Listen to the tape then answer the question below.
What incident began the series of traffic accidents?
We have all experienced days when everything goes wrong. A day may begin well enough, but suddenly everything seems to get out of control. What invariably happens is that a great number of things choose to go wrong at precisely the same moment. It is as if a single unimportant event set up a chain of reactions. Let us suppose that you are preparing a meal and keeping an eye on the baby at the same time. The telephone rings and this marks the prelude to anunforeseen series of catastrophes. While you are on the phone, the baby pulls the tablecloth off the table, smashing half your best crockery and cutting himself in the process. You hang up hurriedly and attend to baby, crockery, etc. Meanwhile, the meal gets burnt. As if this were not enough to reduce you to tears, your husband arrives, unexpectedly bringing three guests to dinner.
Things can go wrong on a big scale, as a number of people recently discovered in Parramatta, a suburb of Sydney. During the rush hour one evening two cars collided and both drivers began to argue. The woman immediately behind the two cars happened to be a learner. She suddenly got into a panic and stopped her car. This made the driver following her brake hard. His wife was sitting beside him holding a large cake. As she was thrown forward, the cake went right through the windscreen and landed on the road. Seeing a cake flying through the air, a lorry driver who was drawing up alongside the car, pulled up all of a sudden. The lorry was loaded with empty beer bottles and hundreds of them slid off the back of the vehicle and on to the road. This led to yet another angry argument. Meanwhile, the traffic piled up behind. It took the police nearly an hour to get the traffic on the move again. In the meantime, the lorry driver had to sweep up hundreds of broken bottles. Only two stray dogs benefited from all this confusion, for they greedily devoured what was left of the cake. It was just one of those days!
New Words and Expressions 生词和短语
prelude (1. 7) /'prelju:d/n. 序幕，前奏
unforeseen (1. 8) /'ʌnfɔ:'si:n/adj. 意料之外的
series (1. 8) /'sIəri:z/n. 系列
catastrophe (l. 8) / kə'tæstrəfi/n. 大祸，灾难
crockery (1. 9) /'krɔkəri/n. 陶器，瓦器
suburb (1. 12) /'sʌbə:b/n. 郊区
collide (1. 13) /kə'laId/v. 猛撞
learner (l. 14) /'lə:nə/n. 初学者
panic (l. l4) /'pænIk/n. 惊慌，恐慌
windscreen (1. 16) /'wIndskri:n/n. （汽车的）挡风玻璃
alongside (1. 17) /ə,lɔŋ'saId/prep. 在……的旁边，与……并排
slide (1. 18) (slid/slId/, slid)v. 滑
stray (1. 21) /streI/adj. 离群的
confusion (1. 21) /kən'fju:'ʒən/n. 混乱
greedily (1. 21) /'gri:dili/adv. 贪婪地
devour (1. 22) /dI'vauə/v. 狼吞虎咽地吃
Notes on the text 课文注释
1 get out of control，失去控制。
2 It is as if a single unimportant event set up a chain of reactions. 就好像一件无关紧要的小事引起了一连串的连锁反应。as if 引导的从句中用的是虚拟语气；set up，引起，产生； a chain of，一连串。
3 keep an eye on，照看，照管。
4 you are on the phone，你在接电话。
5 reduce you to tears，使你流泪。
6 on a big scale，大规模地。
7 rush hour，上下班时间。
8 draw up，追上。
9 pull up，停车。
10 get the traffic on the move，使车辆动起来。