Bonus Episode 30 - Let's Play A British Game Show! Room 101 with Martin

Oct 7 / Charlie Baxter

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What's this episode about?

Learn British English in this episode where Charlie invites his podcast pal Martin Johnston of Rock N' Roll English to play a British Game Show called Room 101. This show encourages people to argue their case about why they think a thing they find really annoying should be banned from society forever. Will Charlie let Martin get what he dislikes sent to Room 101? Find out by listening to this episode. 

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Meet today's guest

Martin

From Rock N' Roll English

Martin is from the UK but lives in Italy and teaches English at International House Palermo and runs a wonderful podcast called Rock N' Roll English which has a similar mission statement to The British English Podcast although I'd say his is a bit more informal and unfiltered focusing less on culture and more on authentic stories and conversations. 

He has many years experience teaching English and has taught English at various different schools, large financial companies, law firms and now he teaches at International House, Palermo.

He has a TEFL qualification and is also CELTA qualified.

Martin also likes reading books and going to bed early cos he's so Rock n’Roll.
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Transcript of Bonus Episode 030 - Transcript

Charlie:
Hello and welcome to the British English podcast with your host Charlie Baxter. And yeah, if you haven't heard before, then this show is all about British culture and teaching you British English. And today we're going to go down the culture route and give you a a game show, a panel show. The UK has a lot of panel shows. We're talking about TV shows, if you didn't know what a panel show is, that consists of mainly comedians trying to be witty and deliver a good argument for something. And today's panel show is called Room 101. And this is basically bringing suggestions that you find annoying and you want to ban them from life. And I thought, who would be good at this? And then it dawned on me that I'd need to reach out to Martin from Rock and Roll English. So, hello, Martin. Thank you very much for being here.

Martin:
Hello, Charlie. Thanks for having me here. I notice you said there the panellists try to be witty, so I'm going to do my best. Okay.

Charlie:
Good, good.

Martin:
I cannot guarantee anything, but I'll do my best.

Charlie:
I'm sure you will. I'm sure you will. Yeah. Let's get straight into it. There are different ways that they did this show because it went for so long. But I'm going to go through all different modes of them, really. Part one with the old school way of doing it. Part two Progressing on to the next one and the part three, the most recent form of the show. But yes, so part one is basically you telling me your issue and then I come back with hopefully a slightly well thought-out argument. And then we we battle it out and then we decide together whether it goes into room 101. Room 101, guys. Imagine, this is like a hole that is covered by, like, a bank vault and it's a trap, basically. No one's allowed in or out after that thing goes in. Okay. Martin, what is your first item or thing that you want to put in room 101?

Martin:
I don't want to start too heavy. Okay, so I'm gonna go for something a bit lighter.

Charlie:
Okay.

Martin:
To start with. Okay. So the first one I'm going to put in room 101 is fizzy or sparkling water. Okay.

Charlie:
Fizzy or sparkling water. Okay.

Whatever you want to call it. Yeah, if you want to call it.

Charlie:
Yeah. Okay. Fizzy or sparkling water. Can you tell us why you'd like to ban this thing?

Martin:
So if you're thirsty, it doesn't even quench my thirst. I don't even feel like I've had something to drink. Water as well. I kind of feel like water's great. Yeah, it's been there since the start. Just normal water. Okay. And then someone just thought, well, you know what? Water's great, but why don't I try and change it? Don't change it. I feel like it's, you know, the wheel. Okay, so you've got the wheel, it's round. It does a great job. And I kind of feel that was the same with water. Water was doing a great job. Okay, so now using my wheel example, it would be like someone saying, why don't we make this square and then saying, Yeah, no, that's a good idea.

Charlie:
I thought you were going to be quite literal and say, imagine putting bubbles in the wheel. Yeah. No, that makes no sense. Yes.

Martin:
No, it's like the wheel's fine. It's doing a great job. It's doing what it's there for. Just leave it. Why? Why make it fizzy? It's... It just has no sense.

Charlie:
Yeah, I see your point. Immediately when you... when you say that, it makes me think of the first moment at dinner when you sit down and they give you that...

Martin:
Exactly.

Charlie:
...that question. And to be fair, it does create a bit of tension, doesn't it?

Martin:
Exactly. Unnecessarily, because the still water was doing a great job before. So it's just causing problems for everyone. For example, my wife loves it, so we always need to get two bottles because I won't touch it. I would rather die of thirst than drink fizzy water.

Charlie:
I'd like to see you running a marathon. And then they hand you cups of carbonated water. No.

Martin:
That's what I mean. So, for example, if you're running a marathon, really? Who would actually drink that? Who would actually drink? That would just be stupid. Why? Because it doesn't quench your thirst enough. It's just. It just shows how it's just unnecessary.

Charlie:
Yeah. Would your wife?

Martin:
I'm not actually 100% sure. I must admit, I haven't seen her running any marathons lately, but. So, yeah, we'll have to see. I'll just enter her into the London Marathon and when she gets to mile 21, see how it goes.

Charlie:
Yeah, some people think that it cleanses the palate a little bit. It sort of neutralises the mouth from the previous taste to the next taste. I think I've heard that. I haven't Googled it, but what do you think?

Martin:
I have not. But I must admit, you're you're not filling me with confidence with your scientific research here of 'I think I've heard that'. But I mean, I think with anything these days, though, you can always find some kind of study that supports it. I remember seeing once a study that had been done that said drinking one glass of red wine has the same effect as going to the gym for an hour. And no, seriously, I'll try and find it, but that's what I mean. You can just get a study to say anything these days.

Charlie:
Did you see where it was... Where the research came from? Like what university?

Martin:
The only reason I saw it was because a doctor that I know that I'm friends with on Facebook shared it and was basically saying, I can't believe this article was actually being published.

Charlie:
Right.

Martin:
So I didn't go into do too much research into it, I must admit. But I do think you can find studies that that say, for example, I don't know, If if you drink ten, ten beers every day, then you're more intelligent. Like you can find things to say to support whatever argument you want. But the fact is, still water was doing a great job. Like, you know, it comes from the springs and stuff. God made it. I mean, God didn't make fizzy water, did he?

Charlie:
Wow. If you really want to go down that route, I suppose if you believe that, didn't God make carbon dioxide?

Martin:
I'm not actually sure. I can't actually... I haven't read the Bible in a while because at school we we had to read the Bible because I went to a Catholic school, but I definitely didn't see that. I saw the like God made heaven and earth. And yeah, it didn't quite go into the detail as carbon dioxide.

Charlie:
Yeah. Fair enough. I do think it's a silly suggestion and it does provide awkwardness when you're wanting to just get on with the conversation at the beginning of a dinner and it divides the table because as you've just [exactly] pointed out, your wife wants one thing, you want another thing.

Martin:
It does.

Charlie:
And some people find it a bit snobby, like, no, I just have tap water. And then other people are like, 'What? You'll have tap water? You disgust me'. Well, would you go for bottled or tap? Now we're talking about that.

Martin:
Before I would have gone for tap, but after living in Italy for so long, that tap water is kind of considered the same as just a suicide note. I would now go for bottled water and in fact even in the UK now I still drink bottled water, although we do have one of those, um, what are they called with like the filter things. So you put that...

Charlie:
You're bringing this to the restaurant?

Martin:
So you get the tap water and you've got one of those filters and then... I never leave the house without it. You can't, can you? Like this massive jug which has like a litre of water...

Charlie:
You get halfway there and it's spilt... Come on, we've got to go back!

Martin:
Yeah, yeah, of course, I. I carry it everywhere. Um, no, but. So we have that at home or I drink bottled water. So now, yeah, I would actually probably be a bit of a snob and turn my nose up at tap water only because as well, lots of people in Italy told me lots of things about tap water and so so now I would definitely bottled.

Charlie:
Yeah, that is actually relatively interesting for people who come over to the UK and then they assume that everyone will have bottled water. It's quite normal to have tap water in a restaurant in the UK. [Totally]. And we do sometimes judge others that don't feel comfortable with tap water. You know, the judgy people. Not me, of course. Okay. So do I give you permission to enter this into room 101? I've also heard something about it helping with hiccups, as in helping prevent hiccups, not helping with them.

Martin:
I have not heard that one, but I do have a guaranteed way to get rid of hiccups. Okay, if you're interested, I can't believe this isn't a bigger thing. And I learnt this in school with a teacher. It's crazy, but I guarantee 100% it would work

Charlie:
I feel like before you tell me, I feel like everyone has one up their sleeve. And then when you're in desperate need, they tell you it and it doesn't work. And then they say, Oh no, but it works in a different situation.

Martin:
Look, this is a breakthrough. I'm not sure if I should get some kind of patent before sharing this, but it 100% works. It's not sometimes. If you do it 100 times, it will work 100 times.

Charlie:
Wow. Okay, so go for it.

Martin:
What you need to do, you need to get someone to help you. It's a two, two man job. One person to help. [Oh Wow!] Yeah. So you and the other person are the two people involved. Okay, so you've got the hiccups.

Charlie:
If you live alone, you're screwed.

Martin:
It's a problem. Yeah. So you've got the hiccups. This is quite good to the... If people are watching this on YouTube, you have to put your hands above your head like this.

Charlie:
Okay.

Martin:
The other person puts the drink like in into your mouth. Okay. And you you're drinking like imagine you're drinking now and you have to slowly, really, really slowly lower your arms, really, really, really slowly keep drinking, lower your arms. When you get to the bottom, you will not have hiccups anymore. The reason this works as well, if you're interested, let's get a bit scientific is because it helps you breathe naturally. Because when you're doing that and this is why the scaring thing, apparently this is why people say it works. Because if I really scare you, you go Ahhh! You start breathing again normally. So next time you have the hiccups.

Charlie:
I'll try it. I'll give it a go and I will let you know immediately whether it's a game changer or whether you're taking me for a ride. I think you're taking me for a ride right now. This is what seems like a silly.

Martin:
This is what everyone says. And when I've said this to friends, they said, No, you're going to throw the drink on my face or throw it down me. But I swear to you, it works 100 times out of 100. The key is to do it slowly. If you just throw your arms down, then it's not going to work.

Charlie:
Fair enough. Okay, well, I will. I will give it a go, but stop distracting us from why we're here. Room 101.

Martin:
I was just trying to show that your reason of the hiccups is not. We've got a traditional thing that works much better than fizzy water, so.

Charlie:
Good point. Yeah, good point. Okay, so it doesn't need to be there for hiccups. It does make the mealtime awkward. I would say that it does sometimes make me feel like I'm having a special meal, but I would say you could just have prosecco or champagne if you really want to feel special.

Martin:
Yeah. Yeah, definitely more special.

Charlie:
For that reason. Let's put it in room 101.

Martin:
Throw it in there.

Charlie:
Done. Boof! Yeah. I need a sound effect for that. You any good at sound effects?

Martin:
Not really. No.

Charlie:
So that's number one. Fizzy water has gone in room 101. Well done. One out of one. All right. What is your next item that you'd like to suggest to put in room 101 Martin?

Martin:
Okay. So I'm looking at my list again, and I'm still going to save the big one because this one as well really does get to me, which is voice messages. I just... The the thing that really, really gets to me about them is you have to listen to people think. They say, for example. 'So, all right, so why don't we meet at five? Oh, actually, I can't meet at five because I've got to go out and pick up my children from school. What about...?' And you're thinking Look, just just get to the point! Like, I haven't got time just to listen to you umming an ahhing. Just get to the point. That's why... Think about what you want to say. Send a message and say, let's meet at six. Don't let me be part of your thinking process out loud.

Charlie:
Fair enough. I think immediately that your friends are using voice messages for the wrong form of communication. For that instance, a text is always going to work [exactly] better than that. So my... yeah, go on...

Martin:
I mean, this this is an extreme example, but something I have to share. My wife's aunt once left her a 15 minute voice message. Now, that is mental, isn't it?

Charlie:
That's a podcast.

Martin:
That is a podcast. I've made podcasts that are shorter than that.

Charlie:
Wait, as a podcaster, aren't you used to voice messages? Like, don't you like doing them yourself?

Martin:
For me to record them for someone else? No, never. [No? Why?] I mean, the only time I would ever leave a voice message, I would say, in my life I've left about three. And that's...

Charlie:
Good stat to have on your tombstone.

Martin:
One of them was the other day, actually, when I was walking with my daughter, my wife was texting me and I was finding it quite difficult because I was pushing the pram with one hand and I had my phone with the other hand and I found it quite difficult. So I just quickly just said, look, I'm walking, I'll talk to you later. That was one. And other times I do it to one other other friend that does it to me a lot just to annoy him, just so he has to listen to me thinking. And I just do it. Just do what he does to me.

Charlie:
Do you ever sing Happy Birthday to people on their birthday?

Martin:
A voice message Happy birthday? Absolutely no, no. I mean, I would do I've I've done a few videos, but just just the voice message? Nah.

Charlie:
Not a silly little over-the-top song?

Martin:
Like I said, I've done a few videos and they're generally for my nieces that I do them. But, um, no, definitely not the voice message. Because as well it's just so... It's annoying as well to listen to. Now there is the feature of you can put it to your ear so only you can hear. But I remember in the past and I still see people do this now, which again is really annoying, just playing this voice message for everyone to listen to and you're just like, 'for fuck's sake!'. So yeah, even just thinking about it, I was like, My blood is starting to boil, especially teenagers now. And you just see him walking around holding their phone like that and just say and you're just like, What are you doing?

Charlie:
Like, Yeah, fair enough. That yeah, that that does happen. Holding it like that. [Yeah.] My partner, she, she holds it like that and goes around the house talking about pointless stuff to her friends and they do long voice messages like your auntie. [Yeah] Not quite 15, but like seven, 8 minutes. {I mean that's...] But to be fair, it's quite hard being in Australia. The time zone is an issue for us. [Yeah.] The difference in time zones. So we don't always get a chance to call each other [Right] and a voice message does provide a level of connection that a text doesn't.

Martin:
Okay, I can see that. Yeah. But again, a seven minute... If I just think of listening to a friend for seven, seven solid minutes, so think about you go to the pub and you're having a chat and the other person talks for 7 minutes without you responding.

Charlie:
Oh, I've got a lot of those friends. I've got a lot of those friends, unfortunately.

Martin:
That is a bloody long time. I even...So when I sometimes edit the podcast and I notice stretch, I always think, God, how much do I talk? Maybe it's been like a a minute, but seven solid minutes with no response is a lot.

Charlie:
Well, I mean, I think you've been talking for 7 minutes about the fact that you don't like voice messages for 15 minutes. What else can I say about it? It's a bit like the new version of an answerphone machine, and I, as a boy, hated answer phone machines. Mainly because my mum ran a business from home and they would always call in and they would give these long voice messages and yeah, answerphone messages and I'd have to listen to it. It wasn't like it went quiet. It would just be announced to the house. [Right.] It's quite weird that. [Yeah.] Wasn't it? Think about it. Why not record mute and then you can play it back?

Martin:
I actually think of this. I remember a good few years ago now a friend, a colleague of mine where I worked had recently got together with a new girl and phoned her and she didn't answer. And he left let's say an X rated voice message on her answerphone, but actually left it on her home answerphone so her mum and dad listened to it. Relationship didn't last long, so not sure why.

Charlie:
That's good. That's very good. I'm on the fence here. I... How do you feel about putting voice messages that should be informative texts in room 101 for the reason that I mentioned about having a connection with somebody far away, time zone wise.

Martin:
The time zone one is one that I think I can accept. But informative text. I mean, like, I mean, the classic thing, you know, business, everything. Keep it short if it's an informative one, of just giving me information about something that we're doing. You know, you just put the necessary in a text like 7:00 Friday here, see you there. If it's like you said of, you know, your friends and family that you're having difficulty talking to, then I suppose we could... But I still couldn't imagine ever wanting to listen to a seven minute voice message of of anyone I know. I can't... There's no one...

Charlie:
Harry and I... I think our YouTube channel, mine and Harry's, started because we realised that we liked doing Poo Diaries, so we used to talk to each other whilst we were doing a poo.

Martin:
Wow. I mean, I love poos, but literally. What... Were you...?

Charlie:
We would just update each other on our day. It'd be like a diary.

Martin:
I thought you were updating the poo, like, I've got quite a big one.

Charlie:
It would come up.

Martin:
Quite a big one here, Harry, so...

Charlie:
It would definitely... yeah... be included, [right. Wow]. Yeah. That, that was the original root.

Martin:
That is a, that is a really good time to use your phone. I must admit my wife actually gets quite annoyed with me. She actually maybe we've been out, like you come in, maybe both need the toilet. I go to the toilet first and then I hear like a knock on the door saying, 'Are you actually going to the toilet or are you just playing with your phone?' I'll be like, uhhhh. Both?

Charlie:
All right, let's. For the sake of time, let's split this down the middle. We'll put half of the voice messages in room 101 that are unnecessary and should be formed as texts. But the communication based on trying to connect with somebody, I'm going to allow to stay within our world. Ding dong, poof. There we go. Okay. So we've got a speed round now of 3 minutes left for part one. So, Martin, choose wisely which one you want to bring to our attention. And we can, yeah, go through it fairly quickly. What's your next one?

Martin:
I'm going to throw the bomb now. Okay. Uh, which admittedly is quite controversial in the current climate. Let's say that we live, which is the monarchy. Okay? I just think... [Ooohh!] I actually think now is the perfect time to get rid of it because, you know, Queen Elizabeth, great woman, the longest ever serving one, no one's ever going to get to that again. So I think now we should say, look, it's 2022, this idea of a family that you're just born into the family and you immediately have one of the most important positions, if not the most important position in the whole country. The idea of it just goes to your son, we need to get rid of. I mean, even so, the head of state, you know, that's fine. But just the fact that you get that for being just born into a family is just so wrong, in my opinion. [It is, yes]. You imagine so like extreme nepotism. It's, you know, there is no better example of it, is there? But no, let's say let's say I'm a doctor. Okay. And then it's like, okay, well, I'm retiring, so my son can just have the job. Don't worry. He he's fine. He's my son. It's.

Charlie:
That's very true. Yeah. It doesn't match the personality necessarily.

Martin:
It's just crazy. And the fact that then like you have to say things like Your Majesty, Your Highness and and bow like like this person's like on some kind of level above just for being born into another family is the thing. You know, some people that have, like, huge success in life and you think like, wow, like if if I ever met that person, I'd be like, oh my God. And there are people like that, but they've earned that. Other people, I don't want to mention names here. They've just literally been born into a different family. It's like... It's... And it's just so wrong. It just it really winds me up.

Charlie:
Good point. Definitely a good point. Yeah. The obvious one that people kind of retort with is, you know, tourism and that, it brings in a bit more money maybe. We don't really know. I don't know if people have done true research on that.

Martin:
I think it's difficult to, and there are like... So the things I read obviously like Republic.org show stats that show the complete opposite of that, but you can't really do like an actual proper study.

Charlie:
No. Yeah, but one thing I did want to ask you is, wouldn't you be afraid of the fact that Boris Johnson was the head of state effectively, if the Queen wasn't there to veto stuff that he would put through?

Martin:
That's why I said you still can have a head of state, but just not, so someone else to veto someone like Boris Johnson.

Charlie:
But then how do we choose that head of state?

Martin:
So for example, in Italy they have a head of state. They have like a prime minister and a head of state that basically does the same as the Queen. Nothing. It's just there to maybe veto something which I don't think has ever happened. But he's elected. It's not just, well, my dad or my mum was really good. So then, so I got the job.

Charlie:
Yeah. The other thought I had was most politicians, they start off with the right mindset, you know, I want to make this country great again. And then once they get involved, they get mixed up with the politics of it all, and then they end up being fairly similar to the people at the top that they felt were rubbish. That kind of system of bringing somebody into it kind of ruins that person. Whereas if you're born into it straight away and there's no argument, it's a bit more of a lottery as to whether that person will be a good person or not. I mean, it's probably going to be a spoilt twat but...

Martin:
So the lottery, is that the good thing then of like, oh, this is a lottery? Like, how is this going to end? [Yeah] it's like, you know, like for my niece, there's these presents that you can buy where you don't know what's in it because it's like a lottery. So you get them a present and it's, it's kind of like what's in here. So the same, same kind of logic I suppose, like. Oh, how's he gonna do? Oh let's, let's have a look.

Charlie:
Yeah. I think that's what's kind of exciting about it. And the public love to moan about the political leaders and yet we don't really moan about, I mean, Queen Elizabeth was a lovely human, from what we understand.

Martin:
No doubt. And this is what I, I want to underline. No problem with... Well, I wouldn't say any of them after what was his name? Charles's brother. What's his name? Philip?

Charlie:
Oh, Andrew?

Martin:
Andrew. He had a bit of. Yeah. So I wasn't gonna, I was going to say they're all really nice, but he was sort of caught up in some, let's say not very nice stuff, but so, especially Queen Elizabeth. Yeah, great person. And I think the reason, it sounds horrible, but she was great is because she was never... There was never any scandal or anything, no news. She was just, you know, doing her stuff and that and that was great. So yeah, great person, no doubt about it.

Charlie:
Yeah. I saw online that one in five people want to abolish the monarchy in Great Britain. And then I thought about all of the people that queue up for her jubilee, the moments that we celebrated Queen Elizabeth. And they were loving it. They absolutely loved that day. And when they were on the TV, they were talking about it in such positive ways that it feels almost mean to take it away from those people. You'd be taking the joy from them. And you're only one in five. I don't know.

Martin:
That's a valid point. But I also think things have to change, don't they? At some point, like things do change. So like, I don't know in Rome when if you say like, well, we had the Colosseum and all of those people were watching people get murdered in the Colosseum. They were so happy. They were jumping and they were loving it. How are we going to stop letting animals eat these people? Like at some point it has to change.

Charlie:
That's a great point. Yeah. Yeah. But to end on a serious note, where are we going to put all the bunting that we've accumulated over the years?

Martin:
That's a valid point as well. Um, I'm not sure how to respond to that one.

Charlie:
But the more important one, the crown jewels, what will we do with them?

Martin:
I think maybe the British Museum has stolen so much stuff from other countries. Maybe we could give that to some other countries. Just to even things up a bit really.

Charlie:
Nice point. I mean, I think you've argued your case pretty well. If I wasn't the host of this Room 101 right now, I'd probably deny it. But you've made a better point than I have. I think so. I'm going to allow it into room 101 for you. There we go.

Martin:
Excellent. Thanks. And I hope someone's listening, because, like I said, now is the time because Queen Elizabeth was fantastic. 70 years, the longest ever serving queen or whatever. Now's the time. It's been a great... We've had a great run. Now's the time...

Charlie:
Let's hope.

Martin:
...to change.

Charlie:
Let's hope King Charles doesn't listen to this.

Martin:
Just even that sounds so wrong, though, doesn't it? King Charles, that sounds so wrong.

Charlie:
It sounds pretty good for me, though.

Martin:
Good point actually. Yeah, I didn't think about that. Yeah.

Charlie:
And my mother is called Elizabeth.

Martin:
Oh, really? Wow. Wow.

Charlie:
I can't believe I put it in room 101. Maybe I want to get him out so I can become king. There we go. Okay, so that is the end of part one. We're going to go on to part two and three, where we get into some more styles of room 101. And yeah, have some fun with some suggestions that celebrities have made over the years. But if you are here just for part one, then thank you very much for listening and we will see you next week. If you wanted to go and check out Martin's podcast, it's called Rock and Roll English, and we will be doing an episode on his show about this panel show called Room 101. So you could check that one out as well. The links will be in the show notes, but yeah. Thank you very much, Martin.

Martin:
Thanks a lot, Charlie. It's been a pleasure.

Charlie:
All right. I'll see you in part two. We have come to the end of Part one, so feel free to take a break from your listening practice. But if you're happy to keep going, then we're now moving on to part two of this episode. Thanks so much for being a premium or Academy member and enjoy the rest of the show.

All right. We are back to part two. And in this part, we are going into the the arguments blind or the the host is going in blind. I had a few pointers that I made before the show in part one. I was ready with them. But yeah, let's see how I respond to these ones. So what have you got for us? For this one, Martin? For the first one.

Martin:
So this one is maybe similar to something that I've already mentioned, but when people play music from their phone, like you're on a bus, you're on a train, and they play music for everyone to listen to or just in public. I see this sometimes at the beach and you just think, look, no one wants to listen. And the problem is it's always shite music. It's always it's never good music. If you had if you had a good song, you might think, well, all right, it's quite pleasant, you know, listening to that, but it's always just absolute rubbish. And you just think, Oh! What can you do?

Charlie:
Yeah, it's never Frank Sinatra going down the the road.

Martin:
It's more kind of like drum and bass boom, ba ba boom, boom. Or I mean, all in the same bracket, I suppose. People that drive in a car, you know, one of those like rude boys, souped up cars, and they just have those like subwoofer thing and the music, like the windows are smashing and and they're just sitting there like so casually at the traffic lights thinking they're so cool.

Martin:
Yeah. You just see what they're doing.

Charlie:
Both situations, the people that we're talking about are what we would both call plebs, but the rude boys in the cars. I can kind of see the logic as to how they get to that point. Whereas I would quite like...

Martin:
Explain to me the logic because I can't...

Charlie:
Well when you're a teenager, you're obsessed with trying to be free from your parents. Then you get into being able to actually customise a vehicle of your own which shows freedom in its own self, and then you just get carried away. I remember when I was 15, I said to my friends, I am definitely going to have a souped up car when I'm older, because I was obsessed with some of like the the original Fast and Furious films. I was like, Oh, they're so cool. And I was drawing them. I was like, Ah, these are so fun.

Martin:
I think that's okay as well. You can have a souped up car. It's the the music which.

Charlie:
It goes hand in hand though.

Martin:
Because if you... Also true I suppose, but the car, you can do whatever you want to your car because it's keeping yourself to yourself. But when you have that music pumping like that, then you're creating a problem for everyone. And that is what what I can't stand. It's just the arrogance of like, I don't care about you. [Yes] I want to listen to this music. And especially, like I said on the phone, you're on the bus. And because it's normally teenagers, I always think, should I say something? Because, you know, you don't want to be getting into an argument with a teenager in public and also run the risk of getting punched in the face. So you kind of think I'm just gonna moan about this in my head constantly until I get off the bus.

Charlie:
Think twat say tut. Yeah. Okay. So focusing on the people with their phones rather than the cars, I, I think it's ridiculous as well. They don't have a sound system that is nice either. It's just like tinny audio. It's really annoying for everyone listening. They do have bad, bad taste in music. I would quite like to almost, not interrogate, interview them to find out their life choices to that point, because that would be quite interesting to see who their friends are and like, yeah.

Martin:
See where they're going.

Charlie:
Yeah. Where have you come from and where are you going to with that Bose speaker? Although sometimes people bring it to a beach party and you'd have have that, a bit of music playing with a group of people at the beach. What do you think of that? Think about that?

Martin:
Well, I mean, number one, you would need something better than a phone if if it's a party, unless it's just you and someone else.

Charlie:
I'm thinking of those, you know, those speakers that are like a foot long,

Martin:
Like a boom boom box,

Charlie:
Not a boom box. We're not in the nineties.

Martin:
In Philly.

Charlie:
Fresh Prince. No, but you know those Bose speakers? This should be sponsored by Bose, shouldn't it?

Martin:
If you're on a beach... But even then, I would still feel bad. If so, I've been to obviously the beach in the evenings in Sicily a lot of times. Well, like lots of beach parties in Sicily, like, because otherwise it's not something I did that much even when I went on holiday. But I would always still feel bad about the other people. I would think, well, maybe they. They don't want to listen to this and I would feel bad. So I still wouldn't do that because like I said, you're then just imposing your tastes on everyone, which I don't like.

Charlie:
You'd hate my neighbour. My neighbour is forever blasting it out to the point where the staircase is rattling.

Martin:
Oh, that. And again, that that is just not on.

Charlie:
Just not on. I love that phrase. It's so British, isn't it? That is not on.

Martin:
Yeah, it's definitely not.

Charlie:
Okay. I'm going to grant you this one. This is going in room 101 straight away. No hesitations. It's awful. In it goes. Nice. Do you have another one that you'd like to suggest to go in to room 101?

Martin:
Yeah, and this one I've literally just written down because it was one that came to me yesterday, and then it kind of went away. I lost it in my head then for some reason, just popped back [Oh, lovely] which... Which is celebrating your birthday when it's not your birthday. Now I think maybe we can leave a kind of two day leeway for only for big birthdays. Like, if you're. I don't know if you're 40 or you're 50 and you're you're 50 on Thursday, I think we can maybe give it until like the Saturday. But what I don't like is... I've even been in situations where it's like a month later and then and then you go there and you're like, Oh, happy birthday for last month. And I specifically remember once a girl that I was friends with and she was going out for her birthday and then she ended up having an argument with someone and she said, 'I can't believe she would do that to me on my birthday'. And I wanted to say 'it was your birthday six weeks ago'.

Charlie:
That is a terrible argument to make when it wasn't that... Wasn't the day of. Yeah, you can't make that excuse if it's not the day of. That's outrageous.

Martin:
Because I think again, here in the UK this happens a bit more, but... And I certainly remember it more when I was when I was younger and without trying to be horrible, it was generally, generally girls. But um, they would like have a birthday with like friends from like maybe the area they lived, then a birthday with friends from school. And there may be a birthday with friends from university and then one with family and you're like, look how many, you know, birthday's good and stuff, but you can't drag it out this long, like...

Charlie:
No, no good phrase, drag it out. I was also thinking of another one. Milk it. Milk milking it?

Martin:
Yeah, that is milking it. When it's just going on. You only need one celebration. You can't have a birthday with, like, your friends from home and then another birthday with your friends from university. Like, you have one celebration and that's it. I mean, I personally, even if it's the next day, it's like for me, the my birthday is my birthday. Like, that's it. I'm not I'm not doing something on the Saturday...

Charlie:
Right. So it would certainly be a no no for you if your your birthday was on a Monday and you wanted to celebrate it on the weekend after after the birthday, cause otherwise it's not yet your birthday, you know what I mean, you wouldn't allow that?

Martin:
And again, this is a thing which has only sort of come to me recently that in the UK we often celebrate birthdays before your birthday. So if your birthday is on a Monday, someone might have a party on a Saturday, which is crazy because you might not make it to the Monday. Something... You know, you could get hit by a bus.

Charlie:
But so that makes my point even more worthy. So would you go from Monday to Saturday? Would you stretch it out? No.

Martin:
I would do something on Monday and that's it. I wouldn't even.

Charlie:
People who have work, they don't want to be hung over.

Martin:
Then you have to wait till it's on a Saturday. You have to wait.

Charlie:
Oh, right. Okay. I like that. I like that. I quite like that. No nonsense.

Martin:
You know, you've got to take the good with the bad, you know. So, for example as well, my my birthday is the 13th of November and my wife's is the 17th. But we've never done a joint birthday thing because we celebrate mine when it's mine and we celebrate hers when it's hers. And that's it.

Charlie:
That is quite close together. Yeah. I wonder what the statistics are of how many weekend days you get for your birthday. Imagine if... Go on.

Martin:
Well, I mean, I suppose it depends how long you live as well.

Charlie:
But imagine if you get to 80 or whatever and for some reason it fluked out or you know, the situation arose that you didn't get a weekend day your whole.

Martin:
I don't think that's possible. I mean, I don't know. But I don't think that's possible.

Charlie:
I don't think that is either. But you never know. My family in Australia, they they have eight children or my my aunty and her husband, my uncle. But she remarried. Anyway. He had eight kids so they had loads of kids and now there's like 50 of them in that generation. So what they do is because it would be every single week that they would meet up, they do a collective once a month group birthday. What do you think of that?

Martin:
Once a month. I mean, that's...

Charlie:
What would you prefer? Meeting up with your family every week to celebrate a birthday or once a month collective?

Martin:
I think once a month, I think is too much because like. I was... I thought you were going to say once a year. Like, because essentially...

Charlie:
Happy birthday to everyone!

Martin:
Exactly. But then again, when you do something like that, I mean, that's okay to say, well, we're doing this for our birthdays, let's say. But not that I have to say happy birthday to you and get a present. I mean, that's the reason maybe we're meeting up is like, you know, but not, I have to say, happy birthday to you. And actually an example which just popped into my mind about this, which I think is hilarious. As I mentioned, my wife's birthday is the 17th of November and her older sister, her birthday is the 5th of January. And her mum showed me these pictures of when they were kids. And it was her sister's birthday, 5th of January and the cake said So Happy Birthday and had both of their names on it because she had done a joint party for both of them from November to January.

Charlie:
Wow, that is weird. That's very, very weird.

Martin:
Yeah. I mean, that that is weird, but also hilarious. I... As soon as I saw the cake, I was like, why does it say happy birthday to both of them? And she said, Well, their birthdays are close enough. So we just had one joint party. That is not... Fifth of, the 17th of November to the 5th of January is not close enough to have.

Charlie:
No way.

Martin:
Like a joint party.

Charlie:
No way. No way. Jose I feel like I don't want to grant you this one because I think it spreads joy celebrating the birthdays. I do agree it gets annoying for people milking it and I don't like it when they're like, it's my birth week. But yeah, I feel like we should be able to go a week to celebrate on the weekend because I don't want to subject people to hangovers on the weekday. So Access denied.

Martin:
But like I said for big birthday, that's that's okay but you know for rubbish you know 32 something like that. And then like, you, it's your birthday on Monday and then you're making me go out on the Saturday to... I think. No, look, come on. The the joy is gone. It was Monday.

Charlie:
The joy is gone!

Martin:
Get over it.

Charlie:
I, I can't wait to catch you out. If your birthday is on a Monday and you celebrate on a Saturday.

Martin:
Oh, it will not happen. But like I said, so to do something is okay, I think. Just to say, well, it was my birthday the other day. So for example, with my wife, maybe we might do something. We might say, Oh, well, it was our birthdays in the week. So at the weekend we'll we'll go, we'll go out somewhere, but not like, you know, birthday cake and and all the rest of it.

Charlie:
No birthday cake. But we will spend a lot of money on ourselves because it was our birthday.

Martin:
Yeah.

Charlie:
Either way, Access denied, but well done for suggesting all of those. I like them either way. That's the end of part two. We're going to get on to part three and continue the nonsense. But this time, talk about some suggestions that some celebrities have put forward. So yeah, see you guys in part three. We have come to the end of part two now. So again, feel free to pause the episode to take a break from your listening practice and come back to the last part when you're ready.

Charlie:
All right. So moving on to part three now. Enjoy. So welcome to part three. This is the part where we go through some celebrities suggestions or some B-listers, maybe even C-listers that have been invited on for 100 quid and they give their 2 cents.

Martin:
So when I saw the names of this, I, I must admit there are a lot of names. I was thinking, who the hell is that?

Charlie:
Exactly. Yeah, I said in the notes we can mention the name, but it's optional because yeah, there's a lot...

Martin:
I think no, yeah.

Charlie:
A lot of nobodies. All right. So the first one, I feel like it's important to mention what they were up against so that we know, you know, because if it was two good ideas, then it would be stupid to go for that other one. But yeah, you'll see what I mean. So three people and they suggested... One of them suggested little cartons of UHT milk. The other one suggested having your hair cut and...

Martin:
I like that one a lot.

Charlie:
And the other one was swimming goggles. So each person wants to get rid of the ones that I just mentioned. And they went through their arguments, which we won't go through. But I want you to give me your take on that.

Martin:
So on on each one.

Charlie:
Yeah. What do you think would be the best choice to get rid of and why?

Martin:
Definitely haircuts. Definitely.

Charlie:
What?

Martin:
I mean. Well, I know it's necessary, but it's just it's horrible. I hate it. I mean, that's basically why I have long hair. Although I did go to the hairdressers the other day and my wife said, Oh, well, you should try and go to a good one this time. And they always do it rubbish wherever you go. And so I went in there before, I knew it was expensive. I said, How much is it to get your hair cut? And they said, prices start from £42. I said Whoa. And I was like, Right, well, I know it's expensive, but okay. But anyway, so I thought, that's not too bad. So I thought, okay, got it, got it cut. And then got to the end. And they said, Oh, that's £69. I was like, What?

Charlie:
Did you go to a hair salon with like four professional cuts for women with like highlights and stuff?

Martin:
Well, I didn't have any of that, but yeah, it is quite a trendy hairdressers place.

Charlie:
You didn't go to a barbers?

Martin:
No,

Charlie:
Ah this is where you're going wrong.

Martin:
I did used to go, but then the guy left. So this is the thing. Once you have a a hairdresser, you need that one person. So when I lived in Italy, I used to come back to England to get my hair cut. But then I found a good one in Italy. Now the one in England is gone. So I basically have to go through Italy now to get my hair cut and it's just like the awkward conversation and like everything about it.

Charlie:
I mean, if it's £60 in England, it's probably cheaper to go on a Ryanair flight and get your haircut done in Italy. That's fair. I had a student actually, who would fly to another city for her haircut. Yeah. Yeah, she would stay for two nights.

Martin:
Yeah cos once you find that person, it's good. And then the bit I hate the most it's I mean I think we should... This especially is they put that mirror behind your head. Has anyone ever said no? And you just go, mm hmm. Mm hmm. Yeah. Yeah, it's great, great, great, great, great.

Charlie:
No, I've never said it with the mirror behind your head. I do agree that's pointless. And also I don't like the back of my head. So it's like paranoia.

Martin:
Who does? You never see the back of your head? It's really weird. It's the only time you see the back of your head is when you go to the hairdressers. It's just like the stand... They have to do it. Every time I've ever got my haircut in my life, they show you the back. Yeah, yeah. Great, great, great.

Charlie:
But to counter that, wouldn't you ever, if they never did it, if that wasn't part of the experience, wouldn't you think, 'What's the back of my head look like?'

Martin:
I like to leave that a mystery. It's one of life's unsolved mysteries. My wife often says, actually, 'So why didn't you ever do something to the back of your...' So fuck it. It's alright.

Charlie:
Fair enough. Okay. Having your hair cut is what you thought. It's actually little cartons of UHT milk that got into room 101. [Right] I don't have much of a problem with these little cartons of milk.

Martin:
I was surprised. I feel quite sorry for the cartons of milk there.

Charlie:
And the air stewards, because they would have a hard life without those, surely. And hotels. [Yes] That would be a waste of milk.

Martin:
I was very surprised to see that. And what was the other one again?

Charlie:
Swimming goggles.

Martin:
Yeah, they are annoying, but more annoying than them, and again, this happens a lot in Italy, is swimming hats, which you often have to wear and they're really annoying, especially if you've got a lot of hair and a big head like me. Um, and it's quite embarrassing to try and fit into that hat. Um, also goggles, I mean, not that I would ever wear them, but they're quite annoying. But definitely for me, the haircut.

Charlie:
Okay, fair enough. Yeah. There are some things about having your hair cut that are annoying. I find it hard to gauge how much detail you should give them because they're often quite, you know, vague about. Yeah, you know, so what do you want? And then you're like a fade in half an inch off the top, and then it's way too little detail and then they go too high and it's like you're bald until your ear or something. So yeah.

Martin:
I always get the impression that they think I'm here to cut, like you say, just a little bit off, and then they take loads off because they just love cutting. They're like I'm a hairdresser.

Charlie:
My job is to cut.

Martin:
I cut. And it's like, Oh God. I don't think I've ever left the hairdressers like actually being happy and think, Oh, like what the cycle of my hair is. I get my hair cut. It looks terrible for, like now basically, for at least sort of 2 to 3 weeks. Then it gets to like an okay stage, then it gets to a stage where I'm actually happy with it for about a week and then it's too long. But then I just put off going to the hairdressers for another few months until until I can't face it anymore. And that's that's the story of my hair.

Charlie:
It's a horrible cycle. But what would you prefer? I got into cutting my own hair during the pandemic.

Martin:
I did that a lot. I did that for about five years. But way before the pandemic, though, like when I was at university, I would just cut it, just to avoid going to the hairdressers because it was just a nightmare. I maybe I should actually go back to that because.

Charlie:
Yeah, yeah.

Martin:
It was a great time, although my hair was shorter there. But yeah, like I said, the and then it's the awkward conversation as well that you have to make. There's just nothing... And then you get to the point where you have to tip and it's like, Oh God, how much? When I did get my hair cut the other day...

Charlie:
Did you tip with that six pounder?

Martin:
Well, 69, remember, a 69er.

Charlie:
Hah! Didn't feel like one.

Martin:
I must admit, I did have a bloody good chat with that woman. We... We did have great chat for the first time ever. Ever. I actually enjoyed the chat.

Charlie:
Okay.

Martin:
And then I felt obliged to tip. And luckily she took me to the till and then said, Right, okay, you pay here, see you later. So she had gone. And then I said, Oh, how can I leave her a tip? But I paid with my card and they said, Oh, you can't with your card. And I was like Oh what a nightmare, I've got no money.

Charlie:
What a shame!

Martin:
Oh, I was going to leave another £69 as a tip. But if I can't, then so be it.

Charlie:
Oh, dear. Right. There we go. So you would put having your hair cut in there. I wouldn't put little cartons of UHT milk.

Martin:
No, I think that one we could definitely rule out.

Charlie:
Yeah, I'd struggle with that. I don't have too many qualms against any of them, so maybe I'd go with your. Your suggestion, but, yeah, we're not here to put them in room 101, only discuss in part three. Okay. So last one for part three and then we'll go and do your show. I'm going to mention the ones by Josh, Vicky and Sandy. That was real ale, coat hangers and bar stools.

Martin:
It's a tough one here. Really. What about you, Charlie? Do tell me what one of those annoys you the most.

Charlie:
Yeah, it's a struggle. I don't understand Vicky's issue with coat hangers because I'm quite OCD.

Martin:
They serve a purpose

Charlie:
They serve a... To be fair. I hate it when people leave them out of the rack and they put them on the bed or, you know, leave them scattered around because it makes me feel anxious that the room is not tidy. I'm quite OCD.

Martin:
Oh, really? So you're quite a tidy person, right. See I.

Charlie:
Yeah. I mean look at the background. It's just. Yeah, very, very tidy boy. Overly tidy. I waste so much time tidying.

Martin:
Really? Wow. Yeah, yeah. With coat hangers. I must admit the plastic ones. It would be good if you could always have the wooden ones. When you've got a wooden coat hanger, that does make such a difference, like Awww. Now that is hanging my clothes.

Charlie:
Yes, yes, that's true. And then when you've got both options there, it's frustrating to go to the plastic one when you've got a good jacket or something. [Yeah.] Oh, I should probably put a wooden one on.

Martin:
Sometimes you might find in the wardrobe, maybe not in yours because you're tidy, but you've got coat hangers with nothing hanging on them and you kind of think, what's the point in these? And then you seem to just have loads of them that you kind of think, well, do we actually need all of them? For example, when we moved from Sicily, we realised we had like 100 unnecessary coat hangers.

Charlie:
Did you give them a talking to? Your life is meaningless.

Martin:
Exactly.

Charlie:
Hang yourself.

Martin:
Oh, very nice. So, yeah. That sometimes can be annoying. That overload of. And what? Uh. I never do this, but I've seen my mum do this a lot. You go to the shop, buy something, and she will always say, Can I have the coat hanger? And often they say yes, but when they say no, it's so awkward and embarrassing. Can I have the coat hanger? No.

Charlie:
Oh, okay. Well, I won't take the top. So that must mean that your mum's wardrobe has quite a higgledy piggledy collection of coat hangers.

Martin:
I must admit, I haven't looked in her wardrobe for a while, but she just loves...

Charlie:
What a waste of time.

Martin:
She loves just getting things for free. And like, you go out for dinner and then it will be, I don't know, the the baked beans aren't warm enough. And then she will have to then complain and then to get some money off the bill. And it's like, no, look, please.

Charlie:
I love that she's she's going out for dinner and she's having baked beans!

Martin:
Yeah, probably. Probably wasn't the best example, actually. I don't know why that one... That one came to my head.

Charlie:
Can you get the Pop-Tart warmed up again, please?

Martin:
Yeah, not sure. I don't know why. I've just got baked beans...

Charlie:
Uh, that's funny.

Martin:
On my mind.

Charlie:
Well, talking about restaurants, they sometimes have bar stools, and that's one of the options. So let's talk about bar stools.

Martin:
They are annoying because they don't have a back. I must admit.

Charlie:
State the obvious yes, yes, true.

Martin:
They can be annoying, but I also quite like, not that I've ever really done this, but the vibe of like the the locals, like the pub, like regulars sitting on the bar stool. I quite like that kind of like community kind of thing. You know, you go to some pubs and you might see the same people there. I quite like that.

Charlie:
Yeah, I like that too. It brings a nice sort of local community kind of vibe to it. And sometimes I don't want a back. I don't know.

Martin:
Yeah. When you're in in that... Because you can kind of lean on the bar anyway. [Yeah]. But another story which I have to share. Kind of connected to the one I shared about my mum and the coat hangers, actually. When I was going to the pub when smoking was still allowed, we were in a pub and one of my friends was obsessed with this, like being one of the regulars in the pub and there was an old guy smoking a pipe sitting on a barstool. And my friend said to him, 'It's been my lifelong dream to smoke a pipe', which in itself is an absolutely ludicrous statement. So so he said, 'Oh, can I have a go on your pipe?' And this was in front of us as well and...

Charlie:
Gosh, imagine that in COVID times. That would not be happening.

Martin:
Then this old man just said no.

Charlie:
Haha that is funny. I actually kind of see your friend's point because if he is obsessed with that kind of thing.

Martin:
Well, I must admit, he's not now. This is when we were like 17.

Charlie:
Not such a lifelong dream now. That is the pinnacle. A guy sat on the bar stool smoking a pipe. That is the best option. [Yeah.] To be that kind of person. It's the most alpha male version of being a local in a pub.

Martin:
Yeah, definitely. Um, but I've just thought as well you do sometimes get them with the little part of the back, don't you? A bar stool?

Charlie:
Yeah.

Martin:
You can sometimes...

Charlie:
Are you a fan?

Martin:
Yeah. I must admit, I do prefer those ones. And they're okay if you go in... yeah, just for a drink, obviously. Not good for eating, though. I can't really... Because sometimes you get them like on a small table as well. But, um. But yeah. No, no real problems with the bar stools though. I quite like them.

Charlie:
Yeah. Yeah, me too. I want to keep them. The, the one that went into room 101 was coat hangers.

Martin:
Right. Yeah. That's, I think the one I would choose.

Charlie:
Yeah. I mean, real ale. You don't want to say goodbye to that, do you?

Martin:
Exactly.

Charlie:
And bar stools, they go hand in hand. Coat hangers. You could probably do without at the pub, so yeah, there we go. All right. Thank you so much, Martin. That was absolutely fantastic. Thank you for all of your suggestions and your comments on the part three ones. And yeah, we're going to go over to Rock and Roll English to do a version of this on Martin's show. So I look forward to seeing you over there. Thank you very much, Martin.

Martin:
Thanks a lot, Charlie. It's been a pleasure.

Charlie:
There we go. The end of part three, meaning the end of the episode. Well done for getting through the entirety of it. Make sure you use all of the resources available to you in your membership. Thanks once again for supporting the show and I look forward to seeing you next time on the British English podcast.

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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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