Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Have You Whizzpopped Today?

Today was hilarious. Even for a Tuesday. It was just one of those days where funny things kept happening around me for my enjoyment. I love days like that, when the powers in the universe work to keep me amused.
A clip from my BFG Literature Circle today follows. (Big Friendly Giant, by Roald Dahl. BFG is a character who speaks in half made up words and incorrect grammar, is very funny.)

Students discussing the novel:

“What’s a whizzpopper? The BFG keeps saying it and I don’t get it.” Everyone knows this kid. The one that’s a little slow on the uptake. Sometimes you have to explain jokes to them before they laugh.

[stifled giggles, furtive glances at me to see if I get it. I do. I wait.]

Dignified girl answers, “Well, it’s basically when a giant….” (fleeting look of panic at me. I smile winningly and nod to encourage her. I can barely contain my own giggles.) “A giant, you know…the bubbles from the frobscottle [translation: BFG soda] go down instead of up, so instead of burping, he…you know! [whispers and jerks head in my direction] has gas!” she hissed, turning bright red.

“Yep! That’s exactly what it means!” I grinned, waiting for the onslaught of hysteria that occurs every year at this exact point in the book. They tentatively giggled until they saw that it really was okay with me, and then launched into full on hysterics right on schedule. We had fun with that for a few minutes, the kids oblivious to my love of toilet humor, and then I prepared to move on. Or so I intended.

“Hey!” A little girl leaned directly toward me and stared me right in the eyes. “Have you whizzpopped today?” Big toothy grin loomed in front of me and the other kids turned my way to see if I had, in fact, whizzpopped today.

I….um...what? Well, this was certainly unexpected. This was not how this reading group usually went. I fumbled with my necklace and “heh, heh-ed” a few times before clearing my throat. “Why, no, actually I haven’t today, thanks for asking,” I stumbled.

Girls don’t do that,” explained the Dignified One prissily, sitting up straight.

I do!” exclaimed the Curious One. I edged my chair away from her, then hastily tried to get the meeting back on track as my partner walked in to see what we were up to.

“Ooh! I have a connection to that!” exclaimed another student. Oh, good! They were supposed to make connections from the text to their life or the world when reading. This would get things back on track. I nodded my head and pointed to her enthusiastically.

“Have you seen that movie? The one where they’re playing a drinking game and-”

I did a double take. Hold up. Did that ten year old girl just say “drinking game”? I turned to my partner to find her eyes as bugged as my own. I tuned back in. This was clearly going to be good.

“and after the guy has to drink a bunch of times, it makes him fart? Remember that? It’s like the giant in the book!” She smiles in a grandiose fashion and leans back in anticipation of the accolades she will surely receive for such an astute connection. I stare. My partner stares. Most of the kids stare except for the one that’s in his nose and isn’t listening anyway. There was a long pause. I cleared my throat. My partner coughed into her hand to stifle a laugh.

“Let’s move on,” I suggested. I pointed to the next student to start their conversation and hoped for the best. We chatted for five or ten minutes happily and I began to relax. Suddenly the nosepicker looked up from his mining project.

“Mrs.? What’s a drinking game?” I love how my job is never boring!

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