【明報專訊】Kelly: What a day! I'm glad that's over.
Rahul: Yes, I can see. You look worn out. Something happened at the hotel?
Kelly: I'll say. We were expecting Sheikh Abdullah and his family to come at the end of next week for three days. He's one of the world's richest men and expects everything to be perfect. They've got a lot of special requirements, so that takes a lot of preparation.
Kelly: We got a message yesterday saying they were coming at the end of this week.
Rahul: Oh no! Almost a week early. What a horrible surprise!
Kelly: Yes, it really caught us on the hop. Everyone was in a panic.
Rahul: But you fixed things in time?
Kelly: Only just. We had to hire a lot of temporary staff to make sure everything was done in time. I don't want to go through that again.
Rahul: I bet you don't.
Hop 是忽布花，常用於釀製啤酒，使酒味略帶苦澀。第二次世界大戰之後，倫敦不少人喜歡到郊外採忽布花，有些甚至向僱主稱病，其實卻是採花去，「不幸」被僱主發覺在郊外採花者，就是 caught on the hop（在忽布花前給撞見）。所以，caught on the hop 即「出其不意」或「措手不及」，例如：Her unexpected proposal of marriage caught John on the hop（她出其不意提議結婚，令約翰不知所措）。