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Tuesday, March 22, 2005


I loathe teaching disaffected teenagers. Let them be disaffected. Just not in my classroom. Or at least, in a classroom closer to me, or in one in which I am better paid.

A non-teenage pupil described to me yesterday the plot of a book by Dan Brown, in which a priest kills the Pope because he discovers that the Pope, who has been like a father to him and a role model blah blah, has in fact got a son. After killing the pope, someone else explains to the priest that yes, the pope had fathered a son, and that as a young priest, but that he had done so without breaking his vow of chastity. He and a young nun had fallen in love, and though they knew their love could not be consummated they knew that such a beautiful thing should not be without fruit. So they conceived a child through in-vitro fertilisation.

I had been laughing for some fifteen minutes by the time we got to this point, and I would have fallen off my chair backwards if I hadn't managed to catch hold of the kitchen sink. I think I will start reading Dan Brown.

Oh yes. The test-tube baby is, of course, the priest, who burns himself alive on the steps of St Peter’s in remorse for his patricide. After almost being elected pope, and having saved the Vatican from an anti-matter explosion.