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0142 At a Nightclub

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Complete Transcript
Welcome to English as a Second Language Podcast number 142: At a Nightclub.

You’re listening to English as a Second Language Podcast number 142. I’m your host, Dr. Jeff McQuillan, coming to you from the Center for Educational Development in beautiful Los Angeles, California.

On this podcast, we’re going to go dancing! Here we go!

[start of dialog]

My friend Sabrina and I decided to go out dancing last weekend. We went to a club called the Fine Line and when we got there, there was a long line outside. That's one thing I hate about L.A. clubs. The hottest ones have long lines and it's hard to get in unless you're on the VIP list. Sometimes, the bouncer will pick cute girls out of line and let them in.

Sabrina always gets attention when we go out together and the bouncer noticed her right away. We paid the cover charge and got our wristbands.

The first thing we did was to head over to the bar.

Andrea: The music is pretty good. Hey, is that Jeff on the dance floor over there? He's so hot.

Sabrina: Where? Over there by the stage? Let's go see.

Jeff: Hey, did you guys just get here?

Sabrina: Yeah. Who are you here with?

Jeff: The DJ is a friend of mine. I came with him and some of his friends. We have a private room in back. Do you guys want to come check it out?

Andrea: Sure.

Sabrina: Definitely.

[end of dialog]

Well, we went dancing in this podcast. I’m already feeling a little tired. The podcast begins with Andrea saying that she and her friend Sabrina went dancing last weekend. They went to a club called the Fine Line. A “club” (club) usually is a place where people go dancing, sometimes even called a “dance club.” The word “club,” of course, is also used for a group or organization especially at a school. So, you could have a theater club or a music club – people who get together to sing. But a “club,” when it comes to talking about a place is usually a place people go dancing.

Well, this club had a long line outside because many people wanted to get in and Andrea says that the problem with clubs here in Los Angeles is that the hottest ones have long lines. “To be hot” here means to be popular, to be the ones where most people want to go that are most interesting. Well, it’s hard to get in – that is, it’s hard to enter into these clubs unless you are on the “VIP list.” “VIP” stands for – means – “Very Important Person.” And a “VIP list” would be people who are celebrities or are famous or maybe they are rich and they know the owner of the club. These are the kind of people that get on the “VIP list.” We can use that term, by the way, “VIP list,” or just “VIP.” “He’s a VIP” means he’s a very important person in the organization or whatever you’re talking about. The host of ESL Podcast is definitely not a VIP.

At the club where Sabrina and Andrea are, the person outside of the door to the club is called a “bouncer.” A “bouncer” (bouncer) is the person who is in charge of – usually, there are more than one – in charge of letting people in, deciding who gets into the club. And also, they’re in charge of security if someone is being too loud or drinks too much. The bouncer will take care of that. Usually, at least in American clubs, they’re very big, muscular, strong men who you don’t want to get in a fight with, let’s just say. So, a bouncer is usually, sort of a very big, mean person – that’s the reputation of a bouncer. Well, the bouncer, who’s normally a man, likes to pick the cute or pretty girls out of line and let them in. When we say, “They will pick them out of line,” meaning they’ll be standing in the line and they’ll say, “You, you and you, can come in.” They will let them in or let them enter.

Well, Sabrina is apparently very attractive and good looking, so she gets picked out by the bouncer, and Sabrina and Andrea are able to go into the club. Well, in most American dance clubs, or where there’s dancing or sometimes where there’s just music being played, there’s what we call a “cover charge” – two words “cover (cover) charge (charge).” A cover charge is like a ticket. It’s like admission. It’s how much you have to pay just to get into the club. I think the price of the cover charge is probably ten, fifteen, twenty dollars per person for most of the clubs here in L.A. I have not been to a dance club in many years. I think 1976 – something like that – but the dance clubs here in Los Angeles are expensive, for the cover charge.

Well, one thing that is true of American – in all of the states in the United States, is that the drinking age – the age that you can drink alcohol legally – is 21. But there are many clubs that will let people under 21 – usually 18 and over – they can go to the club but they can’t drink. Well, they can’t drink beer or wine or any sort of alcohol. So, if you are of age – that is if you are over 21 years old, and you have to show identification, then you get a certain color “wristband.” And a “wristband” – all one word – (wristband) – your wrist is that part of your arm next to your hand. It’s the end of your arm but before your hand and that is a little plastic –bracelet – is what it is. It goes around your arm and your wrist and that is proof that you are old enough to drink or that you are not old enough to drink. So, if you go to the bar, you have to have the right wristband on.

Well, the first thing that Andrea and Sabrina did was to head over or to go to the bar. The word “bar” has a couple of meanings. A “bar” can be a place where people drink, have alcohol to drink. But inside of a restaurant or a club, a “bar” is the actual place where you can order your drink and usually, the person behind the bar who’s called the “bartender” – all one word – (bartender). The bartender is the one who gives you your drinks. So, you can go and sit by the bar – in a bar. So a bar is a place like a restaurant or a club, but it’s also a part of a restaurant, club, or bar. It’s a place where you go to get your drinks.

Andrea says the music is pretty good here and she says, “Hey. Is that Jeff on the dance floor? Over there?” The “dance floor” is, of course, the place where people dance. We call that the “dance floor.” It’s usually one part of the club and Andrea says about Jeff – not me. I’m not the Jeff – a different Jeff – says, “He’s so hot.” And when you say a man or a woman is “hot” (hot) it means they’re very attractive, they’re very good looking, they’re very handsome or very pretty. I am not any of those things, so it’s not me in the story here.

Sabrina says, “Where is Jeff?” or “Where? Over by the stage?” And the “stage” (stage) is where the band, if there is a band, would be playing on top of a stage – usually at the front of the club. Well, Sabrina goes over and Andrea go over to talk to Jeff, and Jeff says that “The DJ is a friend of mine.” The “DJ” – Capital DJ – means the “Disc Jockey.” The “disc (disc) jockey (jockey) – and the “DJ” or disc jockey is the person who plays the music when there isn’t a live band. They just have CD’s and the person who is playing the CD’s, selecting the CD’s is the DJ. Well, Jeff says that he is a friend of the DJ and that they have “a private room in back.” In many clubs, again especially here in Los Angeles, there is usually a separate room for the VIP’s – for people who are important and they get their own little room and that’s what the private room is. Jeff asked the women if they want to “check it out,” meaning do you want to go and take a look and they say, “Sure,” and “Definitely,” meaning absolutely yes – they’re very interested.

Well, now let’s listen to the story this time at a native rate of speech.

[start of dialog]

My friend Sabrina and I decided to go out dancing last weekend. We went to a club called the Fine Line and when we got there, there was a long line outside. That's one thing I hate about L.A. clubs. The hottest ones have long lines and it's hard to get in unless you're on the VIP list. Sometimes, the bouncer will pick cute girls out of line and let them in.

Sabrina always gets attention when we go out together and the bouncer noticed her right away. We paid the cover charge and got our wristbands.

The first thing we did was to head over to the bar.

Andrea: The music is pretty good. Hey, is that Jeff on the dance floor over there? He's so hot.

Sabrina: Where? Over there by the stage? Let's go see.

Jeff: Hey, did you guys just get here?

Sabrina: Yeah. Who are you here with?

Jeff: The DJ is a friend of mine. I came with him and some of his friends. We have a private room in back. Do you guys want to come check it out?

Andrea: Sure.

Sabrina: Definitely.

[end of dialog]

We like to thank Dr. Lucy Tse who wrote the script for today’s podcast and Dr. Marlene Rodriguez who helped us read the dialog today. Remember to visit our website at eslpod.com for the script and more information about this podcast.

From Los Angeles, California, I’m Jeff McQuillan. Thanks for listening. We’ll see you next time 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
club – a place where people go to socialize, dance, and drink alcohol

* Nicole loved visiting clubs because she loved to dance and meet new people.


hottest – most popular; most fashionable

* Leonardo was very fashionable and always wore the hottest new clothes.


VIP list – a list of “Very Important People”; a list of people who are allowed into a club or other location without needing to wait

* Jandra was on the VIP list for the new, expensive restaurant, so she did not need to wait in line or make reservations.


bouncer – an individual who controls which people can go inside a club or bar and which people must remain outside

* No one liked the club’s bouncer because he did not let enough people through the line.


out of line – removed from the group of people waiting to get into a location or to receive a service

* Mitch was taken out of line at the hospital emergency room because his injuries were much more serious than those of the other people waiting.


cover charge – a fee that one pays in order to be allowed into a dance club, bar, or other similar place

* The club’s cover charge was so expensive that Abby could not afford to buy any drinks or food once she got inside.


wristband – a strip of paper or inexpensive plastic that is worn around one’s wrist to show that the wearer has already paid a required fee

* The zoo gave their customers wristbands so that they could leave the park and return without needing to purchase another ticket.


bar – a place that sells alcoholic drinks

* Rex ordered whiskey at the bar and Minerva ordered a cocktail.


dance floor – a large area reserved for dancing inside of a club

* The dance floor was so crowded that people bumped into each other as they danced.


stage – a raised platform inside of a club, theater, or auditorium where bands and other entertainment groups perform

* The actors complained that they could not see properly because the lights shining on the stage were too bright.


DJ – disc jockey; an individual who chooses what music to play at a dance club or other social gathering

* The DJ played too many slow songs at the beginning of the evening.


private room – a room that only a few special individuals are allowed to enter

* The lead singer invited his friends into his private room so that they could talk away from the loud crowd.


to check it out – to see something; to look at something instead of relying on someone else to describe it

* Sarah was curious about the new movie, so she decided to buy a ticket and check it out.

Culture Note
Advertising in Unusual Ways

Companies are always looking for new ways to “advertise” (get attention for) their products and services. Recently, some companies are even advertising in “nightclubs” (places where people go to dance and to be served alcohol) in an unusual way.

When people go to a nightclub in the United States, they pay a “cover charge” (money or fee for entering) and get a stamp on your hand. The “stamp” is a temporary mark that is put on your skin, usually the back of your hand, using a rubber block that has been put briefly in ink. This stamp allows the “bouncer” (person who controls who can enter a bar or nightclub) at the door to see if you’ve already paid, and it allows you to go in and out of the nightclub all evening without paying again.

Now, companies are using these stamps to advertise. Instead of their normal stamp, companies pay the nightclub money for each person they stamp with the company’s message.

For example, a taxi company puts the name of their company, their phone number, and the message “don’t drink and drive” on their stamp. The customer who drinks too much and cannot safely drive or find their way home can see a taxi company’s phone number right on their hand.

Other companies are even using the stamps to give discounts and to advertise other “promotions” (special offers). The stamps may include a “code” (special numbers) you can use to get discounts, or you simply need to show your stamp to pay a lower price.