Saturday, 14 March 2009

make a test

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

make a beeline for______make a go of something

_____make a hash of something___make a name for yourself_

on the make

Chiyoko sighed.
'I don't know what's worse,' she said. 'Drowning or "Chopsticks".'
'Don't knock "Chopsticks" grunted Hotkiss, Snr.. 'This stupid tune is keeping us alive.'
Hotkiss, Snr. concentrated on the notes, trying not to it. He was sitting with Chiyoko at a Steinway grand piano perched atop the broad back of a sperm whale. The whale was in the Pacific Ocean, seemingly thousands of miles from anywhere. While they kept playing the piano, the whale stayed above the surface, but as soon as they stopped it began to dive, leading them to an inevitable death.
The problem they had was that the only tune Hotkiss, Snr. could play was "Chopsticks". It seemed to keep the whale happy, but it was more difficult for Chiyoko and Hotkiss, Snr., especially as Chiyoko was a concert pianist. She had had to teach Hotkiss, Snr. something because her fingers had started to seize up after 6 hours of continuous play.
Hotkiss, Snr., a successful businessman with his own office-cleaning franchise, had been eager to
it. 'I can do this,' he had assured her. And he had. He had been playing "Chopsticks" for 3 hours continuously.
'This is like life, if you think about it,' said Chiyoko miserably.
'Less of that kind of talk,' warned Hotkiss, Snr., who didn't like to think about "it", "life", or anything at all. 'You need to keep it together Miss Chiyoko. Need to keep strong. Believe.'
Hotkiss, Snr. had got where he was by believing. When he had set up his first office-cleaning business in Springfield, Missouri, they had all told him he was mad. The market was saturated, they'd said. You had to be a big player, they'd said. He had a stupid name, they'd said. But he'd proved them all wrong, well, apart from the name. He'd worked out that people didn't care if their office was clean, so long as it smelt clean. One cleaner and a can of air-freshener from his firm replaced whole teams of cleaning ladies from the other firms, and so, with his lower cost base, he'd wiped out the competition in a matter of months. Having in Springfield, he had expanded across the whole state, becoming a multi-millionaire in the process.
His son, Hotkiss, Jnr., was not so enamoured of his father's technique. 'You don't care about real cleanliness,' he claimed. 'You're just for every cent you can get.'
Of course he was! That was business! Fool!
Chiyoko ducked down under the piano to lie in the shade. 'Every key you press is like a knife in my soul,' she mused distractedly.
'Listen missy,' said Hotkiss, Snr., a little testily. 'I don't know how they do things in Sapporo, but in Springfield, Missouri, when someone does something to help you, you don't turn round and slap them in the face. You thank them. That's just a matter of manners.'
'Thank you,' she shouted and kicked the underside of the piano. 'Thank you kind American man! Thank you giant whale! Thank you deaf Beethoven! Thank you old Steinway! Thank you all so much!'
'Could be worse,' said Hotkiss, Snr., laughing. 'It could be a penguin instead of a whale. Imagine trying to balance a Steinway, a stool, a young woman and an old man on one of those.'
Chiyoko snorted. 'It could be the last thing I imagine at all,' she said, pointing to the horizon. 'Have you noticed we've changed course? Our whale is another whale over there, see?'
Hotkiss, Snr. continued playing. 'I see it,' he remarked. 'I guess when whales get frisky there's apt to be a bit of splashing involved, but submersion? Why, there's no need for that at all. But just in case, get ready to jump in the piano....'


Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for the site. It is something I have been looking for for a long time! Please keep it up!

Andrei, Russia

Tony said...

Hello Andrei - you're more than welcome. I'm glad you like it.

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