185 • Ms Phipps recollected

185 • Ms Phipps recollected

Our Junior teacher, Ms Phipps,
Wore outfits with thousands of zips:
To combat the moth
She would use only cloth
Bought in very thin Möbius strips.

What better way for a teacher of Math to introduce perplexing concepts in Topology, you might say. But we were older now, and teenage hormones made it impossible not to dwell on the imagined contortions, in her boudoir, as she dressed. Or undressed. A Möbius stripper. I blush to think of it, even now.

2 thoughts on “185 • Ms Phipps recollected

  1. Reminds me somewhat of that short story by Peter Carey -‘Peeling’ in which a neighbour is reduced to nothingness by various undone zips, buttons, buckles and other unfastening devices.

    1. Thanks, Loris, I should take a look at that. Somewhere I have ‘The Fat Man in History’ – I have a feeling it’s in there, but I haven’t read it. I don’t think this rhyme was influenced by Peter Carey, but rather by strong memories school implanted at a time when I was very impressionable. It’s perfectly possible, of course, that he was also taught by Ms Phipps, as she definitely moved on to another school. I’m pretty confident Carey was not in our school: I have strong memories of all the class-mates, in several ‘academic’ years as the Brits like to say.

      Nice hearing from you,


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