Once upon a time, there were three very naughty boys named Boris, Nigel and Michael. They were the naughtiest children at The Unspeakably Posh School For Boys, but they never got into trouble, because they were just too posh. Michael was good at putting the blame on others. Boris could always make the teacher laugh. And Nigel was so popular with the other children that they always defended him when he’d been naughty.
One day, they brought a stink bomb to school. It was made with secret ingredients to be especially stinky. They wanted to set it off after lunch. David thought this was a bad idea, and wanted to tell the headteacher.
“Nobody likes a grass, David,” whined Boris. “There must be a better way to settle this.”
“Alright,” said David, “at lunch we’ll ask everyone in the class what they think, and whatever they decide, that’s what we’ll do.”
“Huzzah!” grinned Boris. “Nobody will listen to you.”
David thought this might be true, so he came up with a cunning plan to make people listen.
“Do what I say, or I’ll punch you in the face,” he told everyone.
“Do what we say, or we’ll kick you in the balls,” sneered the three very naughty boys.
At lunch, everyone was asked if they’d rather be punched in the face or kicked in the balls. Michael pushed his glasses over the bridge of his nose and gave everyone a long, hard stare.
“Think of how much fun it’ll be after the stink bomb goes off,” said Nigel. “The teacher won’t be able to tell us what to do ever again.”
“Think of how much trouble we’ll get into,” said David. “Nobody’s done anything this bad ever.”
Just over half the class chose to be punched in the face; they didn’t like their teacher at all, so wanted to make trouble, and anyway, no-one likes to be kicked in the balls.
Just under half the class chose to take their chances with the ball-kicking; they were worried about what would happen after the stink bomb had been let off.
The three very naughty boys strode purposefully back into the classroom after lunch. The other children limped in, wincing and muttering from their wounds. Michael kept a look-out and when the teacher was coming, Nigel and Boris smashed the stink bomb on the floor.
The whole room filled with a terrible odour. It was part cat-piss, part beetle-poo and several other more unpleasant things this writer doesn’t dare mention.
“Who has done this?” shrieked the teacher, his nostrils flaring and his face mottling purple.
Everyone looked at the floor and nobody spoke, so the headteacher was called.
“What is the meaning of this?” boomed the headteacher, Mr Juncker.
The students looked at each other, then back at the headteacher, then down at their desks.
“Very well,” said Mr Juncker, “the whole class has detention. And you will do your detention in this room.”
“Oh, but can’t we go outside?” the children cried. “It smells so bad in here.”
“You have made your bed, now you must lie in it,” said the headteacher, and then hurried off to try to get the smell out of his clothes.
“This is all your fault,” grumbled the children who’d been kicked in the balls.
“God, you’re always moaning,” said the children who’d been punched in the face. Some of them were sporting impressive shiners by now.
After detention, the children made their way home to their parents, who were astonished by the terrible smell. They tried everything to rub it off but it wouldn’t go. In fact, it just spread to the now-stinky parents. From the parents, it passed to brothers and sisters and cats and dogs. Dinner was served but nobody could eat it because it smelt so bad. Cats searched their homes in confusion, looking for the feline who had dared to mark their territory in this way. Everyone went to bed with grumbling tummies.
The next day, the parents made their way to work, and spread the smell around their colleagues. Pretty soon the whole country stank. Nobody was immune.
“I don’t want to go to that school any more, Mummy,” said David.
“We shall find you another school,” said Mummy. “We’ll send you to an excellent school in Europe.”
But the headteacher of the European school had heard rumours about the smell that had taken over Britain, and their application was turned down.
Meanwhile Boris, Nigel and Michael were nowhere to be seen. They didn’t come to school. They didn’t play in the park. They just stayed in their homes with the curtains drawn. Everyone wondered if they’d ever come out, now that the whole country stank…