Apr 4, 2016

LESSON 20 — Bob gets an angry call from Carol

20 cards
, 24 answers
  • Carol calls Bob to tell him that a customer found a hair in her cookie. Bob wants Carol to forget about this, but Carol thinks it’s very serious. She refuses to buy any more cookies from Bob.

    CAROL:       Bob, a lady came into the Village Market today ranting and raving.

    BOB:       Oh yeah? What happened?

    CAROL:       She found a blue hair in her chocolate chip cookie!

    BOB:       Aha. I can see how she’d be taken aback.

    CAROL:       Does anybody in your family have blue hair?

    BOB:       As a matter of fact, my son’s girlfriend Amber has blue hair.

    CAROL:       Bob, I can’t sell your cookies anymore.

    BOB:       Aren’t you blowing things out of proportion?

    CAROL:       The health department would throw the book at me if they found out about this.

    BOB:       Couldn’t we just sweep this under the rug?

    CAROL:       No. This is too serious.

    BOB:       But I was just getting a handle on the cookie business. Now what will I do? I don’t have any other way of making a living!

    CAROL:       My heart goes out to you, Bob, but you need to get your act together. I want to sell chocolate chip cookies, not hair cookies!

    BOB:       I guess I just knocked myself out for the past week for nothing.

    CAROL:       Clearly!
    1. Idiomatic vocabulary
      1. as a matter of fact — in fact; actually

        We need more milk? As a matter of fact, I was just going to ask you to go shopping.
        This isn’t the first time Andy has gotten in trouble at school. As a matter of fact, just last month he was suspended for an entire week.

        1. blow things out of proportion — to exaggerate; to make more of something than one should

          They sent a 12-year-old boy to jail for biting his babysitter? Don’t you think they’re blowing things out of proportion?
          Sally called the police when her neighbor’s party got too loud. I think that was blowing things out of proportion.

          Synonym: to make a mountain out of a molehill

          1. find out — to learn; to discover

            Al is calling the theater to find out what time the movie starts.
            David had a big party at his house while his parents were away on vacation. Fortunately for him, they never found out.

            1. get a handle on — to gain an understanding of

              This new computer program is very difficult. I still haven’t gotten a handle on it.
              Once you get a handle on how the game works, please explain it to everybody else.

              1. get one’s act together — to get organized; to start operating more effectively

                If Ted gets his act together now, he might be able to get into a good college.
                We’d better get our act together. Otherwise, we’re going to miss our flight.

                1. knock oneself out — to work very hard at something (sometimes too hard)

                  Ted knocked himself out getting votes for Nicole, and she didn’t even say thank you.
                  I really knocked myself out getting these free concert tickets for you and your girlfriend. I hope you appreciate it.

                  Note: “Don’t knock yourself out!” means don’t work too hard at something or for someone; it’s not worth it. — Don’t knock yourself out for Jeremy — he won’t appreciate it anyway!

                  1. make a living — to earn enough money to support oneself

                    Many people laugh at him, but Bill actually makes a living selling gourmet dog food.
                    Danny makes some money playing his guitar on street corners, but not enough to make a living.

                    1. one’s heart goes out to someone — to feel sorry for someone

                      My heart goes out to the Richardsons. Their home was destroyed in a fire.
                      Naomi’s heart went out to all the people who lost their jobs when the auto plant shut down.

                      1. rant and rave — to talk loudly, often in anger

                        A customer in the video rental store was ranting and raving that the DVD he rented was broken.
                        Please stop ranting and raving! Let’s discuss this issue in a calm manner.

                        1. sweep something under the rug — to hide something, often a scandal

                          “Senator, don’t try to sweep it under the rug. Everybody knows about your affair with the intern.”
                          Let’s just sweep this incident under the rug and move on.

                          1. taken aback — surprised (almost always in a negative sense)

                            Nicole was taken aback when her friend Rosa told her she no longer wanted to hang out with her.
                            I was taken aback when my friend asked me if she could borrow my toothbrush because she forgot hers at home.

                            1. throw the book at someone — to punish or chide severely

                              When Ted failed his chemistry test the second time, his teacher really threw the book at him.
                              The judge threw the book at Matt for stealing a football from the store. He’ll be going to jail for six months.

                            2. Practice the idioms
                              1. Choose the best substitute for the phrase in bold.
                                1. After Nicole lost the election, she started ranting and raving.
                                  1. asking many questions
                                  2. speaking quietly
                                  3. complaining loudly

                                2. When a stranger approached me on the bus and asked to borrow my cell phone, I was taken aback.
                                  1. disappointed
                                  2. surprised
                                  3. delighted

                                3. When George showed up for work five minutes late, his boss Beth threatened to fire him. Beth is known for blowing things out of proportion.
                                  1. lying
                                  2. creating extra work for someone
                                  3. making a big deal out of small things

                                4. My apartment is always messy. I need to get my act together and start cleaning it once a week.
                                  1. start pretending
                                  2. get organized
                                  3. gather a group of people together

                                5. My heart goes out to all the homeless people lying outside my apartment building in February.
                                  1. I help
                                  2. I feel good about
                                  3. I feel sorry for

                                6. I just found out yesterday that Amber never washes her hands before making cookies. Ted told me.
                                  1. learned
                                  2. saw
                                  3. overheard

                                7. The judge is going to throw the book at Jim for robbing several houses.
                                  1. read to Jim
                                  2. charge Jim with an offense
                                  3. release Jim from jail

                                8. Ted’s chemistry homework was much more difficult than Nicole had expected. She just couldn’t seem to get a handle on it.
                                  1. finish it
                                  2. hold it in her hands
                                  3. understand it

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