So lacking any apparent sense of gravity today (or ever) I’ll do humor. Let’s hope it’s cheesy.
Allegedly, for this is what I will call it. Humor.
Gravity out the window.
Besides, I don’t do gravity well.
I wear gravity like a bad hat and inevitably I come across as a sophomoric fool when I try to be serious and mature. For what is gravity but a sense of refined and self-conscious maturity? Lacking a sense of maturity that our common social structure presumes as a requirement for those wishing to indulge in “modern” society, I am not a natural wearer of this “gravity” suit.
Wow I just threw in some astronaut humor.
I can see where this post is headed.
Back to it.
Well there is an email making the rounds, perhaps you have been unfortunate enough to receive it like I did a couple of weeks back. With the subject “Ingrish,” I found it in my inbox and discovered wrapped inside its pretty package a series of photos lifted off a humor website called Chairman LOL, which purports to post pictures of epic Chinese to English translation failures in the form of print ads and signs spanning the repulsive to the mildly offensive. The email houses a mishmash montage of 31 images of laughable and cringe-worthy malapropisms courtesy of someone whose English is not their first language (and by the looks of it, not their second or third or four-hundredth).
So then. My comic post. What do I do now?
I have a 31 hilarious photos. How do I add anything further to increase their amusement factor?
I suppose I could list each photo individually and follow it with some smart-ass imbecilic comment which would further heighten and feed the humor element of the adjoining photo, but that is lazy. To make individual comments about each individual photo (which are all funny in and of themselves) is like shooting fish in a barrel. How can the comments not be funny? To pass off these comments as “humor” strikes me as a bit complacent and lazy.
I need to challenge myself and put my much-touted (by myself) authorial skills to work.
There are 31 photos in this montage. I’m going to write a story. A sequence of events and all 31 of these photos will be brought into play individually during the narrative as a means of capturing and explaining the story segment where it appears. Starting with number 1. I’m not shifting the photos to accommodate my story…my story will work around the order the photos appear in the email. Why make this easy? I’d like to think this is a little more creative than unimaginative humorous comments about something that is humorous already.
These signs are obviously Asian in origin but many of them look like they are not strictly Chinese, so in order to ease the flow of my story, I will refer to an imaginary Asian land with imaginary Asian names, a real melange of Asian motifs which will come together in my tale as laid out by the Ingrish snapshots.
Now the tale.
Most of the geographical names are purely fictional, so hands off Wikipedia while you read.
After deplaning and claiming my luggage at Porteporn International Airport in Themia, I tiredly walked through the doors into the stifling 95 degree humidity and looked for Mi Li. Or looked for her car; I had no idea what she looked like in real life but she told me she would wait outside by the curb in her Gold North Korean made Ilsong convertible. I scanned the street lazily and saw the small, jelly bean-shaped car immediately. I walked toward it, and as I drew closer was dismayed to note that Mi Li, rather than being the 115 pound, ivory-skinned brunette I envisioned, was in actuality about 220 pounds with a muddy, cratered complexion which I imagine is what smallpox did to its victims before the advent of internet dating sites.
I shrugged privately, resigned to making the best of this Asian trip.
I’d flown thousands of miles, I wasn’t about to dump her now in this strange land. I walked to the car and squeezed in after first unloading my luggage. Mi Li drove aggressively through the Porteporn streets, dodging stray pedestrians and animals alike.
We traded small talk about my plane trip and she gave me a rundown on life in this sweltering sauna of a city as we headed toward the first of her promised treats. I was only going to be in town for 10 days and she told me she had arranged a compact schedule that would expose me to the many varied delights of Porteporn’s underground culture and vibrantly perverted nightlife. Food, women…it was all in store for me, she had laid out a calculated schedule for me. Judging by her rotund appearance, I began bracing myself for lots of the former and hopefully a bunch of the latter from various sources as well; I shuddered to consider that perhaps Mi Li was lumping herself into that category. For my taking. 220 pounds of hot sweaty pleasure.
This trip promised to be something. Not sure what.
The Ilsong sputtered like a tired golf cart and every windowed opening in this little vinyl interior-decorated car was fully drawn in order to allow the hot sultry air to rush in and bathe our bodies in smoky urban Asian grit. The car was so sparse that it didn’t even attempt the facade of comfort. There were no vents or the vaguest gesture of a climate control system. Just a block of solid plastic dashboard looking as utilitarian as a Korean schoolmarm’s sensible uniform.
The “convertible” designation, as I would learn, was rather laughable for all Ilsongs were convertibles. They came out of the factory minus any roof whatsoever to speak of…a cost-cutting measure by the carmaker. Questionably “great” during hot summer days, scary and uncomfortable as shit during the winter and monsoon season.
Convertible. Ha, yes, my 10-day Themian hefty girlfriend/tour-guide drove a “convertible.”
After some time, we left the madness of the crowded city behind and embarked on a long stretch of bumpy and careening 2-lane State-unmaintained highway. The air seemed to cool just a bit as we entered a region where the road was lined by lush green vegetation. The sky, visible through the Ilsong’s roofless headspace, was golden blue, and the car sounded silent as we left the honks and shouts of Porteporn behind.
Out of the corner of my eye I noted Mi Li turned her bulbous face in my direction while driving and she did this repeatedly for a stretch of 10 minutes. I began to worry about her driving. A few times the Ilsong strayed into the opposing lane but nevertheless she continued to disregard the incidental fact that she was driving this tin bucket at a dramatically quivering 100 kph. She seemed drawn to the scrutiny of my face. If I wasn’t so flattered, I might have chided her driving.
“Are you hungry?” she asked.
Now there was a loaded question from my furry “little” Culinary & Sexual Asian Docent.
Unsure how to answer.
“Uh…not very. I had a large meal on the plane and this weather…” I lied.
“OK,” she answered in a subdued tone. “We’ll be at the club in about fifteen minutes,” she promised as a car headed in the opposite direction (also a convertible Ilsong) beeped helplessly and caused Mi Li to correct her trajectory by jerking the car back into the correct lane. Listening to the other Ilsong honk futilely reminded me of a Chihuahua’s overly-bold yapping.
As if enlivened by our proximity to the club, she seemed energized and smiled.
“You will loooove this club. It’s very special to me.”
“I can’t wait,” I uttered.
She refused tell me what was so “special” about this club despite my repeated requests for more info. She would giggle and merely tell me “It’s very special!” And the name of the club, Fistful of Dollars, sounded mysterious, and indeed, intriguingly frightening.
After the last exchange, Mi Li appeared to calm down slightly and finally concentrated on her driving. The thick humid air streamed over the car and it even sounded sluggish and dense, a deep baritone monotony of road noise.
The final stretch of our trip was a small gravel road which Mi Li turned onto from the main highway. The road was covered with stones and dirt and I could hear the Ilsong’s thin tires burst fragments of stone and scatter sand as it made its way anxiously toward the distant shape of Fistful of Dollars. The structure grew rapidly in size as we approached, a large, plantation style two-story mansion. After parking, we stretched our legs and made our way into the lobby where I was astounded to note one of the walls was lined with glass cabinets filled with all manner of apparatuses that all shared one commonality: they were all slenderly shaped handles that culminated in a large protrusion on one end and they came in various guises. For instance, one appeared to be a shovel stick but instead of a scoop, there was a plastic ball covered with protruding spikes (also plastic) and another looked like an axe except at the end was a plastic monkey head.
“————,” Mi Li shouted in her native Themese language. The elderly gentlemen struck me as a Walmartian fixture here in this most remote and unlikely of all places. He barked back at Mi Li in the same language and rushed to the back room.
“You ready?” Mi Li asked flirtatiously as her eyes sparkled dangerously.
Two hours later we were back on the road.
Having just endured the gravel road (which seemed twice as long on the trip back), I retreated into the door panel and waited desperately for the ride to be over. My guts screamed in agony each time Mi Li, merry as hell, swerved jerkily to correct her wandering heading. She whistled a very annoying Themian folk song that sounded vaguely like Cindy Lauper. Whistled it into the open friggin’ air. I was doubled over and tried to ignore her effluent cheerfulness.
“You enjoy?” she asked.
I half-heartedly faked a nod.
“I enjoy, you did wonderful with the hockey stick. MMMMMMM,” she hummed ecstatically. “Very good job. She rubbed my leg carefully. You OK? You like Monkey Pole?”
“It was alright,” I mumbled quietly as my guts and ass screamed again in response to her erratic driving and the mention of the dreaded Monkey Pole.
“That sign, the one when you leave. Was that a mistake or did they do that intentionally? Thank you for ‘fisiting.’ Did they put that extra “i” on purpose? A double entendre so to speak?”
“Entenld? What is that honey?” she asked and began whistling when I failed to answer.