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Five A Day
by Cedric Botfrob

The recession had hit Nadger Brooks hard, which was annoying, because that was usually his job. As Saint Street’s official school bully, his main source of income was stealing other kids’ lunch money, but many kids could no longer afford a proper meal.

Take Huskinson, for example. They’d hit it off on his first day, or rather, Nadger had hit it off and Huskinson had spent the rest of the day trying to fix it back on. So Nadger felt real concern as he looked down at the meagre contents of the boy’s pockets. "What on earth did you expect to buy with this?" he said.

"A portion of fries," said Huskinson miserably.

"You need better nourishment than that," said Nadger. "You need protein, to help repair damaged tissues." Huskinson always seemed to have damaged tissues when Nadger had finished with him. "You should be eating five portions of fresh fruit and vegetables a day: no wonder you bruise so easily. You need at least three times as much lunch money."

"But you’d steal it," pointed out Huskinson. "I’d be left with nothing."

"So you’d be no worse off than you are now. And as I’d be better off, the wealth would trickle down to the poorest members of society, which means you. I’m trying to enrich you." Sometimes he wished that the school taught economics as a core subject. Many of the students had a poor grasp of finance, particularly when Nadger was trying to grasp it at the same time. He had a sudden idea. "Let’s do a poster campaign, to raise awareness of the importance of bringing more lunch money! You can be the poster boy - we’ll do "before" and "after" pictures.

Huskinson groaned. He’d been before and after with Nadger before, and before was how he liked it.


"You too could have a body like mine!" ran the slogan beneath the pictures of Huskinson bruised and bleeding torso. Nadger was delighted. Some students were bringing in so much lunch money that it took two sittings for him to take it all. He’d never known they took such an interest in their health and safety.

Huskinson didn’t seem to share his happiness, though. "I think you deserve a reward," he said. "I know! I’ll treat you to a slap-up meal!"

In despair Huskinson handed over the cost of the meal, and waited for the slap-up.