English Teaching Theatre
Listen and Respond


Speech Skills Acquisition Sketch 8 The Post Office


A post office in Britain The post office clerk A customer

Clerk Good morning.

The customer does not react.

Clerk Good morning!

The customer still does not react.

Clerk Can I help you?

Customer Pardon?

Clerk Can I help you?

Customer I can't hear you!

Clerk Can I help you?!

Customer I cant hear you. You're too far away.

Clerk Well, come over here.

Customer Pardon?

Clerk Come over here!!-

Customer Come over there?

Clerk Yes!!!

Customer I cant. I've got to wait here.

Clerk No, you havent.

Customer Yes, I have. This sign says Wait here'.

Clerk Yes, but youre the only customer. So you can come over here!

Customer Oh. Right.

The customer goes to the counter.

Clerk Now...can I help you?

Customer Can I send a parcel to Australia?

Clerk Yes, you can.

Customer Good. I want to send this to my daughter.

The customer produces a large parcel from her bag. The parcel is shaped like a fish.

Clerk What's this? (Reading the label on the parcel) Contents: One coffee-pot.' A coffeepot?

Customer Yes.

Clerk It doesnt look like a coffee-pot.

Customer Doesn't it?

Clerk No.

The clerk bangs the parcel on the counter.

Customer Be careful!

Clerk And it doesnt sound like a coffee-pot. And... (Sniffing the parcel) ...it doesnt smell like a coffee-pot. It smells like a fish.

Customer All right, all right, its a fish.

Clerk Well, I m sorry, you cant send a fish by post.

Customer Why not?

Clerk Look. Its in the book: No food by post.

Customer (Reading from the book) No food by post. Food?! This isn't food! This is Napoleon!

Clerk Napoleon?

Customer Yes, Napoleon. He's my daughters fish. And my daughter lives in Australia. Thats why I want to send him to Australia.

Clerk Well, you cant send him by post.

Customer Please!

Clerk No.

Customer Please!!

Clerk Oh, all right. But there's no name on the parcel.

Customer Oh, sorry. (She starts writing) 'Nap-o-le-'

Clerk Not the name of the fish. Your daughters name. What is your daughter's name?

Customer Josephine.

Clerk Josephine. And what is her second name?

Customer Elisabeth.

Clerk No - when I said her second name, I meant her family name. What is her family name?

Customer Its the same as mine.

Clerk Yes. But what is it?

Customer Wellington.

Clerk Wellington.

Customer Yes.

Clerk So...your daughter's name is Josephine Elisabeth Wellington.

Customer Yes.

Clerk Address?

Customer Pardon?

Clerk Address. Where does she live in Australia?

Customer Er...

Clerk Sydney?

Customer No.

Clerk Melbourne?

Customer No.

Clerk Adelaide?

Customer Adelaide!

Clerk Adelaide.

Customer No. Ah, I remember - Vienna!

Clerk Vienna?

Customer Vienna.

Clerk Vi enna's in Austria.

Customer Thats what I said.

Clerk No, you didn't. You said "Australia".

Customer Did I?

Clerk So this is going to Josephine Wellington in Vienna, Austria.

Customer Yes. How much is it?

Clerk That depends on the weight.

Customer Pardon?

Clerk Weight.

Customer Oh. OK.

The customer starts walking back to the *Wait here* sign.

Clerk No! I didn't say (Indicating the sign) wait'. I said (Indicating the scales on the counter) 'weight'.

The clerk weighs the parcel.

Clerk Two and a half kilos. Thats £17.50.

Customer £17.50?! Thats very expensive.

Clerk Well, he is going by air.

Customer By air? Napoleon can't go by air!

Clerk Why not?

Customer Hes a fish, not a bird.

Clerk No, he's going on an aeroplane.

Customer On an aeroplane?

Clerk Yes,

Customer How extraordinary! I'm going on an aeroplane today.

Clerk Really?

Customer Yes. I'm going to visit my daughter.

Clerk Your daughter Josephine?

Customer Yes.

Clerk In Vienna?

Customer Yes.

Clerk Well, why dont you take Napoleon with you?

Customer Take Napoleon with me?

Clerk Yes. On the aeroplane.

Customer Take Napoleon with me on the aeroplane?

Clerk Yes! To Vienna!

Customer Of course! Take Napoleon with me on the aeroplane to Vienna!

Clerk Yes!

Customer And then when I get to Vienna...

Clerk Yes!!

Customer ...I can post him from there!

The customer picks up the parcel and leaves.