Romeo and Juliet Versus Mrs. Jackson’s Seventh-Grade English Class

By:

Why do they teach Romeo and Juliet in seventh grade? When boys turn 13? When Romeo and Juliet are medieval seventh-graders? When they make love once and kill themselves? What are they thinking?

THE AVERAGE BOY SITTING BEHIND SUZY WARNER IN MRS. JACKSON’S CLASS

One, Suzy Warner is incredibly hot.

Two, no one is hotter than Suzy Warner.

Three, I’m hungry.

Four, last year I was a kickball superstar.

Five, this year I am a virgin.

Six, Suzy Warner is incredibly hot.

Seven, there’s a muffled noise coming from the front of the room.

Eight, the muffled noise is Mrs. Jackson, trying to teach.

Nine, Mrs. Jackson is incredibly hot.

Ten, Suzy Warner beats Juliet

any century, any day of the week.

Eleven, how hot would Suzy Warner look in the 14th century?

Twelve, the correct answer is crazy 14th-century hot.

Thirteen, let’s say I’m Romeo

and Suzy Warner not only does it with me,

but then she tells me she wants to do it AGAIN the next day.

Fourteen, gaphphnuggungh, my brain has imploded.

Fifteen, I didn’t think it was possible to be this hungry.

Sixteen, according to Shakespeare,

the day after I do it with Suzy Warner,

I’m across town lying dead in a crypt.

Seventeen, NO WAY that happens in real life, okay?

Because One, if I’m Romeo,

that means I’m not a virgin anymore,

WHICH IS AWESOME.

And because Two, if Suzy Warner’s in bed with me,

no way I’m leaving the bed, EVER.

I would never get out of bed.

Skittles, skateboarding, food and water –

things of the past, my friend.

Let’s assume for some totally unbelievable hypothetical reason

that I leave Suzy Warner in bed.

Let’s suppose later that day,

one of Suzy Warner’s relatives

kills my best friend Mercutio.

On one hand, I hate that dude.

On the other hand, I know Suzy Warner

WANTS IT AGAIN, FROM ME, TONIGHT.

So let’s review.

Either I avenge my best friend, who is tragically dead.

Or I sleep with Suzy Warner, who is totally hot.

Door number one,

Avenge friend’s death, return to kickball.

Door number two,

SUZY WARNER.

In conclusion, Shakespeare, total idiot.

Class dismissed.

And if I don’t get Cheetos in the next five minutes,

I will pass out and die.

SUZY WARNER, SITTING IN MRS. JACKSON’S CLASS

One, Mrs. Jackson is my favorite teacher and

Romeo and Juliet is not just a great play,

it is also an incredible movie.

Two, in the movie Leonardo DiCaprio played Romeo

and he is an amazing actor.

Three, the only movie I have seen more times than

Romeo and Juliet is Titanic,

starring Leonardo DiCaprio.

Four, you should be allowed to drink Diet Coke in English

class.

Five, Leonardo DiCaprio is so amazing in Titanic

that I almost forget the ending every time. I swear.

Six, my other favorite movie

behind Titanic and Romeo and Juliet

is The Beach, starring Leonardo DiCaprio.

Seven, I haven’t seen What’s Eating Gilbert Grape yet,

but I want to.

It stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Johnny Depp,

who is also an amazing actor.

Eight, I could not believe how incredibly much

Johnny Depp loved Winona Ryder

in Edward Scissorhands. They were like unicorns.

Nine, if I were Juliet,

that would mean I would be married to Leonardo DiCaprio.

Ten, if I were married to Leonardo DiCaprio

we would have houses in Hollywood and Europe and Florida

that my friends could visit any time

and I would have my own successful business

and I would still write in my journal

when Leonardo is out making movies

and I would decorate on of the houses entirely in kelly green,

which is an amazing color.

Eleven, if I were married to Leonardo DiCaprio

and he was Romeo, and I woke up and I saw that he had killed himself

because he thought I was dead even though I wasn’t,

I would definitely do what Juliet did,

which is incredibly sad, but I definitely would.

Twelve, I would definitely NOT EVER do what Juliet did

for any boy in my class.

NOT IN A BILLION YEARS.

Thirteen, I know Leonardo is fat now, but I don’t care.

In conclusion, Shakespeare is an amazing writer,

and it makes me sad that there are no boys in my class

who are anything like Leonardo DiCaprio.

MRS. JACKSON, TEACHING HER ENGLISH CLASS

One, if Suzy Warner calls Romeo “Leonardo” one more time,

I will kill her and lose my pension.

Two, you should be allowed to drink Diet Coke in English class.

And three, what’s that boy behind Suzy thinking?

He’s not even in this class.

*****

From May Contain Nuts by Michael J. Rosen. HarperCollins Publishers. Used by permission.

To order the book, click here: May Contain Nuts at Amazon.com

To learn more about the Mirth of a Nation anthologies, click here: Mirth of a Nation

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