Monday, November 06, 2006

The Coffee Talk Companion: "B-."

The Coffee Talk Companion is an ongoing feature in which we dissect and discuss former Facts of Life star Lisa Whelchel's online journal entries.

Lisa's busier than a bee this week! Too busy to apologize for endorsing Pastor Ted Haggard, of course. Alas, let's see what table scrap she gave us to work with...

Clancy volunteered to share a report she wrote for her English class for today’s Coffee Talk. I am so grateful to my family, and you, for being so understanding and patient during this busy time.

Killed by a Bee

There once was a woman named Genny who ran her own honey making business down in the rural part of Oklahoma. She was a hard working woman, she did everything from taking care of the bees to actually getting and bottling the honey.

She had never been scared of bees before until one day she got a frantic call from one of her friends that told her that she would be killed by a bee. At first she didn’t think anything of it, she just politely said, “Okay, well thanks for calling and for your concern” and just counted off her friend as being a little too imaginative.

After a few days she forgot about it until she saw on the news a tragic story about how a little boy had been killed by an awful bee sting. This worried her a little bit but not enough to give up her beloved business.

Then she got another call. This time from her friend that had never believed in prophecies. Her friend anxiously told her that she had had a dream early that night and that she truly believed that Genny would be killed by a bee. Well, this just sent Genny over the edge and she became horribly paranoid.

She immediately sold her business and moved down to Las Vegas thinking that there shouldn’t be too many bees down in the city. So, she bought a condo and lived there happily and bee-free for two years.

One day she was walking down the strip and saw that the Belagio Hotel’s dancing fountains were on. She quickly sprayed herself with bee repellent and walked up the sidewalk to watch. When it was over she decided to go inside the hotel to grab a bite to eat. She was about to walk through the front door when there was a sudden earthquake. Thankfully, it was over as quickly as it started.

As she breathed a sigh of relief, she heard a loud, creaking, dreadful sound. Then her life went dark. The next day’s headlines read, “During last night’s earthquake Genny Whelchel was hit by the dislodged letter “B” in the Belagio hotel’s sign. This woman was tragically killed by a B!”

Now, we've been pretty harsh on homeschooling in our short time as your unsolicited Lisa Whelchel conduit. We just want you to know we realize that. That said, allow us to continue.

1.) You call the above essay, Lisa, a report. A report, connotatively speaking, is a piece of writing giving an account of something else. If Clancy had been assigned, say, a book report, she would have read a book and then written an essay on her interpretation of said book. What Clancy has written is a story. A story, in non-journalistic terms, is a piece of original writing not based on any pre-existing material, like James Frey's A Million Little Pieces. Please do not confuse what Clancy has written, a story, with what you claim she has written, a report. It's insulting to the billions of us who have written reports.

2.) Clancy supposedly wrote this story for English class. However, a "class" involves a classroom and teacher, not a kitchen table and former child star. It's fine if you call the hour or so in which you supposedly teach Clancy how to read, English time. But do not call it class. It's insulting to the billions of us who have attended a class.

3.) "Bellagio" is spelled with two "l"s, not one. As this "report" was written for English "class," we hope the appropriate amount of points was deducted.

We could go into the actual content of Clancy's story wherein a woman with the last name of Whelchel is killed by a giant symbol of themed Americana. But that seems like something for Clancy and her therapist to work out. Or Clancy and Tucker.

In any case, here's to the end of another brief Coffee Talk Companion. We can only report on what Lisa chooses to give us, so consider this a glorious reprieve. We'd love to write more, but, hey, that's the story.


Anonymous Eleanor Rigby said...

Honestly, the best part of Lisa's column this week was your critique of it.

Okay, I'm giving myself a better alias than "Anonymous". I feel that as a regular reader, it is only right.

November 06, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I looked forward to your comments this week - and, as always, you delivered like Domino's!

Interesting that this child is 14 (or 15) and has the grammatical skills of a dimwitted 3rd grader!

Like mother, like daughter, I guess.

November 06, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You might be interested in this post: it includes very great Whelchel parenting tips in "Creative Correction?"

November 07, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well the website looks like it is, and the post is called Creative Correction?

November 07, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My favorite Amazon comment:

This book is a disgrace to parenting. The author (Whelchel) needs psychological help and is a nutcase

November 07, 2006  
Blogger Diner Girl said...

It is sadly apparent that Clancy rode the short bus to the dining room that day. Or any day. Every day. Whatever.

November 07, 2006  

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