Monday, August 28, 2023

THE AGE OF MINOR NAUGHTINESS

Coffee, lo po beng, nai chaa, and regular tea to rinse my mouth after the sticky filling of the lo po beng, preparatory to heading out into the non-tourist part of Chinatown with a pipe jutting out of my jaw. So I was wired to my cranium. Totally zippy. It was splendid. Which is quite remarkable, seeing as I had been up since five o'clock in the morning in order to be early for an appointment in the radiology department. Because my medical file reeks of tobacco use, part of the yearly full body check-up involves scoping out the chest (lungs and other breathing aparatus) for any ill-effects of my misspent adulthood.

"Please scoot down, you're too tall."

Nobody has said that in years!

"Well, here you're tall."

Okay, I suppose most of his visitors for the machine are little old Cantonese ladies who have been huffing a pack and half of Double Happiness brand filter ciggies every day and shrunk accordingly, so there may be a shortness to the demographic.
As well as a generational thing.

There was an elderly lady on the bus who was absolutely petite, on the way back this evening. Back in the nineteen fifties when she was still a young girl sneaking out of the house at night to go dancing, she was probably gorgeous and elfin.
Willowy and fine boned.

Compared to her, I'm positively gigantic!
Of course I scooted.

When I arrived at the Bakery, it was nearly empty. So I did not dawdle over my hot beverages and pastry. Tipped the usual amount because the lack of time was my own fault. Enjoyed my smoke afterwards immensely. In my imagination elfin young ladies were plotting to shinny down the fire escape and go to the dance hall. Were there still dance halls in the fifties?
Or was everything already sock hop city? should've asked my mom about this.

The pipe pictured above was made in the forties or fifties, I think. It evokes something. Back then it might have suggested to a nice young miss "here's a dashing and mysterious college man, who has a tweed coat for cool weather, with whom it would be exceedingly nice to go eat oysters and chow mein!"

That might make up for my not being skilled at dancing.
Can't do the Madison, jitterbug, or boogie.
And I'm tall for that age.



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