Sian: Welcome to the final part of this Comeuppance special, coming live from St Noel’s School in Barrow-in-Furness, and presented by me Sian Welby! Voting has been intense and we’ve raised loads of dosh for the school, so thank you for your generosity, but as of now the polls are closed. If you call your vote won’t count and you may still get charged.
Sian strolls to the side of the stage, where Anita stands fidgeting in front of the pool filled with custard and cream.
Sian: Soon we shall find out whether maths teacher Mrs Pascal, PE teacher Miss Field, or Olive the school cook shall receive some severe extra-curricular discipline, but they’re not the only ones who could be getting messy. I’m here with Anita, the sixth form head girl, who has pledged to slide face-first into this giant custard pie if the total funds raised hits £750,000. Anita, how you doing?
Anita: I never said I would slide in face-first!
Sian: Oh dear, this poor girl is so nervous! She’s been pacing about something rotten this last hour and a half! Well it’s time for the moment of truth – drum-roll please. The total amount that you the viewers raised for the school is
The audience gasps then groans. Anita raises her fists in relief.
Sian: Awwww. We didn’t quite make it! Anita, you’ve escaped by the skin of your teeth!
Mrs Pascal: But we’re within five percent of the target. Isn’t that close enough?
Sian: Close, Mrs P, but no cigar.
The crowd start booing.
Sian: Sorry everyone, but that’s the way it is. We may be harsh on this show, but we’re always fair.
Anita: Seems a waste of all that custard though. Maybe you should go down the slide instead!
The crowd like the sound of that very much.
Sian: [turning very stern] Uh-uh! That is definitely not going to happen. Just because you’ve had one good idea, Anita, don’t let it go to your head! Now get yourself over by the big red button and stop misbehaving!
Sian proceeds to the three desks while Anita obediently stations herself at the plinth.
Sian: Right then you three, sit up straight! Let’s have some discipline in class. We know the total number of votes, but just how have those choices fallen? It’s time to get the final scores!
The lights dim, save for three narrow spotlights trained on the seated contestants. Tense music plays.
Sian: The public have given you their marks, and they are as follows:
The school roar with all their lungs as the results flash up on the screen. Olive and Mrs Pascal both celebrate and turn to Miss Field with a “rather you than me” look. The latter, though fully expecting this outcome, covers her face and shakes her head slowly.
Sian: Pretty indisputable verdict there. Stand up Miss Field! Show her the red card boys!
The guards step forward, unlock the cuff around Miss Field’s wrist and coerce her towards the chair.
Crowd: MISS FIELD, YOU ARE GOING DOWN!!
MISS FIELD, YOU ARE GOING DOWN!!
MISS FIELD, YOU ARE GOING DOWN!!
Sian: Ok, ok! Thank you! You can make all the noise you want in a minute. [Unlocks Olive’s cuff] Olive, if you would please get to your feet also. The voters have spoken unequivocally: you will not be stewing in our unsavoury urn, and can return your kitchen fresh, clean and dry. How do you feel about that?
Olive: It’s the happiest I’ve been all night.
Sian: That I can well believe! Here’s your Jammy Dodger trophy, which you can have out on your serving counter to really rub the kids’ noses in it when you’re ladling mystery mush onto their plates! Thanks for being a good sport and raising all this money for your school.
Olive: No problem Sian. See you tomorrow, bright and early.
Sian: [frowning] Err, will you?
Olive: Didn’t the crew tell you? They’ve asked me to cook you breakfast. You do like your porridge luke-warm and lumpy, I hope?
Sian: [dismayed] My mouth’s watering already. Ladies and gents, girls and boys, a stomach-turning round of applause for Olive the school cook.
A slow hand-clap sounds from below as a chuffed Olive walks off-stage. Sian stands over the still seated Mrs Pascal.
Mrs Pascal: [with a cheeky smile] That I came second?
Sian: Oh, she’s sharp isn’t she? It also means that you have to take part in next week’s show, and there’s a non-zero probability that you will get your comeuppance yet!
Mrs Pascal shrugs as Sian walks off.
Sian: Thank you very much to all of you who voted and raised so much money, and thanks to everyone here for being such a great crowd. The anticipation in this marquee is absolutely electric, and I’m sure you’re just as excited at home. [Arrives next to Anita at the plinth] Why? Because our changing room tyrant is suspended above the sin bin, and she’s about to take an early bath!
The doom-laden music thunders through the PA system, and the scene turns to a close-up of a small pair of PE shorts, half-submerged in the muck, their original colour unknown but their present hue a muddy brown. The camera zooms out, revealing the blue and brown patches of slop, dotted with various scraps of flaccid vegetables. Then the shot pans up to meet Miss Field’s bare feet, her trainers having been removed. Her toes point with athletic poise down at the goo. The camera continues its ascent, up Miss Field’s snug leggings and onwards to her nubile torso. Illuminated by the steady stream of camera flashes from the audience, the PE teacher hangs her head and holds her nose.
Sian: Ho ho ho! Not too fresh up there, is it Miss Field? And if you think it’s bad now, wait til you’re covered in it! Anita, the honour is all yours [gestures the button].
Anita: [apprehensively] It’s not booby-trapped like last time, is it?
Sian: Do you think I’d still be standing here? [Looks out to crowd] School, how many of you have dreamt of this moment? The frosty mornings out on the pitch, the cold showers, the tiny spare PE kit if you forget your own. Miss Field makes your humiliation her vocation, but now we’re going to humiliate her in a big way!
Up in the chair Miss Field prepares herself, her toned muscles tensing.
Sian: Miss Field, from the pupils of St Noel’s, and on behalf of the victims of PE teachers everywhere…
Sian and crowd: HERE IS YOUR COMEUPPANCE!!!
Anita slams down the button, setting off a spectacle of sparks and flashing lights. As the winch gives way, Miss Field lunges forward against the straps, tipping the chair with her, and throws wide her arms and legs. She belly-flops in with an almighty splash, sending gunk leaping across the stage.
Sian: [leaping to avoid a flying sock] Woooah!!
For a few seconds the cables quiver while a toilet flush sounds. Then they pull taut and haul out the prostrate PE teacher. The weighted chair rights itself and she flips back into the upright position, while the trombone plays a discordant “School’s Out for Summer”. The once imperious games instructor is totally caked in the thick, lumpy gunge. Her ruined hair hangs matted in strands of blue and brown, partly draped over her face, which is itself dishevelled under a coating of light blue, bits of cabbage hanging from it. Miss Field’s front torso is predominantly plastered in brown, save for a blue left boob and a peppering of dark green grot, and her saturated training top has dragged down to reveal an inch of cleavage. Her leggings are similarly sodden in a mixture of the two colours, and her bare arms and shoulders are coated.
Sian: [Egging on the crowd] Ooohhh yes!
A barrage of camera flashes glints off the gunge as the crowd go mental, the roar in the marquee as jubilant as it is deafening. Miss Field plays up to her humiliation, sticking her tongue out and pulling various poses of disgusted defeat. Unusually for a comeuppancee, she makes no attempt to wipe her face. She does, however, sweep back her hair and hook it behind her ears. As she does so, an object moves amongst the pile of muck on the top of her head. She peels it away, revealing it to be a pair of PE shorts. She holds up the small, slimy garment in front of her, then tosses it into the crowd.
Sian: Woweee! A slam dunk, a touchdown, a perfect dive – whatever you call it, that was incredible!
Mrs Pascal: You got me as well! [points to a blob on her shoulder]
Sian: Let it be a small taster for next week! Oh, and we’re not done yet! Miss Field, we’ve got something you should be familiar with.
The guards wheel on a giant fan, mounted at the same height as Miss Field and with a box attached to its front. The fan whirrs into action, blasting Miss Field with grass cuttings, which stick to the gunge. The winch rotates the chair, so that the spluttering PE teacher gets uniform coverage. In no time she is all but buried under a fuzzy coat of grass.
Sian: Oh yes, she loves to see her pupils munch the turf when they’re in a scrum; now she knows what it tastes like! That was a fantabulous comeuppance – perhaps the most popular of the series – and I’m sure it’ll be just as acclaimed in super slo-mo.
The slow-mo replay shows Miss Field brace for action as the sparks fly around her. In a flourish of fitness and good-humour, she throws herself forward and plummets to her fate front-first. Gunge flies in all directions as she hits home.
Sian: And let’s see it again from above!
The bird’s-eye view shows the PE teacher’s slender figure spread into star-formation as she falls towards the slop. Her tight legging-clad bottom, visible through the wire-mesh chair is the last part of her to be consumed by the slop, but a star-shaped indentation remains on the ghastly surface after she is gone.
Sian: She got exactly what she deserved! Anita, it must have been damn satisfying to push that button.
Anita: [grinning] Immensely!
Sian: Glad to hear it! We didn’t raise quite enough to send you into that pie, but it’s still a stupendous amount and you can be very proud of what you’ve achieved. All the best for your A-levels and wherever life takes you after that. Let’s have a big hand for Anita please!
The spectators duly show their appreciation.
Sian: Oh, I’ve just received some news from the director: our sponsers have agreed to top up the total to £750,000 – so guess what!
Sian shoves Anita by the shoulders, sending the girl sprawling backwards. Anita tries to regain her balance, but her calves barge into the rim of the pool, which the guards have surreptitiously edged into place behind her, and she begins to totter. Horror grows on the head girl’s face as she realises where she is headed. Frantically and comically, her arms windmill, and she almost succeeds in bringing herself to a stop, but momentum wins the day and she pitches backward, landing flat on her back with a soft splut, and submerging into the sea of custard.
While the audience laughs and cheers, Anita’s plimsolled feet flap up and down over the rim of the pool. Slowly, her head and shoulders emerge, and she levers herself by her elbows. The pretty schoolgirl is a mass of yellow and white, outlandishly misshapen by the thick goo. Her bunches stick out from the sides of her head like a pair of giant yellow pom-poms, her blazer is destroyed, and her mouth gapes in a huge black circle.
Grinning, Sian scuttles to a safe distance, lest Anita should try to get her back.
Sian: We couldn’t let her get away with it, could we? [Looks up] And as for you, Miss Field, have you learnt your lesson?
Miss Field: [hands on hips, rasping through grass] Sian, the pupils may find it funny now, but they won’t be laughing when I next take them for PE!
Sian: I’m sure they won’t; that pong will drift all the way across the playing field, pwwweeuughh!! Ha ha ha! Needless to say, Miss Field, you took that gunging like a champ and you’ve been a fantastic sport (no pun intended for once). And you’ve raised all this money to boot, so fair play to you. However, seeing as you’re unrepentant as ever, you can have some more grass.
The fan resumes, assailing Miss Field with another storm of grass cuttings.
Sian: We must leave it there. Join us again next week to see another scoundrel get their comeuppance in our Mucky Dip! Ta-ra!
Sian stands at the edge of the stage and waves as the camera slowly zooms out. The schoolkids and townsfolk clap and dance to the music in true party mood. Still gaping, Anita staggers to her feet in the pie, great lumps of cream and custard dripping from her skirt and running down her legs. Chained to her desk, Mrs Pascal regards her caked pupil and trashed colleague with a mixture of amusement and trepidation. Looking like the Jolly Green Giant, Miss Field waves to the camera, a smile faintly discernible under the myriad blades of grass. From somewhere in the crowd the pair of shorts are chucked back at her, slapping her in the face. The final scene is a slow-mo replay of the PE teacher emerging from the muck, swinging from the front-down to the upright position.