Can I shoot you?

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“Welcome to Murderers Anonymous. My name is Frank and I’m here to help you overcome your habit of killing people.

“Now tonight we’re gonna do things a little differently. We’re still going to talk and share as a group, but first I’ve asked a friend of mine to come and speak to you. His name is Nate, and for years he killed people. But now he’s a changed man and he’s going to tell us his story.”

“Hi everybody, my name is Nate, and I used to kill people. My weapon of choice was a pistol, small, sleek, but deadly accurate. I would take it out and kill whomever I felt like. People didn’t matter to me, they were either moving targets or in my way. I had no regard for others.

“One day I was on the beach. I was shooting at some moving targets, and some of them were shooting back. I got hit a few times, but the wounds weren’t too bad. As I limped back to my car, a target asked me, “Can I shoot you?” Instinctively I raised my gun and was about to pull the trigger when I noticed the target’s camera. I mumbled, “I guess,” and the target followed me to my car, taking photos almost every step.

“That got me thinking, the target asked to shoot me. If I asked to shoot people before I shot them dead, then I couldn’t get in trouble. Targets would stop shooting back when I told them I asked and they said yes.

“I acquired a camera a few days later and went to my favourite hunting ground, the lake. The first target I saw was the same one who asked to shoot me a few days ago. So I walked up  and tapped on the target’s shoulder, “Can I shoot you?” The target turned around and smiled, “Of course,” they replied. It worked, I had permission to kill this target, but… I don’t know what it was, I looked at this person, and hesitated. Instead of reaching for my pistol, I took hold of my camera and tried to take a photo. But there was a problem, I had never used a camera before, so I had no idea how to take a photo. As I was looking at the camera, trying to work out what to do, the person walked over and put their hands gently on the camera. They turned it on, adjusted the settings, took the lens cap off and took a few steps back, “Now try,” they said.

“I took the photo and they walked back to show me how to look at the photo I’d just taken. What I saw was something I’d never seen or felt before. I saw pure beauty in my photo, she was beautiful. Her smile was mesmerising, leading me to the cutest dimple, up to her stunning brown eyes and soft eyebrows. And the way her golden hair framed her face was gorgeous. “Wow, you’re beautiful,” was all I could say. She said thank you and invited me to take photos of the lake with her.

“Amy taught me all about photography that day and I saw so much beauty in the photos we took. They changed my perspective, suddenly the world was amazing, full of colour and all these beautiful people. Amy taught me to see the world differently, and I haven’t touched a pistol since that day. We got married last year and love taking photos together.

“Today I have a challenge for you all. I want you all to get a camera and take some photos. I want you to look at the beauty, uniqueness and inspiration of every single person you see. It’s always there, people are so precious, graceful and amazing.

“Thank you all for listening.”

Could we play two 8’s?

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After the defeat to Parma I was disappointed, and eventually that disappointment, which I’ve felt far too often already this season, lead to an idea.

We didn’t look like a top two team on Saturday. It didn’t click in the final third, we improved when Icardi came on, but overall I didn’t feel there was enough attacking intent. And the midfield stood out.

We should be playing two 8’s against teams that will sit back. We actually did this more often than not on Saturday. However, Gagliardini, who played the role on Saturday, lacks the attacking know-how to play there. He is a defensive ball winner, his mistimed runs into the box and lack of killer instincts in advanced positions underlined this.

In the future, I believe Joao Mario is better suited to this midfield role. He has attacking intent and the engine to work hard in the role alongside Brozovic and Nainggolan. Last season there was a game where he was forced to play as a 6 due to injuries. I think we won convincingly, and I was impressed that even in that deep position his first thought was always forward.

Against teams like Parma that’s exactly what we need, someone who can play a forward ball, time a run into the box and create space for others to exploit.

Is he actually a gentleman?

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Last week I posted a letter from a school principal. The letter was about a mischievous Tom Foolery. During the week I got an email from the actual Tom Foolery, he was a bit upset with what I wrote, so I apologised. And to make amends I went to interview him and tell his story.

Tom Foolery, a hard-working gentleman who’s found love

Tom went to a fine private school from Transition to Year 12. He graduated top of his class, his secret was hard work and asking for extra homework. Teachers never complained about his behaviour, in fact every teacher wished every student was kind, quiet and mild-mannered like him.

His marks got him into the best university in the country where he studied law. He continued to work hard and passed all his classes with high marks. Before graduating he was offered a position at the country’s top law firm, a position he started after working hard to graduate from university with honours. He still works there, earning promotions at regular intervals because of his hard work on high profile cases. He loves his job and would one day like to be a judge.

He’s aware that his name is a synonym for mischief, his parents even admitted to mischievously giving him his name, but he hasn’t let it hold him back. “It always raises a few eyebrows at first. But I just knuckle down and get all my work done. And when everyone sees how hard I work they forget what my name means.”

Because of his name Tom has struggled to find love. “I tried online dating, but everyone thought my name was a joke.” But he didn’t give up, and for the first time I saw an amazing smile and a hint of mischief in his eyes. “Yes, I have a girlfriend now, but you’ll never believe me, no one does! Her name is Hi J Inks.” She’s Chinese, and as Tom continued to talk about her his smile grew bigger, clearly they’re meant for each other. “I think- no, I know she’s the one.”

Is this acceptable?

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Dear Mrs Foolery,

I am writing to you today informing you of the unacceptable behaviour of Tom. His behaviour is unsettling students, teachers and staff, and causing damage to school property.

Over the first three days of the school year Tom has:

  • switched the ‘Girls’ and ‘Boys’ signs on the toilets
  • glued his teachers non-stick cookware to her table
  • made a weapon out of the safety scissors
  • moved a ‘Slippery When Wet’ sign to a carpeted area
  • tied his classmates shoelaces together during a game of stuck in the mud
  • removed all the schools toilet paper to mummify himself and scare students studying Ancient Egypt
  • removed a classmates shoe and handed it to the teacher when she asked for everyone’s phones
  • placed banana skins on walkways
  • told the teacher the rabbits droppings were sultanas
  • bought dog poop to class when the teacher asked him to show how he helped clean-up
  • held the teachers palm to tell her fortune and told her she will have a pool and asked her where she wanted it, and when she pointed he spat in that area
  • feed the teachers salad to the rabbit when he was asked to feed it
  • commanded the teacher to call him Tom Riddle when he found out she was a Harry Potter fan

These are just a few of the stunts Tom performed. We are currently investigating another ten incidents and expect to link them to Tom as well.

Unless Tom’s behaviour improves dramatically over the next two days I will make sure that his first week of Transition here will also be his last.

 

From Principal Waterson

Who jumped first?

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I moved away from my desk and out of the corner of my eye I saw a big, hairy, scary spider! My legs, closest to the spider, jumped straight up, and without me realising it, my feet, legs, body, arms, hands and head were in the air. Gravity soon changed that, and with a thump I vowed revenge on the big, hairy, scary spider.

Upon finding my biggest, boldest, spider squashing shoe I had a thought, “Did this spider deserve a bone crushing, blood bursting, sole smashing death?” No. My friend, Mr Hairy Eight, didn’t deserve death. Instead I realised it was all my fault.

Mr Hairy Eight sought shelter, a giant statue gazed into a screen while he quietly made his way to shelter. Suddenly the giant four legged statue moved! And Mr Hairy Eight did as most scared spiders would. He ran away.

I can’t blame him for that. He doesn’t deserve the shoe, instead I’ll give him a visitor pass and continue my work.

How would you continue the story?

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Let’s collaborate! Today I’m going to start a story, there is a character and a setting, but no ending. I’m going to stop telling the story after three paragraphs. And that’s where you come in. I want you to continue the story for three more paragraphs. Put your continuation in the comments so I can see it and I’ll continue the story from there. Enjoy!

 

Alone, cold, shoeless, hungry, thirsty and nameless. All this little girl had was the tattered clothes she wore, a shiny gold coin and a damaged picture of her parents.

She wandered the streets all day and night, no one noticed her, and those who did looked away immediately. People in the city were always rushing somewhere. They never stopped, there was always somewhere to go, someone to talk to, someone to be with. The city was always alive with motion, even now, before sunrise. Everyone had names, water, food, shoes, warmth and friends.

Even though she aimlessly wandered the city, she always found herself sitting on this one bench as the sun rose. It was in the middle of a park and overlooked the eastern ocean. With fresh air in her lungs and bare feet on the soft grass, she looked out over the ocean at the stunning sunrise. And today it was more beautiful than any she had seen before. Today was special…

What do you remember?

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Recently, a friend of mine put themselves in a coma for a couple of days, and I happened to be beside their bed when they woke-up. Their first question was “What happened?”, that was difficult to explain, so I simply asked “How much do you remember?”, they replied, “Nothing, I don’t even know who I am.” Well, that was an opening I couldn’t refuse…

“You, your majesty, are Grand Master Official Sandwich Eater the First. The year is 2407, everyone can fly, travel in time and do real magic. It’s chaos out there. But a prophecy told of a humble sandwich eater who will restore peace. It says they’re born in the 90’s, played games of videos, conquered dragons hiding in dungeons and only ate sandwiches with buns. This chosen one has seen the sun, trees and wars in stars.

The prophecy was passed down for generations. My father urged me to find you before it was too late. A minute later he was killed by a sizzling steak. It was hard to watch, so I ran away, and searched for you everyday, until I finally found you.

When you woke-up my father told me to ask you a question, a question he said you would know the answer to, who shot first?”