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Shannon Hodge - A Hard Day in the Kitchen 汉译

2014-07-07    来源:网络    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

A Hard Day in the Kitchen

Shannon Hodge

Everything had gone wrong that morning. The chef had arrived late, severe headache and other effects from drinking too much alcohol, nursing a hangover, and the kitchen hadn’t been cleaned properly the night before, which put him in a worse mood.

The boss, having attended the same party, was in a similar state. He was holding his head and trying to do the accounts at the same time. Enclosed in his little glass-fronted office, Caroline could see his face growing more puce by the moment. He was just reaching for his first sherry.

Running backwards and forwards between the kitchen and the dining room, Caroline had no time to think for a while.

When she’d first managed to get the waitressing job in the restaurant, she was delighted, for she was at her first year at university and jobs were scarce. She sighed. She’d wondered at the time at her ease in getting employment. It now appeared that her boss’ reputation had preceded him, and no one else had applied. However, she had no time to think of that now. A portly blue-eyed man was giving her furious looks as he waited for his order. Damn! What was it again? She had been caught up with the fussy woman who had been so particular about how her streak was cooked. In fact the offending meal had been sent back to the kitchen twice. It was, the woman complained, too well done—she liked her steak “bleu.” Yuk! Thought Caroline. Give me a well-done piece of steak every time. The man continued to glower at her while he watched the grey-haired lady’s antics.

Sweetly Caroline went to him and made sure that his order was right. “I wanted,” he enunciated in ringing tones, “just a moderate grill, French fries, and a well-done steak.” He glared dismissively at the woman at the next table. “And a green side salad.” “Right, sir,” she chirped with a cheer she did not feel. “Coming right up.” With that, she hastily retreated to make sure that Joseph the chef had it right this time.

Yes, thank goodness it was ready. Caroline thought the side salad of lettuce with tomato, several slices of hard-boiled egg, cucumber and dressing looked very attractive.

In her haste, she did not see the young man at a corner table casting her sympathetic glances as he waited patiently. Tall and about 25 with tousled black hair and an impish grin, he was watching “the circus” as he mentally dubbed it.

He could see the pretty young waitress getting more and more frustrated. Poor girl, she looked at the end of her tether. He wondered what he could do to give her a hand and pour oil on troubled waters.

But all was not over. The man, Henry Savage, had finished his grill with much enjoyment and now turned to his salad. He poised with his knife and fork in mid-air, his expression a study. A green caterpillar was slowly crawling out from under the lettuce. It was large, fat, and apparently well-fed. It paused in its travels to survey the scene. Purple with fury, Henry could barely find his voice.

“Waitress!” he thundered. “Come here this moment!” He sounded every inch the headmaster he was.

“What do you call this?” He pointed with a quivering finger at the caterpillar, which decided the world outside was not as copy as hiding behind the lettuce leaf and retreated.

Caroline, petrified by the tone of the shout, came into the dining room at a trot.

By now, the whole room had ground to a halt. The diners were all staring at her, mostly in sympathy.

Henry speechlessly gestured at the salad where the caterpillar, bored by its seclusion, had reappeared.

Caroline blanched. Nervously she tried to speak, but failed, then managed, “Sorry, sir, it’s never happened before, we’ll make you a new one.” Grabbing the salad, she whisked it away into the kitchen. But Henry Savage was not to be deterred. After a shouted opinion of what he thought of the restaurant, he stormed out.

Caroline, with a hastily prepared new salad in her hands, returned to an empty table. She didn’t know where to put herself with the rest of the customers peering at her. Bursting into tears, she rushed back to the kitchen. “Take that, you stupid man, next time make sure you wash the salad when you’ve got a hangover,” she ground out to the startled chef. “I’ll give you a tossed salad!” she snarled and threw the contents of the bowl over his head.

The manager, by now completely sober, appeared. When a hasty explanation was made by one of the more lucid customers, he was remarkably nice about the whole episode. Maybe he had a guilty conscience. Caroline mused, remembering that sometimes he was the one who helped wash the lettuce if the staff were too busy. In any event, the whole incident was quickly smoothed over and everyone’s temper restored.

After Caroline had washed her face, tided herself up and resumed working, the young man beckoned her over. “I watched you handle that,” he said admiringly. “I think you did great. That old man really gave you ‘what for.’ Do you think you could do it all over again for a film I’m producing? It was far better than a custard pie any day, you did it so beautifully!” Here he chuckled. “But you really should have thrown it over the old boy’s head: he was being the unreasonable one.”

They looked at each other. Caroline could feel the beginnings of a smile on her face. All of sudden both of them burst out laughing. Maybe it wasn’t going to be such a bad day after all.















卡罗琳手里端着仓促做好的新的色拉回到已经没有人的桌子旁。在顾客众目睽睽的情况下,她感到十分尴尬。她哭着跑回了厨房。她冲着受惊吓的厨师以刺耳的嗓音大声嚷:“认错吧,你这傻瓜,下次你要是再酒后头痛,也得一定把生菜干净。” “我给你一份拌好的色拉!”她说着粗暴地把那碗菜扣到他的头上。




(乔萍、瞿淑蓉、宋洪玮 编著)

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