People often said that Thierry Boyle was the most boring man in the world. Thierry didn’t know why people thought he was so boring. Thierry thought he was quite interesting.

Stories: The Interesting Most Boring Man in the World

Instructions

Do the Preparation task first. Then go to Text and read the poem or story (you can also listen to the audio while you read). Next go to Task and do the activity.

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The interesting most boring man in the world

By Chris Rose

People often said that Thierry Boyle was the most boring man in the world. Thierry didn’t know why people thought he was so boring. Thierry thought he was quite interesting. After all, he collected stamps. What could be more interesting than stamps? It was true that he didn’t have any other hobbies or interests, but that didn’t matter for Thierry. He had his job, after all. He had a very interesting job. At least Thierry thought it was interesting. Everybody else said that his job was boring. But he was an accountant! Why do people think that accountants are boring? thought Thierry. Thierry thought his job was fascinating. Everyday, he went to his office, switched on his computer and spent seven and a half hours looking at spreadsheets, and moving numbers around on them. What could be more interesting than that?

But Thierry was unhappy. He was unhappy because people thought he was boring. He didn’t want to be boring. He wanted people to think that he was a very interesting person. He tried to talk to people about his stamp collection. But every time he talked about his stamp collection he saw that people were bored. Because people were bored when he talked about his stamp collection, he talked about his job instead. He thought people would be very interested when he talked about his job, but no. People thought his job was even more boring than his stamp collection. Sometimes, people even went to sleep when he talked to them.

Thierry thought about how to make himself more interesting. He decided that he needed to be famous for something. He thought about his stamp collection, and decided that perhaps his stamp collection could make him famous. Perhaps he had the biggest stamp collection in the world, or perhaps he had a very valuable stamp. Yes, this was it, he decided.

He wrote a letter to a local newspaper, and asked them if they wanted to come and write an article about a local man with the biggest stamp collection in the world. The local newspaper wrote a letter back to Thierry telling him that actually the Queen of England had the biggest stamp collection in the world. Thierry was very sad to learn this, but wrote back to the newspaper telling them that he thought he had the most valuable stamp in the world. The newspaper wrote back to him telling him that the most valuable stamp in the world cost 2,240,000 dollars, and asking him if he was sure that he had it. Thierry wasn’t sure that he had it. In fact, he was sure that he didn’t have it. Perhaps his whole collection was very valuable though…
“Is it worth 10 million dollars?” asked the man from the newspaper on the telephone when Thierry called him.
“Erm, no, I don’t think so…”
“Forget it then” said the man from the newspaper.

Thierry thought about other things to make himself famous. Perhaps he could be the best accountant in the world! Yes, this was it, he decided. He told a friend that he was the best accountant in the world.
“How do you know?” asked his friend.
“Well” thought Thierry, “I have a good job, I like it …it’s very interesting … spreadsheets … numbers … taxes … finance …” He saw his friend going to sleep. “Hmmm” he thought. “Perhaps I’m not the best or the most interesting accountant in the world.”

“Listen Thierry” said his friend when he woke up again. “Perhaps you don’t have the biggest or the most valuable stamp collection in the world. Perhaps you aren’t the best or the most interesting accountant in the world. But there is one thing – Thierry, you are probably the most boring man in the world.”

Yes! Of course! This was it. Thierry could be famous because he was the most boring man in the world. Now he saw that his friends were right. He phoned the newspaper again.
“Hello!” he said. “Would you like to do an interview with the most boring man in the world?”
“The most boring man in the world ...?” said the man from the newspaper. “Now that’s interesting!”

Next week there was a big article in the newspaper. “The Most Boring Man in the World!” There was a picture of Thierry in his office. There was a picture of Thierry with his stamp collection. There was an interview with Thierry, and interviews with his friends. His friends said they went to sleep when Thierry talked about his job or his stamp collection.

The next day the BBC and CNN called Thierry. They wanted stories about the most boring man in the world. “The most boring man in the world!” they said. “That’s so interesting!”

And so, finally, Thierry Boyle, became the official Most Boring Man in the World. You won’t find his name in the Guinness Book of Records, because they said that it was impossible to decide exactly how boring somebody is, but it was no problem for Thierry. Now he was famous, now he was so boring that he was interesting.

THE END

Task 1

Comprehension Check

Read the statements about the story and decide if they are true or false.

Exercise

Task 2

Grammar

There are 6 sentences from the text in the next exercise. Use the adjective given to complete the sentence, changing it to the comparative or superlative form if necessary (in some sentences it is not necessary).

Exercise

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Comments

Hello, I'm sorry, but I think, there is a mistake in this setence in Task 2: "There was a !BIGGER! article about Thierry in the local newspaper. [big]". To my mind it should be "big" in that case.

Hello asyagold,

In this case the answer is correct. 'Big' is grammatically possible here too but the rubric for the exercise asks you to provide either a superlative or comparative form and out of those two only the comparative form is possible here.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

It is very interesting story. Thanks to the author.

I apologize in advance if i might be using the wrong channel to ask you a question, but i do not see others chances unless send you an e-mail, and I think this is a more inexpensive way:

Why can't i see any way to type my comments below some recording sections? It seams to happen only with poem's recordings. Has it something to do with mi device or that derives from you?

Hello Wolves,

Thank you for pointing this out. I can see that some pages do not have comment facilities in this section. We will look into this.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

“The most boring man in the world...?” said the man from the newspaper. “Now that’s interesting!”...

Very funny indeed! I can not work out which short story is more amusing between this one and that of "Mr.Smith'nose"!

Very nice! I hope it is true story.

I don't see the Text of Preparation . Can you help me ?

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