An Acceptional Tail

I read and grade papers for a living. While I was recently compelled to poke a hole in my eardrum with a mechanical pencil when I read the 9,543rd paper on “why bow hunting rocks,” for the most part, my job has its perks: a great schedule, lots of autonomy, and an office door that locks.

One of the non-contractual perks, though, is cackling at student errors. If you are one of my students and are reading this right now, rest assured I would never chuckle at *you*–no you are all that is triumphant luminosity and startling genius; it’s all the others to whom I’m referring. Most certainly, you would *never* struggle with subject/verb agreement or rely on spellcheck over what your human instincts might tell you.

I used to keep a comprehensive list of these nuggets, but then, after the time a student wrote an essay, quite tearily, about how her family had just buried her grandmother with the things most important to her–her Peekapoo (euthanized) and her bingo dauber–my spirit for list-keeping sagged like K-Fed’s Calvins.
Nowadays, I keep a casual Hall of Homonymic Fame jotted down onto my gradebook:
“I hate it when they put someone up on a pedal stool.”
“Chris found a rancid note, asking for a thousand dollars, or his hamster would be killed.”
“The mother had many paternal feelings for her child.”
“The veranda rights suck.”
“All my life, I’ve wanted to attend the Super Bowel.”
“Americans have no work ethnic at all.”


The jokes make themselves, really, don’t they? In fact, my reactions to these errors morph into a kind of sound-alike story problem: “If we put the kidnappers up on a stool and then pumped them up really high, how many stench-filled threats could they throw down? And if your mother is both a cop and a tranny, how many hours does it take her to gently cuff the perps while also serving them mint juleps? Further, if we add in one person worshipping at a colon, can we then arrive at a country that has built itself on the backs of its working ethnics?”
Today, however, I had to reorder the trophies on the Hall of Fame shelf, clearing a space in the center for this one:
“Victoria’s Secrete hasn’t done this country any good.”
Hmmmm. I dare venture the opinion that many, many people are grateful for Victoria’s secretions, even now, in cold and flu season.
As I ponder the possibility of models, doing the slinky walk and oozing from all orifices, even those covered by their million-dollar lingerie, all I know is that I’ll take reading error-littered student work anyday over a job as the mop-up guy after Vickie’s televised runway show.

As I return now to my grading, I find myself








17 responses to “An Acceptional Tail”

  1. mist1 Avatar

    I love stuff like this. I caught myself typing the word “femail” the other day.

  2. furiousBall Avatar

    I was actually read the veranda rights at the Super Bowel once.

    I once typed Baloncey instead of Beyonce…that seemed funnier before…there was a baloney connection somehow.

    Engrish is all around us.

  3. Dorky Dad Avatar
    Dorky Dad

    What?? Americans have no work ethnic? Why? I have work ethnic coming out of my eers!

    The nerve of some people.

  4. Christina_the_wench Avatar

    I always new their were victoria secretes. It’s about damn thyme someone brought them to lite.

  5. Jazz Avatar

    Super Bowel… How many football widows would actually LOVE to hear this phrase?

  6. Le Nightowl Avatar
    Le Nightowl

    Fun is the best perk in any job ๐Ÿ™‚
    I enjoyed your goofy hall of fame, although “the veranda rights suck” is still escaping me… ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Jocelyn Avatar

    Mist 1–“Femail” would entail an evelope with breasts, right?

    Furiousball–I can get a baloneyBeyonce connection, for sure. The question remains, though, why you were trying to type Beyonce in the first place. Do you have a not-so-secret obsession?

    Dorky Dad–I sensed this about you. I even saw it coming out of your ears.

    Christina the Wench–I’m still too busy admiring the photo of the Soccer Mom rear end to even notice what you’re typing.

    Jazz–I fear many football widows feel quite strongly that they live in the Super Bowels of Hell.

    Le Nightowl–The veranda rights are supposed to be the “Miranda Rights,” which, by law, have to be read to a criminal when he/she is being arrested. That’s the fun part of a cop’s job!

  8. michael Avatar

    My mom works in a bookstore and has similar perks as people butcher titles, especially when getting books as gifts that someone else requested. It’s the stuff of urban legends, but I recall she once had a customer who wanted a book called Gladly the Cross-Eyed Bear. I need to check with my mom and see if that is true, or I really want it be true.

  9. Le Nightowl Avatar
    Le Nightowl

    Thanks for explaining, I know about the Miranda rights but didn’t get the connection ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Pepper Medley Avatar
    Pepper Medley

    This makes me laugh – and brought back one of my favorite teaching moments. I was a GI at Univ of IA and one of my students wrote a paper about _Othello_. In it, he described in great detail how Othello ‘constipated’ the murder of Desdemona.

    I think he went on to actually play in the Super Bowel.

  11. Steven Novak Avatar
    Steven Novak

    It does suck when someone is put on a pedal stool…

    Sucks, and stinks. ๐Ÿ˜‰


  12. Lee Avatar

    When I worked at Tower Records oh-so-long-ago, a coupla smart-mouthed girls came in and demanded to know where “Smush It” by Salt-n-Pepa could be found. It was a lovely moment.

  13. Polyman3 Avatar

    I havn’t been privy to Victoria’s secretions yet, is there a waiting list? Is there mail order?

  14. velvet girl Avatar
    velvet girl

    Victoria’s Secrete?! I almost spit a mouthful of wine on my laptop.

    How funny! You should send some of those gems to Richard Lederer. ๐Ÿ˜‰


  15. heartinsanfrancisco Avatar

    I’ve been calling it Victoria’s Secretions for years. These are hilarious.

    Rancid notes are the scariest. They smell almost as bad as Super Bowel.

    My particular wicked amusement is misused quote marks. I have a collection of them which grows all the time.

    But what, pray tell, is a bingo dauber? Stuffing Grandma’s dog in the coffin is akin to burying spouse and servants with Egyptian Pharaohs. Euthanizing first, though… Nice touch.

  16. Jocelyn Avatar

    Oh, HeartsinSanFrancisco, a bingo dauber is a specialized marker that hardcore players use to mark off their numbers as they are called (no old fashioned chip placing for them). I think I watched a ROSEANNE episode once, about thirteen years ago, on which Shelly Winters, as her grandmother, used one.

  17. Glamourpuss Avatar

    Brings back memories โ€“ being an English teacher, marking was the worst part of my job. Makes me shudder to recall the agony of marking 80 exam papers while trying to teach a full timetable, write end of term reports and retain the will to live. All power to you.


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