This was originally published many years ago.
A New Yorker was in the middle of downtown Shanghai with his wife and
kid. They walk into a restaurant where everybody in sight is Chinese
and nobody speaks a word of English.
The wife asks, “Where’s the bathroom?”
His kid asks, “Do you have egg rolls?”
And the guy asks, “Is the food authentic?”
I grew up watching Happy Days. I loved Richie, Potsie, Chachi, and
the gang. But, a Notary recently had to fly to Shanghai to do a
notarization for the Chinese version of Happy Days called “Yu-Kuai
Tian” which loosely translated means cheerful or happy day(s).
A Notary was called in to do a notarization for the staff of Yu-Kuai
Tian. He thought the notarization would be for a screenplay or a
writer’s contract. Boy, was he wrong.
NOTARY: Hi, I’m here for the notarization.
MANAGER: Solly no Yingrish! You wait!
ASSISTANT: Oh yes, we have been expecting you.
NOTARY: So, who am I signing for? One of the managers or the writers?
ASSISTANT: Oh, they didn’t tell you? You’re signing for the Chinese
Henry Winkler — “The Fong.” He’s late today because he was out last
night with one of his lady friends. One of his classier girlfiends who
doesn’t slurp when she eats her shark fin delight of three soup.
NOTARY: Sounds like an Ayy! One gal.
ASSISTANT: He’s out in back finishing repairing the transmission in a
rickshaw. He won’t be ready for you until 3pm. You can try one of our local restaurants.
They are quite good.
NOTARY: Yeah, that’s a good idea. I’ll try the one with the green
sign. I’ll just hope for the best.
ASSISTANT: But, before you go, please meet Mr. Yu and his guys. We
call them Yu’s guys!
NOTARY: Okay, how Yu’s guys doin’? This is how we talk in New York by the way.
(At the restaurant with the green sign. All of the staff are Chinese
and speak almost no English and all of the customers without exception
are Chinese as it is in downtown Shanghai.)
WAITER: Hello, I your waiter. My name Cha-Chee Wang.
NOTARY: You’re kidding. Cha-chee, like in Yu-Kuai Tian?
WAITER: Yes, I work there on my off day as wing man for The Fong. With my husband, Jo-Nee.
Jo-Nee love Cha-Chee.
NOTARY: I don’t care what I eat, but there is one thing that matters to me.
WAITER: You like dish called Potsie Sticker. It kind of dumpling.
NOTARY: Well, what I wanted to know is — is the food authentic?
WAITER: Yeah, food authentic all right. Half hour after you eat, you hungry to breathe
Oxygen. We in China after all. No Americanized food here. We don’t even know what that mean.
But, today long day. Potsie also work here. He having worst day in life. He so
out of it, it take him half hour to make “minute fried rice.”
NOTARY: Well maybe you should have Joannie come and help him.
WAITER: We try, but Joannie Chan busy. Anyway, one order of Potsie
Sticker coming up. By the way, last week was Chinese New Year – year
of the monkey, but sorry, we not serve monkey here. Try down street.
Delicacy — very expensive.
NOTARY: Thanks, but when I said authentic, maybe I had no idea what I
was getting myself into.
(30 minutes later)
NOTARY: Thanks for the great meal. Let me give you 40 ren-min-bi,
that should cover it. Back to the set.
THE FONG: Heyyyyyy!!!!! (with two sexy Chinese girls: one on each
side of him in cheerleader outfits.)
NOTARY: Wow, I get to meet the Chinese Fonzie in the flesh.
THE FONG: No, don’t touch the leather. Just got it restored at Wing’s
leather repair down street. And don’t touch the hair either.
NOTARY: Okay, I promise not to.
GIRLS: We promise not to either! hee-hee-hee…
THE FONG: Eyyyy!!!!! (puts two thumbs up.)
NOTARY: Good thing we’re not doing thumbprints.
THE FONG: If we did, you not need ink, plenty of grease already on
thumbs from mechanic work not to mention coconut oil on hair for good
NOTARY: Okay, I’ll need to see some ID.
THE FONG: Okay, legal name Fong Xiao-Leng, similar to Bruce Lee’s
Chinese name. But, people call me The Fong!
NOTARY: In real life I am not allowed to notarize outside of the State
of New Jersey where I am legally commissioned as a Notary Public, but
since this is a fictional comedy blog, I will take some liberties and
illegally use my stamp here in Shanghai.
THE FONG: Okay, so where do The Fong sign?
NOTARY: Right here
(The Fong signs in the wrong place and Notary scolds him)
NOTARY: No not there. You signed in the wrong place!
THE FONG: Wait second. You say The Fong… w-w-w-w-wong? The Fong NEVER wong!!!
NOTARY: Yeah, you were supposed to sign right here, and you signed
down there where the signature of the Notary is supposed to be.
THE FONG: Nobody say The Fong w-w-w-w-w-rong…. Not even The Fong’s mother.
NOTARY: Just admit it… You were wrong.
THE FONG: I can’t say it. I was w-w-w-w-w-w-… I just can’t.
NOTARY: Try one more time. Never mind. We’ll sign this fresh duplicate
I brought. Be more careful this time.
THE FONG: Okay. (scribbles The Fong on document)
NOTARY: No, that’s wrong. Your legal name is Fong Xiao-Leng, not The
Fong. The Fong is your nickname. You can’t legally be notarized using
THE FONG: Hey, this is blog entry. I do what I want. But, you say I
w-w-w-w-wrong again? We take this outside! NOBODY say The Fong wrong.
(The Fong grabs the Notary and takes him outside behind the garage)
THE FONG: You want on chin? Hurt more — show less. Or on gut? Hurt
more, nobody see.
NOTARY: What are you talking about?
THE FONG: You say The Fong wrong. Nobody say The Fong wrong and live
to tell about it. I punch you hard. You choose place.
NOTARY: Go for the gut. My dumplings weren’t that good anyway. I
think I prefer Americanized Chinese food come to think of it. But, I
have one condition. You can only punch me if you admit that you were
THE FONG: Deal… (punch)
NOTARY: Oh my God… What are you, a Shao-Lin monk? That really hurt.
Ouch. I’ll spend the rest of the day bent over. Now it’s your turn.
You have to keep your end of the bargain and admit that you were
wrong. Fair is fair.
THE FONG: Okay. I keep bargain. I was w-w-w-w-w-w-w….
NOTARY: Yes, this is a Deed for the sale of one of the rick-shaws you repaired.
THE FONG: Do you notarize auto-sale paperwork?
NOTARY: I notarize any documents about anything that starts with a key
and goes vroom vroom!
THE FONG: Eyyyy!!!! That sound like something The Fong would say.
Anyway… I was w-w-w-w-w-w-w-w-w.
NOTARY: You can do it. Good thing I ate lightly.
THE FONG: I was wr-r-r-r-r… It so hard. I was w-w-w-w…. WONG! I was wong!
GIRLS: I can’t believe he said it. The Fong was wrong!
NOTARY: Okay, now sign this 3rd copy I made as Fong Xiao-Leng and
we’ll be all done and I’ll take the next flight back to America.
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