Sunday, June 17, 2007

The Bubs Interview: Question 1 Part 2


After an unreasonable delay, we now continue where we left off a few weeks ago.

*************

After dinner I offered to help with the dishes, but George graciously refused my request. Thank God, because I didn't really want to do them anyway. Instead, Johnny told me to come with him into the sitting room again.

"Here, I give you Lucky Money, one from me and one from my wife. It for good luck." He handed me two small red envelopes, each containing a dollar bill. The Chinese usually hand them out to their friends and family during Chinese New Year, but sometimes at other times of the year too, such as when a new friend visits your house for the first time. I thought it was really sweet.

"I tired now. You go downstairs."

I thanked Johnny and Mama Gin for the hospitality once again, and went down to talk to my cousin, who was packing for our big road trip which was to start early the next morning.


**************************************************

We arose at the crack of dawn and loaded George's car with provisions to take up to Nova Scotia, where we would be spending Christmas with my cousin's friend Timothy, who had a house on the shore. Michael had warned me the house was quite "rustic," and that we needed to bring a lot of stuff, most notably warm clothing. I was really looking forward to it - it all sounded so charming.

When we were all packed, we got into George's large Pontiac Grand Am and set off.

"Wow, a New Yorker who has a car and drives," I noted.

"Well, he just learned to drive a few months ago. This is his first car. We'll have to keep a close eye on him," Michael replied. It turns out that Michael was quite serious about that part. He henpecked and back-seat drove on George the entire trip, to a level of obnoxiousness that would have gotten him bludgeoned to death if he'd tried it on me. Admirably, George had the patience of a saint with him and rarely gave any response at all.

Somewhere in Connecticut we stopped at a roadside diner for a spot of breakfast. When the check arrived, I took it and said "I will buy breakfast. It looks like you guys have already bought a lot of provisions for us." I was referring to the many bags of groceries and dry goods we had loaded into the car earlier that morning.

George smiled. Little did I know about the Asian propensity for check grabbing; often if you dine with a Chinese, they will tackle you to the ground before letting you pick up the check. Which can be quite annoying at times because you know that a lot of it is all a show. They don't really want to pay all the time; they just want to appear as if they do. And if you don't make some sort of effort to fight them back for the check, they get annoyed eventually. Not that we Midwesterners don't have our own little passive-aggressive etiquette games, but still. We tend not to be big check grabbers.

George didn't fight me for the check, yet I had no idea that simply picking up a breakfast tab would make such a good impression on him. Finally, I had done something right, even if I didn't know it yet.

16 comments:

Dale said...

This story just gets charminger and charminger Mr. Punchman!

And look at 'old' Bubs up there. Will the new Bubs debut in the next chapter?

GrizzBabe said...

You sure know how to leave your readers hanging!

I am looking forward to the rest of this story.

lulu said...

Can I just get the spoken word version when I come visit next week? It is going to take you forever to get to the steamy parts.

Old Lady said...

Happy Father's Day Kitty Daddy

Bella Rossa said...

Can we trade lives for just a week or so? You have a cute boyfriend, and you travel a lot and have lots of funny stories to tell. I...have two cats and the last two places I went to outside of Chicago were Indianapolis and Kenosha.

Bubs said...

This is wonderful--it starts with the introduction, dinner with the family, charming gestures, and now it's a road movie. I love it!

jin said...

OH! Can't WAIT for the next one!

BTW- CP, you are a tease!

Writeprocrastinator said...

My grandmother always dove for the check and she wouldn't speak to me for a week, if I was quick enough to grab it before her. I'd always tell her that I wasn't the one that was on a fixed income and that would get me no phone calls for a week.

Sigh, if only that would work with some coworkers, what I would pay for a week of silence with them.

















This shaping up to be a nice story by the way, I'd thought I'd put the compliment on the very bottom and make you waaaaaaaaiiiiitttt for it.

Dino aka Katy said...

wow I didn't know about the check grabbing thing. Now hurry up and get to the next post

Grant Miller said...

I'm big on passive aggression.

Bluez said...

Holy Crap bubs, dem eyez...

Oh and I liked Chapter 2, but I'm looking for more sex and rock and roll so get the party started CP!

Flannery Alden said...

You should write a novel, if you haven't already.

Mother Hen said...

Bubs has pretty blue eyes!

Beth said...

If I pick up the next check, will you get on with the story?

The Freelance Cynic said...

Check grabbing sounds like fun. They should make it into a new olympic sport.

"On the left side grabbing for the check iiiiiiit's Granpa.....!

BeckEye said...

I have an alternating loop of "Behind Blue Eyes" and "Eyes Without a Face" going through my head now.