Almanac Satire: The Principal sends for Barnaby

(with apologies to Bryan Dawe and the late John Clarke)



Principal: Come in, Barnaby.


Barnaby: (over his shoulder, yelling) Oh! Tell him to come here and say that! He’s asking for it!


Principal: Barnaby.


Barnaby: (still yelling, taking his seat) After school! The shelter sheds!


Principal: Barnaby, that’s enough.


Barnaby: He’s asking for it.


Principal: Who’s asking for it?


Barnaby: The Shrinking Man, that’s who. He’s inept.


Principal: Now, now.


Barnaby: Inept.


Principal: That’s a terrific word, Barnaby. Congratulations.


Barnaby: Thanks.


Principal: Yes. But we’re not here to talk about the Head Boy, are we?


Barnaby: Aren’t we?


Principal: No. Do you know why I called you here?


Barnaby: (glares; changes to a stare of confusion)






Principal: Well?


Barnaby: Is it because of my watering job?


Principal: Your watering job? Why would I call you in to discuss your watering job?


Barnaby: Oh.. I don’t know. It’s been a tricky job. Surprisingly tricky…


Principal: How has it been tricky, Barnaby? We only have so much water. You just need to fairly and equitably share it around.


Barnaby: Yeah. Sort of…


Principal: Have you managed to share it fairly?


Barnaby: Yeah, nah. Mostly…


Principal: I see.


Barnaby: Well, it’s complicated. There’s not enough water. And too many tough guys.


Principal: Which tough guys?


Barnaby: Nah. It’s alright. They told me not to say.


Principal. Hmm. Alright. We’ll leave that aside for tonight. But we’ll come back to that at Parent-Teacher interviews, I think. Look, I didn’t call you in here to discuss your watering job. Why do you think I invited you here?


Barnaby: Is it because of my old girlfriend?


Principal: Pardon?


Barnaby: Well everyone’s talking about it. And I just changed girlfriends. That’s all. Lots of people do that.


Principal: Lots of people change partner, that’s true.


Barnaby: Yeah, so what’s the big deal?


Principal: Well it was a bit more serious than that, wasn’t it, Barnaby?


Barnaby: No it wasn’t. Not really.




Barnaby: Well. Sort of. Well, yeah, I guess.




Barnaby: But I’m allowed to do that. It’s a free country.


Principal: Of course you’re allowed. And it might surprise you to know that I didn’t call you in to discuss your personal life, either.


Barnaby: Oh.


Principal: No. It’s none of my business. But thanks for telling me. You reveal quite a lot.


Barnaby: (checks his trousers) Do I?


Principal: Probably more than you know. Now, Barnaby, can you think of any other reason I might have asked you in here? Anything at all?


Barnaby: Er…. You tell me.


Principal: Barnaby you’re responsible for a lot of School money, aren’t you?


Barnaby: I was voted in for that job.


Principal: Yes. Now, what do you know about the word “nepotism”?


Barnaby: (Tilts his head) Err… Is it better than “inept”?


Principal: Well… they probably belong side-by-side. What about “awareness”?


Barnaby: (leans forward, eyes gleam) What have you got in mind?


Principal: No, no. I mean, what do you know about the word “awareness”?


Barnaby: (rocks rapidly back) Ah-wear-niss, you say? Nope. Don’t know that one.


Principal: Ahh, well this is why you’re here today. You hold a position of enormous trust when it comes to school funds.


Barnaby: Yes.


Principal: And your judgement is called upon with regard to all sorts of very important decisions.


Barnaby: Yes.


Principal: You’re supposed to be a leader of our community, Barnaby.


Barnaby: Yes.


Principal: And in that position, you simply can’t go getting jobs for your mates. And you can’t accept expensive gifts from mates. It’s not on. It’s simply not on.


Barnaby: No.


(Bell sounds)


Principal: Look, I’ve got to go. Now, what do you suggest we do from here?


Barnaby: I know some watering blokes that could help me out.




J Clarke and B Dawe would have smashed this week.
This script lends itself (in totality) to works such as this:



About David Wilson

David Wilson is a writer, editor, flood forecaster and former school teacher. He writes under the name “E.regnans” at The Footy Almanac and has stories in several books. One of his stories was judged as a finalist in the Tasmanian Writers’ Prize 2021. He is married and has two daughters and the four of them all live together with their dog, Pip. He finds playing the guitar a little tricky, but seems to have found a kindred instrument with the ukulele. Favourite tree: Eucalyptus regnans.


  1. Gordon Duncan says

    No apologies to John and Brian needed David.

  2. e.r.
    If there is a heaven John Clarke is surely sitting there pissing himself laughing, and rueing the fact that he and Brian were not able to be a part of all this.

  3. Ha ha. Nicely played out ER. Can just imagine this.

    I might be wrong, but I can’t help wondering if we all missed the real reason behind Turnbull’s “a shocking error of judgement” comments. Was he discreetly, indirectly having a crack at the Opposition Leader for his actions about a decade ago?

    Ah, the dark arts…

  4. Thanks G Duncan, Smokie, D Balassone,

    It seems truth is stranger than fiction, after all.
    DB – that’s an interesting interpretation.

  5. John Butler says

    Onya, E Reg.

    It’s a brave man who dares to satirize current events.


  6. Luke Reynolds says

    Brilliant! Well played ER.
    Loved the Clarke & Dawe clip. What a loss J.Clarke was.
    Reckon DB has nailed the interpretation intended by MT.
    Very hard to like anyone in parliament at the moment. Rulebook for PM.

Leave a Comment