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Last updated at 12:06 GMT, Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Work for peanuts


Neil fixed Li's bike, and now he would like to be paid for the job. What kind of payment did he get and what strange effect did it have on him? Find out more in this week's programme.


Why Neil doesn't want peanuts for his work?

The script for this programme

Li: Hello and welcome to The English We Speak, I'm Li. And here with me is Neil. Hi Neil!

Neil: Hi Li! But before we start the programme I've got some good news for you. I've just fixed your bike tyres as I promised! It wasn't easy to find the punctures on them but I managed to do it and the bike, I have to say, is as good as new!

Li: Oh, great! I am so happy, Neil! You know, I use the bicycle every day. I ride it when I come to work and when I go home. You know, I took it to the mechanic last week to have it fixed and he didn't do it properly. Thank you! You are a star!

Neil: It wasn't easy but I am glad to have been of service. Well, you told me that you'd pay me for the work so now would be a good time to do that because actually I am a bit short of cash at the moment, you know.

Li: Oh, you want to receive some payment? Yes, I remember that I promised you'd get paid. That's fair. Okay. Here you are!

Neil: What are these?

Li: Your payment, Neil.

Neil: Peanuts?!

Li: Yes, Neil. You keep saying that there are people who work for peanuts!

Neil: Yes I have said that on occasions but it's got nothing to do with food! To work for peanuts is an expression in English that means to work for a very small payment.

Li: Now you tell me, Neil! So people are not really paid in peanuts, are they?

No, they are not! Just think. A peanut is something small and cheap.

Woman 1: My cousin is a catwalk model and she travels all over the world!
Woman 2: She must be a millionaire!
Woman 1: Yes, she is! But before she become famous she used to work for peanuts! She could hardly buy a lipstick.
Man: I am going to ask for a pay rise. I am tired of working for peanuts!

Li: Oh, I am sorry, Neil, when you said that some people work for peanuts I thought you wanted to be paid in peanuts!

Neil: That's alright Li. But now that you know that I don't work for peanuts will you give me some money?

Yes, of course I will. I left my wallet in my drawer in the office but as soon as we finish this programme I'll pay you with cash. So give me back my peanuts then.

Neil: (sound of chewing)

Li: Neil, the peanuts! I am hungry!

Neil: I am hungry too and these peanuts taste great!

Li: I know they do. You know, I bought them in the new grocery shop around the corner.

Neil: Don't worry, Li. As soon as you pay me we can go down there and I'll buy you some of these delicious peanuts myself.

Okay. I don't work for peanuts either but I am glad to eat some. Let's go then.

Neil: (sound of monkey) I want more peanuts! (sound of monkey)

Li: So do I, Neil, but why are you making this odd noise? You sound like a monkey!

Neil: Well, you know what they say: if you pay peanuts you get monkeys.

Li: Okay, I got the message. Let's go. Bye!

Neil: (monkey noises)


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