關于短篇英語故事：Driver Loses Mabel
A fifteen-year-old boy was injured in a car accident when the minivan he was traveling in was hit by a pickup truck at an intersection. The boy was taken to a nearby hospital. The paramedics said that it appeared that the boy had nothing more serious than a broken left leg, but that internal injuries were always a possibility. The boy was conscious and alert. His mother, who was driving, was uninjured. She said that the truck appeared out of nowhere, and she thought she was going to die. She turned the steering wheel sharply to the left, and the truck hit her minivan on the passenger side.
The driver of the truck was a 50-year-old man who was unemployed and apparently had been drinking—police found 18 empty beer cans inside the truck. The man denied drinking, but he failed the police test for sobriety. When asked to touch his nose with his arms outstretched and eyes closed, he was unable to touch any part of his head.
The handcuffed man asked the police if they knew where “Mabel” was as he was put into the back seat of the police vehicle. The police asked him if Mabel was his wife. He said, “She’s my dog, my dog! Where’s my baby?” A dog with a collar, but no identification, was found minutes later, half a block away. The man was taken to the city jail and booked on suspicion of driving while intoxicated and on causing an accident.
關于短篇英語故事：Water Under the Sink
Ed came home from his errands and put the groceries into the cupboard and the refrigerator. He grabbed a flathead screwdriver and a pair of pliers from his toolbox. In the kitchen, he got down on his hands and knees and turned on the flashlight. After a couple of minutes of looking, he decided what to do. He had never opened up a disposal before, but there is a first time for everything.
The cylindrical disposal was about 7 inches in diameter and had a horizontal seam dividing the top half from the bottom half. The halves were held together by three screws. Ed jiggled the bottom half of the disposal; it was loose because two of the three screws were corroded. Only one screw was still doing its duty. Ed unscrewed it.
The bottom half of the disposal was now lying on the cabinet floor. Ed thought for sure that it would be full of months-old food, but there was no food, only a hardened, torn, useless gasket. The next day Ed went to the hardware store to buy some screws and a new gasket. The employee told him that they did not carry those gaskets and suggested that he write to the manufacturer. Ed returned home. He created his own gasket by using gasket sealant that comes in a tube. He applied the sealant, screwed the two halves back together, and crossed his fingers.
The next day he turned on the water and switched on the disposal. When he saw the water pouring out of the seam, Ed knew one thing: it was time to buy a new disposal. The good thing was that new disposals started at $79. The bad thing was that it would have to be installed by a plumber. Plumber rates started at about $80 an hour. Ed decided that since the disposal used a lot of energy and the world needed to use less energy, from now on he would put his scraps into the kitchen garbage bag. He reminded himself to tell everyone at work tomorrow about how he was now helping to solve the world’s energy problems.
關于短篇英語故事：A Festival of Books
People joke that no one in Los Angeles reads; everyone watches TV, rents videos, or goes to the movies. The most popular reading material is comic books, movie magazines, and TV guides. City libraries have only 10 percent of the traffic that car washes have. But how do you explain this? An annual book festival in west Los Angeles is “sold out” year after year. People wait half an hour for a parking space to become available.
This outdoor festival, sponsored by a newspaper, occurs every April for one weekend. This year’s attendance was estimated at 70,000 on Saturday and 75,000 on Sunday. The festival featured 280 exhibitors. There were about 90 talks given by authors, with an audience question-and-answer period following each talk. Autograph seekers sought out more than 150 authors. A food court sold all kinds of popular and ethnic foods, from American hamburgers to Hawaiian shave ice drinks. Except for a $7 parking fee, the festival was free. Even so, some people avoided the food court prices by sneaking in their own sandwiches and drinks.
People came from all over California. One couple drove down from San Francisco. “This is our sixth year here now. We love it,” said the husband. “It’s just fantastic to be in the great outdoors, to be among so many books and authors, and to get some very good deals, too.”
The idea for the festival occurred years ago, but nobody knew if it would succeed. Although book festivals were already popular in other US cities, would Los Angeles residents embrace one? “Angelenos are very unpredictable,” said one of the festival founders.