Unit One
第一单元
Text

Two college-age boys,
两个上大学的男孩,
unaware that making money usually involves hard work,
没有意识到攒钱通常包括辛勤的工作,
are tempted by an advertisement that promises them an easy way to earn a lot of money.
被一个承诺通过一个简单的方法可以攒很多钱的广告诱惑了。
The boys soon learn that if something seems too good to be true,
男孩们不久就知道事情看起来是好的,而实际却不是。
it probably is.
它可能是。
BIG BUCKS THE EASY WAY
轻轻松松赚大钱
"You ought to look into this," I suggested to our two college-age sons.
“你们该看看这个,”我向两个读大学的儿子提出建议。
"It might be a way to avoid the indignity of having to ask for money all the time."
“你们若不愿因才是伸手要钱而有失尊严的话,这也许是个好办法。”
I handed them some magazines in a plastic bag someone had hung on our doorknob.
我从挂在房门把手上的塑料袋里拿出几本杂志递给他们。
A message printed on the bag offered leisurely,lucrative work
塑料袋上印着一条信息,说是需要招聘人投递这样的袋子,这活既轻松又赚钱。
("Big Bucks the Easy Way!") of delivering more such bags.
(“轻轻松松赚大钱”)
"I don't mind the indignity," the older one answered.
“我不在乎是否有失尊严,”大儿子回答说。
"I can live with it," his brother agreed.
“我能够忍受。”他的弟弟随身附和。
"But it pains me," I said,
“可我感到痛心,”我说。
"to find that you both have been panhandling so long that it no longer embarrasses you."
“看到你俩长期伸手要钱,习以学常,不觉得难为情,这真叫人痛心。”
The boys said they would look into the magazine-delivery thing
这两个孩子说他们可以考虑一下投递杂志的事情。
Pleased, I left town on a business trip.
我听了很高兴,便到外地出差去了。
By midnight I was comfortably settled in a hotel room far from home.
午夜,我已远离家门,舒舒服服地在一家旅馆里住了下来。
The phone rang.
电话铃响了。
It was my wife.
是我妻子打来的。
She wanted to know how my day had gone.
她想知道我这一天过得可好。
"Great!" I enthused.
“好极了!”我兴高采烈地说。
"How was your day?" I inquired.
“你过得如何?”我问道。
"Super!" she snapped. "Just super!
“棒极了!”她怒气冲冲地说。“真棒!
And it's only getting started.
而且这还只是个开头。
Another truck just pulled up out front."
又有一辆卡车刚好停在门前。”
"Another truck?"
“又辆卡车?”
"The third one this evening.
“今晚是第三辆了。
The first delivered four thousand Montgomery Wards.
第一辆送来了4000份蒙哥马利?沃德百货公司的广告,
The second brought four thousand Sears, Roebucks.
第二辆运来了4000份西尔斯?罗伯克百货公司的广告。
I don't know what this one has,
这不知道这辆车装的是啥,
but I'm sure it will be four thousand of something.
但肯定是4000份什么广告类的东西。
Since you are responsible,
既然此事是你促成的,
I thought you might like to know what's happening."
我认为你或许想了解事情的进展。”
What I was being blamed for , it turned out,
我之所以受到指责,其原因是这样的,
was a newspaper strike which made it necessary to hand-deliver the advertising inserts that normally are included with the Sunday paper.
因为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,必须派人直接投送到订户手里。
The company had promised our boys $600 for delivering these inserts to 4,000 houses by Sunday morning.
报业公司答应我的儿子600美元,任务是将这些广告插页在星期日上午之前投递到4000户人家去。
"Piece of cake !" our older college son had shouted.
“这可太容易做了。”上大学的大儿子高声叫喊。
"Six hundred bucks!" His brother had echoed,
“600块!”他的弟弟应声说。
"And we can do the job in two hours!"
“我们两个小时就能干完!”
"Both the Sears and Ward ads are four newspaper-size pages," my wife informed me.
“西尔斯和沃德百货公司的广告有四张报纸那么大,“我的太太在电话中对我说。
" There are thirty-two thousand pages of advertising on our porch.
“现在我们的门廊上堆着32000页广告。
Even as we speak, two big guys are carrying armloads of paper up the walk.
就在我们说话的时候,两个大个子正各自抱着一大捆广告走过来。
What do we do about all this?"
这么多广告,我们可怎么办?”
"Just tell the boys to get busy," I instructed.
“叫孩子们赶快干,”我吩咐道。
"They're college men .
“他们都是大学生了,
They'll do what they have to do."
他们自己的事情得由他们自己去做。”
At noon the following day I returned to the hotel and found an urgent message to telephone my wife.
第二天中午,我回到旅馆时看到一份紧急留言,要我尽快给我太太回电话。
Her voice was unnaturally high and quavering.
我太太接电话的声音高而颤抖,很不自然。
There had been several more truckloads of ad inserts.
家里又来了好几卡车的广告插页。
"They're for department stores,
“这些广告要送往百货公司、
dime stores, drugstores, grocery stores,
廉价商店、杂货铺、食品店、
auto stores and so on .
汽车行等等地方。
Some are whole magazine sections.
有些广告有整本杂志那么大。
We have hundreds of thousands, maybe millions,
我们这里的广告有几十万页,说不是几百万页!
of pages of advertising here!
房间里广告堆得到处都是,
They are crammed wall-to-wall all through the house in stacks taller than your oldest son.
堆得比你大儿子还要高。
There's only enough room for people to walk in,
留出的地方刚够一个人走进去。
take one each of the eleven inserts, roll them together,
从11种广告插页中各取一份,卷在一起,
slip a rubber band around them and slide them into a plastic bag.
套在橡皮筋,然后便塞进一只塑料袋内。
We have enough plastic bags to supply every takeout restaurant in America!"
我们的塑料袋足够供应美国所有的外卖餐馆!”
Her voice kept rising,
她越说声音越大,
as if working its way out of the range of the human ear.
几乎是震耳欲聋了。
"All this must be delivered by seven o'clock Sunday morning."
“这么多广告都必须在星期天上午七点以前送完。”
"Well, you had better get those guys banding and sliding as fast as they can ,
“嗯,你最好让孩子们尽快地捆扎装袋,
and I'll talk to you later.
等会儿我再跟你谈。
Got a lunch date."
我约了人吃午饭。”
When I returned,
我吃完饭回到房间里时,
there was another urgent call from my wife.
又打来紧急电话。
"Did you have a nice lunch?" she asked sweetly.
“你午餐吃得不错吧?”她亲切地问道。
I had had a marvelous steak,
我吃了一份美味的牛排,
but knew better by now than to say so.
但我很清楚眼下还是不说为好。
"Awful," I reported.
“糟透了,”我回答说。
"Some sort of sour fish. Eel, I think."
“一种什么酸溜溜的鱼,我想大概是鳗鲡吧。”
"Good. Your college sons have hired their younger brothers and sisters and a couple of neighborhood children to help for five dollars each.
“不错嘛。你上大学的两个儿子已经雇了弟弟妹妹和几个邻居的小孩帮忙,工钱是每人五元。
Assembly lines have been set up.
已经建起了装配流水作业线。
In the language of diplomacy,
用外交术语来说,
there is 'movement.' "
事情‘有进展’。”
"That's encouraging."
“这确实令人鼓舞。”
"No, it's not ," she corrected.
“情况并非如此,”她纠正说。
"It's very discouraging.
“相反,非常令人沮丧。
They've been at it for hours.
他们干了好几个钟头,
Plastic bags have been filled and piled to the ceiling ,
装好的塑料袋一直堆到天花板,
but all this hasn't made a dent,
然而所做的这一切,
not a dent, in the situation!
并没有使整个局面得以改观。
It's almost as if the inserts keep reproducing themselves!"
这些广告插页简直像是不停地自行生产出来的!”
"Another thing," she continued.
“还有一件事,”她补充说。
"Your college sons must learn that one does not get the best out of employees by threatening them with bodily harm."
“你那两个上大学的儿子必须明白,靠威胁雇员,说要揍他们,是不可能使他们卖力的。”
Obtaining an audience with son No. 1, I snarled,
我跟大儿子一通上电话,便怒气冲冲地对他说:
"I'll kill you if you threaten one of those kids again ! Idiot!
“你们如果再威胁那些孩子,我就对你们不客气了!笨蛋!
You should be offering a bonus of a dollar every hour to the worker who fills the most bags."
你们应该发奖金,谁装袋装得最多,每小时再奖一块钱。”
"But that would cut into our profit," he suggested.
“那可要减少我们的利润啦。”他说。
"There won't be any profit unless those kids enable you to make all the deliveries on time.
“这些孩子不帮你们按时把所有的广告投送出去,你们就什么利润也得不到。
If they don't ,
如果他们不干了,
you two will have to remove all that paper by yourselves.
你俩就得靠自己搬走所有的广告。
And there will be no eating or sleeping until it is removed."
而在搬走之前你们吃不成饭,睡不着觉。”
There was a short, thoughtful silence.
电话里出现了短暂的沉默,他在静静地思考。
Then he said ,
接着,他说:
"Dad, you have just worded a profound change in my personality."
“爸爸,你刚才这番话发人深思,使我幡然醒悟。”
"Do it!"
“那就干吧!”
"Yes, sir!"
“遵命,阁下!”
By the following evening,
第二天傍晚,
there was much for my wife to report.
我的太太有许多情况要告诉我。
The bonus program had worked until someone demanded to see the color of cash.
奖金计划起了作用,但后来有人怀疑能否兑现,提出要看看钱的样子。
Then some activist on the work force claimed that the workers had no business settling for $5 and a few competitive bonuses while the bosses collected hundreds of dollars each.
接着,雇员中有位活动家声称,老板每人拿几百块钱,他们这些工人决没有理由只满足于每人五块钱另加一点点竞争性的奖金。
The organizer had declared that all the workers were entitled to $5 per hour!
这位活动家宣布,所有的工人都应该得到每小时五块钱的报酬!
They would not work another minute until the bosses agreed.
在老板答应他们的条件之前,他们决不干活。
The strike lasted less than two hours.
罢工持续了一个多小时。
In mediation , the parties agreed on $2 per hour.
能过调解,双方达成协议,每小时两块钱的工资。
Gradually, the huge stacks began to shrink.
大堆广告渐渐地开始减少。
As it turned out, the job was completed three hours before Sunday's 7 a.m. deadline .
结果,全部工作比最后期限星期天上午七点提前三个小时完成。
By the time I arrived home ,
等到我回到家里,
the boys had already settled their accounts: $ 150 in labor costs ,
孩子们已经结了帐。劳务支出150元,
$40 for gasoline , and a like amount for gifts
汽油费40元,还有40元买了礼品
boxes of candy for saintly neighbors who had volunteered station wagons and help in delivery and a dozen roses for their mother.
??儿童糖果,送给乐于助人的邻居,他们主动开出自家的车帮助投递广告;还有一打玫瑰送给母亲。
This left them with $185 each
除去以上开支,他俩每人得到185元
about two-thirds the minimum wage for the 91 hours they worked.
大约相当于他们所干的91个小时应得的最低工资的三分之一。
Still , it was "enough" , as one of them put it ,
虽然如此,但正如一个儿子所说,这些钱还是“足够”他们花上一阵子,
to enable them to "avoid indignity" for quite a while.
使他们“避免那种有失尊严的事”。
All went well for some weeks .
几个星期过去了,一切都很正常。
Then one Saturday morning my attention was drawn to the odd goings-on of our two youngest sons .
后来在一个星期六的上午,两个小儿子的奇怪举动引起了我的注意。
They kept carrying carton after carton from various corners of the house out the front door to curbside .
他们不停地把一个又一个纸箱从房屋的角落里搬出来,经过前门,运到人行道上。
I assumed their mother had enlisted them to remove junk for a trash pickup .
我以为是他们的母亲在指挥他们清除废物,好让垃圾车运走。
Then I overheard them discussing fina
 

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