In the past, there were two near-sighted men, Mr. A and Mr. B. They didn’t admit they were near-sighted, but boasted about their good eyesight instead.
One day, they heard that a new inscribed board was to be hung up in a temple, so they made an appointment with each other to have a contest of their eyesight. In order to win, both of them stealthily inquired beforehand about the characters inscribed on the board. When the day came, they went to the temple early in the morning.
Mr. A looked up at the place for hanging the board, wagged his head and said:“Aren’t these the four characters ‘Guang Ming Zheng Da’ (open and just)?”
Mr.B added:“What is so strange about that? I can even make out the small characters on both sides. Look, aren’t these the year, the month, and the name of the calligrapher?”
The people standing nearby all burst into laughter and said:“The new inscribed board hasn’t been hung up yet. Where are the characters you just read?”
* Selected from the book Xiao Lin Xin Ya (New Refined Jokes) by Yu Yue (1821-1907 A.D.) at the end of the Qing Dynasty
【生词与短语 New Words & Expressions】
1.近视新编 [jìn shì xīn biān] A New Story About Near sightedness
2.夸耀 [kuā yào] v. boast
3.匾 [biǎn] n. inscribed board
4.取胜 [qǔ shèng] v. win
5.摇头晃脑 [yáo tóu huàng nǎo] (idiom) wag / shake one’s head
6.光明正大 [guāng míng zhèng dà] (idiom) open and just
7.探听 [tàn tīng] v. inquire about