Sunday 15 September 2019

Brendan O'Connor: 'The G7 back-to-school blues'


German chancellor Anglea Merkel. Photo: REUTERS/Ints Kalnins
German chancellor Anglea Merkel. Photo: REUTERS/Ints Kalnins
Brendan O'Connor

Brendan O'Connor

It's back-to-school day at the G7 International School in Biarritz and the class are all somewhat giddy after another exciting summer. The other pupils are excited to have a new boy in the class this year. Swotty Emmanuel and Mrs Merkel, the teacher, have met the new boy already so the others are asking about him. "What is he like?" asks Sloppy Giuseppe. "What do you care?" says Justin the Jock, "You won't be here for long more anyway. I heard your parents can't pay the fees anymore. Does my hair look good? Anyone want to take a back-to-school selfie with me? Hey! I know! Let's all go jogging and make a viral video!"

A Japanese boy enters the room. He seems to have outgrown his uniform, has stubble and looks far too old to be in school. "You're back again, Shinzo?" asks Mrs Merkel. "How many years is it now?"

"Thirty, miss, 30 years and still I'm here. Nothing ever changes. Ever since that massive growth spurt 30 years ago, it feels like I've just stagnated."

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"And you were such a promising pupil back then, Shinzo," Mrs Merkel says sadly, "We thought you were the future."

Just then, there is an unbearable noise as a helicopter comes crashing through the ceiling and lands in the middle of the classroom.

"Oh God," they all say. They keep hoping Trumpy wouldn't come back to the school each year, but he always does. Trumpy stands next to the helicopter shouting. All that can be heard above the noise are random phrases: "…A great, great friend of mine… I know we're gonna get on great… Nasty woman… I am the Chosen One…disloyal Jews…"

"Trumpy. Why do you always stand next to the helicopter shouting?" asks Mrs Merkel.

"I like to keep the engine running at all times," says Trumpy. "It's not as if we're short of gas, is it? Anyway, we flew over a place on the way down here. Big tower sticking up and very well-designed streets, very neat and tidy layout. I like that. Pilot said it was called Paris. Who do I talk to about buying it?"

"Who's that with you in the helicopter, Trumpy?" the others ask. "Oh, these are two buddies of mine. This is Vlad from Russia and this is Bolsonaro. Say hello to my leetel friend!"

Mrs Merkel looks cross. "Trumpy, you know that Vlad has been expelled and he's not welcome back and… hang on a minute. What's your other friend doing?" Bolsonaro has gone down the back of the class and is trying to set fire to the desks.

Just then, everything is interrupted as a scatty looking boy with his shirt hanging out and a catapult in his pocket blusters into the room muttering, "f**k business", then, "Oh. Hello chaps. So sorry. Am I late? Oh hello, Trumpy! What have you got for lunch? Fancy trading with me?" Then British Boris goes to get down on his knees in front of Trumpy, but Trumpy grabs him in a handshake. The two of them hold it for about 23 minutes, getting increasingly red in the face. Boris's eyes are popping out of his head. But then Boris sees one of the others rooting in his schoolbag. He breaks off the handshake, shouting, "Oi. Get off my f**king laptop."

"Mein Gott," says Mrs Merkel to herself, "To think these boys could be in charge of something some day". And then she calls them to order. "OK, class. Simmer down. Now what should we talk about…?"

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