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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of ďA Bird in the Hand is Worth Two in the BushĒ (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (01/10/08)

TITLE: Stuck on Aisle 15
By Melanie Kerr


So, Iím supposed to listen to what Prince Charles says, huh? Since when did he know squat about anything other than growing organic vegetables and criticising modern architecture?

OK, so Iíve got a job at the supermarket. I sit at the checkout skimming barcodes over the little red light and counting the bleeps. Itís not rocket science. The till does the complicated sums and all I need to do is count out the change.

Itís a job. It pays a wage. My rent is paid and I have a cupboard full of tins and packets. Thereís milk in the fridge.

Whose business is it but mine if I use some of my left over money to enrol in an evening class? Itís certainly not his business!

Letís just rewind a bit here and get you up to scratch. Iím assuming from the blank look on your face that you did not read the newspaper article. Granted it wasnít on the front page and there was no clever alliterating headline, or a fuzzy photograph of some little known intoxicated celebrity falling out of a taxi at three in the morning.

According to Prince Charles some us shouldnít reach for the stars because we are obviously not capable of getting there. Some of us are not academic at all really and schools shouldnít tell us that ďwe can if we think we canĒ. Some of us perhaps are led to think we can, when deep down, we really canít and we should stop trying. We are just being set up to fail. He thinks that we should just accept our limitations and embrace our lot in life.

Where does that leave me?

I never thought about life after school. I thought things would just come together for me at exam time, rather like the planets lining up or something. I was more interested in Garry Hynettís physique. But Iím not stupid Ė at least thatís what the teachersí implied in the reports they wrote about me.

Itís just that I have woken up. I donít want to live the rest of my life packing bags in Aisle 15. I could learn to type. I could apply for an office job.

But hereís the thing. Prince Charles has been to Eton. He has a degree. He is probably quite a clever person. So what if he is right? Say I give up my job at the supermarket. It is a job after all and thereís always someone else waiting in the wings. What if I really am stupid? Maybe I canít learn how to type. And even if I could, there could be others applying for the same jobs. Could I beat the opposition?

Because Prince Charles thinks I canít Ė does that mean I canít?

And just because I think I can Ė does that mean that I can?

Is it worth the risk?

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This article has been read 1569 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Marita Vandertogt01/19/08
Interesting take on the topic. I like your writing style as well... with no easy spoon fed answers. Maybe you could do a sequel - Being Content on Aisle 15? Blessings
Joanne Sher 01/20/08
Very thought-provoking. Like your MC's voice.
Sara Harricharan 01/21/08
Huh...really makes you think here. The second to last line was really good. My only note a typo-enrol...Enroll. Otherwise, good! ^_^
LauraLee Shaw01/22/08
Much to stick here. Realistic voice.
Hanne Moon 01/22/08
I love your MC's voice! Great writing! It just makes me want to slap Prince Charles! LOL I want to cheer the MC on, to tell her to go for it! Great ending!
Holly Westefeld01/22/08
You make an interesting point. Sometimes there is a fine line between over-reaching and under-reaching.
Jan Ackerson 01/22/08
Great open-ended conclusion, and I really, really like your narrator's voice. This is really good.
Karen Wilber01/23/08
My first reaction? Prince Charles says WHAT?! Then I kept reading to see what you did with this. Kind of neat the way you explored the topic but didn't commit one way or the other. Original. I also would love to find out what the MC does.
Beth LaBuff 01/23/08
Great title! Excellent description of the job. I really like your ending. You've written "life" questions that a lot of us ponder. Thanks!