A Plate of Peas
文章来源:未知 文章作者:enread 发布时间:2017-05-16 09:00 字体: [ ]  进入论坛
(单词翻译:双击或拖选)
My grandfather died when I was a small boy, and my grandmother started staying with us for about six months every year. She lived in a room that doubled as my father's office, which we referred to as "the back room." She carried with her a powerful aroma1. I don't know what kind of perfume she used, but it was the double-barreled, ninety-proof, knockdown, render-the-victim-unconscious, moose-killing variety. She kept it in a huge atomizer and applied2 it frequently and liberally. It was almost impossible to go into her room and remain breathing for any length of time. When she would leave the house to go spend six months with my Aunt Lillian, my mother and sisters would throw open all the windows, strip the bed, and take out the curtains and rugs. Then they would spend several days washing and airing things out, trying frantically3 to make the pungent4 odor go away.
 
This, then, was my grandmother at the time of the infamous5 pea incident.
 
It took place at the Biltmore Hotel, which, to my eight-year-old mind, was just about the fancies place to eat in all of Providence6. My grandmother, my mother, and I were having lunch after a morning spent shopping. I grandly ordered a salisbury steak, confident in the knowledge that beneath that fancy name was a good old hamburger with gravy7. When brought to the table, it was accompanied by a plate of peas. I do not like peas now. I did not like peas then. I have always hated peas. It is a complete mystery to me why anyone would voluntarily eat peas. I did not eat them at home. I did not eat them at restaurants. And I certainly was not about to eat them now. "Eat your peas," my grandmother said.
 
"Mother," said my mother in her warning voice. "He doesn't like peas. Leave him alone."
 
My grandmother did not reply, but there was a glint in her eye and a grim set to her jaw8 that signaled she was not going to be thwarted9. She leaned in my direction, looked me in the eye, and uttered the fateful words that changed my life: "I'll pay you five dollars if you eat those peas."
 
I had absolutely no idea of the impending10 doom11. I only knew that five dollars was an enormous, nearly unimaginable amount of money, and as awful as peas were, only one plate of them stood between me and the possession of that five dollars. I began to force the wretched things down my throat.
 
My mother was livid. My grandmother had that self-satisfied look of someone who has thrown down an unbeatable trump12 card. "I can do what I want, Ellen, and you can't stop me." My mother glared at her mother. She glared at me. No one can glare like my mother. If there were a glaring Olympics, she would undoubtedly13 win the gold medal.
 
I, of course, kept shoving peas down my throat. The glares made me nervous, and every single pea made me want to throw up, but the magical image of that five dollars floated before me, and I finally gagged down every last one of them. My grandmother handed me the five dollars with a flourish. My mother continued to glare in silence. And the episode ended. Or so I thought.
 
My grandmother left for Aunt Lillian's a few weeks later. That night, at dinner, my mother served two of my all-time favorite foods, meatloaf and mashed14 potatoes. Along with them came a big, steaming bowl of peas. She offered me some peas, and I, in the very last moments of my innocent youth, declined. My mother fixed15 me with a cold eye as she heaped a huge pile of peas onto my plate. Then came the words that were to haunt me for years.
 
"You ate them for money," she said. "You can eat them for love."
 
Oh, despair! Oh, devastation16! Now, too late, came the dawning realization17 that I had unwittingly damned myself to a hell from which there was no escape.
 
"You ate them for money. You can eat them for love."
 
What possible argument could I muster18 against that? There was none. Did I eat the peas? You bet I did. I ate them that day and every other time they were served thereafter. The five dollars were quickly spent. My grandmother passed away a few years later. But the legacy19 of the peas lived on, as it lives on to this day. If I so much as curl my lip when they are served (because, after all, I still hate the horrid20 little things), my mother repeats the dreaded21 words one more time: "You ate them for money," she says. "You can eat them for love."


点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 aroma Nvfz9     
n.香气,芬芳,芳香
参考例句:
  • The whole house was filled with the aroma of coffee.满屋子都是咖啡的香味。
  • The air was heavy with the aroma of the paddy fields.稻花飘香。
2 applied Tz2zXA     
adj.应用的;v.应用,适用
参考例句:
  • She plans to take a course in applied linguistics.她打算学习应用语言学课程。
  • This cream is best applied to the face at night.这种乳霜最好晚上擦脸用。
3 frantically ui9xL     
ad.发狂地, 发疯地
参考例句:
  • He dashed frantically across the road. 他疯狂地跑过马路。
  • She bid frantically for the old chair. 她发狂地喊出高价要买那把古老的椅子。
4 pungent ot6y7     
adj.(气味、味道)刺激性的,辛辣的;尖锐的
参考例句:
  • The article is written in a pungent style.文章写得泼辣。
  • Its pungent smell can choke terrorists and force them out of their hideouts.它的刺激性气味会令恐怖分子窒息,迫使他们从藏身地点逃脱出来。
5 infamous K7ax3     
adj.声名狼藉的,臭名昭著的,邪恶的
参考例句:
  • He was infamous for his anti-feminist attitudes.他因反对女性主义而声名狼藉。
  • I was shocked by her infamous behaviour.她的无耻行径令我震惊。
6 providence 8tdyh     
n.深谋远虑,天道,天意;远见;节约;上帝
参考例句:
  • It is tempting Providence to go in that old boat.乘那艘旧船前往是冒大险。
  • To act as you have done is to fly in the face of Providence.照你的所作所为那样去行事,是违背上帝的意志的。
7 gravy Przzt1     
n.肉汁;轻易得来的钱,外快
参考例句:
  • You have spilled gravy on the tablecloth.你把肉汁泼到台布上了。
  • The meat was swimming in gravy.肉泡在浓汁之中。
8 jaw 5xgy9     
n.颚,颌,说教,流言蜚语;v.喋喋不休,教训
参考例句:
  • He delivered a right hook to his opponent's jaw.他给了对方下巴一记右钩拳。
  • A strong square jaw is a sign of firm character.强健的方下巴是刚毅性格的标志。
9 thwarted 919ac32a9754717079125d7edb273fc2     
阻挠( thwart的过去式和过去分词 ); 使受挫折; 挫败; 横过
参考例句:
  • The guards thwarted his attempt to escape from prison. 警卫阻扰了他越狱的企图。
  • Our plans for a picnic were thwarted by the rain. 我们的野餐计划因雨受挫。
10 impending 3qHzdb     
a.imminent, about to come or happen
参考例句:
  • Against a background of impending famine, heavy fighting took place. 即将发生饥荒之时,严重的战乱爆发了。
  • The king convoke parliament to cope with the impending danger. 国王召开国会以应付迫近眉睫的危险。
11 doom gsexJ     
n.厄运,劫数;v.注定,命定
参考例句:
  • The report on our economic situation is full of doom and gloom.这份关于我们经济状况的报告充满了令人绝望和沮丧的调子。
  • The dictator met his doom after ten years of rule.独裁者统治了十年终于完蛋了。
12 trump LU1zK     
n.王牌,法宝;v.打出王牌,吹喇叭
参考例句:
  • He was never able to trump up the courage to have a showdown.他始终鼓不起勇气摊牌。
  • The coach saved his star player for a trump card.教练保留他的明星选手,作为他的王牌。
13 undoubtedly Mfjz6l     
adv.确实地,无疑地
参考例句:
  • It is undoubtedly she who has said that.这话明明是她说的。
  • He is undoubtedly the pride of China.毫无疑问他是中国的骄傲。
14 mashed Jotz5Y     
a.捣烂的
参考例句:
  • two scoops of mashed potato 两勺土豆泥
  • Just one scoop of mashed potato for me, please. 请给我盛一勺土豆泥。
15 fixed JsKzzj     
adj.固定的,不变的,准备好的;(计算机)固定的
参考例句:
  • Have you two fixed on a date for the wedding yet?你们俩选定婚期了吗?
  • Once the aim is fixed,we should not change it arbitrarily.目标一旦确定,我们就不应该随意改变。
16 devastation ku9zlF     
n.毁坏;荒废;极度震惊或悲伤
参考例句:
  • The bomb caused widespread devastation. 炸弹造成大面积破坏。
  • There was devastation on every side. 到处都是破坏的创伤。 来自《简明英汉词典》
17 realization nTwxS     
n.实现;认识到,深刻了解
参考例句:
  • We shall gladly lend every effort in our power toward its realization.我们将乐意为它的实现而竭尽全力。
  • He came to the realization that he would never make a good teacher.他逐渐认识到自己永远不会成为好老师。
18 muster i6czT     
v.集合,收集,鼓起,激起;n.集合,检阅,集合人员,点名册
参考例句:
  • Go and muster all the men you can find.去集合所有你能找到的人。
  • I had to muster my courage up to ask him that question.我必须鼓起勇气向他问那个问题。
19 legacy 59YzD     
n.遗产,遗赠;先人(或过去)留下的东西
参考例句:
  • They are the most precious cultural legacy our forefathers left.它们是我们祖先留下来的最宝贵的文化遗产。
  • He thinks the legacy is a gift from the Gods.他认为这笔遗产是天赐之物。
20 horrid arozZj     
adj.可怕的;令人惊恐的;恐怖的;极讨厌的
参考例句:
  • I'm not going to the horrid dinner party.我不打算去参加这次讨厌的宴会。
  • The medicine is horrid and she couldn't get it down.这种药很难吃,她咽不下去。
21 dreaded XuNzI3     
adj.令人畏惧的;害怕的v.害怕,恐惧,担心( dread的过去式和过去分词)
参考例句:
  • The dreaded moment had finally arrived. 可怕的时刻终于来到了。
  • He dreaded having to spend Christmas in hospital. 他害怕非得在医院过圣诞节不可。 来自《用法词典》
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