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Reno Dal’s

Real English! A Conversation Course for the 21st Century Featuring Pronunciation Practice Tongue Twisters Basic Conversation Exciting Dramas from Everyday Life

Copyright © Reno Dal 1999


Reno Dalʼs

Real English

Table of Contents INTRODUCTION _______________________________________________ 4 COURSE SEQUENCE ___________________________________________ 5

SECTION ONE: WARM UP EXERCISES & PROTOCOLS __________ 7 TONGUE TWISTERS (OHT) ______________________________________ 8 SCRIPT MARKS _______________________________________________ 10

SECTION TWO: BASIC CONVERSATIONS _____________________ 11 WARM UP: INTRODUCE YOURSELF ____________________________ 11 1: CONVERSATION, BASIC GREETINGS _________________________ 13 2: CONVERSATION, SMALL TALK ______________________________ 15 3: SALES “DO YOU HAVE ANY.....?”_____________________________ 17 4: SALES “I WANT SOMETHING THAT....” _______________________ 18 5: SALES “WHAT DO YOU WANT?” _____________________________ 19 6: COMPLAINTS “I’M SORRY ABOUT THAT....” __________________ 20 Complaints “This vacuum cleaner doesnʼt work!” pp 77-79

see over for section three, "dramatic dialogues"

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SECTION THREE: DRAMATIC DIALOGUES ___________________ 21 1. DUCKS ____________________________________________________ 21 2. GIRLS’ NIGHT OUT _________________________________________ 24 3. THE BIG GUNS _____________________________________________ 26 4. THE BUTTON ______________________________________________ 30 5. AFTER A LONG TIME _______________________________________ 31 6. DON'T TOUCH _____________________________________________ 33 7. THE EMBRACE______________________________________________ 36 8. HOSPITAL _________________________________________________ 38 9. PACE ______________________________________________________ 40 10. AMBITION_________________________________________________ 42 11. HIS EYES WERE BURNING. _________________________________ 47 12. NOTHING SPECIAL PRESS RELEASE ________________________ 48 13. JOHN & UNTHIA __________________________________________ 50 14. THE COUNTRY BOY _______________________________________ 54 15. THE OPEN HEART _________________________________________ 56 16. CHRISTMAS RADIO PLAY (3 PARTS) ________________________ 60 17. THE FIRST INSPECTION (3 PARTS) __________________________ 63 18. THE SMOKER (6 PARTS) ____________________________________ 66 19. THINK 4 - VERSION 1 (4 PARTS)_____________________________ 73

Copyright © Reno Dal 1999


Summary of Dramatic Texts No. Title 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19

P arts Action

Ducks Girls Night Out The Big Guns The Button After A Long Time. Don't Touch The E mbrace Hospital P ace Ambition His E yes Were Burning Nothing Special John & Unthia The Country Boy The Open Heart Christmas Radio P lay The First Inspection The Smoker Think 4 - Version 1

2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 1 2 2 7 3 3 6 4

Children Dreaming Disco Night Cowboys Shoot-Out Science Fiction? Old Friends Sexual Tension More Sexual Tension Mad Authourity About P eople Money & P ower Love E gomania Adultery Social Graces Mad World Naughty Rhymes Avant Garde Health & History Crazy Marriages

Function Telling a story Social Chat Imperative Imperative Argument Argument Descriptive Argument Descriptive Argument Romantic Images Monologue Complex Argument Inference Inference Verbal Rhythms Reflections on the P ast Issues Domestic Argument

COPYRIGHT © 1999 RENO DAL PTY LTD INCORPORATING DRAMATIC TEXTS COPYRIGHT FROM 1969 TO 1994, PERFORMED AND PRESENTED IN TERMS OF THE THEATRICAL COPYRIGHT CONVENTION. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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Introduction This course has been developed to address a crying need in ESL students across all levels- from basic General English all the way up to Academic Preparation for Post-Graduate students. What is this all-pervasive need? To be understood. Two key elements seemed to be missing from our teaching agendas; the ongoing drilling in pronunciation and detailed practice in spoken expression. As a result of this, our students continue with many bad habits in their expressions, so bad in fact that most native speakers would find it impossible to understand what they say. This course provides a guided progress through a range of skills, focusing on the key areas of meaning signs- time, grammar, pronunciation and conversation. The last item, conversation, is supported by basic and complex conversation texts that provide students with natural models on which they can build their own expressions. This course will not magically create native speakers but it will take students at an intermediate level into a new world of fluency and confidence, hopefully giving them a useful foundation for future work. Aims & Objectives This is a conversation course, but then, you probably guessed that already. The idea of the course is to do some in-depth work on pronunciation, spoken rhythms and day-to-day expressions. By the end of the course, the students should have a good grounding in how to conduct a conversation. They should also have a much better chance of guessing what a native speaker means in daily speech. Course Format The course uses a range of materials that provide exercises across a range of skills. Timelines (Dal) Grammar (Murphy) Free Speaking (Hadfield) Dialogues (Dal)

Graphs of Tenses & Expression Theory & Practice Free Practice Detailed Skills Development

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Reno Dal’s Writing Tasks (Dal)

Real English Creating Dialogues & Stories

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Course Sequence Week 1 Introduction to sounds & tongue-twisters Self-Introduction Dialogue Exercises

Week 2 Intonation & Phrasing Select Key Dialogue Commence Writing Task

Week 3 In-Depth work on key dialogue OR- Present written dialogue for selection. Selection of Presentation Piece

Week 4 Dress Rehearsal & Grading Hand-In Writing Task

Week 5 Dress Rehearsal Finale

Party Time Wednesday- Lunchtime (Or Friday) Group Presentations

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Tasks Each section of the course requires teamwork for the practice and monitoring of results. At the end of lesson one, after the students have presented their SelfIntroduction, teams of three students should be created.

These teams must be mixed-language groups. For written tasks, students will present group work (a new dialogue) and personal work (a written account of a conversation). Lesson Plan Each lesson will have the following components:-

Section 1 Quick Warm Up- pronunciation exercises Theory- Grammar & Writing Games- Conversation Practice Short Dialogue Practice

Section 2 Longer Warm-Up Lesson Focus eg intonation, phrasing Long Dialogue Practice What Students Will Need a blue & a red pen a note pad (A4 size) a folder with clear file envelopes (10) a clipboard (for writing on, during standing exercises) In the second half of the course, students will be expected to develop stage properties (props), costumes and backdrops to their presentations. Copyright Š Reno Dal 1999


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Section One: Warm Up Exercises & Protocols Sounds 1.

ay

ee

eye

oh

you

2.

bay

bee

bye

boat

boot

3.

cay

quay

cry

croak

coot

4.

day

deep

die

dote

do

5.

fete

feet

fly

float

flute

6.

fume

dune

perfume

vacuum

fortune

7.

plume

doom

lune

soon

coon

8.

zoom

bloom

loom

noon

balloon

Word Groups 1. work

walk

wack

wok

woke

wick

2. yuck

yawn

yak

yon

yolk

yen

3. buck

born

back

bond

baulk

bend

4. cluck

corn

cacky

conned

calk

cell*

5. celebrate

cerebral

cement

centre

certain

celebrity

6. sparsity

scarcity

varsity

perfidy

silly

dilly

7. insider

consider

wild

bewilder

child

children

Stockhausen: Set Sails for the Sun Make a tone, and change the tone until the sound of the whole group expresses the feeling of liquid gold.

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Tongue Twisters (OHT) 1.

She sells sea shells by the seaside.

2.

Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.

3.

A peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked.

4.

When will windmills wander?

5.

Suzie seldom separates the sensible zippers from the silly scissors.

6.

Xenophobes exaggerate in the extreme.

7.

The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain, and rarely a stain remains.

8.

Betty beats her butter in a blender.

9.

Calvin calls Kerry a convert.

10. Very few vacuums vend vapours. 11. Terrible Terry tends to tamper. 12. The quick brown fox rejuvenated the lazy frog.

13. super/califrag/alistic/expi/ala/dotious supercalifragalistic expialadotious 14. chrono/synchlastic infin/dibilum chronosynchlastic infindibilum 15. anti/dis/establish/ment/arian/ism antidisestablishmentarianism 16. I want to be someone like somebody else was once.

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How to Read- Always Memorise Process: Always read, memorise and speak from memory. Never read from the paper. Aims: Learn to originate the language as if it was new and your own. Learn to maintain concentration against distractions. Learn to remove usual habits of pronunciation and gesture. Method: Make teams of three people, who take turns in the following roles: director/coach, listener/responder, speaker/originator. Roles: D. director/coach

watches & directs the team

A. speaker/originator

presents expressions

B. listener/responder

acknowledges expressions

Each player takes a turn in each role through each exercise until they have attempted and practiced every role in each section.

Exercises #1

Learning to do “Nothing At All” (Being Present)

Two ( A & B) sit opposite each other, hands on knees, looking at each other. The aim of the exercise is to be able to just be present with another person while doing and thinking nothing. The director sits to one side and monitors the pair, noting movements and loss of concentration. Each player should have a turn for at least one successful minute. #2

Speaking a Sentence (Origination)

Text: I want to be someone like somebody else was once. A speaks, B acknowledges (eg Uhuh!). D watches for no movement, good expression, pronunciation. D only works on one thing at a time, until it improves. Only after consistent improvement should the director move to the next issue. Swap places after a few minutes. Copyright © Reno Dal 1999


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Script Marks “to block a script” means to add marks and instructions that give the script meaning through new timing, speed and movement. “blocking” (gerund): This is a term used in theatre and refers to the process whereby actors and directors work together to orchestrate their movements and meanings, thus creating an organic whole. In this course, we will use the following marks, thus allowing different people to perform the same role with the same meaning.

Notations Chart eye contact

looks right

T

T

turn right A

turn to person called "A"

away

looks up

he thinks he said meaning break

exclaim!

crescendo he thinks he

emphasise " thinks "

(p)!!!!!!!!!!!!!pause

wander off...

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Section Two: Basic Conversations Warm Up: Introduce Yourself Name/Age/Home Town. Hello everyone, (ladies & gentlemen/ teacher & fellow students) My name is ___________________. My parents called me ___________________, but I prefer to be called. I am ___________________ years of age. I come from ___________________ but at present I am living in ___________________. I arrived in Australia in ___________________ so I’ve been here only ___________________ . Family There are ___ members in my family. I have ___ brothers, named ___________________ and ___ sisters named ___________________. I am the ___________________ (youngest/oldest) child in my family. We have __ pets including a ___________________ and a ___________________ . Education In ___________________(home country) , I graduated from ___________________ (school) in _____ (year). I majored in ___________________ at school. Job When I was young, I worked as a ___________________ on the weekends/of an evening. In the future I aim to study ___________________ (subject). When I have finished I plan to work as ___________________ (job) When I grow up I will be a _______ (fireman/ astronaut/ super model) Copyright © Reno Dal 1999


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Hobbies In my free time I like to ___________________ . On the weekends, I usually ___________________ . When I was young, I ___________________ . Travel I’ve been to a number of other countries, including ___________________ . I like ___________________ (country name) most because ___________________ ___________________ . I hope to visit ___________________ , sometime in the future, because _____________ . Love & Relationship I have been in love ___ times. Each time I was very ________. I want to fall in love _____ times in my life because _____________ . In the future I hope to ___________________ and have ___________________ . Conclusion (summarise the points above) Place / Nationality Family Job/Hobbies People: likes & dislikes Food: likes & dislikes General: lazy/busy, tall/short, happy/sad, serious/silly. Hopes for the future At the end of my life I want people to say I was ___________________.

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1: Conversation, Basic Greetings A:

Hello ________

(Hi! / G’day!)

B:

Hi, how are you are?

A:

Not bad. And yourself?

B:

Oh I’m OK.

A:

How was your day (at work)?

B:

Terrible.

A:

What happened?

B:

Nothing really. Just the usual.

(Really?)

But I had an awful headache all day. A:

I’m sorry to hear that.

(Bad luck!)

B:

Thanks.

A:

Well, I’ve got to run. See you later.

B:

Sure. See you!

(Gotta go!)

(Seeyah!)

1A: More Conversation, Basic Greetings B:

Hi, how are you?

A:

Not at my best- my dog died, my wife left me and I just lost my job.

B:

It could be worse, at least you still have your health.

A:

Not really. My doctor says I have only six months to live.

B:

I’m sorry to hear that. Well, I’ve got to run. See you later!

A:

Farewell dear friend!

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HELLOHi!, Good-day Good morning/ afternoon/ evening GOOD-BYE- Seeyah! Bye! See you later! Don’t be a stranger! GREETINGS- How’s it going? How’s things? What’s up? How ya dooin’ ? D’y’ave’a’g’d’wee-gend? ‘Ow ah yah? HOW ARE YOU? Terrible, Very sick, Awful, Not bad, OK, Fine, Wonderful, Fabulous. Cool. Could be better.

Practice: Run through dialogue 1A with your partner. Then do it again, playing different roles.

Now run through 1B with your partner. Then do it again, playing different roles.

Writing Exercise: Now create a dialogue with your partner Changing the text to suit your own situation. Try to make it the most terrible or silly situation you can think of.

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2: Conversation, Small Talk A:

Hello, my name is ___________.

B

Pleased to meet you. I’m ___________.

A

Nice to meet you too. (uncomfortable pause)... So, have you been in ___________ long?

B

I arrived last month so I’ve been here a few weeks now.

A

Have you been enjoying your stay?

B

Well, let me say (that) it is interesting, especially the traffic.

A

Yes, we do have some exciting road rules here, or rather, lack of road rules in fact.

B

Do you have many accidents (here) ?

A

Yes, quite a lot, but mostly they aren’t serious; the traffic doesn’t move fast enough for that. Mostly they are just minor bumps.

B

I’m glad to hear that.

A

Does your trip have any special purpose or are you just here to enjoy yourself?

B

Well, a bit of business and pleasure really.

A

I see. Well, if there’s any way I can help, please don’t hesitate to ask me.

B

Thanks. I’ll keep that in mind.

A

You’re welcome. Can I ask you what you do?

B

For my job?

A

Yes.

B

I’m a sales representative for IBM.

A

That’s sounds like an interesting position.

B

Yes it is. I enjoy it a lot, though sometimes it can be quite a challenge, especially in these days of economic crisis.

A

I can imagine. Copyright © Reno Dal 1999


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B

What about yourself?

A

I work in the travel industry as an accountant, not as exciting as your job I suppose, but I prefer a profession that is calm and steady.

B

Well, it’s been nice meeting you. I hope to see you again soon.

A

Me too. See you soon!

B

For sure! Bye!

Practice: Run through dialogue 1A with your partner. Then do it again, playing different roles.

Now run through 1B with your partner. Then do it again, playing different roles.

Writing Exercise: Now create a dialogue with your partner Changing the text to suit your own situation. Try to make it the most terrible or silly situation you can think of.

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3: Sales “Do you have any.....?” A:

Excuse me, I wonder, do you have any chairs?

B:

Yes we do. Could you tell me what sort of chair you’re looking for?

A:

It’s for my home.

B:

Kitchen, lounge1 room, or home office?

A:

For my study, so home office I guess.

B:

Then I suggest you have a look in the home office department.

A:

Where is that?

B:

Well, you just go __________________________

OR

You will find our __________________________

A:

Thanks very much.

B:

You’re most welcome. I hope you find what you’re looking for.

A:

Thanks. Bye

B:

Bye.

Directions: upstairs, downstairs, just across from X, just after the X, in the X department, beside the X, on the X floor, on B1 Chairs:

Executive style with wheels and arms, secretary style, guest chair lounge chair, pool chair, dining chair, director’s chair (canvas)

Areas:

reception area, executive office, board room, staff room

1

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4: Sales “I want something that....” A:

I wonder if you could help me?

B:

Of course, what are you after?

A:

I want something to work on.

B:

What kind of work in particular?

A:

Well, I’m a designer so I need a desk.

B:

Would you like a drafting table?

A:

What is a drafting table?

B:

You know, they’re the ones with the adjustable top, so you can work at an angle.

A:

Do they come in blue?

B:

Well, no. They are plain wood. But you can paint them any colour you like. Or, if you prefer, we can arrange to have it painted for you.

A:

Will that cost extra?

B:

Yes it does, but not much. In fact, only about ________

A;

Well that sounds alright.

B:

Would you like to come to the store and have a look?

A:

Yes I would, but firstly, can you tell me how much they are?

B:

Yes, just a moment while I look up the price.

A:

And how big are they?

B:

They’re ______ and the painting is an extra _______ .

A:

Well that sounds alright. When can I come and have a look?

B:

The store is open from ____ to _____, _____ to ______. Please ask for me personally if you have any problems. My name is _____.

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5: Sales “What do you want?” A:

Hello, how may I help you?

B:

I’m looking for a bowl.

A:

Could you tell me what sort of bowl?

B:

A big bowl.

A:

Decorative or useful?

B:

Well, decorative and useful I suppose. I want to put fruit in it.

A:

I see. Well we have a number of items that might interest you.

B:

Great.

A:

If you go down to the _________ department, on ________, you’ll find a number of styles.

B:

Oh thank you.

A:

And if you don’t see something there, you might also have a look in our ___________ department, just ___________ _______________ of _________.

B:

I’ll go and have a look.

A:

I hope you find something you like.

B:

Thank you.

A:

You’re welcome.

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6: Complaints “Iʼm sorry about that....” A:

Excuse me, but I’m calling about a problem with your products.

B:

I’m sorry to hear that. Could you tell me which product?

A:

It’s the storage unit, with the cupboards.

B:

Could you tell me the reference number please?

A:

What’s the ‘reference number’ ?

B:

You’ll find it on the ____________________.

A:

Just a moment.... Yes, here it is ______________.

B:

Could you repeat that please?

A:

Sure ________________.

B:

Was that (repeat) _____________ ?

A:

Yes it was.

B:

Please wait a moment while I check our catalogue.

A:

OK.

B:

Now what exactly is the problem?

A:

Well I put it together and then it fell down.

B:

I’m sorry to hear that, sir/madam. I’m afraid that can happen sometimes. Could you tell me, when you assembled the product, were all the parts there, as per the packing list?

A:

Yes they were.

B:

And you followed the assembly instructions in order?

A:

I don’t know. My husband (wife) did it.

B:

Oh, I see. Well. sir/madam, there are two things we could do. If you’d like to bring the full assembly-kit and box back to the store, we could assemble the piece for you. Or, if you prefer, we could replace the item at your convenience, what would you prefer?

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Section Three: Dramatic Dialogues 1. Ducks An exercise in phrasing, pacing and intonation. Afternoon, sunset, two young kids lying in long grass. It is summer, relaxed. S:

What colour would you say the sky was?

T:

Oh, vermilion I suppose.

S:

Vermilion ?

T:

Yes. I think so.

S:

What colour is vermilion ?

T:

That colour.

S:

Yes, but what is it, how could I describe it if someone asked me, 'What colour was the sky yesterday ?'

T:

Well how about you say, ' It was a usual sky blue with a touch of sunset gold and a tinge of lipstick pink.

S:

That's good, but how about, 'It was green and large bun shape aliens were flying in a Vformation towards the east.’ ?

T:

That's good but how about, 'I was underground all day!'

S:

And what if,

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'They took me down there before sunset wrapped only in a blanket!' T:

And there were flashing lights!!

S:

And they kept asking me questions about my dead aunt!!!

T:

They tortured and dismembered me!!!!!

S:

But I wouldn't tell!!!!!

T:

I wouldn't tell!!!!!!!!!!

S:

I wouldn't tell!!!!!!!!!!!!!

They repeat “I wouldn't tell like” 10 times, louder and faster, and then, silence. S:

I wouldn't tell...

T:

I wouldn't tell either...

S:

I think I'll just say, “ It was vermilion.”

T:

It's easier.

S:

Yeah. It's a nice day, isn't it?

T:

Yeah, the sun’s nice.

S:

Hey! What are those things flying in a V-formation across the sky ?!!

T:

(looks) Ducks...

S:

(disappointed) Oh...

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2. Girlsʼ Night Out Setting - North Shore bar. G1

Rather rough meeting her old friend,

G2

who incidentally has risen above her back ground and is thereby over-compensating for this fact. Works as a secretary in an advertising agency.

G 1:

Hey, look at that, I'll bet he's goer.

G 2:

Oh yes....that's no sample. That's a man.

G 1:

Wadaya mean?

G 2:

You know-fully grown the real thing.

G 1:

Yeah right. A real stud.

G 2:

Yes... he looks intelligent to ....a man of character.

G 1:

A what?

G 2:

You know. More than just a bit of spunk- a bit upstairs as well. ( giggles to herself) balanced

G 1:

Oh right. Yeah. (p) who cares?

G 2:

Well, um...the smart ones are better in bed.

G 1:

Oh. (p) Are they.

G 2:

Sure they are. Everyone knows that.

G 1:

Of course they do. Yeah sure. I'll bet he's great in bed.

G 2:

( Smirking to...herself) I'd bet on it.

G 1:

Double or nothing. (She produces a note)

G 2:

What do you mean?

G 1:

You said you’d bet on it.

G 2:

( Getting angry and reverting to her back ground) So!

G 1:

So here's a dollar says he's not. Two for you if he is, one for me if he isn't. Copyright © Reno Dal 1999


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G 2:

( Getting really angry and rougher) You really are dumb you know. the only way...(calming and resuming her pose) ...Well, you don't...

G 1:

Go get him then. Go on it was your idea.

G 2:

( Getting mad again) You can't just walk up to a bloke and get him

G 1:

So go and chat him up for a start.

G 2:

( All North Shore again ) But I can't...my...my bedrooms in a mess.

G 1:

That doesn't matter-do it in the lounge.

G 2:

No it wouldn't feel right.

G 1:

Then use your flat mates room, isn't she staying at her boyfriend's tonight.

G 2:

That's a thought-no that's dumb. What if she comes home.

G 1:

She'd be cool.

G 2:

This is crazy. A guy like that's not going to go for someone like me - look he's chatting up that bitch from the media department.

G 1:

He might like it different/rough for a change. Go on! I'll make it $20.

G 2:

Listen this stupid - why don't you do it.

G 1:

It was your idea.

G 2:

But I don't want to find out you do.

G 1:

You're scared.

G 2:

I am not. I just don't want to make a fool of my self, that's all.

G 1:

Chicken.

G 2:

You're the one who's chicken. Why don't you do it? Go on - you do it. Or are you chicken.

G 1:

Not me - I'm not chicken.

G 2:

Well go then I'll put up the $20 dollars. Copyright Š Reno Dal 1999


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G 1:

( sulkily) I'll have to think about it.

G 2:

Chicken! Chicken! chicken!

G 1:

Shut up! Everyone's looking. All right stuff ya' I'll do it - give me the $20.

G 2:

Ok. Here you are. (gives her the money)

G 1 walks towards the guy. The turns around then goes back to the guy. They talk quietly for awhile. G 1 comes backsmirking. G 1:

( Blushing) He thinks I'm cute.

G 2:

(Rough) Yeah sure.

G 1:

Shut up he does.

G 2:

You haven't done anything, where's my $20.

G 1:

Hah. It's mine now. We're going to his joint.

G 2:

There see how easy it is?

G 1:

Piece of cake. Listen... there is just one thing.

G 2:

I thought so.

G 1:

I thought so.

G 2:

No every things alright- really. It's only a small thing.

G 1:

(smutty) Oh yeah, it looked pretty big to me (giggles) Well?

G1:

Just between you and me. Promise not to laugh.

G2:

Ok, come on. What is it?

G 1:

Look. I gotta' go through with it - so I gotta' ask ya. (plaintively) How do you do it? What happens.

( G2

has a shocked look.)

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3. The Big Guns Alf:

There turning the cooker back on.

Mac:

Shoot me Alf.

Alf:

How come?

Mac:

I dunno. Honour? Respect? Fun?

Alf:

Do you want to die Mac?

Mac:

Gunslingers want to kill.

Alf:

Or die in the act.

Mac:

Huh?

Alf:

It's a kill or die job.

Mac:

Not really. You don't always kill them.

Alf:

If you don't kill them, they'll kill you.

Mac:

Sometimes....Shoot me Alf!!

Alf:

I tried I can;t shoot men. I can shoot women, children even dogs. On a good day I can even shoot roaches.

Mac:

Really?

Alf:

Yea, in fact, I need to shoot. But I can't shoot men.

Mac:

Gee that's enough.

Alf:

Can't do nothing about it.

Mac:

Are you sure.

Alf:

Well....God dam it. Lets try.

Mac:

That's the way.

(Gun fight music. they back up, draw Mac shoots. Alf falls, blood shoots from his sleeve.) Alf:

Shit!!

Mac:

Sorry about that.

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Alf:

S'alright. I'm sort of use to it. (pause) You know, I'm sort of use to it. You know, I enjoyed that. Do you want to do it again?

Mac:

Nah.

Alf:

O come on, I might just manage it this time.

Mac:

Yah reckon.

Alf:

(enthusiastic ) Yeah, I think I might. Say, would you mind?

( He produces a bonnet and holds it out to Mac ) Mac:

(outraged ) Hey! What is this?

Alf:

Maybe if you look like a woman, then I'll be able to shoot you.

Mac:

Your crazy.

( He looks quizzically, and gives in to Alf's winsome look) Mac:

Oh. All right.

( Alf rushes to him and puts the bonnet carefully on his head ) Mac:

But don't tell anyone!

( Alf finishes and eyes his work appreciatively. Mac is uncomfortable walking) Mac:

Let's go.

( Gunfight music. They pace up, this time they both draw together and Alf is shoot in the leg. More blood gushes forth ) Mac:

This is stupid.

Alf:

( Dragging himself up on one leg ) Gee Whiz! Gee Whiz! You know what? You know what? I almost did it. I almost did it!

Mac:

( Bored ) Gee, that's great.

Alf:

One more time.

Mac:

No.

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Alf:

Oh please. I might just manage it this time. You'd be doing me a big favour. You know it's mighty hard when you can't shoot men.

Mac:

( Looks in to his beer ) Huh!

Alf:

( Getting more strident ) I'd be obliged, mighty obliged. Besides think of all those woman, children and roaches you'd be saving from an early grave.

Mac:

I hadn't thought of that.

( He fumbles in his coat and producers a bras ) Alf:

Say would you mind? ( He smiles )

Mac:

I've squashed men bigger than you for less than that.

Alf:

For me it'll make it easier.

Mac:

OK.

Alf:

( As he puts the bras on Mac ) Thanks Mac, you have no idea what this means to me.

Mac:

You're right, lets get this over with.

( Gun fight music. Alf draws and fires while Mac's gun is still in his holster. Alf calls out as Mac falls ) Alf:

Maria!

( Alf limps to Mac's limp form. He takes Mac in his arms. A light as if from heaven appears above their heads. The sound of angles singing ) Alf:

Oh Maria, (sob, sob ) I'm sorry, it as beautiful. Really beautiful.

Mac:

Don't call me Maria. Call me a doctor!!

Alf:

Maria? How can you talk about an other man at a time like this?

Mac:

Listen you stupid shit, I'm dying, need a doctor.

Alf:

Oh, Maria, I'll be your doctor. I'll be your everything.

Mac:

Stop calling me Maria.

Alf:

But...(He sits looking at Mac in shock and then warms to him) Copyright Š Reno Dal 1999


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Mac:

Get me a doctor. Get me a doctor.

Alf:

You don't need a doctor. You just need love, and a man to look after. A nice home, a family, roaches. What more can a woman want?

Mac:

( His dying breath) Not woman. Not Maria....You!

Alf:

( A sudden realisation comes over him ) The pervert! I can think of nothing, more disgusting than a man found dead in woman's clothing. Disgusting!!

( Mac lies bleeding while Alf storms off mumbling to himself as if remembers nothing)

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4. The Button A:

Press the button.

B:

What button.

A:

This button.

B:

I don't see any button.

A:

Press it anyway.

B:

(Looks)

A:

Go on. Press it.

B:

What button!

A:

That one, you idiot. That one.

B:

( presses the imaginary button)

A:

(closes his eyes) That's better.

B:

What's better ?

A:

Can't you feel it.

B:

No.

A:

Listen very carefully. Just sit and feel and listen.

B:

(Closes his eyes) Can you feel it now ? Just the slightest, almost imperceptible difference ? A slight, beautiful, almost intangible sense of relief.

B:

I think I can.

A:

you see ? Next time I'll press it.

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5. After A Long Time A room, Jimmy stands, drink in hand smoking a cigarette, coat and tie. Bob:

I don't believe it, Jimmy ? Can it be you?

Jimmy:

Err, yes.....I think ?

Bob:

Yes, of course it is. How absolutely fabbo. How absolutely fabbo!

Jimmy:

I suppose so.

Bob:

How wonder full.

Jimmy:

Yes. good to see...again ?

Bob:

It's been ages, ages. How are you ?

Jimmy:

Quite all right.

Bob:

Time does make its change though, don't you think?

Jimmy:

Yes. Yes. I hope you don't mind me asking this ?

Bob:

No, not at all.

Jimmy:

Do you really know me or a you just being an arsehole ?

Bob:

(shocked) Isn't your name Jimmy ?

Jimmy:

Yes

Bob:

And you use to go to Uxbridge ?

Jimmy:

Never heard of it>

Bob:

Well, I'll be. You know your the spitting image of Jimmy Smith. Gee I'd love to see him again. What a sense of humour that guy had. You wouldn't believe it. Some nights we use to sit up and laugh all night. Incredible. Mind you he was a bit of a wimp. Quite a bit short than you. A real little guy, with big bulbous eyes. We use to have fun throwing him in to rivers and running of with his clothes. You should have seen him, walking out of the

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river, covered in mud trying to hide his private parts and get his clothes. You would have liked him if you would have meet him. He was like an old dog, you could have done anything to him, and he would still come back for more. Incredible guy. Jimmy:

It certainly sounds like it, but your not. Excuse me.

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6. Don't Touch A:

And you look at the thoughts as they form in your mind, and consider the gaps of the patterns that made them as they are and then you thought again.

B:

And no-one knew quite what it meant.

A:

And then a thought passed through your mind that perhaps there was one...

B:

Yes, only one.

A:

Who might understand.

B:

Yes. There must be one.

A:

There must be.

B:

Of course there must.

A:

A pretty one.

B:

One who feels good at night.

A:

A cute one.

B:

One who really cares.

A:

We went through all of that.

B:

All of it. Only to find...

A:

To find?

B:

No, not finding really... just a sort of...

A:

Frustration leads to understanding.

B:

No, not that. Not really. More like a resignation.

A:

You resigned or you were resigned?

B:

I became resigned as you did... to the fluid nature of space... to the thought that it might just go on being the way it is...

A:

But I still dream. I still dream of jacarandas at night.. the smell of them... the moving of their fronds in the small summer night breezes.. Copyright Š Reno Dal 1999


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I haven't given up hope. I have simply become practical and thoughtful. I have become circumspect. There is no room for depression, only thought to the future. B:

I see. I do see. I don't feel but I see. I mind the space that has taken me to this point. How is it that we live in this sad vacuum? I know that we are all in this space. I know that I am not the only lonely soul. Even those out there, sitting, being voyeurs, sitting and listening their own thoughts, they share my feelings. Even if they have their own lovers, their wives or husbands, there is gap- an emptiness... You are my comfort on this cold night.

A:

It's hot tonight, and I am far too sweaty to touch you. Besides, even if you did enjoy it, I would be lying here so self conscious that I couldn't cope. I'd have to leave the room. It wouldn't work.

B:

I thought not. But it was worth a try.

A:

But don't think that I am rejecting you as a human being.

B:

Oh no. I am very clear. What you are saying is that you reserve the right to reject me again- and frequently, whenever I am drunk and soft and silly. Oh no, I am very clear. You are the sadist I have been scared of all my life. You are the unattainable slut, who weaves a spell around the needs of poor souls to keep them enthralled. You want me to go on looking, but don't touch.

A:

Oh no, don't touch.

B:

Oh no. Don't touch even the tinsiest bit.

A:

Don't Touch1

B:

Don’t Touch! (repeat, louder and faster- 10 times) Copyright © Reno Dal 1999


Real English

Reno Dal’s B:

Don't Touch

A:

Don't Touch

B:

Oh no ! Don't Touch!

(move through repetition into) A:

Oh no! Own Touch !

B:

Oh! Please One Touch!

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7. The Embrace J:

I wanted to embrace you. I saw all possibility. For a moment I felt myself on the edge of the dream...

B:

You were dreaming. Wandering... I was not that. I was not that at all.

J:

But I thought...

B:

Yes, you thought, and made great plans, and hardened your life around the jigsaw of your needs. It is not for me. You knew. You knew all the time and still you bother me. Still you persist in helping me.

J:

I only meant to embrace you.

B:

There is no true embrace. Only the squeezing of the flesh. You will not squeeze mine. You will not.

J:

I only wanted to help.

B:

Like a small heavy machine your help hinders my suffering. You stand in the way of the pain that leads to life. don't help, just go into the wilderness and face that you are alone. Go away.

J:

But you owe me so much...

B:

For holding me, you owe me. I shall not collect. Go.

J:

But how can you live without me?

B:

I don't know.

J:

You see, let me help you?

B:

I will not. I will by myself. Now go before I abuse you for your love and care, you slimy creature bent on holding me. Just go!

J:

I have given so much to you.

B:

And now you are the slug, the leech that draws my blood.

J:

And I tried so hard.....

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8. Hospital A:

Huh?

B:

Don't say "huh" say, I beg your pardon.

A:

That seems pretty silly to me. Why should I beg your Pardon? You mumbled, you should beg my pardon.

B:

(confused) I suppose your right. That's it. There just nothing else for it. the writing is on the wall. The moving finger writes and moves and having writ the finger displaces itself and the irredeemable affect remains unchanged until the end of time growing in intensity.

A:

(coughs)

B:

And having been through the eternity till the end of time, it stops. It's rather like a squashed melon really. I think I'll give Einstein a call.

A:

For god's sake, shut up! Shut up.

B:

You're repeating your self again.

A:

You came in here, mumbled some in coherent nonsense, disturbed my work, upset my train of thought, let my sanity out at the next stop and you have the temerity to tell me that I am repeating myself?

B:

I've got news.

A:

I'm tingly all over.

B:

They're dropping the bombs.

A:

Well I'm glad to see that you've finally overcome your speech impediment. Now go back to your work. (pause) Now go away! Shoo!

B:

Did you hear what I said.

A:

Yes I heard what you said. Let's not go through that beg your pardon nonsense again.

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B:

You may have heard but I don;t think you quite understand. They're dropping the bombs.

A:

So, big deal.

B:

On us.

A:

Yeah. I know.

B:

How do you know?

A:

You just told me.

B:

But you thought I was joking.

A:

No I didn't.

B:

But you said.

A:

That was just to up keep your morals.

B:

Now what are you doing?

A:

Helping you keep your head.

B:

(the paper bag now covers his head) I see.

A:

Perfect. Now go away.

B:

(walks into a wall ) Ouch!

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9. Pace A:

The thought comes up like a surprise. That they might move like this, thinking and meandering through... As though there was unlimited time.

B:

Or no time at all.

A:

Don't waste my time.

B:

I only meant to say, that as it all moves in paradox, that, perhaps they saw it the same- no time, and therefore no time to waste. A paradox, yet workable.

A:

I was going to say-

B:

And so, when there is so little time, one might as well do one thing as another. After all, nothing will ever be complete. Only close enough.. and never good enough.

A:

But I am still angry. The reason doesn't matter. Are you suggesting that I spend my time trying to explain time? Trying to get such a small point across? Ridiculous.

B:

I'll only thought to explain that there is another way of looking. That's all.

A:

And, in the meantime, what of me? Am I to hibernate while their silly little minds begin to scratch the surface? Shall I sit still and wait? Will I put myself in a cryonic tank till they find out they can't defrost me? And then begin again? No, there is no hope for it. Your idea resembles this- to get a random group of people- and using plastic surgery, hormones, brain development drugs, steroids and whatever program one can devise that will work- and turn that random group into an Olympic team. You might do it once, but they'd probably all drop dead the day after the event. The metal of the average human isn't made for excellence. It cracks under the strain.

B:

But isn't that what being humane is all about? Allowing people to be human? Isn't it? Copyright Š Reno Dal 1999


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A:

Then, how do we judge people? If we are going to be generous and "humane", then there is no room for assessment. We might as well say that we are all the same, and be done with it. And that's a lie.

B:

Of course people are different. I see that. But I... I was trying to say that one has to be forgiving; that we all have our faults, and imperfections. You're lying to yourself if you don't acknowledge that.

A:

And that's precisely what I was saying; that we are different. And, because we are different, and get annoyed by others slowness, or maybe even their pace- that we need to see just what that means. That seeing the strengths and weaknesses is an essential part of being here.

B:

But you were saying that people are a waste of time if they don't come up to your personal standard.

A:

No I did not! What I meant was that I was angry at having other people waste my time. Sick of it. That I was sick of hearing what I had heard before, of seeing them go through the same unpleasant nonsense over and over.

B:

But you're same.

A:

(SHOUTS) I know I do the same, but I do it at a different pace!

B:

You're as bad as anyone.

A:

Can't you see? You're doing it again. No-one is as bad as anyone. Each of us is quite different. And that is the whole point.

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10. Ambition A Play About The Value Of Beauty Man:

I wanna rule the world.

Woman:

You’re too American. Why not want to be happy?

Man:

Well I don't mean rule the world, exactly. I just meant, well, I want to be important, run a big company. Have people call me "sir".

Woman:

If we had a son, he'd call you “sir”.

Man:

I don't want to be a big fish in a small pond.

Woman:

But a family is a wonderful thing.

Man:

A man needs a wife, sure, but children aren't really useful, till you've made it. They’re a burden. A man with a family can't take risks.

Woman:

What do you mean?

Man:

You've seen them, family men. Bowed shoulders. Cowed and beaten. They can't do anything. They're 'family men' true enough and that means a sort of respect. People lay them off a bit later, and stuff. They're looked after. But that's because they're ..... they're invalids. Their lives are controlled by their family. They might as well be dead really.

Woman:

Oh, really, that's ridiculous. You sound like some sort of maniac. Homosexuals talk like that, not all of them of course. They look furtive, as if.....as if death were chasing them. In a way I suppose it is. The only true immortality is children.

Man:

Don't talk nonsense! I don't want a life of posturing, that's all.

Woman:

There's no choice. Even the head of a company has to pose, perhaps even more so. You can't escape being a product.

Man:

Rubbish. If you’re rich enough you can pay people to do anything.

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Woman:

You're a thorough capitalist. You just want power so you can push people around.

Man:

Everyone wants power.

Woman:

Not everyone.

Man:

Yep, everyone.

Woman:

There are people in the world who, who just want peace. A regular job maybe. But basically all they want is peace and quiet.

Man:

They've given up.

Woman:

Maybe they always wanted peace.

Man:

When I was a kid....Well there was this guy, there wasn’t anything special about him. He was a nobody and he would be a nobody all his life. One day we were walking home from school. He said "Do you know what I want to be?" He stood up straight. I guarantee he was a foot taller. He wanted to be a dynamic man. That's what he called it. He said it meant a man that could do anything, fit in to any scene, be a success at every party. Then he shrank. He said "But I couldn’t ever do it ".

Woman:

That’s sad.

Man:

Bullshit it's sad! Don't you see? His dream was his prison. He couldn’t do anything, so he chose a dream he could always have, because it would always be impossible, especially for him.

Woman:

Don’t you have dreams like that.

Man:

I'm going to achieve my dreams.

Woman:

You sound so sure.

Man:

Only because I’m determined.

Woman:

It sounds like an awfully grim exercise to me.

Man:

(thinks) Grim?...Yes, I can see how might think that. It's no fairy tale. Thought maybe it is. A sort of modern fairy tale; jet planes

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instead of palaces, corporations instead of kingdoms... It's the fairy tale of....of.. freedom at the top. Woman:

Yes, it's a fairy tale alright. Those guys, those guys at the top are captives of their ambition.

Man:

Do you think it's melodramatic? Don't think I can’t see what a cliche I am; the ambitious young man -a 'real go–getter'. I'm the young fellow who appears in all the ads for yachts and good wines and never makes it in to the movies, unless he murders his wife of course, or something like that.

Woman:

Would you ever do that? I can't imagine it.

Man:

No but that doesn’t mean I’m a stereotype. I don't turn off my TV just to be trendy.

Woman:

What's that got to do with it?

Man:

I used to believe in art once.

Woman:

Sorry, I don't see the connection.

Man:

Very funny. But you don't understand.

Woman:

Then you should explain yourself better. And brush your coat, there's dandruff on the collar.

Man:

Dandruff doesn’t matter.

Woman:

It could be the difference between that big contract and someone else getting the promotion!

Man:

You're mocking me.

Woman:

You're bucking of promotion.

Man:

That's what I was trying to talk about.

Woman:

Sorry.

Man:

You see, I tried art, only to discover everyone's bucking for promotion. Only it's worse, because artists live art. There friends, their social guest are all organised to seduce minds.

Woman:

Oh, what an ugly thought - people with their hands inside each others skulls massaging the frontal lobes.....Ugh. Copyright © Reno Dal 1999


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Man:

But that's exactly how it is. 'Hello darling', they say, but they're just dying to knife you in the back.

Woman:

Surely there's more to it than that.

Woman;

More to it? More to it? Is that all you can say? They're all just interior decorators, selling snow jobs. Whiter than white becomes a star.

Woman:

Vote Omo.

Man;

(pause looks at her) what?

Woman:

(doing lips in make–up case) It’s just the same as anything, the world's mad.

Man:

(points with fingers) Right! So what's the solution?

Woman:

Shoot yourself.

Man:

No.

Woman:

Forget it?

Man:

No. Give up?

Woman:

Oh, alright.

Man:

The answer is beauty. Create the illusion of beauty. I'm sure of it.

Woman:

I don't get it.

Man:

Beauty sells, right.

Woman:

Yeah. So?

Man:

So we create the illusion and sell. Instant obsolescence. They buy, they take it home and... Poof! All gone. So they come back for more.

Woman:

There's no money in art.

Man:

But there is in the illusion of art.

Woman:

I see. What you're saying is, that the most sellable thing is the ill.. Illusion of the illusion of beauty.

Man:

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Woman:

That's shit. Exploitation of the mis–educated worker for the sole purpose of manipulating and expanding capital.

Man:

Not if it makes people happy.

Woman:

It's still shit.

Man:

What if it makes us rich and powerful?

Woman:

It's still shit... but when do we start?

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11. His Eyes Were Burning. 1:

His eyes were burning. I wanted to wet them.

2:

But you can't give in.

1:

She was full of despair. I Wanted to hold her.

2:

Be careful of, careful of tricks.

1:

They were just going to make love to anyone.

2:

It puts you off. (pause)

1:

In the morning she looked beautiful, sleeping. The wearing and hardship had melted into the quiet glory of the innocence.

2:

Only because you held yourself back.

1:

What ugliness moves with wakefulness.

2:

That silent composer will crack.

1:

I want a summer romance, with tears and joy.

2:

You were undersexed as a child.]

1:

The next chapter explains what is holy and how to get it. How many presume to judge our infidelities. Which is worse, the ones who judge or the ones that don't care? Which is worse?

2:

I want to do it with everyone.

1:

I want to do it with everyone.

2:

Because we're looking for love.

1:

That's one interpretation.

2:

Perhaps it's all over.

1:

I thought it was.

2:

Then you were dragged in to bed again.

1:

She said, but I am a woman.

2:

Little did she know.

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12. Nothing Special Press Release (Monologue) About what? Things that we actually need. The theme for the performance changes. I am Preforming now. I always have been preforming. Now. I always will be preforming. A pity that no-one who was really important was smart enough to employ me before. Because I am brilliant and would be very good risk for someone. Especially someone with a lot of money already. Each performance is a sum total of the events leading up to and during it, no matter how naughty or perverse. I am Brilliant. The interesting pieces are a big money spinner and every one looks at me. Some people missed it. I can be anything, well, not anything. Mmmh. I am the ultimate male beauty, the greatest product. With reasonable instructions and room for creative license I can do anything. I am at a loss. Lead me. I am Confused. Hire me. I can make your life. I can’t be expected to understand everything, but I will talk about anything. I can't be expected to do everything right, but no-one can? Because Primitive tries are my forte and I want to please every-one. Especially any mum who has had to put up with any boy like me. Although this is useful (sell Grecian 2000), for other people to vent their desires for youth and beauty the glorious languid sexiness, and dream their chance to have a fantasy about, I am ready. I also am human, with a birthday. There fore you can;t have absolutely everything. I do want to feel like, which is why mothers love me. I probably have been manipulated, but not in the way you might think, to believe,, my thoughts are my own. They are probably yours.

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I hate myself, I don't work, sweat or cry. I love myself, I am pretty, lets face it. I am very boring, but predictable, very sellable. I am a hypocrite. People will want to hear my opinions. I am a contradiction. I have the ability to be exquisitely boring, more or less. I am just a body with no head. I am just a chemical process. But I will not do ads for pantyhose. At least not for a small price. (I have great legs) My complexion isn't perfect. Everyone will really to my pimples. I have a beautiful smile, which I use on public Transport. As everyone should. I am just like you and me. And above all, I love you. No Matter what.

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13. John & Unthia (a down to earth dialogue) J:

Oh, I don't know when it was.

U:

Try to think. You'll never remember if you don't try.

J:

(p) No. (P) I can't remember. But it must have been awhile ago.

U:

Well, doesn't that tell me a lot.

J:

I'm sorry. It's the best I can do. Anyway I was waiting for Frank, on the Corner of some street in town, Kent went by, across the road, but I don;t think she saw me, at least she didn't show any signs of seeing me. She was with someone who could have been him.

U:

Mary said he's got a Valiant.

J:

( bored) Really?

U:

See saw it parked outside their house all Friday.

J:

(bored) I see.

U:

Don't you care what happens to your friends ?

J:

I care, but I think their business is their business.

U:

Well, of course it is, but it doesn't hurt to know what is going on in the neighbourhood.

J:

Unthia, there is a difference between knowing what is going on (crescendo) and prying in to their lives (fortissimo) and talking about them behind their backs.

U:

I don't know what you mean your getting so angry about. I think you've been working to hard. you always take it out on use when you overwork.

J:

(he tries valiantly to be patient) I wouldn't get so angry if you weren't such a sticky beak on friends. If they want us to know what's going on, they'll tell us.

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U:

But dear, they'd get terrible tired of telling us what's going on if they had to tell us everything that's going on.

J:

Maybe they don't want us to know everting that's going on. Maybe they want some privacy.

U:

But there our friends. Of course they want us to know everting, that way we wont hurt them by saying the wrong things. They don't want us to hurt them.

J:

Do you want our friends to know everything about us.

U:

No, but that's different.

J:

Rubbish.

U:

If they didn't want us to know they'd keep it a secret.

J:

How can anyone keep any thing a secret in our neighborhood?

U:

we do it.

J:

Do we ?

U:

Yes. (pause while she thinks)

J:

when are you going to face the fact that the only reason you pry into the lives of our friends is to give you something to talk about.

U:

It's not.

J:

And when are you going to face the fact that I am very tired of all the muck you go on with. I don't want to know what's going on.

U:

But John!

J:

I don't care, can't you understand that.

U:

What do you care about ?

J:

I don't know.

U:

Do you care about me ?

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J:

I just wish you would shut-up, that's all. I'm tired of your voice, (p) I'm tired of your monotonous voice and your dull conversation.

U:

And what do you expect. A party ? I spend all my day washing, ironing, and dusting and doing all those dull things, and you expect me to be the life of the party as well?

J:

I-(get hand push down and sit)

U:

And I don't suppose it ever occurred to you, but your not exactly a walking talking marvel your self. In fact I'm tired of you too, so there's no need to feel alone.

J:

But..

U:

(she's getting upset know) But what can you expect ? What can you realistically expect ? And did it ever occurred to you that I could have been in your position ? But I gave up my opportunity to look after you and your children.

J:

And why did you do that ?

U:

For love.

J:

I use to think that, but now I see, it wasn't love, (breath) it was money. You were afraid; you were afraid to be left alone, you were afraid that I would leave you alone, and the only way to keep me was marriage. (draw out)

U:

It wasn't that really.

J:

Yes it was. But you see you fouled up one thing, my dear, because I am walking out and the children are walking out to.

U:

(horrified) You can't do it. You can't take the children. Yes I can, You see, dear Mrs Whitcock, who happens to be almost as much as a sticky beak as you are, dropped a hint about a certain gentleman caller ? She wanted to know who that friend of ours is that drops around everyday.

U:

(shocked) There's no-one, there's no-one!

J:

I was a little curious myself, so I hired a private detective to find out what was going on. Copyright Š Reno Dal 1999


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U:

I didn't mean it. It was- (stand up)

J:

An accident.

U:

(sob, sob) O John, what I'm I going to do.

J:

The best thing you can do is disappear and never come back.

U:

But John, I don't-

J:

Will see you in court Unthia.

U:

(sob, sob) Oh but John, I didn't really mean it! I didn't really....

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14. The Country Boy Sue:

Jack, Darling, you are so silly sometimes.

Jack:

See what I mean.

Sue:

(ha ha) Yes yes yes.

Jack:

But it's true.

Sue:

Oh really what nonsense you talk sometimes.

Jack:

Don't say that, it's true. For me.

Sue:

Your just suffering from bad toilet training, that's all.

Jack:

Oh....Do you really think so ?

Sue:

Well I mean, Aren't we all.

Jack:

I don't know. Are we ? How do you know.

Sue:

It's been the theory for ages. I read it in some magazine. Apparently because we aren't allowed to play around in our own faces, we get hung up about it, traumatised about our desire. You might say that you're still worrying about your poo! ha ha.

Jack:

And your not ?

Sue:

No.

Jack:

How come ?

Sue:

I have over come the problem.

Jack:

Really ? How ?

Sue:

I just do what everyone else is doing...Don't you see ? I mean, darling, it really is quite basic.

Jack:

Sorry.

Sue:

But then you are a country boy and one must make allowances.

Jack:

I'm not really.

Sue:

Don't get upset, you should be proud of your background, stand firm on your earthly simplicity. I think it's quite charming. Copyright Š Reno Dal 1999


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Jack:

Thanks

Sue:

Even if it is a bit obtuse at times.

Jack:

You still haven't told me.

Sue:

But, darling, I have. It's absolutely child's play. You just do what everyone else does.

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15. The Open Heart The Characters: Harold

a forty year old man, artist.

The Cube,

a box that sits in the corner and glows as it talks.

Mary

35 year old woman, sharp and very intelligent.

Steven

a young boy/man, neurotic and vain, infatuated with Harry. Hebephrenic.

Jonathan

a pale young man, 20's, thinks he has the wherewithal to do anything. Chokes a lot. Pale asthamatic type.

Peter

a distant man, mid- thirties, hates people.

Spruce

a spirit, in league with The Cube, spruce is only see by Cocksure, and sometimes by Harry.

Harold:

Open your eyes. I said open your eyes! I said open your eyes you stupid shit! .........Please!

Cube:

The space between two points has no volume. The space between three points, the same. Only four points allow the possibility of spatial volume as such. I am unable to compute the meaning of that sequence.

Steven:

Open the door. I say, do open the door. I know you're there. I need to see you. I'm scared. Harold, please.

Harold:

I don't believe it. Here I am trying to resuscitate the dead and this stupid twerp is having a scare attack.

Steven:

Hurry Harry, please. They're coming. Please!

Harry:

Alright, I'm coming. Opens door.

Steven:

Thanks Harry.

Harry:

No worries.

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Steven:

Oh Harry, you have no idea what I've been going through. Its been just awful. I can't sleep. I can't relax. I'm just a mess. And I really don't know what to do. I really don't.

Harry:

Uhuh. (Pause.) Well, listen, if you can just wait a second while I finish giving Peter mouth to mouth resuscitation, and get him into a stable condition, then we can talk.

Steven:

Sure Harry. Can I have a drink?

Harry:

Uhuh.

Harry goes over to peter, and continues with mouth to mouth resuscitation. Steven goes to the fridge. Steven:

Harry, I think you've run out of ice.....I guess I should put some trays in the freezer....You know I always feel better after a drink....Its a bit of a worry really. I should think about it, but I enjoy it so much, just being able to relax...

Peter starts breathing again. Harry:

Thank Christ.

Steven reappears. Harry:

I don't suppose you got me one.

Steven:

I'm sorry Harry. What do you want?

Harry:

Just a G. & T. please.

HARRY CONTINUES SITTING ON THE FLOOR, HUFFING & PUFFING SLOWLY FROM THE EXERTION. STEVEN RETURNS WITH THE DRINK FOR HIM. Harry:

Thanks.

Steven:

Say, are you alright? You look terrible.

Harry:

Mouth to mouth resuscitation is a bit exhausting.

Steven:

It would be easier if you didn't smoke too much. And besides, did you use one of those plastic things?

Harry:

Plastic things?

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Steven:

Yeah, so you don't catch A.I.D.S. I mean, do you know much about that man?

Harry:

"That man" happens to be one of my longest and closest friends. And I wasn't going to go down to the chemist shop and try to buy a stupid piece of plastic while he suffocated.

Steven:

What happened?

Harry:

We were just sitting here, having a drink and a chat when he went into a fit and swallowed his tongue. Happens all the time I believe.

Steven:

Sounds like a bit of a worry to me.

Harry:

Uhuh.

Steven:

Maybe he should see a doctor or something.

Harry:

I think he'll be alright. Just let him lie there for the moment.

Steven:

You really are amazing Harry. I mean that...

Harry:

Why else would you say it? Mind you, I don't really know why you bother. I really don't give shit what you think.

Steve:

Have you had a bad week? I mean, you really are in a bad mood aren't you? Was it something I said? If it was, I didn't mean to. I just... I don't know why you put up with me really.

Harry:

I don't either.

THERE IS A WHEEZING SOUND. THE ROOM CHANGES. DARKENS WEIRDLY. THE LIGHTS FLICKER. SPRUCE APPEARS DURING ONE OF THE DARK MOMENTS. Steve:

Harry, I feel very odd, all of a sudden. Cold. I think they're after me again. I can feel it. Harry, I'm scared.

Harry:

Of what? It was just a power fluctuation. Probably someone going on strike as usual.

Steve:

No, I can feel it, I can feel a presence. Really. There's something in the room.

Harry:

Have another drink.

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Steven:

I mean it. There really is something very odd going on. I feel a demon, here, now.

Harry:

Uhuh....I'll get the drinks.

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16. Christmas Radio Play (3 parts) Wise Man:

The oriental three wise men are we, We've come a long way, And we want to stay, But before we start, Can we have a pee? Frankincense and myrrh we brought Through the heat and stink we fought We followed by night a blinding star And now we don't know where we are.

The Cleaner: I am the cleaner in this one star joint I clean day and night, though I don't see the point. I guess you guys aren't too bright For this kind of work; The broad is crazy and the guy's a jerk. Frankincense and myrrh are fine, But the stable stinks, What about Amway pine? If you want to pee, Then its free, But if its number twosies, I hope you brought your own paper. The Cow:

I am the cow, honoured this eve, To be in all the pictures That you folks believe. Copyright Š Reno Dal 1999

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I can't say we were happy about sharing our nest But once the screaming was over It turned out for the best. Mary:

You know all the pictures suggest That I was smiling and happy, But giving birth is a pest Especially for a good jewish girl And a virgin at that I feel like a funnel Or a walked upon hat.

Wise Man:

Oh praise the new born king!

Mary:

He's a baby mate. Where've you bin?

Cleaner:

If he's a king, then its anybody's guess Who just got born and made this mess.

Wise Man:

Oh silent silly servant And stitch up the tear. The place must be nice When the cameras get here!

Cleaner:

Its the workers lot, When all's said and done, We start with the dawn And end with the sun. We don't make the papers. We don't make the bucks.

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And when the wise man is randy, Guess who he asks to call a girl? No use complaining, It just stays the same, The dirt keeps on coming The poor man gets the blame. If the king was a giraffe or an emu Or something quite strange, Like an orange or a biro, Still nothing would change. The dirt keeps on coming, The poor keep on bummin. Let the children sing them carol songs. Once they get older, They'll see the wrongs. But forget it for now, With tears in your eyes, And I'll sing along too With the pigs in the sties. Mary:

Oh come all ye faithful, Joyful and forgetful, O Come Yee, O Come Yee, To The Special on Television!

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17. The First Inspection (3 parts) Boy:

I began speaking. Poetry. I was very young. Dylan...Thomas. Virginia Woolfe. Very Romantic

Ghost:

They die young. Glorious. No lines on their faces. So she buys a syringe, or a glass, and with Virginia, she walked, she walked...

Man:

She walked into a stream. I forget which one, with stones in her pocket. I once thought it was the sea. I have read her book, the waves. The sea the sea. Waves. Matthew Arnold wrote about the Waves of fate in Sohrab and Rustum.

Boy:

The Wave, to cast upon the shore of death, was that it? I feel it. I see it. I know it. I've seen them. I shall wear my trousers rolled. Elliott, T.S... I've died with them, my friends who saw the world closing in, I cried with them in there world of fools, they were the best.

Man:

She said you are an egotistical fool. She said, what do you know, playing god. Playing god. She was a miserable fool, aspirations as an actress, with a suitable ego, large and ignorant. She wasn't even good enough to be a starlet with legs spread eagled for the part.

Ghost:

His fire raged. He was drunk. A day of difficulty. No sleep again. He couldn't sleep because he was worried. He hadn't slept all week, at least not much. A few dreams. And then this puny elegant, to pronounce. To judge him.

Boy:

Judge Boy! To judge Boy! This next morning...all night coughing. Thinking, through the retching and the drunkenness, through the loneliness

Man:

Perhaps I should apologise. Perhaps I should apologise. Because of that creeping thing.

Boy:

Am I good enough? This task I've set. What task? What romantic bullshit. Oh yes, don't think I can't see that. Don't think I'm a fool. At least not a complete fool.

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Ghost:

For a moBoynt in the silence the impotent thoughts of a lost love affair. He had been in love, trapped, in love with a beautiful young man. It wasn't just him, everyone would agree that this man had been beautiful. Ask them. There are so alive who can remember. they all agree. And a beautiful soul. He had at the time thrown it all in for that beautiful young man. For a long time he had thrown it away for him. Now it was different. Life or death. Life or death.

Man:

To spend life like a lap dog, hanging on favours.

Boy:

Never Knowing what he thought. Never entering that other black castle.

Ghost:

She had irritated him. She was know-one. they were closing, the nobodies.

Man:

You can't play god.

Boy:

At school some friends told Boy that. I had written each one a letter, telling them exactly what I thought. I was a Christian. To this day I still see that they believed what I had said. Why else had they acted so Heavily? I was a fool to tell them. Better that they shouldn't know.

Man:

She was like that. you want to play god. So do I. Or perhaps you want Boy to believe that you want to have no control over your life, or future?

Boy:

It doesn't matter now. She is irrelevant. they all are, the ones that hate us. Yes, they hate us. We who take control, the ones that dare, because we can say go to hell and burn it. Sure, you can't ignore this (gesture) without people, you can't ignore them all, you don't want to. There's just no place here for vampires. There's no place here for people who tell you it can't be done. We don't need dream destroyers, there's enough of them. We don't want the ones who make you small, let them have there smallness. There is only one place here for courage. For people who would. For people who would be gods.

Man:

No blasphemy please, we have weak hearts.

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Boy:

No blasphemy. Perhaps I'm too didactic, but no blasphemy. what do you want from this thing? Did you come for a life so you can go back to wasting your life?

Ghost:

This is not for that.

Man:

We grow tired sometimes. All of us need to replenish.

Boy:

Don't generalise with Boy. Don't pretend. Don't give me your many excuses for your smallness. Be proud of your size then exercise. No I'm tired of being funny. Many will tell you. we all know about hiding. Where've all been told how to be secure. Anyone can do such a thing who forgets...

Ghost:

Watch them, There they go, eyes set, walking stiffly in the cold morning hurrying again to there weekly round. they read the papers. They watch the news. They know how bad it is.

Man:

I lie awake at night. I lie awake, not thinking, not afraid. My whole being rests. But I lie awake. No I am afraid. A sudden sound makes me jump. A harsh word reminds me that I am fragile, that I will die soon. That I can do nothing alone. And there is a paradox. To do these things with people, to be with people.

Ghost:

And so draws to an end a tiring glimpse in to the life of an overworked director, producer, painter. I get the feeling I have heard it before.

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18. The Smoker (6 parts) The Cast: The Smoker, Ted Sharp, a young doctor, an intern, who is a chain smoker, trying to continue, despite the ban on smoking. The Second Doctor, Bob Smooth, his friend, another young doctor, also an intern, who does want to smoke, but is afraid of the Charge Nurse. The Sister/ Charge Nurse, a large woman, with a loud voice and a motherly manner. She who must be obeyed. The Psychologist/Counsellor, Dr. Sweet, an older man who carries a pipe he never lights. Chow Min, a well preserved Asian man who is in cahoots with Ted, the chain smoker. The Student Nurse, Judy, a well meaning girl, scared of everyone.

Scene One:

The Plot Begins.

The doctor's private room in the hospital. It has a desk and a large old chair, with one of those uncomfortable chairs for guests. Their is a window behind the desk through which the afternoon light falls. A large ash tray sits on the desk, with the smoke of unfinished cigarettes slowly wafting into the air. The desk has drawers. On a bookcase to the side of the room are a large box of Glen 20 room deodoriser and a large box of condoms. The room is smoky. There are two doors, one stage right, and another stage left. The characters always enter by stage right and leave stage right. As the scene begins, we see the doctor leaning back in his chair, taking a long drag of a cigarette, and breathing out with a long happy sigh. Ted, sitting in the guest chair, gets up, agitated, and goes to the door. Ted:

On my God that's wonderful. I'd almost forgotten what it was like.

Bob:

There'll be hell to pay if we're caught.

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Ted:

Caught smaught- what the hell does it matter? You think I'm going to walk for a quarter mile every time I want a cigarette? God, it would play hell with my emphysema. I couldn't do that.

Bob:

Ted, it's not funny. She's a got a real bee in her bonnet. If she catches us it'll be hard times. We'll be up before the head.

Ted:

He doesn't care. Smokes like a chimney himself. Nah, don't worry. Besides, I've worked it out.

(He gets up and goes to the window.) Ted:

All we do is open the window, (opens window), and then a quick spray of the old glen 20, and ash tray out the window, (empties out ashtray) and-

(A scream sounds from outside the window. He looks out and down.) Ted:

Oh my god.

Bob:

What is it?

Ted:

Sister. I just threw the ashtray all over her.

Bob:

Oh god, you're for it now.

Ted:

Me.

Bob:

Well, it's your room. I'll just slip out and-

(The door swings open, and Sister enters. She is still puffed from the run. She is covered in ash and cigarette butts. ) Sister:

Doctor Smooth, just where are you going? I thought I'd find you here, IF I came before you ran away, you miserable little coward.

Bob:

Sister, I don't know what you're talking about. I just dropped in to say hello to Doctor Sharp here.

Sister:

You say you just dropped in?

Bob:

Well, yes.

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Sister:

Then tell how it is that you just dropped in through a door that has no knob on the other side? Doctor Smooth, don't lie to me, you're in this up to your weaselly little neck.

Ted:

Up to what, sister?

Sister:

Smoking Doctor Sharp. Smoking. A filthy disgusting stinking habit that has been banned in this hospital. I will not have it. Do you hear me?

Ted:

But Sister, I haven't been smoking.

Sister:

Then what do you call this?

Ted:

That sister? Why it looks like you've had nasty accident. I'm sure I have a clothes brush around here somewhere. So unlike you to be so untidy. Neatness and cleanliness are very important in a hospital.

(He finds the brush and passes it to the Sister. She automatically begins brushing her cape. She suddenly realises she has been duped.) Sister:

Doctor Sharp! It was not I who has been untidy. It was you. You! Who threw your ashes over me, from that open window!

Ted:

Well, I'm sorry Sister. It was an accident. I am sorry. You see, I found the ashtray in my desk, and knowing about the ban, thought it should be cleaned up.

Sister:

(going to the door, she screams) Chow Min! Chow Min! Come here immediately!

(She is getting more angry, she goes over to his desk, and leans over him, menacing.) Sister:

Well Doctor Sharp, we'll soon get to the bottom of this. You see, I don't believe you. You're a sneaky little shit, and I'm not letting you get away with it.

(Chow Min appears at the door) Chow Min: Yes Miss ? You hungry miss? Or just want to talk? Did Chow Min not clean latrine to sparkling shine today? Miss is looking a bit of mess. Do you want Chow Min to clean?

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Oh shut up you silly little man, and talk English. And don't call me Miss, my title is Sister.

Chow Min: Sorry sister. Force of habit. Sister:

Now listen to me Chow Min, even though I think it's a particularly silly name for a Chinese man.

Chow Min: Sorry Sister, but my name is actually Po Yi Yip Chi Chou Lei Pyu Yen. You are most welcome to call me that. Sister:

Listen Mr. Chow Min, this is no time to get smart. All I want to know is this, did you or did you not clean this ashtray this morning?

Chow Min: But miss, ashtray is forbidden. Sister:

Stop talking like that.

( Doctor Bob Smooth has seen Mr. Sweet coming along the corridor, he leans out, and calls him in, with a whisper.) Bob:

Sweet, Sweet, come here, quick!

Ted:

( Coming over to distract Sister from doorway) He is right you know, they are forbidden, so you could hardly expect him to clean it. Besides, it wasn't even on the desk.

Sister:

If it wasn't on the desk Doctor, where was it?

Ted:

In a drawer.

Sister:

What?

Ted:

I put it in my drawer. I always do. Wouldn't want to set a bad example for the patients.

Bob:

(whisper to Sweet) Listen Sweet, we've got a problem. Ted just threw an ashtray over the Sister, and she's a bit upset.

Sweet:

He did that? Great. I've always wanted to do something like that. Pity I missed it.

Bob:

Sweet, pay attention, we have to DO SOMETHING, or we're all in the shit.

Sweet:

Mmmm, yes. I can see that. Leave it to me.

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Chow Min: Doctor Sharpe very good Doctor Miss. Always do the right thing. Sister:

Stop talking like that.

Ted:

Hey Sister! That's no way to talk to one of our multi-cultural brothers. He can't help it. I expect better than that from our senior staff.

Sister:

Of course he can bloody help it. He was brought up in Leichhardt for Pete’s sake. Don't-

Sweet:

Now Sister, what's all the noise about? I don't think we really need to raise our voices do we? After all, I'm sure this can be sorted out peaceably.

Sister:

Peaceably?! Listen Mr. Sweet, I have just had an ashtray thrown over my head, been given a total cock and bull story by this uppity young intern, been strung along by this cunning little Jap, and now you-

Chow Min: Pardon Miss, not Jap, Chinese, parents from Canton. Sister:

(screams) Stop it! Stop it! I'm going to get you!

(She lunges at the Chinese man with an ashtray raised high. Chow Min cowers.) Sweet:

Now sister, I can understand that you are upset. After all, the ashes falling on your head must have been very traumatic.

Sister:

It certainly was!

Sweet:

And I am sure that both Doctors Sweet and Smooth will apologise for this terrible accident.

Ted:

Oh yes, certainly, very sorry sister.

Bob:

Very.

Sweet:

You see?

Sister:

Yes, I see, but they won't get away with it.

Sweet:

But, sister, can't you see, it was an accident? If they wanted to conceal something as naughty as smoking, they wouldn't have thrown an ashtray at you, now would they? Copyright © Reno Dal 1999


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No. I suppose not.

(He pats her on the shoulder and during the following speech gets his arm around her shoulder, and gradually moves her to the door.) Sweet:

And ashes are a bit more upsetting than usual things aren't they? (She nods) I can see that. Now how do you feel about? I'll bet you're quite upset. (nods) Well the best thing is a good sit down and a cup of tea. Take a full twenty minutes off and have a cup of tea. Now, just come with me. Bob, call a nurse will you, there's a good chap.

Bob:

Nurse! Nurse! Put that tray down and come here quickly, there's been an accident.

Nurse:

Yes Doctor?

Sweet:

Nurse, I want you to take Sister down to the tea room, give her a nice cup of tea, and see that she sits quietly for at least twenty minutes. Do you hear me? Twenty minutes.

Nurse:

Yes Doctor Sweet. What happened?

Sweet:

Never mind about that now. I'm trusting you with an important job here.

Nurse:

Yes sir.

Sister:

Thank you Mr. Sweet.

Sweet:

That's perfectly alright. Now you just go and have a good rest for a bit, and I'll come along soon.

(The sister exits, sobbing , leaning on the nurse's arm. as they exit from offstage they can be heard.) Nurse:

Don't worry sister, a nice cup of tea and you'll be fine.

Sister:

(sobs) I'm sorry. I'm sorry.

( after they leave.) Sweet:

Well, gentlemen, they say life wasn't meant to be easy, but that seems like an awful lot of effort for twenty minutes peace. I certainly need a cigarette after that. Copyright Š Reno Dal 1999


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(They all fumble and bring out a cigarette.) Sweet:

I think one will do. (pause, Ted is opening a box.) What's that?

Ted:

Oh, I thought we'd do condoms tomorrow.

Sweet:

A bit sticky, but I'm sure we'll manage it.

Chow Min: ( in Aussie accent, with a broad smile.) God Ted, you're a real bastard sometimes. Ted:

Yeah, I know.

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19. Think 4 - Version 1 (4 parts) A quadrilogue for the emotionally challenged Two couples onstage. A &B may be male or female, situated together at the side of the stage. Leonie & John seated at a table and their action revolves around that within one pool of light. A:

Go, away just leave me alone.

B:

OK, I'll go away. I know how you must feel about it.

A:

How would you know? How could you possibly know?

B:

I didn't mean that I knew, not that I actually knew.

A:

Then why did you say it?

B:

Well, err... there have been rumours.

A:

What sort of rumours? About what?

B:

I don't know. I never listen to rumours.

A:

Then maybe I should give you some facts to listen to.

B:

I'm leaving.

A:

No, you're not.

B:

Make a bet. (exit)

A:

She's gone. John and Leonie at the table.

J:

Yesterday...

L:

Shut up.

J:

But?

L:

If you say that word one more time I'm going to get the calving knife and it won’t just be your tail I'll cut off.

J:

I was just going to say.

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L:

I know exactly what you were going to say, and I don't want to hear it again ever!! Now John, lets try a new tack, what else can you talk about?

J:

Anything, anything at all.

L:

So why don't you? Huh? Why don't you talk about what happened to you on the way to work this morning. Or what Fred said at morning tea? Or how you like the dinner I've cooked for you? You use to talk about all these dull things.

J:

Well..

L:

Yes.

J:

It's rather hard to explain, Lee babe. It sort of crept up on me gradual–like, and then all of a sudden I couldn't talk about anything else.

L:

But why?

J:

It seems to me if I say something about now, I'll realise tomorrow that I was wrong, and, if I talk about any further back than yesterday, I find out, after I've opened my big mouth that it wasn't how I said it at all. And I can't talk about it tomorrow either.

L:

Why not?

J:

Because there might not be anything to talk about.

L:

Do you know what I think, dear?

J:

No.

L:

I think you're off your face. I think you're a raving lunatic. I think I'm going to mother’s. (exit)

J:

Lee, aw, Lee. I was only joking.

Leonie puts her head back on stage. L:

So was I love....when I married you.

After pause, B reflects. B:

I remember one night when we actuallyCopyright © Reno Dal 1999


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A:

No, I don't want to talk about it.

B:

But I do.

A:

Then you can just go and talk to yourself.

B:

Listen, how can you expect us to get along if you’re going to talk like that?

A:

I don't know.

B:

But listen, I depend on you. You're the only friend I've got in the world.

A:

I don't care, I just don't stand it any more.

B:

So you're going to like dish water, like dust.

A:

Huh?

B:

You're going to dispose of me.

A:

Exactly.

B:

In that case let me save you the trouble. (exit)

J at the table reading the newspaper. Lee is not there, but John still talks to her J:

It says here that a girl killed her self after her boyfriend told her he was pissing her off. Isn't that just terrible? I think it's terrible the way people depend on each other. Don't you.

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Addendum 6.1 Complaints “This vacuum cleaner doesnʼt work!” Scene: In the store at the sales counter. Cast A: Sales Assistant B: Customer S: Supervisor Dialogue A:

(on the phone) Oh yes, it was fabulous. You really must come along next time. (pause) Hmmm, I see.

B:

Excuse me.

A:

Just a moment. (pause) Hmm, oh yeah. Sorry Jill, I’m afraid I’ll have to call you back. Sorry.

B:

Excuse me.

A:

Uh?

B:

Excuse me, I’m afraid this vacuum cleaner doesn’t work.

A:

What happened?

B:

Well, I took it home and plugged it in and it just didn’t work.

A:

Do you still have the receipt?

B:

Yes I do.

A:

Can I see it?

B gives receipt to A. A:

(looking at receipt) Hmmm. Well, it’s still under warranty so if you wait a few weeks we’ll get you a replacement.

B:

A few weeks?!!

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A:

Well, yes. We have to wait for the distributor to visit us and then we can ask for a replacement.

B:

But you have other ones here, on the shelf.

A:

Yes, I know. But they are for sale, not replacement.

B:

I beg your pardon, but I can’t wait a whole month for a replacement. Can I speak to your supervisor?

A:

Yes, of course. Just a moment.

A leaves for a while and then returns. A:

I’m sorry, he’s gone to lunch.

B:

OK then, can I see the manager?

A:

I’m afraid he’s on holidays.

B:

In that case, can I see the owner?

A:

Well, you might, but he’s actually in Melbourne.

B:

This is totally unsatisfactory. Can you get the owner on the phone?

A:

No, I don’t think I can. Could you come back in a few weeks?

B:

Absolutely not. I am going to sit here and wait until I get some satisfaction.

A:

As you wish.

(They wait for a while until the Supervisor appears.) S:

Good afternoon. Now what seems to be the problem?

A:

This gentleman (lady) wants to return a faulty vacuum cleaner.

S:

I see. Is it still under warranty?

B:

I bought it yesterday.

S:

What seems to be the problem?

B:

The problem is that this person refuses to replace it with a machine that actually works.

A:

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B:

I would have to wait a month, a whole month and that’s just ridiculous. I want one of them, over there. Right now!

S:

I’m sorry sir (madam) but we can’t just give you a new machine.

B:

Why not?

S:

It is against our policy.

B:

Then you should change your policy. I am going to sit here and wait until someone gives me some satisfaction.

S:

You can’t do that sir! (madam) It would be most inconvenient.

B:

Then either give me a new machine or call the police!

S:

Oh dear. Very well then __________(B), call them. Call the police. Right now!

Key Expressions It’s out of warranty

faulty- intermittent fault

It’s broken.

It just doesn’t work.

I turned it on and it made a strange noise. I plugged it in and smoke came out. While I was using it I got an electric shock. I think the thermostat is broken because it just gets very hot and that’s it. There’s no temperature control.

Poor Reasons My wife bought it for me and I hate the colour. My husband bought it for me and I don’t play golf. My mother bought it for and I hate the style. She still thinks I’m 12 years old.

Copyright © Reno Dal 1999

Real english by reno dal  
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