The girl has been rehearsing hard for a theatrical production to be performed next week, and the boy's school has been invited to watch it during the day, before evening performances for parents and others.
The girl's school is a 5 minute walk away from Puddlecote Towers, the boy's school a bus ride of a couple of miles and, to attend the show, he is expected to be there 20 minutes earlier than usual. This is to give enough time for the long walk ... back to where he has come from.
As such, the girl had a quite brilliant plan. She would ask her school if her brother could walk to where the show is being held that morning (her school) with her and her friends. You know, maybe wait in reception or somewhere like that. I mean, what's the point of all the otherwise unnecessary palaver, eh?
I said it was a brilliant idea, but confidently told her/them that at least one of the schools wouldn't allow it. "Why ever not?", they both cried! I simply replied that the public sector didn't understand common sense and would think up some way of avoiding employing it.
The girl returned home today with an incredulous look on her face. Yes, her school had flatly refused to consider it. Stifling my amusement and accompanying smug grin, I enquired as to which of the many public sector "more than my job's worth" excuses they had used.
"They said they have no-one to look after him", she spluttered.
A school. Designed to cope with 1,500 kids. With a payroll of over 100 staff. Unable to find somewhere for a 10 year old to sit quietly for 30 minutes.
As an example of statist Britain's pathetic administrative intransigence, you've got to admit that's a cracker.