Last week, each boarding house received an ominous looking business card. The housemasters and housemistresses were confused by this but were determined to find out more, thinking it was a prank from their year 12s, and so called the unknown phone number on the back. But what was to happen next was unexpected…
At 5am the next morning the SHS of each house waited outside their houses’ front door, just like they were told to do on the phone. The next thing they remember was being in RHS sports kit in the mess hall. Suddenly, hundreds of red workers appeared in red jumpsuits and black masks. One stepped forward and said, “SHS, you have been selected to play the RHS Squid Games for a chance to win bonus points for the Bannerman trophy. If you are uninterested in playing please opt out now”. However, the competitive spirits of the SHS overwhelmed their bodies as they glared at each other for the want for glory. The worker stepped forward once again to reveal the first game.
The worker said, “Everyone grab a tray and collect your food”. The SHS did so claiming their katsu curry with delight, thinking there was a chance to have a quiet lunch without the students but how wrong they were. The worker spoke again, “The first game is to get to one end of the dining hall as quick as you can without dropping your tray”. The SHS looked at each other and laughed at how easy the task was, but then the doors to the near end opened and in ran the year 7s all running around the mess hall with their trays. Then the hot chocolate machines turned on, causing an even greater rush as the students ran across the hall trying to beat the queue. The timer above the entrance of the mess hall began to start ticking down and the SHS began their race.
Mr Platt (Drake) used his rugby skills to dodge the year 7s and made it to the other end first. Mr Carleston put Mrs Condliffe (Nelson) on his back and they charged together knocking those who got in their way down, including Miss Duncan (Howe) who sadly was knocked down and eliminated from the game; few tears were shed when those playing saw good katsu curry being wasted as it hit the floor. Mr Gould (Hawke) commando-rolled to the other end of the mess hall, throwing his tray and then catching it. Mrs Marvell (Anson) and Mrs Skau (Hood) took a practical approach by jumping across tables to avoid the busy year 7’s, whereas Mr Brightwell (Raleigh) sadly slipped on the sauce and was also eliminated, a big ‘whay’ was heard when his tray hit the floor. Mr Eales (St Vincent) and Mr Terry (Collingwood) snuck around the sides making it to the other side with time to spare. With only seconds to go and all the other SHS making it past the finish line, Mrs Maloney (Blake) stepped forward and simply spoke to her year 7s causing them to part like the red sea and allowing her to casually walk to the other end, with Mr Cohen (Cornwallis) sneaking behind her.
The successful SHS cheered and ate their delicious food, whereas poor Mr Brightwell and Miss Duncan returned to their boarding house and were put on plate/mess duty for the rest of the week.
The next day the SHS were escorted to Chapel and sat in the pews. The lead worker stepped forward once again and spoke, “Congratulations on completing the first game and welcome to the next. The second game will begin shortly”.
The SHS looked at each other in confusion over the lack of instructions they received, but then the organ began playing. The SHS turned around to face the balcony and saw a worker playing Jerusalem on the organ. “You must sing Jerusalem without getting a single word wrong”, said the lead worker. The SHS looked for their hymn books but they had all been removed- this could have been a part of the game or the Chaplain was so fed up of people slamming them that he removed them.
All the SHS sung those immortal words, “And did those feet in ancient time”, perfectly except poor Mr and Mrs C who are new this year and so were unaware of the lyrics, ultimately eliminating them.
The great hymn went on until the crescendo of “And was Jerusalem builded here”, where Mr Eales did the St Vincent lean but a little too far, causing him to fall and miss some of the words. Mrs Skau stopped singing to check that he was okay but forgot that she would also be eliminated.
However, the rest of the SHS were throughly enjoying themselves, grooving to “Bring me my chariot of fire” as it was like having a mini Congo for themselves.
Those who were eliminated this round were forced to iron all the choir’s cassocks and turn all the candles off in the choir pews.
The remaining SHS were excited to play game 3, as the extra points for the Bannerman trophy were almost in reach. They gathered at the parade square this time and all stood behind a box, which all looked identical. The workers removed the lid of the boxes to reveal new divisions shoes.
“You have an hour to pass these division shoes”, said the lead worker. The SHS felt confident until Mr Griffiths appeared with mirror glass shoes and fire in his eyes. “They will be inspected by Mr G himself. Go!”, yelled the lead worker. And so the frantic polishing begun.
Cotton wool buds were flying. The smell of polish was potent. Sweat dripped from the SHS’ foreheads whilst they breathed heavily on their shoes to try and see their reflection. Pressure built as the clock continued to count down and as Mr Griffiths wandered around with his cutlass.
Mr Platt was the first to finish but sadly dropped his shoes when walking up to the dias to see Mr Griffiths, scuffing them and causing him to fail. Mr Terry was up next and passed with flying colours- all those years of training his Collingwood boys paid off. Mrs Marvell tried to be sneaky and use quick shine but Mr Griffiths could smell it, and threw the shoe across the parade square as far as the eye can see. Mr Gould and Mrs Maloney passed but unfortunately Mr Cohen was eliminated as his shoes cracked at the last minute!
Those eliminated this round had to march around the parade square all night. Those remaining were ecstatic to reach the final game and went to celebrate at the Fish n Chips van.
Come back next time to read about the final game and to discover who is truly behind the RHS squid games…