A friend of mine, Rob Jenkins, almost had a nervous breakdown last year. I told him to go to the doctor.
Doctor: Hello, Mr. Jenkins. What can I do for you?
Mr. Jenkins: Well, doctor ... I'm very tense and nervous. I haven't been able to sleep for several days.
Doctor: Hmm ... have you been working hard?
Mr. Jenkins: Oh, yes. I've been very busy. I've been working twelve hours a day.
Doctor: Have you been taking any pills?
Mr. Jenkins: No, but I've been smoking too much, and I've been drinking a lot of coffee.
Doctor: Well, you should take a holiday. You should go somewhere quiet and peaceful, like Cornwall. Why don't you go there?
* * *
Rob decided to go to Cornwall the next weekend. Penquay was a very small fishing village on the north coast of Cornwall. There were no trains or buses to Penquay, so he had to drive. It was a long journey, and Rob arrived late on Friday evening. The landlady of the guest house, Mrs. Doone, answered the door and showed him to his room. Rob was very tired and went straight to bed. He slept well and didn't wake up until nine o'clock the next morning.
Rob went downstairs for breakfast. Because there were no other guests, Mrs. Doone invited him to have breakfast with her and her daughter, Catherine. Catherine was already sitting in the dining room. She was about thirteen years old, with long, black hair and clear, grey eyes. Mrs. Doone went to the kitchen to prepare breakfast. Rob and Catherine looked at each other nervously for a few seconds.
Mr. Jenkins: There are four places at the table. Is there another guest?
Catherine: Oh, no ... we never talk about the empty place.
Mr. Jenkins: The empty place? What do you mean?
Catherine: Well, that used to be my father's place.
Mr. Jenkins: 'Used to be?' I don't understand.
Catherine: My father was a fisherman. Three years ago he went out in his boat, and he never returned.
Mr. Jenkins: What happened to him?
Catherine: Nobody knows. They searched everywhere, but they found nothing. My mother always keeps that place for him, and she makes his breakfast every morning. She thinks he'll come back. That's a photograph of him ... over there, on the wall. My mother's been waiting for him for three years.
* * *
Rob said nothing, but he looked very worried. At that moment Mrs. Doone returned. She poured four cups of tea, and put one cup in the empty place. Rob looked more worried and he stared at the empty chair. Suddenly, he heard footsteps outside the door and a tall man, with a black beard, walked into the room. Rob looked terrified. It was the man in the photograph! He jumped up and ran out of the room.
Man: Who was that? What's the matter?
Mrs. Doone: I don't know. I don't understand. He's a guest from London. He arrived last night while you were asleep.
Man: Catherine! Do you know anything about this?
Catherine: No, I don't, father. But he's here because he's very nervous. He says he's hiding here because a tall man with a black beard is trying to kill him.
Man: Catherine, have you been telling stories again?
Catherine: Stories, father? Me? (laughing)
Robert Gordon is phoning to book a hotel room in Paris.
Receptionist: 45-21-64. Allo?
Robert: Is that the Saint-Martine Hotel?
Receptionist: Oui. Yes, it is. Can I help you?
Robert: Have you got a double room for the night of 23rd July?
Receptionist: One moment please. I'll just have a look. Yes, we have got a double room on that date.
Robert: Has it got a double bed or two singles?
Receptionist: Two singles, monsieur.
Robert: And is that with or without bath?
Receptionist: It's a room with shower and toilet, monsieur.
Robert: That sounds fine. Is there a TV?
Receptionist: Could you repeat that, please?
Robert: Is there a color television in the room?
Receptionist: Yes, but of course. And a video, if you choose.
Robert: How much will it be for one night?
Receptionist: About four hundred francs.
Robert: And what does that include?
Receptionist: It includes morning newspaper, continental breakfast and service.
Robert: Where is the nearest metro?
Receptionist: Opera, monsieur. It's only five minutes from here.
Robert: And is there an extra charge for children?
Receptionist: If the child is under sixteen and we put an extra bed in your room, the charge is seventy-five francs. Do you want the room?
Robert: Yes, for one night—23rd July.
Receptionist: Oui, monsieur. May I have your name, please?
Robert: Actually, it's for my wife and two daughters—Mrs. Jean Gordon, Linda and Maggie.
Receptionist: Yes, monsieur. So you need an extra bed. And what time will they be arriving on July 23rd ...
Interviewer: Now you've been a veterinary doctor for some thirty years, what was it that made you become a vet in the first place?
Vet: Well, I studied as an ordinary doctor in the beginning, but I slowly realized that I liked animals very much. I almost prefer animals to people. So I took an extra course in animal medicine. It's as simple as that really.
Interviewer: And you still enjoy working with animals?
Vet: Oh, yes, very much so. In fact, more than ever now. I've got to know animals much better, you see, and I get on better with them in every way. Their owners sometimes get on my nerves, though.
Interviewer: Oh ... why is that?
Vet: Well, some people know very little about animals and keep them in the wrong conditions.
Interviewer: What sort of conditions?
Vet: Oh, you know, some people buy a large dog and then try to keep it in a small flat; they don't take it out enough to give it proper exercise. Other people have a cat and try to keep it in the house all day, but a cat needs to get out and be free to come and go as it pleases. A lot of people don't feed their animals properly. It's very common to give pets too much food which is very bad for them, especially if they're not getting enough exercise. Or not to feed them regularly, which is equally bad. An animal is a responsibility which is something many people don't seem to realize.
Interviewer: You mean people keep pets for the wrong reasons?
Vet: Yes, some people want a pet because they're lonely, or simply for decoration, or just to show how rich they are.
Interviewer: And just how do you deal with these people?
Vet: Well, I try to tell them what the animal needs, what is the right sort of food, the proper exercise. I try to teach them that animals are not toys and if they're to be healthy, they have to be happy.
Interviewer: Yes, I suppose you're right. In your thirty years as a vet you must have come across some interesting cases?
Vet: Oh yes, there are lots of interesting cases. I was once called to a lioness who was giving birth and having difficulty. Now that was really interesting.
Well, now, ladies and gentlemen, that was our last item, and all that remains for me to do is to thank our performers sincerely on behalf of us all for the pleasure they have given us this evening. And of course I must express thanks to those who've worked behind the scenes. And especially our producer. But most of all I want to say thank you to all of you for coming here this evening and supporting this event, especially in such weather. I think perhaps I should take this opportunity to renew my sincere apologies to those sitting in the back rows. We've made temporary repairs to the roof, but unfortunately the rain tonight was unexpectedly heavy, and we're grateful to you for your understanding and cheerful good humor. I may say that we had hoped that temporary repairs would suffice. But we were recently informed by our surveyor that the whole roof will have to be replaced: which is of course a severe blow when you think it's only five years since we replaced the roof of the church itself. And so we shall be having another concert soon, I hope.
Manager: Good morning, madam. And what can we do for you?
Woman: What can you do for me?
Manager: Yes, madam, what can we do for you?
Woman: You've already done it, thank you very much. And I want something done about what you've done for me.
Manager: Is something the matter, madam?
Woman: I'll say there is, I want to see the manager.
Manager: I'm the manager, madam. Now ... now what seems to be the trouble?
Woman: Look at my face!
Manager: Your face? Ah yes. Oh dear. Well, never mind. What's wrong with your face? What exactly am I supposed to be looking at?
Woman: My lines, my Wrinkles.
Manager: Well, we can soon put that right, Madam. You need a bottle of our New Generation Wrinkle Cream. With this wonderful new cream your lines and wrinkles just ...
Woman: Shut up!
Manager: ... just disap ... I beg your pardon?
Woman: I said shut up! I was silly enough to listen to you before. I'll listen to no more of it.
Manager: You say you've been here before, madam. I'm afraid I don't recognize you.
Woman: Of course you don't recognize me! Last time I came in here I was a very attractive middle-aged woman. Now I look old enough to be even your grandmother.
Manager: Well, yes ... er ... some of us do age quicker than others.
Woman: It's not a question of age, my man, it's a question of your cream. I used it for two small lines under my eyes and I woke up next morning looking like Lady Frankenstein. Your advertisement says 'Lose ten years overnight. For only five pounds you can look young and attractive again. Tried by thousands. Money back guarantee.' Well, I want more than my money back. I want you to pay for me to have plastic surgery.
Manager: But, madam, there must be some mistake.
Woman: I'll say there's been a mistake. My mistake was believing your advert and buying your silly cream. 'It can do the same for you, too,' it said. Well, it's certainly done something for me, but now what it did for the lady in the picture.
Manager: But our product is tested and approved by doctors. It was thoroughly tested on thousands of volunteers by experts before it was allowed to be sold on the market. This is the first complaint we've had.
Woman: I told you, I want you to pay for a face lift or I'm taking you to court! So there!
Manager: Er, do you happen to have a ... a recent photograph, madam?
Woman: What ... whatever do you want with a photograph? You can see the way I look.
Manager: I mean a photograph of you just before you used the cream.
Woman: Do you think I go to the photographers everyday? (Pause) Look, Just give me the five pounds, will you?
Manager: Do you have your receipt with you, madam?
Woman: Er ... just a minute ... let me have a look. (Rummages in bag) Er ... no. No, I seem to have lost it?
Manager: Then there's nothing I can do, madam. Sorry.
Woman: (furious) I'll take you to court. I'll take you to court.
Manager: You can do as you please, madam. Good morning.
—Right, what do you want me to get then?
—Right, er ... well, go to the green grocer's first.
—Yeah, the green grocer's. (Right.) OK.
—Right, let me see, potatoes, but new potatoes, not mottled ones. I mean they're really not very good any more. Urm, three pounds ...
—Hang on. I'm trying to write this down. New potatoes.
—... three pounds.
—Three pounds. Yes.
—Spring onions, one bunch.
—One bunch of spring onions.
—And ... a pound of bananas.
—And a pound of bananas. Right.
—And then, could you go to the supermarket as well?
—Mm, let me see. A packet of sugar cubes.
—A packet of sugar cubes.
—Yeah. Cubes, mind you, not the other stuff.
—Coffee, instant coffee, but yeah, get Nescafe, Nescafe gold blend.
—Yeah. I don't really like any other kinds.
—OK. Nescafe ... what did you say?
—Gold blend. Yeah.
—You know one of those eight-ounce jars.
—Eight ounces. Yes, yes.
—Sunflower ... you see, I need it for ...
—What is it? What's that?
—I need it for a special recipe.
—Never heard of that.
—Sunflower cooking oil.
—Any special kind?
—Any dry white.
—Dry white wine. Yeah.
—And some bread.
—Some bread. Any, again, any particular kind?
—Any kind, yeah.
—OK. Yeah. Anything else?
—No, I don't think. Oh yes, hang on. I forget apples. Golden delicious, urm, from the green grocer's.
—Golden delicious apples. How many?
* * *
—Hi, I'm back.
—Ah, good. Right, well, let's see what you've got then.
—Right, let's see what we have got here. Three pounds of potatoes.
—Oh look. These're old potatoes. I did say new potatoes. These, these are no good.
—Oh, I'm sorry. It doesn't make much difference.
—Yes, it does.
—I'm sorry. Well, actually, I couldn't, I didn't see any new potatoes.
—Mm, alright. What are these, onions?
—But these are not spring onions.
—Oh, they are nice, nice big ones, though, aren't they?
—Yeah, but not spring onions.
—Oh, sorry. I didn't, I didn't really know what spring onions were.
—Well, you know, there's long ones ...
—Oh, they have all sorts.
—... and thin ones.
—Right. Some bananas.
—That, yeah, they are fine. Great.
—Good. Two pounds of apples.
—Cooking apples? I did say golden delicious. Look, these are for cooking. I wanted some for eating. You know, for ... oh well ...
—Oh well, I didn't know. I thought they would do. They look nice.
—Right. A bottle of wine. Riesling, OK?
—Yeah, fine, great. That's fine. And sugar cubes here. Great.
—Right. Now they didn't have any Nescafe Gold Blend, so I got Maxwell House. That's all they had.
—Alright, alright. Never mind.
—Yeah. And oil.
—But not Sunflower oil.
—I couldn't see that. I got this. I think it's good stuff, good quality.
—Yes, it is good, but it's olive oil and that's not what my recipe wanted. I need Sunflower oil.
—Well, I don't think you'll find it. And a loaf of bread.
—That's fine. All right. Well, I suppose I'll have to go out myself again then.
—Well, sorry, but I don't think it's my fault.
Hugh is on the telephone. Listen to his conversation with Herr Kohler.
Secretary: I have a call for you on line one, Mr. Gibbs. It's Mandred Kohler in Dusseldorf.
Hugh: Oh, yes. Put him through. Hello, Herr Kohler. How are you?
Kohler: Very well, thank you. And you?
Hugh: Just fine.
Kohler: Glad to hear it ... uh ... I'll come straight to the point, if you don't mind. I'm sure you know why I'm phoning.
Hugh: Yes, of course. About the ...
Kohler: Exactly. Are you in a position to give us a definite assurance that the goods will be delivered on time?
Hugh: Well, um ... you can count on us to do our very best, however ...
Kohler: Hmm. Excuse me, Mr. Gibbs, but I'm afraid that really isn't good enough ... I beg your pardon, I don't mean your best isn't good enough, but will you meet the deadline or won't you?
Hugh: I ... I was coming to that, Herr Kohler. I must be frank with you. We've run into a few problems.
Kohler: Problems? What kind of problems?
Hugh: Technical problems. Nothing very serious. There's no need to worry.
Kohler: I hope not, Mr. Gibbs, for your sake as well as ours. I'm sure you're aware that there's a penalty in your contract with us for late delivery and we'll ...
Hugh: Yes, Herr Kohler, I'm perfectly aware of that. But do you need the whole order by the 24th?
Kohler: We would certainly prefer the whole order to be delivered by then, yes.
Hugh: Yes, but do you need the whole order then?
Kohler: What exactly are you suggesting?
Hugh: You can count on us to get half of the order to you by then.
Kohler: Hmm ... and how long before the other half is delivered?
Hugh: Another week at the most!
Kohler: Hmm ... you're sure that's all?
Hugh: Yes, absolutely! You can depend on us to get half the order to you by the 24th and the other half within a week.
Kohler: Hmm ... yes, that should be all right ... but there must be no further delays!
Hugh: There won't be! You can count on that.
Kohler: Very well, Mr. Gibbs.
Hugh: Thank you! You've been very understanding.
Kohler: Goodbye, Mr. Gibbs.
Hugh: Goodbye, Herr Kohler. And thank you again! Phew! Well, ... that's at least one problem out of the way!
When Elvis Presley died on 16th August, 1977, radio and television programs all over the world were interrupted to give the news of his death. President Carter was asked to declare a day of national mourning. Carter said: 'Elvis Presley changed the face of American popular culture ... He was unique and irreplaceable.' Eighty thousand people attended his funeral. The streets were jammed with cars, and Elvis Presley films were shown on television, and his records were played on the radio all day. In the year after his death, one hundred million Presley LPs were sold.
Elvis Presley was born on January 8th, 1935, in Tupelo, Mississippi. His twin brother, Jesse Garon, died at birth. His parents were very poor and Elvis never had music lessons, but he was surrounded by music from an early age. His parents were very religious, and Elvis regularly sang at church services. In 1948, when he was thirteen, his family moved to Memphis, Tennessee. He left school in 1953 and got a job as a truck driver.
In the summer of 1953 Elvis paid four dollars and recorded two songs for his mother's birthday at Sam Phillips' Sun Records studio. Sam Phillips heard Elvis and asked him to record "That's All Right" in July 1954. Twenty thousand copies were sold, mainly in and around Memphis. He made five more records for Sun, and in July 1955 he met Colonel Tom Parker, who became his manager in November. Parker sold Elvis's contract to RCA Records. Sun Records got thirty-five thousand dollars and Elvis got five thousand dollars. With the money he bought a pink Cadillac for his mother. On January 10th, 1956, Elvis recorded "Heartbreak Hotel", and a million copies were sold. In the next fourteen months he made another fourteen records, and they were all big hits. In 1956 he also made his first film in Hollywood.
In March, 1958, Elvis had to join the army. He wanted to be an ordinary soldier. When his hair was cut thousands of women cried. He spent the next two years in Germany, where he met Priscilla Beaulieu, who became his wife eight years later on May 1st, 1967. In 1960 he left the army and went to Hollywood where he made several films during the next few years.
By 1968 many people had become tired of Elvis. He hadn't performed live since 1960. But he recorded a new LP "From Elvis in Memphis" and appeared in a special television program. He became popular again, and went to Las Vegas, where he was paid seven hundred fifty thousand dollars for four weeks. In 1972 his wife left him, and they were divorced in October, 1973. He died from a heart attack. He had been working too hard, and eating and drinking too much for several years. He left all his money to his only daughter, Lisa Marie Presley. She became one of the richest people in the world when she was only nine years old.