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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Foreign Language (12/09/10)

TITLE: English as a Foreign Language
By Deborah Riall


All of a sudden everybody seems to have taken leave of their senses. It’s like somebody stayed up all night just thinkin’ of a foreign language for everybody to speak. I wished they’d taught it to me, ‘cause I have enough trouble with just plain old English. I’m not sure what the rules are now, but I’m learnin’.

Yesterday my science teacher, Mr. Carter, taught us all about how the world was like a bazillion years old. I figured he must have said it wrong, so I reminded him that God did it all in a day an’ everybody looked at me like I had an extra eye in my forehead or something. Mr. Carter said we don’t talk about God in school, and that some guy named Darwin had thought it all up while he was on vacation on an island. I wondered whether this Darwin guy had left his mind at home while he lolled around on the beach that day. Mr. Carter said Darwin was definitely not mentally challenged and sent me to the principal’s office. I’m not sure what he meant by “mentally challenged”, but I thought Mr. Carter was smarter than that.

At lunch, we were giving Chris Thompson a hard time about bein’ grounded. He told his Mama he didn’t have any homework last night and she found out different. I’m surprised he could even sit down today after the whallopin’ he must’ve gotten. He said he wasn’t really lyin’, he just misremembered it. What the heck is “misremembered”? All I know is Jesus told me to tell the truth and I’m not likely to misremember that.

After school Missy Thomas and me were walkin’ home and saw Jimmy Bowen sittin’ out on his porch in his wheelchair. He has this cool red chair with Wiley Coyote painted on the front and the Road Runner chasin’ him on the back. He raced me in it once while I ran beside him and he beat me good. I stopped and talked for a bit and when we left, Missy whispered that Jimmy was “physically challenged”. I don’t know how that matters much, since Jimmy’s just Jimmy to me. There surely wasn’t any cause to whisper – Jimmy knows he can’t walk and he’s fine with it.

This morning I was in Martin’s Emporium buyin’ some real pretty smellin’ perfume for my Mama. I’ve been saving up ever since her birthday so I can get her the best Christmas present I can. I even let Miss Martin wrap it up real pretty in shiny paper and she put a big bow on top. I paid for it with my own money and wished Mark Hyde behind the counter a “Merry Christmas” as I was leaving.

“It’s ‘Happy Holidays’, Twerp,” He yelled after me. “You ignorant or somethin’?”

“Nope. I just misremembered.” I turned and grinned at him. “And I think you mean “mentally challenged”, which I ain’t.”

And then I got out of there before he turned me into a “physically challenged” kid for Christmas.

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This article has been read 279 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Fern Brown12/16/10
This is hilarious! I'm still laughing!
Brenda Rice 12/16/10
I enjoyed reading your story very much. I agree, our language is changing a lot. I understand that, unfriend is now a word to be added to the dictionary. Thanks for sharing.
Verna Mull 12/16/10
This was a hoot! I loved every word, (even though I wonder where some of them came from.)Great job.
Phyllis Inniss12/18/10
Quite an amusing piece. I would say you wrote your article in Americanese which is different from Standard English. The humour came across very well and you certainly did a great job of it.
Mildred Sheldon12/18/10
This is one story for my keep book from other writers. I laughed from beginning to end. Although funny it is so very true. English is a diverse language with all the different idioms.
Kate Oliver Webb 12/19/10
This is a really fun piece with some serious insights "snuck" in. Great job!
Deborah Riall12/19/10
Thank you all for your kind words. This is my character that pops up when I'm needing good old common sense from the mouth of a "babe".
Fern Brown12/23/10
Congratulations on placing fourth! I enjoyed it this time trough, too! Merry Christmas.