I'm a 3rd generation Cantonese-American and have pretty much forgotten the language. Hey,
I'm a 3rd generation Cantonese-American and have pretty much
forgotten the language. Hey, I wasn't even raised with it spoken
in my household, but I live in a predominantly Asian neighborhood
anyway. Well, Mormons, whom we all know and love(*cough*), have to
save their money during childhood so that they may go on missionary
expeditions when they hit seventeen years of age or so. Some even
become Urban Mormons, where they trek to distant(?) parts of Suburbia,
So, one day, there was a knock at my door. So upon answering,
Lo! And Behold! Who should be standing there, but two young, aspiring
Jehovah's Witn-... I mean, Mormon Missionaries. Both were Caucasian,
and one was holding a copy of Halston's Mandarin/English Dictionary.
The Mormon holding the dictionary greeted me in a foreign language,
presumably Mandarin, which I didn't understand. However, I chose to
say nothing; I merely furrowed my brow and intensified my gaze.
Astute, as they were, the missionaries were quick to realize that I
had not comprehended a single word they said, so they squabbled:
Missionary #1: I told you he wasn't Mandarin.
Missionary #2: Apparently not. He's probably wondering what
we're trying to say.
Missionary #1: Maybe he's Vietnamese.
Missionary #2: (Pulls out Vietnamese/English Dict.) Perhaps.
The Word of God was meant to reach all tongues.
So the second Missionary repeated his greeting in Vietnamese.
I only shrugged my shoulders. The other Mormon pulled out a Japanese
Dictionary, assuming that I might have been the same. Again, I merely
shrugged, and we ran the same gauntlet for the Korean language. I
had to admit, though, that I began to tire of this game. Taking a
deep breath, I shouted,
"YOU DAMN FOREIGNERS! WHY DON'T YOU GO BACK WHERE YOU CAME
FROM AND STOP TAKING OUR JOBS?!?"
With that, I slammed the door in a grandoise fashion and
couldn't stop laughing for two hours afterward.
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank