A Sydney man has had his self-confidence shattered after discovering he couldn’t pronounce about 50 words in a children’s picture book he was reading aloud at his girlfriend’s family gathering.
After bombing a dozen or so challenging words, the man said he simply began replacing them with something easier or skipped the stumpers completely.
“I thought I’d get some bonus points with my girlfriend for reading the kid’s a book, but it backfired big time, with one dodgy-looking uncle asking if I was retarded and some four-year-old genius encouraging me to try sounding the big words out,” he said.
The man is not alone, according to the Reading Writing Hotline, which receives hundreds of calls from distressed aunties, uncles and other folks who take an L when attempting to read a picture book to children at a social gathering.
“Most young adults haven’t read anything more than the odd TAB guide since leaving school,” a spokesperson for the Reading Writing Hotline said. “We recommend they stick to more practical ways of impressing kids, like starting a game of cricket or getting blind drunk.”
Bubblers have been turned off in schools across Australia and parents have been told not to pack water in their kids’ school bags following a rash of instant yet painful playground deaths attributed to allergic reactions to the world’s second-most popular form of hydration after vodka.
“Children used to have mild allergies to things like peanuts and pet hair, but these days almost all foods, drinks and things in general can cause anaphylactic shock,” a school principal said. “We think it has something to do with children having everything handed to them on a silver platter with diamonds these days.”
Parents of children with water allergies have slammed schools, the government and Mother Nature for not doing enough to protect victims from the “ubiquitous and deadly liquid”.
“From the oceans to the rain to the pipes that pump it right into our homes, water is everywhere and it’s just not good enough,” one mother said, adding that normal everyday tasks had become difficult. “We have to squirt our son with hand sanitiser every morning as his sensitive body would die in a regular shower and he hasn’t been able to consume a drink for seven months while we wait for test results, so he’s extremely thirsty.”
Researchers from the CSIRO have warned parents that children could soon be allergic to non-designer clothes, activities that don’t involve screens, and catching pubic transport to school.
Ceramics classes has become the surprise hit for students at Randwick High, with 100% of students opting to take the elective class, and of that 100% all were awarded perfect attendance records, which is something that hasn’t been done since Blue Lagoon was one of the films studied intensively for English and biology.
“We thought they would treat it as joke,” said head ceramics teacher Mr Rimmer. “But the results have been incredible. Creativity is a major problem however, as every student has made what they call a vase. Some have called it a watering can but they all look the same to me.”
Randwick High headmaster isn’t so thrilled with the new subject, claiming that as soon as they’ve completed their water vase or can they tend to give up on every other subject completely.
“The tuck shop is loving it though,” said the headmaster. “It seems to be all our students are interested in these days once they’re finished with their ceramics projects, with record sales for pies and sausage rolls,” said the headmaster.
“At least the money raised from the tuck shop is going towards a good cause, as the staff room desperately needs more Xanax so teachers can handle a full day of teaching students who often bully teachers into early retirement when they’re just a few weeks out of uni.”
A department of education spokesperson isn’t sold on the new curriculum, saying “It’s obvious to anyone that works in a government position that what they’re making isn’t a water vase, yet a ceramic version of the timeless Gatorade saxophone.”
Schools across Australia are set to shut down in 2020 after a careers forecast report found every job will be filled by someone more qualified, a self-service checkout or the internet by the time anyone born after 2010 graduates.
“There’s simply no point learning anything anymore – all the jobs are gone, and I don’t think kids like school anyway,” a federal education spokesperson said, adding that shutting down schools is the “natural next step” in the evolution of Australia’s education system.
“The Gonski report recommended reducing class sizes – we’re reducing them all the way down to totally ‘goneski’.”
Parents are split on the decision, with one Mosman mum telling The Sydney Sentinel she had already stocked up on maps, compasses and walking shoes to keep her kids occupied between the hours of nine and three.
“I love my kids, but not enough to want to see them before wine o’ clock,” she said.
One Malabar father of two said it was “about time” someone did something to handicap the kind of young go-getters who live with their parents and work for free until someone forgets they’re an unpaid intern and adds them to the payroll.
“I still haven’t found a job since leaving school back in ’98, so I think this is a smart move – gives the rest of us a chance,” he said.
The school buildings will be turned into apartments and VIP rooms in Sydney’s East, and Centrelink offices or legal ice-smoking rooms everywhere else.
Commonly confused words “their”, “there”, and “they’re” will all be replaced with the universal “ther” from next year, the Sydney Sentinel can reveal.
The move has been welcomed by frustrated teachers, many of whom have been pushing for the change since the late 1990s.
“Students never remember which one to use and I even find myself sneaking under the table for a quick peek of the Macquarie Dictionary every now and then,” said Mr Harrington, head of English at Maroubra High School. “This new word means students can spend class time learning instead of trying to work things out”.
After a quick survey of social media, experts have also nominated more than 20 other words for “simplification”, including “your”, “you’re”, “yore”, “where”, “wear”, “we’re”, “who” and “whom”.