Uh-oh – incoming from the headmaster at my son’s school:
Dear Mr Thousand,
I felt it important that I should get in touch with you regarding the selection of items which you sent in with Alex for the school’s recent South Africa Day last week. As you will no doubt recall, we asked parents to assist in making this day a success by dressing their children in the colours of the South African flag and sending in typically South African items for the children to share and discuss.
If I may begin with your choice of foodstuffs – the homemade biltong was superb. For some adults perhaps, anyway.
It would have been nice if you had maybe had more consideration as to the age of those who were going to be eating this treat and toned down the amount of “Bushman’s BombBlast Peri-Peri” seasoning that you used. Miss Walters (perhaps unwisely with the 20/20 vision of hindsight) handed the pieces out before tasting them herself.
Mr Thousand, three of Alex’s classmates required hospital treatment after ingesting your biltong.
The only upside of this unfortunate incident is that those three children did not have the chance to drink any of the premixed Klippies and Coke which you evidently thought would be a good thing for Alex’s schoolfriends to try. While I am aware that there is probably no more typical South African beverage, Mr Thousand, these children are four and five years old.
I had the taxing duty of explaining their drunken and rowdy behaviour to their parents, many of whom were justifiably furious at what had taken place and took it out on me. “Met Eish” never seemed more appropriate.
In the meantime, the children – now excited by the prospect of there being further “goodies” in Alex’s schoolbag – had located the “typically South African items” which you had selected.
Mr Thousand, we are all aware that South Africa, despite being a beautiful country, does face a number of challenges. However, the purpose of the school’s South Africa Day was to emphasise the positives of the place, rather than attempting to tackle these problems head on. Thus, I feel it was both unnecessary and rather foolish of you to send in the unlicensed firearm and the extremely dangerous culture of drug resistant TB.
What were you thinking?
The school is now having to foot the bill for trauma counselling for Miss Walters after Daniel Fry, already known for his boisterous behaviour and who had allegedly finished several glasses of your South African drink, started waving the gun around. How was she to know that it wasn’t loaded?
Added to these already extensive medical expenses are chest x-rays for all the children in Keystage 1. I’m told that the treatment for any child or member of staff who has contracted the illness will be prolonged, unpleasant and most likely, wholly unsuccessful. Thanks for that, Mr Thousand.
I trust that my disappointment in your choices is evident and that you will very carefully consider your options before sending anything in with Alex for our Wild Animals Week next month.
So it looks like I may have to cancel the tigers.