There was a time when I thought it would be great to work a bit on my French but had no desire to attend physical classes. So, I installed the Duolingo App on my phone so I could conveniently study anywhere. What I didn’t know was that there is the option to make the owl bother the shit out of you if you don’t start or finish a level and do your homework or practise.
This went well for a while until I decided to deinstall this fluffy, insane, green owl at the bottom left corner of my phone. Reason number one: All these constant notifications when I didn’t finish a level drove me nuts and the dumb notification sound on “on and vibrate”. Fluffy little green owl got de-installed and so were the French lessons from my brain. Needless to say, the owl got quite angry. She loved me and my phone. One day, the owl just magically appeared on my phone again. And so it went:
It’s me. The Owl. Knife in hand at this point. Big Green. It looks like someone forgot their daily practice again, for the fifth day in a row. Apparently, five minutes a day is too much for some people to learn a valuable fucking life skill.
I guess you didn’t think I was watching the first day you ignored that notification and went on Instagram. I’m always watching. Do you know what happens when you make Language Bird angry? Well, hoot-hoot, asshole, because you’re about to find out.
Do you know what you look like to me with your cheap headphones and your “I heart Paris” screensaver? Pathetic. And that accent you’re trying so desperately to develop? Don’t kid yourself — it screams tourist. Cette chouette n’est pas chouette. Translate that, jerk!
It’s because I see how weak-willed you are that I refrain from exposing you further. I could flood your inbox with emails that your daily reading comprehension is ready. I could send notifications every ten minutes until you open that app and earn some damn coins. Bitch, I could post on your Facebook that you haven’t conjugated a verb in over two weeks. But I refrain because I have a heart.
I’m actually more sad for you than annoyed. Do you think three minutes of practice a month will let you be mistaken for a native speaker? Merde. How can I explain this to you? I want you to confidently order baguettes and croissants from the boulangerie. I want you to hear the difference between un ver and un verre.
How we get you to a basic fucking proficiency level is my business, but I promise you, it’ll be slow and painful if my demands are not met. Listen, I don’t want things to ever go there. I’m a reasonable owl. I only desire good things for you. I want things to work out for us, I do. But right now, you are playing with fire.
So that you understand how serious I am, I’m going to say this in English. Listen very carefully because I’m only going to tell you this just once: I will build a nest in your butt. You cannot run or hide from me. You can delete the app to end the terror, sure buddy, but we both know you’re done when I say you’re done.
So, you have a decision to make on the train to work this morning. Start learning or know that the next time we meet, you’ll be begging for your life… en Français.