'Falling Over And Breaking Your Arm In Order To Avoid Physical Education' by R M F Brown

Breaking your arm in order to avoid PE is no easy thing to accomplish. Obviously, a clean break is preferable, but there’s always the risk of a greenstick fracture, which takes ages to heal, or worse, a break which leaves the bone sticking out and blood pouring everywhere. Then there’s the problem of how to do it. It’s easy to fall off a bike, but that would run the risk of sticky out bones and blood ruining my mum’s washday, whilst earning me a clip round the ear! Besides, what if I only give myself a nasty bruise? If anything, it would make things worse, as they would tell me to stop being a pansy and take the pain!
Getting help is tricky. Bribery would cost loads of cigarettes, and someone would probably grass me in. I could ask the school bully, but he’d probably break my legs instead.
Then you need a story. Once mum got over the shock of seeing her offspring with an arm in a sling, she would demand the truth. The minute I look into those eyes I’ve had it. Under that gaze I would confess to shooting JFK, JR, and being Hitler’s love child!
I toyed with the idea of tripping over a loose pavement kerb. I might even get some compensation from some TV injury lawyer, but mum would probably take the money and blow it on the bingo!
I gazed at my old treehouse and wondered if I could fall out of that, but then I looked at the rickety fence nearby, and didn’t feel like being impaled.  Then I looked for a high wall to fall off, but they always had dogs waiting for you at the bottom, and I decided I didn’t want to be some mutt’s toothpick!
I thought to myself that if I was going to be man enough to bust an arm, I may as well do PE. After surviving a whipping with wet towels in the changing rooms, I stepped outside and was greeted with icy daggers of rain. Trudging onto the pitch, I crossed my heart and hoped to die. The whistle blasted and I got stuck into a game of rugby. It was not so bad sliding through the mud chasing a giant egg. And then it happened. Caught in possession, I was tripped up and comically fell to the ground, a ton of flesh piling on top of me. Snap went the arm. Carried away, I was hailed a hero – taking one for the team. If only!


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