颜色的学问Color Commentary

2010-06-05 11:33:33   Tag:

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颜色的学问Color Commentary:这将是我和玛丽?凯结婚六年后养得起的第一辆车,所以在选车时我们小心翼翼。夜晚,在琥珀色的灯光下,那辆车就停在那片展区,它是我见过的最漂亮的一辆银色奥兹莫比。我已经等不及转天早晨找个推销员把它买下来了。这辆车简直就是为我准备的。

It was the first new car Mary Kay and I could afford after six years of marriage, so we did our careful shopping. There, on the lot, under the nighttime amber lights, was the prettiest silver Oldsmobile I ever saw. I couldn’t wait for the next morning to find a salesman. I had to have that very car.

It didn’t take long. “Mike” wore slicked-back hair and a three-piece suit, and had enough deal pads on his desk to put a new car in every garage in Texas.
He was quick to point out the options on the car, the features that were new to this year’s model, and the changes in the warranty. That was important, but the silver color had already sold me. I told Mike about my earlier visit to the lot.

“That silver paint shined back at me like a fashion mirror,” I said. “Under your lights, I knew that I had found the secret of the origin of pearls1.” I had carelessly tipped my hand2 to a waiting predator.

Mike noted my strong enthusiasm for it, and my lack of interest in the other cars on the lot. He began a pitch3 about the luminescence4, the lifetime wax-free overcoat, and most of all, the newness of the color for the Oldsmobile line. It was poetically called Aztec5 Silver. Aztec Silver! The name spoke volumes6. I closed my eyes and imagined the awe that would surround us at valet parking7 – maybe at the Ritz8. We would arrive to shiny moonglow pavement – in tux9 and flowing gown with a decadent10 neckline. Mary would step lightly onto the red carpet – her breasts looking like the filled sails of a brigantine11.

We drove away in a cloud of happiness.

We moved to Oklahoma, and three years later, with a growing family in tow12, decided to look up Mike again and trade for a new car. I was pleased to find him at his old desk, in a gray sharkskin suit with a red tie, and that ream13 of deal sheets at his side.

Mary picked out a blue station wagon with enough room for us all, and Mike and I a got started with the haggling14. Unlike before, absent were the motions of a Maestro15 schmoozing16 his debut. He was dealing on a station wagon, not a romantic coupe.

“I can allow you $1100 on your car,” he said apologetically. I was shocked. My Olds was worth so much less than what I paid for it. It was still so bright and shiny! I had kept it waxed, kept it serviced, and it had low miles.

Mike leaned over close to my ear as if to share a secret or a for-men-only joke. “See, the trouble is, it’s the color”, he said. I was puzzled. I recalled his original pitch – and my glee over the Aztec Silver. I told him I didn’t understand.

He leaned over again, this time closer – ”You know,” he said, “Nobody likes Coffin Gray.”

这将是我和玛丽·凯结婚六年后养得起的第一辆车,所以在选车时我们小心翼翼。夜晚,在琥珀色的灯光下,那辆车就停在那片展区,它是我见过的最漂亮的一辆银色奥兹莫比。我已经等不及转天早晨找个推销员把它买下来了。这辆车简直就是为我准备的。

我没等太长时间。推销员“迈克”留着背头,穿着三件套西装,他桌上的业务单多得让人觉得他完全有能力让得克萨斯州每户人家都买他一辆新车放进自家停车场。
他快速向我们介绍了可选车型、今年车型的新特色,以及担保条款上的改动。这些内容固然重要,但那辆车的银色外观早已抓住了我的心。我跟迈克说我之前来展区看过。

“它银色的涂料像一面时尚的镜子似的照亮了我的心。”我说,“在灯光的映衬下,我知道,我发现了珍珠由来的秘密。”无意间,我已经向侯在旁边的“猎手”透露出了我的想法。

迈克察觉到了我对这辆车极度喜爱,对展区其他车型毫无兴趣。他开始了对这辆车的大书特书:冷光、永久性无蜡保护膜,还有最重要的——奥兹莫比系列的最新款色。这款银色被富有诗意地称为“阿兹特克银”。“阿兹特克银”!这名字听来就分量十足。我闭上眼睛想象着侍者为我们停车时周围的人们满眼都是敬畏之情——也许在丽兹酒店门口就会这样。我们会穿着无尾西装和带有颓废风格领口的飘逸的晚礼服走在洒满月光的路上,玛丽会轻盈地踏上红毯,她的胸部就像双桅帆船两只鼓起的帆。

我们在一片喜悦之中将车买下开走了。

后来我们搬到了俄克拉荷马州。三年之后,带着日益壮大的家庭,我们决定再去迈克那儿,跟他换购一辆新车。我很高兴在当初那张桌子前看到迈克,他穿着灰色鲨皮呢套装,戴着红色领带,身边还是放着那么一大堆业务单。

玛丽挑中了一辆足够装下我们一家人的蓝色旅行轿,我跟迈克开始讨价还价。和当初不一样,这次迈克没有像一位指挥大师对自己的首次登台夸夸其谈似的神侃——他现在的任务是解决一辆旅行轿,而不是解决一辆浪漫的小轿车。

“你们的旧车我可以出价1100美元。”他充满歉意地说。我愣住了。当初我买这辆奥兹莫比时花得比这多得多啊。如今它仍然光彩照人!我给它打蜡,为它维修,而且它行驶里程也不高。

迈克斜着身子靠近我的耳朵,就像要告诉我一个秘密或者给我讲个男人间的笑话。“是这样的,它有个问题,那就是它的颜色。”他说道。我迷糊了。我想起了迈克当初做的那一大堆广告,还有我对“阿兹特克银”的喜悦之情。我跟他说我不明白。

他又把身子靠向我,这一次靠得更近——“你知道,”他说,“谁都不会喜欢‘棺材灰’的。”

1. 关于珍珠的由来有许多传说,最流行的一种说法是:珍珠是天堂的水滴滴到海里形成的。
2. tip one’s hand:(无意地或偶然地)表明自己的真实想法(或目的、立场等)。
3. pitch n. <美口> 竭力推销的广告语;商品推销员的行话。
4. luminescence n. [物]冷光。
5. Aztec n. 阿兹特克人。阿兹特克是14世纪~16世纪的墨西哥古文明。
6. speak volumes: 意义深远;充分说明。
7. valet n. 贴身男仆;仆从。valet parking:(饭店、旅馆等提供的)侍者为主顾停车的服务。
8. 丽兹酒店(Ritz-Carlton)是世界上最奢华的酒店品牌之一。
9. tux n. <美口>(男士无尾半正式)晚礼服。
10. decadent a.(文学、艺术等)颓废派的。颓废风格的服装与波希米亚风格近似,多会出现重重叠叠的大小褶皱。
11. brigantine n. 一种双桅帆船。
12. in tow: 拖着;随着;陪伴着。
13. ream n. 大量。
14. haggle v. 争论;讨价还价。
15. maestro n. 艺术大师;大指挥家。
16. schmooze v. <美俚>闲谈,闲扯。


 

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