1. Taught a 7 hour intensive course yesterday, exhausting but fun as i gave them Elberry roleplays, e.g. one student is travelling to New York with a rare Bavarian sausage in his hand luggage, two security guards interrogate him regarding his job, purpose, and sausage. It ran more or less thus:

Guard 1: You smell this? He smells like sausage.

Guard 2: I am very hungry. I think we kill the boy and take his sausage.

Traveller: I can hear you.

Guard 1: Stop. Why do you smell of sausage?

Traveller: It is for my chef [Dinglish for boss] in New York. My chef in Munich said me to give this important Bratwurst to the head of XXX in America.

Guard 2: It is not allowed to take sausage into America. Are you a terrorist?

Guard1: I think he is a sausage terrorist, yes?

Guard 2 takes the sausage and hides it.

Traveller: My sausage, give it to me. I must take it to my chef. It is for my job.

Guard 2: What sausage? There is no sausage.

Traveller: My sausage. You have it behind your back.

Guard 1: You can buy new sausage in America. You must leave your sausage here. It is our sausage now.

Traveller: But this is the last Bavarian sausage. It is very rare.

Guard 2: You can make a new one from a cow.

Traveller: That was the last Bavarian cow. This is an important sausage. Give it back! I  need it!

Guard 2: There is no sausage. Go away.

Traveller: Give me my sausage back!

Guard 2: I think you have a sausage problem. Always you say sausage. You need professional help. Go or we shoot you.

2. Further mirth today, as i discovered a modern English translation of Hamlet. Some samples:

i) Horatio: In my opinion, there are some strange things in our state of Denmark.

ii) King: Even though my brother Hamlet is dead, I am very sorrowful. We should all grieve in his passing. The queen has now taken my hand in marriage, and we thank you all for accepting such a hasty marriage. Now the Young Fortinbras, who does not favor us very much, may dream that our state is falling apart because of the king’s recent death. This is the reason for such a quick marriage to the widowed queen. He has not let us forget about the recent loss of his land with all the messages he has sent us. We have written a message to the uncle of Fortinbras, who is old and sick, hasn’t heard of his nephew’s plan. The message tells him to stop Fortinbras’ intentions. Cornelius and Voltimand, I give you this letter to deliver to the king of Norway. I only give you permission to do this. Don’t do anything else. Goodbye, and hurry; the quicker you are the more loyal you are to me.

Cornelius & Voltimand: Okay, we’ll go.

iii) King: You can leave Laertes. Do as you please. Carpe diem! And now Hamlet, my son-

Hamlet: We may be related, but no one said I have to like you.

King: Why are you still gloomy?

Hamlet: Oh no, my lord; I am very happy.

Queen: Hamlet, please get rid of your gloominess. Open your eyes and look beyond your Father’s death. You know all that lives must die.

Hamlet: Yes, you’re right.

Queen: If you know this, then why do you seem so upset?

Hamlet: I do not seem upset I am upset.

King: It’s nice of you to mourn your father. Everybody loses a father, but to mourn the way you do is unmanly and ungodly. You’re acting like a moron in showing this much grief.

iv) Orsic: Laertes is a gentleman of pleasing manners and an excellent appearance. He knows how one gentlemen should admire another.

Hamlet: Your description fits him, but it would be extremely hard to name all of his qualities, because you know he is multi-talented. I know he is well worth evaluating, but the only person that could come close to matching him would be his own shadow.

And so on.