Teen Talk. Laughter Is The Best Medicine...

Teen Talk - Live

Chris is taking “Teen Talk” on the road. If you are a member of a parent group or responsible for finding engaging speakers for student or youth groups, please contact Chris at www.chrislincoln-speaker.com

Chris Lincoln MEd
Chris Lincoln MEd
The infamous "woodie"...
The infamous "woodie"...

Laughter

One of my favorite things about the teen years is their sense of fun. When all is right with the world, they give flight to their inner weird and whacky, and end up being, intentionally or unintentionally, incredibly funny.

There is also a risk of being unintentionally funny around them…

Once upon a time I was teaching an art class to seventh and eighth grade students. This elective was at the end of the day, and in the past few weeks, we had done a couple of two-dimensional projects together. I was looking for something a little different and if possible more three-dimensional. Scouring the sale items at a craft store that was going out of business (typical teacher Saturday…) I came across a large box containing pre-cut wooden model airplanes. At something like 50c a piece, down from five or six dollars, I bought as many as I could, and looked forward to the next class. I spent Sunday putting a demonstration model together, painting a cute little bi-plane in blue and silver. (I still have it some twenty years later!)

After six classes of sixth grade math and science, I was truly in the mood for the elective class. Now, at some point I need to let you know the name of these wonderful wooden kits, though it pains me to share that, at that time, I was completely unaware of the double entendre. I was fresh off the ‘plane from England, and had not heard this particular term. I was pre-warned about using the term ‘rubbers’ for erasers, but I blithely, and very innocently began my lesson on “Woodies”.

I happily showed them the woodie I had made for them at the weekend, and was singularly unaware of the boys in the class turning purple from holding in their laughter. I explained that you needed to handle the woodie with care, especially the end where we would later attach the propeller. I suggested that the girls may have less experience with models like woodies than the boys, at which point my poor class could no longer restrain themselves. I was clueless, and completely baffled as to what was causing such ribald hilarity.

Seeing my discomfort, one of the eighth grade boys with both confidence and obvious leadership skills, came up to me, and whispered in my ear, “Mr. L, a woodie is like another word for, you know, a stiffie, an erection…”

I though back on my presentation with a new awareness and with an involuntary, “Good God!” burst out laughing as hard as my class. Not a great deal got done that day, but that lesson entered school folklore…

Working in schools that focused a great deal of energy on residential field studies (The very best way to engage this age group…), I spent a great deal of time with these young teens, away from home, away from the technology, toys, malls, and fast food restaurants that were their norm. I got to see them at their sweetest, their best, as they helped each other cope with homesickness and candy deprivation. They would drive the chaperones crazy at night with their inability to stop talking, but the stories they would tell were just so funny. Not quite fully immersed in sarcasm, yet, and minus the attitude, their innocence and sense of fun would burst out. Very often the key students who provide the catalyst for the humor, were unexpected. I have seen students, shy and withdrawn in the classroom, completely come into their own in these settings.

We would provide opportunities such as skit nights, usually on a theme based loosely on the field study. It was on such a skit night, where I saw a young man do the most amazing impression of me. Normally a very quiet, studious boy, he managed to mimic every aspect of my classroom manner, including some interesting things I didn’t even realize I did, and all in the very best English accent I have ever heard. He glanced sideways at me, a little nervously, as he started, but seeing my smile, just went for it. Hilarious.

My favorite funny girl had the most amazing bubbly personality, always full of life and laughing with her friends. On a very long, and incredibly tedious bus ride across Arizona/Colorado, she started a conversation with the driver. All super serious about how to drive the bus, what driving it was like, never once breaking from this very keen interviewer mode. The driver was hooked, telling her the minutiae of his work, which she listened to very carefully.

Now this young lady was tiny. Truly a miniature person, and the driver, was frankly, huge.

We took a pit stop and as the driver walked over to the gas station shop, our young friend pleaded needing to use the restroom and left just after him.

What transpired inside, we will never know, but a few minutes later, this young lady came out wearing his massive jacket, and his oversized cap.

The bus was in uproar as she got into the driver’s seat, picked up the intercom mike, introduced herself as “Charlie” and started talking to the students, warning them about staying in their seats and not putting trash on the floor.

Perched on the seat, she realized her feet were quite some distance from the pedals, she took a beat, and in the same gruff voice she had used in the warning said, “A little help here…”

The driver returned laughing himself silly, and for the next seven days we were never far from a “Charlie” the bus driver reference…

My point in sharing these stories is two fold. One, when things get awkward or uncomfortable or dark with your teen, remember the funny times.

And two, please share your funny teen stories…

You do not have to be signed in to hubpages to leave a comment, just put your name (or an avatar/alias) and share…

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Comments 29 comments

tlpoague profile image

tlpoague 5 years ago from USA

Awesome! Awesome! I am a mother of two young adults just coming out of their teens. To this day they keep me in stitches no matter how angry I am. My daughter is brilliant with words and I finally talked her into giving me a cute saying to go with my profile. (She spend most of her *boring* time in school coming up with little quips that she later posts to her Facebook profile.) Children are terrific comedians no matter what age.

I had a blast reading this and sent it on to my sisters. Thanks for sharing it!


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

tipoague,

Well, thank you very much indeed!

I feel like I cheated on my serious hub this week, writing about funny, but then one of my funny hubs got kinda serious so maybe it's all a wash...


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 5 years ago

Great hub and I agree laughter is not only the best medicine it makes for great communication and wonderful relationships.


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

Thanks Pop!

C


mysterylady 89 profile image

mysterylady 89 5 years ago from Florida

Chris, this brought back so many memories. I love your "woodie" story! No matter what my explanation was, the classes always roared with laughter when I tried to teach what a dramatic climax was. And teaching "lie" and "lay" - forget it!


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

mysterylady 89,

Oh I hear you...

Teaching middle school science was always a double meaning nightmare, but I never thought that English could be so risque!

As a student my most famous mistake (That ended up on the wall of shame in the teacher's lounge) was my essay on the formation of chalk, which I carelessly stated as "being created by thousands of tiny orgasms at the bottom of the sea..."

Talk about dramatic climax...

C


Louise 5 years ago

Chris,

As you know, Dean has always had a fabulous sense of humor which has resulted in many a call from school over the years. When my husband went bear hunting in Canada (Iknow, I know!) Dean told his second grade classmates that his Dad was shooting Winnie the Pooh. A few girls had to be sent home because they were so upset. I couldn't show my face at school for many weeks.

But, the worst part is witnessing his more "adult" humor starting to poke its way through his adolescence. While on a cruise recently, Dean became enamored with a stunning Russian girl a few years older than him. He eventually managed to convince her to go on a date with him. At breakfast the following morning we asked him about it. He remained secretive until we pressed him for details. With a sly smile, he finally said: "I took her up to the observation deck and let her observe my deck."

Orange juice came flying out my nose at exactly the point when I decided to NEVER ask him about his dates again!!


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

Louise,

So very Dean...

Seriously though, hunting naked?

In Canada?

Good move not to ask about dates any more - with one display of nose explosion, he might simply wait until you have something hot in your hands and fire another zinger off!

Major points in guy land!

I wonder where he gets his complete lack of shyness from?

C


mysterylady 89 profile image

mysterylady 89 5 years ago from Florida

I love your chalk story. One year a student kept a notebook of my "foot-in-mouth" remarks. I often did not understand what I said that was so funny!


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

mysterylady,

And sometimes it was probably wiser not to ask...

C


sueroy333 profile image

sueroy333 5 years ago from Indiana

Chris- this was awesome. Leave it to you to bring a woodie to show off to your class! And a blue one at that!

I'll bet they STILL talk about you!! We're glad to have you as a writer, but the kids lost out when you left!!! Too funny!


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 5 years ago from California Gold Country

This was absolutely charming.

And, having been in classrooms for some years myself, I can attest to the fact that "teen talk" does evolve, even if you think you know the local expressions from the ground up.


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

Sue,

There are so many stories...

I met the young man who did the impression of me all those years ago, just a few weeks back. He is married with children and working as a prosecutor - and yes he remembered!

C


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

Rochelle,

The ever evolving language, so many ways to make a fool of yourself...

Of course the language differences between the UK and US are not without pitfalls...

C


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 5 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

Well, now you have explained where your funnies come from! So you still have your woodie. Amazing it has lasted this long. Obviously you have taken good care of your woodie and not beat it to death playing with it in inappropriate ways. You will have to measure it and let us know how big it is.

Oh, I could just go on and on, but SueRoy will take up where I left off, I'm sure....


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

Austinstar,

Ooooh, you had to go there didn't you?

I thought the photograph would prevent the humor from going all, well, middle school, but no.

I am proud that the propeller still turns...

C


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 5 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

ROTFLMAO! That's a good one!


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Lmao all the way through the comments! One of the first grade classes was working on phonics and grouping sounds that began with V - one of the students shouted out "Viagra!". Too much TV perhaps? Lol Chris!


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

Real,

I knew you would have some good ones...


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

I know - I play with the other kids too much:)


sunflowerbucky profile image

sunflowerbucky 5 years ago from Small Town, USA

Hilarious! I have a 12 year old so I can just imagine the woody lesson!


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

sunflowerbucky,

You might want until they are out of "glare and mo-om" range before sharing...

C


attemptedhumour profile image

attemptedhumour 5 years ago from Australia

Hi Chris, you would have to be a brave man to face a class full of young Americans with the different language problems. Then again we all face that on hubpages where we assume people will understand our mutterings and sometimes we miss the target. Well i do. My teenage memories are in black and white, not in the clarity dept' either. I'm sure your eccentric style would have been a help rather than a hinderance. I would have loved to have been there when that quiet kid mimicked you, a class act that would have helped him enormously at the time. Cheers


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

AttHum,

It is amazing what you can do when you are oblivious to things going on around you!!!

C


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Yeah C - I'm a perfect example of that........go on - look the other way now:)


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

Real,

Oblivious is easy to cover up - just pretend your totally into something else, over there, behind that other thing...

C


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Peek a boo! How m I doin'? You crack me up C!


queenpoetica profile image

queenpoetica 5 years ago from England

I can relate to this ChrisL, my background is youth work in the UK. I love young people, teens and secretly wish I were still in my teens myself. I'm sure I can find some funny stories to share with you like the time I was talking sex education to a class of teens with learning difficulties. I asked them to think about any words that they knew to describe their private parts, words that are sometimes considered rude. One girl put her hand up, almost bursting with enthusiasm as she blurted out "miss, miss, I know one - smarty pants!" That kept me chuckling for many months.

So glad to have found someone that shares my love of teens.


ChrisLincoln profile image

ChrisLincoln 5 years ago from Orange (or Lemon...) County, California Author

QP,

I'm a little concerned, having been called a "smarty pants" more than once...I had no idea!

Thanks for reading, leaving a comment and for the follow,

Chris

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