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Podcast

Episode 59 • Unexpected events

59

Take a rain check

Something comes up

Out of the blue

Snap decision

Bummer

Story

Jen: Hey Lucy!
Lucy: Hey Jen! What’s up? I was just getting ready to go to the restaurant. Are you ready yet?
Jen: Actually, Lucy. I’m going to have to take a rain check tonight.
What? Why?
Lucy: It’s just… something came up and I can’t come.
Jen: Why? What happened? Are you okay?
Lucy: Yeah, it’s just my cousin from Chicago, Melissa. She called me out of the blue and said she was flying here tonight. I’m actually with her on the other line.
Jen: Are you serious? Just like that?
Lucy: Yeah, I guess she made a snap decision… and she’ll be spending the night here.
Jen: What a bummer. Well, alright, then, I’ll talk to you later, okay?
Okay. Bye. Paul? Baby. I think she believed me… Okay, so should I come to your place or do you want to-
Lucy: Jen. Jen. It’s still me, Lucy.
Jen: I – I think you’ve got the wrong number.
Lucy: Jen, you called me.
[phone clicks]
Unbelievable…

Questions

All right. I think we can all agree that Jane is not exactly a great friend. All right.

Take a rain check

'I’m going to have to take a rain check tonight.'

• When you tell someone you have to take a rain check, are you accepting an invitation or are you declining it?

You are declining an invitation. If you say, hey, listen, I'm sorry. I have to take a rain check. That means that you can't go.

• If you take a rain check, what do you imply? That you will never accept an invitation again or that you will do it but another time?

If you say that you have to take a rain check, you're saying, Hey, listen, I can't today, but let's do this some other time. That's not too bad.

• Is telling someone you have to take a rain check rude or polite?

Well, obviously canceling plans with other people is not great, but if you have to, using the expression I have to take a rain check is pretty polite. It's a pretty polite way to let someone know that you can't accept an offer.

• When was the last time you took a rain check? Why?

I think it was like a couple of weeks ago, I had made plans to go to the beach with my boyfriend and some of his friends but then I started to not feel great. I told him that I had to take a rain check and that I will just join them another time.

Something comes up

'It’s just... something came up and I can’t come.'

• When you have a plan but something comes up, what happens? You can’t go, you can go but later, you will be early?

Usually when you say that something comes up, it means that you have plans with someone, but you can't go anymore or you can go, but you're probably going to be late.

• If something comes up, do you expect it?

No. When you say that something has come up, that means it was totally unexpected and it's a great way-- it's a great expression to use because you can still let someone know that you have had a problem. You're not saying what exactly happened. You can maintain your privacy, but warn the other person that you can't go or that you will be late.

• When was the last time you were late or didn’t go somewhere because something came up?

It was actually last week. I had made plans to meet up with my friend, Tom and his girlfriend but something came up and we couldn't meet up. That something was actually my trip to Italy, which was totally unexpected. I just texted him and said, listen, something came up, we can't meet this weekend, but we can do the following weekend.

Out of the blue

'She called me out of the blue.'

• If something happens out of the blue, do you expect it to happen?

Well no, because today we're talking about unexpected events. If something happens out of the blue, you do not expect it to happen at all. It's a total surprise.

• When was the last time someone contacted you out of the blue?

It was, again, I think last week or two weeks ago. This guy who I used to be friends with when I was maybe 15 or something, he messaged me on Facebook, but we hadn't talked at all for, I think, 20 years or something. Almost 20 years. He just messaged me out of the blue because he was interested in some English classes. That was funny.

Snap decision

'Yeah, I guess she made a snap decision…'

• If you make a snap decision, how long do you think about it before making it?

If you make a snap decision, you make it super quickly. You don't spend a long time thinking about it or thinking about the pros, the cons, none of that.

• Do you often make snap decisions?

Yes, I think I do. I make a lot of snap decisions. I don't like spending a lot of time thinking about the consequences of my decisions, which I don't know if it's a good thing or a bad thing, but I'm pretty impulsive. For example, if I go to the restaurant, I make a lot of snap decisions in terms of, okay, I want to eat this and this and this. If I go shopping, it's the same. Yes, I definitely make a lot of snap decisions.

Bummer

'What a bummer.'

• When do you use the expression “bummer”, when responding to good news or bad news?

You use the expression bummer or it's a bummer or what a bummer when responding to bad news.

• If you think something is a bummer, are you excited or disappointed?

If you think something is a bummer, you're definitely disappointed.

• If you think something is a bummer, how bad is the news? Really bad or just a little bit?

If you think something is a bummer, the news is not really bad. Imagine you have a friend that comes up to you and says, hey, you know what? My dog died, and you say, Ooh, that's a bummer. No, don't do that. That's terrible because you only say something is a bummer when it's not so important. You're disappointed, but it's no big deal. Careful when you use it.

• What could be examples of a bummer for you?

For me, I think, for example going to the ice cream place and not finding any flavors that I like, that could be a bummer. It's also impossible because I like every ice cream flavor in the world. No, but really so that's an example, or maybe you want to watch a movie you think you're going to like, and then you realize that you don't like it. Well, that's a bummer because it's a disappointment, but it's not that big of a disappointment. I remember this one time I went to see my favorite band live. They're called Whitesnake and unfortunately, they didn't perform a lot of my favorite songs. That was a bummer. So you get it, it's a minor disappointment we could say.

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