“Ah! Bonjour, monsieur! Welcome to ze ‘Restaurant Baguette’, ze finest French restaurant in ze town of Haut-Rhin!”
“Ya, vut do you serve? Vhere is das beer?”
“Ze refreshment menu is right here, monsieur. We have ze fine selection of wines and champagnes, all grown in France! We are world renowned for ze wine selection here a la ‘Restaurant Baguette’!”
“Nein, I don’t want ze vine. Vhere is das beer?”
“Uhh… monsieur… we don’t want to serve you cheap American or Spanish beer! We have ze haute cuisine, ze very fine wines and ze best baguettes in ze great nation of Fwance!”
“Ze vine, it is in das beer boot? I vill only drink out of das beer boot!”
“I see, monsieur, I see. Well, zen! We will give you ze wine in ze boot!”
“Danke schon! Er… thank you so much!”
“Non, c’est pas de probleme, monsieur! Please, sit in ze custom made leather chairs. Ehh… waiter! Get ze wine in ze boot for ze German!”
“Oui, chef! Right away chef!” replied the waiter.
“You are ze chef here?”
“Oui, monsieur! I am ze head chef here.”
“Ze beautiful restaurant you have here.”
“Oh, thank you. Ehh… Waiter! Where is ze wine in ze boot?!”
“Coming right away, chef et monsieur!” said the waiter.
“Danke sch… vut is zis?”
“It is ze wine in ze boot for you, monsieur!”
“Nein! NEIN! Zis is ze old, vorn leather boot! I said ze BEER BOOT! Ze glass boot for ze beer! I vill not drink das abomination! I vill not eat ze food here!”
“Desolee, monsieur, I am very sorry. Uhh… WAITER! You’re fired!!”
“Oui chef, I will pack ze bags for ze 13th time in a week.” said the waiter.
*Customer gets up to leave*
“Non, monsieur, please don’t leave! Give a bankrupt French man anozer chance, please! If I don’t make enough euros, ZE GOVERNMENT REPOSSESS ZE RESTAURANT!!!”
*Chef sobs heavily*
“So now ze Frenchman wants to give a German some good service, eh? Ze answer is ze same. NEEEEEEEEEEEEEEIIIIIIN!”
Do you know what gets me through my day? The one consolation that I can turn to for all the stress, bore and other burdens that I carry with me? If you’re anything like me, you can relate to this quite well. Music.
Let’s be honest here, how many people do you see walking past you or down the street with their earbuds or headphones on, blasting their music so loud that even some of the older people can hear their trashy rap or alien “wub-wub-wub” music? People even do that in cars all the time! Just the other day, I saw a guy in his old 2001 Toyota Highlander with a $2 speaker system wearing fake Ray-Ban shades, rolling down his shoddily tinted window and flash his fake gold chains at me and my mom while we were going home.
Music is a pick-me-up, a perfect way to start the day and a perfect way to just let loose and feel good. I think that’s why that poser rap punk in his “oh, I’m so cool because I have an old vintage car” Highlander was flashing his phony little gold chains. Because the experience of rolling that shoddy little window and giving us a real “I’m da baus” look really made him feel like a “baus”. It’s the same when those forty-something-year-old moms blast some cruddy new pop tune that their equally forty-something mom friends told her about. It makes her feel great. Maybe she likes the annoyingly catchy background beat, maybe she likes it because the singer is an attractive male, I don’t know. The point is, that’s what floats her boat. She starts singing in her terrible, terrible voice, moving around and maybe even swaying off the road a bit. Okay, maybe not that last one, but still.
Another beautiful thing about music is that there is something for any and every mood. If you’re feeling really happy, something like “What a Wonderful World” is great. I’ve listened to that song during some of my best days and believe me, it feels like you’re swinging around in a meadow on a sunny day with somebody you love. It’s a great feeling. If you’re at a party, you’re most likely going to hear some generic electronic dance tune and see everybody jumping up and down (I didn’t even say dance because jumping and swirling your fist is pitiful compared to the break dancing of the 80’s, long live that amazing dancing). Then there’s sad music, like emo. Not much explanation needed there. Depressed, deep in thought, lost, those words might come to mind when I say “emo”. Criticize these stereotypes all you want, but there is some truth to them. Emo music tends to accompany traumatic or sad events like loss of a loved one or something horrible like that.
Let’s put on our analytical caps right now. What is it about music that everyone loves so much? It’s basically what I’ve been saying this entire time. It makes people feel good or bad, enhances a good time or a bad time. Let’s revisit and expand on the example of the rap loser. It made him feel “baus”. What does that mean, exactly? Let me tell you using an example. Have you ever had the feeling when you shaved in front of the mirror and it took a really long time, but afterwards you feel super amazing? Ever felt that “oh, yeah! I look awesome!” type feeling? Same thing with this guy. He felt cool, like a man, cruisin’ in his ride. Let’s expand on the forty-something soccer mom. I talked about how she liked that beat or the singer, but I only brushed over the feeling. You know, I’ve been wondering why so many women like listening to Taylor Swift songs about getting a guy’s attention or breaking up with a guy. Most of her songs are garbage, to me, anyway. I only realized why said women like these songs after I actually tried listening to them for more than five seconds. Girls and women can agree with the mood that these songs bring. You know that one that shouts at the chorus: “WE ARE NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER GETTING TOGETHER AGAIN!”? A lot of girls have had bad relationships and getting out of it makes them want to scream this to their exes. Same with that one that goes something like “LET’S EAT CEREAL FOR DINNER, GET DRUNK AND PARTY WITH RANDOM MEN!” Okay, that one’s a bit exaggerated, but still. On a Friday night, when a band of girlfriends are going to the bar to party hard, something like that is absolutely perfect for enhancing their party mood and bringing the girls together! One last thing. Music brings back tons and tons of memories. Remember the days when you didn’t have a job, a family or other such responsibilities? Rollin’ in the desert with your buddies, pushing your car to its limits? The summer of ‘69? No? Nothing? Ok, then.
Long story short, music is good for pretty much anything. It can help through your toughest times and make your happy times happier. It can make you feel like a “baus” or like a forty-something year old mom who’s buzzing around town picking up her kids from soccer practice. Okay, if you really want a lesson to learn from this, that would be this: people derive feelings or agree with feelings based on the songs they’re listening to and the mood they’re feeling at the time. Also, don’t forget! Alien “wub-wub” music absolutely sucks!
The massive herd of zebras just minded their own business, grazing on the tall brown grass that grows on the African Savannah. Around 100 of them populated the small area where the grass was tallest and most nutritious. All they knew was to chew their food and be peaceful. They faced no danger, no competition, or any other kind of adversity. They just kept on eating a well-deserved meal of grass. The warm wind softly rubbed against the zebra’s skin and rustled the grass gently. No attention was paid by the zebras, lost in their own little worlds. The beasts knew better.
Each one of the six females was around 200 pounds of golden brown muscle, instinct and reflex. Their perfectly designed bodies were crouched from the back to the front, searching for their next easy meal. Their eyes, evolved over countless generations to spot and focus on their targets, reached three of the biggest zebras in the entire herd. With dead silence, they crept forward towards the edge of the grass. Hind legs tensed, their jackknife claws sprung out of their sheaths. The countdown began. Three…two…one… boom! All out sprint at their prey rendered the zebras panicked and unable to move for a couple of seconds. Each one stayed static and hoped for that short amount of time that the beasts wouldn’t kill them, before they started running. The prayers of 97 were met. The three unlucky ones realized ever so slowly that their time to die had arrived prematurely. They snapped out of their confusion and tried running, but didn’t stand a chance against the swift killing machines that hunted them. The lions worked in pairs. One individual tackled the zebra, the other strangled it. So it transpired with all three zebras. The beasts didn’t even break a sweat.
Tranquility and silence kept this man at peace during his slumber. This rugged, scraggly-haired man belched snores so loud they could reanimate a corpse. His torn flannel pyjamas did nothing to keep his 6’4” body warm. His woven fleece blanket did that for him. His dry and peeling toes hung over the edge of the bed like curious travellers overlooking the sea on a cliff. His massive beard trapped flies and lurched them back and forth as his snores kept coming out, as if a diver was in a cage and the current shook him from side to side.
As he fell into deeper and deeper sleep, the door to his room creaked open and a shallow whisper said “Hey, are you awake?”. Failing to elicit a response, the person stepped next to him and said it again. Nothing. The snoring just continued. Until, that is, a 10-inch machete stabbed the sleeping man over and over again. His shouting nearly woke up the neighborhood, but the person had stuffed a pillow on his face just in time for that not to happen. Once enough stabbing was committed to render him mute and about to die, the pillow was lifted and the face of his girlfriend who he had been cheating on revealed lack of subtlety to him. Tranquility and silence took over once more.
My name is King Kong. I am a turbo-charged alien donkey from Planet Bacon, the latest edition to Godzilla’s new empire. The rebel fighters have been all but decimated. The h-bombs didn’t do anything to stop Godzilla from tearing the planet apart. His shell is completely impenetrable. The ever-changing hound fighters with their invisible planes used their loud sound powers to escape Godzilla’s rule, but they were not rebels. They were rogues, and somehow I convinced them to join a new rebellion. They said “We miss home, and want to have it back in our hands as soon as possible. We will fight unto our last dying breaths.”.
Plan Day Z is currently being tested in the best bacon simulators that had ever been produced.
First, we amass a human force and the hounds to take on Godzilla, who is currently harvesting bacon energy from our planet. Next, we send a team of invisible hounds to blind his monitoring systems. They will confuse Godzilla enough for me to ride the human jets inside Godzilla and tear him apart. His tubular, hollow throat cannot withstand my turbo, even though his shell is impenetrable. What happened last time was that the h-bombs didn’t do anything to his shell, but they loosened his throat. Hopefully this plan works, and may the best fighter win.
“Go, go, go!” I say to the hounds. They oblige, and disable Godzilla’s communications system. They silently fly and use high frequency sounds to carry out the deed. A lucky bonus happens next. The hounds do more than their fair share of work, and manage to disable his skeletal maintenance system. Without it, he can’t control his body, and his jaw drops open from the loud sounds the hounds made.
“What are we going to do now?”. Everyone stares at me in silence. “Well?”. A human finally gathers the courage to say to me: “Sir, your lieutenant battle planner sneaked on a hound plane and tried to fly into Godzilla’s throat. He is KIA.”. What? Why would he do that? He of all people knew what’s at stake here. No use moping around, though. I asked again.
“WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO ABOUT GODZILLA?!”. Still no answer. “Great! This is absolutely hopeless! you lot can’t say a word to me? All surprises that I didn’t know about welcome at this point!”. A couple minutes of silence and despair later, a human saved us all. He told me that he sneaked about 20 h-bombs with him. Absolutely brilliant. Now, something that nobody knew until my lieutenant died was that h-bombs can destroy Godzilla’s throat if we can get inside. He informed me of this before he tried to do it himself, but he never told me that he planned on doing it alone. Now that we have these, we can fly into Godzilla and tear him apart, together this time. I give the OK, and we scramble to our jets.
“This is it, boys! We end this now, everyone’s at peace forever!”. They give me a collective “hurrah!” and we go into Godzilla’s throat. The h-bombs are fired and we crash, killing him inside and out. That’s it. Planet Bacon is at peace forevermore.
I am Roald The Great. I smash sentences into pieces and rearrange them into beautiful stories. I smashed a jar of Royal Jelly the day before I started writing the story. I recorded my thoughts and they were sad. I tried the jelly beforehand and it tasted great. It was hard to smash that jar full of jelly, but I fed the remains to my pet bee from when I was six. Sheila loved it and told me to write about it.
Parson’s Pleasure/The Way Up To Heaven
Today, I’m going to compare two of Roald Dahl’s short stories; namely ‘The Way Up To Heaven’ and ‘Parson’s Pleasure’. These two short stories have similarities and differences; the main similarity being that you are kept waiting until the end of the story to see the outcome and the irony. The main difference is the theme(s) of each story. ‘Confidence at high levels costs you’ is the main theme of ‘Parson’s Pleasure’. ‘What goes around comes back around’ is the main theme of ‘The Way up to Heaven’. While deception is a common topic for those themes, they cover different ideas and plot points.
The suspense is created with the description and the choice of words. In both stories, the adjectives that describe the situation create tension and grips the reader tight until release at the end. The irony is significant because it releases the built tension like a bass drop. An example is in ‘The Way up to Heaven’, when the wife calls about the broken elevator. That last sentence made me connect everything that went on in the story and kept me thinking about it long after I stopped reading it. The wife gets tortured for so long and she flips the tables. The mean husband is the victim. Roald Dahl’s style of writing is unique because it creates suspense using description and creative adjectives; whereas the irony drops the tension at the very end in a maximum of 3 sentences.
The conclusions of both stories are successful for a few reasons. They both climax the suspense created throughout and drop the tension off a cliff. They also use irony in a clever way, being to tell the story and make the connections of the characters clear. The descriptive technique is also unparalleled because it is very concise, creative and suspense-creating.
Reflection of EPICNESS! Roald Dahl Short Stories
The first story (The Landlady), is about looks, preservation and deception. ‘Looks can be deceiving’ is the main theme. You see this in the stuffed pets which look awfully real. The two other tenants are stuffed and the landlady gives him cyanide-laced tea. She looked so innocent and lovely to be around when she’s really a menacing, evil witch who kills for comfort.
The second story (William and Mary), is about control and preservation. Control is evident throughout the story, with William controlling Mary for so much time and the neuroscientist controlling the brain. Even Mary controls the brain for a bit during the story and a lot after. Preservation is evident with the note saying the neuroscientist wants to preserve the brain and William who was trying to preserve and maybe improve a somewhat healthy relationship.
The two stories are similar because they both have preservation as a main theme. Also, control is a topic in both of the stories. The Landlady controls Billy Weaver because he is mysteriously attracted to the hotel and he is given an offer that he can’t refuse. William controlled Mary his whole life, Landy controls William and so does Mary at the end.
I’ve read The Landlady before so there is no suspense for me there, but I was very surprised with the plot of the second story and the idea of preserving a person’s brain. I itched to know more as I read. In William and Mary, the suspense is created with the choice of direction in the story. That alone does it for me.
In conclusion, both stories have evident themes; some are more difficult to identify than others.. If I haven’t read The Landlady before today, I probably would have felt the suspense because it is a well written story. William and Mary had lots of suspense, especially when I found out that William actually wanted to go through with the plan that Landy proposed.