MY primary school had some strange characters. It wasn’t just me. In fact, out of the list of the school’s five strangest students around that time, I was probably…well, let’s not kid ourselves. I was up there.
But when I was in Year 5, Finchy topped the list.
Finchy was a funny guy. I mean in a ha-ha sort of way.But back then nobody ever saw him that way.
He had ADD but was also a compulsive liar and a thief. He wasn’t charismatic though, easy to overlook even though we both shared various school yards the next four years.
I remember our first conversation.
He told me he lived near the Freddo Pie shop on the highway and how he had fancy equipment at his house. Finchy said he had all these miniature cameras he found or bought from some secret laboratory, or whatever. And they had self-destruct modes on them.
He strapped all these cameras to ants to blow up their ant hills.
I believed him.
Hey. I’d watched a lot of Dexter’s Laboratory lately. And Finchy was a good liar.
That afternoon my social worker – the big, fat, hairy, man – visited. I’d anticipated it, and arranged for us to meet Finchy at the pie shop. The big,fat,hairy man and I drove to the pie store and ordered our ice-creams. I raved about my new friend and his cameras.
The big,fat, hairy man asked me to repeat myself about the cameras, and although sullen, never told me I was wrong.
But he knew enough to work out after forty minutes that this kid was not going to turn up. “We have to go now,” the social worker told me.
The next day I told Finchy I had waited for him.
He laughed. “Oh yeah.”