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How many 14th century poets does it take to screw in a light bulb?

How many 14th century poets does it take to screw in a light bulb?

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Published by Kelley Townley
Answer: One, then 29 others to tell tales about it.

A twist on The Canterbury Tales! A group of school children are off on a school trip to Canterbury when they decide to hold a joke competition.
Answer: One, then 29 others to tell tales about it.

A twist on The Canterbury Tales! A group of school children are off on a school trip to Canterbury when they decide to hold a joke competition.

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Published by: Kelley Townley on Jul 17, 2009
Copyright:Attribution No Derivatives

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08/12/2009

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© Kelley Townleywww.kelleytownley.com
How many 14th century poetsdoes it take to screw in a light bulb?
The journey from London to Canterbury takes ninety minutes, which is a lifetime if you’re ten years old. I’d managed to get a seat by myself near the back of the coach andspent the time staring out of the window. It’d rained constantly since the beginning of themonth, or so it seemed, and you could really see spring coming through. This meant twothings. One, we’d soon be allowed on the field at lunchtimes and two, school trips.After a whole winter of being shut up in either under or over-heated classrooms itwas time for a well earned break. Of course these trips are meant to be educational but weall know it’s just an excuse for a day off school, even for the teachers. So, today we’re off on our way to Canterbury for a Humanities field trip, with a bit of shopping and a picnic inthe park thrown in for good measure.We hadn’t been going for long when someone called out my name.“Yo! Chaucer?”Being a relatively new boy I hadn’t made many friends yet and was still a littlenervous so I stuck my head slowly around the seat.At the back of the coach sat a large lad, whom I knew as Robin Miller, it wasobviously him who had called and now, from either side of him curious faces stared backat me.“I think his name’s Geoff,” a plump girl beside him said.He frowned at her in annoyance and I remembered that the latest fad in school is tocall everyone by their surname only. It won’t last of course, it never does. Last week youhad to call people by a vegetable their personality resembled. I got called GM because Iwas new and untested.Miller motioned for me to come and sit with them. Not wanting to cause offence or get my head kicked in - Miller had a somewhat fearsome reputation - I relented and sat in
 
an empty seat.I could see now that there was quite a group of them, eight altogether. They took upthe entire back seat and one of the two-seaters in front of it, I was sat on the spare one of these. Those not on the back seat were kneeling up, facing backwards so they could chatwith the others but I sat sideways, dangling my skinny legs in the aisle, a little unsure of who to look at.I knew them all by reputation of course, just not personally. It’s so hard to make newfriends. Anyway I shall describe them for you briefly. Ben Knightly’s sat opposite me. I likeBen, he’s pretty cool. He’s one of those people who are great at everything but aren’t bigheaded about it. He looked after me on my first day at school. He wears the hip kind of clothes that only black people can get away with and his hair is trendy but practical.The girl sat beside him is Nicola Nunn. All the teachers love her. She has long flowinglocks straight out of a shampoo advert and wears long skirts with flowers embroided onthem. She’s really into horses, has her own I believe, and has got really horrid pictures of fluffy puppies all over her pencil case.Along the back seat is Francis Fryer. A sociable chap. He’s a school monitor,supposed to tell teachers when you do naughty stuff but I hear if you let him have your pudding at lunch he’ll look the other way. This means he’s rather tubby and wearsknackered old, baggy sweatshirts to cover it up. His hair’s a bit greasy too.Then there’s Max Merchant. Max is a prat. He is such a show off and completely full of himself. He has thick black, gelled hair and wears all the latest gear, but word is he ain’tpaying for it.Ruby Bath is the big, plump, loud-mouth on the other side of Miller. She is easily theloudest girl I have ever known and she’s always wearing these bright red tights, just to getattention I reckon. She’s really friendly though and good for a laugh.Next to her is Patsy Parsons. She’s the complete opposite of Ruby Bath, neither loud,attention seeking or annoying. She’s not anything at all really. She seems to blend intobackgrounds and never breaks a rule.Then of course there’s Miller. You wouldn’t want to cross him. A boy once told himhe had a face like the back end of a bus so Miller punched him and broke his nose. Hewas right though, Miller is uglier than my gran’s bulldog.Last but not least there’s Harry Bailey. Harry’s dad owns a coaching company,Tabard Tours, in Southwark, and it’s one of his coaches we’re travelling on now.It was Harry’s, sorry ‘Bailey’s - gotta remember to call people by their surnames if I’m ever gonna get accepted as ‘cool’ around here. It was Bailey’s idea to have a competition. The
 
concept was that we’d each tell a joke and he’d pick the funniest as the winner. Themoment I saw Miller’s eyes light up I knew we were all going to have to join in. Whichwasn’t exactly a bad idea, it just meant I had to come up with a really cool, really hip, reallyfunky joke, really quickly and I’m not exactly known for my quick wit.We drew lots and Knightly got to go first. He seemed pretty confident and camestraight out with it.“What’s big, green, has six legs, twenty-three balls and would kill you if it fell out of atree?” he asked grinning.We all looked at him expectantly, the excitement building.“A snooker table,” he declared triumphantly which produced a spatter of laughter,although not from Miller.“Call that a joke!” Miller snapped. Bailey tried to calm him down but Miller justignored him. “That was not a good joke,” he continued. “‘What’s brown and sticky’ is agood joke.”“But everyone knows that one,” frowned Fryer. “It’s a stick.”Miller then proceeded to gross us all out by claiming the answer was not in fact astick but rather poo. Needless to say nobody laughed; but Miller, being Miller, demandedhe be allowed to tell another joke instead.“What do you call a man with no arms or legs in the sea?” Brief pause. “Bob! Get it?Bob. Cos he’s bobbing up and down.” he beamed eagerly and I have to admit I wasgrinning, but the girls were outraged. I suppose it could be seen as a little demeaning.“My turn next,” shouted Bath, removing the attention away from Miller who was nowsulking because no one had laughed at his joke. Bath proceeded to tell us that she’d beenin five joke competitions before, three of which she’d won and the other two were badly judged. She had a lot to say about jokes and Fryer had to ask her if she was ever actuallygoing to get around to telling her joke. Which she did, in the end.“What do you call a blind deer?” she asked.“We don’t know,” we all chorused together. “What do you call a blind deer?”“No idea!” Bath laughed then quickly added. “What do you call a blind deer with nolegs?”I turned to see if Miller would say ‘Bob’ but he was still sulking so I turned back toBath.“Still no idea!” she declared joyfully.That cracked us all up and I started to get a little nervous. I was gonna have to

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