“Teacher! Teacher! There he is! Over there! Look! He’s sitting down on his own! He’s the one who married a chicken!’, to which I could only reply, ‘Okay, but, in that case, I bet he was hen-pecked!’ “No! Really, teacher!’, he insisted. “It is him! Over there! He’s the one who’s married to a chicken!”, and then my excited student added, ‘And, guess what he did then? He left the ceremony early, went home and then ate its mother!’ And as I looked across at this prisoner he was, indeed, sitting alone on a bench, legs wide apart, head straight down – staring at the ground in front of him. And, to me, at that moment, he resembled an exhausted boxer, slumped down on his stool, reluctant to pull himself up for the few final rounds, knowing that the bout was already lost. And it was that particular conversation which made me realise what a strange place I had worked in for so many years that, in truth, appeared to have rendered me immune to any kind of emotion, except humour, as a coping mechanism, because it seemed as if just about any topic or type of behaviour could easily become part of normal everyday conversation. In truth, those years were tough in the trenches among the ‘muck and bullets’ of a frontline classroom prison teaching environment, because it was as though I were viewing the world through a warped window pane that totally altered my perception of reality – the way that ‘funny mirrors’ can distort one’s physical body. Murder, manslaughter, executions, drug dealing, robberies, violence, rapes, crimes of passion, revenge attacks, extortion, beatings, postcode gangs – you name it – these simply became everyday conversations, similar to those that one might have over the dinner table of an evening with one’s family.