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Return of the Rabbit-Lobster
Short compositions from my teen students here in Taipei--some of them brilliant, some of them chafing at the bit. The assignment was to pick any person, then imagine them waking confused from a dream in which they dreamt some part of their body had morphed into something else. Students had twenty minutes to write, but some cheated.
Yes, Claire Fan-Chiang is brilliant. Just . . . brilliant.
Some of these compositions, placed at the end, are unsuitable for kids. Heck, some, which I couldn’t even bring myself to type, were unsuitable for adults too.
by Claire Fan-Chiang (at ZEI)
Eric woke from a strange dream this morning. In the dream he was in a small, dusty park. He was sitting under a tree chewing his elbow passionately. He suddenly realized that his elbow was a hippo’s head.
Eric was amazed. He couldn’t believe he had accomplished such an incredible thing. His elbow was now a wonder of nature! Reporters from around the world would come and interview him, while biologists would simply sit and stare in admiration, unsure how to begin. On the Internet people would discuss him day and night, and fans would gather round him for autographs and selfies.
“Hey, you! What are you doing!”
A rock hit Eric on the head and he turned to see who’d thrown it. He couldn’t believe anyone could be so rude to him. He was now the World’s Most Special Person!
Finally he realized the rock had been thrown by a soldier dressed in traditional English armor with a bucket-like helmet on his head. As the soldier approached, he raised his sword, pointing it directly at Eric’s elbow.
“What the--?” Eric swore. Was this some stupid cosplayer that wanted to rule the world? But before Eric could say any more, the hippo on his elbow devoured the soldier.
Eric gaped at the empty space where the soldier had just stood. His elbow--had he perhaps grown it to save the world from all kinds of stupidity that may cause sickly seasons and the extinction of many races?
It had to be so!
Eric decided that from now on his mission was to make the world a better place. He would create a world of order and peace. Women would admire him and men would simply be jealous of him. Yes!
In fact his hippo-elbow companion ate anything near it, Eric’s teaching plans, his car keys, his cell phone, his comfortable sofa, and more. It also ate a very bitter old lady who stole kids’ candy, a rabbit-lobster that was peacefully crossing the road, and a short Godzilla hairdresser known for tending people’s hair with exquisite care. It swallowed all the plague samples in the laboratory and the paper bags containing a few cockroaches and a piece of stale bread. Eric was convinced that through all this he was creating order for the world: setting a new balance for the ecosystem and cleaning up the streets besides. He’d never been this happy before!
However, Eric soon met a French guy whose knees were two pythons. Eric felt envious because he only had one hippo while the French guy had two pythons. Angrily, he demanded the stranger’s name, only to discover that the stranger’s name was Eric too.
Oh, Eric couldn’t bear it that this French Eric had accomplished more than himself! French Eric saved beautiful ladies from frightening monsters and had won the lottery ten times in a row.
Furious, Eric challenged Eric to a duel. But just when the duel was to begin, Eric woke up because he had to pee.
Eric now sat on his bed, sulking. He had absolute confidence that he could have beaten the French Eric. But now he’d never find out, since he was already awake and his dreams were different every night.
So he drew a hippo on his elbow and two pythons on his knees. He is now extremely satisfied with himself.
Tommy and Serena
Tom Hanks’ Thumb
by Anthony (at ZEI)
Tom Hanks woke from a strange dream this morning. In the dream he was on the set for the movie version of Dan Brown’s new brainchild Inferno. He was washing his hands at a small sink and he suddenly realized his left thumb was a man: Wow! It was Dan Brown!
He stared at Dan Brown for a moment, not knowing what to say. Finally, Dan started to shout: “What the hell are you doing, idiot? Concentrate on your acting!”
Tom Hanks glanced around the room. Nobody had noticed his thumb yelling.at him. So he came down closer to Dan and whispered: “What’s going on?”
“F—k!” Dan roared. “You giant oaf, why are you asking me! Just Be Your Langdon!”
Tom looked over at the actress preparing, the one they’d chosen to play Sienna.
“Nice girl again. But what about Sophia, Vittoria, and . . .”
“C’mon, Hanks, forget them!” Dan snapped. “Focus! This is Inferno, so of course the female lead will change.”
“But what does that say about my character, that he keeps--”
“Oh, Jesus, Hanks! I don’t give a damn about things like feminism or what. Just FOCUS!!!”
by Tommy (at ELT)
This morning Frank woke from a very strange dream. He was in his bedroom, and he started touching his legs. He realized that his legs were really incense sticks. He didn’t pay much attention to them at first. However, when he got out of bed and started walking around, he realized his incense legs were burning. With the smoke now floating around him, Frank had no idea how to stop it.
Suddenly he remembered the film 127 Hours, in which a man had to cut off his hand to save himself from dying in the wild. Frank was in the same situation as the character: he had to take action immediately, or he would burn to death.
He started looking around the house for something to cut off his legs, but there was nothing. The smoke was getting thicker, and he could start to feel the burning. Frank rushed outside as quickly as he could; he made great effort to reach the railway crossing near his house. Once there, he put his burning incense legs on the rail. The train was already coming. He started counting down: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 . . . RIIIINNNGGG!
Frank woke up with sweat all over his body. He reached over and turned off the alarm.
“What a strange start for a day!” he thought, and reached down to check if he had his normal legs.
Tatiana and classmates.
My Chill Belly
by Jenny (at ELT)
This morning I woke from a very strange dream. I was on my bed, and I started touching my belly. I realized that it was really a refrigerator. Confused and surprised, I slapped myself to check if I was still dreaming. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a dream.
“What happened? Where will the food I consumed go to?”
Dozens of questions sprang up. However, not wanting to distress my family, I decided to conceal the secret. I got up from the bed, trying to reassure myself: Maybe it wasn’t so bad. With such a special belly, I could store food inside instead of preparing a lunch box.
Thinking this way, I felt more relieved. And besides--a new day was beginning, perhaps a brand new life.
But then I felt my head getting colder and colder. I realized it was changing slowly. It was becoming a freezer!
The Party in My Hair
by Tatiana (at ELT)
This morning I woke up from a very strange dream. I was in the bathroom, and I wanted to comb my hair. But I realized my hair was really a swimming pool. I saw all my friends were in the pool. I wanted to go in too, but couldn’t, because I had to take a shower to get ready for school.
Suddenly Angela, who was also in the pool, held up a water gun and started to shoot me. I was angry, so I picked her up and stared at her. Angela is so tiny! Ha ha ha! I thought. And I started to shake her around violently while singing a K-pop song from a band I knew she hated.
After a while, when Angela was screaming and almost crying, I remembered again I had to take a bath or I’d be late. So I put Angela on the toilet and went to take the shower head. But as I held it I had a thought: Wait! I’m totally naked! Everyone in the pool just saw my body!”
I quickly turned on the shower, and began to spray myself, but at the same time I started to wake up. Interesting, my hair was all wet.
My Electronic Eyes
by Frank (at ELT)
This morning Frank woke from a very strange dream. He was in the park, and he reached up to rub his eyes. He realized that his eyes weren’t natural: they’d become electronic eyes. When he touched them, they turned on, and he saw a screen light up in his field of vision, similar to a smart phone screen.
The screen had several options: X-ray eyes, games, instantaneous movement from place to place, normal eyes. He chose the third option, instantaneous movement, to get back to his house, and it actually worked! Then he chose some of the other options, just for fun. But not long after, he felt they were really pretty boring, and didn’t help him much either. So he chose normal and his electric eyes turned off. When he tried to turn them on again, however, just to see if they still worked, he couldn’t.
He was thinking about this, still trying to turn them back on, when he woke up.
Jay Chou's Screenface
by Lulu (at ELT)
This morning Jay Chou woke from a very strange dream. He was in a closet, and he he reached up to scratch his face. He realized that his face was really a TV screen. He still could see clearly from his eyes, but he started to feel very nervous.
Then he noticed his wife was next to him in the closet--For God’s sake, why are we in a closet! She was watching his “face” and laughing. He felt awful because he knew she was watching Sponge Bob. He told her he hated the stupid plots in that cartoon. How dare she watch Sponge Bob on his face!--but she ignored him. He tried to turn off his face, but couldn’t, and she kept watching and laughing.
Jay got angrier and angrier and was trying to grab for the controller from his wife’s hand when he woke up. His wife was in bed next to him watching him nervously. -
by David (at ELT)
This morning Eric woke from a very strange dream. He was in bed, and started feeling around his right shoulder. He realized that his right shoulder was Ted.
“I’m still dreaming,” Eric thought.
But when he tried to go back to sleep, Ted slapped Eric’s face with his paw.
“Get up!” Ted yelled at him. “It’s time to save the world! It’s our responsibility to save the lonely women of planet earth!” the bear yelled at him.
Eric started to wake up.
Simon’s Remote-Control Arm
by Christine (at ELT)
This morning Simon woke up from a strange dream. The dream was really long, like a movie. He’d never had such a dream before.
In the dream Simon was lying on a sofa in a house with many chandeliers. He started to scratch his left arm and realized that his arm was really a remote control. Pressing different buttons, he quickly learned that he could control the light in the chandeliers, the air conditioner, the TV, everything.
Soon a woman came into the room wearing a silk evening gown.
“Oh, Simon, my love--here you are!” she said to him and sat down.
Simon felt the woman was kind of strange: he didn’t recognize her. But when he looked at his arm again, it was no longer a remote control, but a kind of screen, like an iPad screen. And words started to appear on it: KISS HER, FOOL, the words said.
Simon looked at the woman. She was smiling, waiting for him to kiss her. But then a man came into the room and stepped quickly up to Simon.
“Your arm: you must use it to help me,” the man said.
“What?” Simon said.
“Through that screen you have the power to discover the passwords of all the world’s major CEOs,” the man said. “I want those passwords. Using them, I can become fabulously wealthy.”
“What will I get?” Simon said.
“I will give you some of the money, and you can marry my daughter.”
The woman on the sofa next to Simon was angry to hear this, and she made a noise in protest.
“I will do it,” Simon said.
Then, while the woman was still there pouting, Simon and the man found Bill Gates’ password. The man took out a laptop and quickly used the password to get into Bill Gates’ email. But within a minute police rushed in and, seeing the screen on Simon’s arm, they arrested him.
In the next part of the dream Simon was in jail. The man’s daughter, now his fiancee, was there visiting him. She was fat and ugly. Simon didn’t mind being in jail if he could avoid marrying her.
NOTE: The following dreams, from the students in ELT class 005, are unsuitable for child reading. In fact I couldn’t even type out most of them. The class has a serious perv to it. I do my best. If they don’t write what’s on their mind, they really can hardly write at all, since by the time I get them (8:30 p.m.) they’ve already literally been in classes for more than ten hours. They only wake up when they get a chance to make up unsavory stories about the class hero: Simon. (The above composition is by the one girl in the class at present, who bravely puts up with the atmosphere of grim juvenile hormonics.)
Keith’s Shifty Nipples
by Simon (at ELT)
This morning Keith woke from a strange dream. In the dream he was lying on a bed in a motel and he started to touch his nipples. But he realized his nipples were really a girl’s nipples. They were his girlfriend Judy’s nipples.
In fact during the dream Keith actually was in a motel lying next to his girlfriend Judy. He had fallen asleep because he drank too much. Judy, however, was still awake. When she saw Keith touching his nipples like that, she thought, “What the hell! He’s touching himself like he’s a girl!”
But while typing out this dream, Eric realized it was too yellow to include here. Sorry, Simon.
by Kris (at ELT)
This morning Simon woke from a strange dream. In the dream he was in a dark room, he didn’t know where. He reached down to touch his penis and discovered his testicles were really two little flashlights. As he was shining them around the room, a man appeared behind him.
“Your testicles are so beautiful,” the man said.
“They are my favorite part of my body,” Simon said. “You can’t take them away.”
Then Simon turned up the light on one of his testicle flashlights and shined it into the man’s eyes to blind him. And he tried to run away. But since the light was shining on the man, Simon didn’t see what was in front of him and he crashed headfirst into a wall. The blow knocked him unconscious.
When Simon woke up, both his penis and his flashlights were gone. Simon was very sad. Then he noticed a window on one side of the dark room and went to look outside to find out where he was.
Down below, on the street, he saw the man riding away on a bicycle, using Simon’s testicles as a bicycle light.
“Mama!” Simon yelled. “Mammmmmaaaaaa!”
by Bill (at ELT)
This morning Simon woke from a strange dream. In the dream, he was on the street. He reached up to scratch his chin and realized that his chin was really a pair of testicles.
But this dream was too yellow to type. Eric needs to keep his job.
by Ken (at ELT)
This morning Simon woke from a strange dream. In the dream, he was at a motel with Victor. They were playing on the bed when Simon realized his ten fingers were really ten . . . . But what his fingers were really and what happened next cannot be included here. Eric can’t believe how yellow this class is.
Ken Becomes a Father
by Eric (sometimes I just do my own composition while they’re writing)
This morning Ken woke from a strange dream. In the dream he was riding the Taipei subway. The train had just stopped at a station. Ken was watching people come in through the open doors when suddenly he heard a loud “DING”.
Ken looked down and realized that his belly was really a microwave oven, and that it had just finished cooking something. Before Ken knew what to do, a hunched old woman came up to him and poked his left nipple. The door on his belly opened and she reached to take something out. Ken tried to block her reach, but she swatted his hand away. She took out a large red bowl with clear plastic wrap on top.
“Hey! You can’t--” Ken started to say, reaching for the bowl, but the old woman raised her hand like she was going to hit him, so he stopped.
The old woman slowly lifted the plastic wrap off the bowl. Steam began to rise from it. She blew into the bowl and looked.
Ken felt very embarrassed because everyone in the subway car was now watching.
“It’s ready,” the old woman said to Ken, and held the bowl up toward him.
Then Ken saw a little Simon head slowly coming up out of the bowl. The little Simon head looked at him with wide innocent eyes.
“Dad!” the little Simon said to him.
All the people in the subway cheered and began to applaud, but Ken screamed out in terror.
He awoke covered in sweat.
Thanks to AgelessAndEvergreen for making the digital version of the rabbit-lobster above. --E.M.
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