What happened while the train was in the tunnel?
One day, a few years ago, a train was travelling through the English countryside. This was in the days when trains had small compartments, and in one particular compartment there were four people. There was a young girl, quite pretty, who looked like a student or someone who was starting her first job; there was an old lady, dressed in black with bags and magazines and knitting; there was an army officer in his mid-thirties, immaculately dressed in his uniform and very stiff and proper in his manner; and finally there was a young cockney, casually dressed with a sparkle in his eye and ever ready to have a joke. It was quite obvious that both the men were attracted to the young girl, though the officer certainly wouldn`t show it and the cockney felt inhibited by the presence of the others.
Suddenly the train went into a tunnel; the lights had not been put on, so for half a minute the carriage was in complete darkness, and in the darkness came the sound of a large kiss followed almost immediately by a loud slap. What had taken place while the train was in the tunnel? When the train finally emerged and it was light again in the carriage, there for all to see was the officer with a bleeding nose and a swollen eye. And the old lady, seeing this, thought to herself, �What a brave young lady, who dared to hit the officer for stealing a kiss in such a cowardly way!�
And the young girl, seeing the suffering of the officer, was puzzled. �How strange�, she thought, �that the officer should kiss the old lady, and not me!�
The poor officer, nursing two injuries that caused him more than a little pain and embarrassment, considered to himself �That cockney`s quite a clever chap! He kissed the girl, and the girl hit me!�
And the cockney laughed silently to himself at the trick he had played. �I am a clever chap,� he thought to himself. �I kissed the back of my hand, hit the officer in the face and nobody said a word!�
The lorry driver
B = Brian
A = Andy
B Have I ever told you the story of my career as a lorry driver?
A No. When was this?
B While I was a student at Bristol University. It was during the holidays, the Easter holidays, I think, and I needed some money. I`d just passed my driving test, and I was feeling very pleased with myself, so I went to the job agency. They phoned me up the next day and asked me if I had a driving licence, so I said �Yes�, and they said �Right. We`ve got a job for you. Driving. Go down to Bristol fruit market at five thirty tomorrow morning.� And I thought �Ha � this`ll be great � I`ll be driving a car or a small van. I`ll really enjoy it.� So I went down there the next morning. It was quite a large place with fruit and vegetables everywhere, and lots of small lorries and vans … and there was this huge three-ton lorry!
A And they expected you to �
B And I said to them that I wasn`t really �
A Don`t you need a special licence for that?
B Well, you see, they said �There`s your lorry. In you get and off you go!� And I said �I can`t drive that. I`ve only got an ordinary licence!� So they said �That`s all right. We`ve taken a few things off the back. It`s just under the weight. Don`t worry, you`ll be all right!� I still said I couldn`t drive it, so they sent someone round with me for the first few calls. He drove and I watched. It was OK at that time of the morning because there was very little traffic. We went round some shops and delivered the goods, and then I drove for about five minutes, and then he said �Right. You can do it. You`ve got to go to Weston-super-Mare and then to Bridgwater.� And this was a hundred-mile trip! �I`ll leave you here�, he said. And he got out and just left me!
A Oh no!
B Yes. He left me on a busy roundabout just outside Bristol, and there I was, on my own. So I started off, let my foot off the clutch and immediately I heard this huge crash, within five seconds. So I looked round and saw that I had crashed into the side of a car parked at the side of the road, but I didn`t stop. I was so scared that I just drove off.
A I don`t blame you …
B So anyway, I got to Weston-super-Mare, and I was beginning to feel quite pleased with myself, and made the deliveries to the various shops there, and then I set off to Bridgwater. And on the way I decided I needed some petrol, or diesel because it was a lorry, you see. So I drove into a petrol station, and the man came running out shouting �No, no, no, no, no!� And I thought �What`s wrong?� So I put the brakes on, and the man said �Get out, you fool!� So I got out and I looked, and the roof of the garage …
A Oh … you`d forgotten what you were �
B I`d forgotten that I was driving a lorry, not a car, and of course the lorry was about fifteen feet high, and the lorry was literally about an inch away from the roof. I had nearly brought the whole roof crashing down.
So, then I said �Fill it up with diesel�, and he said �Are you going anywhere today, then?� �Yes.� �Well, if I fill it up with diesel you won`t get very far. This is a petrol driven lorry.� By this point I was really beginning to panic, so I rang back to the fruit market and said �I can`t do it. I can`t do it at all!� And they said `It`s all right. Don`t worry. I told them I`d probably have an accident, but they said �Nooo�. Anyway, I drove on, joined the motorway, and was driving along the motorway when a car came screaming past me. By this time my lips were bleeding because I had been biting them so hard…
B … I was so scared. This car passed me and made me stop, and I braked and got out and the man said �You`re on fire!� You see, it was quite an old lorry and the brakes had stuck but I hadn`t noticed. There were flames pouring out of the back. I managed to put them out and carried on. I got to Bridgwater, and by this time it was pretty busy. I mean, it was… oh … ten o`clock in the morning and I was tired. I`d been driving since six o`clock. I was driving round a corner, right in the middle of Bridgwater, and … you see, the thing with a lorry is that the front wheels are behind you, so when you`re turning, it`s not like in a car, you`ve got to go out into the road and then turn. But anyway, I turned this corner and I felt the back wheels go up on the pavement, and I thought `Oh oh, that feels a bit odd`, and the next thing there was one almighty crash. And I stopped…
A You hadn`t hit someone?
B No, no. The entire back of the lorry was in a gentleman`s clothes shop.
B And there was glass everywhere, and fruit and vegetables all over the road, and I just stood there and thought �Whoops!` And the best thing was, the man who owned the shop, this very respectable gentleman`s clothes shop, the manager whoever he was, came out and said �Can I help you, sir?�
There has been a major bank robbery in central London. It happened at nine o`clock this morning, and fifty thousand pounds was stolen. Three men dressed as cleaners surprised bank clerks just as the bank was opening for business. The men had been waiting by a side entrance. They seized the cash and escaped in a stolen car. The police were called but the thieves had already disappeared. The police have appealed for witnesses to help them with their enquiries.
1 A Hey, Peter! Come and have a look at this.
B What is it?
2 A Carefully with the box! Put it down slowly! That`s it.
B Ouch! That`s my toe!
3 A So anyway, we went on to the cinema…
B Shh! This is a library.
4 A What do you think of the soup?
B Mmm! You haven`t cooked this before.
5 A This government has done all it can to bring down unemployment…
B Boo! Boo! Rubbish!
6 A I`ve just bought a new car. It`s lovely. Come and see it.
B Oh! I thought you didn`t have any money.
7 A Are you ready? Shall we go?
B Uh-huh. Coming.
8 A And then we had this lovely dish of raw meat and brains..
B Ugh! I don`t know how you can.
9 A How old are you?
A Tut-tut. Smoking at your age.
10 A Excuse me could you open the door for me?
B Of course.
A Whoops! I knew that would happen.
B I`ll pick it up, don`t worry.
A Thank you.