Friday, August 08, 2008


Dan's dog-sitting service

New student, first lesson. We stumble up against the word "kidnap." My options: definition, example, stick-man art (always a favourite), mime, or translation. I opt for "example."

ME: Hmmm... you got a dog?

SHE: Yes.

ME: Well, if I were to break into your house, throw your dog in a bag and leave a note on the table saying "give me a hundred thousand yen or I'll throw your dog in the Yodogawa with a brick for company"... THAT would be a pretty good example of kidnap.

She looks strangely horrified and struggles to summon up the words "I see" in response to this brilliant and tasteful example. I decide to give her a push in the right direction.

ME: This dog of yours... big or small?

SHE: It is a small dog.

ME: Excellent. And where do you live?


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