From Carrots to Renovations: Reading Comprehension

From Carrots to Renovations: Reading Comprehension

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From Carrots to Renovations: How I Spent $10,000 without Really Trying





Do you believe that a kilogram of carrots could cost $10,000? My carrots cost me that much last year. Last summer I had to completely renovate my kitchen and it was all because of a bunch of carrots. The story begins with my picking twelve carrots from my vegetable garden and ends with my getting a new kitchen.

I have a vegetable garden and every summer I enjoy eating my own vegetables. One day last summer I picked a dozen carrots. Usually, as soon as I have picked the carrots, I clean the dirt off them by rinsing them in a bucket of water. I keep a full bucket of water beside the garden just for this purpose. But this day, as I was getting up from the ground with my twelve carrots, I tripped and fell over the bucket. The water spilled out of the bucket and went all over my feet. I ran into the house to change my shoes and socks. When I was finally dry and clean, I realized that I had very little time to make dinner. The carrots were part of dinner, so I decided to wash the carrots quickly in the kitchen sink. The carrots were covered in a large amount of dirt from the garden. I put the carrots in the sink, rinsed them with water, and watched all the dirt wash away down the drain.

The next day, when I was washing dishes, I noticed that the water drained out of the sink much more slowly than usual. It drained so slowly that I went to the store and bought a bottle of special drain cleaner. I used the drain cleaner and the water seemed to drain a little faster. However, the following day the drain worked even more slowly. I spent $100 on different kinds of drain cleaner. None of them worked.

Soon the water did not drain at all. At this point I called a plumber to come and fix my drain. The plumber tried a lot of different cleaners and equipment, but nothing worked. He tried to go under the house to check the pipes, but he couldn't reach them. He had to cut a hole in the floor where the drain pipe was in order to try to find the problem. While he was cutting the small hole, he accidentally cut the hot-water pipe. Hot water sprayed over the plumber, onto the floor, behind the counters, under the refrigerator; water went everywhere. Two hours later we finally finished cleaning up all the water. But the water had caused a lot of damage.

My refrigerator stopped working because the water had affected the electrical wires. I called an electrician to come and fix the refrigerator. The electrician had to move the refrigerator to work on the wires. In order to move the refrigerator, she had to balance it on an angle and pull it away from the wall. As the electrician was balancing it, she tripped over the plumber's tools. She fell down and the refrigerator tipped over. It crashed into the wall, resulting in a huge hole in the wall.

I called a carpenter to come and fix the wall. In order to repair the hole in the wall, the carpenter had to tear down half of the entire wall. When the wall was half gone, the electrician found more electrical problems caused by the water damage. This resulted in the other half of the wall being removed to replace the damaged wiring. Meanwhile, the plumber was still looking for the source of the drain problem. Since the kitchen was in a terrible mess anyway, the plumber decided to remove part of the floor to look at the pipe there. In the middle of the floor, he found the problem: the dirt from the carrots was stuck in the pipe and nothing could go through or past the clump of dirt.

Now I had a sink that did not drain, a refrigerator that did not work, a wall that was gone, and part of a floor that was missing. I looked at this disaster and decided that what I really needed was a new kitchen. Finally, I called a house builder to come and fix my kitchen. Three weeks later I had a new sink, a new refrigerator, new cupboards on a new wall, new tiles on a new floor, and $10,000 less in my bank. I have learned my lesson, I never wash carrots in the kitchen sink; I get them, clean and ready to eat, from the store.



Credits:
Story by Charlotte Sheldrake, English Language Centre
Exercises by Deborah Albert, English Language Centre
Audio version performed by Cam Culham, English Language Centre
Clipart used with permission from Microsoft. Please see media restriction on our Terms of Use page.