The Snake Oil Salesman 

By Ken Konviser

I was up late last night, when I just had this notion.
And dreamed up this wonderful, magical potion 
To teach children English lickety split. 
I mixed it from mayonnaise, dog hair and spit.

I created an elixir, whipped it up in my kitchen. 
It's just the thing to do some real English fixin. 
Just take some kids, there's a ready supply, 
And have them all drink it till the bottle is dry.

They'll take it each night from September to June.
I mixed it myself by the light of the moon. 
Just one sip, each night before bed 
And the whole English language will soon fill their heads.

No need to train teachers or measure results 
For after one year they'll simply exult
In their new found ability to speak it and write it 
It will be so great you'll just have to try it.

What's that you ask?
Am I sure it will work? 
Why yes, I'm a genius. 
I'm no ordinary jerk.

I've no need for experts 
Or those who would fume 
That I've never set foot 'n a bilingual classroom.

Clinical studies? 
Why that just doesn't pay. 
The kids who I'm treating won't sue anyway.

I know it as sure as the sky that is blue 
I know it 
'Cause I thought it. 
So it has to be true.

Why they might make me Senator or Governor or President!
Surely the cost will be no impediment. 
The folks in California will not want to dawdle. 
They'll be happy to pay 50 million a bottle.

Come get yours right now 'fore I hitch up the team 
Lest my magical potion starts losin' its steam. 
Now step up to the counter that I've hung the flag on 
The line forms right there, at the end of the wagon.

Ken Konviser is a bilingual teacher in Watsonville, California, and a leader of the Pajaro Valley Coalition for an Educated America.

©1998 by Ken Konviser. All rights reserved. Permission is hereby granted to reproduce this page for free, noncommercial distribution, provided that credit is given and this notice is included.