Welcome to my BLOG! Thank you for looking in.

I thought long and hard about what my first posting should, or might, be and rejected the rather obvious one of a diatribe on crap research methods, vaunting ambition, cock-up and cover-up and instead decided to wite a short play. It’s a playlet, really, in one act, and has been written to amuse as its appalling characters, so far removed from any that could occur in reality, are meant to entertain and perhaps inform. Anyway, if it manages to raise a chuckle or two, then my labour will not have been in vain. The geographical location of the county of Dungham is beneath Contempt, slightly to the right of Cuckoo Land, above The Law, behind The Times and beyond Belief.

“Educational Research the Dungham Way”
A Trial, a Study and an Initiative in One Act
Policeman MacCruiskeen

Dramatis Personae:
Dayfydd Prod, Chief Education Inspector (aka The Welsh Wizard) Assorted inspectors of all ages and both genders.

The scene:
A room in the Education Department of Dungham County Council. There is a flipchart at one end of the room, faced by a semi-circle of seated inspectors, glancing at each other somewhat nervously. There is a general air of unease.

The Chief Inspector, Dafydd Prod (for it is he) enters. (All rise)

He removes his jacket, loosens his tie and sits on the edge of a table beside the flipchart, smiling at his inspectors.

Dafydd Prod: (Still smiling) “Do sit down.” (all sit)

Dafydd Prod: “I wonder who can tell me what alfalfa is?”

1st Inspector: (Sotto voce) “Oh my god! Here we go again, back to
bloody primary school!”

2nd Inspector: (Laughing) “Can you smoke it?”

Dafydd Prod: (His smile disappearing) “I’ll give you a clue. It was used
As a nutrative tonic by King Darius, 550 to 486 BC.”

2nd Inspector: (Whispers to neighbour) “Fuck me! Why doesn’t he just
go and inspect something, like the bloody toilets for instance?”

Dafydd Prod: (Looking at 2nd Inspector) “So, Alec, are you going to
Share what you know about King Darius with all of us, or
Just with Diedre?”

2nd Inspector: (With faux seriousness) “Didn’t King Darius smite
the Amalekites, with the arsehole of a giraffe?”

3rd Inspector:
(Also fighting to maintain straight face) “I think you’ll find
that it was the jawbone of an ass!”

(Everyone, with the exception of the Chief Inspector is now in convulsions of mirth and mayhem briefly ensues, interrupted by an un-amused Dafydd)

Dafydd Prod: “Right! If you’ll just settle down, I see that I shall have to
explain, yet again, about aspects of education of which
you all appear to know nothing.”

2nd Inspector: (Annoyed) “I was only trying to lighten……….”

Dafydd Prod: (Pointedly ignoring him) “So listen carefully.”

Dafydd Prod: (Stands and faces them all) “Alfalfa extract is marketed by the
Alfalfa Research Studies Enterprise who, for reasons that need
not concern us, are unable to advertise the amazing benefits of
their alfalfa extract capsules.”

3rd Inspector: “What the fuck is alfalfa?”

Dafydd Prod: “I’m glad you asked me that. It’s
actually grown as cattle food and
it’s also known to be a galactagogue.”

3rd Inspector: “Dafydd, are you making this up?”

Dafydd Prod: “I can assure you that I am…..”

3rd Inspector: (Interrupting) “What the fuck is a galactagogue?”

Dafydd Prod: (wincing at the profanity) “If you’d only listen – ask
no questions and you’ll be told no lies. A galactagogue
is a substance that induces lactation.”

2nd Inspector: (Gazing longingly at Diedre’s ample, underwired breasts) “I fail to see what possible relevance this has for schools.”

Dafydd Prod: “Having talked to Arthur Curleyhair from ARSE, I am
convinced of alfalfa’s unique brain-enhancing properties.”

2nd Inspector: (Tearing his gaze away from Diedre’s bosom) “So what is
alfalfa, really?”

Dafydd Prod: (Beaming) “The answer to our prayers – and it’s free!
We’re all going green, at least the Year Elevens are.
There’s lovely, isn’t it?”

1st Inspector: “What’s the scam then, Dafydd?”

Dafydd Prod:
“It’s a piece of cake! ARSE provide their green alfalfa
extract capsules for free, for any Year Eleven student
who wants them and we put out press releases about
how we are trialling the effect of alfalfa extract on student
performance, you know – increased brain nutrition equals
more alert students, equals increased performance,
equals better GCSE results, equals promotion for me.”

3rd Inspector: (Seriously) “But Dafydd, how do we know if alfalfa extract
actually works?”

Dafydd Prod: “Why are you always so negative? Here is a unique
opportunity that is going to cost neither the kids nor the
County Council of Dungham a penny.”

3rd Inspector: (Quite studiously) “But surely there must be some
evidence, Dafydd?”

Dafydd Prod: “Well, there have been about seven trials conducted by
ARSE, that have indicated promising results, but have not
yet been published. And don’t forget, we have been
trialling the capsules in some of our primary schools.”

2nd Inspector: “With what results?”

Dafydd Prod:
“They have been encouraging.”

2nd Inspector: “What about the data?”

Dafydd Prod:
“We’re currently working on them.”

2nd Inspector: “Were there any controls?”

Dafydd Prod: (Getting annoyed) “Look! You’re at it again – being
negative. Don’t you want the best for Dungham’s
children and their parents? Even if it doesn’t do what
ARSE claim it does, the fact that the kids and their
parents think that it might is all that matters, and the fact
that they are taking part – the Hormone effect!”

1st Inspector: “I think you mean Hawthorn effect, Dafydd!”

Dafydd Prod: (Dismissively) “Whatever – the main thing is publicity.”

2nd Inspector: “Didn’t some of the primary bairns turn green?”

3rd Inspector: “And if there are no controls, how will we evaluate?

Dafydd Prod: “Right! Meeting over! I’m sure we all have things to do.
Just get the schools involved and leave the rest to me. I’ll
handle the media.”

They all stand and wander out of the room, chattering.

2nd Inspector: (To Diedre) “For god’s sake don’t you take any of those
bloody capsules!”

1st Inspector: (To colleague) “The trouble is, he thinks he can juggle
with soot.”

Dafydd Prod: (Ominously) “Alec, a word please.”


This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to persons living or dead, councils or companies is purely co-incidental

© Policeman MacCruiskeen 2008


2 Responses to “Educational Research the Dungham Way”

  1. peterd102 said

    lol not bad, I have this feeling that this resembles something in the news a while ago, fish something…. ahh its gone now…..

  2. Mrs Holly Butt said

    Argh, lol, I nearly wet myself, brilliant!

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