And then the murders began

Playing with literature … take the first line (or maybe two) of a story and add “And then the murders began” to make any book (or textbook!) better, or at least more entertaining. Well, if you have a bit of a dark sense of humor.

See some examples from The Hook.

I tried with a few books I have around and some famous works:

From Harry Potter, Book 1;

“Mr and Mrs Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much…”

… And then the murders began.

From Don Quixote:

“Somewhere in la Mancha, in a place whose name I do not care to remember, a gentleman lived not long ago, one of those who has a lance and ancient shield on a shelf and keeps a skinny nag and a greyhound for racing…”

… And then the murders began.

Something’s amiss with Anne! (from Anne of Green Gables)

” Mrs Rachel Lynde lived just where the Avonlea main road dipped into a little hollow, fringed with alders and ladie’s eardrops, and traversed by a brook that had its source away back in the woods of the old Cuthbert place…”

… And then the murders began.

From Alice in Wonderland:

“Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the riverbank, and of having nothing to do…”

… And then the murders began.

The best by far is from Genesis (the Bible):

“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”

… And then the murders began.

“Sibling” rivalries and collaboration

A “sleeping giant” is what this video calls famously shy George Harrison, the “baby brother” in the Beatles family, explaining the origins of the song “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” and his relationship with the other members of the band:

Which of these versions of the song do you prefer? (There are others, too…)

Discussion / writing / research questions:

  • Do you have siblings? Do you think the youngest in the family usually gets more attention? Is the relationship between you and your sibling(s) harmonious?
  • Are you, or is any member of your family, a Beatles fan? Do you prefer the early or later music? Who do you think is the best musician?
  • Try doing a little research about the Beatles, or another band you like, to find out more about the members’ personalities or the origins of their songs.
  • Look up the lyrics of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” and do some language noticing (vocabulary, phrases, rhyming).
  • What other bands with 4 members (or maybe 3 or 5) do you like? Do you see similar dynamics among the members as that of the Beatles?
  • Use a thesaurus to look up synonyms for “shy” and “outgoing”. Which of the words do you think are most useful? Try using them in some original sentences with lots of detail.
  • As George Harrison did, try opening an English book to a random page and pick out a word or a couple of words, then use them to make a sentence, a story, or write your own song.
  • Have you ever heard of the I Ching (Book of Changes)? If you’re feeling ambitious, try researching it a little and teach us what you learn.

Put some color in your life

This is a reminder about what school (and work) often becomes … and what it can be if we encourage more creativity.

It also reminds me a lot of the movie “Pleasantville”. The metaphor is different, but there are similarities in the use of color.  If you haven’t seen this movie, you really should. The Japanese title is 「カラー・オブ・ハート」and it stars Tobey Maguire, a few years before he was Spiderman. Here’s the trailer. Fans of the “Fast and Furious” series (Japanese title: 「ワイルド・スピード」may recognize Paul Walker, too.