Richard Devereux

Mr Johnson

 

When we went up to Year 10,

for, like, the first half of the first lesson,

we thought Sir was OK. Obviously,

he was trying to sound strict

but he seemed quite good,

I mean, make us learn

but also have a bit of a laugh.

Then he just seemed to switch off 

like he’d put on his start of term act

and that was it.

You could see everyone thought the same

and were giving it the look.

You knew then Sir had, like, lost it,

bottled it and he was in trouble.

Then it got stupid, really stupid,

he was going on about something

and he, like, made his fat little hands into a fist

to sort of emphasis what he was saying

and shook them up and down

except, like, he didn’t even make a proper fist!

He put his thumbs on the inside

and one of the lads pointed it out

and showed him how to do it

and Jake said ‘Sir, can we have a fight?’

and Sir went red

and we knew then we had him.

So for the rest of the term

no one took no notice of what he said

and we messed him around something rotten

till he went off sick

and never came back

and after that it was all supplies

though it was still his name on the timetable.

Commentary

The register of this poem is that of a teenage girl telling of the hapless teacher, Mr Johnson. When the Prime Minister has made set-piece broadcasts about the Covid crisis, he tends to emphasise key points by making a curious fist which, to me, only serves to further diminish his credibility. The poem is political satire which experience shows is better communicated at an oblique angle. 

Mr Johnson
00:00 / 01:34

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