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  1. #1
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    Default a paragraph in a story I cannot understand

    There is a paragraph (green words)in a story I cannot understand, could you explain the meaning to me?
    The story tells a man who ran a little music store selling pianos. When the store was going bankrupt, a friend told the storekeeper a story:
    there was a forg fell off the limb down into the barrel and could not jump high enough to reach the rim. Then a snake crawled into the barrel through a tiny hole in the bottom, then the frog jumped clear out of that barrel in one giant leap!
    The story enlightened the storekeeper, and then he had an idea as follow and sold out all the pianos. Here is the paragraph of the article explaining what he did, but I cannot understand it, especially the red words:

    There were nine pianos in the warehouse, and somehow we would sell them all by Saturday, only three days away. Of course that was an impossible task in that little town, but there was a snake in the barrel, after all, and we had to.
    Early the next morning we went out to see Floyd Stewart, the owner of and the only announcer in the little radio station, KRMO. We told
    Floyd the problem, and told him we could afford to pay him only if we sold the pianos, but we were asking for his help. Then I told him what Mr. Lassater had said about the snake in the barrel. Floyd, who was an old friend of Mr. Lassater, agreed, and he pushed those pianos many times a day for the next three days, always beginning the commercial in his big booming voice, "THERE'S A SNAKE IN THE BARREL." By Saturday, the pianos were all sold, and I paid the bank, the
    phone company, the rent, and sent the money for the two pianos I had
    sold but not yet paid for. Of course it was costly, because I had to discount the pianos considerably, but it kept me in business, and I never let the frog fall into the barrel again.


    I know it will take you more time to answer my question, but it is quite important to me . I’ll appriciate your time and help very much!

  2. #2
    MrPedantic is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: a paragraph in a story I cannot understand

    Hello Jenny

    I think it means:

    <He praised the good qualities of those pianos in a large number of adverts every day, during the next three days, and always began the adverts by saying in his loud, resonant voice: "There's a snake in the barrel!".>

    Does that help?

    MrP

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    Default Re: a paragraph in a story I cannot understand

    Thank you, MrPedantic. I think I understand your meaning. But I still have some daubt.As you said, the word “push” here means “advertize” instead of “the act of moving”. Then what’s the use of saying "There's a snake in the barrel!" everytime at the beginning of the advertisement? Dose it have something connected to the story of frog and snake? Would the other people understand what he said?
    I have thought that maybe he pushed out the pianos pretending they had been sold out. So the people felt a sense of crisis. If they didn’t buy the pianos, there would be nothing left. Just like a frog threated by a snake could jump out of the barrel.
    Dose my explaination make sense to you?
    What do you think? I need your help!

  4. #4
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    Question Re: a paragraph in a story I cannot understand

    Is there anyone who can help me?!

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    Default Re: a paragraph in a story I cannot understand

    Could it be that the phrase "There's a snake in the barrel" is used to capture attention (being creative and interesting), telling people that due to a crisis, the pianos had to be sold, and of course, at a discounted price.

    But I don't think that the phrase is that crucial, to me, it is simply something funny. I mean, how would you feel if you hear "There's a snake in the barrel" several times a day from a radio station? What is more important should be the message from the fable: If you're facing a crisis, you can push yourself further; or if you're in extremity, nothing is impossible.

  6. #6
    MrPedantic is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: a paragraph in a story I cannot understand

    Sorry, Jenny, I didn't see your reply!

    But I'd agree with Ppippi: it's an ear-catching phrase. I suppose it's the linguistic equivalent of a jingle.

    MrP

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    Default Re: a paragraph in a story I cannot understand

    Thank you so much, both you two! I think that's the idea and I'm sorry for the delay of my answer. Sorry and thank you.

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