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地球上有生命吗?


□ Art Buchwald

  阿尔特·布赫瓦尔德,美国著名专栏作家、幽默大师,也是一位语言大师。他曾在1982年获得美国新闻界最高荣誉——普利策奖。他的文章生动风趣,充满辛辣的幽默感。本文是一篇虚构的小故事,借金星人对其首次发送飞碟到地球所取得的资料的分析,讽喻、警示地球污染之严重。
  
  There was great excitement on the planet of Venus this week. For the first time, Venusian scientists managed to land a satellite on the planet Earth, and it has been sending back signals as well as photographs ever since.
  The satellite was directed into an area known as Manhattan (named after the great Venusian astronomer1), Prof. Manhattan, who first discovered it with his telescope 20,000 light years ago).
  
  曼哈顿是美国最繁华的地区之一,文章借这个繁华地区来代表地球,更具反讽意味。
  
  Because of excellent weather conditions and extremely strong signals, Venusian scientists were able to get valuable information as to the feasibility2) of a manned flying saucer3) landing on Earth. A press conference4) was held at the Venus Institute of Technology.
  "We have come to the conclusion, based on last week's satellite landing," Prof. Zog said, "That there is no life on Earth."
  "How do you know this?" the science reporter of the Venus Evening Star asked.
  "For one thing, Earth's surface in the area of Manhattan is composed of5) solid concrete and nothing can grow there. For another, the atmosphere is filled with carbon monoxide6) and other deadly gases and nobody could possibly breathe this air and survive." ......
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