RECOMMENDATIONS/NEWS (Staff, 7-9, 10-12)
The Education Resource Centre of The Age newspaper is worth checking out, or going back for another look. Apart from material for VCE Success and features supporting different subjects within the curriculum, the reading and writing page is great for – well, reading and writing, of course! Watch this page because things will be updated throughout the year.
Currently, Andy Griffiths has contributed a hilarious short story, Just commenting, as part of a special series on the Summer Kids pages of The Sunday Age. Here’s the first half of Andy’s story (you’ll love it):
WHEN I grow up I’m going to be a commentator. I’m getting really good at it, too, because I practise every chance I get. In fact, I’m practising right now.
I’m sitting at the dinner table using the pepper grinder as a microphone.
“It looks like we’re in for an exciting night’s eating,” I say in a hushed voice. “Anything can – and probably will – happen. The father is chewing on a chicken bone. The mother is pouring gravy over her potatoes. And the sister . . . well, the sister is looking directly at the commentator.”
“Can you pass the salt please, Andy?” says Jen.
“And the sister has opened play by making a direct request to the commentator to pass the salt,” I say. “The question is, will he give her the salt or is he too busy commentating?”
“Mum,” sighs Jen, “Andy’s commentating again.”
“Oh dear,” I exclaim. “The sister seems to have forgotten about the salt and has decided to tell on her little brother for commentating instead.”
“Just ignore him,” says Mum.
“I can’t,” says Jen. “I want him to pass the salt.”
“She’s getting impatient now,” I say. “She’s thrown away all pretence of politeness and good manners. Looks like she still really wants that salt. But her little brother is just shaking his head. Looks like we have a stand-off on our hands.”
Jen rolls her eyes. “Can you pass me the salt, please, Dad?”
“A brilliant change of tactics on the sister’s part,” I say. “Let’s see how it works out for her.”
Dad nods, picks up the salt and leans in front of me to pass it to Jen.
“What a pass!” I say into the pepper grinder.
“Straight from his hand to hers, no fumbling – and Jen is wasting no time in transferring the contents of the salt shaker to her dinner. Just look at her shaking that thing – she’s giving that shaker everything she’s got. Ladies and gentlemen, this is the salt-shakingest salt-shaker action we’ve seen around this dinner table in a long time.”
“Jen,” says Mum, “that’s quite enough salt.”
“Looks like the mother has stepped in to shut down the sister’s salt offensive.”
“Shut up, Andy,” says Jen.
“Jen!” says Mum. “Please don’t talk like that at the dinner table.”
“But, Mum . . .”
“I know your brother can be very annoying, but there’s no excuse for language like that.”
“Oh dear,” I say.
“Looks like Jen’s dinner has definitely taken a turn for the worse. Not only has she been cautioned for excessive salt use but now she’s getting into trouble for being rude at the dinner table.”
“All right, that will do now, Andy,” says Dad. “Just eat your dinner.”
“But who will do the commentating?”
“NOBODY will do the commentating!” says Mum. “We’ll all just eat our dinner in peace and quiet.”
“But that’s boring.
“How can I be a professional commentator when I grow up if you don’t let me practise?”
“Just eat your dinner,” says Dad, “or else you’ll have to leave the table.”
It gets even better, so click here to read the rest and find out why the narrator is being held upside down by his dad. You can also read previous short stories, including I’m allergic to lava by David Callinan, Last night down by the Merri Creek by Sally Rippin, or others.