"What're you drooling over Padraig? You look like a dog that's about to kick the bucket."
My room-mates' breathless insult quickly brought me back to life after 10 minutes of intense staring at a dark blue ribbon I had laid out neatly on the lower half of my bed.
"Nothing mate , you know me , I have the attention span of Mr Callaghan when one of the visiting Sisters announces herself in Wood-Work" I spat back at him , hoping to burn out any relight-able sparks of his previous remark. After an uncomfortable silence of around 20 seconds I hastily rose from my bed and began doing tap ups with my makeshift football that I hid under my chest of drawers , hoping that the noise would alert one my teachers and lure them to my room. Sure enough , within thirty seconds after tap-up number twelve I had Mr. Fitz hammering at my dorm door as if I was a two week old baby caught in a fire and he was heroically breaking through the mahogany to save me . Something I knew his five foot four , scrawny stature was physically incapable of .
"Open up MacMahon" , he panted ; probably out of breath due to his climb ,that the other teachers made him do as they enjoyed watching the old man get sweaty and flushed just as much as I did , from home-room to my dorm which was cleverly situated on the top floor to avoid disturbing the other pupils at Suil Ard . I readily opened the door , hoping for Fitz to provide me with an argument I would enjoy. Instead I was greeted by Fitz (crimson and puffing like a dragon) sided by Sargent Bellasario , an ex-corp who was often drafted in to coach the junior rugby boys from small , feeble little children into strong , obedient young men . Sargent Bellasario was one of the few people I respected at Suil Ard ; not just because of his phenomenal contribution to the Dhofar Rebellion for which he fronted a squad from Great Britain but because of his extraordinary talent of treating everyone as equals . Sargent Bellasario had never once looked down upon me , something which the staff and pupils at Suil Ard took great joy in doing , something I had also learned to embrace .
"Boy , Sargent Ba-lis-a-roll and I would like to inform you that the Head Master would like to see you in his quarters immediately , and---"
"I beg your pardon sir , but I do believe that one of the well known privileges at Suil Ard Boy's Academy is that from10am to1pm on a Saturday pupils are permitted to partake in any activity inside the school grounds without permission and may not be called upon for any academical circumstances" I proudly stated. This recall of information usually managed to turn Fitz to a crumbling frame of a man , powerless and dumbfounded . However this time I wasn't greeted by a look of confusion or exhaustion , I was face to face with a sly , unfamiliar smirk .
"This exclusion slip begs to differ boy . Notice the signature on the bottom left hand corner of the page? Yes? That's the head masters' . Now come along MacMahon" Fitz chuckled.
Fitz may have power over me , but what I lack in authority I make up for in quick and timely wit.
"Certainly Mr. Fitz . Oh , and for future reference , it's Bell-ah-sar-ee-o . Isn't that right Sargent?" I calmly muttered . I could have sworn I saw a smile quickly flash over the Sargent's face before quickly returning to his formal , navy expression.