FROM the Do-We-Laugh-or-Cry Department:English teacher...

salmagundi

September 23, 1993

FROM the Do-We-Laugh-or-Cry Department:

English teacher Richard Lederer has already published one book about history as it might have been composed by his students at St. Paul's School in New Hampshire. That book, "Anguished English," was based on the factually fractured writings that his students have handed in over the years.

It's funny stuff, until you realize that these kids are our future politicians, doctors, lawyers, journalists, etc.

Mr. Lederer is coming out with a second book of "Anguished English" (a fact we report with mixed feelings), including this example of how his students would have written the story of civilization:

"Ancient Egypt was inhabited by mummies and they all wrote in hydraulics. They lived in the Sarah Dessert and traveled by Camelot. The climate of the Sarah is such that the inhabitants have to live elsewhere, so certain areas of the dessert are cultivated by irritation. Early Egyptian women wore a garment called a calasiris. It was a sheer dress which started beneath the breasts which hung to the floor.

"Socrates was a famous Greek teacher who went around giving people advice so they killed him. Socrates died of an overdose of wedlock and after his death his career suffered a dramatic decline.

"Later came the Middle Ages, when everyone was middle-aged. King Alfred conquered the Dames, King Harold mustarded his troops before the Battle of Hastings and Joan of Arc was burnt to a steak and was canonized by Bernard Shaw.

"The greatest writer of the futile ages was Chaucer, who wrote many poems and verses and also wrote literature. Another story was about William Tell who shot an arrow through an apple while standing on his son's head.

"The Renaissance was an age in which more individuals felt the value of their human being. Martin Luther was nailed to the church door at Wittenberg for selling papal indulgences. He died a horrible death being excommunicated by a bull.

"The greatest writer of the Renaissance was William Shakespeare; he was born in the year 1564 supposedly on his birthday. He wrote tragedies, comedies and hysterectomies, all in Islamic pentameter.

"It was an age of great inventions. Gutenberg invented removable type and the Bible, Voltaire invented electricity and Isaac Newton invented gravity. Another important invention was the circulation of blood.

"Sir Frances Drake circumcised the world with a 100-foot clipper. In the 19th century people stopped reproducing by hand and started reproducing by machine.

"The invention of the steam boat caused a network of rivers to spring up. Cyrus McCormick invented the McCormick raper which did the work of a hundred men. Louis Pasteur invented a cure for rabbis. Madman Curie discovered radio and Karl Marx became one of the Marx brothers."

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