Author – James
In pur school, shoe confiscation is used for what we we refer to as the three cardinal sins, not doing homework, running in the corridor, and forgetting your school tie.
The uniform is a dark red jumper with a gray or white shirt, and grey trousers, and socks are supposed to be solid color, so most boys wear grey socks too. Our form master normally turns a blind eye about the uniform, but he expects homework to be done.
One day my friend Speedy – he is really called Stephen Paul, but we all call him Speedy – hadn’t followed the lesson,, we had been playing around passing notes etc.. That night we asked Joseph, the real class brain box if he would help us out, but he refused, condescendingly telling us that if we messed around in class we deserved to ahev to lose our shoes the next day.
The next morning speedy realised that he wasn’t wearing his tie. We approached Joseph duting the first break and asked him to help out, but again he refused. Immediately after break was maths, and of course speedy and i lost our shoes and were left in our grey socks. I didn’t care too much, i would spend recess in the library with enough other boys in socks, but for Speedy it was a different story. Since our form master Mr. slade now noticed his tie he was not to get his shoes back until the end of the following day, which would mean going home in socks, and doing P. E. in socks the next day. Also Speedy eats the school lunches, and with all the pushing and mess in the school cafeteria you cannot really go there in your socks.
At lunchtime i shared my sandwiches with speedy, and Joseph smugly came over to us. “Next time pay attention in class,” he said smugly.
Although he didn’t realise it Speedy’s uncle, Mr. Henry, who teaches A level math had noticed him, and he came over to us afterwards and asked us what was going on. Speedy told him the whole story.
We spent the remaning breaks in the library, and then i walked speedy home. Poor kid, he was really embarrased, and his Mom didn’t cut him any slack either.
The next day we had P.E. in the playing field and the boys who had lost their shoes had to participate barefoot. I had lost my shoes again, and there were three of us without shoes or socks.
Speedy phoned me that night and told me that his uncle is going to come to our class, and take care of Joseph. “listen,” he told me “When he asks you for your shoes, let him take them, he promised me it will work out in the end.”
A couple of days later Mr. Slade announced a math quiz, quiz, qith Mr. Henry, speedy’s uncle presiding. He went round asking questions, giving out points, and keeping track on a piece of paper. After a couple of rounds he started offering the boys a risk, either get double points if you know a harder question, or risk losing points. The cleverer boys went for it, with of course Joseph in the lead.
After a few more rounds he made a list on the white board of the boys with the most points, Joseph was getting more and more ahead, speedy was also there, and six or seven other boys. A couple of boys risked losing points and were off the list, while he kept on offering double and triple points with other boys moving forward with leaps and bounds. Mr. Henry made sure to announce that brain box Joseph hadn’t yet missed a question.
Abouf 45 minutes before the next break Mr. henry told everyone to take off their shoes and put their shoes on their desks. He then said that if we answer a quesion correctly we can put on a shoe, and whoever has two shoes can go out to break. Sounded good.
He continued the quiz, and a few boys had a shoe on, when he came to me. he pffered me a hard question, for which i could get two shoes, or risk having my shoes thrown out the window. as per instructions i chose the hard question. He asked me and i didn;t know. He turned round to look at the whiteboard, where joseph was clearly in the lead. “OK, Joseph, do you know the answer?” Joseph answered correctly, and he told Joseph to throw my shoes out the window. The same thing repeated itsefl with Speedy. He told Speedy and me to stand by the window in our socks, since we were playing any more. No one else took up his offer of hard questions.
Then it was Joseph’s turn. “So brainbox,” Mr. Henry said. “Here’s my offer for you. If you answer correctly you get your shoes and triple points, if you gat it wrong, you give me your shoes for 48 hours and you fetch the shoes you threw out the window. ” Joseph smugly agreed.
Mr. Henry turned round to the whiteboard and drew a picture of a traffic cone, complete with a square bottom, and an opening at the top. he proceeded to indicate all the various measurements. “Could you please tell me the complete volume?”
Of course Joseph had no way of answering. Mr. Henry walked over to his desk. To everyone’s surprise Joseph hald on to his shoes. Mr. Slade also went over to his desk but Joseph was holding his shoes tight. short of physical force the teachers would not be able to take his shoes. “It’s totally unfair” he said.
“You didn’t say that when i offered to double and triple your points” Mr. Henry countered. Joseph said a couple of toher things that he shouldn;t have said.
The teachers returned to the front of the room. “Joseph, pleae come here with your chair” Mr. slade said to him. To our surprise Joseph picked uo his shoes with one hand and his chair with the other and came to the teachers desk.
“Put your chair on the desk” Mr. Henry commanded. Joseph did as told, and when he was told to climb up and sit on the chair he did so, all the while holding his shoes. After a minute Mr. Henry grabbed the shoes from underneath and yanked. As the chair started mving, joseph ahd no choice but to leave go.
Then Mr. Henry called Speedy over. “Speedy come here, please.” Speedy came. “Would you like to remove Mr. Arrogant’s grey socks please.” With Mr. Slade holding the chair, and Mr. Henry Joseph’s feet, speedy pulled his socks off in seconds. Mr. Slade promptly said that he was taking the sheos and socks to the principal, and he told Joseph to come with him. they returned a few minutes later with our shoes.
Speedy and I walked behind Joseph on the way home, watching him in his toes. The next few days he was in socks in school, and he did P.E. in his toes – while Mr. Slade let everyone else wear their shoes.
A week later, when he received his shoes back, a few boys wrestled him to the floor and took them away again, so he spent quite a long time qithout them.
I have inserted links to our various shoes
Joseph”s goody goody lace ups: https://www.clarks.co.uk/c/Asher-Soar-Youth/p/26143665