« Tuesday 200 #88 | Main | Thrill of Victory, Agony of Defeat »

Stump the Teacher

That reminds me of a porn story I read once ...

Oh. Wait. That's not what I was going to write about.

Ahem. Alright then. Let's begin again.

:: :: ::

I'm usually pretty good at answering my students' questions.

I can quickly illustrate the subtle differences between present simple (I ate breakfast) and present perfect (I've eaten breakfast). I can whiz through first, second and third conditionals and they seem to leave the classroom enlightened. And I can explain to them the meanings of convoluted pronunciations they've heard on the street, such as "jeet jet?", "innit" and "dooya wanna bottla wadder?".

But today I was flummoxed. And I couldn't Google myself out of looking like I didn't have the answer.

"Can you explain something to me," he asked. "Why is it that people in England drive on the left but walk on the right?" In particular, he was talking about Tube Etiquette, where we're instructed to stand on the right, walk on the left when riding the Underground's escalators. "It makes no sense."

I completely agreed with him, and said what was even more confusing that, depending on which station you're in, there are signs on the walls telling pedestrians to "keep left" or "keep right." I had no answers, nor could I find any.

Maybe you know?

But come to think of it, "The Random Patterns of Underground Footsteps" might be an interesting story idea/title of a book.

Anyway, all was not lost. I did get to successfully teach the expression, "there's no rhyme or reason."

:: :: ::

Briefly noted: There's an interview with Chuck Palahniuk in today's bastion of journalistic integrity known as The Metro. One of my sweet, quiet, always optimistic colleagues waved it under my nose today and told that when she read my merman story it reminded her of Guts, which she'd read a few years ago. She couldn't believe I'd never heard of it or that I hadn't read his novels (although I have seen Fight Club a couple times. "He's so you," she said.

I printed out and squirmed my way through read Guts this afternoon. Yikes. It's almost as disturbing as Laura Hird's Meat (it's in her Hope and Other Stories collection, which I recommend very highly.

"He's so you."

Surely I'm not that twisted. Am I?