A Plate of Peas
文章來源:未知 文章作者:enread 發布時間:2017-05-16 09:00 字體: [ ]  進入論壇
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."


1 aroma Nvfz9     
  • The whole house was filled with the aroma of coffee.滿屋子都是咖啡的香味。
  • The air was heavy with the aroma of the paddy fields.稻花飄香。
2 applied Tz2zXA     
  • She plans to take a course in applied linguistics.她打算學習應用語言學課程。
  • This cream is best applied to the face at night.這種乳霜最好晚上擦臉用。
3 frantically ui9xL     
ad.發狂地, 發瘋地
  • He dashed frantically across the road. 他瘋狂地跑過馬路。
  • She bid frantically for the old chair. 她發狂地喊出高價要買那把古老的椅子。
4 pungent ot6y7     
  • The article is written in a pungent style.文章寫得潑辣。
  • Its pungent smell can choke terrorists and force them out of their hideouts.它的刺激性氣味會令恐怖分子窒息,迫使他們從藏身地點逃脫出來。
5 infamous K7ax3     
  • He was infamous for his anti-feminist attitudes.他因反對女性主義而聲名狼藉。
  • I was shocked by her infamous behaviour.她的無恥行徑令我震驚。
6 providence 8tdyh     
  • It is tempting Providence to go in that old boat.乘那艘舊船前往是冒大險。
  • To act as you have done is to fly in the face of Providence.照你的所作所為那樣去行事,是違背上帝的意志的。
7 gravy Przzt1     
  • You have spilled gravy on the tablecloth.你把肉汁潑到臺布上了。
  • The meat was swimming in gravy.肉泡在濃汁之中。
8 jaw 5xgy9     
  • He delivered a right hook to his opponent's jaw.他給了對方下巴一記右鉤拳。
  • A strong square jaw is a sign of firm character.強健的方下巴是剛毅性格的標志。
9 thwarted 919ac32a9754717079125d7edb273fc2     
阻撓( thwart的過去式和過去分詞 ); 使受挫折; 挫敗; 橫過
  • The guards thwarted his attempt to escape from prison. 警衛阻擾了他越獄的企圖。
  • Our plans for a picnic were thwarted by the rain. 我們的野餐計劃因雨受挫。
10 impending 3qHzdb     
a.imminent, about to come or happen
  • Against a background of impending famine, heavy fighting took place. 即將發生饑荒之時,嚴重的戰亂爆發了。
  • The king convoke parliament to cope with the impending danger. 國王召開國會以應付迫近眉睫的危險。
11 doom gsexJ     
  • The report on our economic situation is full of doom and gloom.這份關于我們經濟狀況的報告充滿了令人絕望和沮喪的調子。
  • The dictator met his doom after ten years of rule.獨裁者統治了十年終于完蛋了。
12 trump LU1zK     
  • He was never able to trump up the courage to have a showdown.他始終鼓不起勇氣攤牌。
  • The coach saved his star player for a trump card.教練保留他的明星選手,作為他的王牌。
13 undoubtedly Mfjz6l     
  • It is undoubtedly she who has said that.這話明明是她說的。
  • He is undoubtedly the pride of China.毫無疑問他是中國的驕傲。
14 mashed Jotz5Y     
  • two scoops of mashed potato 兩勺土豆泥
  • Just one scoop of mashed potato for me, please. 請給我盛一勺土豆泥。
15 fixed JsKzzj     
  • Have you two fixed on a date for the wedding yet?你們倆選定婚期了嗎?
  • Once the aim is fixed,we should not change it arbitrarily.目標一旦確定,我們就不應該隨意改變。
16 devastation ku9zlF     
  • The bomb caused widespread devastation. 炸彈造成大面積破壞。
  • There was devastation on every side. 到處都是破壞的創傷。 來自《簡明英漢詞典》
17 realization nTwxS     
  • We shall gladly lend every effort in our power toward its realization.我們將樂意為它的實現而竭盡全力。
  • He came to the realization that he would never make a good teacher.他逐漸認識到自己永遠不會成為好老師。
18 muster i6czT     
  • 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.我必須鼓起勇氣向他問那個問題。
19 legacy 59YzD     
  • They are the most precious cultural legacy our forefathers left.它們是我們祖先留下來的最寶貴的文化遺產。
  • He thinks the legacy is a gift from the Gods.他認為這筆遺產是天賜之物。
20 horrid arozZj     
  • I'm not going to the horrid dinner party.我不打算去參加這次討厭的宴會。
  • The medicine is horrid and she couldn't get it down.這種藥很難吃,她咽不下去。
21 dreaded XuNzI3     
adj.令人畏懼的;害怕的v.害怕,恐懼,擔心( dread的過去式和過去分詞)
  • The dreaded moment had finally arrived. 可怕的時刻終于來到了。
  • He dreaded having to spend Christmas in hospital. 他害怕非得在醫院過圣誕節不可。 來自《用法詞典》
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