Jim and his sister were walking home from school. "How was school?" Jim asked. "It was nice," said Jim's sister. Her name was Nancy. Nancy was seven. She had black hair. Her hair was short and straight. She also had braces. Jim forgot to bring an umbrella for Nancy. Jim and Nancy huddled together under Jim's umbrella. The rain fell lightly. "Let's hurry," Jim said. Jim and Nancy walked faster. Jim stepped on a puddle. The water splashed. Nancy's pants got wet. "I'm sorry," Jim said. "It's okay," said Nancy. It started raining more. They soon arrived home. Lightning struck across the sky. It sounded loud. They were safe inside. Nancy's clothes were wet. She changed her clothes. Jim did the same. Nancy looked out the window. It was raining hard. She was glad to be inside. Jim felt the same.
She was popular. Everybody at school knew her name. She liked the attention. She was pretty. She had blonde hair. It was long and straight. She wore expensive clothes. She wore classy perfume. She put on pricey make-up. All the other girls were jealous of her. All the guys liked her. She was not interested in being a relationship with anybody. One day, her parents told her a surprise. They said they were moving. She was devastated. She moved the next week. They drove to Colorado. She went to a new school. She was not popular anymore. Nobody knew her name. Nobody liked her. No one was jealous of her. She was just an ordinary girl now. She was sad at first. She soon felt happy. It was a nice change. It was nice being a regular person. She did not miss being popular anymore.
It was a hot day. The sun was shining brightly. There were no clouds in the sky. He walked along the street. He was going home. He was hot and tired. He could not wait to get home. He was almost there. It was nearly one hundred degrees. There was not another soul in sight. Everybody was at home. His car was not working. He had to walk to his bank. He did not know it was so hot. The bank was not too far. The heat made it seem far away. His throat was dry. He was thirsty for water. He walked with sweat on his back. He arrived home. He went straight to the kitchen. He drank a big cup of water. He took off his clothes. He went to the bathroom. He took a cold bath. It was so refreshing. He stayed in the bath.
Dorothy had very curly hair. She hated it. "It's too big," she always complained. Dorothy wanted to be an actress. All the actresses she knew had straight hair. It always looked perfect and smooth. Every morning, Dorothy was up at 5:00 a.m. She spent two hours straightening her hair. One morning, Dorothy had a big acting audition. She was running very late. There was no time to straighten her hair. "I'm never going to get the job with this hair," she thought. She was wrong. As soon as the director saw Dorothy, she was hired. "Your hair stands out so much," he said. "You must love it!" "Of course I do!" replied Dorothy.
Kenneth went to the movie theater. He likes to watch action movies. The more action, the better. He waited for his friends. They had planned to meet at 5 p.m. He waited outside. Twenty minutes passed. His friends were not there. He called one of them. It went straight to voicemail. He wondered where his friends were.
He was getting upset. He called his other friends. They did not answer. He went back to the theater. He bought a ticket. He went to the concession stand. He bought popcorn and soda. He went inside the viewing room. He found a comfy seat. He sat down. He watched the movie all by himself.
Today was a nice day. The weather was great. It was a good time to go to the beach. Andrea decided to go surfing. She went with her family. Andrea and her family drove down to the beach. When she got out of the car, she headed straight for the water.
The water was cold at first. The waves were great as the wind was perfect. After surfing she ate lunch with her family. They grilled hot dogs. Andrea loved surfing. Today was a fun day for her. Her whole family had a great time surfing. She felt good spending time with her family.
Benjamin and Kyle are best friends. They met when they were 10 years old. They were both in the same swim class. They became the fastest swimmers in their class. They joined the swim team at their high school. Even though they were great swimmers, Benjamin and Kyle had different personalities. Benjamin was book smart. He had straight A's in all his classes, even the advanced ones. Kyle was street smart. He knew how to get what he wanted.
Benjamin and Kyle both wanted to be the swim team captain. However, there can only be one. Whoever got the most votes would be the next captain. Kyle was worried, because he knew that Benjamin was more popular than him. A lot of the other team members thought Kyle was a bit mean. Kyle had a plan though. The next day, he gathered up all the swim team members except Benjamin to meet him at the pool.
Hey guys, I know you want to vote for Benjamin, and I think he's a great guy. The thing is, he would be a terrible captain. He always puts school first. He would rather study for a test than practice his breast strokes. I love swim and would put everything I have into this team." Kyle knew what he did was bad, but he wanted to be captain so badly that he did not care.
A different hairstyle or color can change a person's entire look. It can make a person look better or worse. Jean was about to enter her first day of college. She wanted a new look. Her current hairstyle was nice, but it was boring. She had it since she was a 9th grader. Her hair right now was straight, long, and blonde.
She went into the hair salon and asked for the hairstylist. "What kind of look are you going for?" the hairstylist asked. "I want to look like a model," Jean said. "Well, we can add layers to your hair. We can also make your hair more blonde," the hairstylist said. "That sounds good!" Jean said. Jean sat in the chair while the hairstylist cut her hair. Jean couldn't see herself in the mirror because she didn't have her glasses on. She just trusted the hairstylist. An hour later, the hairstylist said, "Done!" Jean put on her glasses and looked at herself. She looked totally different! She liked it, but felt strange. She could barely even recognize herself.
Jean asked her friends and family what they thought. Most of them liked it. They said it made her look edgier, but very different. In fact, when she met up with her friends, they asked who she was. One of them even tried calling the police when Jean showed up in front of her house.
When Jean was shopping with her friends at the mall, a model scout came up to her and asked if she would consider modeling. Jean said she would think about it and took his business card. The new hairstyle was really working out for her.
Pamela got accepted to Harvard University! Her family and friends were excited for her. Harvard was known for being hard to get into. Even if you got straight As in high school, you could get rejected. You have to also be very involved in school, do volunteer work, and write well. Pamela immediately knew that she wanted to go to Harvard, but she was worried about the money. Harvard was a private school, so it was expensive.
Two weeks later, she got an email from Harvard telling her what she got for financial aid. Pamela did not get as much aid as she hoped for. There are two types of financial aid: grants and loans. Grants are good because it is money given to you from the school that you do not have to pay back. For loans, you have to pay it back eventually. Harvard offered Pamela a lot of loans but not much grants. Pamela told her parents that she would not go to Harvard. Her parents told her that she should still go. Harvard was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
After some thinking, Pamela agreed. She decided that she was going to apply for scholarships. She went to her school's college center and found several scholarships she was qualified for. She applied to a scholarship for history majors, one for violinists, one for Filipino-Americans, and one for female students. In the end, she managed to get $3000 from scholarships. This was a good start. She would get a job at Harvard while she took classes.
Fishing for compliments means trying to get people to give you compliments. Barbara loved fishing for compliments. She usually says something bad about herself so that people will feel bad about her and give her compliments. She would say something like "I look so bad in this dress." Her friends would say, "No, you don't! You look great!" Barbara has done this so much. One day, one of her friends said, "Barbara, you always say bad things about yourself and we keep telling you the opposite." After that, Barbara tried to stop fishing for compliments.
It was hard to stop though. She felt like the compliments boosted her low self-esteem. Her therapist suggested that she write down a list of things she liked about herself. It was hard. She would write one thing and then cross it out. Her therapist then asked her to write down a list of compliments she received from other people, which was easier. She wrote things like "smart," and "kind." "Do you think these compliments are true?" she asked. "Some of them," Barbara said. "Now, I want you to write down why people would say you're smart or kind," the therapist said.
For "smart," Barbara wrote that she has straight As, reads a lot of books for fun, and watches the news, For "kind," Barbara wrote that she helps elderly people cross the street, opens the door for people, and volunteers at the homeless shelter. "Good job! Now you can see why you are smart and kind, and start to believe it," she said. Barbara agreed. Writing down the reasons helped her.
Michael is a freshman at UCLA. He is going to live in the dorms. Before then, he lived with his parents. His parents are happy for him, but sad that they won't get to see him as much. Michael has two roommates. One of them is his friend from high school. The other one is someone he does not know. Michael didn't bring that many things to the dorm. He knew that the dorms at UCLA are pretty small. When Michael and his parents entered the room, both of his roommates were already in there.
Michael! What's up?!" William exclaimed. Michael and William hugged. They were excited to be continuing their adventures in college. The other roommate David was quietly at his desk. He was already studying! "Hi, I'm Michael," he extended his hand to David. David shook his hand and continued studying. "Getting an early start huh?" Michael asked. "Yeah I'm trying to get straight As," David said. Michael assumed that he was very smart. "What is your major?" Michael asked. "Biology. I want to be a doctor," David said. It was now clear to Michael why David was studying so much.
After Michael's parents helped him move in, they said their goodbyes. They wouldn't see him until Thanksgiving. "Hey, let's go try the dining hall food! I heard it's amazing," William said. "Sure! Let's invite David too even though he'll probably say no," Michael said. The boys asked if David wanted to come along. "Yeah I'm actually pretty hungry," he said. The boys all went to dinner together and all of them got along. Michael had a good feeling about UCLA.
Norma went to bed. It was eleven o'clock. She turned out the light. She lay in bed. It was dark. It was quiet. She couldn't sleep. She closed her eyes. She tried to sleep, but she couldn't. She turned the light back on. She opened her book. She started to read her book. It was a good book. She read one page. Then she read another page. After a while, she felt sleepy. She closed the book. She turned out the light. She closed her eyes. She went straight to sleep.
She walked along the sidewalk. She wasn't paying attention. She was thinking about her boyfriend. He made her angry. He said he didn't want to marry her now. He wanted to marry her later. She wanted to get married now. She didn't want to get married later. Why didn't he want to marry her now? Maybe he didn't want to marry her later, either. Maybe he didn't want to marry her ever. Maybe he wanted to meet someone else. Maybe he wanted to marry someone else. She walked straight into a bench. She hurt her leg. Her leg started bleeding. She sat down on the bench. Her leg hurt so much. She tried to stop the bleeding.
Up, down. Up, down. Billy was doing pushups. His arms were bent. His palms were on the ground. His toes were on the ground. His back was straight. His belly was close to the ground. His nose was close to the ground. Then he straightened his arms. Now his nose was almost two feet above the ground. His back was straight. His arms were straight. His head was higher than his feet. His feet were lower than his head. That was one pushup. Then Billy bent his arms. His nose and belly almost touched the ground. Then he straightened his arms again. That was another pushup. Billy did eight more pushups. He did ten pushups. He did ten pushups every day.
They were sitting on the sofa. He started to get up. "Oh," he groaned. "What's the matter?" his wife asked. He was standing still. He wasn't moving. He was bent over. He wasn't standing straight up. "Is it your back again?" his wife asked. "Yes, it's my back again," he said. He couldn't move. "Can I help?" she asked. He shook his head. All he could do was wait. A minute later, he put one foot forward. Then another foot. He slowly walked to the bathroom. He still wasn't standing up straight. He was still bent over. He went into the bathroom. Then he slowly returned to the living room. He slowly sat back down on the sofa. "I told you not to carry that suitcase up those subway stairs!" his wife yelled. "But you didn't listen to me. You never listen to me. Next time, I carry the suitcase.
He was in Miami. He was an oil executive. He was at a bar with some friends. It was about 1 a.m. He walked out of the bar. He didn't say good night to his friends. He didn't say anything to anyone. He just walked out of the bar. The videotape from a surveillance camera showed him walking west from the bar. His hotel was not west from the bar. Where did he walk to? Why didn't he walk straight back to his hotel? The police wanted to know. His family and friends wanted to know. He wasn't drunk. He wasn't sick. Five days later someone found his body. It was in the water. The coroner did an autopsy. The coroner said he had drowned. The police said it was an accidental drowning. "That can't be! Daddy taught all of us how to swim," said one of his adult daughters.
She heard the mailman. The mailman made noise when he delivered mail. She walked downstairs. She said hello to the mailman. He said hello to her. He said it was a beautiful day. She agreed. The mailman went to the next apartment building. She opened her mailbox. There was a bill from her insurance company. She would send the company a check immediately. There was also junk mail in her mailbox. The junk mail was from her phone company. The phone company sent her junk mail every month. But she wasn't interested. She never opened junk mail. It went straight into the trash. There was also a postcard in the mailbox. It was from her dentist. She saw her dentist twice a year. It was time for her visit. She went back upstairs. She called her dentist. She made an appointment.
There was a bus accident. The bus accident was near a dam. The bus ran off the road. The bus tipped over. Two people died. Eight people were hurt. The bus driver was going too fast. The road is a two-lane road. It is a narrow road. It isn't a wide road. The road is not straight. It bends a lot. It curves a lot. The road looks like a snake. The speed limit is 25 mph. The bus was going 50 mph. The passengers were afraid. The bus ran into a guard rail. Then the bus tipped over. Passengers yelled. Passengers screamed. Passengers fell down. Passengers fell on other passengers. Luggage flew through the air. Luggage hit people. Luggage hit people in the face. Luggage hit people in the head. The windows broke. The windshield broke. Glass was everywhere. Bodies were everywhere. Luggage was everywhere. The ambulances came. They took people to the hospital. The police came. They took the driver to jail.
We are running out of money," Dad said. "I must find another job." Mom was a teacher. Dad was a teacher. They had four children. The baby had a rare disease. She was always sick. They had to take her to the doctor often. The doctor was expensive. But he took good care of the baby. He said she would be healthy in a few years. But Dad owed the doctor a lot of money. He looked in the paper for another job. He asked his friends about another job. Finally he found another job. He became a taxi driver. After he taught school, he ate dinner. Then he went to the taxi company. He drove the taxi to the airport. He picked up people at the airport. He dropped off people at the airport. Some people gave him big tips. Some people gave him small tips. Some people gave him no tips. He drove the taxi for eight hours. Then he went home. He was tired. He went straight to sleep. Every night he had a dream. Every night it was the same dream. Every night he dreamed about money. Every night the money was on fire.
Heather loved the freedom of soaring high above the land and sea. She learned how to hang-glide from her boyfriend.
Initially, she was scared to death. The first time he took her up, she hung on for dear life. But by the end of that flight, she was hooked. Half a year later, she bought her own hang-glider.
Almost every weekend, she drove to Torrey Pines and leaped off the cliff. She could soar to La Jolla in less than five minutes. She liked to fly over the town. She would wave at kids pointing and looking up at her, and they would shout and wave back excitedly.
One day she was returning to the launch site when she noticed a red hawk rapidly approaching her. It briefly disappeared. Then she heard its claws ripping the wing's fabric. It flew off. But the next thing she knew, it was flying straight at her. She turned out of its way, but it dove at her again. She was scared.
She had to evade its attacks four times before she was able to land safely. Even after she landed, it circled overhead, as if daring her to fly again. What did I do to you, she wondered.
As she drove home, she found out that she had been lucky. The radio news reported that in Australia, a hang-glider had been attacked by not one, but two, eagles.
Maybe it was something in the air, Heather thought.
No one knows for sure, but some experts estimate that half of the crimes committed in the US go unreported. Half of those reported never result in the criminal being found. Half of those in which the criminal is found never result in convictions. Half of the convictions result in reduced or full sentences. Half of the full sentences eventually become reduced sentences because of "good behavior" or overcrowded prisons that result in early releases.
The problem," said Wyatt Earp, a retired police officer, "is that punishment is not swift enough or severe enough. All they get is a slap on the wrist. Too many judges are soft on criminals. We need to change the law so that there is an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth. Even criminals understand physical pain.
If I were president, I would do many things to teach these punks a lesson. Prisons would have no heat and no air-conditioning. Let the jerks freeze in the winter and bake in the summer. They would get one peanut butter and jelly sandwich for breakfast, for lunch, and for dinner. This way we don't have to worry about prisoners using utensils to injure guards or other inmates, or dig out of prison. And no crunchy or organic peanut butter either—only the cheap stuff. Their only beverage would be water—no soda, milk, coffee, or tea. And no fancy bottled water, either. Their water would be straight from the faucet.
Roy wanted to visit Egypt two years ago. But while he was checking out different tour packages, an airplane crashed into the Atlantic. The plane was an Egypt Air flight from New York to Cairo. It had no sooner gotten airborne than it dove straight down into the ocean, killing all on board. There was a great deal of investigation into the crash, but the final conclusion, made after recovering the black box, was that the copilot had decided to take his life, along with all the passengers and crew.
Pat told Roy to forget about flying to Egypt. As his wife of 50 years, she wouldn't permit it. If he wanted to see the pyramids, she said, he could rent a video or google the pyramids online. Two years went by, and no further crashes occurred. One day Roy told Pat that he was going to Egypt, with or without her approval. He asked her if she wanted to go with him. She said no, thank you—she didn't have a death wish "like someone I know.
Roy said that the plane crashed two years ago—she worried too much. He said he was also making a side trip to Israel. Pat said, "Go ahead. I'll call the funeral parlor so they know you'll be dropping by." Roy laughed. He said there was a greater chance of dying in a car accident in their own neighborhood than of being killed by terrorists in Egypt or Israel.
Yes," Pat said, "but we have to drive around our neighborhood to do our errands. We don't have to go to Egypt and Israel. You're just tempting fate.
In New York, the residents at a senior center have been receiving free doughnuts and other baked goods for years. The sweets are donated by bakeries and other shops that have leftovers that are not quite fresh enough to sell. The seniors devour the sweets. But the city council has decided that these sweets are no good for the seniors. It just passed a law forbidding free day-old sweets for the senior center.
We want our seniors to live as long as possible, and these sweets can only contribute to obesity. With obesity come high blood pressure, circulation problems, and diabetes. So we are doing this for their own good," said Karl Rove, a city council member.
The senior citizens are having none of this. They immediately called Rove and other council members to protest this ban. "Who are these people to tell us what to eat?" asked Doug Fairbanks, a resident at the center. "I'll bet every one of them has a doughnut several times a week. Where do they get this attitude? They act like they are our parents.
Instead, they are elected officials who are supposed to do the will of the people. And there isn't one person in this senior center who has complained about the free doughnuts. If they're concerned about seniors, are they going to prohibit all the seniors in the whole town from eating doughnuts? They can't just pick on us if they're interested in the health of all seniors.
People get a little bit of power and it goes straight to their heads. We are starting a petition to recall all the council members who voted for this law.
Boy, this is the worst weed I've ever had, Wesley thought, even though it smelled great. He'd rolled two joints, smoked them both, and still didn't feel high. He'd heard about some super weed that gets people so high that they think they're straight. Maybe this was super weed. Naw, he thought. This is just crap. His best buddy had ripped him off! There was only one thing to do: call the police.
Wesley told the police his problem. They said they would be right over. He went to the front door and unlocked it. Slowly, he printed Buster's phone number and address on a cigarette paper. He put it into the big baggie of grass. He wondered if his call was going to make TV news. Or maybe the front page of the newspaper: "Good Citizen Turns in Drug Dealer." Wow! The city might make him an honorary deputy sheriff. He lit another joint—maybe the third one would be the charm ...
He heard the car doors closing and the footsteps approaching. All right, he thought. He wondered if they had brought a television crew with them. Maybe he'd make the 11 o'clock news. The police were very polite. They thanked him for Buster's phone number and address. Then they arrested Wesley. "What for?" he protested.
For possessing more than 28 grams of pot," an officer replied.
But this isn't pot—it's more 'not' than 'pot.' Why do you think I called you—I got ripped off!
Well, we'll see about that after the lab analyzes it. If you're both lucky, you did get ripped off.
Noise. It gets into your head and under your skin. Too much noise can turn ordinary people into raging maniacs. All too-common noises in neighborhoods are the blaring TVs, blaring car radios, and barking dogs. Most cities have ordinances against excessive noise. Of course, if you complain about your neighbor's noise, your neighbor will hate you and start making more noise. So, many people try to ignore their inconsiderate neighbors. Finally, when they can take it no longer, they simply move.
The city council of Los Angeles recently came to the rescue of its residents—or seemed to. It passed a new ordinance: the owner of a dog that barks for 30 minutes straight will get a warning the first time a complaint is made. For a second complaint, the owner will pay a $100 fine or go to jail for a week maximum, or both. The council wrote no penalty concerning a third or fourth complaint. "Finally," said Zev Doheny, "we've passed a noise law with some teeth in it.
Of course, there are a few problems with the new law: How does a resident prove that a dog was barking for 30 minutes? Does he present an audio tape? With modern technology, couldn't that tape easily be "doctored" so that one minute of actual barking magically becomes 30 minutes? Couldn't a person tape just any old dog barking and then claim that it's his neighbor's dog doing all that barking? Do dogs have voiceprints, like humans have fingerprints? Will all dogs have to get "voice-printed?
There isn't one brain among the lot of them," complained the owner of a pet store when he heard about the council's new law. "Their 'solutions' are almost always worse than the problems themselves.