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《没有“中国制造”的一年》第六章:发明之母 (四)

(2011-06-21 10:50:25)
标签:

美国人

没有

中国

制造

英汉

第六章

连载四

文化

分类: 胡译赏析

                                          《没有“中国制造”的一年》第六章:发明之母 <wbr>(四)

                                            Year Without Made in China

Sara Bongiorni

                                                    没有“中国制造”的一年

                                                                  (美)萨拉·邦乔妮

                                      胡宗锋  苦丁  (译)

                                                   Chapter Six       Mothers of Invention

                                                        第六章             发明之母(四)

       The trouble is, this mouse doesn’t keep to itself. It has no tact what-ever.The day after my mother sees it, it leaves distasteful evidence of its visits in the laundry room and on the kitchen counter, next to my checkbook and a stack of clean laundry. The day after that I discover that it has spent time in the downstairs crib, giving me chills and conjuring fears of hantavirus. Next it devours a pack of Juicy Fruit gum inside my mother’s purse, then uses her purse as a bathroom. My mother is due to return to California in a few days. I can’t help but notice that this time she seems eager to go.

         问题是,老鼠不安分守己。不管怎样,它不够识相。妈妈看到它的第二天,就在洗衣房洗干净的衣服旁和厨房台子上我的支票簿旁边留下了它令人不快的造访证据。那天之后我发现它去过楼下的婴儿床,让我不寒而栗,并且产生了会感染汉坦病毒的恐惧。接着,它吃光了我妈妈包里一包水果味口香糖,还把妈妈的手提包当成了厕所。妈妈本来要几天后才走的,我发现这次她着急想走。

I start to think that ignoring the mouse is not actually a solution to the problem.

“Don’t kill it,” Kevin commands me over the phone.

我开始觉得无视老鼠的存在不是解决问题的办法。

 “别杀它”,凯文通过电话命令我。

       It’s late at night in Paris, where Kevin is enjoying summer air drifting in through the open window of his clean, mouseless hotel room. We’ve been weighing my options for mouse disposal.We’ve ruled out poison—seems dangerous since we have children and a dog, plus there’s the unpleasant business of the mouse dying within our walls. I confess I’m intimidated by the idea of an old-fashioned wooden snapping trap. I worry about my fingers, and, of course, there would be the aftermath of dealing with the dead mouse. I am squeamish about skittering things but I am more squeamish still about dead ones. Kevin pushes for a sentimental solution. He directs me to purchase one of the humane mousetraps we used in our old house, little plastic boxes that swing shut when the mouse ventures inside.

       那是巴黎的深夜了,凯文在干净没有老鼠的宾馆里,透过房间窗户享受着夏日微风。我们在商量消灭老鼠的办法。我们排除了老鼠药——家里有孩子,还有狗,这就太危险了,再说让老鼠死在家里总让人觉得不快。我承认一想到古老的木板老鼠夹我就胆怯。我担心我的手指,当然,还有那之后处理死老鼠。我对于乱窜的活物感到恶心,但死掉的更让人恶心。凯文提出一个矫情的办法。他建议我买一个我们在老房子用过的人道鼠夹,如果老鼠胆敢跑进去,小小的塑料盒子就会合上。

     “The kids would love it if you caught it and let it go someplace,” he says.“You could let it go down by the lake by the rich people’s houses. It would be a great family project.That’s what you should do.”

No, that’s what you should do, I think, but I keep quiet.

I stall for a day or two, until my neighbor points out something I hadn’t considered.

“Maybe the mouse is pregnant and about to have babies,” she says. “You’d never get rid of them all after that.”

      “如果你抓住它,并且放它去别的地方的话,孩子们会很高兴的,”他说,“你可以让它去小湖附近的富人房子。这将是一个伟大的家庭活动,这才是你应该做的。”

不,这才是你应该做的,我想着,但没说出来。

接下来一两天我没管这些,直到我们邻居指出我没有意识到的事。

 “或许那老鼠怀孕了,快要生小老鼠了,”她说,“那之后你就再也除不掉了。”

      I head for the hardware store that afternoon.That’s when the boycott gets in the way of a kinder, gentler means of mouse elimination.A sober young man leads me to the pest-control aisle after I ask if they sell humane mousetraps. I sense trouble as soon as I read the label on the outside of the trap. Made in China, it says.

        那天下午我去了五金店,由于要灭鼠我的抵制计划稍微宽松了些。当我问是不是卖人道鼠夹时,一个素净的年轻人带我去了害虫防治专区,一读到鼠夹上面的标签,我就感到了麻烦。上面写着:中国制造。

        I turn to the young man. He has dark, judging eyes, but I decide to let him in on my dilemma anyway. I’ve noticed that my sheepishness in admitting what I’m up to with the boycott declines in inverse measure to my level of desperation.

       我转向那个年轻人,他的黑眼睛闪烁着决断的神情,但我打算让他也体验一下我的困境。我发现坦然承认自己的抵制计划不灵时,我的尴尬颠倒成了铤而走险。

    “Do you carry any other brands of humane traps?” I ask him. I hold up the trap for his inspection.

“You see, it says here that it’s made in China, but I don’t buy Chinese products,” I explain.

The young man narrows his dark eyes, then turns gravely to study the shelves of traps before us. He reaches for a traditional wood-and wire trap made by the Victor company and turns the package in his hand until he locates the product label.

       “你们有其他牌子的人道鼠夹吗?”我问他,拿起一个鼠夹给他看。

 “你看,它这里标明是中国制造,但是我不买中国产品。”我解释说。

年轻人眯起他的黑眼睛,然后严肃地转过身,仔细地看我们面前的货架,他拿起一个维克多公司的传统的木板线捕鼠器,翻看着包装直到他看到生产标签。

      “This one says made in the USA, but that could be just the plastic bag that holds it, not the trap inside,” he tells me solemnly.“But it may be your best option.”

This kid’s got a knack for a China boycott. Nothing slips past him, I can tell. I shrug and hold out my hand.

“I’ll take two,” I say.

      “这个上面写着美国制造,不过可能只有塑料包装袋是美国的,而里面的鼠夹不是,”他认真地告诉我,“不过这也许是你最好的选择了。”

这孩子对于抵制中国制造都有诀窍了。我敢说没有什么逃得过他的眼睛。我耸耸肩伸出手。

 “我要两个”,我说。

       I don’t set the American traps.To tell you the truth, I wasn’t certain I was game to do it when I bought them, and not just because I fear for the well-being of my fingers. I don’t set the traps because I continue to hope that the mouse will disappear of its own accord and I won’t have to deal with it for the simple, irrational reason that I don’t want to deal with it. Then I think I get lucky. One morning I smell death in the laundry room. Normally, I’d be horrified to think that something had died inside our house, but if the mouse can make its exit without my assistance I’m all for it. I am capable of avoiding the laundry room for a few days. I am in a fine mood when I leave for work in the morning, thinking I’ve dodged another bullet, but when I return in the afternoon my hopes are dashed. The odor has dissipated. It wasn’t mouse death after all, merely a load of damp towels in the dryer.

       我没有安装美国鼠夹。说实话,买它们时我都不确定我真的愿意这样做,当然,不仅仅是因为我的手指头。我没有安装,是因为我还是希望老鼠会自己消失,我就不用管了,我简单而不合理的理由就是我不想管它。然后我想我走运了。一天早晨,我闻到洗衣房里一股死东西的味道。正常情况下,一想到有什么东西死在我们房间我就会很恐惧,但如果不借助我的手老鼠就可以离开,我再期待不过了。我可以几天不用洗衣房。那天早晨,我离家去上班时心情很好,想着我又逃过一劫;但是下午回来后我希望落空了。气味没了,原来那不是死老鼠,只是烘干机上的一条湿毛巾。

      I check the calendar in the kitchen. A little over a week remains until Kevin’s return. I leave the traps unopened in the plastic bag from the hardware store and hope for the best—and, for the mouse, the worst.

      我看了下厨房的日历。离凯文回来还有一周多,从五金店买回来的鼠夹我连包装都没有拆,心怀最好的希望——但对老鼠来说,是最坏的。

       I set aside thoughts of mice and set about patching up the household. I take the vacuum cleaner to a repair shop on the outskirts of town, where the owner waxes philosophical on a growing divide in the world of vacuum cleaners. More and more, you’ve got two choices in vacuums, he tells me. Cheap Chinese ones that will fall apart in a couple of years, or slick German jobs that start at $400 and run to $1,000 or more.

       我把老鼠的事放到一边,开始处理家庭设备。我把吸尘器拿到郊区去修理,那里店主对全世界种类繁多并且日益增长的吸尘器很有一套研究。渐渐的,在吸尘器上你有两个选择,他告诉我。便宜的中国产品,用一两年就散架,或灵巧的德国产品,从400美元起到1000美元,或者更贵。

“I’ve got nothing in between,” he says.

He clears out the hose of our machine for free and sends me on my way in 10 minutes’ time.

“Come back in a couple of years when this one breaks,” he calls as I’m on my way out the door. I take with me a brochure advertising German vacuum cleaners.

“两者之外,无它选择”,他说。

他免费清理了机器的橡皮管,10分钟后送我离开。

 “一两年后这个坏了再来哦,”我走出门时他喊道。

我选了广告册子上的德国吸尘器。

                                                          汉语文字版请阅读《美文》2011年第六期

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