Bitesize Episode 36 - Pt. 2 of A Parody of a Children's Book by a British Comedian

May 18 / Charlie Baxter

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What's this episode about?

In this episode, Charlie continues to retell the parody of the British Children's Book "The Tiger Who Came To Tea" called "The Tiger Who Came for a Pint". This was written by a British Comedian called Sean Lock who introduced this book to a live audience on an episode of the British TV Game Show called "8 out of 10 Cats does Countdown". This parody will expose you to a huge amount of cultural references and British English. Furthermore, it'll show you a fun way to take the original of a story and create your own unique version of it which is an excellent way to get active with your English studies.
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Transcript of Premium Bitesize Ep 36 - Pt. 2 of The Tiger who came for a pint.mp3

Charlie:
Welcome back to the British English podcast with me, your host, Charlie Baxter. If you're here to improve your British English and learn about British culture, then you are in the right place. And today we are continuing where we left off with the parody of the children's book called The Tiger Who Came to Tea, which is called The Tiger Who Came for a Pint by Shaun Lock. This is part two of my commentary of the parody, so I really do encourage you to listen to part one before continuing with this one. Part one was Bite Size Episode 35. So make sure you listen to that and then come back here and we can continue the commentary. But you know what? As I really enjoyed the story and it was pretty quick, I'd like to play it to you again. That way, we remember the entirety of it and then I'll continue chatting about it. So here we go. Let's give the parody The Tiger Who Came for a Pint. One more read. The Tiger Who Came for a Pint by Sean Locke. There once was a tiger who fancied a pint, not Carling, of course. That was too weak and too gassy. He wanted a pint that packs a punch like a Stella or Kronenberg. The tiger was thirsty and needed something to wash down the zookeeper he'd just eaten. He liked the atmosphere of Wetherspoons. Plus, he was barred from the King's Head for mauling the darts team.

Charlie:
Tiger drank his pint quietly besides the quiz machine. Soon, what with the beer, fags and flame grilled McCoys, he'd spent all his money. But he didn't half have a thirst on. So when George went to the cellar to flush out the Strongbow line, the tiger drank all the beer from the kegs and all the rum they were saving for Caribbean night. Then he ate the meat raffle. Very naughty, tiger. Then he went to toilet on the bar. "We're going to have to call you a mini cab home, Tiger", said George the deputy manager, bursting from the cellar. "Where do you want taking?" "To the zoo, you silly bollocks." It took a while to get one because the first two drivers they sent said, "Are you mental?" Finally, Pavel from Station Cars agreed to it. The journey went smoothly and eventually, after a lot of questioning, the tiger said, "Look, for the last time, it's not a onesie. Wetherspoon's Deputy Manager George never saw the tiger or Pavel, the Station Car's driver ever again. The end. Lovely story. Love it. And last episode, we got up to the fact that he was sat by the quiz machine. So that leads us to the next line, which read: 'Soon, what with the beer, fags and flame grilled McCoys, he'd spent all his money.' A fantastically British sentence. This is exactly what I imagine a local at a Wetherspoons might end up doing.

Charlie:
So let's see. Well, we have beer. I think we all know that word. And then fags. That might be a surprise to you, as the word fag is a very derogatory word, meaning homosexual in America, predominantly. British people are aware of it and indeed it can unfortunately be used in that way. In the UK, however, it is far more common to refer to cigarettes as fags or the singular: a fag. So you might hear "Got a spare fag mate?" Or "fancy a fag?" And then I was speaking to my friend who's from up north because I'm from down south. And where there's a big divide, isn't there? No. Linguistically, though, it is very interesting when I speak to people from the North to generalise and he said he would ask: "You got a tab mate?" You got a tab mate? You got a tab, mate? So a tab meaning cigarette or as you now know, a fag. And then another one was "Can you roll us a Ronnie?" Can you roll us a Ronnie? Can you roll us a Ronnie? It's another slang term, Ronnie - Cigarette. But as you heard the verb roll there, not give, it wasn't give us a Ronnie it was roll. And this is to make a cigarette from loose tobacco leaves and rolling paper. Anyway, back to the story - he mentioned flame grilled McCoys.

Charlie:
Now McCoys - they are a well-established brand of crisps across the UK. They are - fancy word incoming here - they are ubiquitous in the pubs across the UK and yet they have a rather premium feel to them. They're everywhere, but they're good quality. A packet of Walkers Crisps would not be able to compete with the McCoys. A packet of McCoys. The Walkers crisps are thin and leave most beer gluggers wishing they bought a multipack, whereas a packet of McCoys are certainly more substantial. Or you could say they are the real deal, meaning a person or thing considered to be a genuine or supremely good example of their kind. And that leads us on to a lovely phrase to associate to this brand of crisps, which I imagine was done deliberately for marketing sake, which is the real McCoy. The real McCoy means the real thing or the genuine article. He's the real McCoy. Goodness me, look at him. He's the real deal. The phrase has been the subject of numerous false etymologies, apparently, which I'd say aren't worth your time after going through them on Wikipedia. But yeah, they used that phrase in their marketing to suggest they are the real deal, the best of the best. But quality comes at a premium, I might remind you, meaning it is more expensive. So get ready to shell out for the real McCoy and then Flame grilled is just a flavour of the crisp.

Charlie:
All right, next line of the story. But he didn't half have a thirst on. You know what? It's moments like these that make me fully aware of how much I like my job and how much of a fucking nerd I am. And it inspires me so much to travel around the UK, gathering up all this real English that pub goers and locals use for you to be better prepared for any conversation you have with natives. So remember, if this podcast continues to grow with your help and support, we could gather some amazingly authentic conversations and create some learning resources that help you remember how to have a conversation with any native, however colloquial their language might be. Anyway, back to the phrase that made me wet my linguistic pants, but he didn't half have a thirst on, meaning: He was really thirsty. How confusing is that? Using a negative to exaggerate the positive. So the phrase we can dissect from this is not half, which is I guess a submodifier like 'very'. And it means to an extreme degree or very much so. For example, she didn't half freak out when I proposed to her, meaning she went crazy or got very, very emotional. And another one, he didn't half lose his shit when I surprised him with season tickets to Arsenal next year. So he was extremely happy and he showed it maybe by shouting out in surprise or hugging the person and yeah, season tickets: this is like 20 football matches at the home ground within one season of the football calendar.

Goodness me, I have really dissected this story, haven't I? If it were a frog and I had a lab coat on in my biology lab, I can imagine flies would be gathering by now. It's that stale this... this frog's carcass. What a disgusting image for you and me. All right, next line. So when George went to the cellar to flush out the Strongbow line, the tiger drank all the beer from the kegs and all the rum they were saving for Caribbean night. Let's try and get through it quicker. Hopefully. The cellar. No, I don't think I will. The cellar is the basement where you store alcohol, and then Strongbow is a popular brand of cider. The line is used to refer to the piping that connects the keg, which is a barrel of alcohol in the cellar to the pump at the front of the bar. And when the keg is empty, they need to swap it out for a new one and sometimes give the pipes a clean, which is what they call to flush out - to flush out the Strongbow line, where they run cleaning products and water through it. And this is why you might see a bartender holding a big cleaning bucket to the pump or tap.

Charlie:
And this process usually takes 5 to 10 minutes. So if they say that this beer is out or they are flushing that one out, then choose another beer because you're going to be there way too long. But if they say something like, Oh, we're just swapping the lines over or we're just getting that line swapped or or something like we're swapping or changing it out. Changing it out. I think that might be what they say. Yes. Swapping it out. Changing it out. Then that beer will be available very soon. It's just literally they're swapping the kegs and that takes a couple of seconds, maybe a minute. Who's timing them? Maybe the tiger. And that makes me think while poor George was probably busy maintaining good hygiene in his beer lines, the bloody tiger was was up to no good. And he downed all of the alcohol in the cellar. And I'm now pointing a finger at George here, because if he was doing his job properly, he would be going back and forth between the bar and the cellar, flushing the line out. And I don't know about you, but I would hedge my bets on noticing a fully grown tiger when it's in the same room as me, especially a cellar. I still get that childish fear of the dark when I go down into a basement or up to the attic.

Charlie:
And so I am on full alert of any weird sounds. And the sound effects of a tiger pouring beer into its mouth would definitely set the alarm bells off for me. So yeah, pointing my finger at George for that one. Rum - Do I need to tell you about rum? My gut is telling me to move on, and so we will. But as always, the glossaries cover that level of detail if you need.

Next up, then he ate the meat raffle. Very naughty, tiger. For this part, you need to imagine a tiger eating a huge joint or leg of meat, a perfect snack for a tiger, if you think about it. And he kind of wasted his money on those McCoys, however good those McCoys are, he he should have saved his money and entered a load of times for the meat raffle. So a raffle is like a local lottery at an event. You typically pay a quid for a little coloured ticket with a number on it, and at some point throughout the evening the raffle winners are announced and usually there's a table displayed in an obvious way with the prizes on them which vary depending on the event or establishment. But yeah, a big piece of meat is often part of the prizes, especially around Christmas time. So yeah, if you hear your ticket colour a number being called out - 'We have a pink 32 ladies and gentlemen, pink 32'. And you've got the pink 32, you've got a pink ticket and it's number 32 on it. Then you'd subtly raise your hand with your ticket in it and start walking over to collect your prize. A few smiles and nods and maybe a sign of surprise that's allowed, but not jumping for joy and shouting out and whooping so proudly. That would be far too American of you. You don't want to under react, you don't want to have no reaction. That would show a sign of arrogance and and dissatisfaction with life. So a subtle surprise and and a few smiles. That's enough. Yes, that's enough.

All right, next line. Then he went to toilet on the bar. Oh, another nerdy moment for me here. Usually we say the toilet, but locals in a variety of dialects, especially a Yorkshire one, will omit the article and say things like, 'You fancy going to ' pub?" So not the pub, but pub. To ' pub. You want to go to ' pub?" I can't do the accent very well. But the language there, there's no article there. In informal English, we sometimes remove it. I would say, though, for you as a learner of the language, you don't want to be doing this. This is just for you to understand why natives are doing this. As a teacher of English, I would encourage you to include an article in this sentence. Unless you have a near native accent that is slightly Yorkshire based, then yeah maybe not. Maybe not.

Anyway, next line. "We're going to have to call you a minicab home, Tiger," said George, the deputy manager, bursting from the cellar. A minicab, minicab. So a minicab is a taxi. You might have the Hackney cab or black cab in your mind's eye right now, but a mini cab is a lot less iconic. It's just a normal car that often has the taxi number on the roof and then some other subtle taxi markings on the outside. And I'd say they are mainly silver and not not black like you might be thinking. And you usually ring and order one to arrive by phone, and pubs used to do this a lot for people who were too drunk or, you know, just needed a lift. And I guess they might still offer this service. But nowadays, unless you're absolutely twatted and you're a tiger, then an Uber is the go-to option for you in most cities. "Where do you want taking?" "To the zoo, you silly bollocks". The tiger has clearly lost all of his charm here. Actually, he was never really winning anyone over with his personality. I imagine people were just putting up with him because they were shit scared that he'd maul their faces off like he did with the dance team.

Charlie:
But he is indeed off his face at this point, and he's giving George some real sass by saying that George is an idiot for not knowing where his home is. This word bollocks needs a whole episode dedicated to it, as there are many ways to use it. But here. Yeah. He means you, silly idiot, you stupid man. Next line. It took a while to get one because the first two drivers they sent said, "Are you mental?" That line is understandable, I think. Finally, Pavel from Station Cars agreed to it. The journey went smoothly, and eventually, after a lot of questioning, the tiger said, "Look, for the last time, it's not a onesie". Okay, this is stereotyping the name Pavel and the occupation, because Brits tend to think of a Polish or Russian or maybe even just an Eastern European man when they hear the name Pavel. And a lot of these jobs, like driving a taxi, are stereotyped as being occupied by Eastern Europeans within the UK. Oh, and Station Cars is another stereotype, really. Every town seems to have a minicab company called Station Cars that owns a large fleet of minicabs around the town. And they're stationed - haha - stationed near the train station, typically, I think. And then "Look, for the last time...", that wording indicates that he has been asked the same question too many times and he's getting frustrated.

Charlie:
And then a onesie is an item of clothing that covers your whole body. A onesie was sometimes worn skiing, although it's a retro look nowadays. And then about 10 to 15 years ago, shops like Primark, which is a very affordable shop, probably not the most ethical one, they started making a full outfit representing an animal like a lion or a tiger or a bear - Oh, oh, my, oh, my ... a lion, a tiger, a bear. Oh my! - that people wear either at home to feel all cosy with a cuppa and a bit of X Factor on the telly or as fancy dress, getting hammered on a night out at uni, very often ending up sat in a McDonald's at two in the morning until they walk home or ideally get picked up by Pavel from Station Cars.

Next line. Wetherspoon's Deputy Manager George never saw the tiger or Pavel, the Station Cars driver, ever again. Ah dear, it seems drunk uni students will be walking all the way home from now on as Pavel is M.I.A. Which I will explain in the glossary. That's it. We have reached the end. See why I couldn't fit it all into one bite size episode? I hope you enjoyed that one. My name is Charlie. You've been listening to the British English podcast. Have a good week. And if you can, help someone else enjoy it too. Bye for now.

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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?

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

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

Character: Emily:
Oh, hi.

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

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