THE SCENE: Seven fifteen a.m. (07:15) on a Monday morning. JANE LUNNON <aka: HEAD> is busy preparing the HEADMISTRESS’S OFFICE. As she tucks in the last chair, FIONNUALA KENNEDY <aka: DEP> swans in; files and marking in one hand, phone in the other. She is furiously Tweeting.
DEP: Good morning! Apologies for not answering ANY emails over the weekend, I decided a social media detox would be a jolly old laugh. You know, #JOMO and all that.
HEAD: How lovely! You know, TS Eliot once said –
Before HEAD can continue, STELLA LAWTON <aka: MONEY> (thankfully) enters. Her arms are piled high with WHS-branded Keepcups, WHS-branded highlighters, WHS-branded portable chargers and presumably other ‘swag’ currently unrevealed to us heathens that they spend our tuition on.
MONEY: Morning all! I’ve been finding out other ways for us to spend our money without fixing the loos.
HEAD: How wonderful! I was just telling Fionnuala, –
Once again, HEAD is unfortunately cut off from what would surely have been the most thrilling story; sadly, we won’t get to hear it, because KATE MITCHELL <aka: JUNIOR> has just walked in. As the three other women stare blankly, JUNIOR takes a seat at the far end of the room.
The others continue to stare.
DEP breaks first.
DEP: …Do you even go here?
HEAD: Well, seeing as John and Paul haven’t made it in in time, I think it’s best we start. On the minutes today we have –
Suddenly, there comes a squeak. DR JOHN PARSONS <aka: SMALL> pokes his head up from the seat.
HEAD: Lord! John, when did you get here?
SMALL: …An hour ago.
DEP: Are you sure?
HEAD: Didn’t see you there. Well, anyway, we should really be getting on with the meeting –
A clatter comes from the door. Enter PAUL MURPHY <aka: OTHER DEP>, bike and all. He looks angry, but that just might be him.
OTHER DEP: Sorry.
HEAD: Do come in, Paul. Have a seat.
DEP: Has anyone got the time?
SMALL: Eight thirty-seven.
OTHER DEP: Does anyone hear something?
HEAD: Well, as we have everyone here now, we should probably get started so we have at least something to feedback later. Now, Stella, how is the plan for the twenty-foot school banner coming along?
The bell rings. Everyone flinches at the jarring marimba. There is a mad scramble for the door, and suddenly the room is empty.
HEAD sighs, and reaches for her TS Eliot poetry book.
HEAD: ‘This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang but with a xylophone motif.’