My First Selection, 1943

My mate Laury Zubiana, is one of those boys who seem to know everything. He was eleven and a half, and certainly brighter than me. So when we were walking to school, I thought I would ask him about my problem.

It was not something that I wanted to ask my mum about—she has enough on her plate as it is.

At first I couldn’t quite bring the subject up—he is a bit of joker and I thought he would tease me—so we were nearly at school before I told him.

To my relief, he took it all very seriously, but then, just as he was going to say something, the bell went and we all took our places for the register.

During the morning break, he was nowhere to be seen, I asked Alex Lees, the milk monitor—Alex was a monitor of just about everything, if there was a monitor for the monitors, it would be Alex.

“No, I haven’t seen him at all this morning.”

I began to worry then, that my problem may be serious and he had gone to see Nurse Ayres—better known as the ‘Nit Lady’.

After the break I saw him in class, he looked quite serious for a change. I now wish I hadn’t told him everything.

The dinner bell went, and I followed him to the canteen.

He must have seen my worried look.

“There’s nothing to get upset about Alan, because I had the same problem last week, when I was riding my sisters bike. So when you told me of your problem, I went to see her in this mornings break —his sister Jean, is nearly fourteen—and she said it’s just our age, and it called a selection and it won’t last long.”

That sort of rung a bell, so I said.

“I wonder if it’s something to do with lady’s bikes.” I said. He looked a bit puzzled until I told just what happened.

“I was pumping my sisters front tyre up, and all of a sudden it just happened.”

He nodded. “Yes, that could be it.”

That was such a relief. Mind you, I thought, ’a selection’, sounded a strange word for my affliction.


A week later, I noticed three or four warts on my hand, I showed them to mum, she looked very closely at them and said.

“That’s quite a selection, you’ve got there Alan.”

The panic came flooding back, if they grew like the selection I had last week, I’d have nine fingers on my hand. I’d be a freak.


And they say ‘Ignorance is bliss’.



















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