Thursday, 28 March 2013

A bonus story - Pie and Pint night; the aftermath.

After reading Pie and Pint night someone asked me why Karen had taken to stripping. Well here is her back story.

They say flattery gets you nowhere but that just isn’t true; flattery gets you everywhere. When Karen first met Andrew, he’d lavished her with praise, told her how beautiful she was, told her how she’d make a great model and left her with his business card. But he didn’t exactly represent models.

She was 18, about to start university, worried about student debt, to make matters worse she’d been getting grief from her dad. University was for poofs and skivers he’d said, He’d told her she should get a real job, earn some real money, contribute to the family.
So there she was holding the card of a bloke who ran a stripping agency. Kissograms Andrew had told her were the future. She remembered how beautiful he said she was and how much they’d pay for looks like that. She took a deep breath and called the number.
So she’d funded her way through uni by taking her clothes, off. Kissograms, became stripograms which became stripping. She’d hated it at first, it was demeaning, demoralising, it confirmed her suspicion that all men were animals and of course Andrew didn’t pay more for her looks, she got the same as any of the girls. But it was money for old rope.

After she graduated she kept it up, the money was just to good to give away. But deep down inside she knew it wasn’t the money that kept her dancing. Like anything bad for you it was hard to give up; she enjoyed the adulation, the sound of applause ringing in her ears; it massaged her ego and did wonders for her self esteem. But she hated herself for it, especially when she met John.

She’d fancied John from the moment they first met, but she’d kept him at arm’s length, not wanting a serious boyfriend, not wanting to have to explain her ‘secret’ to anyone. But John was too persistent and too cute. So with stories of aerobics classes and puppy dog eyes she’d managed to pull the wool over John’s eyes for 18 months. But now Karen got home from work to find all of John’s things gone. She guessed what had happened; he’d discovered her deception and she was back to square one.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Smoking - a Steve Rant

When Steve Rants the Mayor of New York and the Welsh government listens. Read the story then click on the link at the end.
‘See that annoys me.’
Oh no here we go again thought Johnny, what's got his back up this time.
‘What does?’ He asked in a resigned tone.
‘That!’  Steve nodded in the direction of the offending article but despite having a good look Johnny couldn't see anyone or anything that could possibly be attracting Steve’s ire.
‘You're gonna have to enlighten me.’
‘Well this is a no smoking pub but that bloke is smoking.’
Johnny sniffed first to see if he could smell the offending cigarette and then turned round to look, but neither of his senses agreed with Steve.
‘The bloke in the hat.’ Steve nodded in the direction of an oldish man in a black trilby.
Johnny looked again.
‘That's hardly smoking, it's an electronic cigarette.’
‘So what's he doing then?’ Steve paused but Johnny didn’t grace him with an answer. ‘In my opinion it's a no smoking pub so that means no smoking. Not some smoking or pretend smoking. No smoking. Full stop, no questions.’
‘But it's harmless vapour - you can't even smell it.’ There was tiredness in Johnny’s voice.
‘That's not the point, the point is where does it end? You wouldn't want him doing that on a plane or even at work, or imagine if he were a teacher could he do it in front of a class?’
‘So are you going to go over there and tell him?’ Johnny smiled as he challenged his prickly friend.
‘No but someone should.’
‘Well it's your round, you can tell the barman while he's pouring my Guinness.’
Steve took the hint and wandered over to the bar, giving the man in the hat dirty looks as he went.

When Steve Rants the Mayor of New York and the Welsh Government listens. Click here and here to find out why


Fancy listening to the story instead of reading it. 

‘What’s got your goat?’ Pete said to his miserable looking friend before turning to the barmaid to order the drinks.
‘Just had a fight with Liz.’
‘Oh dear, honeymoon period wearing off is it?’ Jez had just moved in with his girlfriend, this was the first time since the big occasion that Pete had seen him looking down in the dumps.
‘I dunno,’ Jez shrugged. ‘I just obviously don’t understand women.’
‘What did you do?’
‘Why do you think I did anything?’ asked Jez looking hurt.
‘We’ve always done something, mate, we’ve always done something. It’s not just you.’
‘Well I didn’t do anything, she thinks I’ve done something… but I didn’t…not really.’
‘Okay, here we go, what does she think you’ve done?’
‘She thinks I criticised her ironing?’
‘Ouch!’ Pete visibly recoiled. ‘You did what? Have you not read the rulebook?’
‘But I didn’t, all I said was my mother does it differently.’
‘Oh my god! You did what? What were you thinking?Talk about cardinal sin. Mate, you are in for a month of hail Marys.’
‘But I didn’t criticise her, see you are jumping to the same conclusion. I was genuinely interested, I thought she might have a better way to do it. A trick that makes it easier.’
‘Please don’t tell me that she was ironing your shirt.’
Jez nodded, pulling at his shirt to indicate it was the one he was wearing.
‘And she finished it? I am surprised there is not a brown iron-shapedmark on it.’
‘Nah I had to finish it myself…while she went off in a huff. But why did she assume I was saying my mother was better than her?’
Pete looked at his forlorn mate. Was he genuinely expecting an answer? If he was then he was a lost cause.
‘Three golden rules mate, three golden rules; never compare her to your mother, whether it;s good or bad, never criticise her housework and do your own bloody ironing.’
Jez shook his head ‘I think I’m going to have to and probably hers too. … I should call her.’
‘Yeah mate, I think you should.’
With that Jez went outside leaving Pete to contemplate what a monkey his mate was. 

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Balls from a different perspective

A comment on the story 'Balls' asked if we'd ever know why the girl behaved as she did. Well this is the same story but from her point of view.
Out of the corner of my eye I could see the old geezer watching us. He was a bit creepy, taking a bit too much of an interest in us in my opinion.  He looked like he wanted to join in! What was he going to do, write about us? Mind you we were putting on a bit of a show for him; Libor was all over me like an octopus on speed and I was having my usual affect on him, that was no gun in his pocket. Libor whispered ‘I love you’ into my ear and I smiled my internal smile, not because he’d told me he loved me but knowing that Lukas was waiting for me and would tell me he loved me too. I put on my saddest puppy dog face as the tram approached and kissed Libor one more time. I loved that he loved me, he was the sexiest boy in class and I had him whipped.
The old geezer had got on the same tram as me and was watching me now as I quickly touched up my make up and made sure there were no lingering signs of Libor on my clothes. I wondered what the old timer would think of me when I got off and threw myself into the arms of Lukas. My internal smile smirked at the wickedness of it all. It had started so innocently, a coffee after the ballroom lesson with Lukas, then like the gentleman he is he walked me home. I am not sure how it happened but suddenly we were kissing. I thought I’d be guilty, I’d cheated on Libor but it wasn’t guilt I felt. It was fascination. I liked the idea that Lukas’s hands were where Libor’s had been just a few hours before, that his lips were kissing skin that had been kissed by another. Were their hands and lips somehow touching each other’s? Of course they weren’t, but it was exciting, exhilarating. But like any thrill, the magic soon wears off; it’s never the same as the first time but I still wanted to go back for more. So I started to up the ante, the gap between seeing them got smaller and smaller, from different days to a couple of hours and then down to just 45 minutes. Today was my coup de grace, just 3 minutes, two tram stops, 200 metres separated them. I shivered with excitement. As I embraced Lukas with the same passion I’d shown Libor, I imagined the look of shock and disapproval on the old man’s face and smirked my internal smile.

Monday, 25 March 2013

Let's Dance

This story is dedicated to one of this blog's biggest supporters, thank you!

Listen to the story 

And below the story is a teaching idea.

Let's Dance 
Maggie fell into his arms and trembled like a flower. Tears streamed down her face, tears of pure unadulterated joy. When Dave had called her from Madrid airport saying he had the best present for her, she had never dreamt it would be this. She’d been expecting a bottle of calvados or something similar, not the most beautiful pair of red flamenco shoes; handcrafted, real leather, shiny - beautiful. She was overcome with emotion. Since she was a little girl of 11 Maggie had dreamt of owning a pair exactly like this and now under this serious moonlight she had unwrapped the perfect gift. She looked at Dave, that gormless grin on his face; her love for him was so powerful it could break her heart in two. She looked again at the shoes, after 30 years of dreaming, she could finally put on her red shoes and dance the blues.

Have a familiar feeling about this story Listen to this song? 

ELT Teaching idea
play a song - students highlight some of the nice descriptive language, discuss things that can be described by that language and then ask them to write a story using the language. Simple but fun. Feel free to use the story here as an example.