m talking serious post-sleep discombobulation here, people.
The best thing, I find, in a crisis, is to shout. A lot. My shoutiness kicks in and I yell at him, while my fellow passengers stare and me and stifle small giggles: ‘GET DRESSED! GET OUTSIDE! YOU’VE GOT TO GET TO SCHOOL!’
I ring my brother, who is too far away to help. He rings my Disreputable Dad, who is nearer, and pretty good in a crisis, and mobilises him on a mercy mission to get to our house, pick the boy up and get him to school. STAT.
I ring the school back. They inform me that you can enter an exam within the first half an hour. He has about twelve minutes.
Cue Benny Hill music.
The boy rings back. He’s in the car with his friend. They’re racing to the school. And he’s really reeeeally sorry.
For the rest of the entire trip, I am teased mercilessly about my blogger bus shoutiness. This includes everyone yelling ‘WHERE ARE YOU?!’ if I fall behind while we’re walking along, and me replying ‘I don’t knooooow’ in my best Mad Prof voice.
Sooo it turns out, he got to the exam. he reckons he did okay, and, miraculously, even managed to finish. His mates had banged on the door and rung his phone (he had 20 missed calls) until they were going to miss the exam themselves, and had headed into school. Thank goodness they had the sense to tell one of the teachers.
Oh, and in all the excitement, nobody remembered to cancel my Dad, who spent twenty fruitless minutes banging on the door and shouting through the letterbox before giving up and going home. Sorry Dad.
Note to self: next time? Make better plans.