Aint No Chup-Bowl like Ching Chong Chup-Bowl

Cos the Ching Chong Chup-Bowl don’t stop.  No it never stops, riding off the flavour of the previous post, here’s a few snapshots of how the Choo Choo Ching Chong Chup-Bowl train just keeps on comin’ thru:

(Note: I can say Ching Chong cos I’m Ching Chong.  If you have only the Ching or the Chong or neither, say it only if you like cigarette face burns & 3 fingers left on each hand in the morning.  Ahhh the beauty of controversial racially inappropriate double standards – I’m onto it)

My dad baked a cake by mixing banana & tasty cheddar cheese together.  He argued it was ‘cheesecake’ even though he used cheese meant for pizza.  I was forced to eat it and then I gagged – not in a nightclub laneway ‘well I should keep on going cos the guy at the bar bought me a drink’ kind of way.  But more in a ‘this is what a banana with a bacterial yeast infection tastes like’ kind of way. He might be trying to get this on the menu at Lucky Duck Chinese Restaurant.  Keep on walking.

My dad plays ping pong every Sunday.  He wears these shoes to Ping the Pong.  I think my dad’s in a gang.  And bright orange is their Wu Wong Tang gang bang colour.  I need to look for chopsticks with p.i.m.p inscribed on the side with fake diamonds and hoes hiding in the rice storage bin to be sure.  Meanwhile everyone beware.  If you see and smell a Honda that’s using toilet freshener as car fragrance slowing rolling up beside you on the road – don’t try & be a hero when that ping pong bat points at you through the back window.

     

Dad bought this turbo massage chair.  It’s compliance with health and safety standards is as questionable as the place of birth stated on his Australian passport.  Sit in this chair for 20 minutes with the vibration settings on high and you’ll be circumcised – yes that includes you too ladies.  It’s here to stay so I’ve decided I must de-sensitise myself to its power.  To do this I will lay on it nightly … naked … face down …with a glass of wine … until it’s safe … hey don’t hate the player people, hate the manufacturer…

 

Dad installed this satellite on the roof.  Communist Terrorist – Maybe.  Gangster – Definitely.  Check out the puffer vests below – rocked only by those feared in the hoods cos mum & dad are nothing but pure bad ass Chup-Bowl:  

Was It Just Me?

You’ve read this blog.  And no I’m not high when I write my posts (yes, been asked this – you know who you are).  I’m just unconventional perhaps.  I must be because all that’s ‘conventional’ is plain dead uncomfortable around me (yes, been shown this – you know who you are). 

As a child I assumed my experiences growing up were ‘normal’.  But judging by the outside world’s reaction to the adult finished product, I’m starting to suspect not.  

Help me out people.  Was it just me?  I need to know:        

Was it just me … who was forced to wear a traditional bright gold embroidered imperial style padded Chinese jacket for her grade 4 primary school photo, looking like some kind of under-aged warlord midget pimp amongst a bunch of Aussie kids in shorts and t-shirts?  

Was it just me … who had a scheduled ear cleaning session with my father every month where he shone the blinding light from a lamp into my ear like the ear was being interrogated?  And then with an actual ear cleaning stick (they exist – purchased from the Asian grocers, thin with a mini scoop at the end), attempt to dislodge and remove stubborn bits of ear wax which usually turned out to be actual parts of my inner ear?

Was it just me … who was told by her mother that I shot out of her one day while she was on the toilet and looked down to see something random floating in the bowl with a pair of eyes?  Clearly the stalk in the sky explanation couldn’t convey my value as an addition to the family as much as this particular version of events.  

Was it just me … who was forced to fast for 24 hours before we went to an all you can eat buffet restaurant in order to ‘build up the hunger’ and therefore get our money’s worth?

Was it just me … who was then restricted from picking non-protein items and potatoes from the all you can eat buffet because they wasted stomach space reserved for the ‘expensiveful’ offerings – ‘Why eat 3 bowl chips, eat 18kg prawn, we pay saaame pliiicce’.         

Was it just me … who asked my mother for a perm to revamp my generic poker straight oriental hair?  Only to be taken to the ‘local hairdresser’ of my aunty’s garage to be given a perm on purely just my fringe? (my ‘bangs’ for the North American crew). I wanted to go from chinky to kinky.  I stayed chinky except now I had a new mini afro sprouting from my forehead.  Where’s that can of Soul Glo when you really need it?   

Was it just me who … was told by her father that 3 fried eggs piled on top of one another was called ‘quiche’, toast spread with ketchup was called ‘pizza’, and boiled lettuce with soya sauce was called ‘salad’.   Assimilation is his middle name.   Asian ‘fusion’ cuisine is his game.

But chill – perhaps it’s possible that despite it all (and oh there’s so much more … so so much more), it can be argued that I have ended up stable, demure and respectable.  Always composed.  Always refined.  Never out of control.  Never caught off guard.  ‘Only god can judge me’ – Tupac Shakur.

 

The Greatest Show on Earth – The 1st Episode

‘The Greatest Show on Earth’ is often used to describe and sell some kind of flashy grand Big Top circus show.  I often use the concept of a circus in attempts to explain and provide insights into the inner workings of my family.  And indeed this comparison is extremely harsh and unfair – to the circus.  Because even the circus as a commercial enterprise has some manner of standards; restrictions on its performances regarding the extent to which the audience should be shocked and baffled.  In fact this is the case with any kind of performance – whether it’s in the movies, on television or up on stage in the theatre.   Even fucked up feral material like people shitting on each other or people trying to hump animals, vegetables, dwarfs etc has classifications to enable degrees of choice and control with what you see & hear. 

There’s no communal cross-shitting or pet pumping going on in my family (that can be proved) but I wish that sometimes I could just be pre-warned about their relentless show-time antics – so I can at least prepare to cover my ears, close my eyes, change the channel, boycott the theatre or just fucking get the entire show banned (and the ‘cast’ deported) altogether.  The family’s a recurring theme in my blog – because the family’s an unavoidable theme in my life.  And I’m arguing that it’s also one in yours whether you currently choose to have anything to do with them or not.  I’m an adult now but there remain things both said and done by them that still continue to unsettle the fuck out of me, behaviours and choices that won’t cease to confuse and unhinge me making me go ape shit crazy whether they’re near or far:

Episode 1: There’s been a long running feud between my mum and her younger sister in China.  It started a few years ago after my mum’s last visit to see members of her WuTang clan back in the motherland.  One moment they’re all close like some fucking ching chong version of Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen and then they abruptly morphed into each other’s public enemy number one.  What trouble brewed in the province?  Who the fuck knows? I don’t want to know (just like I don’t want to know why cash is so strictly enforced as the primary method of payment in the Chinese community).  All I know is that it went from them addressing each other on the phone traditionally according to Chinese custom, ‘Greetings elder sister/ Greetings younger sister, how is you?’ to behind the scenes references by my aunt of my mum as ‘that cock sucking fat slum hag in Australia’ (a loose translation has been applied here, but the overall sentiment is the same).  But then my aunt arrives in Australia recently for a visit and they chat, giggle and cook their way through the month of September.  They were making happy good time wok stir fry music together without addressing to anyone, and I suspect even to each other, the insignificant side matter of their 3 year term of resentment and estrangement. 

They don’t trust each other and it’s likely they thought nothing of talking shit about each other behind closed doors … even while living under the same roof.  But as the bystander watching their reunion and the farcical insincerity of it all, the ‘scene’ made me feel sick because it all seemed way too familiar – because it hit me then that this same show has been played out before way too many other times from the core to amongst the most far reaching branches of my extended family.  It’s a show that’s been staged continuously amongst various family members throughout the past like some mass money making Broadway hit.  And it’s most likely being played out right now somewhere in the present as I write and later on, as you read.  There’s too many multi layered secrets, criss-crossing claimed loyalties, and corrupt versions of re-written history and face-saving cover-ups to ever really know the details of the what, why and how of who’s playing and hustling on who.  I don’t get the plot but I do know this: there’s a large cast with a variety of different actors and many of them were born with the same surname.   It’s the way it goes – it’s the Greatest Fucking Show on Earth, everyone acting their fucking flat arses off.

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‘What the fuck was that?’  Indeed.  Stay tuned, the above is just a scratch on one patch of the mind’s surface.  Like with all 1st episodes of any show, not everything is clear and not all questions are answered.

Disturbing Memory #2

If you missed Disturbing Memory #1, be checking it:

https://empressevelyn.wordpress.com/2010/06/19/disturbing-memory-1/

It’s a jungle out there man – heaps of sneaky traps making you look like a fucking idiot, giving the world many opportunities to mock you, ridicule you, point at you.  What more, there are cunning clowns who exist playing innocent to your face always waiting in the wings to sell your arse out, making you the joke.  I know a group of people like this – they’re called My Fucking Family.  No, My Fucking Family isn’t the name of some nut-case quirky comedy act or performing circus group (well at least not intentionally), they are literally My Fucking Family.  People I am related to (well at least not intentionally).     

It was a stinking hot summer and I was 5 (picture me now but with smaller hands & feet but same height).  We had these public pools near our house and EVERYONE from the area went there – families that lived on our street, kids who went to my school, teenagers from the local high school, drug dealers who dropped out of the local high school, business owners in the suburb, crims who robbed the business owners in the suburb etc.  Mum was still at work and so it was up to dad to take me.  But he faced a Bic Pob-Blum (Big Problem) – he didn’t know where mum kept my swim suit.  So he patiently went through the drawers in my room to look for them knowing wisely he would eventually come across what I needed.  BullShit– this never happened, instead he just grabbed a tea towel from the kitchen (presumably he also didn’t know where mum kept the bath towels) & we jumped into the car & headed to the pools – yes, the PUBLIC pools where I was forced to walk around in front of the entire population of our hood in my Cabbage Patch Kid undies and nothing on top – carrying a frayed & stained kitchen tea towel looking like some kind of child slave forced to work back-burning bamboo crops in peasant China.  I learnt the meaning of humiliation that day people.  And the crowd was not kind.   

But let’s break it down more: this was the 80’s in Australia, fewer Asian migrant families in the area than now.  So I already copped a big daily serving of ‘you ching-chong’ (fingers used to pull up eyes at the corners) shit at school & on the streets (Yo, if you’re reading this now & you were one of those redneck fucks, be watching your back son – my memory is deep & Facebook is one fucker of a big database).  Add to this my lego people style bowl/helmet haircut and the fact that my dad thought the best way for me to learn to swim was to just throw me into the deep end of the pool while yelling and clapping alongside the edge (you get put in jail for shit like that these days) and you get one fucking big Disturbing Situation turned Disturbing Memory.   

They say the best way to overcome your demons is to face them.  And that’s what I’ve done.  As I’ve grown into my adult years I’ve risen above and embraced this disturbing experience: I now walk around topless in my underwear every opportunity I get (visitors who ever came to the Elwood apartment know it’s true).  Can’t wait for ‘Casual Friday’ to be brought back to work.  And My Fucking Family have nobody to blame but themselves.