Vocabulary Story - Unit 1


It was the start of a new semester. As always, there was a group of students who liked to spend the majority of their time carping about their classes. One student, Benito Dingus, summed up the attitude of his peers when he announced, “Gee-wiz, another semester of banal classes!”
“Yeah, Benito,” chimed his girlfriend, Wanda Warthog, “Every class looks exceptionally boring.”
Dramatic pause, dramatic pause, dramatic pause…
“Oh my gosh, is that our English teacher?” inquired an excited Firpo Schwartz.
It was their English teacher. Slightly average height, mildly chiseled features, and an overall Ashkenazic beauty, Mr.Cinnycash was unlike any other English teacher. Students immediately wanted to emulate every aspect of his looks and personality. Why, one student, Hemo O’Dougall-O’Brien-McFadden, started lavishing encomiums to Mr.Cinnycash.
“Mr.Cinnycash, I can just tell your class is off the hook! Can I have your autograph? How about your digits?”
“I appreciate all of your compliments, but it’s time to work.”
Ominous music that denotes drastic change in overall mood…
Benito Dingus was not impressed. He went to open his notebook to write down a list of excoriations about Mr.Cinnycash, but then he remembered that he didn’t have a notebook. Or a pen. So he was left with his mean, nasty thoughts.
“Ew, I’m having mean and nasty thoughts. Ew, yeah, I’m a mean and nasty guy. I mean, look at me, I got my hoodie up, yo. I’m bad. Bling-bling!”
While Benito was filled with mean and nasty thoughts, Betty Bibble was doing her best to eschew the company of her classmates. Betty loved avoiding the company of others and the last thing she wanted was to have people hanging around her. Unlike Benito, Betty had a notebook and a pen and was feverishly writing while Mr.Cinnycash was teaching in his usual coherent and logical manner.
“How many times is Mr.Cinnycash going to tell us to bring a pen and a notebook? Why does he find it necessary to belabor the point? Everyone here knows to bring a notebook and a pen. I mean, really, we’re all seniors. And who is this guy? Writing about himself in his stories. He thinks he’s all that and a bag of chips. No…wait…he thinks he’s all that and a bunch of bananas, no, a pride of lions. Yeah, lions. Rrroar! I’m a lion.”
“Uh, Mr.Cinnycash, I don’t have a pen or a notebook.”
“Well, Mr. Dingus, you’re a senior. Solve this problem by tomorrow.”
That was the statement that set Benito over the edge. His thoughts were not only mean and nasty, but also bloody. He had visions of blood congealing. He was going to overthrow Mr.Cinnycash. He began to devise a plan to arrogate the control of the classroom away from Mr.Cinnycash and into his own mean and nasty hands. It would take a lot of work and it would be difficult to accomplish without a notebook or a pen, but Benito knew that in order to take the class from Mr.Cinnycash he would have to pretend to be attentive and acquisitive for at least the rest of the period. Benito knew that if he feigned interest, then taking over the class would be a lot easier.
Fast forward, jump to the near future, the next scene, you get the point…
There was no time to temporize. It was already Tuesday and the clock was ticking. English class was just a period away. Benito spent the last twenty-two hours and sixteen minutes devising his plan. It was genius. First, he went on a reconnaissance mission studying the entire layout of Mr.Cinnycash’s class. He checked out the corner where Betty Bibble, the taciturn student sat, and found nothing relevant or germane to his plan.
From there, he moved to the shelves along the window. Bingo! Kleenex boxes residing like gremlins. Mr.Cinnycash had an insatiable appetite for nasal tissue! As Benito examined the tissues, he noticed a wide variety of Kleenex. Apparently, Mr.Cinnycash’s interest in Kleenex ramified in many different directions. There were two-ply, single-ply, quilted, and even aloe-laced tissues. Benito knew that his teacher couldn’t be trusted. No one with such a varied interest in nasal tissue could be truly honest.
Benito left immediately and found his friends. With some subtle persuasion, he was able to recruit Firpo, Hemo, and Wanda Warthog for his plan. There was one problem. Benito didn’t have a plan. He just had words. Lots and lots of words. But no verbs. Nothing definitive or concrete. No, not even anything Teflon-based. But plan or no plan, he was determined to tell his friends about Mr.Cinnycash.
He told them about Mr.Cinnycash’s odd collection of Kleenex and that was all the evidence he needed to provide in order to substantiate his claim that Mr.Cinnycash needed to be overthrown.
“Do you think your plan will work?” asked Wanda Warthog.
“It will work. It is probably the most tenable plan I have ever devised. I stand behind it one hundred percent! It is completely defendable, like a rock-solid thesis statement or like one of those rocks, you know, those ones that are real solid and all.”
“Well, wait a minute,” interrupted Hemo, “but what has Mr.Cinnycash done to you other than tell you that you needed a pen and a notebook?”
“I’ll tell you what he’s done and more importantly, what he’s going to do!”
His friends fell silent. Each word hit them like a hammer. Or a mallet. Or perhaps like a blunt object. Either way, they were silent. Like a still lake. A calm morning. A mute.
“He thinks he’s all that, but he’s an invidious man. He hates all mankind…um, humankind. Sorry, Wanda.”
“It’s okay.”
“His class is bunk. If you ever need a break or an extension, he won’t give it to you. He can’t be bargained with; he’s like the Terminator, an intransigent cyborg with no remorse, no pity, no flexibility. Besides, he thinks giving us books to read is some sort of largesse. I mean, really, the guy thinks that forcing literature down our throats is like receiving some lavish gift on Christmas morning…or Chanukkah…or Kwanzaa. So, you all in with me on this one?”
They took a moment to think about it. Cautious glances were exchanged and finally Hemo spoke up.
“I think we should just rip him on ratemyteacher.com. That way, we can hide in anonymity. Besides we’re seniors. We learn don’t to anymore need.”
“Us-es agree!” chimed Firpo, Benito Dingus, and Wanda Warthog in unison.
And they cheered and cheered…until it evolved into an incredibly awkward experience.