Late or early
Customer: Oh, did I wake you?
Mechanic: Did you wake me? Who is this?
Customer: You’re fixing my car.
Mechanic: Do you know what time it is?
Customer: It’s late
Mechanic: Or early – depending on how you look at it.
Customer: I’m sorry. I didn’t know …
Mechanic: Okay. What do you want?
Customer: I’m at the airport and I don’t have a passport.
Customer: It’s in my car.
Customer: My passport. I left it in my car.
Mechanic: And …
Customer: I need it. Can you bring it to me?
Mechanic: Are you insane? I’m a mechanic, not a courier.
Customer: Could you have it sent here?
Mechanic: What time does your flight leave?
Customer: At 5:30.
Mechanic: It’s – it’s 4:40. I don’t have enough time to get to the garage and get your passport to the airport.
Customer: But I’ll miss my flight.
Mechanic: Why don’t you take a later flight?
Customer: I don’t know? …
Mechanic: You’re not going to make it. It’s too far.
Customer: Why is it too far?
Mechanic: First I have to get to the garage; then I have to open up, and then I have to find your passport in your car. Next, I have to call a courier and wait for him to arrive. Finally, the courier has to get to the airport. The fastest that’s going to happen is two hours.
Customer: Two hours?
Mechanic: I think we’re really looking at three or four hours …even if I can find a 24-hour courier.
Customer: What should I do?
Mechanic: I think you should reschedule your flight.
Customer: Reschedule? … for when?
Mechanic: If I were you I’d reschedule for later in the afternoon.
This is a good chance to try an activity on intent and inflection. Call a student aside and tell them to be happy when they read, tell the other to be angry. Next time try one sad and one happy. Try energetic and really tired. Ask the audience to judge how effectively the speakers communicated. Don’t let the audience in on what the subtext is all about. With time, they can identify things for themselves.