Academies, Hypocritical Cant

The Marquess of Muck Lane


“What’s the good of ‘avin work as a scullery and kitchen maid for six years if you’re going to change you’re profession now? What’s wrong with you girl? Ain’t mucking out them grates good enough for you no more?!”

Emily LeFevre sighed, it had taken all of her nerve to apply for the job of Chef Patissiere, at the establishment of the Right Honourable Lord Tobias Grid-Iron, but she had done it, the job was hers. Nothing and no one was going to stop her from arising like a phoenix from the ashes of the St Bacchanalia Asylum, nothing.

” I wants to work in a refined establishment what has oil lamps, shiny bed pans and flushable toilets. I wants to wear a linen bustle under me petticoats and  button up boots on me feet, most of all I wants me own bed”

Madame LeFevre frowned, her eyes lit upon the black, leather bound testament of St. Gove which lay on a small table beside her bed, “I recall your Aunt Maggie wanting ‘er little girl to go into service, but she would ‘ave none of it! And now look at her! Swishing her skirts out of doors past midnight and knocking back laudunum like it was pump water.”

“The Grid-Irons are a refined and respected household, Lord Grid-Iron is a man of the people, be ‘appy for me mother, finally, this is a chance for me to improve myself.”

“Lord Grid-Iron..that wouldn’t be the man who reduced beer duty would it? Your Uncle Jim near drove his whole family to penury because of it, his wife is in the poor house still.”

Emily snapped the clasp shut on her carpet bag, she brushed the lint off her dress and wrapped a shawl around her shoulders and bosom tightly.” I wants to earn my keep by working for the best people there is, rich people, like the Tobias Grid-Irons, you know what they say, rub against gold a bit might stick to you.”

“Grid-Irons, that’s a familiar name that is, I think your father knows an Emile Grid-Iron, works as an Ostler down at the The Bunch O’ Keys, they say ‘is mother was in the buttock & twang game, a terrible woman of ill-repute” Mrs LeFevre looked troubled, “She never did tell who ‘is father was. Ow’ much are they payin you?”

“The hours is flexible Ma, it’s what they calls a zero-hour contract, it’s all the rage nowadays, I’ll dare say as I’ll manage.”

Mrs LeFevre smiled gently at her little girl, now a grown woman of eighteen years, it was a miracle she hadn’t died of Cholera, Typhoid or Scarlet Fever, she had even survived her brother. “Well girl if this is what you want to do I can’t see as anything I might say will stop you”

Emily LeFevre choked back a tear “Ma” she said, “Before I go, may we ask aid & succour of St. Gove?”

Kneeling alongside the family bed mother and daughter prayed.



“Wake him up! Somebody wake him up!”
Donny Doyle his pant’s legs swishing just above his ankles,went sauntering down the aisle to sir’s desk, he flicked his plastic ruler against sir’s forehead,then he skipped back to his desk and sat down. Mrs Fetter glared at him,but Donnie met her stare unflinchingly. Everyone new that sir suffered from chronic narcolepsy, he hadn’t taken a lucid lesson in years.
Donny’s mum, uncles, cousins and brother had all passed through sir’s classes, becoming autodidacts of the first order. Why Uncle Denny owed his car mechanic’s business to sir, and Aunt Maggie would never have qualified as a maid at the age of twelve had sir been awake.
Donny was different to the rest of his family in that he wanted to join the Rouge Bull Posse and be smashing it up in the neighbourhood innit. Instead of which he found himself forced to sit through fifty minutes of snoring three times a week alongside every other form of bullshit this school had to offer.
“Donny Doyle outside my office please, this minute! I asked you to wake him up! Not assault him! Shameless child!”
“But e was asleep miss!”
“Nonsense Donny! Mr Tuffy was merely taking five minutes to reflect upon the plenary”
Mrs Fetter continued to glare at him as he slid off his chair and shuffled out of the classroom. She made the sign of the DfE,running her fingers over the pearls around her neck and muttering the creed of St Gove under her breath as she did so,
“Blessed be St Gove, who leadeth us towards aspirational ethos by way of stringent performance evaluation, relentless observation and moral rigour. Scatter thy blessings upon thy flock I pray,deliver us from the spectre of required improvements and lead us in the way outstanding”
Behind her, his head in his hands sir groaned,
“Mr Tuffy-Milton! Rouse yourself!”, Boo Doo’s parents are in my office”
“Boo Doo who?”
The students sniggered, everyone knew Boo Doo.
“Mr Tuffy!”
“Yes alright, ok, I’m coming”
He clambered to his feet
” What time is it?
“It’s 10.30, your students are half an hour late to Spanish!”
Boo Doo’s parents had been seated for well over an hour when Mrs Fetter finally re-entered her office accompanied by Mr Tuffy. Just glancing at Mrs LeFevre’s expressionless face made her want to cry out for aid & succour before the throne of Gove, but she suppressed the urge, unclenching her pearls she took a seat.
“Good morning Mr and Mrs LeFevre” Mrs Fetter extended her hand but then as Mrs LeFevre hissed whilst Mr Lefevre rolled his eyes she quickly withdrew it. Coughing ostentatiously, Mr Tuffy strove to conceal a smirk.
” I think we all know why we are here” Mrs Tuffy began,
“No we don’t! We really don’t! I should be taking in washing, Emily’s just finished her night shift at the cotton mill, I should be cooking her breakfast!”
Mr Tuffy stifled a snore, the urge to fall asleep was really quite overwhelming.Mrs Fetter smiled thinly,
“Quite. And once this issue is sorted you may proceed with your day, I only have one question to pose, why is Boo Doo still here?”
Mrs LeFevre raised a quizzical eyebrow,
” Pardon me?”
“Why is Boo Doo still here? I was under the impression that you had made alternative educational arrangements for him to apprentice with a professional chimney sweep”
Mrs LeFevre narrowed the eye beneath the monocle,
“This school is an academy is it not?”
“Aspiring to educate the great uneducated under-class are you not?”
” Well…yes”
“Aspiring to provide them with an Etonian infused education?”
” Well…”
“Then Boo Doo stays!” Mrs LeFevre proclaimed triumphantly,
” For I am a parent governor, I too have read the works of the great Gove, and according to him the customer is always right, and WE ARE CUSTOMERS!! ”
“Yes but-”
Mrs Fetter’s objection was cut short by the loud snores of Mr Tuffy, who had curled himself up on his chair and fallen asleep. Mr and Mrs LeFevre exchanged glances,
” Still ere is he?” Mr LeFevre said,
“He taught me English or rather I taught me-self, we’d heard as how you’d promoted him, made him an assistant head or some such, Boo Doo STAYS”
As the LeFevres swept out of the office Mrs Fetter clutched the edge of her desk, visions of Tuffy clambering out of windows and across window ledges swept through her mind, dear sweet Gove…

Academy status, ACCESSIBILITY, Hypocritical Cant

The Curious Case of Boodoo Lefevre