Totally Estúpido! Part 18

, , , , | Right | March 25, 2021

Gibraltar is a British territory at the southern tip of Europe; the airport is literally a few yards from the border with Spain.

I’m waiting at Gibraltar Airport for a flight back to the UK, and we’re told that a storm has knocked the radar out and we need to cross into Spain where buses are waiting to take us to Malaga Airport.

We’re fast-tracked through the border post and board the buses. We’re ready to go when there’s an altercation at the front of our bus. An elderly English guy is getting irate with the Spanish driver about stowing his bag.

Passenger: “I don’t understand what you’re saying! Speak English!

Driver: *In Spanish* “I don’t speak English. I only speak Spanish.”

Passenger: “Well, we’re not in Spain. You should be able to speak English.”

Rest Of The Bus As A Chorus: “YES, WE ARE!”

The passenger shuffled onto the bus. The last remaining seat was right at the back, so he had to run the gauntlet of all the other passengers glaring and muttering for holding the bus up.

Totally Estúpido! Part 17
Totally Estúpido! Part 16
Totally Estúpido! Part 15
Totally Estúpido! Part 14
Totally Estupido, Part 13

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Fass Gas And Fass The Class

, , , , | Learning | March 25, 2021

I am teaching English as a second language for high-schoolers and adults. This happens in my Beginner’s 1 class. At the beginning of every term, I usually write down the parts of the syllabus on the whiteboard. I explain them one by one and ask whether anyone has any questions. One serious-looking adult student raises his hand.

Student: “Miss, what is ‘fart’?”

I’m surprised because I did not say anything about “fart” during my explanations, but I know he’s not trying to disrupt the class.

Me: “I’m sorry?”

Student: “What is ‘fart’?”

Me: “Why are you asking?”

Student: “You wrote it on the board.”

Me: “I did not write ‘fart’ on the board.”

Student: “Yes, you did.” *Points and reads* “‘Fart one, introduction. Fart two, fresent tense.’”

The rest of the class and I had to hold back laughter. It turns out that [Student] is fluent in Arabic, which made him develop a habit to say all Ps as Fs because there is no P sound in Arabic.

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Failing The Name Game: Spanish Edition

, , , , , | Right | March 24, 2021

I have an unusual name that many people mispronounce but usually can get right with some correction. My workplace also sees a lot of native Spanish speakers.

I have just finished ringing a customer up.

Customer: “Your name is [Incorrect Name]?”

Me: “It’s [Correct Name].”

Customer: “[Incorrect Name].”

One of my regular customers has queued up behind the customer. He speaks both English and Spanish.

Me: “[Correct Name]. I know, it’s a weird name.”

Customer: “Are you sure? Because in Spanish it would be [Incorrect Name].”

Me: “I’m sure. It’s [Correct Name]. Have a nice day.”

The customer starts to leave slowly, letting my regular come up. My regular smirks and speaks very loudly.

Regular: “Hola, [Correct Name]. ¿Cómo estás?”

Me: “Bien. ¿Y tú?”

This is about the limit of my Spanish and most of my regulars know this, but this regular still looked back and grinned at the other customer, who had suddenly picked up his pace!

Failed The Name Game, Part 9
Failed The Name Game, Part 8
Failed The Name Game, Part 7
Failed The Name Game, Part 6
Failed The Name Game, Part 5

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Staying Cool In More Ways Than One

, , , , , , | Learning | March 24, 2021

My boarding school has been reopened cautiously, but we’re faced with a whole load of safety precautions. The one that grates the most is that we have to take and submit our temperature twice a day, every day — once in the morning, once in the afternoon.

My houseparent gets tired of us forgetting to submit our temperature, so the person who forgets the most temperature checks has to send twice-daily reminders to the dorm WhatsApp group for a week.

I get stuck as the first person. After a few days, I get bored and decide to have some fun.

Me: “Roses are Red,

Violets are Blue,

I’ve submitted my Temperature,

And so should You.”

Houseparent: “As a literature teacher, that is painful to read. If you’re going to do poetry, please at least do a proper job.”

Me: “Challenge accepted.”

The very next day”

Me: “Thermometers between lips,

Wait ‘til beeping ends,

See what it predicts,

And temperature, send.”

Dormmate #1: “Are you really going to say every reminder in rhyme?”

Me: “Now I will.”

This lasts for the rest of my week, my poetry getting more and more elaborate, until it reaches a fourteen-line Shakespearean sonnet.

Me: “It’s the end of the week,

Sunday is nearly gone,

I know we’re all weak,

But turn your thermometers on.


“Place them between your lips,

And wait for the beeping to end,

See what it predicts,

And temperature, send.


“Alas, my time as monitor is out,

My heir’s task is great importance,

You will not be a layabout lout,

Challenge: Beat my performance!


“The victor will gain great glory,

The loser will find his end gory.”

The next victim on reminder duty replies:

Dormmate #2: “Challenge accepted.”

And thus began an informal competition between those of us on reminder duty, with progressively more elaborate and absurd reminders. My heir’s reminders were all memes. His heir rapped all of his. That person’s heir wrote the reminders as lyrics of a song. The next person sang the aforementioned song in a homemade music video. His successor made a jazzy remix of it. I wonder what will be next!

And yes, temperature submissions have significantly improved since we turned the reminders into a game.

This story is part of our Best Of March 2021 roundup!

Read the next Best Of March 2021 roundup story!

Read the Best Of March 2021 roundup!

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Redressing The Addressing About The Address

, , , , , | Right | March 23, 2021

A lady comes in with her granddaughter, who looks to be around four or five years old. She wants a library card for the child. I explain that she will need to sign as a guarantor for the child and that I will need to see some ID with her full name and address. The little girl, dressed in dungarees, pipes up: 

Little Girl: “But Granny, I’m not wearing a dress!”

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