Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Stupid in Any Language

Have you ever been asked to make a bunch of little booklets from one big book? The pages are perforated. You tear the pages on the perforated edges, you take two pages, fold them over and make little eight-page booklets. Each booklet is reading material for first graders. The set includes 54 little booklets, with such stunning titles as "The Table," "Chuck's Chest" and "Trash."

I was at a Cub Scout pack meeting for Youngest last night. I brought a few of the big books to make into sets of 54 little booklets. Having experienced pack meetings with Eldest years ago, I knew I could plow through the books in no time. Why waste time at home which could otherwise be spent on the Internet drinking heavily enjoying quality time with the kids? Another plus is I don't have to make chit-chat with other people. That's a big plus as I am, in my heart of hearts, quite the anti-social beast.

A friend was there and she offered to do some of the tearing and folding. I was happy to have her help. Another woman, a stranger to me and a near-stranger to my friend, also offered to help. I wasn't particularly keen on it, but what could I say, really? "I'm sorry, you look too stupid to handle this mindless task." Probably not a good idea. And definitely not in keeping with the whole Scout crap-trap I’m supposed to be modeling for young boys.

This woman hails from Brazil. I mention it only to note that she is definitely fluent in English in addition to her native Portuguese. I am barely proficient in English – although my husband would note that I’m even less proficient in the true English – so I laud her ability to immerse herself in another land speaking a language other than her native one.

Fluency in English, however, was not required for this task. Tear the edges of the pages, fold two consecutive pages in half, creating an eight-page booklet. I shall note that each page of the booklet was clearly numbered 1 through 8. Simple, yes?

Dumb-ass woman so totally effed-up the one book I gave her that I had to spend quadruple the amount of time to try to match up the pages with each book. We really wouldn’t want pages 1, 2, 7 and 8 of “Ron on the Run” to mix with pages 3, 4, 5 and 6 of “The Whiz,” now, would we? Would we? Sim? Nao! Yes? No!


Lori the eco-artist said...

OK, this is the 2nd funniest thing I have ever read. (Your anniversary story being the first) Kinda like having the kids help with the laundry, and ending up with pink underwear that was previously white.

D... said...

Oh dear. That's bad. Terribly bad. I'm at a loss to how she messed up?

Anonymous said...

Bummer. Sorry for the extra work.


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