Apr 25, 2009

Subway comedy routine

If I had a stand-up act, I'd have lots of stories from living in China that I could incorporate. I'm probably the only one who'd think my stories are funny though. Here's such a story that happened to recently.
The other day, my girlfriend and I walk into one of the Beijing subway stations downtown. Before you go through the turnstile, they've got an x-ray scanner you have to put your bags through. They've had these scanners every since the Olympics were in town. It turns out on this particular day, there's a Beijing city cop with a drug-sniffing German Shepherd at the far end of the x-ray machine. I guess it's an extra check, just in case the machine missed something.

So my girlfriend puts her bag through the x-ray machine first, there are no problems, of course, and she picks it up on the other side. I'm next after her, so I throw my bag into the x-ray machine. She's already walking away, and I'm still waiting for my bag to go through. So I make a point to shout out real loud to her, "Hey, hold on, wait for me. I got some chocolate cookies in my bag, I'm gonna feed some to this dog, he looks hungry."

I make sure to say it really loud and in nice, clear Mandarin, for the benefit of the cop to hear. Of course, the cop takes me one hundred percent seriously and says sternly, in English, "No, no, no". He holds out his palm in the universal "no" gesture, and then he tells me in Mandarin, "You can't feed him, you can't feed him." Then I make sure to say really politely, "Ok, no problem, I understand". Then I'm on my way, no harm done, and he's not discovered I'm being stupid on purpose.
After this little comedy act, I'd find myself saying "chocolate cookies" to myself out loud and cracking up.

I'm not sure why I find my anecdote so amusing. I think it's the mental image of someone hand-feeding chocolate cookies to a huge, scary-looking police dog, and the dog latches onto their arm and starts shaking his head back and forth... and then the fact that someone would believe a person could be crazy enough to try something like that.

It would make my story a lot funnier if this had been a more sarcastic cop who came back with something like, "Hey, sure, go right ahead and feed my dog... but you're on your own getting to the emergency room to get your arm stitched up..."


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