Boys prepare for big catch

Dino Mahoney

Tune in to Radio 4's Songbirds tonight at 9.30pm for the first episode of the comic fantasy story series Oil Drum Genii.

It's the beginning of a long weekend and Sam and Marco have no money and no idea what to do with themselves. Marco suggests they go fishing. The boys find an old stick, some string and a worm to use as bait and cycle out to the harbour front to fish. But when they get there they realise they do not have a hook.

Below is the first part of Oil Drum Genii for you to read before or while listening to the radio.

Sam: Hey Marco, I'm bored.

Marco: Me too.

Sam: What shall we do?

Marco: Um ... go to a games centre and play some video games?

Sam: No money.

Marco: Go to the cinema ... see a film?

Sam: No money.

Marco: Hang out in a shopping centre?

Sam: What's the point? We won't be able to buy anything.

Marco: OK Sam, you make some suggestions.

Sam: Go to Lamma Island?

Marco: We'd need to buy ferry tickets ... no money.

Sam: Watch a VCD?

Marco: We've watched all our VCDs a hundred times and we've got no money to buy new ones.

Sam: OK, how about just walking about in the street?

Marco: There are lots of beggars in the street and kids selling charity stickers and rattling money boxes and we don't have any money so it would be embarrassing.

Sam: You're right Marco, I hadn't thought of that.

Marco: And what about our shoes? Walking in the street means using up the rubber at the bottom of your shoes and that means we'd have to buy new shoes. And new shoes are expensive and we ...

Sam: ... don't have any money.

Marco: Right.

Sam: Perhaps we'd better stay at home and watch TV.

Marco: But it costs money to watch TV.

Sam: Does it? I thought you just switched it on and watched.

Marco: Yes, but when you switch it on, you use electricity and you have to pay for electricity.

Sam: That's true.

Marco: And when you watch TV you have to eat something - beef jerky or crisps or sweets or something - and snacks are expensive.

Sam: Hadn't thought of that. (Pause). We could listen to the radio.

Marco: Same thing ... electricity ... snacks ... and we ...

Sam: ... don't have any.

Marco: Right.

Sam: There must be something we can do that doesn't need money.

Marco: There is.

Sam: What?

Marco: Fishing.

Sam: Fishing?

Marco: We look around, find a bamboo pole, find a line, find a hook, find a worm ... and they're all free.

Sam: And where would we go?

Marco: Harbour front at Tsim Sha Tsui.

Sam: But how do we get there? We haven't got any money for bus tickets.

Marco: I've got my pedal bike ... that's free. No petrol, just push.

Sam: What about me?

Marco: I'll give you a lift.

Sam: But what about our shoes? Once we get off the bike, we'll have to walk and wear out the rubber on our shoes.

Marco: We won't wear shoes ... we'll go barefoot.

Sam: OK.

Marco: So shall we do that, then? Go fishing?

Sam: Good idea. How about this bamboo pole?

Marco: Too short.

Sam: How about this one?

Marco: Too long.

Sam: This one?

Marco: That's the one.

Sam: How about this string?

Marco: OK. Scissors?

Sam: Here you are.

Marco: Thanks.

Sam: How about this worm?

Marco: Too big!

Sam: This one?

Marco: Where?

Sam: On my finger.

Marco: Have you got a magnifying glass?

Sam: Yes. Here you are.

Marco: Mmm ... there's a problem.

Sam: What problem?

Marco: That worm is the right size when you look at it through the magnifying glass, but the wrong size when you don't.

Sam: So what shall I do with it?

Marco: Feed it and show me it again next year.

Sam: OK.

(SFX: Biting noisily into a crisp apple)

Sam: Aghhh! A worm! (Calms down as he realises this could be THE worm). A worm. Mmm. Marco!

Marco: Yes, Sam.

Sam: How about this worm?

Marco: Perfect. Where did you find it?

Now listen to the rest of Oil Drum Genii and answer these questions:

1. The boys make a fishing hook with ...

a) an old nail

b) a safety pin

c) a badge

d) some wire

2. Sam calls the worm ...

a) Billy

b) Bob

c) Wez

d) Willy

Answers: 1b, 2d