At lunchtime at a Canberra schoolground, a teacher finds a group of children squabbling with each other.
Teacher: Break it up! What’s going on here?
Tony: Everyone was ganging up on me, Miss.
Malcolm: You asked for it, Tony-
Teacher: Quiet, Malcolm! Tell me what happened, Tony.
Tony: No one wants to play with me any more, Miss. I kept suggesting games and everyone told me to go away.
Malcolm: We’re sick of Stop The Boats.
Teacher: Shush, Malcolm!
Tony: It’s not fair.
(Tony starts sobbing.)
Teacher: What about Scott? He’s a nice boy. Did Scott tell you to go away, Tony?
Tony: No. But he didn’t stick up for me either.
(The teacher looks at Scott. Scott says nothing.)
Malcolm: I take full responsibility for what happened, Miss. Tony is always saying things that upset people. He was making our group really unpopular with the other kids. Someone had to stand up to him.
Teacher: Popularity isn’t everything, Malcolm.
Malcolm: You think so?
Tony: Malcolm called Joe an idiot!
Teacher: Is this true, Malcolm?
Malcolm: You’re the one who marks Joe’s maths, miss. What do you think?
Teacher: Malcolm Turnbull! Apologise to Joe immediately!
Malcolm: Joe’s run off, Miss. But, don’t worry. I’ll make it up to him.
Teacher: Julie, who’s telling the truth here? Tony or Malcolm.
Julie: Malcolm, Miss.
Tony: You two-faced-
Teacher: Tony, let her speak.
Julie: I feel very sad for Tony. This was not an easy decision for us to make. But we’re not going to be Tony’s friends any more.
Teacher: Even you, Scott?
(Scott says nothing. Tony runs away in a sulk.)
Teacher: I’m very disappointed you kids can’t play together without fighting all the time. Promise me this will never happen again.
Julie: It won’t, Miss. We’re much happier with Malcolm.
Teacher: You said that last time, Julie.
Scott: Don’t worry, Miss. I’ll make sure Malcolm doesn’t step out of line.
Teacher: Good boy, Scott. I knew I could trust you.
The Tunnel are satire writers from Australia.