Saturday, April 30, 2011


Years ago I saw her at the local food store, scoping out the pears. She was very small, and looked to be in her early teens. As I reached past her to grab a few for myself, I casually said "you should buy some, they're very good".
Later I saw her at the other check-out stand with two pears of her own in a plastic vegetable bag. It was all she bought.

Occasionally over the next few months I would see her again, usually in the fruit and vegetable department.
She almost always bought pears.
I'm sure she also bought one or two other things, but the pears were a constant.

Once when I passed the bus shelter up the block I could see her sitting down, using both hands to eat a juicy pear.
Guiltily she looked up and noticed me.
I smiled, she smiled. Then she returned to her pear.

A few months later, at the store, I asked her what she liked so much about pears.

"They aren't apples!"

She said this as if it was a revealed truth, with awe in her voice.
She admitted that she had never eaten pears before I told her to buy some.
She was happy that I had encouraged her to take that chance.

We didn't talk much that time.
I would have liked to, but it just isn't a good idea for an adult man to have a long conversation with a teenager, as I assumed her to be.
Especially a pretty teenager.

Several weeks later I ran into her again. More pears. Sometimes you found a pear with a rotten spot inside, she informed me, so you really had to examine each pear carefully. She was serious about this. Pears were very important.
As an afterthought, she mentioned that she often took a pear to SF State in the morning.

Interesting - she looked like a thirteen or fourteen year old, small and slender, no overt curves. University already? So I asked her what she was studying.
Predictably, it was business administration, already in the third year.
Many Chinese-Americans who go to SF State study that, or accounting.

"But I'm also majoring in American Literature - Southern writers!"

She didn't look college-age, didn't particularly sound like it either.
But what do I know? Chinese women often look younger than they are.
Even when they are quite elderly they are often well-preserved, having far fewer wrinkles than the average white woman of the same years, whose face may look like a road map of the Sierras.

I wished her well in her studies, then went into another aisle to finish my shopping.

One time I asked her why all she seemed to purchase was a few pears. Turns out that for most things she went to Stockton Street on the other side of the hill, so many more vegetables, and better prices.
But hardly any pears. Pears she bought here. She loved pears.

I told her about a pear orchard that a friend's father owned in North-Brabant when I was still living there. In April the trees would bloom, delicate little five-petalled white blossoms with a faint fragrance. Singly they don't really make much of an impression on the nose, but thousands of them together, ah, that truly smells like spring! It was ever so pleasant to walk in the shade of the trees and look up, where the morning sunlight gave radiance to the massed white specks. The grass underneath would still be cold and wet, but the warming air would carry the essence down among the trunks. Brabant in spring is beautiful.
After a few weeks the petals would fall, swirling and eddying. The area under the trees would still be cool and shady, because all the leaves had come out.

"But what about the fruit? When do they grow fruit?"

' The fruit is clearly discernible by summer, and ripens by September. Though some fruit is still developing as late as October. No, they don't gather all the fruit, but let some of it simply fall to the ground.
Then they would let the old horse that they didn't have the heart to send to the knackers into the orchard, to graze among the tall grass and nibble pears. '

"How nice that they let the horse retire - it must have enjoyed it's old age!"

' Yes, I think it did. In winter it stayed in the stable, with a nice thick blanket over it to keep it warm. Old horses can get arthritic, you see. My friend and his sister would visit it every day to make sure it was comfortable, and they'd bring it some pears to eat. '

She was absolutely enchanted by the idea that, somewhere in Europe, there was an old grey horse, in the autumn of its years, being cared for and happily munching fruit. The next time she saw me she mentioned the horse. And the time after that.
She hoped it had plenty of pears to eat.

What I never told her was that the horse had been alive twenty years before, it had surely "gone to sleep" a long time past.
I just didn't have the heart to mention it.
The idea of an elderly horse contentedly wandering through a shady orchard is such a happy thought.

One evening, when I saw her at the store again, I mentioned that I would be going back to the Netherlands for a few weeks soon. She told me to make sure to visit the horse and feed it some pears.
I promised I would.

Didn't meet her again for several months.

Then one day in spring, when I got on the bus, she was in one of the seats near the back.
Turns out she had moved out of the area - her parents had finally bought a house, out in the avenues, so she seldom came to the neighborhood anymore. She would be graduating soon, but planned to keep living at home for a while. It was a nice house, and it had a yard.

Her dad had even promised to plant a pear tree for her. She was very much looking forward to that. Yes, she realized it might be a few years before it fruited, but it would be so lovely when it did.
And she would finally find out what pear blossoms smelled like!

I haven't seen her since then.

She still looked too small and slender to be an adult.
It's hard to imagine her all grown up and graduated.

She's almost certainly married by now, probably even has children.

I hope she's told them about the horse, and an orchard in autumn, and sweet ripe pears.

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Friday, April 29, 2011


I am always the last to know. It seems like while I was sleeping – meaning that for the past few months I have been assiduously reading the news, with an emphasis on politics, discord, disasters, and financial markets – two celebrities unknown to me got hitched.
Well slap my face and call me spinach. No idea.
I wasn't paying attention.
British celebrities, at that.

Mazzel tov, you two.

To quote from a completely random dude in the elevator this morning, “they can’t be English, they’ve got good teeth!”

Apparently teeth figure prominently in British marriages. I didn’t know.
I suppose teeth are rather important – when you’re fumbling simultaneously with the clasps on a brassiere and your own confusing princely undergarments, plus tweeds, slippers, and a terrier, teeth are like a third hand.
And you may also need them later, when you have to open a small packet while holding on to a skittish other person. Or waxing yourself. Or telling the terrier to let go of the slippers. Scoot, little dog, scoot. Grrrr.

Plus teeth are good for nibbling cute little parts of the other person.
Or persons, plural – but only two people are involved in this, right?
Just checking. You never know. Foreign sex and whatnot.

Oh, and eating. I believe newly-weds eat. Even royals.
Certainly she will – she probably starved herself horribly to get into that dress. Women do that – that much of popular culture I’m aware of.
Self torture for an absurd cause.
Say yes to the tiny tight dress.
Masochism - it's the fundament of weddings.

Along with sadism, but that's something for the list of invitees.

So she’s ravenous. Girl wants some bacon! Hasn’t had any for months.
Three crisp greasy rashers, at least.

“They can’t be English, they’ve got good teeth!”

If she’s typically British, she may want to shove the bacon strips in a blender. Saves time – gumming bacon is fun, but it takes so much longer to render it swallowable. And you must at least partially reduce it to a digestible state, otherwise the sudden influx of rich porky fat in still semi-solid form will shock the stomach lining, and prompt the release of large amounts of stomach fluids.
Which leads to acid indigestion, reflux, cramps. And, most notably, bad breath.
Nothing worse than trying to kiss someone with burning gut fumes coming out of their mouths.

If they were spiders, it would be quite natural to avoid the orifice of the other person (mandibles), because spiders dissolve the chunky parts of their food with a spew of digestive liquids right into the wound. Of course, they also eat their mates – not sure if English women do that, I have heard that they instead keep them alive to torture at leisure.
I’m guessing part of that involves breathing at them.
Probably raises blisters and makes the eyes water.
Might even strip paint.

Face-peeling breath, resulting from indigestion, reflux, and cramps.
Horrible discomfort, coupled with bad temper.
These unpleasant things are probably endemic in Britain, largely due to the wealth of indigestible substances in their "cuisine".

And that’s precisely why you could really use some teeth.

It isn’t just British sex which requires chompers, but British food.

Over here in the colonies, we don’t really need teeth.
We eat far better, and our sexual habits are different.

Our teeth are a luxury that we can wallow in.

Maybe the happy couple are secretly Yanks?

It would explain a lot.

Anyway, mazzel tov, you two!

Now, go off and have as much happy sex as you possibly can.
Before your teeth fall out.

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Thursday, April 28, 2011


Readers have on occasion chided this blogger for not being Dutch enough.
Having lived in the Netherlands for nearly two decades while young, they feel I should have more sympathy for the Dutch, their lovely country, the food, the art, the history, the glorious culture.
And also the sprightly music.

Yes, the music.

As may be appreciated in this video clip.



The sprightly music occurs at regular intervals during the show. It is performed by the world-famous "Nederlander Foot Choir".

Great stuff.


"Ond spesifikat, vus künder miet?"

Please note the "disastür zün Rhine". Your generous contribution to relief efforts will be thoroughly appreciated.
And now, ni pudük poi Feelyat!
Swievü, swievü, swievü!

Any resemblance to the Swedish Chef is purely coincidental. Dutch and Swedish are both beautiful and unique languages, which though equally melodic are actually vastly different.

Man, I just love a good foot choir.

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Wednesday, April 27, 2011


One of the Hong Kong movie stars of whom many kwailo have heard is Stephen Chow (周星馳), star of such films as 龍在天涯 (lung tzoi tien-ya), 義膽群英 (yi daan kwan ying), 龍鳳茶樓 (lung fung chaa lou), and most especially, 賭聖 (dou seng), in which he was unforgettable as Sing, the simple country boy with a profound gift for cheating at cards.
This last movie propelled him to stardom - he has delighted fans of 無厘頭 (mo lei tau) ever since on both sides of the Pacific.

Truly a genius.

You doubt?

Please scope out the video below.


Dang ngoikwok yan chausiu chungkwok yan m-tong yingman ji-hau Sing yeh faatfoh-le ("regarding outside country persons sneering at central country persons not understanding hero literature afterwards star lord catches fire").

[Takes time to load - be patient.]

And he does right to catch fire. I would have too.
Sometimes, ngoi kwok yan dei can be real hufters.

Especially when they presume that hero literature is far better than broad prefecture speech. On occasion it isn't. At times it sorely lacks .


Unfounded, without a clear cause. Neither head nor tail. Both a philosophy of life, and a code of conduct.
It is by the juxtapositioning of seemingly random themes and data that a wider comprehension can be achieved.

In the works of Chow Sing-Chi, a predominant concept is the distinction between figure and imagined element.
If neotextual objectivism dominates the subcultural paradigm, narrative is intrinsically dead. Hence a totality of mythopoetical stasis is constructed, then analyzed in terms of language that serves to illuminate the dialectic paradox.
Themes significantly absent from his films are angst, anomie, and introspection.
There is naught existential, it is all consciously deconstructivist.

If you do not understand any of that, good. That is precisely the point.
Mo lei tau. Post-modern humour.

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I had seen him before. No one forgets scales like that. Never mind that he's had a bath since the last time - those teeth and that long ugly tail are instantly recognizable. And that big carnivorous grin!
Even with the fake moustache.

He was drinking a Manhattan - two maraschino cherries and an eye-ball.
Briefly, I wondered why he seemed blind in one eye.

"If your eye falls on a table, pick it up"

The man didn't say cocktail, he said table. He was talking about furniture. Why does a giant lizard need furniture?
Reptiles aren't known for dining normally, they sink their fangs into the animal and thrash around till it's dead. Maybe he was protective of his moustache. That was probably where his only friends lived. Any moment now he'd pull out a knife and fork, and worry some smaller creature to death with them.

I dreaded the moment that a dead animal flopped onto the bar. Slaughtering small mammals just didn't seem right in a drinking establishment. If they're old enough to drink, they're old enough to observe making fools of themselves.
Planning to eat them seems so shortsighted.
I was surprised he couldn't see that.
Oh wait, eyeball missing.
No wonder he looked bloodshot.

Never drink with giant lizards. They get into your foxhole and you had better pray that you stocked it with decomposing chickens.
Without the chickens and a ladder you'll have a hard time of it.
Best thing: a rutting frenzy. It distracts them. Watch out for the flailing tails.
Worst thing: election time. That's when they grow teeth, and their eyes get bloodshot.

There's something in a cocktail glass staring at me. It looks mean and bloody.
If it knew what it was doing, it would worry about the long tongue hovering overhead instead.
Any moment now, that crocodile is going to sink his fangs into the helpless Manhattan and thrash it to death.

Run away, little orphan eyeball, run away! Escape!

Never let the bastard lick you.

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One of the most useful words in any woman's vocabulary is the Cantonese term 'ham sap lo'. Which means pervert, sex maniac, leering creep, randy bastard.

In other words, a typical male.


Such as that third-cousin of yours who always gets collared by aunt Mildred at family get-togethers. She just won't stop yacking at him. Once she's cornered him, he's doomed.

No, she's not trying to get some action, be real.

She isn't interested in his hot young body. Truth be told, she finds skinny creeps with slicked hair rather revolting. Aunt Mildred also has strong opinions about arse-hugging blue jeans - only men with tight buns and well-muscled torsos should wear them. Not greasy lizards lacking definition.
The idea of him touching her, even if NO lust is involved, fair turns her stomach.

Now, if he was bronzed and buff, she'd tackle him right there, at the buffet.
Rip his clothes right off, and bite him, fiercely growling. Good lord, she'd probably rape the poor man! Sweep the chips, dips, and punch bowl right onto the floor crash tinkle, slap him down on the table, and straddle him yelling "giddy up", bucking like a bronco.
We'd all be horrified.
Utterly fascinated too, because despite her age she's still swelteringly hot.
Mostly horrified.

But he's none of that. He's a stick insect with hair gel and bad clothing choices.

She's hogging his company to keep him away from the attractive women.
Like your various nieces. Sweet innocent girls, all fresh rosy faced and bodies like a bowl of fruit.
Would you look at those tangerines!
Gorgeous young things.

You know what he'd like to do with them, don't you? No, he probably wouldn't have the guts to even suggest it - uncle Louis would probably bash his brains out with a two by four - but he'd look at them. That look. The look that undresses a female like a piece of meat being oiled and studded with garlic before being trussed and brutally shoved into the hot oven. A nice Sunday roast, tender herbed lamb, with eggplant and bell peppers, rice pilaf, and a lovely crisp green salad.
The look of a dirty old man, keenly appreciative of feminine beauty, hungering for a feel.

Touch touch touch touch touch touch!

His fingers tingle in their presence, he starts speaking with a drool.


You don't want mayhem at family gatherings, do you? Aunt Mildred is taking one for the team, leave her be.
If she drives him to drink or drives him up the wall, it's all good.
At least she's having fun, and he's miserable.

Psychological torture - it's the secret to harmony at family events.


Haam (鹹): Salty, fishy, frowsty. Like dried fish (鹹魚), perspiration, or unwashed clothes.
Sap (濕): Wet, moist, damp. Juicy, humid. Like trembling pervert hands, or sweaty armpits.
Lo (佬): male individual. Man, male person, dude.
The term hamsaplo evokes stale pizza, moist and quivering perversion, an oily wet quality.

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011


One of my acquaintances recently asked for advice about women - he's having love issues, you see.
And while I myself am experiencing a dry-spell in that regard, I qualify as an expert.
After all, I have years of experience with women.

Well, one woman.
But let the ONE stand in for the multitudes I could have known if I had ever been a "player".
Trust me, it's close.
More than him, in any case.

What, he wanted to know, should one look for in a woman?

In one word: a pulse.

Evidently that wasn't quite the answer.
He clarified that he wished to ascertain what the signal characteristics were of the ideal woman.
What was such a person like, what were her interests, and what did she like to do?


Since SK and I split-up, I have had plenty of time to think about what makes a woman desirable, and I've spent many years observing my fellow humans besides. I have devoted much consideration to the matter.

The ideal woman likes cuddle-dozing, bathing, humpies, history, and dictionaries.

[Humpies are exactly like American Football. Except that instead of twenty two burly men divided into two teams, there are just two players. No team, and normally no astro turf or protective padding is required. Score-keeping is complicated and requires its own post.]

Not, you understand, that I've actually ever met a woman who passionately liked all five of those things.
But I consider all of them pretty important.
The five of them together pretty much guarantee a happy relationship.
Gotta have most of them. At least four.

Cuddle-dozing, bathing, humpies, history, and dictionaries.

I thought this explanation was self-explanatory, but he remained querulous.
He couldn't understand the dictionary thing at all, what kind of dictionaries? What? Languages, OED, etymological, specialized vocabularies? No, that's quite as dull as history!
She should speak English - all that other stuff is boring.

There were further questions.

'Alcohol is not desirable. Especially not beer!'

"But I like beer!"

'Nice women do not quaff beer! And neither should you - have you ever smelled beer breath? It's disgusting!'

I'm not sure he understood this new and shocking concept. Drinking beer was traditional when watching the game.
He really likes beer, he really likes the game. Surely the ideal woman would also?

'Nice women do NOT watch the game - they aren't into burly-men sports.
The closest they might come is humpies (see previous mention), and that, strictly speaking, is not competitive. Drop the damned beer!'

Apparently the beer stays. In lieu, as he puts it, of history and dictionaries.

That other stuff is probably okay, but he insists upon a woman who drinks beer and watches the game.
Those are the condiciones sine non quibus of his wish-list.

I don't think he really wants an ideal woman, he wants a skank.
He should have no problem finding one.
Even without expert advice.

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Monday, April 25, 2011


One of today's search criteria was truly flabbergasting - can't even really believe it, despite having looked at it for several minutes.


Good freaking lord. Sometimes I worry about my chance-met readers.
Who goes onto the internet looking for sex with horses?
Perhaps a Portuguese person?

It's not that long ago that an aged hinterland peasant in Portugal, wearing high heels and a bathrobe, was surprised by the farmer who owned the donkey he was carnally knowing, and whacked.
Dead at retirement age in a muddy field, wearing a flower print and harlot heels.

So it's a possibility. We know that strange things happen in Portugal.

Alternatives are of course the adventurous travelers who have heard that there is a loophole in Dutch law that permits congress with animals provided the animal shows no evidence of discomfort.

Cows, sheep, horses, and pigs might not even notice. Hamsters, terriers, chickens and small pets - right out. Avoid cats at all costs. They scratch.
Or so I've heard.

Again, who in their right mind, and what kind of person?!?
Even on Dutch news-sites, readers tend towards aghastion when confronted with such things. So I have to think it's someone who speaks English, probably as a second language, and conceivably from some horrid part of the world.

Probably NOT somewhere that penguins inhabit. Firstly, penguins have a positive influence, quite UN-conducive to something so nasty as carnal knowledge of equines.
Secondly, a true penguin lover would search the internet for fish - sardines, herrings, sprat, and baby smelt. One gets a lot further with a penguin, of either gender, if one offers a tasteful bouquet. Feathers will ruffle favourably.
Especially with a boutonniere of shrimp or small crustaceans.

Horses, on the other hand.........

There's absolutely NO courting a horse. Remarkably stupid animals.
Suitable for food, but that's about it.

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One of my colleagues has a Danish obsession. This in addition to his deep knowledge of drip and ooze.
No, I do not know if there is an overlap there – the effluvia are probably quite separated in his mind from other stuff.
The Danish things are film, furniture and aebleskivers.
Drip and Ooze may be his lawyers: Drip & Ooze, LLC.
Or his doctors. Probably on the health plan.
Either way, I do not wish to know.

Aebleskivers, contrary to what you might think, are not like leprechauns. Perhaps you imagined them as ugly, small and gnomish, wearing silly costumes and little horned helmets?

Sorry to disappoint you - those are still leprechauns.
You can tell by the bad clothing choices.

[See previous mention of all things Irish here: nasty sickening spuds.]


Aebleskiver: literally, apple slice or apple disk (in Dutch it would be "appel schyf").
But contrary to what the name suggests, it is actually halfway between a poffertje and an appel beignet ("appel flap").

A poffertje is a small puffed up pancake made in a special pan with deep indentations, delicious hot with powdered sugar. An appel beignet is a like an airy donut without a hole - also yummy with powdered sugar. Both are midwinter type offerings, in the Netherlands available from mobile stands outside train stations or in the centre of town.

I suspect that in Denmark such things are more often made at home, though. Fritter-vans need a certain population density to thrive, and the Benelux is rather crowded.

The Danish pan has bigger indents than the Dutch pan. Conceivably Danes have heartier appetites.

All three of these items are similar to sfganiot and bemuelos.


Yes, I too was surprised to find that Danes know how to cook!
Problem was, I kept confusing them with Norwegians - you know, the people who eat dishes that are either explosive or decomposed.
Many of which are based on rancid blubber, or dried fish with a texture like a desiccated cricket bat. Norwegians are a group that has surprisingly little in common with furniture assemblers.
And apparently Norse have nothing at all in common with Danes.

The Danes, who, underneath their civilized uber-Europaische veneer, are still the same homicidal maniacs they were a thousand years ago, when they burst out of their frigid homeland to savagely lay waste the Christian lands, enslaving whole populations, raping children and horses, robbing monasteries, and setting fire to shrubberies.
Barely disguised barbarians, illiterate and excessively hairy!
Brutal bloodthirsty psychopaths, coarse, degenerate, and covered in elk grease.

Oh wait, that's the Norwegians again. Sorry.

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Sunday, April 24, 2011


Really, I should’ve remembered – I live in a city with piles of young twenty-something party-wasps. Just sheer bucket loads of self-indulgent borderline alcoholic white people from elsewhere.
Should I stress that they are “entitled”? Or is that clear already?

The less said about “doing shots” and “make me something with Blue Berry Vodka” the better. There is no doubt but that some of them technicoloured significantly before midnight.
Yes, I am glad I’m not in the bar-back’s shoes – and I hope for his sake that his footwear is less leaky than mine. Those bathrooms must have been a right sight by closing.
It is unlikely that those people tipped well-enough to make it worthwhile.
Their presence was far less rewarding than they may have thought.


After Santa-con and Leprechaun-con, comes Easter. And a bunch of single desperate “let’s get drunk and hump” young college grads of the “we’re white and wonderful” type decided to put on bunny ears, poofy tails, and git down in my neighborhood.
Boruch Hashem that rabbits cannot hop uphill far enough to pee or puke in my doorway. It was bad enough that several dozen of them flooded the bar where I was quietly having a drink.
I had hoped, just hoped, that things wouldn’t get out of hand – they usually veer close to doing so on Saturday night – but my hopes were cruelly dashed.
Nay, my hopes were slashed open, guts ripped out, obscene things done with penile implements. Then spat open, the bloody cadavers held up to ridicule and flying tomatoes, and finally dismembered by a mob of howling savages!
Alas, I weep over your brutalized corpses, my hopes.

The most grievous offense was the blonde screaming. Party blonde. Very very self-impressed party-blonde.
THREE OF THEM! High-pitched, piercing, screechy, and utterly moronic.
Bad enough that they used the phrase OMG as punctuation – it is better than the 'F' word, I suppose – but did they HAVE to sing along with Sir Mixalot and his fetish for big black bottoms? The Oakland Booty song is NOT a musical number that should be yelled out by anybody, let alone a large group of entirely white young adults who would sully their knickers if they met a black rapper. And his big-bottied hos.
In a crime-ridden neighborhood of Oakland. At night.


The three women right next to me yelled their vacant little blonde lungs out.
I would’ve vastly preferred it if they had gone up to the stage and joined the happy rutting frenzy there. But nope, they wanted to partake of mob hormonal release from a distance.
The entire length of the bar, yet. I always sit as far away from the stage as possible, just to get away from misbehavior.
Last night, it did not help.

Go on girls, flock up there. Go flock with the other vulgarians on stage.
Seriously, ya'll need to get flocked.

I watched the bar-manager facing the crowd. Underneath that calm, composed, and smiling exterior, I could tell that he wished he were back in Africa as a mercenary. None of these idiots would’ve survived.
Bogey at eleven o’clock! Kablam! Ratatat!

I can’t believe that Hugh Heffner surrounds himself with these creatures.
That tells you something.

I didn't stay very long.

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Saturday, April 23, 2011


Catchy title, no? I fully expect a mob of perverts to descend upon this blog.
If they're looking for tips, or juicy material for their own fetishes, they may be disappointed.
And perhaps "sexual fantasies" is a bit overblown. More like 'fond imaginings'.
About which I'm as close to an expert as a non-Cantonese non-female is ever likely to become.

Many Cantonese girls dream about someone rather like Lau Tak-wah (劉德華). Andy Lau (his English name) in his younger years was dashingly foxy, though he often spoiled the effect by being smirkingly appreciative of his own good looks. More so on stage than in his movies.
He's still a very handsome man, and while I am not enamoured of his music, I've always immensely enjoyed his acting. Obviously NOT in the same way that his screaming girlie groupies did, nor in the clenching thighs firmly together fashion of young ladies perspiring in the back of the cinema. He hails from Tai Po, a place in the northeastern part of the New Territories.


Part of the appeal of Mr. Lau is the dangerous aura he radiates - the sense that he'll woo you, sweep you off your feet, passionately enjoy every inch of your innocent young body, and then dump you when the cops are hot on his tail for a jewelry heist.

Okay, that's not my fantasy, but it's the type of rosy peach-dream that many young girls engage in.

Personally, I've always thought that in his best roles he had the loveable quirkiness and emotive appeal of Kermit The Frog - the bemused scrunch to the face, and the same flippery gestures - but that, too, is a good thing.
Kermit has pizzazz.

That's one hella sexy frog.

For some reason the edge of danger is a constant in the erotic fantasies of women.
San Francisco Cantonese girls are not unusual in that regard; at one point the entire female student body of Lowell High School was obsessed with vampires - handsome, mysterious, elegant, and above all, threatening.
Vampires are quite romantic, unlike werewolves or zombies.

Anybody who imagines herself ravished by a zombie probably has issues.

Not sure about werewolves, though. I would've thought that the type had absolutely NO appeal, but I've seen enough young bi-racial couples to indicate that werewolves may also figure into the young Cantonese maiden's sensual gestalt.
Either that or she found someone as whitey-white as she could possibly get, perhaps to shock her mom.
Maybe it's his animal appearance - If you're going to cross boundaries, might as well go whole hog. It doesn't account for the tattoos, but it does explain the hairy arms and simian facial characteristics. A dull brute, stupid and bland, but with strength and aroma, like a sweaty beast.

Really should've fallen for the amphibian, girl.

Speaking of vampires, a woman with whom I used to be involved (Savage Kitten) always found Geraint Wyn Davies to be one hot hunk. Particularly in the series 'Forever Knight', in which he plays a vampire on the Toronto Police Force.
For years I would torment the poor girl whenever I whispered "Geraint Wyn Davies, Nick Knight, oooooh, Geraint........ Wyn........ DAVIES!". She'd squeal in agony, and nearly faint. It was very amusing.
In retrospect, maybe it wasn't agony. I'll have to think about it.

She's always had a thing for romantic vampires.


She also has a thing for Kermit The Frog.

Not sure if other sweet little Cantonese-American girls feel the same way.
If they do, they're probably hitting replay like topsy on that youtube, with moist and trembling fingers.

"Ooooh, so nice and green!"

Girls, I am lean and vulpine like Andy Lau, and charming like Kermit the Frog. Think about it.


Some Cantonese Girls have fantasies that involve either Rhett Butler or Scarlett O'Hara. The other men in Gone With The Wind have no appeal, and seem rather drippy, but Rhett is manly and dashing.
What makes Rhett desirable is the combination of mystery, rakishness, and self-confidence.
He is dangerous because of these characteristics, and that risky quality makes him magnetic.
Even so headstrong and self-centered a woman as Scarlett feels drawn to him.

Plus he wears clothes well. That, too, is immensely attractive in a man.
Angularity, posture, a fine figure.
Very few girls are ever attracted to Winston Churchill or Alfred Hitchcock. But suave erect men, like the James Bond actors (provided that everyone who is NOT Sean Connery just shuts up - talking isn't what you want them for), or Humphrey Bogart, or even Paul Newman; theses are well nigh irresistible.
Meltingly so.

Vampires. Frogs. Dark and dangerous heroes.
They're everything girls dream about.
Real men.

========================================================================== NOTE: Young ladies who feel strongly attracted to the handsome frog are invited to contact me: LETTER BOX. We can spend a romantic evening together - just you, me, a bottle of champagne, and Kermit in a Muppet movie. Your choice. ==========================================================================

Friday, April 22, 2011


This morning, when I returned from the shower, I found a most disconcerting sight: the Froad was perched on my clothes holding my wallet, and the one-legged monkey (Urasmus) was on my bed with a handbag.
No, I do NOT know why a fuzzy green critter needs money or wants to steal my credit card!

The more disturbing thing is the monkey's 'gender issue'. He's been that way since that accident in the product development department that cost him his leg. Or maybe it was the evil elf in Marketing, who slashed his throat, covered him in ketchup, and stuffed him inside a pumpkin during the Halloween carving contest in 2003.

Urasmus (the monkey) has, mercifully, forgotten all about those nasty events.
But he's been confused ever since.

Like most of the roomies on my side of the apartment he's not entirely sane. He's 'otherwise realitied'.

Savage Kitten's roomies are not like that.

The only roomie on her side who is even mildly nuts is Ms. Bruin, the senior Teddy Bear - who is very upset that my apartment mate spends so much time with Wheelie Boy (Savage Kitten's love interest), and keeps muttering "kill, kill', whenever his name is mentioned.

But that brings up an issue.

What if, hypothetically, a nice young lady comes over to visit me?
Time is not a problem, as Savage Kitten is absent for several hours at a stretch. Plenty of scope for a bit of ..... tea.

The problem is "animalistic" in nature.

How are the roomies going to handle it?


I have this nightmare vision of the Froad patting her down, trying to find her wallet. Or the monkey offering to give her a beehive haircut.
The Lord only knows what Totoro and the blue frog would do.

I suppose I could put them in Savage Kitten's room for the duration.
Except that when all the roomies are together, a riot ensues. One of them will say something outrageous, insults will fly, and there will be thumping and yells.
You can see that this precisely would NOT be conducive to romance.
No one can really put their heart into playing touchie-feelie when there's noise from the other room; it's too distracting.

Maybe I could bribe Angus (the she-sheep with the pretty pink bows) and Ms. Bruin to keep the critters quiet, perhaps tell them a story. That might work.

Alternatively, I could put my roomies on the chair in the teevee room, with a movie on the telly.
The problem with that scheme is that the young lady and I would then have to spend all our time in my bedroom.

Oh wait..... That's sort of the point.

It's still entirely hypothetical, though.

Haven't met anyone with just the right personality. She'll have to get along with my rowdy roommates. The Froad is a hamsaplo, the monkey pushes the envelope, the sock-sheep wants all the attention and admiration he can get. There's also the lizard......
The Raccoon is just nuts - he thinks he's German, and he's a panty thief.
I haven't yet mentioned the violent hamsters or the weasel, nor even the three dysfunctional Teddy Bears that also live on my side.

As you can plainly see, a suitable young lady would have to be exceptional.
Even if all we plan to do is quietly sit together, reading and drinking tea.
A kind and tolerant person with an affinity for little troublemakers.
Someone with imagination, who gets along with rambunctious hairballs.

NOTE: Readers may contact me directly:
All correspondence will be kept in confidence.

Thursday, April 21, 2011


Naturally, no one's real name is 'fromage'. But there were far too many other people in my father's circle at Beverley Hills High with the same first name for Fromage's real handle to be of much use.

And 'Fromage' as a nickname may have been appropriate.

Short, freckled, and a mathematics genius.
Two years younger than my father.
We always knew him as Fromage, or uncle Fromage.

When he was fourteen he went missing for two weeks. Everybody panicked, until authorities finally tracked him down.

In Tijuana.

In a bordello.


No, I do not know whether he was naked at the time when he was located.
It seems a germane detail, but that information was never shared with me. The place where he was, and his condition at the time were the gist of the tale, and what he had actually been up to in the intervening two weeks was never mentioned.

That actually looks like a major oversight, when you think about it.
Surely it cannot be a sense of tact which prevented my father and several other people from gleefully detailing Fromage's escapade more fully - they had already let the cat out of the bag by telling us that he was drunk in a Mexican whorehouse.
Everything else is merely a minor loose end.

Please, share the particulars!

How long had he been drunk in that house of ill-repute?
And was that the ONLY house of ill-repute where he had been?
Was there a full bar, with cocktails and long-drinks, or just tequila?

When I was fourteen, I was NEVER out of my gourd in a house of ill-repute.
I'm jealous!
Of course, 'south of the border' for me at that age meant 'Belgium'.
Not nearly as exciting. Not even interesting.
It's Belgium.
Not Tijuana.
And no, I never got plastered in Belgium.

I've eaten there several times. It isn't the same.
Even getting grease from a rich and juicy roast all over one's face, or dangerously veering close to nightmares and gout by overindulging in humongous piles of shellfish does not come close.


Just Belgium.

Oh well.

NOTE: Readers may contact me directly:
All correspondence will be kept in confidence.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


In the North East of Hong Kong SAR is an area that used to be among the most rural and isolated of places, despite having been inhabited for longer than much of the former colony: Tai Po District (大埔區).
Tai Po Keui is mountainous, with green slopes decliving down to a sheltered bay where non-Chinese tribal fishermen and pearl-divers once lived in stilt-houses along the shore of Tolo Harbour (吐露港), until gradually supplanted and absorbed by the expansion of the Han Chinese, eventually disappearing entirely by the time of the Sui (Cheui doi 隋代 589 - 618 CE) and Tang (Tong doi 唐代 618 - 917 CE) dynasties.

Except for a period four centuries ago during the early Ching (Manchu Dynasty: Cheng doi 清代 1644 - 1912 CE), when the coast was evacuated by imperial order (known as the 'great clearance'; chin kai ling 遷界令) with the intent to deny aid and succor to the Ming (明) loyalists operating out of Taiwan, the area surrounding Tolo Harbour has been continuously populated - though not necessarily by the same ethnic groups.
Today, the natives comprise the descendants of Tanka (蜑家) boat people, Hoklo (鶴佬) from further up the coast, Yue (粵) from the Cantonese interior, and Hakka (客家) who took advantage of land and settlement permits issued when the evacuation was ended in 1669.

Until comparatively recently, the different groups did not get along with each other. That, and the sparseness of settlement, spurred the building of walled villages (wai 圍) for protection against ethnic war and brigandage.
Several of these walled villages still exist, some barely changed since the late nineteenth century.


Nine centuries ago, when the Northern Song (Pak Sung 北宋 960 – 1127 CE) was collapsing under the assault by savages from beyond the frontiers, Tang Lam (鄧林) came to Lung Yuk Tau (龍躍頭 "dragon frolic ridge") from Kat-Soei (吉水 "fortunate waters") in Jiangxi (Kwong-Sai 江西).
Over the next several generations his descendents flourished, becoming one of the most important lineages in the entire Hong Kong area. They are still dominant in the district, and it was under their aegis that the market town Tai Po (大埔 "big market") was established.

A number of walled villages of the Tang clan (Tang Tsi 鄧族) in the New Territories are still occupied, and support a way of life that has nearly disappeared elsewhere. Along with the other walled villages in the territory, the inhabitants speak a version of Cantonese that has a distinct 'rural' flavour to the modern urban ear (known as Wai-tau Wa 圍頭話 'walled village speech').
In some fortified settlements dialects of Hakka can be heard.

Several Hong Kong walled villages are well worth visiting:
Tsang Tai Ok (曾大屋 'the great hall of the Tsang 曾 clan' - Hakka); Seung Soei Wai (上水圍 'On the Waters Fort' - Liu 廖 clan from Fujian); Fanleng Wai (粉嶺圍 'Powder Peak Fort' - 彭氏 Pang clan); Hakka Wai (客家圍); Tai Tau Leng (大頭嶺 'Big Head Peak' - Hakka), and others.
Characteristics of interest are the relatively intact walls, iron main gates, cannon towers, narrow interior lanes, and grand ancestral halls.
One of them still has a moat - Seung Soei Wai (上水圍).


If you follow the road along the coast around Tai Mo Shan (大帽山) north from Sha Tin (沙田), you'll first go by Wo Che (禾輋), then Fo Tan (火炭), Kau To Shan (九肚山), Ma Liu Shui (馬尿水), Tau Po Kau (大埔滘) and the nature park (白鷺湖互動中心), after which you finally end up in Tai Po.

[大帽山 (taai mo san): big hat mountain. 沙田 (sa-tien): sandy field. 禾輋 (wo che): rice stalk tribalist ("the rice fields of the heathens"); 輋 (Che) is the name of an ethnic group once more prevalent in Kwantung than it is today. 火炭 (fo tan): burn charcoal, charcoal burning place. 九肚山 (kau tou san): nine stomach mountain. 馬尿水 (ma niu soei): horse pissing water. 大埔滘 (taai po gaau): great market creek. 白鷺湖互動中心 (paklo-wu wudong chongsam): white egret lake reciprocal-moving (interactive) central-heart (centre); Kerry Lake Egret Nature Park. 大埔 (taai po): great market; po (埔) means the central district of a market town.]

Or you could simply take the MTR and get off at Tai Po Market Station (大埔墟).

[大埔墟 (Taai Po Heui): great market hillside, or great market moor. 墟 also means a wasteland, and can describe a blasted heath..]

Tai Po Market is only one station removed from the Chinese University of Hong Kong (香港中文大學) MTR station (大學) at Horse Pissing Water. Like many of the world's newer universities the university was built where land was affordable in its region - by the same process SFSU is out in the foggy hinterlands on the south-west corner of San Francisco, and City College is in a high-crime zone. The 'Heung-Kong Chongman Taai-Hok' is, consequently, a little removed from the centre of the Fragrant Harbour urban conglomerate, in a place with an unusual toponym (long since bowdlerized to 馬料水 "horse feed water").

An area whose most salient feature is equine effluvium - either the significant presence thereof, or its characteristic odour - will be naturally ideal for establishing a campus; heap cheap real estate!

I do wish they had kept the original name. It's so much more evocative and vibrant!


Tai Po still has a countryside feel, despite the high-rise housing estates for commuters that have sprung up around it. While some parts look extremely modern, the centre of the settlement is older and also more lively. Many of the locals have relatives who emigrated to England and elsewhere in Europe during the sixties and seventies - it is partly because of the funds that they sent back, and partly because of the proximity of both the housing estates and the Chinese University of Hong Kong, that Tai Po is both a vibrant community and a very pleasant place to visit, even if you are only going to eat there. And really, you should eat there; the same cultural diversity that was mentioned earlier (Yuet, Hoklo, Tanka, Hakka) is reflected in the local food, especially in the town centre, where there are a lot of Hakka.

Don't worry! There is no need to learn any new languages to communicate here - everybody speaks Cantonese!

From the Tai Po Market MTR station (35 minutes from Tsimsatsui) you can catch a bus into the centre of town, or you can walk - it's not far, and this is a very pleasant area.
Go west on Tat Wan Road (達運路) to Nan Wan Road (南運路), turn right and follow the curve up into Wan Tau Street (運頭街), past Pui Yin Lane (培賢里).
You can either stay on Wan Tau (on the right), or turn left onto Heung Sze Wui Street(鄉事會街). Either way, you're heading into a very busy area with a lot of small shops and eateries.
If you keep on Wan Tau, turn left on Tai Ming Lane (大明里) and head towards the square.
If you took Heung Sze Wui, turn right on Tai Kwong Lane (大光里).

There are far too many restaurants and eateries here to list all of them, and you can stroll from one place to another having little bits to nosh on at whichever place looks good.


Shop 2A, Tai Kwong Lane
大光里 2A

[Right up from the corner of Heung Sze Wui Street (鄉事會街).]

Ah-Po Dau Fu Fa: 'Auntie's Fresh Tofu'

Personally, I'm not really into daufu fa, as a large helping of beancurd gives me cramps - even soft and silky fresh beancurd, which is what this place sells. But I will admit that it is a great and comforting snack, especially with palm sugar syrup and tapioca.
This place may have the best daufu fa in Hong Kong - a great many people think so - but for rather obvious reasons I have NO real basis for comparison.

Address: No. 26 Dai Ming Lane
大明里 26號
Tel: 2638 3071

[Between Tai Gwong Lane (大光里) and Kwong Fuk Lane (廣福里).]

Kwan-Kee Tseng-Tong Naam: 'Kwan-Kee Clear Broth Brisket'

An extensive menu, considering that they specialize in one thing, and do it very well. There are several cuts of beef to choose from, but what you come here for is beef brisket noodle soup (清湯腩).
Fresh noodles with meaty chunks (brisket: ngau-naam 牛腩) in a clarified broth. Some people aver that this place is far far better than Kau Kee (九記牛腩 ) on Hong Kong Island, most especially because of their truly superior and richly flavourful broth. That alone makes it worth a visit. They open around late morning, and keep serving till they're out of food.
If you delay till evening they might have already closed when you get here.
Really, I have NO idea why brisket-noodle soup should not be the best way to start the day.

CSF27, 2/F, Tai Po Market Complex, Heung Sze Wui Street.
鄉事會街 8號, 大埔墟街市及熟食中心, 2樓 CSF27舖.

Tung-Kee Seunghoi Mien: 'Tung-Kee Shanghai Noodle'

豬扒粗麵 Thick wheat-flour noodles with vegetable (choi sum) in broth, accompanying a juicy breaded pork cutlet with a superior golden crust, cut into thick segments. Highly recommended. Why a breaded pork cutlet with soup noodles is Shanghainese I do not know. It's a Hong Kong mystery.
雪菜肉絲 Suut-choi yiuk-see - pork shreds and pickled red-in-snow. A classic taste.
上海雲吞 Seunghoi wan tan - also recommended.

7 Kwong Fuk Lane.
廣福里 7號.

San Ming-Fat Sik-Gaa: 'The New Brightness Diner'

Homey restaurant, comfortable, rather old style.
Right on the park, west side. They've got ice cream, family style dishes, and dimsum.
排骨蒸飯 spare ribs steamed rice - recommended.
水餃 soei gau (biggish shrimp wonton) - recommended.
雞飯 (chicken rice) is good, so is 鳳爪排骨飯 (spare ribs and chicken claws over rice) and 雞扎 (fried tofu skin roll stuffed with chicken).

Block A, Po Wah Building, 5 Tai Ming Lane.
大明里 5號, 寶華樓 A座

Yat-Lok Siu-Laap Fan-Diem: 'Supreme Joy Barbecue Restaurant'

Anthony Bourdain likes it. And that IS a recommendation, as quite often his opinion is based not on any pretentiousness, but whether he actually enjoyed the food.
Their charsiu (叉燒) is noted, so is the roast goose (燒鵝) and the roast duck(燒鴨). The roast pork (燒肉) has a scrumptious crusty skin. Along with their other offerings, these basic products are used in a number of composed dishes typical for this kind of place.
What is highly unusual, however, are the dishes that include clams (蛤).

Shop 20, Jade Plaza Shopping Centre.
安慈路3號, 翠屏花園商場, 地下20號

Seng-Chai-Kee Mien-Sik: 'Kid Seng's Noodle Eats'

Good wonton. That's about it.

No. A2, Mei Sun Building, 4-20 Kau Hui Chik Street.
舊墟直街4-20號, 美新大厦, A2地舖

[About seven or eight blocks north-north east, on the other side of the main drag.]

Chiu-chau Laang Siu Chaau: 'Chao-Zhou Cold Plates & Small Stir-fry'

Recommended: 花生炆豬手 (fa sang man chu sou) stewed trotter with peanuts. This is something most people might associate with Hakka cooking, as they are known for their keen approach to trotters. But as previously noted, this area of the New Territories has been home to disparate groups with different traditions, and there has been considerable sharing of ideas in Hong Kong, especially about food.

In the offal category, there are two specialties which you must try: 糯米釀大腸 (lo mai yeung tai cheung) fried big intestine stuffed with glutinous rice and porkfat, and 豬潤浸皇帝菜 (chyu yun zam wongdai choi) pig liver with 'imperial' vegetables - it is especially good.

Chiu Chou goose is also wonderful: 鵝三寶 (ngo saam po) goose three treasures (liver, dark meat, and breast). 滷水鵝片 (low soei ngo pien) marinated goose slices.

And of course, you need something from the sea: 烏頭魚 (wu tou yu) steamed fish with fresh blanched small vegetables on top. 蔥花炸蠔爽 (tsong fa ja ho song) finely sliver-cut scallion (蔥花 tsong fa) generously accompanying deep-fried oysters. 煎蠔仔餅 (chien ho chai beng) pan-fried baby oyster omelet.
酥炸蟹棗 (so ja hai jow) fried crispy-flaky crab "dates". 酥炸蝦棗 (so ja haa jow) fried crispy-flaky shrimp "dates".

Plus vegetables: 咸菜炆豬肉 (ham choi man chyu yiuk) salt veggie stewed pork (well, the emphasis is really on the pork....).
油炆荀 (yau man seun) oil-seethed bamboo shoot with a little chili.

--- --- ---

The attentive reader will notice that I do not mention any Hakka-style restaurants at all in Tai Po.
There is a good reason for that: I do not wish to fight with over a quarter of a million Hakka who live in the area - Hakka tend to be quite as stubborn and opinionated as the Dutch (though altogether more loveable), and each and every one of them know their own food.
You should have no trouble getting recommendations for Hakka-cuisine (客家菜) from the locals.

Bon gusto, y'all.

NOTE: Readers may contact me directly:

All correspondence will be kept in confidence.


On one of the forums that I occasionally read, one contributor opined that Cantonese girls look rather ape-like. A very strong opinion.
Needless to say I was intrigued.

Here in San Francisco there are a fair number of Cantonese girls.

I myself live with one, though we haven't been amorously involved in what seems like forever.
[Romance ended in 2010. We're still friends. She's a good person.]

Yes, I've seen Cantonese girls who reminded me of small monkeys.
Just like I've seen black women who resemble the mythical heffalump, and white women who looked like cavemen or trolls.

There are women of every ethnicity who recall the wild man of Borneo.
You know this is true - just think of your in-laws.

On the other hand, anyone who could seriously think my ex had anything in common with a simian would need their eyes examined.
Or poked out - both options are equally recommended.

Many Cantonese girls look absolutely yummy.

There are few Cantonese women who can be called really stunning, however.

The problem is that they look far too intelligent, or their faces betray too much interest or emotion. They're thinking about something, all the wheels are turning.

True classic beauty looks dumb as a brick.

A woman who is eyeing your fine burrito con mole poblano with an expression that says "you gonna eat ALL of that, you greedy bastard?" just doesn't have the requisite vacuity in her face.
Likewise, a Cantonese girl who has just told you "dew sei neige pok gai tau, chau haam ga tsan kam ge sei kwei chui yeh!!!" may look any number of things - pan faced uber-goober isn't it.

[No, I will neither translate, nor ideographically transcribe, that locution.]

The standard idea of beauty includes an uncomplicated expression, certain proportions, and certain hues.
Stupid, curvy, pale.

The hues are acceptable.
The proportions are often quite interesting.
And the expressions?

No Cantonese woman can pretend that her mind is blank. Their own faces betray that there is something going on upstairs, even if it's only "I want some of that lobster, even if I have to KILL the dumb white guy currently hogging the buffet!"

They just aren't very good at looking vacant. That, right there, takes away the classic appeal.

Most men want someone who has the pouty emptiness of Marilyn Monroe, or the steamy mutton-faced sexiness of Brigitte Bardot.
A frown that says that something good better go into the mouth or something blisteringly evil will soon come out frightens many males.

The other great failing of the young Cantonese female is that she just cannot look up adoringly at her hunk. Do you see those pupils, those narrowed eyes? Yes, she's looking up. But she's focused on that hair sticking out his nostril, and planning to yank it out when he falls asleep. She's just waiting.
Either that, or she's thinking "good lord, he looks like a dingo from this angle - is it even worth my while staying around for dinner?"

Cantonese feminine charm lies in looking homicidal, involved, angry, despairing, stubborn, greedy, amused, hungry, or wicked.
Perhaps even con brio spewing a train of invective that would make a dead man blanch.
These girls are the descendants of grave robbers, smugglers, pirates, and incendiarists. Their ancestors moved south into Lingnan to escape blandness.

[As well as to get away from taxes, the salt-gabelle, the draft, and snooty northerners.]

They just don't have it in them to look 'beautiful'.

Give them a good time (and something nice to eat), and they'll sparkle.
Bore them, and you'll see just how ugly a woman can get.
Unless she's happily speculating about trading you in for a whole roast pig, which is when she will look her dreamiest best.

[So what do those sweet seductive bedroom eyes mean? Either you've pleased her no end, and she thinks you're the bees' knees and the cat's miaow, OR she's happily calculating your net worth based on pounds of stupid male flesh and harvestable organs.
Finding out which it is, is up to you. Good luck.]

If they look ape-like, that may just be because they're thinking of jamming a banana where your sun don't shine.
A hard unripe banana.

NOTE: Readers may contact me directly:

All correspondence will be kept in confidence.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


I do not know much about anteaters. Or children. But I have a pretty good idea what both of them like. Charsiu pork. Yep, charsiu pork. It's a fact. Anteaters loooooove charsiu pork.

I heard it on the bus.

Sitting opposite me were a little girl and her mother, both Chinese-Americans but speaking English.
The little girl had a small stuffed anteater on her lap. Brown flannel or felt, with black eyes and a mop of pitch black hair at the top of his head.
He looked bright and attractive, much like his companion.

"What does Mister Snow-Poof want to eat? What's that? Charsiu? Ooooh, good! Charsiu!"

Mister Snow-Poof? Who names their anteater 'Snow-Poof"? While I was mulling this over, the mother said "we can't have charsiu again, we had it yesterday".

"Mister Snow-Poof DIDN'T have ANY!"

Hearing this didn't surprise me. I have never seen an anteater scarfing down charsiu - probably because their little paws can't handle chopsticks. It takes leverage and dexterity to snatch the charsiu out of the box before everybody else grabs it. In the competition for juicy morsels of take-out meat, anteaters are at a disadvantage, especially if like Mister Snow-Poof they are only seven inches tall.
I was still wondering at the name 'Mister Snow-Poof' when the mother countered: "But dear, anteaters don't EAT pork!"

The little girl assured her mother that Mister Snow-Poof was an exceptional anteater, and contrary to all expectations, had a very keen taste for charsiu.

"He truly wants charsiu!"

No, anteaters needed to eat ants. The mother was sure of this. Ants were the natural diet of anteaters, otherwise they'd be called 'charsiu eaters'.
The little girl firmly rejected this excuse.

"But I eat charsiu, and you call me Amy, NOT charsiu-eater!"

Logic. It's a parent's worst enemy. Amy's mother again tried to explain about ants, yummy scrumptious ants, all fresh and wiggly, an anteater's FAVOURITE food. The little girl wasn't swallowing any of it. She gloomily shook her head at every argument; Mister Snow-Poof really wanted charsiu.
I was inclined to agree - anybody named Mister Snow-Poof is clearly not a common anteater.

"But why", the mother asked, "why does he want to eat charsiu so much, when his natural diet consists of ants?" She sensed she was losing the debate with her little daughter's stuffed companion, and sounded a little frantic.

"Because ants taste NASTY!!! "

Can't argue with that. They do.

As I got off the bus I had this sudden insight into why her little friend was named Mister Snow-Poof.
Obviously because he kept popping his head up over the frozen drifts looking for something to eat.
Small brown head, long quivering snout, mop of black hair.
And a hopeful expression, as he was SURE that there would be charsiu.

NOTE: Readers may contact me directly:

All correspondence will be kept in confidence.

Monday, April 18, 2011


My ex-significant other (Savage Kitten) is currently employed in an office that works with medical records. It is a large department, where people never move on. Once they're in, they stay for decades.
Many of them are not used to the competitive technical environment of the modern world.

Except for cell phones, of course.

What is amazing is that doddering fossils from the dinosaur-age of office work, who still think in terms of hand-penned records, multiple-page fold-out spreadsheets on a peg-board, and mimeographs, have NO problem figuring out how to program 'Dixie' as their irritating ringtone and download fifteen volumes of family photos, several thousand pages of the CUTE things their grandkiddies did.
Computers, copy machines, faxes......
ms-excel™, datawrangler®, flexorecord©......

Cell phone yes. Modern office efficiency no.

Seeing as databases and modern computer programmes are essential to functionality and efficiency in the world of the twenty-first century, some of them aren't fully based in reality.
Not reality as you and I recognize it.

Text to columns, sort, find text, universal search?
Not concepts within their ken.
Correct spelling, numbers, data?
Oh please!


"There’s a client who was putatively born in February of this year. This individual has had psychiatric care most recently last November.
How?! What sort of practitioner attends this "infant" and interprets the angst within? Would that be a "foetus whisperer"? And how does one know if it’s really a psychological problem, versus cramps, maternal indigestion, or umbilical cord itch?"

I am totally charmed by the concept of a foetus whisperer.

That's the kind of occupation one should put on a resumé.

As for infants having angst within, I'm not touching that one with a ten foot pole. Even after the precious little bundle of joy is cast out from warm wombish comfort into the cold dark world.
If there's anyone who should have 'angst', it is the adult standing near the little meatball when his diaper bulges.
Consider what will happen next as a transfer of angst from one individual (minor) to another individual (major).
Babies: they're like little angels - except full of angst.
Loads of it.

NOTE: Readers may contact me directly:
All correspondence will be kept in confidence.

Sunday, April 17, 2011


Even today I still don’t know how Marcus survived. By all reason it was a medical emergency and he required expert attention.
Which is not available in a holding cell.

The evening had started quietly enough.
I had gone to the bar to have a smoke on the patio out back, just me, a pipe, and some fine tobacco. Marcus was there drinking bourbon and sharing the joint which was being passed around.
He's a really nice guy, albeit from Texas, and gentlemanly even under the most trying of circumstances.

Two Mexicans from a nearby restaurant came in to relax after a long day.
Marcus likes Mexicans, he really does. Some Texans are like that, it's a strange racial forbidden-fruit thing. His eyes lit up, and he invited them over. The rest of the evening Marcus kept buying them beer. With each bottle that he bought them, he would have another shot of Bourbon.
I was still on my first drink when the three of them had already had half a dozen.
Marcus was telling them in great disgusting detail what he would love to do with them - it definitely involved pig grease - and they were just smiling back at him and saying 'que?' They didn't have a clue what he was on about, but he was buying them Coronas and seemed like good company.
The bourbon eventually gave way to tequila and another joint, all three of them were in a fine mood by this time, and because the bar was closing it was decided to go to where the Mexicans were staying and get some pizza on the way.

I tagged along. I had had two drinks, and pizza now sounded real good.

There were three other Mexicans living in the apartment. Between the seven of us we had four large pizzas - all with pineapple and ham. Apparently Mexicans just love pineapple and ham.
One of them sliced up some Habañero chilies in the kitchen while the others stoked up the communal bong. Marcus took several deep drags.
I abstained, because pot makes me nauseous - I've never like marijuana.

I did mention that Marcus is from Texas, did I not?

Texans have a macho thing going on. It's like a monumental chip on their shoulder.
They're bigger than anyone else, better than anyone else, and a damned sight tougher than anyone else, dagnabbit.

Marcus was drunk. Marcus was stoned on pot and getting worse - there was a big bong in the room.
And Marcus had the munchies real bad.
He was going to prove his manhood to the Mexican fellah with the nice hard buns.
Heck, to all of them. The honour of Texas was at stake.

The first bite of pizza with Habañero nearly floored him.
The Mexicans laughed.
Once Marcus got his composure back, he went into the kitchen for another beer. When he came out, he whispered that he had just put some cocaine on his tongue.

Manfully, he picked up his piece of pizza, and several slices of Habañero.
It tasted sweet; he had another piece of pizza, and much more Habañero.
The Mexicans were impressed, they had never seen a Gringo tackle so much fire.
Here, have another beer!
And another drag on the bong!

Surreptitiously he put another dab of cocaine on his tongue and swirled it around his mouth.
He couldn't feel a thing, and he was now slurring because his tongue was numb.
But he sure was enjoying the pizza.


I was wondering how on earth Marcus planed to seduce one of them with all the others in the room, after all that booze and pot. And cocaine.
Even if the Mexicans didn't get offended - I had NO idea how the Mexicans would react to an amorous and totally crazed San Francisco Texan gay man - he was in no position to consummate, what with being so utterly wasted.
I need not have worried. The Habañeros took care of that.
At one point Marcus got up to pee. Shortly after he sat down again, it started. Habanero chilies, as you know, are very hot. He had touched a sensitive part of his body with fingers that had Habañero juice on them. He started wriggling and turning purple, but he was still pretending that oh yes he was a Texan of course he wasn't a wussy, Habañeros were mothers' milk to people like him.

Mothers' milk doesn't brutalize your manhood with a blowtorch.

Scratching when you think no one is watching only makes it worse.

Panic and pain accentuate the effects of booze, pot, and cocaine.

When I came back from the kitchen with another beer, Marcus was ripping off his clothes and rubbing himself all over, screaming about skunks, rabid skunks in his pants! He grabbed what was left of a pizza and clapped it over his groin, then opened the door and ran down the hall of the apartment building yelling about how they'd need all the water in the Rio Grande one day for a swimming pool. He stumbled and crashed into the walls several times, hurting himself. When one of the other tenants opened the door to see what all the ruckus was about, he grabbed her by her bony shoulders and told her that she was cold, so sickeningly cold, she needed some hot pizza to warm her thin frame - "look, you frozen old virgin, I've kept it warm". He was weeping and all jangly as he shouted, and blood trickled down his face and nude body from a cut on his cheek where he had smacked into the wall.
He was quite the sight.

Especially stark naked with pizza stuck to his pubis.

I could hear police sirens getting closer, so I returned to the apartment, opened a window, and quietly let myself out, landing in the utility space behind the building. As I opened the gate to the alleyway, I could see the flashing lights on the street near the entrance.
I walked the other way, and then downhill.

I heard later that Marcus was held for 72 hours, because whatever he told the cops made no sense, even in San Francisco.
After he got out, he went to the clinic to have his gonads examined - at first the doctor thought he had a horrible new venereal disease.
Marcus himself didn't remember how he gotten nasty burns on his reproductive parts, and showering hadn't removed all of the pineapple and cheese.
He thought he had experimented again with heterosexuality, so that's what he told the doctor.
The one thing that really disturbed him was why his guts ached.

The doctor prescribed some ointment, and advised him to be more......

When I saw him again a few weeks later, he still couldn't recall what he had done, or why he had woken up in a cell, or even where he had been.
He didn't remember having met me at the bar that evening, he was sure he hadn't seen me in months.
The woman with the bony shoulders didn't press charges.
And the Mexicans weren't talking.

The paperwork the police filed would make for some mighty interesting reading, given that nobody they spoke to that night made any sense.
I could probably clarify everything for them, but first I'd have to explain my role.
Witness, participant, and then very deliberately an uninvolved third-party.
And manifestly not the voice of sanity which I should have been.


It was several years ago.

Marcus is now happily settled down with a fine gentleman from Sinaloa.
The hottest green chiles they use for food are probably Serranos.
Which are, comparatively, quite mild indeed.
So there's no cause for alarm.

Both of them hate skunks.

There's probably an ointment for that.

NOTE: Readers may contact me directly:
All correspondence will be kept in confidence.

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