The missing motorcycle(Part 1)

The missing motorcycle(Part 1)

 

__________:   Please help me.

__________:   Okay. Take a deep breath and tell me what happened.

__________:   My motorcycle has been stolen.

__________:   Are you sure?

__________:   Of course I’m sure. It was there and now it’s not.

__________:   Not what?

__________:   Not there.

__________:   Where is it?

__________:   I don’t know.

__________:   So you think it was taken?

__________:   Of course it was taken. It didn’t ride away by itself.

__________:   Okay. Where did you see it last?

__________:   It was in front of my apartment building.

__________:   Was it locked?

__________:   Yes. I locked it with a chain and a strong lock.

__________:   What kind of motorcycle is it?

__________:   A gray Bangmyhead NX200

__________:   Ooh. Nice bike. What time did you last see it?

__________:   At about 3:00pm this afternoon.

__________:   Can I get your name and address?

__________:   Yes. It’s here in my wallet. Ooops. Sorry. That’s my family.

__________:   You have a big family. Does anyone in your family have a key for the motorcycle?

__________:   My grandmother does.

__________:   Have you seen your grandmother this afternoon?

__________:   No

__________:   Let me introduce you to a woman we just arrested for speeding.

 

Allow your students to assign names or occupations to the speakers.

Although there are two more parts to this adventure, have the students create their own scenario. What happens next?

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.

Passport in the car(continued from At the Mechanic)

Late or early

 

Mechanic:        Hello

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.

Mechanic:        What?

Customer:        It’s in my car.

Mechanic:        What?

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.

At the Mechanic

At the mechanic

Customer:   Will this take long?

Mechanic:   It’s going to take as long as it takes.

Customer:   May I ask you a question?

Mechanic:   Sure.

Customer:   Is this going to cost a lot?

Mechanic:   How much do you have?

Customer:   What?

Mechanic:   Have you brought a lot of money?

Customer:   Have you lost your mind?

Mechanic:   It’s a joke. Can I ask you something?

Customer:   Okay.

Mechanic:   Do you like slamming on the brakes?

Customer:   Why do you ask?

Mechanic:   The brake pads are in horrible shape. I’ll have to replace them.

Customer:   I don’t want you to replace anything.

Mechanic:   Maybe you’d enjoy crashing.

Customer:   I’m not going to crash.

Mechanic:   Have you ever been in an accident?

Customer:   No.

Mechanic:   You’re going to be in an accident if these brakes fail.

Customer:   Okay. What else is wrong?

Mechanic:   Have you hit something?

Customer:   Maybe.

Mechanic:   Your radiator is leaking.

Customer:   You’re going to replace it?

Mechanic:   No. It’s a small hole. I’m going to fix it.

Customer:   Good. I don’t like paying for extra work.

Mechanic:   It’s okay for me too. I don’t enjoy doing extra work.

Customer:   It’s hot in here. May I turn on a fan?

Mechanic:   Have I ever visited your office?

Customer:   No.

Mechanic:   Have I ever eaten your cooking?

Customer:   I don’t think so.

Mechanic:   Have I ever slept in your bed?

Customer:   I hope not.

Mechanic:   Good. Don’t touch my fan.

Customer:   It’s so hot in here. Have you ever noticed that?

Mechanic:   Why don’t you take a walk?

 

Note: This is an exercise to illustrate the use of the present perfect simple in statements and questions. It could also be used for pair or group practice of emphatic statements and responses.

 

On the street Dialogue

  • Thank you for stopping.
  • That’s okay. What wrong?
  • My car just stopped.
  • Why?
  • I don’t know.
  • Are you out of gas?
  • No. I have enough gas.
  • Maybe something is broken.
  • I don’t think so.
  • Did you hit anything?
  • I heard a bump earlier.
  • A bump?
  • You know … a sound.
  • What kind of sound?
  • It was like I hit something.
  • Okay. So you did hit something?
  • Maybe
  • I’ll look under the hood. Ah, here it is.
  • What is it?
  • Your radiator is leaking. Your car has overheated.
  • What’s a radiator?
  • It keeps the engine cool.
  • What’s an engine?
  • It makes the car move. Is this your car?
  • Ah, no.
  • Hmmmmm
  • Can it be fixed?
  • Sure. It won’t be cheap.

At the Dentist … appointment and aftermath

Dialogue

Making appointments

Receptionist:    Hello. Dr. Spock’s office. How can I help you?

Kirk:                  Hi. I’d like to see the dentist.

Receptionist:    Okay. Can you tell me what’s wrong?

Kirk:                  I broke a tooth. It really hurts.

Receptionist:    You’d better get here soon. Can you make it tonight?

Kirk:                  No. I’m out of town.

Receptionist:    How is tomorrow for you?

Kirk:                 That would be great. What time is available?

Receptionist:    Is 7:30 okay for you?

Kirk:                 That’s a little late.

Receptionist:    No. 7:30 in the morning.

Kirk:                  7:30 am? You’re open that early?

Receptionist:    Yes. That will be okay, won’t it?

Kirk:                  That’d be great.

Receptionist:    Can I get your name?

Kirk:                 It’s Jim. Jim Kirk. K-I-R-K.

Receptionist:    Okay Mr. Kirk. We’ll see you tomorrow.

Kirk:                  I’ll see you bright and early. Bye.

At the dentist

Dr. Spock:        Hello, How are you feeling?

Kirk:                Okay. It really hurts though.

Dr. Spock:        Well, it’s broken almost in half.

Kirk:                Can you save the tooth?

Dr. Spock:        I’m not sure. I’ll have to look at the x-ray. Oh oh.

Kirk:                 Is it really that bad?

Dr. Spock:        I’m sorry, but I’ll have to remove the tooth.

Kirk:                 Is there no way to save it?

Dr. Spock:        No. You’d be in constant pain.

Kirk: Okay.       How much will it cost?

Dr. Spock:        About 200 dollars. Do you have insurance?

Kirk:                No, I just changed jobs so I’m not covered yet.

Dr. Spock:        Sorry. I’ll give you a shot to freeze you. It may hurt.

Kirk:                 Ow, ow, ow!!! That really hurts!

Dr. Spock:        I haven’t given you the shot yet.

Kirk:                 You’re standing on my foot.

Dr. Spock:        Oh, sorry.

Kirk:                 Me too.

Mess

A startling testimony to the power of confusion

My life is a mess. Now before you start recommending therapy, self-help, medication, or herbal enemas; I’d better explain myself. I’m not talking about drug use, or alcohol abuse, or spousal neglect, and certainly not about spousal abuse.
No, the mess I’m in is more of a clutter. I’ve things to do, things to place, some places to go, and faces to place, then things to write and always clocks to race.I had every intention of writing a column a week. Well, a week passed, and then another and nothing happened.

My wife, in the meantime, has started a successful export business with precious little help from yours truly. Oh sure, I work. I even spend time with the kids and I tell outrageous lies to whoever is polite enough to listen or too dumb to run away. I call the time I’ve spent prevaricating, teaching.
I enjoy teaching, I love my wife and my kids, but the writing, luring me to the notebook or the computer, is some form of polite S&M.

When I don’t write, I’m tortured by imaginative, incredible, and sometimes inane visions. When I do write, I release these visions only to be rewarded by a large slick of spewed forth, half-digested textual tapioca within which I can sometimes find a nugget of good chewy stuff.

I feel an overwhelming urge to re-ingest this morsel and present it later as food for thought.
So I’m a half-baked writer with delusions of modesty and an overwhelming urge to appeal to the lowest common denominator.
I’ve actually found my therapy. I revel in the mess. I’m actually finding a way through the swamp. I enjoy the tattered landscape.
If I ever have the will power to clean, organize, re-evaluate, and chart a navigable course; I’ll end up more confused than I already am.