A Canadian writer teaches English and finds out what it's like to be a foreigner.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Free Kills? Anybody?

While reading a comprehension passage about "why we laugh" I brought up the topic of the '"free hugs" campaign, which was only recently taken up by young Taiwanese, Chinese or Koreans looking to spread goodwill by dispensing free hugs.

I knew the kids would be aware of the idea since there's a commercial on TV where free hugs abound, and these were a gifted bunch.

Paul had cracked me up earlier in the class with an unexpected "Rreeex!" (though I've discovered that he spells it "reacks") and I tried to pass it off as a "demonstration" since laughter was the point of the lesson, and I figured if we were all serious about it, the point would stand missed.

The two sisters were confused why I found the sound so funny (as I'm sure most of you are as well) but I found myself at odds how to explain it to them.

"It's hard to explain WHY you laugh sometimes, you just do, right?"

"YES! Many times I just laugh by myself!" the cool sister said.

"Me too!" I confessed.

She was glad I did.

By this point, Paul stood up and said: "Teacher! You say about 'free hugs' but isn't there 'free kills' too?"

I laughed.

"I don't think people would be happy with a 'free kill.'"

"YEES!" he protested, "You Teacher! You would be happy!"

"No, I wouldn't want a 'free kill.'"

Paul raised both his hands, one holding an imaginary knife, and the other a sign that read "Free Kills."

"Teacher! If I give the free kills many people will come and I do this *stab* and they say *reacks* many times and you too laugh very many times!"

I've got to give the kid credit for twisted logic.

The textbook said most people laugh about 13 times a day. I stand in defiance of their science.



/rach said...

Rreeeex! I love it. Your writing helps me keep things in perspective. My hagwon is exhausting for everyone involved, but some things make it worth it. It's worth it. I can't help but love it, most minutes. Take care; I'll be back to visit.


Irrelephant said...

Rreeex? Isn't that the sound that the music makes in Psycho when Norman-as-Mom takes the knife into the shower? Or am I phonetically challenged?

Sam said...

Re: Psycho, I'd call that sound more of a "rheee rheee rheee, nyah nyah nyah" refrain, whereas "rreeex" or "reacks" is like the dog's name said while puking.