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新视野大学英语 读写教程第三册 unit4-c

时间:2005-12-13 16:00来源:互联网 提供网友:1234567890   字体: [ ]

  Section (C)Life in Low-Grade Terror1

      The phone rang, and I grabbed2 it as fast as I could. "Thank you for calling the Psychic3 Network (通灵热线)," I said as I started my presentation. "I read tarot cards(塔罗特纸牌). I'm mixing the cards now;tell me when it feels right to stop." As usual, I made noises with the cards without bothering to mixthem, much less read them.
The first time I saw a psychic television commercial (通灵大师电视商业广告), I wasn't as interestedin the famous people advertising4 the service as I was in ordinary people talking about the life-transforming psychic help they had received. As I recall5, an office manager said her psychic (通灵大师)told her that the first man she talked to at a Christmas (圣诞) party would become her husband — nowthey're married and expecting a child. A housewife who lost her cat found it in the exact placepredicted. But the satisfied customers — mostly women — didn't look like they could afford $3.99 aminute to talk to a psychic on the phone. At the time, I was a struggling writer. I decided6 to get a job asa psychic and then write about it.
To start my career, I took a nine-hour class with a fast-talking woman who made a living readingtarot cards at psychic fairs and for private customers. At the end of the course, I still felt like abeginner, so I studied the scientific reasons why tarot cards work. Israeli researchers suggest thatthere is a similarity between tarot readings and the plots of popular folk tales. By laying out a few cards,you create a story as appealing as a fairy tale, with your client7 as the hero. People are amazed8 at your"insight" because most are so vain (爱虚荣的) they can't imagine how much they have in common withthe rest of the population.
To further prepare myself, I offered readings to friends, including a scientist who makes a career ofproving popular beliefs to be false. My friend laughed as I laid out his cards and gave my introduction.
But soon his laughter faded, and later he told me he was astonished that my reading was so " accurate9".
I figured I was ready.
I called the Psychic Readers Network, which immediately mailed me an application. Soon someonefrom their personnel10 department called, and I gave a reading. "Great," she said. "You can startimmediately."First I had to learn a long list of instructions: Always pick up the phone by the second ring. Neveranswer specific questions before doing a "general reading". This would take up a lot of time and keepthe client on the line past the first two minutes that Psychic Readers offered free.
The call could last as long as 55 minutes, which (after taking away the two free minutes) translatedinto a telephone bill of $211.47. I kept the conversation going by asking for a full name and address "sowe can send you tickets for reduced price readings." At the end I was required to say, "For adults andentertainment only."All this was strengthened by the message I listened to each time I phoned in to work. "Come on,guys," it said. "Make sure you write down the full mailing address. We have six people testing everypsychic every month. We will see if you're doing everything properly."With this pace, I lived in low-grade terror — and I was only a part-time worker. Imagine peopletrying to make a living at this job. Most were women working 20 to 40 hours a week on the phone. Forthe $3.99 they earned each minute for the company, they kept only 25 cents in base pay — with noother benefits. Each week a computer totals the average length of your calls; if it is under 14 minutes,you're in trouble.
You learn to cultivate11 the callers who increase your average as they take you through long stories ofcrisis and loneliness. One woman lived eight miles from town, had a drinking problem and thought shewas pregnant13. She couldn't figure out what to do. I asked if she'd been to the doctor to see if she reallywas pregnant. No. She'd rather have the cards tell her. "Well," I said, "the cards show you'll be going toa store and buying a pregnancy14 (怀孕) test."Then I got my first call from Teneecia — suicidal(有自杀倾向的) with a recently dead boyfriend. Herswas the most extreme crisis12 I'd ever confronted15, and at first I was terribly afraid. Then, withoutthinking rationally16, I leapt into action. "Teneecia," I said. "Your boyfriend knows how much you lovehim. But he wants you to stay where you are, alive, and be a mother to his baby. And I want you to callme any time. Here's my home phone. Forget the psychic network — it's way too expensive.""Really?" Teneecia responded. "Oh, thank you. You're my psychic friend." I hung up and wept.
Before long, I dialed Psychic Readers Network to discuss their business and people like Teneecia. Butnobody got back to me. I sent a note informing them I was leaving.
Since then, I've heard that the psychic-talk business is doing poorly and that phone psychics17 havebeen considering another form of telephone work: phone sex. Same money, slightly different dialog18.
And the work, it's said, is much easier.


1 terror dI9z3     
  • We were in mortal terror of being found out. 我们非常害怕被发现。
  • That guy is a proper terror. 那家伙真是讨厌。
2 grabbed grabbed     
v.抢先,抢占( grab的过去式和过去分词 );(尤指匆忙地)取;攫取;(尤指自私、贪婪地)捞取
  • He was grabbed by two men and frogmarched out of the hall. 他被两个男人紧抓双臂押出大厅。
  • She grabbed the child's hand and ran. 她抓住孩子的手就跑。
3 psychic BRFxT     
  • Some people are said to have psychic powers.据说有些人有通灵的能力。
  • She claims to be psychic and to be able to foretell the future.她自称有特异功能,能预知未来。
4 advertising 1zjzi3     
n.广告业;广告活动 a.广告的;广告业务的
  • Can you give me any advice on getting into advertising? 你能指点我如何涉足广告业吗?
  • The advertising campaign is aimed primarily at young people. 这个广告宣传运动主要是针对年轻人的。
5 recall mtByJ     
  • As you may recall, he was in the army then.你可能记得当时他正在从军。
  • We demand that you recall your army from our border.我们要求你们撤回在我们边境的部队。
6 decided lvqzZd     
  • This gave them a decided advantage over their opponents.这使他们比对手具有明显的优势。
  • There is a decided difference between British and Chinese way of greeting.英国人和中国人打招呼的方式有很明显的区别。
7 client rVSyX     
  • She can't come to the telephone;she's serving a client.她不能来接电话,她正在接待一位顾客。
  • The lawyer produced a clever defence of his client.律师机智地为委托人辩护。
8 amazed 9zYzBk     
adj.吃惊的,惊奇的v.使大为吃惊,使惊奇( amaze的过去式和过去分词 )
  • Just the size of the place amazed her. 仅仅地方之大就使她十分惊奇。
  • I was amazed at her knowledge of French literature. 她的法国文学知识之丰富使我大为惊奇。
9 accurate KJByg     
  • He has made an accurate measurement of my garden.他准确地丈量了我的花园。
  • He is always accurate in what he says and does.他说的和做的总是正确无误。
10 personnel YMsxM     
  • The personnel are not happy to change these rules.全体工作人员对改变这些规定很不高兴。
  • Personnel has lost my tax forms.人事部门把我的税收表格给弄丢了。
11 cultivate SnRzm     
  • Farmers cultivate their farms with cows.农夫用牛耕田。
  • One should cultivate good manners from childhood.一个人从小要学讲礼貌。
12 crisis pzJxT     
  • He had proved that he could be relied on in a crisis.他已表明,在紧要关头他是可以信赖的。
  • The topic today centers about the crisis in the Middle East.今天课题的中心是中东危机。
13 pregnant IP3xP     
  • She is a pregnant woman.她是一名孕妇。
  • She is pregnant with her first child.她怀了第一胎。
14 pregnancy lPwxP     
  • Early pregnancy is often accompanied by nausea.怀孕早期常有恶心的现象。
  • Smoking during pregnancy increases the risk of miscarriage.怀孕期吸烟会增加流产的危险。
15 confronted ed160ba297142d26aec32aa54f9afc98     
面对( confront的过去式和过去分词 ); 使面对; 使对质; 处理
  • When we confronted him, he denied everything. 我们与他当面对质时,他什么都不承认。
  • The writer confronted his pile of work with determination. 那作家下决心面对成堆的工作。
16 rationally IkozDP     
  • We are determined to set up a complete, rationally distributed scientific and technological research system. 我们一定要建成布局合理、相互配套的科研体系。
  • Neither side would rationally initiate an attack which only result in its own destruction. 任何一方只要稍有理性,都不会发动一次结果只能使本身遭到毁灭的袭击。
17 psychics 8af0aea36d1028494f26912797d69037     
心理学,心灵学; (自称)通灵的或有特异功能的人,巫师( psychic的名词复数 )
  • One week later, I got cops and psychics on my front door. 一礼拜后,警察跟通灵人站到了我家大门口。
  • Even now Directorate Psychics and powerful drugs are keeping the creature pacified. 即使是现在,联邦部队的精神力和威力强大的药剂还在让这个生物活在沉睡之中。
18 dialog IvtxH     
  • At last there can be a reasonable dialog between our two governments.我们两国最后终于能理智地进行对话了。
  • Address every primary view and dialog possible.要尽可能考虑到所有主要的视图和对话。
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