Thursday, 9 September 2010

black teeth white teeth

Do you remember your first day at school?
I do
Did I ever tell you about it?
Because it was curious in many ways
Mrs McCready taught us about the letter S, but that is not where the action was
The action was in the different levels of toilet training and
In the way half the class had white teeth and half the class had black teeth
All the kids off the estate, the council estate, had black teeth
While the kids from off the estate, like me
And the army kids
Had white teeth
so i spent the day looking fascinatedly into everyone's mouth

the estate kids had black teeth because they'd rotted
and they'd probably never seen toothpaste
[this was 1966/ 1967]
while the kids not from the estate
from the nicer houses down the hill
like me
had white teeth
and ditto the army kids
half of whom were foreign
because our house was near
the grounds of the Sandhurst Army College
the home of the Officers of the British Army
[the british west point]
so until the age of 7 all the kids of the officers
british and otherwise
came to our school
the kids were peruvian
and if you think that their fathers were training at Sandhurst
and were plainly being fast-tracked to high ranks in their armies
[otherwise they wouldn't be sent to Sandhurst]
and if you then think how the Peruvian and Pakistani armies
[amongst others]
played out
then you might appreciate that these fathers became mass murderers
think Peru and Pakistan
so that i can say with fair confidence
mass murderers
back to teeth
ten years later those kids had white teeth
their second teeth were fine
but their first were write offs by the age of four
one day when i was seven all the army kids went away
and i lost all my friends
imagine a seven year old losing all his friends in one day
twas not a good day as i recall
and i never saw or heard of any of them ever again
robert sprackling
james tucker
none of them

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