Wednesday, November 4

I just ruined these pants

Chinese kids would not sing and hold hands with Barney the purple dinosaur. They would flee from his presence in horror.

We just celebrated Halloween here in China by devoting a portion of our classes to the famous Western holiday. All of our students thought Halloween was about Satan worship and animal sacrifices. We explained that it is simply a night for goofing around, getting free candy, and trying to scare each other with ghost stories. The only things sacrificed are pumpkins. Even God-fearing Christians approve of Halloween, especially God-fearing Christian dentists.

After explaining the holiday, I took some time to go over the generic Halloween monsters- the witch, vampire, werewolf and the zombie... How to escape from them, how to kill them, how to avoid becoming one of them. The students were surprisingly ignorant about these things. When I asked, "What do zombies eat?" They suggested "Rats?" No, no. They eat your brain.

At this point, even though it was 10:30 on a Thursday morning in a full classroom with sunlight streaming in through the windows, my students were starting to get visibly scared. Girls were holding hands. Guys were too proud to show it, but their darting eyes gave away their discomfort. So naturally, I played n their fears and told a story suggested by my brother, Kyle. You know, the one about the girl and her dog and the bloody writing on the bathroom mirror.

As the story progressed, a look of dread filled all the faces in the room. Except for one girl, who had enough and put her earbuds in. I took my time with the story, adding details and laying it on thick, talking just loud enough that they would have to really listen if they wanted to hear. I reached the end of the story and wrote "HUMANS CAN LICK HANDS, TOO!" on the board in my bloody red chalk. Their eyes grew wide as the implications of the statement sank in. Then the story continued, "So she went back to her room. And she looked under the bed..." Now, I'm ducking behind the podium. I wait for one or two seconds of complete silence, then jump up and scream, slamming my hands on the desks.

One guy jerks back so fast he elbows his friend in the head. Girls scream, then inhale, then scream again. The majority of the class is rapidly patting their heart like a really enthusiastic pledge of allegiance, Chinese sign language for, "I just ruined these pants."

Enjoy this video featuring Kris' storytelling and my screaming ability. Note the guy in the back who immediately stands up and the girl in the last frame who uses Chinese sign language.


  1. i just ruined these pants. not from fear. this is amazing.

  2. This is great. Only you would think to tell your students scary stories.