Unit 1


Two college-age boys, unaware that making money usually involves hard work, are tempted by an advertisement that promises them an easy way to earn a lot of money. The boys soon learn that if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. 一个大学男孩,不清楚赚钱需要付出艰苦的劳动,被一份许诺轻松赚大钱的广告吸引了。男孩们很快就明白,如果事情看起来好得不像真的,那多半确实不是真的。



John G. Hubbell

"You ought to look into this," I suggested to our two college-age sons. "It might be a way to avoid the indignity of having to ask for money all the time." I handed them some magazines in a plastic bag someone had hung on our doorknob.“你们该看看这个,”我向我们的两个读大学的儿子建议道。“你们若想避免因为老是向人讨钱而有失尊严的话,这兴许是一种办法。”我将挂在我们门把手上的、装在一个塑料袋里的几本杂志拿给他们。

A message printed on the bag offered leisurely, lucrative work ("Big Bucks the Easy Way!") of delivering more such bags.塑料袋上印着一条信息说,需要招聘人投递这样的袋子,这活儿既轻松又赚钱。(“轻轻松松赚大钱!”)

"I don't mind the indignity," the older one answered.“我不在乎失不失尊严,”大儿子回答说。

"I can live with it," his brother agreed.“我可以忍受,”他的弟弟附和道。

"But it pains me," I said,"to find that you both have been panhandling so long that it no longer embarrasses you."“看到你们俩伸手讨钱讨惯了一点也不感到尴尬的样子,真使我痛心,”我说。

The boys said they would look into the magazine-delivery thing. Pleased, I left town on a business trip. By midnight I was comfortably settled in a hotel room far from home. The phone rang. It was my wife. She wanted to know how my day had gone.孩子们说他们可以考虑考虑投递杂志的事。我听了很高兴,便离城出差去了。午夜时分,我已远离家门,在一家旅馆的房间里舒舒服服住了下来。电话铃响了,是妻子打来的。她想知道我这一天过得可好。

"Great!" I enthused. "How was your day?" I inquired.“好极了!”我兴高采烈地说。“你过得怎么样”我问道。"Super!" She snapped. "Just super! And it's only getting started. Another truck just pulled up out front."“棒极了!”她大声挖苦道。“真棒!而且这还仅仅是个开始。又一辆卡车刚在门前停下。”

"Another truck?"“又一辆卡车”?

"The third one this evening. The first delivered four thousand Montgomery Wards. The second brought four thousand Sears, Roebucks. I don't know what this one has, but I'm sure it will be four thousand of something. Since you are responsible, I thought you might like to know what's happening.“今晚第三辆了。第一辆运来了四千份蒙哥马利-沃德百货公司的广告;第二辆运来四千份西尔斯-罗伯克百货公司的广告。我不知道这一辆装的啥,但我肯定又是四千份什么的。既然这事是你促成的,我想你或许想了解事情的进展。”

What I was being blamed for, it turned out, was a newspaper strike which made it necessary to hand-deliver the advertising inserts that normally are included with the Sunday paper. The company had promised our boys $600 for delivering these inserts to 4,000 houses by Sunday morning.我之所以受到指责,事情原来是这样:由于发生了一起报业工人罢工,通常夹在星期日报纸里的广告插页,必须派人直接投送出去。公司答应给我们的孩子六百美金,任务是将这些广告插页在星期天早晨之前投递到四千户人家去。

"Piece of cake!" our older college son had shouted.“不费吹灰之力!”我们上大学的大儿子嚷道。

" Six hundred bucks!" His brother had echoed, "And we can do the job in two hours!"“六百块!”他的弟弟应声道,“我们两个钟点就能干完!”

"Both the Sears and Ward ads are four newspaper-size pages," my wife informed me. "There are thirty-two thousand pages of advertising on our porch. Even as we speak, two big guys are carrying armloads of paper up the walk. What do we do about all this?"“西尔斯和沃德的广告通常都是报纸那么大的四页,”妻子告诉我说,“现在我们门廊上堆着三万二千页广告。就在我们说话的当儿,两个大个子正各抱着一大捆广告走过来。这么多广告,我们可怎么办”。"Just tell the boys to get busy," I instructed. "They're college men. They'll do what they have to do."“你让孩子们快干,”我指示说。“他们都是大学生了。他们自己的事得由他们自己去做。”