Phone You and the Phone You Rode in on!

iStrobe“So, if she go to party, she will there be have a good time,” Student A has begun sweating from the effort of forming this conditional sentence.

“OK, good job,” I am writing in my oops-book. “So, which conditional is that?”

Student A says, “First one.”

“Right and what time period does it refer to?”

About thirty seconds later, Student A says, “The First conditional is for future actions dependent on the result of another future action or event, where there is a reasonable possibility of the conditions for the action being satisfied.”

“Wow, great. So, how about the second conditional?”

Student B chimes in, “The contrary-to-fact present conditional, often referred to as the second conditional is used to refer to a current state or event that is known to be false or improbable.”

I am amazed, especially since Student B has recently used the term charkekeyal instead of table. “Yes, wow, that was…wow, remarkably well stated.” I gather myself and look around the room. “Third conditional?”

When Student C uses the word protasis and the phrase subject-verb inversion, I smell that something is afoot. Well that, and every single person in the room, except for me, is staring into their desks.

I approach Student A and peer onto his desk where he is scanning a website called on what is called a “Smartphone.”

“Mystery solved,” I say. Detective Colombo, I am not.

If anyone is paying for crimes made as a child, it is me.

I remember elementary school as fondly as one might their time at Guantanamo’s Secret Visitor’s Section. I recall days of tortuous boredom interspersed with fooling around followed by moments of shrill yelling coming from terrifying penguin-like nuns.

I developed a reputation as a one person wrecking crew for nuns. In six years of Catholic school, I sent four nuns to an early grave and another two to drink. One spent the rest of her life in an asylum. Sadly, until I published a book last year, this and a ménage à trois were my greatest accomplishments.

So when I became a teacher, the nuns pulled some strings with whoever runs this universe and demanded the invention of a device to ruin my life.

“Smartphone” was invented five minutes after this imagined conversation.

They are a technological manifestation of my bad karma. The main problem is, and I think we can all agree on this, that the internet is more interesting than English grammar. Unless you can somehow add sex and animal attack videos to grammar, which is not an entirely bad idea.

“Can I please have that phone, Student A?” I ask.

With this question the students’ collective attention is finally upon me. Students A through M regard me with shock and horror; as though I had proposed a fat-free diet or viewing a Michael Bay film.

“But I watch anything,” he replies, his English returning to its rightful pre-intermediate position.

Though there is no meter to test my current level of annoyance, my face must betray it because he hands me “Smartphone” with a shaky hand. Playing on the screen is a video of a kid skateboarding up a ramp and then taking a dreadful fall onto the asphalt. As with any human, idiotic skateboarders destroying themselves is like a fantastic drug, but somehow I break away from “Smartphone’s” claws of entertainment.

“I am going to turn this off now,” I say, my immediate realization being that I have no idea how to undertake such an activity. I look from another skateboarder smashing into a truck to a round button at the bottom of the phone. I hold my breath and hit it. As the skateboarders are replaced with a picture of a nude woman eating ice cream, I am relieved that the phone hasn’t turned into a car of some sort.

But that’s this “Smartphone,” no telling what those damn nuns will get the next one to do.

  1. #1 by H.L. on January 12, 2012 - 3:31 pm

    You wrote that whole post just to point out to the world that you’ve once had a ménage à trois. I almost forgive you for that, because you used proper accents, which is an accomplishment, for an American.
    Hrr hrr hrr.

  2. #2 by Andy on January 12, 2012 - 10:01 pm

    H.L., I’m glad I’m not the only one with that suspicion. Don’t worry, Dame, some day that giant cloud of solar radiation we’ve all been promised will come and wipe out all technology, bringing the Luddites back to their earlier prominence.
    Sent from my iPhone

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