Bitesize Episode 14 - A Modern British Commentary on Goldilocks & The Three Bears

Jul 5 / Charlie Baxter

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What's this episode about?

In this episode Charlie takes a look at a classic Children's book and adds commentary as a modern British person. Let's see if the author's writing of Goldilocks & The Three Bears goes down well with Charlie.

This is a bitesize episode that will give you your fix of The British English Podcast with plenty of native expressions for you to learn from in context. Enjoy!

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By Charlie Baxter

The Bitesize Episodes
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Transcript of Bitesize Ep 14 - Goldilocks & The 3 Bears.mp3

Charlie:
Hello and welcome to the British English podcast. My name is Charlie Baxter and this is a show for anybody who is wanting to improve their British English and understand British culture predominantly for non-native. But I will not be escorting you out of the building if you are a native. That's fine. I've recently had a comment from an Australian person saying that even though they speak the language, they are fascinated by the cultural differences. So welcome anyone and everyone. This is more predominantly focussed on adult content it's not going to be any anything weird. But I just want to say that, you know, listener discretion is advised because there might be occasional swearing. I'm not deliberately wanting to expose you to swearing. That's not my aim in this. But yeah, my natural way of describing things sometimes include swearwords. And what we're going to be doing today is, again, a bit of a mix up. We're going to get creative. We're going to be choosing to do a modern person or modern British person's perspective on a traditional children's book. I've chosen Goldilocks this time, so I'm going to go through this book with you and then comment on it as I go through to see if a modern British person would do it differently or would think in a different way to Goldilocks and maybe the three Bears.

Charlie:
This episode comes with a free worksheet over on the website, the British English podcast dot com. So grab that and you can listen along whilst using it.

Charlie:
OK, so let's get into a modern British person's commentary of Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

Narrator:
Once upon a time, there was a little girl named Goldilocks,

Charlie:
Which immediately any fellow Brit would tell you was a ridiculous name and you'd be asking for trouble with a name like that, not to mention the nerve of her parents for being so imaginative. Stick to the traditional names. Come on. I mean, Victoria, we've got Elizabeth. Maybe I'm thinking of just the Queen's. Anne, Princess Anne. Margaret, no don't say Margaret that's a bit outdated now. Alice, just you know why Goldilocks? Come on, Goldilocks?! That's ridiculous. Anyway,

Narrator:
Goldilocks went for a walk in the forest,

Charlie:
Which is fair enough. We sometimes like to put our wellies on and get a bit of fresh air. Fine.

Narrator:
Pretty soon she came upon a house, she knocked and when no one answered, she walked right in.

Charlie:
Okay. Well, firstly, why would you ever feel like you can just disturb somebody without a bloody good reason? And then secondly, and probably more importantly, how does she know if she needs to take her shoes off or not? If they haven't let her in, they won't have told her "Oh we're a shoes off kind of household". "Oh we're a shoes on kind of household." You know, she'll just walk in there without any evidence of what to do. And and she's just been in a forest. So wellies would be muddy rains a lot in the UK, mud everywhere. She's just come in. Not even bothered taking her wellies off, probably because of her parents calling her Goldilocks. What is she like, honestly? All right.

Narrator:
At the table in the kitchen, there were three bowls of porridge.

Charlie:
Sorry to butt in again immediately, but this is where things start to get extremely unrealistic for me as I would use a sachet of Oat-So-Simple and microwave the porridge, meaning we'd only have one bowl of porridge ready to consume at one time. So three bowls of untouched porridge that's got to be fake in my narrow minded approach to making porridge. So, yes, a flaw, a major flaw in the story. Next one.

Narrator:
Goldilocks was hungry. She tasted the porridge from the first bowl.

Charlie:
OK, why are you hungry? You've consciously just gone on a walk. They're never going to walk on an empty stomach. British people were raised to respect breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But in actual fact, the younger generations are starting to realise this might be a bit of an old wives tale or just bad nutritional advice. But yeah, breakfast. You know, Goldilocks, she was brought up. When was she brought up? Goldilocks, publication date, 1836. Wow. OK, if they did even have porridge then I'm sure they did yesterday. Charlie, don't be silly. Fair enough about the sachets of Oat-So-Simple didn't have that brand then, but I reckon breakfast was probably important then.

Charlie:
Remember, if you want transcripts of this podcast, then head over to the website, the British English podcast, dot com, or if you wanted to join the academy and get a huge amount of video lessons, pronunciation, practise, quizzes, assignments, bonus content and much, much more that will ensure you get comfortable using the advanced language in these episodes. Then head over to the British English podcast Dotcom.

Goldilocks:
This porridge is too hot, she exclaimed,

Charlie:
Well, that serves her right for not noticing the steam. If it's steaming, it's going to be hot unless it's, you know, the first layer is cooled down, but underneath is still scorching that. Yeah, I can see where she's gone wrong there. Fair enough.

Narrator:
So she tasted the porridge from the second bowl.

Charlie:
Yeah, logical. I mean, rude and incredibly disrespectful. But I think we can all appreciate that she's not a very respectful person is she.

Goldilocks:
This porridge is too cold, she said,

Charlie:
Hmm, yeah, I have been there not knowing if it's too cold or not. Often, though, the texture is a bit dry or clumpy. So you know that you need to add a bit more milk and nuke it in the microwave for another 20 seconds. So, yeah, she's a mug.

Narrator:
So she tasted the last bowl of porridge.

Charlie:
Again, greedy, little pretentious Goldilocks. Unbelievable. Third bowl. Just heat the cold one up or wait for the warm one to cool down. One of the two. All right.

Goldilocks:
Ahh, this porridge is just right, she said happily, and she ate it all up.

Charlie:
Oh. No comment needed about her behaviour there, disgusting. Although this did actually make me think of a famous ad that aired in the late naughties 2000s by HSBC, which I honestly didn't know stands for the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Ltd. It's probably the most popular bank in the UK so I assumed it was British. I assumed wrong. But yeah, the ad was about cultural awareness and the scene was of a Caucasian man, seemingly English, in an Asian restaurant with a group of corporate looking Asian men and a chef runs out with a fresh eel in a bag of water and they all look very excited by it. He cooks it and serves it up. And they all dig in and seem to all think it's a delicious delicacy, whereas the English guy pokes at it in a sort of worrisome way, as eel is far from being a common dish for us. But as he wants to make a good impression and land the deal that we assume he wants to get from his trip overseas, he tucks into it and proudly finishes the whole meal. And then a voiceover starts up and uses a nice bit of vocab saying.

HSBC Narrator:
The English think it's a slur on your host's food if you don't clear your plate.

Charlie:
So a slur in this sense means a criticism or insult. And the voiceover continues, and this is where I'd actually love any Chinese listeners to get in contact with me and either confirm a couple of things for me or bust this myth. So the voiceover says,

HSBC Narrator:
Whereas the Chinese feel you are questioning their generosity if you do finish your meal.

Charlie:
So they're saying that you should leave a little bit of food. Is that true? I don't know. Is that true? So the scene develops into a comical exaggeration of the leader of the Chinese bankers clicking his fingers and demanding the chef provides the English guest another eel and he continues to chomp his way through an even bigger portion of of eel that he really isn't enjoying. And then they have to get him another even bigger eel because he finishes the meal. So he thinks that they're testing him, but equally they think he's testing them. So quite a funny ad, the ad highlighting cultural differences. I don't know if this is true, though, so. Yeah, please do let me know either way. So going back to Goldilocks, I wonder if she was in a Chinese setting, would this be rubbing salt into the wound, you know, to finish the bowl completely? Not only is she breaking and entering, but she's also saying you didn't give me a big enough bowl of porridge! But yeah in the UK to leave food on your plate is suggesting that you didn't love the meal. So I'd encourage any non-native guest to finish their meal if a local is cooking for you in the UK, although if you're not a big eater, then don't be shy to tell them that before they dish up. So you could just say, oh, just a small portion for me, please. I'm not a big eater and that would be fine. Anyway, back to the story.

Narrator:
After she'd eaten the three best breakfasts.

Charlie:
Hold on. So she tasted one which was too hot, second one was too cold, ate all of the third one, and then went back to finish the cold portion and hot one? It says after she'd eaten the three Bears breakfasts mental the bloating from all those oats. Let's hope one of the parent bears is Russian and had the common sense to make buckwheat porridge instead of using Oats-So-Simple. Yes, that would have helped the bloating perhaps. Anyway,

Narrator:
She decided she was feeling a little tired.

Charlie:
Well, yeah, that's what happens. Three bowls of porridge will do that to the best of us.

Narrator:
So she walked into the living room where she saw three chairs. Goldilocks sat in the first chair to rest.

Goldilocks:
This chair is too big, she exclaimed.

Charlie:
Well I don't think you really need to sit in a chair to notice that it's too big. She could have just used her eyes, couldn't she? Especially during a pandemic. I mean, touching everything. I hope she's got her PPE on. Come on. This is really rude, really inconsiderate, isn't it? A pandemic coming into a stranger's home, eating their food and then touching all their furniture.

Narrator:
So she sat in the second chair.

Goldilocks:
This chair is too big, too. She whined oh she whined okay. This chair is too big, too, she whined.

Charlie:
Again, blind as a bat. Just look at it and it's too big. Also, when is a chair too big? If it's too big it's nice, isn't it?

Narrator:
So she tried the last and smallest chair.

Goldilocks:
Ah, this chair is just right.

Narrator:
She sighed, but just as she settled down into the chair to rest, it broke into pieces.

Charlie:
Well, we all know why. Fat, fat Goldilocks, sorry for body shaming her and all that, but greedy little gobble gannet Goldilocks gobbled up all the porridge and broke the poor baby bear's chair. Terrible.

Narrator:
Goldilocks was very tired by this time. She went upstairs to the bedroom. She lay down in the first bed, but it was too hard. Then she lay in the second bed, but it was too soft.

Charlie:
Ah, sad to hear this. You know what it means. The parent bears Mama and Papa Bear. They don't sleep together anymore. It's a shame that no more bear hugs to send each other to sleep. No doubt one of them snores, and to avoid being sexist it's probably the female bear, probably Mama Bear, poor Papa Bear, a snoring wife he can't get a wink of sleep. So he moves into the guest bedroom or hang on, maybe these bears are royalty, and as I'm sure many of you have seen the crown, we all now know that the king and queen have separate bedrooms or Queen and Prince Philip have (had🥲) different bedrooms don't they. Maybe it's a privilege to have this extra bed. I know that Stacey, my partner, she's already saying, oh, I can't wait till we get another bed and I can kick you out of it. I don't know why. It's very rude, but yeah. So maybe they lovingly spoon each other goodnight. And then Papa Bear slips off to his quarters and they get a good bit of kip before Baby Bear wakes them up at five fucking a.m. probably wanting to go and catch some salmon in the river. What's he like!? Wait, wait until 7:00 am, at least come home, all right.

Narrator:
Then she lay down in the third bed and it was just right. Goldilocks fell asleep. As she was sleeping. The three bears came home.

Papa Bear:
Someone's been eating my porridge, growled the Papa Bear.

Mama Bear:
Someone's been eating my porridge, said the mama bear, the snorer of the two.

Baby Bear:
Someone's been eating my porridge and they ate it all up, cried the baby bear.

Charlie:
Well, to get technical, according to the line, after she'd eaten the three Bears breakfasts, she decided she was feeling a little tired. She ate all of them. So why is this baby bear feeling even more mugged off than his parents? A bit of a flaw there. Southey. Robert Southey. Yes. Are you going to answer to this. Listen to this podcast in your grave?

Papa Bear:
Someone's been sitting in my chair, growled the Papa Bear.

Charlie:
True, yeah, the little shits in all of them. Yeah, she did.

Mama Bear:
Someone's been sitting in my chair, said the mama bear.

Baby Bear:
Someone's been sitting in my chair and they've broken it to pieces, cried the baby bear.

Charlie:
Hang on, we've got to unpack this. Imagine being mama or Papa Bear. You walk into your house and you notice your breakfast bowls are empty. Let's put aside the ridiculous logic of serving up and then leaving the house as a family before consuming them. But if you come back and notice your porridge is gone and you're suspicious of somebody being in your house, why would you then go into the lounge, ignore the baby's chair that is smashed to pieces and inspect your own chair with great detail to see if someone has been sitting in it? I mean, I'm imagining this was a wooden rocking chair. Very hard to tell if someone's been sitting in your chair. So you've got to inspect it in great detail, haven't you? So, yeah, I'm starting to not know who to back in this story. On the one hand, we have a greedy little gobble gannet and then Papa Bear is self-obsessed for not noticing the kids broken chair. The mum could snore for England and the bloody cub played up to being victim far too quickly with the whole breakfast scene. Hmm, dear have I ruined this lovely little children's book for you yet, but as they say, the show must go on.

Narrator:
They decided to look around some more, and when they got upstairs to the bedroom, Papa Bear growled,

Papa Bear:
Someone's been sleeping in my bed.

Mama Bear:
Someone's been sleeping in my bed too said the Mama Bear.

Baby Bear:
Someone's been sleeping in my bed and she's still there! Exclaimed the baby bear.

Narrator:
Just then, Goldilocks woke up. She saw the three bears.

Goldilocks:
She screamed, Help!

Narrator:
And she jumped up and ran out of the room. Goldilocks ran down the stairs, open the door and ran away into the forest. She never returned to the home of the three bears.

Charlie:
OK, well, actually, I think that that part of the story is pretty solid, rather realistic, I mean. Perhaps we could point fingers at Mama and Papa Bear for being slow on the uptake and and again, for not caring too much about their baby bear and more about their own chairs and beds. But, you know, they are bears, so maybe they think the baby bear can already stick up for itself. Who knows?

Charlie:
So, yes, some thoughts to ponder over, I'd say, ah, where did the three bears need to go so imminently after dishing up their breakfast? That's what I want to know. I'd like Mr. Robert Southey to let me know where they went. Where do you think they went? Write in. And what else? Um. Well, maybe do. I was just thinking, do bears have bearskin rugs in their lounge or is that incredibly unacceptable in bear culture? I mean, a lot of us already think that as well. So it's probably an obvious answer. But we sometimes some of us have faux fur, faux fur rugs don't we like fake fur. Is that going to be popular in the bear community? Yeah. I wonder, what do you think now? What else do you think Mama Bear and Papa Bear are going to stay married after their kid grows up? That's so depressing.

Charlie:
I'm joking. No I want you to write your thoughts on how it was that Goldilocks, being a female human, was able to break the baby bear's chair, but then also found that the baby bear's bed was perfect for her because a bear is going to be far heavier than a human, even if it's a baby bear, surely bears a very, very heavy. So, yeah, what do you think? How did she break that? And to tell me you can follow the link for the free worksheet for this episode and then in that section of the website platform, there is a discussion tab. Pop your answer in there and you can hopefully read some other people's responses as well. Remember, don't just stay passive with your English studies. That's what's come out of the seven day challenge that I ran recently. We got very active and people loved to see how to turn a passive learning exercise into an active one.

Charlie:
So, yeah, enjoy this passive part of your listening process. You've got to have some passive but also get active as you need both of them in your language learning journey to progress efficiently. So, yeah, hope you enjoyed it. A bit of a different one there but there we go. I'll see you next time on the British English podcast. My name's Charlie and remember not to eat three bowls of porridge in one go. There we go. Take care. See you soon.

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Podcast host: Charlie:
This will be quite a bit harder for you to understand, as there are a number of accents in the conversation, some poorly delivered at times, as you will notice.

Podcast host: Charlie:
But the aim is to give you a variety of dialects in one conversation and some dialogue to give you native expressions in context. So enter, if you will, to Charlie's pub and his imaginary world.

Character: Mike:
Alright geezer, how's it going?

Character: Chris:
Yes, I'm well thanks. How about you? Have you had a good day?

Character: Mike:
Can't say good mate. No my old man he's been giving me a right old earful for what happened on site last week.

Character: Chris:
Oh that's a pity. Are you back on your dad's building project again?

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Sad to say mate, but yeah, I am. Couldn't resist this one though. Cash in hand, you know.

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Oh fair play, hard to resist those I imagine. Oh, here she is.

Character: Emily:
Oh, hi.

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I was wondering if you're ever going to join us tonight.

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About Your Teacher

Charlie Baxter

Teacher, Podcast Host, YouTuber
Charlie is the host and creator of The British English Podcast & Academy. He has also been an active YouTube English Teacher since 2016 but after seeing how many of his students wanted a more structured, carefully designed way to study he decided to create The British English Podcast Academy.

It focuses on British culture, informal expressions, accent and history that is all unique to the UK.

Charlie has spent 6000+ hours teaching intermediate-advanced students since 2014 privately on Skype and has seen a lot of different styles of learning and while he believes there will never be a single CORRECT way to improve your English there are a large number of methods that people use that do waste people's time and prevent them from improving quickly.

So Charlie decided to create The Academy because he believes he knows a VERY effective way to improve your English quickly and enjoyably.
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