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0066 Missing Person, Part 6: “Kathy (Again).”

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Welcome to English as a Second Language Podcast number 66 – Missing Person, Part 6: “Kathy (Again).”

This is English as a Second Language Podcast episode 66. I’m your host, Dr. Jeff McQuillan, coming to you from the Center for Educational Development in beautiful Los Angeles, California.

This episode is the sixth in our 12-part special series: Missing Person, a murder mystery. In our previous episode, we learned that the kidnappers of Anne’s sister, Sarah, have demanded a large ransom, or a large amount of money, and have said not to call the police. We also learned that Anne and Sarah’s parents had owned a large computer company and left their daughters with a lot of money when they died.

It occurred to our narrator, Dr. Reeves, that the kidnappers must know Anne and Sarah in order to know that they could get a lot of money very quickly. Dr. Reeves asked Anne and Sarah’s husband, Bill, to make a list of possible suspects – people who might have committed this crime – and they came up with the names of two former employees of their parents’ computer company. Then, at the end, we found out that Dr. Reeves has his suspicions and thinks something might be wrong here.

Now, we continue with part 6 of Missing Person: “Kathy (Again).”

[start of story]

I drove Bill and Anne back to Sarah and Bill’s apartment building to drop them both off there. Anne had left her car there, so she could drive herself home. I told them to call me if anything new came up.

“Thanks for your help today, Dr. Reeves.” Anne said. “I know you’ll help us find my sister.” She gave me a big long hug.

I didn’t linger there with Anne, as much as I wanted to reassure her that things would work out. I needed to talk to an old friend, Kathy Chang, about what happened today. We were supposed to have dinner at 5:30 at her apartment, and it was already 5:20. Kathy hates it when I’m late.

I drove to Kathy’s apartment and I snagged a parking spot in front of her building. It was 5:45 and I was late. I knocked on the door and Kathy let me in.

“You’re late, Darren – as usual,” Kathy said.

I knew I was late, but Kathy and I have known each other for many years. I didn’t want to hear about all of the other times I was late, so I changed the subject. “I’m glad to see you, too, Kathy. What are we having for dinner?”

“Dinner? You come late and now you want dinner?” she replied. “How much are you willing to pay me?” She had one of her inviting smiles on her face.

“All I have is yours,” I said jokingly. I think I broke the ice with that one.

Kathy and I stopped dating over a year ago, but she still likes to pretend that we’re going out. I meet her every week for dinner, and I play along with the joke. Deep down, though, I think she’s still in love with me. I admit I have feelings for her, as well. But life keeps interfering . . .

“Okay, time for dinner. Let’s dig in.” Kathy quickly brushed her long black hair from her face, got up, and went into the kitchen.

Kathy was a reporter for Los Angeles’s biggest television station. She was both very smart and very beautiful. I met her at a conference in Hawaii about six years ago. She was now my best friend in Los Angeles. One more thing about Kathy: she is a great cook.

“Let’s eat, big guy,” she said. And so we did.

[end of story]

Our episode begins with Dr. Reeves dropping Anne and Bill off at Sarah and Bill’s apartment. (Remember that Bill is Sarah’s husband, and Sarah is still missing; Anne is Sarah’s sister.) “To drop someone off” means, usually, to drive them somewhere and then leave them there. You can drop a person off. You can also drop off a thing or an object. “I have to drop off my glasses to be fixed” means I have to take my glasses to the repair store and leave them there.

Dr. Reeves tells Anne and Bill that if anything comes up, they should call him. When we talk about something “coming up,” we mean “if anything happens.” It could be a positive thing or it could be a negative thing. Sometimes you might say, “I’m sorry I was late. I couldn’t be there on time because something came up,” meaning something happened that prevented me from doing what I wanted to do.

Anne then gives Dr. Reeves “a big long hug.” A “hug” (hug) is when you put your arms around someone – usually a friend, though it could also be your wife or your husband or your girlfriend – and you pull their body close to yours. You could also say “embrace,” which means the same thing.

Dr. Reeves says that he didn’t “linger” there with Anne, even though he wanted to “reassure her that things would work out.” “To linger” (linger) means to stay somewhere for a long time. Often, when you linger, you’re waiting for something to happen. “To reassure” (reassure) means that someone has doubts or is perhaps afraid of something, and you want to make them believe that everything is going to be okay. So, “to reassure” here means that Dr. Reeves is trying to tell Anne that everything is going to be okay.

Another way of saying that everything is going to be okay is to say that “things will work out.” When we talk about “things working out,” we mean that there will be a positive result. The opposite would be “things didn’t work out,” meaning there was a negative result. You might say, for example, “I hired a new employee, but she was very lazy so I had to fire or get rid of her. Things didn’t work out with that employee.” “To work out” also has another meaning, as a verb meaning “to exercise.” So, you could say, “I’m going to the gym today to work out,” or “Next week, I will definitely work out.”

Dr. Reeves goes to see an old friend of his, Kathy Chang. The two of them “were supposed to have dinner at 5:30.” When we say “were supposed to have,” we mean that you were planning on it, or it was scheduled. Dr. Reeves “snagged a parking spot” in front of Kathy’s building. “To snag a parking spot” means to find or to get a parking spot, and a parking spot is a place for your car. It is the same thing as a “parking space.”

Dr. Reeves knocks on the door and Kathy lets him in. “To let someone in” means to open a door and allow someone to come inside. Kathy is mad at Dr. Reeves, so Dr. Reeves decides to change the subject. “To change the subject” means to start talking about something else. If you’re having an argument with your wife or your husband and you don’t want to talk about it anymore, they may say, “Don’t change the subject. You know what we’re talking about.” So, “to change the subject” means to talk about something different.

We find out that Dr. Reeves’s first name is Darren. Darren decides to change the subject and asks, “What are we having for dinner?” which means “What are we eating for dinner?” Kathy is upset and says, “You come late and now you want dinner?” But then she says, “How much are you willing to pay me?” with “one of her inviting smiles” on her face, meaning she’s not really upset. When you say something is “inviting,” we mean that it is tempting, that it is something that you would want to have. It’s clear here that Kathy is flirting with Darren. “To flirt” (flirt) means to say things or do things to make the other person think that you are romantically interested in them.

Dr. Reeves explains that he and Kathy “stopped dating over a year ago.” “To date” means to go with someone – to be romantically involved with someone. Dating comes before you are married. Another phrase for dating is “going out.” “Megan and I are going out” means “We are dating.” “We are seeing each other” is another expression. “Are you seeing anyone?” means “Are you dating anyone?” or “Are you going out with anyone?”

Darren says that “deep down,” he thinks Kathy is still in love with him. The expression “deep down” refers to what you really think to be true about something. So, “Deep down, I really love chocolate,” even though I may say I don’t like it. It’s sort of like a very private or secret truth. Darren says that he has feelings for Kathy, as well. “To have feelings for” someone means that you’re interested in the other person romantically, but perhaps not as much as the other person is interested in you.

Kathy then says, “Time for dinner. Let’s dig in.” “To dig (dig) in (in)” – two words – is an informal phrase that means to start eating. Darren explains that Kathy is a reporter, and at the end of his description he says, “One more thing about Kathy.” “One more thing” means there is one additional thing he wants to say about Kathy – and it is that she’s a great cook. “Let’s eat, big guy,” Kathy says, and so they do. The expression “big guy” here is something that a woman might say to a man. She’s saying, “You’re a big strong man,” that sort of thing.

On the next episode of Missing Person: a shocking new development.

Now let’s listen to the story, this time at a normal speed.

[start of story]

I drove Bill and Anne back to Sarah and Bill’s apartment building to drop them both off there. Anne had left her car there, so she could drive herself home. I told them to call me if anything new came up.

“Thanks for your help today, Dr. Reeves.” Anne said. “I know you’ll help us find my sister.” She gave me a big long hug.

I didn’t linger there with Anne, as much as I wanted to reassure her that things would work out. I needed to talk to an old friend, Kathy Chang, about what happened today. We were supposed to have dinner at 5:30 at her apartment, and it was already 5:20. Kathy hates it when I’m late.

I drove to Kathy’s apartment and I snagged a parking spot in front of her building. It was 5:45 and I was late. I knocked on the door and Kathy let me in.

“You’re late, Darren – as usual,” Kathy said.

I knew I was late, but Kathy and I have known each other for many years. I didn’t want to hear about all of the other times I was late, so I changed the subject. “I’m glad to see you, too, Kathy. What are we having for dinner?”

“Dinner? You come late and now you want dinner?” she replied. “How much are you willing to pay me?” She had one of her inviting smiles on her face.

“All I have is yours,” I said jokingly. I think I broke the ice with that one.

Kathy and I stopped dating over a year ago, but she still likes to pretend that we’re going out. I meet her every week for dinner, and I play along with the joke. Deep down, though, I think she’s still in love with me. I admit I have feelings for her, as well. But life keeps interfering . . .

“Okay, time for dinner. Let’s dig in.” Kathy quickly brushed her long black hair from her face, got up, and went into the kitchen.

Kathy was a reporter for Los Angeles’s biggest television station. She was both very smart and very beautiful. I met her at a conference in Hawaii about six years ago. She was now my best friend in Los Angeles. One more thing about Kathy: she is a great cook.

“Let’s eat, big guy,” she said. And so we did.

[end of story]

On the next episode of Missing Person, we’ll hear about a shocking new development. Be sure to come back for part 7: “An Accident?”

From Los Angeles, California, I’m Jeff McQuillan. Thanks for listening. Come back and listen to us again here on ESL Podcast.

English as a Second Language Podcast is written and produced by Dr. Lucy Tse, hosted by Dr. Jeff McQuillan. This podcast is copyright 2006.

Glossary
to drop (someone) off – to take someone to a place where they want to go and leave them there, and then continue on one’s way

* Nick drops his kids off at school before he goes to work each morning.

hug – embrace; putting one’s arms around someone and holding them close to one’s body, usually to show affection

* When Meli fell down and hurt her hand, her mother hugged her and wiped away her tears.

to linger – to stay in a place longer than one has to, usually because one does not want to leave.

* Don’t linger in the videogame store too long. We have to get home in time for dinner.

to reassure – to do or say something to remove someone else’s doubts or worries

* My manager wanted to know when we would be done with the monthly report, so I reassured her that it would be done on time.

to work out – to be resolved; for difficulties or troubles to disappear or go away

* Lisa doesn’t like to think about how she will pay her bills each month, believing that money issues will just work out.

to snag – to get something that is difficult to get; to obtain something that few people are able to get

* How did you snag two front-row tickets to the Rolling Stones concert?

parking spot – parking space; a space where one can park one’s car or other vehicle

* It’s difficult to find a parking spot downtown during business hours Monday through Friday.

to let (someone) in – to allow someone into a building; to give someone entry into an enclosed space

* Close the door or you will let the neighbor’s dog in and it won’t want to leave.

to changed the subject – to begin talking about a new topic, usually because one does not want to continue discussing a previous topic

* Each time Sarah’s boyfriend begins talking about getting married, Sarah changes the subject.

dating – for two unmarried people to be spending time to develop a romantic relationship

* George and Ling have been dating for six years, but they have no plans to get married.

deep down – having strong feelings about something that one does not talk about or reveal to others

* Grandpa is a very emotional person deep down, but he seems very cold to people who don’t know him well.

to have feelings for (someone) – to like someone romantically; to have some feelings of romantic love for someone

* Christophe has been divorced for two years and no longer has feelings for his ex-wife.

dig in – a phrase used to tell someone to start eating or to begin doing something

* What are you waiting for? Here are spoons for everyone, so dig in!

big guy – a humorous or affectionate term used for a man who is tall, muscular (strong, with a lot of muscles), or fat

* Hey, big guy, can you help me move those boxes into the garage?

Culture Note
Banning Laptops in the Classroom

In any university class, there are many things that can “distract” (take one’s attention away from what one is supposed to be paying attention to) students. Whether they should be paying attention to “lectures” (speeches or explanations by a professor) or participating in “discussions” (serious conversations about a particular topic), students’ “minds can easily wander” (easily think of other things). These days, there’s something else distracting students: their laptops.

Most American universities now have wireless Internet access across the entire “campus” (land and buildings of the university). This means that students with laptop computers can bring them to class and “surf the web” (go to and look at different Internet pages) during class. As you can imagine, many professors don’t like this very much.

Professors at some universities are “retaliating” (fighting back). Some are “banning” (not allowing; making it against to rules to have) laptops in their classrooms. Other universities allow professors to “flip a switch” (cut the electrical connection) to turn off the wireless Internet service in their classrooms.

Professors say that it makes a huge difference. Students pay attention more and there is a better connection and better communication between professors and students. On the other hand, some students say that if professors were more interesting, they wouldn’t get bored and surf the web during class “in the first place” (to begin with).