an act to show off/ a chance to show off

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joham

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Oct 30, 2007
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One night we (trainers in Seal College) let Pal (name of a sea lion) do the smoking act on the stage for the first time. It was too 1 (hard, much) for Neptune (name of another sea lion). He came barking madly down to the footlights. I took the pipe from Pal and gave it to Neptune, who puffed out clouds of smoke. Suddenly something grabbed me. It was Pal! He ripped my trousers and tore out my shirttails. The only thing that would calm him was another 2 (chance, act) to show off with the pipe. A sea lion seldom learns from watching and copying his fellows. Three or four together, work best, because each is so eager to show what he can do.

This is a paragraph taken from a cloze test. My question is whether in the two blanks both the given answers are all right (hard seeming to me very unlikely for the first blank). The given answer for the second is 'act', but I would think 'chance' is the correct answer.

Could I ask native English teachers to help me please? Thank you in advance.
 

Soup

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Sep 6, 2007
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English Teacher
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Canada
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Hi joham
One night we let Pal do the smoking act on the stage for the first time. It was too 1 (much) for Neptune. He came barking madly down to the footlights. I took the pipe from Pal and gave it to Neptune, who puffed out clouds of smoke. Suddenly something grabbed me. It was Pal! He ripped my trousers and tore out my shirttails. The only thing that would calm him was another 2 (act) to show off with the pipe.

[1] Too much for Neptune (to bear): the underlined phrases form a collocation.



[2] Both chance and act work in that context; however, if I had to choose the best one, it would be act. Here's why. Pal had his chance; he did in fact show off his pipe-smoking skills (this is what upset Neptune). Pal did not need another chance to prove his skill--he had already proven he could do it. What he needed, or rather wanted, was an act all to himself:
Ex: The only thing that would calm him was another 2 (act) to show off with the pipe.
:-D;-)
 
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