Literary

English

By YUMENG LIU (LIZ)
Published: April 24, 2012
Excerpt from Performing & Telling Your Life

CHARACTERS:

1. Lise – 12th grade high school student, 17 years old

2. Keith Moore – English composition teacher from U.S.

3. Paul King – English literature teacher from Britain

4. Ron – Exchange student from Australia, Lise’s deskmate

SETTING:
In Nanjing Foreign Language School in China, first day of class as new semester begins. A special English lecture with both English composition and English literature teachers to introduce English culture.

(Mr. King enters the classroom with an umbrella at the first sound of bell rings)
Ron: Sir, is it raining outside now?
King (British accent): No, it is not. But as a gentleman, you should always have an umbrella with you. It is as important as you should always have a square silk scarf in your pocket.
King (British accent): Good morning ladies and gentlemen. Let me introduce myself. My name is Paul Brown Williams King. You can call me Mr. King. I’m from London. I am your English literature teacher this term. And hopefully, you will learn the essence of English literature from this class.
(Mr. King looks around the class, then looking at Ron)
King: Sir. Where are you come from?
Ron (Australian accent): I come from Australia, sir.
King: Oh, so English is your mother language.
Ron: Yes, Sir. I can’t (K-ae-n-t) speak British English, though.
King: Sir, I believe your answer (Angsir) is “I can’t (Count) speak British English”.
Ron: Yes Sir.
King: Excellent, marvelous, tremendous. Now, can anyone tell me what you have learned about English literature?
Ron: Shakespeare, sir.
King: Thank you gentleman. What else?
Lise: Christopher Marlowe, John Donne.
King: Excellent, marvelous, tremendous. What’s your name, young lady?
Lise: My name is Lise, sir.
King: Wonderful. Is that short for Elizabeth?
Lise: No. sir. It’s actually “L-I-S-E.” It’s French.
King: Nah. French. By the way, where is Mr. Moore? I thought we are going to give this English culture lecture together.
(Five minutes after class starts, Mr. Moore enters the classroom while humming a song)
Moore: “I love you, baby. And if it’s quiet all right, I need you baby…” (stops singing) Oh hey guys, my name is Keith Moore, not kiss more (laugh). I’m your English composition teacher this semester. You can call me Keith or Mr. Moore.
Class: (Silence)
Moore: Oh, hello, Mr. King.
King: Morning, Mr. Moore. I guess the class time is too early for you.
Moore: It’s okay. Students need some preparation at the first few minutes of class. (wink)
Well, let’s talk about something interesting since it’s a culture lecture. It would be great if you guys have anything want to share or discuss with us.
(Mr. Moore looks around the class)
Class: (Silence)
Moore: Aww… come on guys. You don’t observe anything interesting in your life? I mean, although it’s an English lecture, you don’t have to talk everything that “English.”
(Mr. Moore looks around the class, again)
Class: (Silence)
Moore: Okie dokie. I believe you guys prefer to know what I have observed since I’m here in China. I found one thing, you Chinese seem to love KFC more than McDonalds and Burger King!
Class: (Silence)
Moore: Isn’t it unbelievable?! I thought people would definitely love McDonalds and Burger King much more than KFC since there’s only chicken. What’s fun only with chicken?
Class: (Silence)
Moore: No one agrees with me? Or you guys really love those chicken legs and chicken breasts with injections of antibiotics. That’s not healthy! Did you guys see how they feed those chickens? There are eight legs and four pairs of wings on one chicken!
Class: (Silence)
Moore: What do you think, Mr. King?
King: Well, I never had KFC before, nor McDonald’s or Burger King. But for one thing, we wouldn’t say things like chicken legs and chicken breasts. We call them “dark meat” and “white meat.”
Moore: What? Dark meat and white meat? That’s not scientific. How would you call someone’s chest white meat?
(Lise raises hand)
Moore: Finally! Someone’s interested in this topic now! (happily looking at Lise)
Lise: Mr. Moore. There are several statements I want to make here. First, for your question that why Chinese people seem to like KFC more than McDonald’s and Burger King. One important reason is KFC entered the Chinese market way earlier than the others, I would say 10 years. And the chickens they use in the Chinese market are not those with injections of antibiotics, they use the local organic ones. So they don’t have eight legs or four pairs of wings. Besides, KFC offers many local foods that McDonald’s and Burger King don’t supply. Moreover, KFC was the first fast food chains to provide 24 hours a day, seven days a week opening and delivery. For your second question toward Burger King, I think it’s quite obvious. Although the taste of its burgers could be better than KFC or McDonald’s, it lost the opportunity to win from the start. In addition, I would tell you a fact that you probably can’t accept. Pizza Hut is way more popular in China than Papa John’s or Domino’s. Same strategy is that they also entered the market early and provide 24-hour service.
Moore: Oh no. I love Papa John’s. I hate Pizza Hut.
Lise: Well, then I guess you should go to Papa John’s more often to support it, Mr. Moore. Since the last one in this city is almost closed down.

– End –

 

 

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