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  • December 7th, 2009

    Christmas tips for ESL folks

    Bob RobertsonA message from the government of Canada for all recently-arrived immigrants struggling to learn English. The English language is the most difficult language to learn in the world. These tips will help you to get through the Christmas season without being embarrassed.

    Tip#1. While Christmas shopping, if you see a sign in a store window that says “Women’s dresses half-off”, do not begin to remove your dress after you have entered the store, if you are a woman, or a man for that matter, this being the 21st century. This is merely a sale in which the cost of women’s dresses will be half what you paid for them recently, or even something they just made up.

    Tip#2 .On Boxing Day, you are not required to challenge other men to a fight. Fighting with your fists should be strictly for professionals, or Tiger Woods’ wife. The Boxing comes from the English tradition of giving Christmas boxes or gifts on December 26th.

    Tip#3 .When you are asked by a volunteer to give a contribution to help Christmas Seals, you are not giving money to keep alive a rare breed of harbour seal that only surfaces once a year on December 25th, when it is clubbed by Newfoundland seal hunters, after which its parts are eaten raw by the Governor General. Christmas Seals are a very worthy Christmas charity helping those with lung disease.

    Tip#4 .When a choir comes to your front door singing “..don we now our gay apparel”, this does not mean you must rush into your bedroom and change into a Liza Minnelli outfit. This is an old Christmas song written when the word ‘gay’ meant light-hearted, cheerful and happy, not irritable, moody and miserable.

    Tip#5 .When a TV commercial says it’s time to dress the turkey, do not attempt to put tiny trousers, V-neck pullovers and fashionable jackets over the cooked dinner, especially not any gay apparel. Dressing the turkey simply means simply adding ingredients such as stuffing to make it taste better.

    Tip#6 .When a party host tells you there is mistletoe in the house, she does not mean the people living there have a disease that affects their feet. Mistletoe is simply a parasitic shrub that supposedly has aphrodisiac qualities, something we’ll explain in our next broadcast.

    Tip#7 .When you see a Christmas ad in a store window telling you to “Pamper your wife this Christmas”, this does not mean you should buy a large box of diapers for your wife. Yes, diapers can be called “Pampers” but in this case the word ‘Pamper’ means to treat your wife in a special way, not force her to wear nappies over the Christmas season, unless, of course, your wife needs nappies. In which case, you should look for ‘Depends’.

    This has been one in a series of programs offering tips to immigrants learning to speak English presented by the government of Canada which wishes you a merry Christmas.

    For more hilarity, you’ll want to purchase Double Exposure Radio’s very funny CD “Bob and Linda’s Juicy Bits Volume 1″, some of the best songs and sketches from the first few months of their comedy podcast. You can order the CD right here;

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