Mr SnodGrass

Mr Snodgrass was a punk and a caretaker at St Cuthberts School, Daventry.

He listened to all the pop punk bands and wore his hair in spikes died grey down the middle.

In his nose he wore a silver nose ring

His ears were a pincushion of stones and platinum and silver

In his lip he wore a plug which meant you could see his bottom row of teeth through it.

You could find him sweeping up leaves and litter in the corners of the playground

Kids would call him Wolfy and then he would chase them saying he was going to eat them up or blow down their straw houses.

There was a rumour going around the teachers at the school that he had slept with the headmistress but in truth he had a steady girlfriend, Ruth.

Ruth, ‘the Truth’ was a legal secretary at the local law firm and her hobbies included running, drinking and live music.

Every Tuesday night Ruth would come around to the caretakers house where they would order Chinese food and wash it down with a bottle of wine or two and listen to music or watch a DVD . Ruth lives only a five minute walk away from Wolf so they got on like a house on fire.

One day…Ruth proposed that she and Wolf should get married.

Wolf accepted and then one fine April day they got married at the local Anglican Church. Wolf’s friends came around with their nose rings and spiky hairs and Ruths boss from work and her friends came from all around  and they partied until the early hours of the morning.

They settled down in the caretakers house and soon a baby was on the way. Ruth the Truth said to Wolf. ‘I love you, I want your baby but you must agree I cannot call you Wolfie any longer. Wolfie is no name for a father’

So Wolfie changed his name from Wolf to Pooch and died his hair white which gave all the kids at school a fright and his friends deserted him and soon rumours were going round the school that not only had Wolfie lost his cool but that he had to ask permission to change the channel on the television at home.

The baby was born nine months later and when deciding a name Ruth The Truth gave Pooch a task to complete. To go through the baby name book and to pick an appropriate name for their newborn baby.

Pooch studied the book day and night for two weeks. After work, in the spare room he would sit poring over the book and write different names down on pieces of paper and stick them with blu-tack to the wall and then pace backwards and forwards holding his chin in his hand and scratching his head. Then after narrowing it down to ten names he threw away the nine remaining and looked at one name with a big smile on his face. It was decided. He had chosen a name.

Everyone was waiting. The schoolchildren were waiting. The teachers at the school were waiting. Even the headmistress was interested. Ruth was being asked at work by her colleagues what the name of the baby was going to be but she had said. That decision belongs with Poochy.

Poochy left a message on the phone at Ruths work and told his wife that he had chosen a name for the baby and that its was going to be called ‘……’. Ruth ‘The Truth’ Snodgrass wasted no time at all. She asked a collegue to draw up divorce papers on the grounds of ‘Unreasonable Behavior’ then she called her parents and said she was moving back home until she could get her own place with the baby.

All this happened very quickly and some changes were happening just as quickly to Pooch. After Ruth and the baby left home he changed his name back to Wolf and he dyed his hair again with a grey streak down the middle, just like he used to have it styled. The kids in the play ground were giving him respect again and he was chasing them once more. He slept with the headmistress who came to work with a smile on her face and when she saw Wolfy she would wolf whistle him and he would wave to her broom in hand.

The kids in the playground were impressed. Once they heard what the name of the baby was to be called never grew tired of repeating it to each other.

They said things like. ‘Rad’, ‘Cool’ and ‘awesome’ and talked about the name in hushed tones with awe in their voices.

The divorce went through quickly and the story was even picked up by the local paper who printed the name of the baby on the front page. ‘……..GATE’ read the headline.

20 Years later it was time to retire for Wolf and days before  his planned do he had a heart attack and died. When the people were clearing out his belongings they found a box containing newspaper cuttings and a piece of paper with a name on it. It read ‘……’

The story was revived by the local newspaper which was now being ran by the old headmistress daughter with the byline ‘Wolf In Pooches Clothing – STILL UNFORGIVEN BY WIFE 20 YEARS LATER’

You might be surprised to know that the name Wolf chose for his baby wasn’t derived from legal nomenclanture history or Greek or Roman Mythology but was the simple name ‘……..’


Published by Andrew Mark Watkins

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