Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Do not wear an AVG blood chit to a Chinese restaurant

 unless you want hilarity to ensue.

For those of you that don't know what I am talking about, an AVG blood chit is a patch the original WW2 Flying Tigers were issued with a Chinese flag on it. Under the flag in Chinese there is an explaination that the wearer of it is an American aviator in China to help chase the Japanese out and to provide him with food, shelter and medical attention. Those who do this will be rewarded.

It was given to aviators in the event they got shot down as an aid to overcome the language barrier as very, very few of the Americans there spoke Chinese. Some of the sewed it on the back of their jackets, most sewed it on the inside. The guys that sewed it on the inside had  a few brains.

It was likely bad enough being a shot down aviator in Japanese occupied China but with a civil war going on between the communists and the nationalists wearing a Nationalist Chinese flag on one's back isn't the smartest thing to do. It also made a pretty good aiming point for a Japanese rifleman.

So a couple of us amble in for lunch and I'm wearing my flight jacket with the AVG blood chit sewn onto the inside lining. I took it off and tossed it over the unused seat carelessly and a part of the blood chit was exposed.

The waiter I have had serve us before. He's a character that has a real 'Hop Sing' Chinese accent at work but in reality grew up in Jersey. He's really got a 'Corner of Toidy-toid Street an Toid avenue' Jersey accent in real life. It rates right up there with a Korean with a West Texas drawl I met once. 

He spotted the part of the blood chit that was showing, opened it up and left without asking for our beverage order. A second later he returned with another older guy about my age, also Chinese. 

He showed the older guy the blood chit and the two of them started babbling, presumably in Chinese. They were both entertaining and animated. He then turned to me.

"Melican pilot. Come. Jap-nee near. We hide you!"

With that he picked up my jacket and took my arm. "Come!" he said.

What else do you do? You go along with it. As we passed another waitress he showed her the blood chit and said, "Melican pilot. I hide," as I was whisked into the kitchen. She shook her head with a big smile.

When we got into the kitchen he pointed to a door and said, "I hide you here."

"I'm not standing around in a walk-in freezer full of dead cats," I protested. He laughed and reverted back to being the Jersey guy.

"Dead cats," he said, derisively. "We had that rumor going around about us about six months ago."

"Did it hurt business?" I asked.

"Not really," he confessed. The usual buffet hogs still came charging in and wolfed the food down like there wasn't going to be a tomorrow. Who started that rumor, anyway?"

"The first time I heard it I was about ten," I said. I heard it from my uncle who told it as an absolute truth about a place near him. Likely he got the story from a guy he met in a bar who heard it from his college room mate's girl friend who heard it from...You get the general idea. That was over fifty years ago I heard it for the first time."

"Yeah?" he asked.

"Yeah," I replied. "It's in the Chink's Guide to running a Chinese restaurant in the United States. Chapter seven goes into it in great detail."

He laughed. "The Chink's Guide to...," he chuckled. "Where'd joo come up wit that one?" He was in normal Jersey street mode now.

"Who knows?" I asked rhetorically. "Probably there is one. There's a book for everything, although that one sounds like it was written by Mel Brooks."

"Who?" he asked.

"Mel Brooks. He wrote Blazing Saddles." I replied. "It's a really funny movie. My favorite."

"What in the wide, wide world of sports is a-goin' on around here? I know that movie." he replied. "It's a classic."

"Yup. that one." I answered. "Mel made us ALL look as stupid as we really are. Gotta go." I took my jacket and he followed me back to my table.

When we got back he looked at my partner. "Jap nee all gone now. All velly good. What youse guys want to drink?"

We ordered.

My partner, Rennie, looked at me. "He the guy?"

"Yeah, He's the guy that took Vince and I to the MacDonalds a block up the road, held his eyes wide open and said, Big Mac, "Frrrrrrench frrrrries!" I said.

I already wrote about that incident a while ago. Look it up if you want. 

He grinned and left and came back with our beverages and a couple of chits good for a free meal there.

"You already paid when you came in," he explained. "This is for the fun. I wish you guys would drop in more often."

I'd forgotten that the place was a fun place to eat. The food's OK, but the floor show is priceless. I'm going to go there more often.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

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