Clarence Cleans His Roof
It was an important thing 1)shoveling snow and the quality of your work could be seen by anybody driving by in a car, so people tried to get every last 2)speck of snow off the roof.
Clarence Bunson once worked so hard shoveling snow off of his roof that he had to lie down on the roof. He was so tired, he just 3)hooked his heels into the gutters and he lay back against the 4)pitch of the roof. And he was warm from all of that 5)exertion and the sun was still in the sky, and the next thing he knew he woke up and he’d been sleeping there for a while, and he felt a little 6)chilly. And also he felt as if some giant thing had grabbed hold of his chest and he looked down, and his heels were no longer in the gutter--they were hanging over the gutter. And his jacket, he was wearing a shealing jacket and it had frozen to the roof--the back of the jacket and also his 7)outstretched arms had frozen to the roof. It was really solidly frozen. People drove by in the street and 8)honked at him and waved and that’s how he knew his arms were frozen.
And then he heard the car 9)pull in the 10)driveway next door, his neighbor, Mrs. Askerland. Oh, he hoped she would not see him! He lay very still against the roof. Mrs. Askerland talks an awful lot in this town and her judgments are seldom 11)charitable. And he heard her walk towards the house and then she stopped. He didn’t breathe.
She said, “Mr. Bunson?”
“Yes,” he said, “I’m on the roof.”
“I know, I see you, are you all right?"
"Yes, I'm fine!"
"What are you doing up there?”
“I’m measuring the roof.”
“It’s about six feet from 12)fingertip to fingertip, Mrs. Askerland,” he said.
“Why are you measuring it?”
“We’re thinking of adding on a room.”
She thought about this for a moment. “Are you done measuring?” She said.
“No, I just stopped because I lost count of the number of arm 13)spans I’ve measured whether it’s four or five.”
She put her 14)groceries down. She walked into the Bunson’s yard, she looked up. She said, “I’d say four. Are you sure you’re all right?"
"I'm fine," he said.
“You be careful up there.”
“I will,” he said. “Thank you!”
And she went into her house. He heard her door close.
He thought maybe by kicking on the roof he could alert Arlene inside to his 15)predicament, but he was wearing rubber barn boots, and he couldn’t get a very good sound. And then he thought maybe Arlene was watching television. In fact, Arlene had said something this morning about watching a TV movie, one of those four-hour movies, and by the time she’s done with this movie and she thinks to look around for me, her husband, I’ll be up here dead! One of those freak deaths that’ll be talked about in this town for years to come. Years to come!
And then she came outside, Arlene. She stood down below and she said, “Supper’s ready!”
“What are we having?” he said.
"Hamburger hot dish.”
“Good,” he said. “Good!”
“Are you ready to come down?” She said.
"Yes,” he said, “I’m ready, it’s just a problem of getting out of this jacket, I’m frozen to the roof...”
He never told anybody. It’s a shame not to be able to tell a story as good as how he escaped death on the roof of his own house. He thought that maybe he could find a group that’s devoted to people who almost froze in the winter. And they could get together, maybe once a month would be good enough, and they could meet and they could tell their stories. And he would get a chance to stand up and tell his roof-shoveling--almost freezing story.
1) shovel [5FQvl] v. 铲
2) speck [spek] n. 斑点
3) hook [huk] v. 钩
4) pitch [pitF] n. 沥青
5) exertion [i^5zE:FEn] n. 努力，行使
6) chilly [5tFili] a. 寒冷的
7) outstretched [5autstretFt] a. 伸展的
8) honk [hCNk] v. 按汽车喇叭
9) pull in 进站，靠岸
10) driveway [5draivwei] n. 车道
11) charitable [5tFAritEbl] a. 仁慈的
12) fingertip [5fiN^Etip] n. 指尖
13) span [spAn] n. 宽度，跨度
14) grocery [5^rEusEri] n. 食品，杂货
15) predicament [pri5dikEmEnt] n. 困境