Insurance companies are normally willing to insure anything. Insuring public or private property is a standard practice in most
countries in the world. If, however, you were holding an open air garden party or a fete it would be equally possible to insure
yourself in the event of bad weather. Needless to say, the bigger the risk an insurance company takes, the higher the premium you
will have to pay. It is not uncommon to hear that a ship ping company has made a claim for the cost of salvaging a sunken ship.
But the claim made by a local authority to recover the cost of salvaging a sunken pie dish must surely be unique.
Admittedly it was an unusual pie dish, for it was eighteen feet long and six feet wide. It had been purchased by a local authority
so that an enormous pie could be baked for an annual fair. The pie committee decided that the best way to transport the dish
would be by canal, so they insured it for the trip. Shortly after it was launched, the pie committee went to a local inn to celebrate.
At the same time, a number of teenagers climbed on to the dish and held a little party of their own. Dancing proved to be more
than the dish could bear, for during the party it capsized and sank in seven feet of water.
The pie committee telephoned a local garage owner who arrived in a recovery truck to salvage the pie dish. Shivering in their
wet clothes, the teenagers looked on while three men dived repeatedly into the water to locate the dish. They had little difficulty
in finding it, but hauling it out of the water proved to be a serious problem. The sides of the dish were so smooth that it was
almost impossible to attach hawsers and chains to the rim without damaging it. Eventually chains were fixed to one end of the
dish and a powerful winch was put into operation. The dish rose to the surface and was gently drawn towards the canal bank.
For one agonizing moment, the dish was perched precariously on the bank of the canal, but it suddenly overbalanced and slid
back into the water. The men were now obliged to try once more. This time they fixed heavy metal clamps to both sides of the dish
so that they could fasten the chains. The dish now had to be lifted vertically because one edge was resting against the side of the
canal. The winch was again put into operation and one of the men started up the truck. Several minutes later, the dish was
successfully hauled above the surface of the water. Water streamed in torrents over its sides with such force that it set up a huge
wave in the canal. There was danger that the wave would rebound off the other side of the bank and send the dish plunging into
the water again. By working at tremendous speed, the men managed to get the dish on to dry land before the wave returned.
●insure v. 投保
●fete n. 游园会
●premium n. 保险费
●recover v. 使......得到补偿，弥补
●admittedly adv. 公认地
●purchase v. 买
●annual adj. 一年一度的
●teenager n. （13至19岁的）青少年
●capsize v. （船）翻
●shiver v. 打颤，发抖
●dive v. （头向下）跳水
●haul v. 拖曵
●hawser n. 粗缆绳
●rim n. （圆形物品的）外沿，边
●winch n. 绞车
●agonizing adj. 精神紧张的，提心吊胆的
●perch v. 处于
●precariously adv. 危险地，不稳固地
●overbalance v. 失去平衡