|http://www.sina.com.cn 2004/12/18 15:39 英语广场|
Washington—I finally got sucked in2 by all the ads and bought a computer. The day it arrived and I unpacked3 it, my wife said, “What did you buy that for?”
“Because it will solve all our household economic problems. All I have to do is feed the computer how much money we have coming in and how much money we have going out, and it will tell us if we're spending too much.”
“I can tell you that,” she said.
“Ah, yes, but this computer can tell it to us 100 times faster. Let me show you. We have to buy a furnace4 for $3,500, or we can have the old furnace repaired for #2,000. How much will we save by having it repaired?”
“Nothing,” my wife said.
“You're wrong. The computer says we'll save $1500.”
“Did it tell you even if we have the old furnace repaired, the furnace man said he couldn't guarantee5 it will work? Then it will cost $5,500.”
“Well, then, we'll have to feed6 that in. A computer is only as good as the information it receives.”
“Tell it the furnace man said if the old one fails us after it's repaired, the house will fill up with carbon monoxide7.”
“What did it say?”
“We're all going to die.”
“I could have told you that,” my wife said.
“But not as fast as the computer,” I pointed out. “There are always people putting down computers because they don't understand them. Now I'll type in how much I make, and how much I will save under Ronald Reagan's8 tax cuts. In the first year we will be ahead9 by $1,1780.”
“The computer's wrong. We will be behind by $2,560.”
“How can you say that?”
“The city has raised our taxes today by 25% to make up for the tax cuts Reagan gave the people.”
“Why didn't you tell me that before I fed the computer?”
“Why didn't Reagan tell us before he gave out a tax cut?”
“I shall now prove to you that this electronic marvel10 is worth every dollar I paid for it. Let's say we are spending roughly $30 a week for groceries11.”
“You couldn't get a beef roast12 for $30. We're spending more than $150 a week for groceries. Put it in the computer. Now ask it where we can cut down on our food budget13? What does it say?”
“It keeps repeating the words, 'FOOD STAMPS14'.”
“I could have told you that.”
“I will not be deterred. This home computer is programmed15 to tell you how you can make enormous cuts in your electricity bills. I will type in the question, 'How can I save on electricity?'”
“What does it say?”
“Turn off all the lights in the house when you aren't using them.”
“Do you know how we could have really saved money this year? By not buying that stupid computer.”
“Maybe you're right. I'll call the man who sold it to me and tell him we really don't need it.”
I returned a few moments later.
“What did he say?” my wife asked.
“He said he wouldn't take it back.”
“I could have told you that.”
“但不如计算机的速度快。 总有人把计算机闲置不用，因为他们不懂。现在我得输入我能挣多少、根据罗纳德·里根总统的减税政策我又能省多少。第一年下来咱们能多赚11780 美元。”
“30美元根本买不到烤牛肉。咱们现在的食品开销，每周都超过150 美元。把这告诉计算机。现在问问它：咱们从哪里入手削减食品预算？ 它说什么了？”