An overenthusiastic English teacher in the Thai capital of Bangkok, fell foul of the country's 'no grass in schools' policy this morning during a game of playground football, sustaining a serious injury to his trousers when he dived to save an almost-certain goal.
The teacher - me - was keeping goal in the game of football with some grade 4 students, and had occasion to dive to his left in order to keep out a left-footed drive by student Nati, 10. The shot was saved, but the trousers won't be, as a gaping hole just above the knee was the inevitable result of 'cloth-on-concrete'.
There will be worse news to follow in a couple of days, when a scab will surely form on the teacher's left knee.
Thailand's schools do not allow their children to play on grass, because, the government says, it instils in children the thought that life is a bed of roses, whereas playing on concrete 'builds character'. The teacher told me earlier:
"Oh, for a bit of grass! That simple luxury would have cushioned me dive and saved me trousers. Now, I'll have to get another pair from Tesco. Good job they're only 3 quid!"
Nati, the student whose shot was saved, said:
"Teacher good goalie. Trousers fucked."
The match, which ended 36-34, was played in the baking-hot sun, in temperatures of up to 98°F and, as well as the irrepairable trousers, the teacher's shirt was made filthy by his constant diving, and his underpants and socks were dripping-wet-through with sweat.
From the school here in Samsen, it finished One Team 36 The Other Team 34.