Diary of a schoolteacher: The most cunning of them all? Miss Gossard...
Thanks to the general election providing us with a paucity of female TDs, sexism is back on the staff room conversation agenda.
Now, I've always defended sexism as an vital source of humour (just between guys, naturally) and one of my favourite jokes goes like this: Question: Why did the woman cross the road?' Answer: Who knows? Who knows why they do anything?'
That's as bad as I get, to be honest; I'm too afraid of women to make jokes about them. Still, last September when we guys set up the online staff fantasy football league just for a laugh I included a person who knew absolutely zilch about soccer -- Miss Gossard -- and so it is that she is the only female 'manager' of a team.
Hilarious, I know, and this is what I am saying to my fellow male School Fantasy Football League managers in the staff room on Monday.
The PE teacher, still amazed to find himself working with people who have actually been to university, is thrilled to have the chance to explain the subtleties of the rule in this case. Though because he is a PE teacher, he lacks the verbal skills to clarify the issue one iota and we just ignore him.
Also there is Tim the Villa fan (manager of the fantasy team 'That's Enough from You, Murphy F.C.'), Finnegan who supports QPR and so is irrelevant, and of course our esteemed colleague and sole female member of the league, Miss Gossard for whom I picked players and named the team 'Barbie County' when we set up the league online in September.
Like me, she doesn't really understand the subtleties of the offside rule but unlike me she keeps her mouth shut. I hope nobody takes offence but in my opinion this is typical of how these sly female staff members always operate.
Their ability to look after no.1 is astounding. See those messy piles of books, CD players and copybooks on the table in the staff room? All belonging to male teachers.
But where do the women keep their paraphernalia? In their offices, of course.
Offices? You bet! Whenever one of these priceless havens of peace becomes available because Miss A is retiring, then Miss B has bagged it a year in advance.
She'll even share with Miss C, because that's how devious they are. Anyway, today Miss Gossard, calmly sipping her green tea, has only one point to make, but she let's me do it for her as she asks me, 'By the way, Mr Grade, who got the highest score in the League last month and scoops the pool?'
Just listen to the PE teacher gasp when I announce to all, 'Yes, Miss Gossard, it was you -- and by a long chalk.
The guys are speechless as I hand her the cash.
Girls may just want to have fun, but they like to win while they're at it.