Susan stays up all night thinking about her cookie business. In the morning, she discusses it with Bob. Bob agrees to work for her.
Bob: You’re up bright and early this morning, Susan.
Susan: I didn’t sleep a wink. I was awake all night thinking about the new business.
Bob: Running your own business is lots of work. Are you prepared to work like a dog?
Susan: No. But I am prepared to hire you to run the business.
Bob: You want me to run a cookie business? Fat chance!
Susan: Why not?
Bob: I don’t have a clue about making cookies. I don’t even know how to turn the oven on!
Susan: I’ll give you a crash course.
Bob: Do I have to do the baking?
Susan: No. You’ll just manage the business side.
Needless to say, I have mixed feelings about working for you. I’ll be nice. I promise you’ll be a happy camper. Okay. Let’s give it a shot, boss!
Idioms in the story
bright and early – early in the morning
EXAMPLE 1: Our flight to Berlin leaves at 7:00 a.m. tomorrow, so we’ll have to get up bright and early.
EXAMPLE 2: We have lots of cookies to bake so we’ll have to start bright and early tomorrow.
SYNONYM: at the crack of dawn
crash course – short and intensive instruction
EXAMPLE 1: Yesterday, Joan’s son sat down with her for a couple of hours and gave her a crash course on using the Internet.
EXAMPLE 2: Rachel had a date on Friday night with an auto mechanic. He gave her a crash course on changing her oil.
Fat chance! – definitely not
EXAMPLE 1: The boys at school are always laughing at Dana. Will she be invited to the school dance? Fat chance!
EXAMPLE 2: You want to borrow my new car and drive it across the country? Fat chance!
SYNONYMS: never in a million years; no way!
(to) give it a shot – to try something
EXAMPLE 1: I’ve never tried to make wine in my bathtub before, but perhaps I’ll give it a shot.
EXAMPLE 2: You can’t open that jar? Let me give it a shot.
SYNONYMS: to give it a try; to try one’s hand at something
NOTE: “To give it one’s best shot” means to try as hard as one can. I know you’re nervous about the interview — just give it your best shot.
happy camper [slang] – a happy person; a satisfied participant
EXAMPLE 1: When Linda’s passport was stolen in Florence, she was not a happy camper.
EXAMPLE 2: Steve is taking five difficult courses this semester. He’s not a happy camper!
NOTE: This expression is usually used in the negative (not a happy camper).
(to have) mixed feelings – to feel positive about one aspect of something and negative about another
EXAMPLE 1: When our house guests decided to stay for another week, I had mixed feelings. On the one hand, I enjoyed hanging out with them. On the other hand, I was tired of cooking for them.
EXAMPLE 2: I have mixed feelings about the president of our company. He’s good with the clients, but he’s nasty to his employees.
needless to say – obviously
EXAMPLE 1: You’ve got a test tomorrow morning. Needless to say, you can’t stay out late tonight.
EXAMPLE 2: Needless to say, you shouldn’t have waited until Christmas Eve to do your shopping. The stores are going to be very crowded!
SYNONYM: it goes without saying. Example: You’ve got a test tomorrow,
so it goes without saying that you can’t stay out late tonight.
(to) not have a clue – to know nothing about
EXAMPLE 1: Bob talks about working at McDonald’s, but the truth is he doesn’t have a clue about making hamburgers.
EXAMPLE 2: “Do you know how to fix a broken printer?” – “No, I don’t have a clue!”
(to) not sleep a wink – to be awake all night
EXAMPLE 1: Ted was so nervous about his chemistry test that he didn’t sleep a wink the night before.
EXAMPLE 2: It’s not surprising that Jill didn’t sleep a wink last night. She drank a large cup of coffee before going to bed.
(to) work like a dog – to work very hard
EXAMPLE 1: Larry became an investment banker after college, and now he works like a dog.
EXAMPLE 2: Al worked like a dog on his term paper and got an “A+” on it.
SYNONYMS: to work one’s tail off; to work like a horse; to work one’s fingers to the bone