Continued from part one. Missed the first part? Read it here
“Now Mrs Welch,” opened Carr, trying his best to sound like an experienced business analyst. “You make an interesting point about the inter-personal relationship between headmasters and parents. As you know, however, both you and I are capable of error.” He paused and dared it. “As I am sure our friend Zacharias and The General Confession would both confirm, we can all err and stray like lost sheep.”
This was better. Whilst Mrs Welch gawped, halted by this counter-attack, he forced himself to continue.
“It thus follows that time might reveal some miscalculations amongst my sporting staff in placing your son in the C team; even as goalkeeper. If that proves to be the case then he will undoubtedly be promoted; even, perhaps, as captain.”
“When?” Mrs Welch countered.
“Conceivably for the next fixture,” Carr replied. “I will convene a special meeting with both Mr Coombes and Mr Dale, who is running the C team this year, to assess Zachary’s performance, not just in the match tomorrow but in future training sessions.”
“Hmmm,” Mrs Welch hummed. “That’s what my husband said you’d say.”
Carr thought it best not to react. Perhaps he might, in future, be able to open up a strategic divide in the Welch household. Maybe he could still win.
“Good, because, and as I am sure Mr Welch would appreciate, we can’t have parents dictating sporting selection, can we?”
“Well no, but you can listen to them.”
“Indeed – which is exactly what I have just done.”
Mrs. Welch, like Carr before her, retreated into her coffee-cup. Carr wondered whether she had any more missiles to launch. There was bound to be something going wrong in the classroom. Nevertheless, his heart rate had slowed somewhat.
“Well, I’m still not happy,” Mrs. Welch revved up again. Carr remained silent – best to just endure. “I don’t know what I’m going to say to Zachary. He will still be devastated. Naturally I will be at the match tomorrow. Lower Field at 2.30.”
“Of course – so will I,” Carr asserted, gambling that the sub-committee meeting started at four. “Now, if you will excuse me Mrs Welch,” he said, struggling up from the sofa, “I have a lesson observation to attend to.”
This was a lie but Carr didn’t care. All he wanted now was a moment’s peace back in his armchair. With a sigh Mrs Welch unfurled herself. Unused to being outflanked, she could still stab away with a final word.
“So, Mr. Carr, you may be the headmaster, but I want you to understand that, as others at Fabhurst and in my village have come to know, the truth is – in the end – I will always win. Until tomorrow, then. On the touchline, 2.30.”
Both offered their right hands simultaneously. Carr gripped it, hoping to crush, before opening the door. Mrs Welch departed.
Back in his chair, Carr closed his eyes and tried to breathe deeply. For a while, it was over.
On his desk, covered by a threatening pile of compliance literature, lay his diary. Scrawled alongside 2.30pm tomorrow were a pair of entries – Under 10 A, B, & C Football v. Bramley Grange (H) and underneath it Governors’ Sub-Committee. The theme for discussion? ‘The Parental Interface.’
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