The Last Argument: A Quirky ESL News Story

a short, quirky news story for beginner ESL classes

Today I have a true ESL news story about a man who came up with a very… uh… creative way to get out of a bad relationship. Below, I’ve included a printable handout, as well as tips on how to use the story with your classes.

The Last Argument

Lawrence had a problem. He and his wife had different opinions about everything. They argued every day. One day, he got very, very angry.
“You are driving me crazy!” he shouted. “This will be our last argument.”

Lawrence left his house and drove to the bank. He went to the bank teller and pulled out a gun. He said, “Look! I have a gun. Give me all of your money.” The bank teller gave him $2,924. Then she called the police.

Lawrence walked outside of the bank and waited. When the police arrived, he walked over to them. He said, “Excuse me officers. I’m the man you are looking for. Please arrest me.”

Why did Lawrence want to go to jail? He told the judge that he wanted a vacation from his wife. The judge sentenced him to six months of house arrest. He has to stay in his house for six months. He can’t go to the supermarket. He can’t go to the park. He can’t go to work. He can’t go anywhere! Lawrence wanted to escape his wife, but now he is going to see his wife every day for the next 6 months.

Suggested Vocabulary:

  • opinion
  • argue / argument
  • angry
  • You’re driving me crazy!
  • bank teller
  • gun
  • arrest
  • jail
  • house arrest
  • escape


  • I would recommend reading this story aloud to your students until after the third paragraph, or possible after the first sentence in the last paragraph. Before reading the ending, pause and ask your students what they think the man’s punishment should be.
  • Role play idea: Put students into pairs. Tell your class to imagine that Lawrence has just come home from court after receiving his sentence. In their pairs, students should write and then perform a conversation (or argument) between the two of them.
  • Take a look at this page for more ideas on how to use my quirky news stories with your classes: Quirky News Stories

Yay! Handouts!

Click here to download a PDF printable handout of the story that you can share with your students: The Last Argument

This ESL news story was based on a true story. You can read the actual story here, and share it with your more advanced classes: Husband Robbed Bank to Escape Wife



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