Reading Comprehension—read the article and choose one proper answer
to each question. (5%)
I’m Bill Bryson, an American travel writer. Here’s my tip of the week. Don’t make jokes in America. Even in experienced hands, a joke can be a dangerous thing. I came to this conclusion recently while passing through Customs and Immigration at Logan airport in Boston.
As I approached the last immigration official, he said to me, “Any fruit or vegetables?”
I considered for a moment. “Sure, why not?” I said. “I’ll have four pounds of potatoes and some mangoes, if they’re fresh.”
Instantly, I could see that I had misjudged my audience. He looked at me with one of those slow, dark expressions that you never want to see in a uniformed official, but especially in a US Customs and Immigration officer.
Luckily he appeared to conclude that I was just incredibly stupid. “Sir,” he enquired more specifically, “are you carrying any items of fruit or vegetable?”
“No, sir, I am not,” I answered at once, and gave him the most respectful look I believe I have ever given anybody in my life. I left him shaking his head. I am sure that for the rest of his career he will always be telling people about the idiot who thought he was a greengrocer.
The same thing happened another time when I was talking to my neighbor about a terrible airline trip which had left me stranded overnight in Denver. “Who did you fly with?” he asked.
“I don’t know,” I replied. “They were all strangers.” He looked at me with an expression ofpanic.
“No, I meant which airline did you fly with,” he said. Soon after this my wife ordered me to stop making jokes with him, as our conversation were giving him migraine.
It isn’t that there are no people with an active sense of humor in America. It’s just that there are fewer of them.
A few weeks ago, I arrived at our local airport and approached a cab for a ride home.“Are you free?” I innocently asked the driver.
He looked at me with an expression I recognized at once—the look of someone who can see the chance of a joke. “No,” he said. “I charge like everyone else.” I could almost have hugged him.
47. Which one of the following might be the best topic for the article?
(A) A Trip to the USA
(B) Sense of Humor Failure
(C) Misunderstandings among Friends
(D) Simile and Metaphor