Shirley talks about a prank she and her brothers did on the locals in her area.
Yuri: Show, Shirley, we were talking about childhood memories. And you’re from Scotland. Is there anything from your childhood that you can tell us?
Shirley: I’ve got a really funny story actually. Maybe I was about ten years old or something, and we used to have this little kind of shack in the countryside that we were dragged to every weekend, and away from civilization, you know, and no running water, no electricity. So we kids had to make our own fun.
I’ve got my brothers, myself, and a couple of cousins, we would always go there at weekends or school holidays or something, and one of the highlights was to go to the Sunday School, the Sunday morning church service, and the reason … one of the reasons this was attractive to the kids was because they bribed us to go there by giving us sweets when got there, so it was great. So we always went anyway.
It was a church service for about an hour, singing hymns and stuff like that. Anyway, this one Sunday we arrived early, about half an hour early. There was nobody there. The church wasn’t open yet, so it was, as most people know, it rains a lot in Scotland, so on that rainy day, we all were wearing our cagoules which is a kind a rain jacket with a big pocket in the front, and while we were waiting for everybody else to arrive, we started just kind of playing around in the trees. There was a little river nearby, and it was at the time of year when the tadpoles were turning into baby frogs, so we got this crazy idea to collect all these … I’m talking hundreds of frogs were around, so we all got a big handful of baby frogs, put them in the big pocket of our cagoule, went off into church.
So there we are, we’re kind of in the middle of the crowd. You know, we weren’t at the front of the back, kind of in the middle, and everybody’s standing up singing the hymns, and really getting into, you know, the church singing and stuff like that, and then we decided that we would get the frogs out, so each of us, one at a time, one of us kids, one at a time kind of crouched down like we were tying our shoe lace, and let all of these frogs out of our pockets, so these tiny little frogs started jumping all over the church, and there’s all these ladies in their Sunday best and started squealing and screaming and the minister didn’t know what was going on, and he’s trying to keep everybody calm, and we’re just singing along with the hymn, you know, we’re really innocent and they had no idea, cause they didn’t see us do it, so they had no idea what had happened, and yeah, we got away with it.
We didn’t get told off, cause we didn’t get caught, and yeah, when after the church service, you know, we had such a laugh after the church service, and yeah, that’s one of my greatest childhood memories. Getting up to mischief with my brothers.
I went to the Sunday school.
Christians generally worship on Sundays. Sunday school is a class that precedes the church service, where Christian children learn about their religion. Notice the following.
- I hated Sunday school when I was a kid. I just wanted to play with my friends.
- Jack’s mom is a Sunday school teacher at the local church.
They bribed us to go there by giving us sweets.
When we bribe someone, we try to make them do something we want by giving them money or gifts. In the text the example is funny, but a bribe is most often negative. Here are some samples.
- They bribed the police not to arrest them.
- The honest building inspector could not be bribed.
as most people know
As most people know, it rains a lot in Scotland.
We use the phrase ‘as most people know’ when we give information that we expect people to know already. Sometimes, however, the listener may not know, so to be safe, we tell them. Here are two samples.
- As most people know, Canada is very cold in the winter so you should pack warm clothes.
- As you know, eating lots of fruit and vegetables is good for your health.
All the ladies were in their Sunday best.
Traditionally, Christians wore their best clothes to church on Sunday. Today, ‘Sunday best’ has become an idiom to talk about semi-formal clothing. Notice the samples.
- The celebrities at the Cannes film festival were all in their Sunday best.
- It’s a five-star restaurant so wear your Sunday best!
get away with
Yeah, we got away with it.
When we do something wrong or make a mistake and there is no penalty, we say ‘we got away with it’. Here are some samples.
- The police caught us walking on a private beach. Since we were foreigners, we got away with it.
- We cheated on the test, but everybody had the same answers so we didn’t get away with it.
get told off
We didn’t get told off, cause we didn’t get caught.
To ‘get told off’ means to be scolded by someone in authority for doing something negative. Notice the samples below.
- He accidently broke his mom’s favorite vase but didn’t get told off, cause she thought the cat did it.
- I got told off by my friend for gossiping about her.
Sunday best • get away with • get told off