‘My back was only turned for a few seconds’ says Alec Dunning in his autobiography “Back from the Nit Nurse”, ‘but when I looked at my maths book someone had drawn a big hairy knob on the front cover. Gordon was trying to look all innocent, but I knew it was him.’
Mr Dunning’s book is the latest in a series of memoirs written by former pupils of Kirkaldy West Primary School that dish the dirt on the turbulent school days of Mr Brown. Earlier this year Mandy Peterson told in her book how the young Gordon had flown into a rage after she had accused him of picking his nose and eating it. ‘He started screaming that I was a Joey Deacon and then pulled my hair. I was distraught until the end of morning playtime.’ Alex Camborne also told in his book how the young Gordon had asked him if he collected stamps. ‘I was a keen philatelist so said yes, only for him to stamp on my foot, shouting ‘there’s one for your collection!’’.
Dunning also confirms many of the allegations made in previous books of the ongoing feud between Gordon and another boy, Toby Blaine. ‘They were always at each others’ throats,’ Dunning writes. ‘Gordon would get top marks in maths and would mock Toby for it, then Toby would come top in creative writing and rub Gordon’s nose in it. But it really came to a head when Toby was told he could play Joseph in school nativity. Gordon was adamant that he’d agreed with Toby that he could play Joseph that year, but Toby wasn’t going to step aside, so Gordon tried to get the rest of the class to back him. It split the class in two – some of them wanted Gordon to have a go, the rest thought Toby was the best Joseph. In the end they played conkers for the role and Toby won, but Gordon was convinced he’d pickled his conker in vinegar so gave Toby a wedgie.’
Dunning added that Gordon didn’t get his chance to play Joseph until his final year at the school after Toby’s parents had moved away from the area. ‘Poor Gordon, it was his big chance but the production was a shambles that year – Toby’s best mate played the inn-keeper and told him there wasn’t room in the stable either, and Joseph and Mary had a row next to the manger about whether they should sell the gold, frankincense and myrrh to pay off their debts. In the end most parents went to watch Kirkaldy North’s nativity instead.’