David Metcalfe, a pupil at St Mary’s School, Oxford, initially appeared happy with the game’s legitimacy, but changed his mind after being caught almost immediately. The incident has sent shockwaves through the school, causing widespread concern about who is now ‘It’, and sparking fears that the situation could escalate into a game of kiss chase.
Metcalfe, who collects stones and wants to be a builder when he grows up, ran away giddily when Amy Manderfield, a pale girl who picks at her jumper, was pronounced ‘It’. However, in a disastrous miscalculation, thought to have been caused by over-excitement, the young boy immediately cornered himself between the slides and a fence.
Metcalfe released a crayoned statement this morning, read by his spokesman and best friend Ian Buckler, nearly seven, which stated ‘I’m the best runner and Ian’s the second-best, and he almost didn’t get away too which proves no-one was ready. It’s stupid. We should start again, starting now.’
Metcalfe’s account has been vigorously denied by Manderfield’s supporters, but teachers have so far been unable to disprove his allegations. ‘It was pandemonium,’ said Lucy Carragher, playground supervisor. ‘To David’s credit, he didn’t tag one of the kids who believed him and dash off squealing that it was all a trick. I’ve seen him do that before.’
Meanwhile school headmaster Ian Hubble has promised a full investigation, vowing ‘None of us want this to escalate like last month’s Stuck in the Mud stand-off’.
Local MP Richard Wright has called the incident ‘ridiculous’, and asked for calm this morning. ‘The whole affair has been blown out of proportion,’ he announced through a bullhorn to worried parents dropping their children off at school. ‘This could all have been avoided if they had entered into statute the simple rule I proposed fifty two years ago, which allows a player to restart a game of ‘It’ simply by shouting, ‘Fiddlesticks and candle wax, one, two, three, let’s start again and so says me.’
‘And that is a real rule, by the way,’ claimed Wright. ‘So Fatty Faulkner can jump off a cliff and take his stupid fat face with him.’
9th February 2011