Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Grammar Closet

"Pluperfect subjunctive! Pluperfect subjunctive!"

"Yes, Mr. NoGogo. Some of us in the class are confused about the construction of the pluperfect subjunctive as discussed in Chapter 23," Sylvia explained timidly. Sylvia Ibarra with her dark Spanish hair and her dark Spanish eyes made the most of her company-sponsored English classes believing that they were the first step on her path to Baywatch or Melrose Pace or even Webster.

Mr. NoGogo slammed his book shut with disgust.
"Have I not stood up here, Sylvia, day after day explaining mood after mood and tense after tense? What is it exactly that you've been doing? If you don't want to learn, and I mean really learn, then there is little more I can do."

Mr. NoGogo wasn't finished.
"You know, Sylvia, if I had known this morning that you were going to ask such a question, I would have had another drink – maybe even two more. Furthermore, if ten years ago, someone had told me that you were going to be sitting here today in my class, I would have hanged myself from the nearest tree."

"I need some air," he continued. "I find you people stifling. I want you to sit here and think about what you've done. Maybe when I come back, if you are ready and I mean really ready, we can accomplish something."

Outside the classroom, Mr. NoGogo checked his bag twice for his flask. He was sure he had packed it, but it wasn't there.
"Pluperfect," he muttered to himself. "How is that even possible? Pluperfect? How could something be more than perfect? How could something be perfect plus plu?"

He dragged himself back into the classroom and continued his scolding. "Sylvia, there's little left for me to say. I need you to pick up all of things including your pluperfect Spanish hair and your pluperfect Spanish eyes and the way you construe your lips so pluperfectly that one can't tell if it's a pout or a smile. Please take all of these things and go and sit in the Grammar Closet. The rest of you, I don't know! Javier, go to the board! We'll spend the remainder of this class playing Hangman.

In the back of the room Mr. NoGogo could hear Sylvia rustling inside of the Grammar Closet.
"I'm sorry", she said quietly. "If I had known my question was so unsettling, I would not have asked it."

"What's done is done, Sylvia," Mr. NoGogo responded wistfully. "There is no sense in wishing for it to be different."


OneEar said...

On an unrelated note, have you ever, by chance, determined the legal age of consent in Spain?

Litzi said...

Probably around 12 years old...

Doc Bok said...

I miss those pluperfect days and all those pluperfect, pouting lips.

OneEar, in response to your question, there is no doubt that you, like Gary Glitter, violated it at least once.

Litzi said...

Hi Doc Bok,
Do you mean prepubescent girls?

cocoa_no_gogo said...

If I had known she was that young I would not have liquor.