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    #1

    The Attack, part three

    Would you please correct the mistakes in the third part of my text?

    During my first years in Sweden, watching The Nobel Prize Banquet live on TV was an important event in my mostly uneventful life. The TV director always used the same camera positions and the same shots – wide shots at the beginning to show the beautiful exterior of the Golden Hall and its gold mosaic with the motives from Swedish history; the rows of tables ready to take the exact number of 1300 guests; the lines of waiters in dazzling white jackets and gloves; the smartly dressed guests walking in twos down the stairway. When the food was served and the guests started to eat, the shots turned into medium close up and close up. The background sound was made up of barely audible words coming from 1300 mouths and the occasional clinking of glasses and cutlery. I saw polished men and women masticating like slow motion, as if they were measuring every mouthful. A diamond ring flashed on the well-manicured finger, a golden watch or a bracelet peeked out from beneath the sleeves of evening dresses and sparkled in the bright light. In between mouthfuls, smiles were exchanged, polite nods, and appreciative looks. If the microphones had been allowed closer to the guests, I believed I could have heard the softly spoken sophisticated sentences which abounded with adjectives. The humble laureates must have been overwhelmed with the hundreds of thousands of dollars, which appeared on their bank accounts, and all the attention they were receiving. While I was watching their erudite faces, I listened to the solemn voice of the commentator, who was reciting the Nobel Banquet Menu, as if he was quoting the Bible. It was read in French and then translated into Swedish for the viewers who were not familiar with French terms. There were also a few wine types, mostly French. Judging by the size of the portions you would not be full, even if you ate all of it, but probably that was not the point of it. Food was a prop to help the guests survive a few hours of this social occasion without feeling embarrassed and awkward.

    A group of musician appeared on the landing, and almost casually, they produced sweet notes and smooth voices to stimulate digestion of the exquisite food. When enough time had passed for the digestive organs to absorb the gastronomic delights, The King, and Queen, their son and daughters, the laureates, students, politicians, businesspersons, journalists and other distinguished citizens slowly rose from their chairs to choose their dance partners. They held their hands and tripped around the floor with the lightness of a feather. The old men with arthritic legs seemed not to feel any pain as they twirled around holding hands with young attractive students, and the old wrinkled ladies became girls again as the strong hands of the tall men glided them across the floor. The Banquet epitomised Western values – success, sophistication, prosperity and congeniality. Even the large majority of distinguished guests were well-groomed white men and women. Of course, you could notice a few black persons sprinkled at the tables – the organizer’s contribution to the idea of multiculturalism.
    More black and swarthy people would arrive first after midnight. They would carry buckets with water, brooms, brushes, cleaning agents and cleaning cloths and they would pick up all the leftovers, crumpled napkins, empty bottles and other waste left over after the distinguished guests had left. I imagined that some of them would not resist the temptation to taste the leftovers of a turbo aux truffle, or a galantine de canard, and I believed they would be disappointed that the dishes did not taste as good as the food they ate at home. They found some bottles with dregs of wine, poured it into the crystal glasses, and they were not impressed with it either. A Chateau Haut-Bergeron or a Domaine Jean-Claude Belland didn’t taste a bit better than cheap Rioja.

    I imagined that the next day the laureates, their spouses, and other distinguished guests were offered a bus sightseeing of the capital. The driver, a middle-aged immigrant, who despite his two university degrees did never have an opportunity to get a better job, watched in the rear window passengers board the bus, and his mood shifted from depression, which had been his habitual state in the last years, to rage. The bus filled with the exquisite scents, which made him dizzy. Women wore designer hats and carried luxury bags, which must have cost a fortune. Their gold chains, pendants, bracelets and bangles jingled like chimes. Their male companions were sporting tailored suits, jackets and hand-made shoes. They started banter and gossip as soon as they took their seats.
    TO BE CONTINUED

  1. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: The Attack, part three

    The first sentence is fine. Don't change it. In the second sentence I think you mean to say "motifs" and not "motives". Also, say:

    the rows of tables prepared for exactly 1300 guests....

  2. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: The Attack, part three

    Say:

    The background sounds were....

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    #4

    Re: The Attack, part three

    Say:

    I saw polished men and women masticating as if they were moving in slow motion.

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    #5

    Re: The Attack, part three

    Say:

    A diamond ring flashed on a well-manicured finger.

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    #6

    Re: The Attack, part three

    Say:

    In between mouthfuls, smiles, polite nods, and appreciative looks were exchanged.

    Bedtime!

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    #7

    Re: The Attack, part three

    Say:

    The humble laureates must have been overwhelmed with the hundreds of thousands of thousands of dollars which appeared in their bank accounts....

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    #8

    Re: The Attack, part three

    Next paragraph. Say:

    A group of musicians appeared on the landing, and almost casually, they produced sweet notes and smooth voices to stimulate the digestion of the exquisite food.

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    #9

    Re: The Attack, part three

    Say:

    The large majority of distinguished guests....

    And:

    Of course, you could notice some black individuals here and there....

  9. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: The Attack, part three

    The phrase "black and swarthy" seems a little redundant.

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