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Four Yorkshiremen game

This is the opposite of the one-upmanship game I have posted about before. With one-upmanship (known cheekily as "Swankers" on BBC Radio 4's I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue), students work in pairs or small groups. You give a student a statement e.g. L'année dernière je suis allé en vacances à Scarborough. Students then take turns to impress with something better. Results can be amusing and ridiculious.

So, it occurred to me you could do tyhe opposite à la Four Yorkshiremen sketch from Monty Python. In case you don't know it, here is part of the script:

Michael Palin: Ahh.. Very passable, this, very passable.

Graham Chapman: Nothing like a good glass of Chateau de Chassilier wine, ay Gessiah?

Terry Gilliam: You're right there Obediah.

Eric Idle: Who'd a thought thirty years ago we'd all be sittin' here drinking Chateau de Chassilier wine?

MP: Aye. In them days, we'd a' been glad to have the price of a cup o' tea.

GC: A cup ' COLD tea.

EI: Without milk or sugar.

TG: OR tea!

MP: In a filthy, cracked cup.

EI: We never used to have a cup. We used to have to drink out of a rolled up newspaper.

GC: The best WE could manage was to suck on a piece of damp cloth.

TG: But you know, we were happy in those days, though we were poor.

MP: Aye. BECAUSE we were poor. My old Dad used to say to me, "Money doesn't buy you happiness."

EI: 'E was right. I was happier then and I had NOTHIN'. We used to live in this tiiiny old house, with greaaaaat big holes in the roof.

GC: House? You were lucky to have a HOUSE! We used to live in one room, all hundred and twenty-six of us, no furniture. Half the floor was missing; we were all huddled together in one corner for fear of FALLING!

TG: You were lucky to have a ROOM! *We* used to have to live in a corridor!......

et ainsi de suite

So I suggest this as an oral filler game for a lively and creative group of AS or A2 students (advanced level). You could play it in groups of four or fewer. It might go something like this with an advanced group:

- J'ai pas beaucoup d'argent pour les vacances en ce moment. J'ai passé quatre jours au bord de la mer à Trouville.

- Ah bon? Tu avais de la chance. J'avais voulu aller à Trouville, mais j'ai été malade juste avant de partir, donc j'ai dû me contenter d'une journée à Paris.

- Tu as eu de la chance, toi. Une fois j'ai eu une infection à la gorge et j'ai été tellement malade que j'ai été hospitalisé, alors je n'ai pas pu aller en vacances.

- Une infection à la gorge? C'est rien ça. J'ai eu une infection à la gorge et des vomissements, alors j'ai dû annuler mes vacances au Mexique.

- Tu as eu du pot, toi. Quand j'étais enfant je ne partais jamais en vacances car j'étais allergique à tout et j'ai dû rester sous une tente spéciale à l'hôpital.

- Tu avais une tente, toi? Tu étais gâté. Avec la maladie que j'ai eu, ils m'ont mis dans le coma pendant deux mois. J'étais alimenté grâce à un tube spécial. Mes parents paratient en vacances et me laissaient tout seul à l'hôpital.

- Mais tu avais des parents au moins. Moi, j'étais orphelin après la mort de mes parents dans un attentat terroriste....

et ainsi de suite


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