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Mary comes up with a clever idea to bring in more customers to the restaurant. But Gordon isn't convinced. What can be done to change his mind? Watch and learn some phrases about being clever.

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Drama: The White Elephant

Episode 14: Clever

The White Elephant restaurant is struggling to stay in business. It's up to the staff to think of an idea that will bring in enough money to save the restaurant! But, as usual, their grumpy chef Gordon needs some persuading. What will change his mind? Find out in this episode - and listen out for phrases related to being clever.

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Ceilia
So, we need to talk about the restaurant. As you know business isn't great so I'm looking for some good ideas to make us more efficient and help us save money. Please have a think and let me know.

Gordon
It's obvious. Peter, we'll have to let you go. Mary, you can serve the food AND wash up afterwards.

Mary
Hold on Gordon. That's not fair. Peter's a hardworking waiter. And besides, I've got too much to do here. No, we need to think 'out of the box', so to speak.

Peter
Yes, good idea Mary… Sorry, what box?

Mary
It means we need to think a bit differently, not just assume we need to cut people's jobs.

Gordon
Come on then clever clogs, what are we going to do? Get cheaper ingredients, turn the gas down a bit?

Peter
I know, we can stop putting salt and pepper on the table – nobody uses it anyway.

Gordon
What a brainwave – we'll save millions! You idiot.

Mary
Oh, I know! We could buy organic ingredients and charge a bit extra for them – plus we could offer a set menu to attract new customers and hopefully they'll tell their friends about how great it is here.

Peter
Yes! It's the best idea since sliced bread!

Gordon
Is it? Sliced bread's the only thing we'll be serving with that ridiculous idea. Mary, you're too clever by half. Organic food, honestly, it's so 'last year'.

Mary
Have you got any better suggestions Gordon?

Peter
Ceilia… Mary's come up with a great idea. Organic set menu and…

Mary
Right, we offer a set menu, to attract new customers, serving organic food that we charge a bit extra for.

Ceilia
That's a great idea Mary. I knew you were a smart cookie when I employed you.

Gordon
But… but… I'm going to have to change suppliers and come up with new stuff for the set menu. How is that a clever idea?

Ceilia
Well, extra customers means extra money and that means an extra bonus for us all at the end of the year.

Gordon
Oh well… yes… organic food – that is a very clever idea of mine. I'll just go and make some calls, shall I?

Download

You can download the drama from our Unit 14 downloads page.

Vocabulary

to think out of the box
to think freely, creating new and unexpected ideas

clever clogs
someone who is annoying because they think they know more than other people

a brainwave
a sudden good idea

the best idea since sliced bread
an excellent idea

too clever by half
annoying because someone appears more intelligent than other people

a smart cookie
a very clever or intelligent person

To do

Are you a smart cookie? See how much you understood from the story by answering these questions!

White Elephant quiz

3 Questions

Are you a smart cookie? Or are you too clever by half? Test yourself with this quiz!

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x / y

Credits

Gordon Grater: Neil Frost

Ceilia Spatula: Amina Zia

Peter Peppermill: Darren Benedict

Marigold Marcelo (Mary for short): Stacha Hicks

Written, produced and directed by: Rob Carter

More

You can find our other BBC Learning English dramas on our Drama page.

End of Session 5

In the next episode, something's making Peter very sad and everyone is trying to cheer him up. What is it that's made him so miserable? 

이번 세션 문법

Session Vocabulary

  • to think out of the box
    think freely, creating new unexpected ideas

    clever clogs
    someone who is annoying because they think they know more than other people

    a brainwave
    a sudden good idea

    the best idea since sliced-bread
    an excellent idea

    too clever by half
    annoying because someone appears more intelligent than other people

    a smart cookie
    a very clever or intelligent