"So Davidson, what have we learnt about the social effects of industrialisation?" asked Mr Granger.
"Well Sir, I think the main thing is that lots of people moved to the cities and got better jobs than the ones they had before because they all lived in fields and that and were unhappy so they upped and moved to -" The spotty youth drifted into silence as Mr Granger waved him to stop.
"Not so fast Davidson." The teacher sighed and sat on the edge of his desk. "Yes, they moved to the City, but were they any happier? Well?" He stared around the room at the multitude of apathetic, bored faces. "Boyle." A sleepy eyed boy at the back of the class jolted upright in his chair at the mention of his name. "What do you think?" Boyle stared around nervously at his classmates for a glimmer of help, but none was forthcoming.
"They were happier cos they had more money?"
"Is money happiness, Boyle?"
"Yes" said Boyle weakly.
"Excellent. Well, I can see this little philosophical discussion has left an indelible blank on your minds, and you Boyle especially have left me startled with your impressive insight into the human condition" Mr Granger got up and walked around his desk. "I do sometimes wonder why I come here for a good proportion of my day, to waste words on your fat, greasy, little ears" gratifyingly a stir was met by his slight at them. Mr Granger wanted to jump on his desk and shout like Dr Frankenstein "They are alive! Alive I tell you!"
Who to ask the next question to? Davidson had taxed his brain cell too much already, and was now dangerously liable to fall asleep at another onslaught of forced thinking. Boyle was still smiling at having seemingly answered a question correctly, Kishore was snoring into his book and that left Hermann, out of the interesting choices. The rest were non-entities who never rose to the occasion of causing trouble or exhibiting any actual detectable sign of character.
"Hermann, what is happiness?"
"Hanging out with mates Sir, family, buying people presents Sir -"
"Hermann, if I've taught you anything, forget it all now." Granger placed his hands on the desk. "The only real happiness is money gentlemen, money and lauding it over others. This weekend just gone for instance, I bought a lottery ticket, for one shiny pound" said Granger treasuring this moment, sapping up the vapid expressions on the shaven monkeys infront of him. "And this ticket, I distinctly remember I purchased after an attempt at teaching you neanderthals the mystery of strip farming in the eighteenth century. Do you know what happened with that ticket Boyle?"
"Indeed Boyle, you don't, but I do." Most of them were showing signs of life. His triumphal moment was here. "That splendiferous ticket with it's six little numbers, won me a seven digit number that equates to a rather larger sum of cash." His voice was raising in tempo. "And now I'm rich! Rich beyond my wildest dreams! And I can leave now, because that's all I came in to do, to tell you worthless brain dead shits that you aren't going to amount to anything! You don't pay attention and you think the world is going to look after you when you leave with your lack of A-Levels! Well let me tell you" he shouted whilst jabbing his finger at Boyle in particular "That life isn't like that, so I'm off. I can't cope with you fucks anymore and I don't have to! Ha ha ha ha, aha HA HA HA HA!" he ran out the room still laughing manically as he did so.
There came an abrupt stop to to the laughing and a mangled scream, and the sound of someone falling heavily and brokenly down the stone flagged steps. The boys looked at each other and slowly gathered their books. After they had filed out of the room, down the steps, and stepped over the moaning figure of Mr Granger, only Boyle remained.
"You're a twat" said Boyle and left Granger slumped in pain, alone at the bottom of the stairwell.