I was useless at cutting thin slices off our bread loaf and was always getting teased by the kids at school about my ‘doorstop sandwiches’. To avoid this embarrassment in front of everyone, I decided going to the flat to eat would be easier. While there, happily eating my slabs of ‘Golden Syrup’ covered bread, I tuned in to the music on our radio.
Mum had recently taken up smoking and kept her left over butts in the tall porcelain vases on our mantle-piece. Decorated with Kimono clad Japanese ladies, they were one of dad’s souvenirs from Japan, in the wartime. After my sammies, I got the bright idea to have a go at smoking. Lighting up one of mums butts, I took my first puff and that was enough. A wave of nausea sickness hit my stomach and the smoke set me off coughing so bad I felt like I was choking. I couldn’t figure out how mum could stand to keep doing that, it was no fun at all.
My friend from school, Judith, came for lunch with me at the flat. On the walk home, we spotted kids from our school drawing with pens over the huge advertising, billboard signs, at the tram stop. Passing by, we noticed a message in very small writing on the sign’s corner, that said, there was a reward for reporting information about anyone seen defacing them. Munching through our sammies at the flat we thought it would be a great idea to dob those kids in and get that reward.
Taking a detour on our way back to school, we hot footed it over the hill to the Newtown Police station, where we told the policeman at the front desk what we had seen. Barely were we back in the door at school when that same policeman turned up in our classroom. I got excited with butterflies in my tummy thinking he was going to say, good on us, and tell us our reward.
Unfortunately, no, instead, he stood in front of the class and called us out for ratting on our fellow pupils. Shaming us even more, by going on to say, how wrong it was for us to try and give those kids a criminal record for the rest of their life. I slunk down in my seat with no idea how we had gotten to be the baddies.