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《没有“中国制造”的一年》第七章: 仲夏之嗔(二)

(2011-07-24 07:38:32)
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英汉

第七章

连载二

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分类: 胡译赏析

《没有“中国制造”的一年》第七章: <wbr>仲夏之嗔(二)

                            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 SEVEN Summer of Discontent

     第七章      仲夏之嗔(二)

That night, after the children are in bed, I funnel broken cookies and bits of chocolate into an empty milk jug. I place the jug on its side on the tiled counter next to the sink. Next I take a small, unopened can of tuna and place it below the opening of the jug as a makeshift stepping stool to help the mouse climb inside the jug.Then I hit the lights, head for bed, and wait for the sound of wobbling plastic, or maybe cookies being chewed by a tiny jaw. My trap is weak when it comes to an alarm mechanism, but our bedroom is adjacent to the kitchen and I feel certain that I will hear something to alert me to the mouse’s cap-ture.When I do, I will rise without sound, slip silently into the kitchen, grab the jug with the mouse inside, quickly turn it upright, and then plug the opening with the dish towel before it knows what’s hit it.The next day we will drive to the lake and release the mouse near the rich people’s houses, as Kevin has suggested. It will stagger off into the weeds, grateful for our mercy and groggy on too much sugar. End of mouse. End of story. Another winning episode in our battle to overcome the limits imposed on our lives by the China boycott.

那天晚上,孩子们都上床后,我把饼干屑和巧克力块装进空牛奶瓶里,把瓶子放倒在水池旁边砌有瓷砖的柜台上,在奶瓶的瓶口下面放了一个没打开的金枪鱼罐头,给老鼠搭台让它往里爬。然后关灯上床,等着听塑料袋抖动或小牙齿嚼饼干的轻微响动。说到警报装置,我的陷阱挺脆弱的,不过卧室和厨房相邻,我确信如果老鼠被俘,一定有响动。听到声音后,我会悄悄起床,轻轻走进厨房,抓住有老鼠的牛奶瓶,飞快地把它竖起来,然后在它未反应过来之前用抹布塞住瓶口。第二天我们就开车去湖边,像凯文说的那样,把它放生在富人住宅区附近。老鼠会逃进杂草丛里,因吃了太多的甜食而步履不稳,并感激我们的怜悯。老鼠走了,故事完了。又一个我们在生活中克服抵制中国制造所带来的制约的成功案例。

I don’t see how I can miss with this one.

Twice that night, scratching noises wake me and I rise to tiptoe into the kitchen.Twice I am disappointed when I grab the jug, plug the hole with the towel, flip on the lights, and learn that I have trapped only chocolate and cookies inside.

It’s the same story on the second night: wake, creep, cap the jug, sag with disappointment.

On the third morning Kevin looks sternly at me over his mug of coffee.

It’s time to get serious,” he says.

我看不出这次失手的理由。

那天晚上我两次被惊醒,然后起床蹑手蹑脚去厨房,当我抓起牛奶瓶,塞上抹布,打开灯之后,看到里面只有巧克力和饼干,两次都失望而归。

第二天晚上也是一样:惊醒,轻轻地走,抓起瓶子,失望至极。

第三天早上,凯文喝咖啡的时候冷酷地看着我。

 “该较真了”,他说。

 

I am taken aback by Kevin’s resolve. I thought he’d have yet another change of heart and start pushing again for a humane Chinese trap. I know him to have a soft spot for wild creatures, although whether a suburban mouse qualifies as wild is open for debate. Kevin likes to watch birds; he can tell you the difference between a nuthatch and a gnatcatcher. He captures spiders in the house in paper towels and shakes them free in the backyard. The year he lived in Alaska as a teenager his tender feelings for wild animals even threatened his and his older brother’s winter survival plan. After the carnival where they worked closed for the season, the boys moved to an abandoned wilderness cabin nine miles from the village of Kasilof. They figured they could survive the snowy months on Tang, cornmeal mush, and whatever they could shoot.The plan fell apart when Kevin could not bring himself to pull the trigger on the .22 revolver even when a flock of plump ground fowl gathered to peck in the dirt around his feet.

凯文的决心让我有些吃惊。我原以为他会改变主意,再次为仁义的中国鼠夹呐喊。我知道他对野生动物非常心软,虽然城郊的老鼠是不是野生动物还有待商榷。凯文喜欢观察小鸟,他能说出五子雀和蚋莺的区别。他用纸巾捉住蜘蛛然后拿到后院抖掉放生。少年时期住在阿拉斯加时,他对野生动物的柔情甚至威胁到了他和哥哥的冬天生存计划。他们在嘉年华工作了一个季度之后,两个男孩搬到了距卡西洛夫村9里之外一座荒弃的小屋,他们以为自己可以依赖野菜、玉米粥和任何他们能猎到的东西度过严寒。可是,即便是肥胖的野禽挤成一堆在他的脚下觅食,凯文就是扣不动左轮手枪的扳机,于是整个计划告以失败。

 

It was too easy to shoot something too dumb to be scared,” he told me years later.

The brothers moved back to Anchorage, where Kevin sold stuffed animals and Christmas trees. His brother got a job at a loading dock, a position that required him to trudge seven miles through the snow each morning. They returned to California in the spring with hands untainted by the blood of Alaskan wildlife.

   “面对那些不知道害怕的东西,太容易打反而让人下不了手”,几年后他告诉我。

兄弟俩搬去了安克雷奇(美国阿拉斯加州南部的港口城市——译者注),在那里凯文售卖动物标本和圣诞树,他哥哥在码头当搬运工,每天早晨要跋涉7里雪地去上班。春天回到加利福尼亚时,他们的手上没有染上一点阿拉斯加野生动物的血迹。

 

All of which is to say that I learn something about human nature, or Kevin’s nature, on this July morning three decades later. I learn that the passing of 30 years, the pride of home ownership, and the devastation of a stack of expensive French chocolate bars by an aggressive mouse can change a lot of things about a man, including his sentimental feelings toward members of the animal kingdom.

说这些只是要说明,在三十年后这个七月的早晨,我对人的天性,或者是说凯文的天性有了些了解。我知道,三十年的时光流逝,拥有家庭的自豪感,还有被入侵的老鼠糟蹋的昂贵法国巧克力可以使一个人发生很大的变化,包括其对动物王国成员的情感。

 

The traps, please,” Kevin repeats over his cup.

I point to the door of the laundry room.

In there,”I say.“Watch your fingers.”

“请把老鼠夹给我”,凯文拿着杯子重复着。

我指着洗衣房门口。

 “在那儿”,我说,“当心你的手指头”。

 

        Kevin snares the mouse on the first go-round after setting the killer American trap under the sink, which is why I am so surprised to discover the mouse running along the floorboard of the laundry room a couple of days later. No wonder it covered so much turf in the days before Kevin’s return. It had friends, or maybe relatives.

Kevin returns to the hardware store and loads up on American traps.We catch three more mice that week.

That should do it,” he says, one morning, after checking under the sink.“I think we’re out of the mouse business.”

凯文在水槽下放的美国要命鼠夹一下就将老鼠捉住了,所以几天后当我在洗衣房看到地板上逃窜的老鼠时非常吃惊。我从没想到在凯文回来之前的日子里,它占领了这么大的地盘,老鼠原来还有朋友或亲戚。

凯文回到五金店又买了几个美国老鼠夹,那个礼拜我们又逮住了三只老鼠。

 “应该没事了”,一天早上检查了水池下之后他说,“我想我们不会再有老鼠的烦恼了”。

 

   His optimism seems premature, but I don’t say anything. Kevin is rolling with the boycott’s punches these days and I don’t want to spoil his good mood. Since his return from France he has set about fixing up the household with cheerful pragmatism. Boycott-related complications do nothing to derail his sunny disposition. He drops off the jammed CD player at a local repair shop with instructions to the owner not to fix it if he has to use Chinese parts to get it working again.The owner assures him that “we get all our parts here locally, not from China.”

他似乎乐观的太早了,但我什么也没说。凯文最近因为抵制计划很顺利正开心呢,我可不想扫他的兴。自从法国回来后,他就一直以高涨的务实状态在打理家事。跟抵制有关的麻烦事儿也没有影响他灿烂的心情。他把影碟机留在了一家本地修理店,并对店主说如果非用中国零件才能修好就别修了。店主向他保证“我们的配件都是本地的,不是中国的。”

 

Kevin doesn’t press the issue with the man.

I didn’t want to mention that the store where you buy parts doesn’t really have anything to do with where they are made,”he says.“I didn’t want to hurt his feelings.”

凯文对此没有深究。

“我不想说,你买零件的地方和零件是哪里制造的没有啥关系”,他说,“我不愿意伤害他的感情”。

 

         Kevin rigs an old set of metal rabbit ears on top of the television to improve the picture. He doesn’t mention the broken blender, the broken printer, or the lack of staples, which he hasn’t yet discovered. He’s given up his battle with the stuck kitchen drawer; I haven’t caught him tugging on the handle even once in the days since he’s been home. I worry that maybe we have hit a wall when we run out of glue and discover Elmer’s is made in China, but Kevin runs around town without complaint until he locates a glue stick from Canada.

     为了让电视的图像清晰一些,凯文在电视机顶装了一对旧的金属兔子耳朵。他没有念叨坏了的搅拌机、打印机或缺订书针,这些他都还没有发现。他放弃了和厨房抽屉的战斗,从他回来后我还没看到过他摆弄过一次那把手。我担心家里的胶水一用完我们就会碰壁,因为埃尔默胶水是中国造的,不过凯文毫无怨言,在镇上四处跑着寻找,直到他发现了加拿大的胶棒。

 

I suspect the good times won’t last long, but I decide to enjoy them while they do.

I don’t claim special powers of mental telepathy. Perhaps I should.

我怀疑好景不长,但还是得过且过吧。

我从来没有认为自己有第六感,或许我该有。

                                                                                   汉语文字版请阅读《美文》2011年第七期

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