Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Nov 06 2003

The other day I got a call on my mobile phone from…

The other day I got a call on my mobile phone from a woman I had no recollection of meeting. She spoke to me as if we were old friends. Thinking I must know her but simply not remembered, I kept talking with her, hoping she would throw in a hint as her identity so that I could realize where I knew her from before she realized I didn’t remember her. But as we talked, I began to suspect she didn’t actually know me at all. “Where do I know you from, again?” I asked.

“We met at the thing, you know…” she said.

“What thing?”

“The thing, you know. The dinner. There were a lot of people; I don’t blame you for not remembering me.”

Gee, thanks, I thought. She called herself Xiao Xiang, or Little Smelly if you’re into discourteous translations. The more I talked with her the more I was convinced she’d just found my namecard somewhere. She wasn’t willing to divulge the circumstances of our supposed ‘meeting’, however, so I changed my tactics.

“Ok, so what do I look like?” I asked her. Smelly didn’t skip a beat, launching into a whiny spiel about how long it had been, how she didn’t remember exactly. I wondered if she knew how off-putting her whining was to me. Apparently she assumed that I was a ‘tero, but I was curious to see if she even knew I wasn’t ethnically Chinese.

“Ok, I can understand if you don’t remember details,” I said. “Just tell me what color my hair is.”

“Oh, what a silly question,” Smelly answered. “It’s not like you’re a Big Nosed foreigner…Your hair is black, of course. We Orientals all have black hair. Next you’ll be asking me what color your eyes are!”

Ah HA! “BZZZZT! Wrong!”


I told Smelly that her cover was blown, that she did not in fact have any idea who I was. I imagine after I hung up she went to the next namecard she retrieved from some nightclub wastebasket. I don’t know what her scam was, nor do I particularly care. At least I got a laugh out of the whole thing, even if she did waste my mobile phone battery and phone bill with her nonsense.

I did tell Smelly to go find a bookstore if she wanted to see my picture, but I doubt she’s the bookstore type. Speaking of bookstores, I was at one the other day buying a copy of my book to give to someone. As the cashier rang the sale up, an old Chinese gentleman peered over my shoulder at my purchase. “Can you read that? It’s in Chinese, you know.”

I picked up the book and flipped through it. “Gee, I hope I can read it, seeing as I wrote it and all.” Yeah, I know, I was being unecessarily snarky, but I couldn’t resist. The old fellow didn’t take any offense, though. He even seemed impressed once he figured out that the skinny uniformed guy on the cover was actually me several years ago, and we chatted a bit before I left the store.

posted by Poagao at 7:53 am  

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