Thursday, October 26, 2006

Seriously silly glasses

At the university today there was a Halloween parade at lunchtime. Last year I missed it, and heard it was rather good, so this year I decided to attend. I had forgotten to bring a costume again, but luckily had my special silly glasses. (I will add a photo of my seriously silly glasses tomorrow or the next day, after I bring them home. I will be using them again tomorrow and left them at work. I have another few classes to surprise.)

The costumes weren't as exciting as last year's, at least from what I'd heard about last year (no jiggling underpants), but there were some good ones and it was fun anyway. And there was some excitement. I got to see a cheerleader fall flat on her face as she jumped down from the human pyramid.

I also was given a plastic pumpkin bucket of sweets to hand out to students who had come to enjoy the event. The students thanked me in Japanese. Because of my seriously silly glasses I could not see properly who I was giving the sweets to (although I could hear their giggles) until I was right in their faces, so I also accidentally gave some to a couple of security guards, who thanked me - in English! - and happily dug into the bucket, and a couple of Japanese professors, who waved me away indulgently. They were FAR too mature for such nonsense. (At least they smiled, though. Even they could not resist the glasses.)

I also said hello to some kindergarten children who were taking part in the parade. They had the job of singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, in English. I'm not quite sure how that relates to Halloween, but never mind. Perhaps singing in English was enough. It was supposed to be an English event.

The kindergarten children were cute in their little Halloween costumes, and I am very sorry that I made two of them cry. Apparently the glasses are frightening to small children. When I said, "Hello," two of them stared up at me, mouths agape for a few seconds, and let out horrified wails. What was more disturbing was that when I realized the glasses were scaring them and took them off that only made made them howl louder and more desperately. Apparently a foreigner with funny eyes is a foreigner with funny eyes with or without glasses if you're four years old and looking up, and is altogether terrifying. Or maybe they thought I'd suddenly removed half my face.

As I was going to my first afternoon class I had the glasses in my pocket still, and saw a student, not mine, coming towards me down the corridor. He was not looking at me, so I quickly put on the glasses. Then I said hello, very seriously, and he responded, and at the last moment as he was passing he looked up. For a moment I thought he hadn't seen, but then I heard a sudden snort and turned just in time to see him swivel around to have another look, still laughing. This made him wobble off course, and he walked straight into the wall. Ooh, the power of my seriously silly glasses!

My afternoon students were pretty surprised by my new glasses, too, but as they were all sitting down nobody walked into any walls. In my last class, which is smaller, I passed the glasses around and made each student stand up and show the rest of the class while saying something in English. The glasses totally transform whoever is wearing them into a seriously silly cartoon, and in my classes, at least, it transforms them a seriously silly ENGLISH-SPEAKING cartoon.

I think I have been taking myself too seriously. I'm feeling much better now.

Addendum: Here are the glasses. You have to agree they are PRETTY DAMNED SILLY.


kenju said...

I am looking forward to seeing the glasses!

Badaunt said...

I'll post it tomorrow. I've been busy today and haven't taken the picture yet...

kenju said...

Well, you weren't lying - they ARE seriously silly. I can see whay your Japanese students would laugh at them!