Script: Listening Exercise 119

Script: Listening Exercise 119


Voice 1: Are you superstitious? If you are, you are not alone. Superstitions are strange things, and even famous people, from war leaders to film stars, have them.

Voice 2: The American millionaire, Cornelius Vanderbilt, had the legs of every bed he slept in placed in dishes of salt to keep evil spirits away. The famous English writer, Samuel Johnson, never entered a house with his left foot first because he believed that this brought bad luck to the people who lived there.

Voice 1: The great, British War time leader, Winston Churchill, always petted a black cat when he saw one because he believed this would bring him good luck. Film star Jennifer Aniston won’t board a plane without stepping on with her right foot first and tapping the outside of the plane.

Pete: Hi, my name’s Pete. Am I superstitious? You can bet your life I am! But only about one thing. I will never, ever, under any circumstances, walk under a ladder. The very thought of doing that makes me go cold. My friends and colleagues laugh at me, but I don’t care. I can be walking along a pavement with friends when we see a ladder propped up against a wall. Everyone else has no problems walking under it, but I carefully walk round it, even if it means stepping into the road. Walking under a ladder brings bad luck, you know! And I can prove it. Last week I was out with my girlfriend and she quite happily walked under a ladder. A man was on top of the ladder painting a shop sign. He accidentally spilt some paint and it went all down her brand new, very expensive jeans! It all got sorted out, but I don’t think she will walk under a ladder again.

Jane: Hello. My name’s Jane West, and I am the director of an export company here in Hong Kong. And, yes, I have one big superstition. I will never do any business or make any company decisions on a Friday the 13th. When that day and date comes round, I sit at my desk in my office and just make sure the business is taking over. If there are any decisions to be made, or people to contact, or anything of importance to do, it has to wait until Monday morning. I know you're thinking, how can a businesswoman afford to be superstitious? Let me tell you how. When I was twelve years old, both my mother and father were seriously injuried in a car accident on Friday, the 13th. Five years later, I broke my leg while skiing, and I still walk with a slight limp. Friday, the 13th again. That date makes me react with fear and almost horror. I wish I could stay in bed every Friday, the 13th. Thank goodness it doesn’t come around too often.


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