Wednesday, May 24, 2006

buggin' out like Tori Spelling's eyes

Daddy-O left recently for a business trip to China, so I called to wish him a safe journey.

"Thanks, little Ro," he said. "I'm afraid it's going to be mostly business, but we're supposed to get at least one full day of sightseeing in. It will be fun to see how it's changed since I was last there."

Daddy-O lived in Taiwan for several years when he was a teenager, so he got to visit China on numerous occasions. No, we are not Asian (although I have been asked several times during my life if I'm "half", both because of my interest in Asian culture and my eyes; the most recent example of this came from my Filipino coworker Kitty, who asked, "So you half-Japanese or half-Chinese or what?"); my grandfather took a job offer there.

Anyway, here's where the conversation took an alarming turn.

"I am a little concerned, though."


"Well, there haven't been any recent outbreaks of bird flu, at least not that I've heard, but the company doctor gave everyone Tamiflu in case there is an outbreak. He said the only good thing about it is that it's not mutating from person to person; if it starts doing that, it's going to make the black plague look like a Disneyland picnic."


"Well, just don't eat any birdies," I said, trying to keep my voice light.

"No worries there." He sighed, and then he said dreamily, "Yeah, I'm looking forward to seeing the old country again."

Uh-oh. I knew this tone of voice, and I knew what anecdote was coming next.

"Yeah, it ought to be great," I said hurriedly. "Anyway, Dad, I love you and I hope you have a fun time."

"Boy, Taiwan was such a great place to grow up."

"I remember the stories! Anyway, I better get back to work; I slacked a little this morning and now it's piled up."

"With my allowance and the money I made bagging groceries---"


"Um, Dad..."

"I made about ten bucks a week. You know what you could buy for ten bucks in Taiwan in the early sixties?"

"Oh, there's my boss! I better run."

"You could get the most gorgeous hooker and still have money left over for a bag of fireworks and a Coke."