The lesson began with a little word game to let the boys catch their breath (they had to run there from the other side of the school, a 7 minute walk away). Each person had to say a word that started with the same letter that the previous word ended with. It worked quite well - by the time we'd gone around the class, the boys had settled down (this being a relative term - a friend described grade 8 boys as Jack Russells on steroids) and their brains had switched on.
Then I spent a bit longer than I had meant to explaining the format and use of humour in a letter of complaint. I had an example letter that was utterly bizarre - it involves a man finding a shark in a bottle of water. Unfortunately the boys got a bit distracted by the bizarreness, so we lost a lot of time there. But eventually they did settle down and get to work.
I asked them to drawn a piece of paper with 2 names on it from a hat. They then had to write letters of complaint from x to y. Some examples were Saddam Hussein to George W Bush, Bella Swan to Stephenie Meyer, Albert Einstein to their Maths teacher, and so on.
I got some real gems:
Saddam Hussein to George W Bush
Dear Mr George W Bush,
Your National press is painting me as an evil man when all I want to do is bake and learn to dance. Unfortunately your men killed me two days before my first ballet lesson, and I just learnt how to make lemon marrang pie!
I am deeply upset since it has been a life long goal that I dreamed of since I was six, all I was waiting for was my limes to arrive from South Africa then the Lemon Marrang Pie would be mine.
Therefore I want you and a Scottish bagpipes band to dress in full Scottish war suits and play to my grave, and it will be broadcasted to the world!
Enclosed - (Death certificate, Scottish bagpipes band card)
Lord Voldemort to Harry Potter
|Let's just hug it out.|
I am sick and tired of you and your friends trying to hunt me down and kill me. I know I killed your parents but that dosen't mean anything to me. You gave me a little zap with your wand and I now have a big bruise on my arm. I'm also think you should give up, let me kill more wizards and come and bring me a coke to make my bruise feel better.
I really think that this has gone on for far to many movies and we should take a broomstick to Australia and catch up with each other.
Your forever nemesis until you kill me in the last movie,
The Three Little Pigs to the Big Bad Wolf
Dear Big Bad Wolf,
On 25 October you started Blowing down our houses, which we had spent a long time trying tobuild and were very proud ofand now we have no houses at all.
We are getting very angry because you are blowing down our houses. We know that you are hungry because your teeth have recently been taken out, so you have not eaten in a long time, but it is very mean and disrespectful that you are targeting us for your next meal, so please can you try kill the other pigs who live across the road from us.
To fix the problem, we are asking you for 1000 bags of grain, so we can build new houses and to say sorry we will give you pork chops for your next meal.
I look forward to your reply, please can you answer soon and hopefully you will agree and we will all be able to get on fine.
The three little pigs.
Darth Vader to Luke Skywalker
I'm writing to complain about the lack of respect for me and the Sith Lord. We successfully overun the galaxy and built the empire and you still don't surrender! I'm laying charges for vandalism (death star) and abuse of the elderly!
You must surrender the rebel alliance of suffer the consequences! We kindly wait for your responce.
PS You and your sister should come for a visit soon.
PPS Christmas is a my death star this year.
Einstein to Maths Teacher
Dear Mrs H,
On the 8 May you gave your students far to much work on a level that not even I can cope which, and that is the reason for this letter.
Unfortunately, the work you give to your standerd 6 student is inapropreitly hard, and algebraiic eqation are illegal in this country.
I suggest that you shoud stop giving your student work intirely. If you do not do so I wil sue u.
*The student was aware of Einstein's dyslexia. Nice touch, I thought.
Bella Swan to Stephenie Meyer
Re: Twilight storyline.
Seriously! Were you drunk when you came up with the storyline for Twilight.
I am extremely greateful for you casting me as the main character, but what happen to the rest of it! Sparkly vampires... vampires are supposed to be scary, not coated in kiddies "Glitter - Glue"! Then there is the Werewolves. You almost made the books better, but now we know they are just adolescent shape-shifters with love-impulse problems!
I would appreciate it if you rewrote the books with REAL vampires (that don't sparkle) and REAL werewolves (not shape-shifters) and please remove that etternally depressed attitude that seems to follow me.
I look forward to action concerning my problem. If there is no action I will seek new employment by a new author. That is my ultimatum.
Shrek to Donkey
On the 1st of April I asked you to babysit my kids at my house in the swamp.
Unfortunately you did not do well because you let my kids eat too many eyeballs. My kids have been throwing up all over the house and I'm very dissappointed.
To resolve the problem, I would appreciate one million gold coins. Enclosed is my money bag, kindly fill it up and return it.
I look forward to receiving the money and will wait until the 11/05 before contacting an angry mob to assassinate you. Please send the money to 21 Swamp St.
Helen Zille to Julius Malema
Dear Mr Malema,
Though I am currently pleased with your suspention, I still cannot contain my concern with your political strategies and the way you conduct yourself in the political ring. Even though comedians take pleasure in your antics I would like to request that you stop popping up and commenting all over the scene.
I would like you to know that the purpose of this letter is not intended to your race and I hold nothing against you, but just the way you conduct yourself. One of the many incidents you have led to is the insulting of a BBC journalist and the singing of 'Shoot the Boer' hatesong. This is completely uncalled for and is not what politics is about. If you ever plan to become the president of this country then you may want to start thinking before you release your violent thoughts into the world.
I would highly recommend that instead of continuing your career in politics until your expulsion from the ANC, that you retire to your large house in Sandton with your many cars and expensive watches. If you are worried about your economic well being, your "connections" will keep your funds healthy.
My apologies for consuming your preciously corrupt time
Superman to Woolworth's Men's Underwear Department
To whom it may concern,
On 10 May 2012, I bought a pair of tight underwear size 76 (with skidmark proof nanomaterial) at Woolworths on Main Street.
Unfortunately your product has not performed well because they tore and fell off while I was on my way home from
To resolve the problem, I would appreciate a money back. Enclosed are copies of my records.
Kei$ha to Jack Daniels
|Whaddaya mean it's not mouthwash?|
Dear Jack Daniels
On the 24th April I bought a bottle of your '35 year' old tennesee whisky, that absolutely tasted like rotten Milk. I think that the people who bottle your product drunk all the whisky and put some cheap liquid in it.
I was a regular buyer of this 35year old whisky. I refuse to buy this whisky from you untill you resolve this problem. I also would like my money back, cause this drink costs a lot of money.
To improve this problem I would really appretiate it if you could get to the bottom of it. Please contact me on 1241412314. Thank you.
Many a giggle was had. What a lovely class - and people told me that grade 8 boys were difficult! They were cheeky and rowdy but as far as I could tell, the chatter was about the work, and that was fine by me. They seemed to enjoy the lesson a lot. My observer was impressed. The marking was fun.