The Short Humour Site

Home : Writers' Showcase : Submission Guidelines : A Man of a Few More Words : Links

Writers' Showcase

English as a Second Language
by Pavelle Wesser

George sat in the third row of his English as a Second Language class, otherwise known as ‘ESL,’ struggling to keep up with the teacher.  Lately, he’d been too tired to focus.  He looked up as Julia walked in and was suddenly wide awake and staring at her beautiful breasts which bulged out of her low-cut shirt.

 “And a pronoun replaces a noun,” the teacher droned, “for example: I, you, he, she and it.”

He sighed. Her breasts could compete with the highest mountain peaks. Was she married? He hadn’t noticed a ring on her finger, but then, he’d been so preoccupied with her breasts…

“Consider this sentence: ‘Ellen goes to school.’ Which pronoun would replace ‘Ellen’?”

“Julia,” said George, admiring how her chest swelled gently with each intake of her breath.

The teacher’s bespectacled gaze fell on him: “‘Julia’ is not a pronoun, George. It’s a proper noun. The answer is ‘she.’”

Julia glanced up and offered a clueless smile. The teacher’s lips thinned as she scribbled on the board. “We must move on to adjectives.” She turned on him with a vengeance. “George, give us an example.”

“Beautiful woman,” George stuttered.

“Wonderful, George, ‘beautiful’ is an adjective describing ‘woman.’  I hereby nominate you student of the week.”

George looked at Julia, who had removed her compact and was reapplying her already perfect makeup. 

“Stand up, George.”

George stood self-consciously as the teacher clapped. A crescendo of snores rose from students who’d fallen asleep and were blissfully drooling onto their desks’ marred surfaces. Julia gazed in his directions and he felt sure she wanted to communicate an important message to him, until he noticed her eyes were focused on a point beyond him. 

She stood and paraded past him toward a tall, muscular man who stood in the doorway. George ogled her lovely breasts as they passed out of his reach, taking with them the amorphous blob of promises unfulfilled. He had one last view of her perfect rear as she hugged and kissed the man at the door before heading out with him. 

“George,” the teacher was saying, “what is an adverb?”

He turned to face her, all too aware of the groaning, sighing mass of slumped over bodies surrounding him.

“George!? I am waiting for your answer.”

He lowered his eyes to the flab that dripped over the waistline of her ill-fitting skirt. In that instant, she reminded him of his mother, who had never ceased telling him that he was both a burden and an ignoramus throughout most, if not all, of his childhood.

“I must to leave,” He sputtered, running from the class.

“George, come back! We still haven’t covered prepositions.”

The nightly breeze was refreshing. Tomorrow was another twelve-hour day washing dishes. He had lost nothing, he reasoned, by attending ESL class, which in any case was offered for free. And freedom was what America was all about, wasn’t it? So why did he feel so trapped?