The art of prank calls by Paul Zindel Pigman

Гипермаркет знаний>>Английский язык>>Английский язык 10 класс>> The art of prank calls by Paul Zindel "Pigman"

ExtensIve reading UNIT 4
Unit 4


1 Look at the picture.

Try to make out what "the art of prank calls" is.
What tricks do people sometimes play on the telephone?

2 A. Read the first part of the story written by John and answer these questions.

Can you translate the jokes Lorraine and John played on people?
What do you think they enjoyed about them?

Part 1

I suppose it all started when Lorraine and I were hot on these phone ga115 last September. We did the usual ones like dialling any number out of the book and asking
"Is your refrigerator running?"
"Go catch it then,"
And we called every drugstore,
"Do you have Prince Albert in a can?"
"Then let him out."
But then we made a new game in which the object was to keep a stranger talking on the phone as long as possible. At least twice a week we'd meet for a telephone marathon.

Anyway, the idea of the telephone marathon was that you had to close your eyes, stick your finger on a number in the dire"ctory and then call it up to see how long you could keep whoever answered talking on the phone, I wasn't too good at this because I used to keep bursting out laughing. The only thing I CQuid do that kept them talking a while before they hung up was to tell them I was calling from TV Quiz and that they had won a prize. That was always good for three and a half minutes before they caught on.

B. Read the first part of the story again and find the equivalents for the following expressions.

1 to be well-informed and interested in something
2 a joke or a funny story
3 a book or list of names arranged in alphabetical order
4 to finish a telephone conversation
5 a closed metal container in which foods are preserved without air
6 to begin to understand.

телефонный разговор

3 A. Read the second part of the story written by Lorraine and decide whether the following statements are true or false.

- a) Lorraine pretended not to see the phone numbers in the director.
- b) John and Lorraine worked for the Howard Avenue Charities.
- c) A girl at the office told Lorraine a funny joke.
- d) Mr Pignaty was dying to talk because he wasn't healthy.
- e) Lorraine and John phoned Mr Pignaty to get some money from him.
- f) John was excited about getting the money.

Part 2

But this one time I decided to peek myself. When it was my turn, I made believe I had covered my eyes with my left hand, then thumbed through the pages, and as I moved my finger down a column I happened to spot the words "Howard Avenue".

When this man answered, my voice was rather quivery because John was watching with his X-ray eyes and I think he knew I had cheated a bit.

"Hello," this jolly voice said as I cleared my throat.
"Hello, Is this Mr Angelo Pignaty?..
"It sure is," came the bubbling voice again.
"This is Miss Truman of the Howard Avenue
Charities, Perhaps you've heard of us and our good work?"
"My wife isn't home just now."
"I didn't call to speak with your wife, Mr Pignaty," I assured him. I changed to a very British accent. "I distinctly called to speak to you and summon you to our cause. You see, my organization is interested in receiving small donations from people just like you and your wife. ..."

"What did you say the name of your charity was?" the voice asked.

Suddenly I couldn't control myself any more, and I burst into lauohter right into the phone.

"Is somettting funny?"

"No ,.. there's nothing funny, Mr Pignaty ... it's just that one of the girls ... here at the office has just told me a joke, and it was very funny," I bit my tongue, "But back to serious business, Mr Pignaty. You asked me the name of our charity - the name ofitis-"

"The Lorraine and John Fund!"
"The name of it is -"
"The Lorraine and John Fund," John repeated.

B. Work in pairs. Read the second part once more and answer these questions.

a) Why do you think Lorraine changed to a very British accent speaking to Mr Pignaty?
b) How do Lorraine's and John's feelings differ during the game?
c) Do you think Lorraine and John will eventually take the money from Mr Pignaty?

"Shut up," I said. covering the mouthpiece and then uncovering it. "The name of our charity is the L & J Fund, Mr Pignaty and we'd like to know if you'd care to contribute to it? It would really be a very nice gesture, Mr Pignaty."
There was a pause.
"What was the joke the girl told you?" he finally said...

There was something about his voice that made me feel sorry for him, and I began to wish I had never bothered him. He just went on talking and talking, and the receiver started to hurt my ear. He sounded like such a nice old man, but terribly lonely. He was just dying to talk.

"I'm sorry if I'm taking too much of your time, Miss Truman, You wanted a donation, did you say - for what charity?"
"The L & J Fund, Mr Pignaty." I bit my lip.

"I'll be glad to send you ten dollars, Miss Truman, Where do I send it?'
John bolted upright from his ridiculous position оf pressing an ear against the receiver.
"Tell him to send it to your house,"
"I will not!"
"Let me talk to him:' John demanded, taking the phone right out of my hand. Just from the look in his eyes I knew what was going to happen. You just have to know how John does things, and you'll know one thing will always happen. He'll end up complicating everything...

телефонный разговор

4 The third part of the story is written by John. Read this part quickly.

Say what made it difficult for Lorraine to take the money from Mr Pignaty.
Part 3
The next day Lorraine chickened out and said she wouldn't go with me to collect the money.
"Give me one good reason," 1 demanded.
"Because it's wrong to take money from an old man, that's why."
"All through history artists have survived by taking money from old men. There's nothing wrong with having a patron."
"I don't want to talk about it."
'We're not doing anything bad," I insisted.
"He sounded lonely on the phone, now didn't he?"
"So what?"
"Lonely people need visitors, so ... it's our duty to visit the lonely."
"You never wanted to visit lonely people before, or is it that you only like lonely people who have ten dollars?"

When Angelo Pignaty came to the door, I wish you could have seen him. He was in his late fifties and was pretty big, and he had a bit of a beer stomach. But the part that slaughtered me was this great big smile on his face. He looked so glad to see us I thought his eyes were going to twinkle out of his head. He would have made a good Santa Claus if you had put a white beard on him and stuck him on a street corner in December with a little whisky on his breath.

"Hi! Are you the charity people?" He didn't seem to be surprised that we were kids, He just seemed glad to see us...
'We really shouldn't have stayed this long," said Lorraine.
"Oh, I'm sorry," Mr Pignaty said, and I couldn't help feeling sorry, His smile and bright eyes faded in front of us and he got awkwardly to his feet. "Let me get the cheque," he said, and his voice was so depressed I thought he was really going to cry.
You don't really have to - " Lorraine started, but he looked bewildered.

"Of course, that's what we came for," I said to make it look real at least. Lorraine shot me a look of outrage.
"Of course," he said.

We watched him go down another hall to a room that had black curtains on the doorway. I mean, there was no door, just these curtains. He disappeared through them.

When he finally came back out, he seemed to be very tired, and he started writing the cheque.

"Whom should I make it out to?" he asked.

Lorraine gulped and went speechless.

"Cash will be fine, Make it out to cash," I found myself saying.

He handed me the cheque, and my hand Shook a little, It wasn't that I was scared or anything, but it was an awful lot of money.

"On behalf of the L & J Fund I accept this cheque. "

"Oh, yes," Lorraine echoed, and I could tell she was furious with me because her eyes were starting to flit all over the place again.

to chicken out - струсить в последний момент
patron - покровитель, меценат
beer stomach - брюшко
slaughter - убивать, устраивать бойню
to twinkle - мерцать, сверкать
to fade - увядать, блекнуть
awkwardly - неуклюже, неловко
to look bewildered - выглядеть смущенным, сбитым с толку
a look of outrage - взгляд, полный возмущения
to gulp - глотать с усилием
to flit - перемещаться, двигаться

5 A. In groups look through the story once more.

Summarize the information related to one of the characters.

телефонный разговор
B. Share the information you've found with the class.

Take notes on the other two characters from your classmates' reports.

C. Choose one task for you group.

1 Choose the character you like most. Use your imagination and the information in the story to describe their personalities and lifestyles.
2 Give your opinion on the following.

a) Is it immoral to play jokes on defenceless people?
b) Is it a harmless joke?

6 Choose one of these tasks.

a) Practical jokes (pranks) can sometimes go beyond your control. Have you ever had an experience of a joke that went wrong? Have you learned any lessons from it? Write your story.

b) Write the whole story from Mr Pignaty's point of view. For this read the whole story once more and try to picture his character in your imagination. Bring in the emotions he might have experienced.

O. Л. Гроза, О. Б. Дворецкая, Н. Ю. Казырбаева, В. В. Клименко, М. Л. Мичурина, Н. В. Новикова, Т. Н. Рыжкова, Е. Ю. Шалимова, Английский язык нового тысячелентия, Учебник английского языка для 10 класса общеобразовательных учреждений. — 2-е изд. — М. Титул, 2004. — 175 с, ; ил.

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