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Monday, 5 November 2012

Evidence that pride comes about 2 nanoseconds before a fall

A short play, entitled, 'Self-esteem slump'

Scene 1 - Fran is encouraged in her role as respected local educator.  3.45pm

Fran:  [getting off bus] Thanks, driver.
Driver: No problem.  Have a nice evening!  Off home?
Fran:  No, actually, off to teach an after-school English revision class.
Driver: Oh, a teacher!  Well done, you!
Fran:  Aw, shucks [I didn't really say this, but America's on-topic right now].
Driver: Teachers need to be respected more, I say.
Fran:  Absolutely!  [steps off bus, feeling confident and self-assured).

Scene 2 - Fran finds she is unable to do up coat buttons.  3.46pm.

Fran: [thinks] Oh, better do up these coat buttons.  It's cold.  [Walks across car park near bus station, trying to do them up.]  Hey, hang on.  Is that right?  [Tries to look down at coat buttons, but today's scarf is so big and voluminous, can't see properly.]  Surely that's lop-sided.  [It is.]  I'll try again.  Whoops!  [trips - not looking where she's going.]  Nope.  That's not right either.  [Coat hangs drunkenly.]  I think I'll just leave it open.  [Carries on walking, now wearing a scarf with enough material to soft-furnish a cruise ship and a coat flapping behind her in the wind.]

Scene 3 - Fran is identified as someone who can't dress herself properly.  3.47pm.

Lady outside shop:  Excuse me.
Fran: [thinks, 'Oh, she probably realises I'm a respected teacher and wants advice on something.]  Yes!  Can I help?  Do you have trouble paragraphing?  Want to know about James Joyce?  Perhaps your understanding of the possessive apostrophe needs improvement?
Lady outside shop:  No, it's the belt on your coat.  You're just about to leave it behind.
Fran: [looks down and behind to find coat belt trailing about a yard behind, like a pet snake.]  Oh!  Oh dear.  Thank you.  [Stops to rescue belt.  Can't see past scarf to find belt loop.  Struggles.  Finally finds it, but belt now twisted.  Gets fed up of providing slapstick entertainment for lady outside shop and walks on, swathed in material she can't control.]
Lady outside shop: [calls] No problem.  [Thinks: I'm sure I've seen that woman sitting on a step outside Costa with a few carrier bags and a dying dog.]

Scene 4 - Fran is told she looks as though she lives a sad and lonely life.  3.48pm.

[In the charity shop on way to private lesson.]
Fran: I wondered whether you had a copy of 'The Kite Runner'.
Man in shop: Oh, hang on.  We might.  I'll have a look for you.  [looks on shelf]  No, not here.  I'll look in the stock cupboard.  [Goes to back of shop then returns]  I'm really sorry, dear.  I don't have that book.  [Looks at me closely.]  But I have an awful lot of copies of 'Fifty Shades of Grey' if you're interested.
Fran:  Er, no, thanks.
Man in shop:  Sure?  They say it's good.
Fran: Quite sure, thank you.  [Leaves, trying to hold head high and look like someone who gets plenty of excitement without needing recommendations from elderly men wearing sleeveless jumpers.]




So ... within 3 minutes today, I was transformed from optimistic, self-assured English teacher to a bag lady with her buttons done up wrong, a trailing belt, a mouthful of extraneous scarf, and giving the impression I have a need for titillating literature.

It was a long way back up to teaching some students how to construct a formal letter and select appropriately sophisticated language.

Fran had said before that she found it hard to control all her material,
but she'd meant her writing.    






21 comments:

  1. Things can only get better, Fran. Your story reminded me of an old joke (surprise, surprise). Two women in a pub. The first woman drains her glass, and her friend asks, "Having another?" The first woman pauses before replying, "No dear, it's just the way my coat's buttoned up."

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    1. Love the joke. It reminded me of another one. A lady says to her neighbour, 'Last night I came downstairs and opened the door in my nightie.' The neighbour says, 'That's a funny place to have a door.'

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  2. Well, you've cheered me up, so give that self-esteem a boost!

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    1. Oh good! My aim in life is to make you feel better about yourself once you've read about my ineptitude.

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  3. Praise where praise is due !
    Any temporary confusion over fastenings and accessories is perfectly acceptable in one who can obviously manage to catch a bus , buy a ticket and remember where she's going .

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    1. Ha ha! I know - I have such a range of life skills, even at 50!

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  4. ...Must be something in the November air as today I totally lost the plot with coat, scarf and handbag !

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    1. Winter brings so many of these dilemmas. I don't even bother with gloves and just rely on my pockets. I couldn't cope with yet another item.

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    2. A nother item? Glove? Hand? No wonder you battled with buttons!

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  5. Ah the eternal paradox. Are we as we see ourselves or are we as other people see us?

    We are both. ;-)

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    1. Look, if you're going to go all philosophical, I need some kind of prior announcement.

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  6. I had a very good day yesterday which I know means that I must brace myself for a deluge of rubbish that must surely follow. Make room in the charity shop doorway for me, will you?

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    1. There are plenty of copies of Fifty Shades of Grey in there if you're feeling in need of a boost.

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  7. You made me laugh for the first time since the election. My candidate won, but now all the sore losers are jabbering about how they'll be killed because of Obamacare.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. I've been watching it all with interest, not that I can understand your voting system! Glad your candidate won. And that I made you laugh.

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  8. I need extra tuition in scarf-wearing. Give me an apostrophe any day (although they don't keep you very warm).

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    1. I've never been able to do the scarf thing. Somehow I always manage to look as though I've been attacked by it.

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  9. If you think buttons are tricky try a full length zip with ends that just won't fit together (even with the gloves off!)

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    1. The troubles we go through!

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  10. I had the same problem with the coat buttons today, but the other way round - I couldn't get them undone (and couldn't see over big voluminous scarf) to reach my work pass, which was hanging around my neck. Ended up trying to look nonchalent whilst jumping up at the electronic buzzer outside of the door, hoping it would recognise that there was a pass hiding in there somewhere and that noone would think I was a lunatic on an invisible space hopper.

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    1. I wish I thought this wasn't true. Like mother, like daughter.

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