Monday, 17 March 2008

I must not tell lies about spaghetti monsters and I must not lose my gloves

N.B. This post is shamelessly lifted from a totally brilliant children's book** whose publishers I hope are not going to sue me...

Day 1

John* Patrick Norman McHennessy set out along the road to learn.

On the way, she couldn't find Waterloo Station. So as not to miss the last train home, she decided to run to Charing Cross station across the river. Suddenly, a freak tidal wave roared down the Thames and threatened to sweep her off the bridge altogether. As fast as she could she dashed towards the riverbank with the tidal wave at her heels. She made it to the last train and flopped down in an empty carriage, but she was late for school and she lost a glove.

- John Patrick Norman McHennessy, you are late, and you have lost your glove.

- Write out, in 5000 words for Monday morning, 'I must not tell lies about tidal waves and I must not lose my gloves'

Day 2

John Patrick Norman McHennessy set out along the road to learn.

On the way, she ducked into the Italian Cultural Institute to watch a film. As she sat in the dark, an Immense Oily Monster made entirely of Spaghetti alle Vongole slid its tentacles out from under her seat and began to entwine them around her neck. In the half-light, she wrestled with the monster in silence, so as not to disrupt the film. Finally, she managed to escape its clutches and she ran, with stray clams still nipping at her ears, while the monster slithered back to the library, brandishing her gloves in its slimy tentacle.

- John Patrick Norman McHennessy, you are late for school, and you have lost another pair of gloves.

- Write out, in 5,500 words by Tuesday morning 'I must not tell lies about spaghetti monsters, and I must not lose my gloves'.

Day 3

John Patrick Norman McHennessy set out along the road to learn.

On the way, a butterfly hiccuped whilst in flight above Wawel Castle. This roused the Kraków dragon from his slumbers under Wawel Hill, and in his fury he swept across town on his powerful wings and flew in through the open window on the ninth floor of the languages building. Without thinking, JPNMcH grabbed hold of the dragon's tail and a mad flight ensued. As they soared out of the window, her hat was knocked off against the window frame.
Afterwards, she went back to the language lab to look for the hat, but it was nowhere to be found.

- John Patrick Norman McHennessy, you are late for school, and you have lost your hat.

- Write out, in 6000 words for Wednesday morning: 'I must not tell lies about dragons, and I must not lose my hat'.

Day 4

John Patrick Norman McHennessy set out along the road to learn.

On the way, she bowled a strike. When she tried to bowl in the next round, her fingers stuck in the small finger-holes on the bowling ball. Before she knew it, she was trundling down the alley towards the skittles, and then, horror of horrors, she was sucked into the bowling alley and returned via the pulley system, still stuck to the ball. Fortunately, she managed to extricate her fingers, but she left behind a second hat.

- John Patrick Norman McHennessy, you are late again and you have lost yet another hat.

- Write out 7000 times: 'I must not tell lies about being sucked into bowling alleys, and I must stop losing hats'.

Day 5:

John Patrick Norman McHennessy set out along the road to learn.

On the way, nothing happened. The sun shone, the trams trundled, people tried to hand her leaflets about credit ratings.


-
John Patrick Norman McHennessy, I am trapped here in the corner by an over-imaginative Brit with reverse kleptomania who insists on giving me directions in bad Polish. I insist you come to my rescue At Once.

- Sir. There are no such things as over-imaginative Brits with reverse kleptomania who insist on giving directions in bad Polish.


And John Patrick Norman McHennessy set out along the road to learn.


*It should really be Joanna, cos the heroine of the story in this case is clearly a girl, but that would spoil the rhythm.
** John Patrick Norman McHennessy, the Boy who was Always Late, by John Burningham
Interview with John Burningham
Book list, British Council

3 comments:

peixote said...

Huh?

pinolona said...

Note to self: imaginary world stays *inside* head. Real world = outside.

Maybe I'd better just write another post about the Bad Obwarzanki Lady and have done with it...

peixote said...

No, please, do not let my "huh" intimidate you.

By all means, let`s have some more of those Alice-through-the-Looking-Glass type of posts.