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There are eight bookstores around the Yangzhou teaching center, and people from all over the country and eight towns flock here to listen to books. Storytellers here are like setting up an arena. Only by working hard every day can they stand in this field.

There was a storyteller. At first, he only dared to make a living by telling Caotai stories in the towns of Lixiahe, Wazi Street outside Yangzhou City, and Rubble Mountain. After I became familiar with a book on calligraphy, I felt confident that I had already mastered the art of calligraphy, so I came to the teaching center to take a seat.

After more than 20 days, the bookstore has been quite popular. That’s not bad! Those book lovers have been regular listeners to the bookstore for decades. Which book has they not heard of? The main book says it right, but you still have to rely on gags to catch the audience, but this gentleman only relies on this one hand to capture the soul.

On this day, the teacher continued to talk as usual. What he was talking about today was a popular book① and also a foreign letter②. It said that a scholar, a doctor, a monk, and a man who collected ingot ashes③ wanted to become brothers. The book guest was particularly fascinated when he heard it. . Halfway through a book session, as usual, it was time to stop and talk. At this moment, the owner of the bookstore held a big blue and white bowl and collected money from the bookstore. At that moment, the book patrons did not need to pay for tickets when entering the venue, they just found a seat to sit down. At this moment, the boss came to collect the money, took out a few pennies, put the cat with a yin and yang face into the big bowl, and said, "ding rang." When–!" The boss said with a smile on his face: "More inheritances! More inheritances!" The calligrapher can pay as much as he likes, but it should be no less than five cents.

This paragraph of writing abroad is easy to get excited. There are many gimmicks and plots in the book. In addition, the storyteller's hands, eyes, body, steps and expressions are all coordinated, and the words are spoken flexibly and the expressions are neat. The more the book reader listens, the more excited he becomes. What everyone is saying: Although this gentleman is new to the teaching field and occupies the stage, his words are extraordinary. So the boss came to collect the money, and someone deliberately dropped a few more coins into the big bowl. At this moment, the owner of the bookstore shouted loudly: "Mr. Zhang, twenty cents! Daddy Qiao, twenty-five cents!" After hearing the count, Mr. Zhang and Daddy Qiao's faces were bright. The storyteller Now, I also have face, and there are people to support me. I have to show off a few more tricks in the second half.

After collecting the money, the bookstore owner pushed the big bowl toward the corner of the desk. This has been an old rule of the Yangzhou bookstore for many years: How much money you charge today, your husband will watch, and you will split the account in person after the show is over, so that the storyteller will not suspect that the boss has money behind his back. In fact, there is another meaning: the amount of money you receive is the book reader’s evaluation of your book. If you receive more money, you will have to work extra hard in the future; if you receive less money, you will have to examine your own shortcomings and pay more attention to the second half. Don't ruin your job. Mr. Jin'er glanced at the big bowl and said, "Well, it's not bad. The big bowl is piled high. I've gotten a lot. Good!" With a twist of God, the storyteller picked up the tree and patted it gently, then started talking about the second half of the book.

The second half of the book talks about the scholar, the doctor, the monk and the collector of ingot ashes bowing to each other and then sitting down to play mahjong. Scholars face south, monks face north, doctors face the west, and those who collect gold ingots face the east. The four of them sat down at the card table. Although they had just bowed to each other, at this moment they were no longer brothers. They could coax, intimidate or deceive, and they could do all kinds of tricks. The gentleman talked about these interesting subjects with a wink, and all the book visitors in the place laughed and bent over. Until the gentleman cut his mouth④, everyone raised their thumbs: "Not ugly, not ugly, and interesting⑤!" The owner of the bookstore Shouting: "Please be early tomorrow, everyone, please walk slowly!" The bookkeepers dispersed outside the venue.

The storyteller was just about to undress and drink tea in the boss's hut. At this moment, an old man hissed: "Sir, please go slowly! I have something to ask you!" After that, he walked to the front of the stage and without saying a word, he first put down the desk. Serve the large bowl at one end. Yangzhou Bookstore has always had a rule: If the storyteller's book is not round, and people grasp the words, the bookstore owner can serve a big bowl of cat with a yin and yang face , and the storyteller and bookstore owner do not have any interest in arguing. Of course, the book reader must tell the reason for carrying the big bowl and convince the storyteller.

The old man asked his husband: "You said that four brothers were playing mahjong, with their faces facing east, west, north and south, right?"

Monk Zhang Er was confused. He was stunned and said, "Yes."

"Sir, where's the mahjong table where you've seen this sitting method?"


"Mahjong tables are always set up with corners. People playing mahjong always face southeast, northeast, southwest, and northwest. How can anyone sit facing south, north, east, or west?"

The storyteller was scratching his head. What the old man said is right! The custom of playing mahjong is not to sit upright, but to sit sideways. The old man listened carefully and spoke rationally. The storyteller quickly raised his hands and said, "You are always right. Please accept the student's bow." He said with a long bow. He also said: "Your old bowl is well served, and it inspires me to make progress. If you don't abandon it, you can take away all the money in the bowl, and I will give you fifty coins as a gift for asking you for advice today." . But please give this big bowl to Xiaosheng, so that Xiaosheng can see things as if you are old, and encourage me to practice the Tao every day."

When the storyteller said this, the old man was embarrassed to have a straight face, so he followed suit and said, "The old man doesn't love money, he really loves art, so he joined your army. Forget it, I will return this big bowl to you, I don't want a penny." I'll take your fifty coins with you, and we can have evening tea at the restaurant across the street and catch up on our friendship. Can we still have some fun?"

Of course the storyteller was happy, and that was the end of the matter of carrying the big bowl.

Just because there are so many unwritten rules in Yangzhou Jiaochang and bookstores, the art of storytelling in Yangzhou becomes more and more refined and detailed. When speaking and behaving, they all pay attention to closing the door and locking it, so that no water leaks. It's not easy to agree on a book in Yangzhou. There is a saying in the storyteller industry: if the book guest below shouts "Hello", he will cry a lot behind his back! ②Outside Letters: The jargon of Yangzhou Pinghua, which refers to a section of the book introducing interludes, customs, and backgrounds other than the main plot.

③Those who collect ingot ashes: In the old days, the "ingots" burned during sacrifices were made from tin and germanium, which can still be refined and reused. In the old days, ingot ashes were also purchased when collecting old goods, so people who collected secondhand goods were commonly called ingot ashes. .

④ Cut the mouth: jargon in the commentary industry. The end of a book is called cutting.

⑤Youweier: Having a taste means having ability.

⑥Always: Never.

⑦Talk: If you speak carelessly, people will grasp the clue.

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