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401, 401V, 501V: English-Language Reading Diary

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Friday, December 6, 2013

Group 501: Cherry Picker, or "Boys get away with everything"

Here is the Garrison Keillor story we used yesterday in Group 501.

"Boys get away with everything."

Truck-mounted cherry picker (Wikimedia Commons)
Cherry Picker
Amazon.com purchase link


Selected phrases from Garrison Keillor's story:

Well, it's been a quiet week in Lake Wobegon, my home town...

... It looks like that fresh snow is going to stay around for a while, which is just to our liking....

... all the front yards in Lake Wobegon...

...Coming under the lovely spell of winter ... winter come s along and brings us to our senses...
You cannot impose your own ambitious schedule on winter...

...Shot about 15% the first half and not much better the second half... their record now on the season is 9 and 6...

She'd [Lennie Voss] been suspended for two games for being at a party last week at which some boys had bought in some alcohol--beer, I guess...

And she went into the principal's office--Mr. Halverson--this last week and she said, “This is not fair. You would not do this to a boy on the boys' team... Somebody said they had a six-pack; I didn't know, I wasn't going to go ask 'em....”

Mr. Halverson gave his school principal speech about how it was nothing personal... rules are enforced, no matter what....

And they really do need a leader because their coach is such a loser.

There is no such thing as second- or third-string....

She sat in the stands and watched the game on Friday against St. Margaret.

If I had been the star of the team, and I had to sit it out, I would be secretly pulling for them to lose by a large margin. That's the sort of person I am.

You couldn't tell it to look at him now....

“A bunch of broads with big hairy legs, that's who these feminists are... .”

And right around when she was thirteen-fourteen years old, and she was on the junior high team, and there was a little dispute over when the boys' team should practice and when the girls' team might be allowed to come in and use the gymnasium, and right there, in about a day and a half, Arnold Voss became a militant feminist.

“Boys get away with everything! ”

...The Abominable Snowman, the great Beast of the Blizzard in the winter of '76, who terrorized and wreaked damage and destruction across a good section of western Minnesota...

... This big Mack Truck with a cherry picker on it ...

... They had to head for home in their big Mack truck, and so they folded up the cherry picker and put everything back together and they headed north towards Lake Wobegon into the teeth of this blizzard....

... a complete white-out, you couldn't tell up from down...

... Arnold, who was driving, had to down-shift and the truck was struggling ...

... The cherry picker had come way up into the air. There was a tarp they had wrapped around the control levers at the base of it, and a corner of it had gotten loose, and evidently it was flapping, and every time it flapped, it got hold of a lever, and it raised that cherry picker.

They had been trying to haul tons of copper down the road!

“You back up as slow[ly] as you can back up. ”

Then he cut some alpaca out of the lining of his jacket. … He roughed up his hair.

He pounded on it [the door], and he clawed at it....

... And they saw the phone lines all dragged down, and then it made sense.To accomplish this kind of damage would take a creature about as big as would fit these footprints.

He was dubious himself but he said a lot of people there had seen it!

It made the Minneapolis paper.

That town went downhill from then on. ... He'd see houses boarded up, "For Sale" signs up.

a bad case of the jitters....

Arnold tortured himself with these thoughts for years.

...she gets kicked off the team for two days, and he goes scot-free.

... and that evens up everything.

...and at the same time you have license to complain about.

That's the news from Lake Wobegon, where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average.

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