Wednesday, January 30, 2008

funny (to me, at least)

Me: "Dan, it turns out you're the #15 commenter on FriendFeed."

Dan: [very seriously] "So who are numbers one through fourteen then?"

I went to Hearst Castle earlier in the month. The library contained a tall vase with white lilies. I couldn't figure out whether the lilies were real, no matter how much I stared.

I was reminded of an incident from my childhood.

When I was eight, my uncle visited the US from China for a one-year fellowship. One day, my parents went to the bank to open a checking account, and took him and me along.

My parents sat at a bank representative's desk filling out the new account form. I pointed at the leafy plant on the desk and asked my uncle in Mandarin, "Is that plant real?"

My uncle replied, also in Mandarin, "Modern plastic plants are often very realistic. They look real, the texture feels real, and they even smell real. There's only one way to tell."

He snapped off a leaf between his fingers, and placed it in his mouth. After two chews, he announced, "Yup, this one's real." I nodded in satisfaction.

When I looked up, the bank rep was staring open-mouthed at us.

Later I considered it from the bank rep's perspective. A family comes into your bank to open a checking account. The uncle and niece speak to each other in Mandarin, and then out of nowhere, the uncle picks a leaf off your plant and eats it for no discernible reason.

I still laugh when I think of it.


Ben said...

It's funny to me, too :) That's a great mental image!

When I wonder about fake plants I test them by poking a leaf with a fingernail to see if it crushed and is moist. But I guess by chewing on them you could be _absolutely_ sure.

I lub Fob said...


So funny... And so


We eat dis plant in homeland and use it for constipation...

Also add flavor to noodle soup.

ArC said...

That's a great story.

I generally just test by touching, though. I figure it's safer that way, except for the rare plants that have contact poisons... but I guess most people don't keep those on their desks.

ipecac said...

"The designers reckoned that after a few years they might develop their own emotional responses... You know--hate, love, fear, anger, envy. So they built in a fail-safe device: a four-year lifespan."

Your time is up, Niniane! :)

Anonymous said...

Haha! Did you at least have an explanaition for the bank rep?

"Mmmmm....minty fresh!"

Joanna said...

Yea, I usuallly touch the plant to check for authenticity.

I'm so proud of your Niniane, having the ability to speak Mandarin and the ability to write so well in English. You are a rarity.

metal said...

we'd better get used to eatting this stuff if we're to afford ninianes new college fund.

pk, .nl said...

Oh no the scary Chinese plant-eaters are back, securityyyyyy! Though, if he'd spit out the leftovers into the pot in the end, He could've been offered the vip saving plan. ;-) Doh, envy the open-source attitude of Yours when it comes to sharing all your lovely experience. Mwah.

Anonymous said...

Do you ever have any positive experience with Asian men?