Tuesday, March 6, 2007

A Series of Unfortunate Events # 3 “A Double Entendre Gaffe”

We are reading Romeo & Juliet in freshman English. As I was casting the play today, I was calling out for parts: “Who will read the quick-witted Mercutio?" "How about the hotheaded Tybalt?” “Now, I need a Peter; it’s a small part; you just come in and out.” My freshman tried to be merciful. As soon I was aware of what I said, I threw up my hands and hung my head. After the laughter, and believe me, it wasn’t as bad as it could have been, we acted out two scenes without incident.

The mishap reminded me of the time I tried to tell the story of the Trojan Horse to a group of seniors who had somehow missed the tale earlier in their education. At every turn, it seemed, I made the worst possible double entendre that one could think of related to a Trojan condom. Nevertheless, I muddled through. The class regained its composure. I had Troy in ruins when I made this last gaffe, “So to put this thing in a nutshell. . .”

I suppose we have all had those moments. Were your students merciful or unrelenting ?


graycie said...

If I frown it up and jump on them for hearing what I said, they show no mercy. If I acknowledge (as you did) that it was me who said something dirty, we laugh a bit together and get over it.

For perspective: My very first lesson as an English teacher several decades ago HAD to start with a particular story from our lit book. It was the story of Ali Baba. The first sentence read, "Once upon a time Ali Baba was out in the forest with his ass gathering faggots."


Lee Dixon said...

My old school used to have an awards ceremony at the end of each year to fully recognize goofs like this one.

You would certainly be nominated and probably would have won an award from our Academy back in the day!

Thanks for sharing!

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