для читателей старше 18 лет
I am deeply indebted to the following people for encouraging and helping me in various ways during the preparation of this book — Robin Bithrey and Elaine Bithrey.
Copyright © 2019 Igor Yevtishenkov
Cover photo license #124845550 by depositphotos on behalf of creatista (Scott Griessel)
There is a collection of stories created during ten years of teaching English. The texts contain a lot of phrasal verbs, which makes some stories useful for learning spoken language. Also, everyone may enjoy reading them for being in a good mood.
* A CHANGE OF HEART
Jessie was Julie’s cousin. Every summer her mother left her in their house and the two girls spent time together. Julie shared everything with Jessie — shoes, jeans, blouses, T-shirts and other clothes. They fitted her well because they both wore the same size. Even shoes were OK. So, they did everything together. That year wasn’t exceptional — Jessie turned 14 and they had a nice birthday party in their house. However, next morning she asked if she could borrow Julie’s bike to ride with Alex to the river. Alex was Julie’s neighbour and they went to the same school, played on the lawns and were attracted to one another. As Julie heard that Alex and Jessie were going to ride together, she felt a sharp pang of jealousy and had a change of heart. “Ride his bike!” she answered. “Wear your own gear. Don’t touch mine anymore!” she rushed upstairs and threw herself on the bed, weeping.
Every morning I wake up and have to put my clothes on. My mother helps my younger brother and I am jealous of him. I wish I were him. I wish I could have a lie-in like him. I got used to getting dressed myself, but in winter it takes a lot of time. I have to do up the buttons of my school jacket, do up my shoelaces, then wrap up in my winter jacket, zip it up, muffle in a thick scarf and woolly hat and pick up a bag with my school shoes. At school things usually get even worse. I hate unzipping and taking off my bulky winter jacket and shoes, peeling off warm trousers, and hiding my scarf and woolly hat in the jacket sleeve.
But the worst time comes when I have to start going to school after the summer holidays. My mother takes me to a clothing store and I have to try on many new suits because the old one is quite small and does not fit me properly. My trousers are too short to let them down and quite narrow to let them out. My mother wants to dress me up and I have to put up with that. As I come back home after school she is always asking me to hang the suit up. I do and pull on a pair of blue jeans, throw on a T-shirt and go outside to ride a bike or play with my friends. There’s no use in wearing a uniform out there as we’d have no fun.
* CAST-OFFS AND GET-UPS
Next day mother took Julie to a clothing store. They had to buy some new clothes. Julie was annoyed and didn’t want to try on many of the things her mother wanted her to. She was saying T-shirts were too tight, or jeans didn’t suit her, or trainers had laces to do up. They were just excuses. Actually, she couldn’t help thinking of Jessie who might look great wearing those clothes. She imagined Alex smiling at Jessie and taking her to the river and all thoughts turned upside down in her head. She heard her mother telling a shop assistant that she was at an awkward age and had a chip on her shoulder. Julie understood but just couldn’t help it. She was missing Alex and very jealous of him.
* GIRLS SHARING GOSSIP ABOUT A PARTY
A: Some of our girls, Jessica and Dolores, had really dolled themselves up. They were in such weird get-ups: masks, flickering tops, long gloves. It looked as if they thought it was a fancy-dress party!
B: Oh, really? Why did they dress like that? Well, and what did you wear?
A: Well, it wasn’t easy. I wanted to put on my little violet gown but I had trouble getting into it. Damn, I’ve put weight on. I’ll have to get my aunt to let it out, or else lose some weight! I didn’t give up and tried my best, so I eventually squeezed into it. I looked so terrible in the mirror, though, and I just took it off again, pulled on a boring old T-shirt and slipped on my old jeans.
B: Oh, it’s not so bad. I think you look OK in them.
A: Thanks! Well, some girls had their T-shirts all creased as if they didn’t have time to iron them. Julie told me she just smoothed hers down with her hands. She had the wrong shoes on too. To me she looked like a misfit, you know, as if she was wearing cast-offs! But no one really cared. When the music started, we all flung our shoes off to dance anyway.
B: No, you always look nice whatever you’re wearing.
A: Oh, you’re so sweet! How flattering!
2. TELEPHONE CONVERSATION
* A LOSING BATTLE
Julie called Bill in the morning but failed to get through. His number was busy and she was transferred to the answering machine. “The person you are calling is unavailable right now. Please try again later or leave a message after the tone,” she couldn’t listen anymore and cut off. “Who are you calling?” asked her classmate, Kate. “Bill. He isn’t answering.” she said angrily. “Oh, I see’, the girl sympathized with her. “They are having football training now. Tomorrow they are playing against another school. He invited Claudia to watch them train. So he’s busy with other things. Don’t worry about it. It’s a losing battle to reach him now’.
* A LOCAL CALL
An old Russian immigrant, feeling he didn’t have long for this world, decided to visit his homeland one last time and stay with a distant cousin living just outside Moscow. Together, they drank whiskey & vodka and joked about the good old days.
The old American boasted to his cousin that he could call anywhere he liked from America, even Hell if he so pleased. His cousin replied that this could even be done in Russia, so gave him a telephone. The old American looked the number up in his diary and dialed it. Soon, the call was answered:
Operator: ‘Hello….This is Hell….How can I help you?”
Old American: “Is that the operator? No? Cerberus? I can’t hear very well — there’s barking on the line. Can you speak up? What company is this? No matter — put me through to the chief, please. Tell him it’s Jimmy from the USA calling!”
Operator: “Please, hold on and I’ll put you through… (waiting) I’m sorry to have kept you waiting, but I’m afraid, Mr. Satan is very busy at the moment. However, we can see that you’re going to visit us soon, so would you like to make a reservation? We can put you up directly on your way to purgatory…”
Old American: “No thanks, not this time — not quite ready yet. Tell Mr. Satan I’ll call him back later on. Goodbye!”
The old man hung up the phone and turned to his cousin: “You know, last time this call didn’t work from my house in Iowa. The line was breaking up and I seemed to be hanging on for ages, so I cut the call off. This time the connection was great with no delays — fantastic!”
Next morning, a postman delivered the phone bill. The old American opened it and was once again surprised.
Old American: “Is this right? The charges are ten times less than I had in the USA. This is way too cheap.”
His Cousin (grinning): “Yes, but in the USA it’s long-distance… from Russia it’s just a local call!”
* A PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS
Julie couldn’t get through to Bill all day and was very upset. She didn’t want to talk to her classmates and went home alone. Her mother was cooking an apple pie in the kitchen and was chatting with a friend of hers on the phone. When she hung up, she smiled at Julie and said, “A penny for your thoughts, honey. You look sad. What’s happened?” Julie didn’t say anything and just went upstairs to her room. She had no thoughts, nothing but disappointment and bitter resentment.
* I CAN’T GET THROUGH
Jim (listening to long beeps in the receiver): — Hey, Tom, pick up the phone! Where are you, goddamn it?!
Tom (cheerily): — Hello! Hello?.. Who’s calling?
Jim: — Tom, it’s me, Jim! Can you hear me?
Tom: — Who? Jane? Sorry, you are breaking up.
Jim: — No, not Jane! Tom, it’s me, Jim! I’ve been calling you for the whole morning. You aren’t picking up the phone. You mother said this was your number.
Tom: — Ah, Jimmy. It’s you! I’m in the shopping center with Mary now. It’s crowded. Speak up, please!
Jim: — Hey, I couldn’t get through to you yesterday. A girl picked up the phone, wrong number and I pissed her off dialing ten times or so. She eventually cut me off and switched off the phone.
Tom: — What number did you dial?
Jim: — It’s 8852476391. It’s in my diary. Is it wrong?
Tom: — Yes, it is. Mine is 8852176394. Mother mixed up 4 and 1.
Jim: — Lucky me, Julie had Mary’s number.
Tom: — Great! Sorry, hold on, please! Mary is calling me asking to have a look at her. She’s trying on a new dress. I’ll be back in a flash!
Jim: — Don’t hang up on me! I’m waiting…
Tom: — OK, I’m back. Sorry to have kept you waiting. OK, what’s up?
Jim: — There is a problem with our holiday. I can’t get through to Jane. She had to phone around to find a cheap hotel. I left a message on her answering machine but she didn’t get back to me.
Tom: — Did you call her office?
Jim: — The operator in the office put me through to her but I got cut off. Can you believe it? We are leaving early tomorrow morning and I don’t know whether she’s booked a hotel or not. The operator later said Jane had called in to say she was taking a day off.
Tom: — OK, calm down! Don’t worry, we’ll come up with something. I have a friend in Luton. I’ll call him and ask to put us up for a day until we find out what’s going on. Keep in touch! See you and Julie tomorrow at the railway station! Don’t be late.
* IT COSTS AN ARM AND A LEG
Ben tried his best to meet his parents’ expectations — he studied well and never slacked off. They paid for his college and helped him enter one of the Ivy League universities. To do that they had to borrow money. Ben graduated and soon realised he had no wish to trade stocks and shares. So he suffered a change of heart and left for Nepal to become a Buddhist monk. Their second son, Tom, was not as devoted to education as his elder brother, he often skived off at school and loved to show off. He used to tell his parents he wouldn’t like to follow his brother’s footsteps and asked them to let him make his own choice. By the age of 16 he hadn’t any plans, unfortunately and his parents realised that things started disappearing from their house. When they found out it was Tom who had been stealing them to sell them on, it was too late. Their younger son turned out to be a drug-addict and he could not live without them. They wasted a lot of money to take him into a drug rehabilitation center. It didn’t help. He ran away, broke into their house and stole his parents’ credit cards. The next morning they didn’t have a penny in their accounts. It was time to pay up the next instalment of the loan they had taken out long ago to help their elder son. So they were forced to sell their cars and some furniture for a song to pay it off. Eventually, their good intentions cost an arm and a leg.
* HELP ME GET BY FOR A WHILE, PLEASE
How are you coping financially this term? Could you lend me some money to bail me out, please? I failed to pay my fees last week; I’d gone through a huge amount of money for games. I couldn’t imagine I’d run out of it so quickly. Last year my parents coughed up 1k without a problem. But this time no chance. I didn’t goof off for the whole term, I had A grades and now I am just lacking the money to go on. If you could help me, I guess I’d work off the debt during the holidays. A friend of mine helped me get a job in her parents’ café. But it’ll take some time to earn money. So I hope you’ll help me to get by for a while until I get a more stable income.
* IT GOBBLES UP MY MONEY
I can’t believe it’s my mobile phone bill. I enabled a stream video subscription last week and it gobbled up almost all the money I had earned in the café. Besides, I ran up so many other bills that I had to break into my account, which I had been saving for the holidays for the whole year.
* EXPENSIVE SAFARI
The trip to South Africa was fabulous! I’m just back and I found out it set me back $5,000US and cleaned me out completely. To tell you the truth, I found myself in a pretty awkward predicament. So I was just wondering if you could lend me a couple of hundred dollars just to get along until my next pay cheque? It’ll be next week and I’ll settle up with you then.
* MONEY IS ROLLING IN
I came into some money recently. Thank God, I got rid of commuting to work every day! My great granny died in Paris and left me a tidy sum in Euros. Also I got my annual bonus last month, so the money’s been rolling in. I’m seriously considering buying a flat and renting it out. I don’t want to put money aside like the old fossils were doing their whole life, going to the bank and paying regular sums into their account each month — no, nothing like that! If you have any idea how to reinvest that easy money into profitable shares, let me know! I promise, you won’t need to cash up in your store every week and penny pinch then.
* A DESPERATE PLEA
Really sorry, but I’m going to have to ask you to send me $100 as soon as possible. I studied hard for my exams and so have had no chance to take a job to make any money. I can barely scrape by on what my friends sometimes chip in. This time though, it’s even worse — I was in the library, reading and my leg felt paralyzed. I was taken to hospital, but the doctors couldn’t save it and this is now the second leg I’ve lost. Fortunately, the university carried the payment over until next month, but I’m now stuck in hospital without any means of making money for a long time. I can’t move, I can’t pay, it’s a “catch-22” situation.
You won’t believe it, but I tried to see you in the hospital, because your mother and I thought you were too timid to tell us the truth about your health. As you know we are barely scraping by on our low income and are not raking in huge profits from my business. I didn’t manage to talk to your doctor, unfortunately, but I was lucky to meet a pretty nurse you had been out with the previous day. I have to admit she is worth losing not only another leg but your mind for too. As this is the third leg you have lost according to your letters, I’m sure you ought to be used to this by now. If my memory serves me correctly, you lost the first one in a terrible accident when a tram ran you over and cut it off. The second one was bitten by a horse near the betting shop window, when you were staking your last penny on a horse at the hippodrome. Now, luckily, the third one has grown back but, tough luck, it’s paralyzed. So try to hobble along on any other one you may have left. When your mother and I met, we started renting a part of a house and had to solely rely on our existing hands and legs.
* MONEY GOES TO MONEY
Bill has finished a brokerage course at a bank and decided to make his first investment as an independent broker. He was assisted by a friend who has worked in the other bank for ten years and was said to be an experienced broker. One day he called Bill and said that his boss, a senior broker who was considered almost a god in NYSE, invited them to invest in shale gas development. At that time there was a boom in the industry. The senior broker hinted that he had been advised to do that by his friends from Federal Reserve Bank. “We’ll get on to the gravy train”, he promised. It was the kind of proposal, which Bill could not turn down. He shared this information with his wife Julie who reminded him that money didn’t grow on trees. A month later Bill’s investment paid off and even the chairman praised him. The friends were on cloud nine. But another month passed, gas prices suddenly fell and the development of shale gas was halted across the country. Bill, his friend and the senior manager of the bank lost all they had earned and invested in this operation. Only the chairman, who had real friends in FRB and never told anyone about them, had made a stake on copper and put all his money in it just a few days before the gas prices dropped. So now he was rubbing his hands and kept muttering under his breath: money goes to money.
* UNPLEASANT SITUATION
“Excuse me, could you tell me where I could take money out, please?”
“No problem! It’s just around the corner. Go down the street till the traffic lights and turn left. The ATM is over there. But there is a limit as far as I know. You are not allowed to withdraw more than 300 pounds a day.”
“Thanks a lot! It’s surprising but there is not much choice, I’m afraid.”
Good luck, guys! See ya!”
“Thanks a lot!.. (a few minutes later) Look, the ATM is out of order. We shall have to cut back our expenditure on entertainment.”
“Stop it! You sound like Prime Minister. Call Jill, she might lend us a hundred for tonight and we’ll pay her back tomorrow.”
“Highly unlikely. She paid our bill yesterday. It came to one hundred dollars and we still owe her our share.”
“What a bummer! You are right.”
* PAYING BILLS AND DEBTS
“What are you going to do after school? Going to university or taking a year off?”
“The former, I hope. I’m going to work and pay the bills. My parents will be paying off the mortgage on our flat for another ten years. So I’ll have no support from them.”
“I see. Mine have no mortgage but I’ll have to earn some money too. I don’t want to take a year off either. How much do you need to pay?”
“Last week I got the first term bill. It’s six hundred and I’ll have to pay up by the end of the month. I have to cut down some expenses. Last month I ran up my telephone and Internet bills for a hundred bucks. Games, streaming video, sharing files on social media, listening to music, online games, you know… So stupid of me! I’ve just found a job in a mall but I’ll only get paid next week.”
“I see. Mate, I’ve saved two grand. My payment is due on November 30, I could lend you a few hundred for a week or two.”
“Really?! Oh, great! Thanks, man! I’ll settle up with you when I get paid.”
“It’s OK. We’re brother-in-arms. Don’t worry, take your time.”
* HIGHER EDUCATION
“I heard that higher education in Germany was free. Is this true?”
“Yes, it is. But it’s a little bit tricky. You have to speak German to enter a university.”
“It’s quite fair. My parents studied free of charge but now things have changed completely. We have to pay it annually.”
“So do we. My parents and I started saving up already. We try to set aside a fixed amount each month so that we have enough by next year.”
“I see. I bought so many expensive gadgets last year. I tried hard to sell them this summer to add some funds to my account but to no avail. It looks like I have to just write the money off.”
“I agree. It’s not worth trying, I’ve got the same problem. The gadgets are not worth a dime, believe me.” “You won’t get this money back. I’m ashamed to tell you but my parents and I are now looking for sales and discounts everywhere and yesterday they were giving away free tickets to a stand-up show and I got one. My mother was lucky to pick up a cookery book last week at a knockdown price. You can’t imagine how happy she was!”
“I can. I always feel the same when I snap up a bargain.”
* A KNOCKDOWN PRICE
I’ve got great news. At last I’ve got my first pay and started setting aside some money! I hope I’ll save up enough to visit you next year. I managed to flog all my old smartphones and tablet PCs to my roommates. My parents have already said “good-bye’ to that money. They didn’t think I’d get it back one day. So they allowed me to use it the way I wished. Now I can start searching for a knockdown price for air tickets on the Internet. It won’t cost me a fortune, I hope.
Looking forward so much to seeing you soon,
* HOW TO BE SOLVENT
I have some financial problems at the moment. I can’t understand how I have been tangled up in this situation. I owe my landlady a hundred dollars. I have to pay up before the end of the month. What’s worse, I’ve run up many other bills. I haven’t the slightest idea how I’m going to pay back my debts. I could try to sell my old rotten car but it’s highly unlikely. I can’t even give it away. Our boss said they’d have to cut back our pay from next month. That’s terrible! I really counted on that money. So I don’t know what I am going to do to get along and be solvent.
* SEARCHING FOR A BETTER PRICE AND DRIVING A HARD BARGAIN
“It’s way too expensive. Can I have it cheaper?”
“He is driving a hard bargain. He says twenty dollars and he’ll break even.”
“Try to beat him down to fifteen. Tell him that guy over there is selling cheaper.”
“It won’t work. He is very stubborn. But who dares wins.”
“So any success?”
“Sort of. He knocked three dollars off for cash.”
“Great! That’s a real bargain. Let’s go and pick up something else!”
“I think we could club together and buy a gift for Kate. It’s her birthday in a week.”
“No problem! But we’d be better off going to another market. They seem to rip us off here, if they see we are really interested in anything.”
“All gift shops for tourists are a rip-off. They overinflate prices and try to throw in some rubbish!”
“Yeah, I know. They swindle tourists all over the world. Let’s take our time and shop around. Do you mind?”
“No, I don’t. You are right. Last time I snapped up a Diesel bag in a store, a few minutes later I found the same one at half price around the corner.”
“Bad luck! Things happen. Last year we were in an Aqua park in Egypt and had to fork out five bucks for a can of cola. That beats everything! Can you believe it?”
* A USEFUL DIET
I said to myself, “It’s enough!” I have to stock up on fruit and vegetables and forget about junk food. I am not going to be on a diet but I have to avoid rich and fatty products. I won’t skimp on healthy foods. I know I splashed out on some new clothes for my children last month and ran up a huge bill. They were selling them off at half price and I couldn’t help buying. I snapped up a bargain. I know the next day all the clothes were sold out! So I think a lack of money is now a good chance for me to think how to stay in shape and keep fit. I do want to be slim and slender.
4. EXCLAMATIONS, COMMANDS AND WARNINGS
* A PIECE OF THE ACTION
Julie’s birthday was coming and Bill offered to throw a party at a small hotel. He knew what to do as he’d organized one the year before.
“Ladies and Gentlemen — instead of buying unwanted gifts, would you mind chipping in? We won’t trouble your parents,” he asked. Julie liked the idea but she was worried about the money.
“Are you sure they will all club together? Renting a hotel hall is not cheap. How much was it for your birthday last year?” she asked. Bill had barely answered when the door opened and little Reece turned up. There was silence in the room.
“Don’t be a chicken! I won’t give you away to our parents. But I want a piece of the action, as mother says’, demanded Reece and held out his piggybank.
“Oh, it’s very you, Reece’, sighed Julie but Bill was more optimistic:
“Well done, boy! You are in!” he said and patted the little one’s head.
* IN SHORT
Pupil, “Sir, I just wanted to ask you a couple of questions.
Teacher, “Fine. No problem. Fire away!”
Girl, “I am afraid of failing Maths tomorrow and feel so awful at the moment.
Her roommate, “Oh, lighten up, will you! You’ll just bring everyone down!”
She, “Joanna wants you to talk to her on the phone.”
He, “Joanna? On the phone? Hang on/Hold on! Who’s Joanna? Is she someone I know?”
Boy, “I feel like killing Jim! He set me up!”
His father, “Steady on! I know he acted stupidly, but he was annoyed and in reality, he’s not a bad person.”
Son, “I’ve got a problem at school. Will you promise to take it easy on me?”
His father, “Come on! Spit it out! What awful things have you done again?”
Student, “I tried my best to find the book but failed. It was not available in our e-library either.”
Teacher (smiling), “Come off it! If you’d tried, you could have just opened your lecture notes and looked at the links I referred you to.”
* STEP ON IT!
When he started up the engine, she nervously said:
“Step on it! We’re late’. Just a few meters walk away, an elderly couple were crossing the road at the traffic lights.
“Watch out!” he answered pointing ahead through the windshield. “The traffic lights are against us. All I need is to lose my license now’.
As the green light showed, she demanded again:
“Damn it! Go on! Hurry up! We’ve not got all day! If we are late, I’ll die. I can’t wait’.
“Just belt up, will you!” he shouted and revved up the engine. When the well-known huge logotype showed up at the end of the street, she bit her lip trembling with impatience:
“Come on! Come on!” and jumped out of the car as it drew up to the kerb in front of the luxury glass doors.
“Take your time! Mind out! Watch your step! Oh, please, go easy on them!” he was begging, trying to keep up with her.
“Come along!” she said over her shoulder while walking. “Excuse me, where is the make-up department?” she asked the first shop assistant she ran into. “I heard that there’s a Christmas sale.”
“Oh, I’m sorry, ma’am, there must be some mistake,” the girl replied. “We have no make-up department. This is a computer electronics store. We sell mobile phones, tablet PCs and other IT gadgets’.
“Oh my God! What a bummer!” Jennifer said… “Forget it! Let it go. Thank you for your help!” she turned round to her husband who shook his head and sighed.
“Calm down! Take it easy! Better luck next time, I hope’, he said and wandered slowly past.
* KEEP IT UP
“I want to take part in the final heat. It’ll be a real challenge to me.”
“Don’t worry! You’re at your best! Hang in there!”
“You’ve run the first half. You’re doing very well! Keep it up!”
* UNLUCKY ROBBERS
“Hey! Look out! The steps are crumbling and rotten. You’d be better off not going upstairs!”
“Oh my god! It hurts! You were right! I seem to have twisted my ankle. I can barely walk on it!”
“You, dimwit! Bite the bullet! I’m not carrying you.”
“I saw a bike by the fence. Maybe I could take it and ride off?”
“Sure, go ahead!”
* COGNITION COMES THROUGH COMPARISON
“All they concentrate on in the day-centre, is saying ‘Eat up!’ or ‘Drink up!’ or ‘What am I going to do with the leftovers?’ Nightmare. ‘Mustn’t grumble! Get it out of your head!’ The nanny is awful but the autumn is awesome. Lighten up!”
“I can’t. It’s terrible. When I sneeze, no one says “Bless you!” I heard her complaining yesterday “They pissed me off!” She called us “Old farts.”
“That’s what we are, old chap. Never mind! The worst is yet to come. So take your pills and a well-earned rest. Unlike me, at least you can walk out of here. Enjoy yourself!
Singer: “Take it away, maestro! One, two, three!”
A pianist starts playing. As the song comes to the chorus, the singer encourages the audience: “Come on everyone — sing together!
* SEARCH ME
Mother: Sonny, where are my keys?
Her son: Search me! I’m going out now.
Mother: Wait! Have you done your homework for tomorrow?
He son: You’re like a broken record. Quit nagging me! I’ll do it later. Get over it!
Mother: You, stupid kid! I’ll sort you out when you get back!
* DREAMS AND REALITY
Brian: It’s already April. Roll on July! Can’t wait for it to get here. We are going to spend our holiday on Bali.
Jennifer: Dream on! It costs a fortune. Where will you get that kind of money?
Brian: You’ve got to be joking? I work hard and save every month.
Jennifer: Really? That’s laugh! A dollar a month? Your paintings don’t pay the bills. Talent never pays the bills. It’s me who does! So grow up! Straighten up and fly right! You are not a student anymore. Find a better job and start earning some money.
Brian: Hold on! I could borrow it from the Stevensons…
Jennifer: Cut it out! You are talking crap. Who’ll pay it back then? My mother was right — you’re nothing but a lazy bastard and I shouldn’t have married you.
Brian: Cut it out, will you! You and your mother are always having a go at me and my patience is wearing thin.
Jennifer: Bollocks! Don’t tell me I’ve insulted you? Go on! Don’t tell me you’re insulted.
Brian: Shut up! I’m off to paint another picture. Leave me alone!
Jennifer: Thick as two short planks. Don’t worry, genius, I’ll leave you in peace. After all, someone’s got to do the shopping and cooking, haven’t they?
* HANDS OFF!
Boy: Give me the lollypop! I want it!
Girl: It’s mine! Don’t touch it! Get off!
Boy: Easy, easy! You might rip my t-shirt.
Girl: Hands off!
Teacher: Hey, kids! Keep it down!
I can’t hear what the bus driver’s saying.
Boy: Did you hear her? Shut up!
Girl: You, loony, belt up and push off! It’s my candy!
Teacher: Calm down, kids! We are getting on the bus. Come along!
5. FOOD AND DRINK
* TIMES CHANGE, BUT NOT NECESSARILY FOR THE BETTER
My granny used to tell me she had to go to the market every day to buy fresh meat and vegetables for dinner. It was before the refrigerator was invented. Traditionally, eating was something that all family members did together because there was no chance to grab a bite or have a snack on the go like nowadays. In the past, most parents insisted that the whole family sat around the dining table at a certain time. They prayed and tried to act politely while eating. Even my mother used to tell me, “When my lunch is at its peak, I’m deaf and mute, so please don’t speak.” I can’t hear it today among my friends and it is most unlikely that I will say it to my kids.