Voice: The expression ‘You’re pulling my leg’ is used a lot in English conversation. You say it when someone is telling you something you think is a big joke and can’t possibly be true. If they insist it’s not a joke but perfectly true, and if you STILL don’t believe what they’re saying, you would say ‘Pull the other one! It’s got bells on!’
The ‘other one’, of course, is your other leg! Listen to these two conversations between two sets of friends. One just does not believe what the other is saying. When you’ve heard both conversations, answer the questions. The first pair to speak is Max and Karen.
Max: I’ve got a really brilliant piece of new for you. Are you in the mood for a surprise?
Karen: Go on. I could do with something to cheer me up. I’ve had a bad day at work today and am feeling really fed up.
Max: Well, this will really make you feel much better. I told you last night that the boss wanted to see me first thing this morning. I hadn’t a clue what he wanted to see me about. In fact, I was a bit worried.
Karen: Yes, I remember.
Max: Well, he told me to sit down because I was really going to be surprised by what he was going to say. A vacancy has come up in the company’s head office in New York and he wants me to take the job.
Karen: You’re pulling my leg! New York?
Max: Yes! The job would be for two years. The company would provide accommodation for me, and my salary would be twenty-five per cent higher than I’m getting now.
Karen: More money as well? Pull the other one! It’s got bells on!
Max: No, I’m not pulling your leg! I’m telling you just what he told me. And he wants me to go at the end of this month. I can’t believe it myself, but it’s true.
Karen: Are you sure you’re not dreaming?
Max: It’s all perfectly true. I got the offer in writing this afternoon. I’m stunned. But I can’t turn it down. Offers as good as this don’t come up every day. And in New York!!! I can’t wait to get started. America, here I come!
Voice: The second pair is Harry and Joanna.
Harry: You’ll never guess what happened this morning!
Joanna: It must be something good. You’ve got a massive smile on your face!
Harry: It’s better than good! It is incredible!
Joanna: Go on. I’m all ears.
Harry: Well, you know I’ve got really into wildlife photography since I got that great SLR camera last year.
Joanna: Yes, you’ve taken some really good photos.
Harry: Oh thanks! Well, A couple of months ago, there was a competition in the photography magazine I buy every month. You had to submit any photo of a bird that you’d taken within the last six months. I sent a pic of a couple of hawks I’d taken one day when I went up the Peak. And guess what! I won first prize! Joanna: You’re pulling my leg! You’re still only a beginner. There must have been lots of entries better than yours. Oh … I don’t mean to be rude and your photos are good but …
Harry: I know what you mean. There were almost two thousand entries. Some of the photographers would’ve been really expert at snapping birds because they’ve been doing it for years. But I have won first prize. I was the best.
Joanna: Pull the other one! It’s got bells on! Harry: I’m not pulling your leg. Honestly! I’ve won thirty thousand dollars worth of new photo equipment … lenses, tripods and an amazing new camera. Wait until it all arrives next week. Then you’ll HAVE to believe me.