Wednesday, March 28, 2012

In class writing assignment

There I was on a random Tuesday subbing Middle School Language Arts. The assignment was for the students to pic out a picture from some old news magazines and then write a story about it. The idea was that they would be inspired in some manner to write something, anything, about it, no matter the fact or fiction that came out.

In an effort to both manage the class by modeling behavior, and because it was something to do other than just say, "Shhhh," over and over, I grabbed a Newsweek (November 20, 2006), flipped through it, and tore out a picture of Saddam (p.49) from his trial. During Saddam's trial, he was suddenly a very dapper gentleman, full beard grown in, awesome tailored suits, a thoughtful demeanor. He was found guilty and hanged. This is the story I wrote during class over the span of 20 to 30 minutes. I have tried to avoid any corrections or changes whilst typing this up beyond the most basic of grammar issues.


I am not the only one to note this, but I really liked Saddam's suits during his trial. He looked ... dapper. His beard grown in like his contemporary from Mexican beer commercials, "The Most Interesting Man in the World"(TM). It would not have been shocking to have seen THIS Saddam sitting at the same booth.

This was not the man we had ever seen before. Before ... before we had seem him in suits or his military uniform, his suits tailored, but never comfortable looking. His military outfits looking like what imagined him being.

So, for only a moment, let's picture him hanging out in the booth with our TV Commercial Hero. What could Saddam have possibly added to the conversation? He had to have stories to tell, but I cannot possibly imagine that those stories could possibly be ... in the same ballpark as the other stories at the table.

The ladies at the table might have found this gentleman interesting, dapper gentlemen do usually attract a fair share of the opposite sex after all. But, his stories would be about his reign in Iraq, and those would cause the ladies to begin inching away. Perhaps he would be confused by this. After all, in his Iraq he had power, and needed no filter, everyone around him already knew who and what he was. On at least some level those in that circle had to be some sort of fellow traveller, or at least pragmatic and cold enough to go along.

In this picture our TV Commercial Hero would ponder how to handle it. Upon reflection he would have choices; set Saddam off away from the group - gently or otherwise, try and bring up a topic Saddam might be able to redeem himself with, or take over the table with his own stories in to cut the tension. Saddam would probably not leave gently in my picture, although he did go hide in a hole when the US invaded so one never knows. The new topic might help, but he would likely not take kindly to being upstaged if "The Most Interesting Man in the World"(TM) took over the table and basically shut him out and off.

It would actually make for a great TV spot at this point ... Saddam tries to be smooth but the ladies view his story about torturing soccer players to be revolting. "The Most Interesting Man in the World"(TM) ponders, tells a story about his trip through the Middle East providing alms for the poor, making the ladies view his even more favorably and turning further from Saddam. Saddam throws his drink, narrowly missing "The Most Interesting Man in the World"(TM), but "The Most Interesting Man in the World"(TM) catches Saddam's hand and pulls him from the booth, dragging him out of the restaurant and into the street where Saddam is then arrested.

Ladies and gentlemen, "The Most Interesting Man in the World"(TM) ... he captured Saddam, threw him out to the masses ... and Saddam ends up on trial, wearing his dapper clothes again anyways.