I knew John Lennon in the early days in
I remember once I had to tell him off for putting a runny pudding in the geography teacher’s sandals, which of course failed to hold any of the mess which of course spilled out onto the geography teaching room floor of course. ‘John, John’ I sighed. ‘What are we to do with you?’ He was typically brusque, declaring it made no difference to owt.
I continued to detail his crimes. ‘You drink in class, you have no respect for school camping equipment, and your arse is spongey,’ I said.
‘’Ere, you nutter,’ he then outcried, ‘I don’t mind what you care about.’ There followed some hours of caning – him, by me.
‘I know you have a propensity towards visual art,’ I squeemed, ‘and you are always making us laugh with your mangled, goon-like language in the local rag. Perhaps you could put these two together, then leave the school and never come back?’
My constructivity seemed to be both surprising and refreshing to John, who quickly agreed this was a fine solution. He was wearing a chinese worker’s cap, as I recall, and had just impregnated his soon-to-be wife, Cynthia, a few hours earlier (their son, Julian, would not be born for four years: such was the British talent, perfected during wartime, for holding it in. ‘It’ being a fetus).
He left and never came back: later that afternoon, he wrote one of his best loved songs, ‘Maybe I’m Amazed’ which I often think was somehow connected to our little conversation. And no, it wasn’t yellow matter custard!