SHORT STORIES

 

 

FRUITCAKE SPECIAL (4 practices)

 

PRACTICE 1

 

Read the extract from the short story “FRUITCAKE SPECIAL” below and answer the  questions that follow.

 

‘I dreamt that I was being awful to you, treating you as if you were just someone who worked for me. The truth is that you mean so much more than that to me …’I wondered what he meant. Was he going to raise my pay? He went on. ‘You must realise that I’m crazy about you, darling.’ He was calling me darling again. He was being serious. I have to say that at this point I was feeling very confused. Five minutes ago my boss didn’t want to be seen with me. Now he was saying he was crazy about me! What could be making him behave like this? Then, all at once, I realised it was the fruitcake special! Intrigue might smell great, but it didn’t make a girl attractive to men. But my fruitcake perfume did.

 

 

 

a.         What does the word ‘crazy’ imply?

 

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b.         Why was the writer confused?

 

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c.         What is “Intrigue’ in the context of the story?

 

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d.         Describe the behaviour of the writer’s boss and why he behaved in such a way.

 

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PRACTICE 2

 

Read the extract from the short story “FRUITCAKE SPECIAL” below and answer the  questions that follow.

 

 

Momma and Aunt Mini were very pleased, of course. They went off together to plan the wedding and left me to get ready for the man they hoped would be my future husband. I was beginning to wish I hadn’t told them. After all, I had no idea why my boss had behaved towards me in that way. He had never even noticed me before now. However, he had noticed the perfume I had been wearing. Lately I had been wearing a perfume called intrigue. It was made by another company and I actually preferred it to the perfumes we made. Mr. Amos did have a very good nose for perfumes. Perhaps Intrigue was so good he just couldn’t stop himself. Who knows? Anyway, I had to get ready for my evening out. Although I couldn’t explain why Mr. Amos had suddenly found me attractive, I really wanted to find out. In my own way I’m as bad as my Aunt Mimi, I guess.

 

 

 

a.         Whose wedding is being planned? Name the bride and groom to be.

 

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b.         Why did the writer say “wish I hadn’t told them”?

 

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c.         Why was the writer’s plan for the night?

 

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d.         Do you think the boss was attracted to the writer because of the perfume?

Give a reason for your answer.

 

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PRACTICE 3

 

Read the extract from the short story “FRUITCAKE SPEACIAL” below and answer the  questions that follow.

 

 

Momma seemed satisfied with my explanation that things had just not worked out between me and Mr. Amos, although she thought it a wasted opportunity she wanted me to have a rich husband. Still, happiness is what really counts, she said, with a note of sadness in her voice. When I finally got back to the factory there was a message left on my desk – could I see Mr. Amos as soon as I got in. As I walked towards David Amos’s office I felt like a schoolgirl who had to go to see the head teacher. I was sure that the fruitcake special would not still be working by now – after all, he had not seen me for a few days. I knocked on his door. Mr. Amos was sitting behind his big desk with a large black eye.

 

 

 

 

a.         Describe the ‘opportunity’ as in the context of the story?

 

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b.         Why was the ‘opportunity’ considered as wasted?

 

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c.         Why did the writer feel ‘like a schoolgirl who had to go to see the head teacher’?

 

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d.         Do you think Mr. Amos was angry at the writer? Give a reason

 

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PRACTICE 4

 

Read the extract from the short story “FRUITCAKE SPECIAL” below and answer the  questions that follow.

 

 

‘Momma,’ I said, ‘if it’s Aunt Mimi with news of another “perfect boy” for me, tell her I’m not interested.’ ‘It’s not Aunt Mimi, dear,’ said Momma.
‘Who is it?’ I asked. ‘I think you’d better come see for yourself ’ Momma said.
I went to the front door. It was Armstrong, the pizza delivery man. He was holding up a pizza box which had ‘Armstrong’s Peachy Pizzas’ in big letters on the front.
Armstrong now owned the pizza company. He explained that he’d fallen in love with me when he first delivered pizza to us, but he wanted to be a success before asking me out. He said I deserved no less. Then he gave me some flowers. I never really noticed before, but Armstrong is quite good looking: a bit short maybe, a little thin on top –but nobody’s perfect.

 

 

 

a.         State one characteristic of a ‘perfect boy” in Aunt Mimi’s opinion.

 

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b.         What is the name of Armstrong’s company?

 

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c.         What does Armstrong mean when he said “ … deserved no less’?

 

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d.         Would you marry someone like Armstrong? Give a reason

 

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ANSWERS

Practice 1

 

  1. not normal
  2. confused at how the feelings of her boss towards her changes abruptly.
  3. Name of the perfume.
  4. The boss took a liking of her when he was not interested at all a little while ago. Perhaps it is the work of the perfume.

 

Practice 2

  1. Mr Amos and Anna
  2. She is actually not interested in Mr Amos.
  3. She wants to find out why Mr Amos was attracted to her.
  4. Any logical answer.

Practice 3

  1. an opportunity to marry a rich man
  2. the marriage did not take place.
  3. She did not know how to answer or react to Mr Amos who is her boss.
  4. No, he was not. He was not aware of what had actually happened.

 

Practice 4

  1. wealthy
  2. ‘Armstrong’s Peachy Pizzas’
  3. She is a fine person and she should get someone who is capable of looking after her and care for her financially.
  4. Any logical answer.
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