There are sentences and phrases that we never thought that we would hear or say. Words that stop us in our tracks. Sentences that you think may never have been said in the history of the English language. Hear are some of mine.
- GET OUT OF THAT DISPLAY CASE!
- Did he have a V carved in his forehead?
- Do you want to burn to death?
- Your eye is wobbly and swimming in water.
Those four come immediately to mind. This is their backstory.
My first or second year teaching, I was teaching Spanish in a large classroom that used to be an art room. So instead of bookcases, there were long, thin drawers for storing paper and finished drawings, a sink that was turned off (thank God), and most importantly for this little story, the entrance to a display case that was designed to showcase artwork and could be seen from the hallway. It was about at waist level. I had a large class of 30-32 students and while I was helping a student, out of my peripheral vision I saw someone climbing on his desk. His desk was next to the wooden doors that opened to the display case and he was climbing into it. So I SCREAMED Get out of the display case! And then yelled at him that I never thought that was a sentence I would ever say. I reported the incident and the Dean of Students asked “Did he have his clothes on?” Ummm…..yes. Yes he did.
For reasons I can’t remember, while she was in high school, my daughter’s boyfriend injured himself or needed stitches for something on his forehead. We had a friend of mine from AA who was a construction guy fixing our staircase. I went to the store and when I came home he said that someone had stopped by. I asked who it was, he didn’t know, but that he was a teenager. I said “Did he have a V carved in his forehead?” He stared at me for a minute and said “That’s not a question that has ever been asked before.”
Number 3 occurred when I was a fairly new teacher and was teaching Intermediate English to English language learners. This was a double period class and my classroom was next to the bathroom. I really had to go. I looked in the hall and no faculty members were around. I knew it would only take a minute, so finally I told the kids I was running out for a minute and DON’T MOVE NO MATTER WHAT. As I was in the bathroom, the fire alarm went off. Shit. I could hear the school evacuating and I rushed back to my class. By then the classrooms on my floor were almost all empty, but my students were still sitting in their desks. They said “You told us not to move no matter what.” I yelled DO YOU WANT TO BURN TO DEATH? I was so worried about them. And then also thought that I couldn’t believe I had to say that question and, hopefully, would never have an occasion to do so again.
Now to Number 4, which happened yesterday. As you know, I’ve been whining here about my cataract surgery during which the surgeon also put in lenses so that I won’t need to wear glasses again. While talking to a colleague, all of a sudden he stared at my right eye and said “Whoa, something is wrong with your eye!” He moved me under the light and told me to move my eye to the right and back to the center. And then said “Your eye looks wobbly and like it’s swimming in water.” Of course, I thought he was messing with me. But he insisted. I moved again and it was better. Then later, he saw it once more. At that point he scared the crap out of me. I called the eye doctor and what he was seeing was a shimmering reflection off of my lens. The doctor said it can look like it’s floating in water or can appear like a cat eye (ewwww). Totally normal after this type of surgery. But I pray that no one ever tells me again that my eye is swimming in water and wobbly.
Are your strange sentences and questions like mine?