Tuesday, October 07, 2003

I asked my wife if very young children are savages. She said no. I asked why not, and she said "because they don't have the capacity to be anything else".
'savage' in Chinese is ye man ren, which translates nicely back into English as 'barbarian'. Both ‘savage’ and ye man ren get bandied about my house quite a bit:

Wife: What are you watching?
Me: (American) football
Wife: Savage (barbarian) sport.
Me: No, the rules are too complex for savages to understand. Eating deep-fried rotten tofu (chou dou fu), now THAT'S savage.
Wife: Chou dou fu is delicious. Eating great big hunks of meat is savage.
Me: You say that just because Chinese people are savages who can't even hunt.
Wife: At least we have a coherent language. English doesn’t even make any sense. It’s a language by savages for savages.
Me: Oh yeah, at least we are advanced enough to have figured out by the 20th century that the male parent is responsible for the sex of a child. Here and in China, you still blame the mother when she gives birth to a daughter. Bunch of backwards savages, the lot of you.
Wife: Oh yeah, what about wrestling?
Me: What?
Wife: The WWE. Which country does that come from, China or the U.S.?
Me: Um, well that's... uh...
Wife: [Snorts in victory. Leaves room]

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