Saturday, 10 January 2009

answer this test!

Fill in the gaps with the correct phrase from below and ONLY THEN click on the “gap” box to check your answer.

somebody’s answer to something______ to answer to someone
to have a lot to answer for
to answer to the name of __to be unable to answer for somebody

Jean the Birdman sat looking wistfully over the bow of the boat as it glided slowly across the River Styx. In every direction, the horizon was shrouded in a dense fog that felt like a clammy hand trailing its fingers over his face. He sighed. ‘Mon Dieu,’ he moaned.
‘Are you ok?’ he heard another man enquire. It was a young man with a brown leather jacket and a piece of cabbage stuck to his teeth. ‘Mind if I sit down?’
‘Please do.’ Jean the Birdman indicated the seat next to him, surprised to hear that he could speak fluent English. Maybe English was the lingua franca of Hades.
‘What you here for?’ he asked. ‘Sean, by the way,’ he said offering his hand. ‘But I alsoColcannonista.’
‘Jean.’ Jean the Birdman shook Sean’s hand. It was as cold as ice. ‘Colcannonista? That’s an unusual name.’
‘Sure. I am – I was – a potato bandit from Dublin.’
‘Ah – the potato: quel légume perfide! It has!’Jean the Birdman slammed his first on the wooden bulwark. ‘I’m sorry. A potato bandit, you say – what did you do?’
‘I defended the honour of Ireland’s finest dish from malcontents and ill-wishers.’
‘This is a noble profession, no doubt. But why are you here so many years before your time?’ queried Jean the Birdman.
It was Sean’s turn to beat the bulwark with his fists. ‘My captain it was, the man I used to. One day, today in fact, I walked into our headquarters on the Liffey...’
‘The river in Dublin?’ Jean the Birdman asked.
‘Yes, it is Ireland’s the Styx. Anyway, I went into my captain’s office and there he was – brazenly eating zrazy! Potato and onion scones, filled with meat and served with pig fat! Disgusting filth!’
‘You, of course, only eat colcannon?’
‘Of course – such glorious creamy mash and kale it is. Anyway, I pulled my sword and he pulled his and before you knew it – he’d run me through!’
‘As wondrous as it is to die for colcannon, Sean, imagine how much more divine it is to die for gratin dauphinois!’
‘Are you a member of the infamous Dauphinoisirie, the founding members of the International Brotherhood of the Potato?’
‘That I am. Was,’ confirmed Jean the Birdman, sadly. ‘Ievery man in France, for there are fools everywhere, but for me gratin dauphinois is the finest food in the world. When I caught my own wife secretly eating that detestable English dish, bubble and squeak, I could not stand the shame and drowned myself in full fat cream.’
‘Jean, I respect your stand on quality potato dishes, but if you insist on claiming that gratin dauphinois is better than colcannon, I will have to kill you again!’
‘Or die trying once more, mon ami....’


Ramon said...

This is a crazy story! But I like it. Although I'm not sure I understand all of it.
This site looks a lot better on Safari, you know. Are you using an Apple?

Min said...

I like it too, but I had to look up Styx. It is very interesting. Min

Ramon said...

Only Styx?! You are lucky Min! I did not know most of the potato foods!

Tony said...

Hello Ramon and Min - I'm very glad that you liked the story. I hope it helps you remember the collocations. I don't use an Apple Ramon, but I took a peek at it in Safari and it does look better for some reason.

Olga Genius said...

I can't answer for all the literature geniuses, but I think you should be awarded with the most famous literature prize for such a detailed description of Sean you wrote. The phrase "...a piece of cabbage stuck to his teeth" is brilliant!!!

Tony said...

Dear Olga Genius - thank you for your kind words, you have exactly the kind of name that inspires confidence in your pronouncements!

Creative Commons License
Collocation of the Week by Dr Myers is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.