That One Time My Dad’s Peers Briefly Thought He Was Cool

Here’s another story told to me by my dad:

My brother Newton and I went to Chinese school when we were grammar school students. We’d go every night after American school and after dinner. It was customary in Chinese school to bring a gift for the teacher at the end of the school year. It was also customary for Chinese school teachers to hit students who didn’t learn their lessons. Sadly, Newton and I were among those students. We ranked last and next-to-last in our class every single year. I can’t imagine how bad we would have been if we hadn’t cheated on tests. I taught Newton to sit on his textbook and sneak peeks at it during tests.

Parents would buy presents for their kids to bring to the last class of the year. I told my mom we had to get something and she said she would go to Chinatown that afternoon and pick something up. When she returned, I asked her what she got. She opened the bag she was carrying and showed me two packs of nylons! I was flabbergasted and I think I turned red right on the spot. I told her I couldn’t give my teacher, a mean old hag if there ever was one, hosiery. My mom scolded me and told me to wrap them up. One was to be from my brother Newton and the other from me. I wrapped them up and Newton and I carried them with us to class that night. Kids asked us what we got for teacher. My brother and I had come up with a brilliant idea. We told them we got her comic books. Not DC but real Marvel comics. The kids thought we were cool. All they got was candy and books and regular stuff like that. We were cool right up to the point that our teacher decided to open the presents right there in front of the class. She whipped out those nylons and proclaimed how beautiful they were. Newton and I melted under our chairs. I don’t think we ever lived that down.


That One Time People Kept Throwing Up And I Almost Died in a Fiery Wreck

This happened during our Alternative Spring Break trip to San Francisco in Spring 2011. There were eight of us on the trip, all packed into a beastly silver Chevy Tahoe that we nicknamed “Battlestar SJ”. One night we were driving back to my Uncle Wilson and Auntie Mary’s place (where we were lucky enough to be staying) after dinner, when Isaac started complaining about being nauseous. Pretty soon he was ready to blow and I quickly handed him an empty Safeway bag. Pretty much as soon as I handed him the bag he started throwing up. The sound was very memorable, like there was a hose in his mouth that was just spraying all over the bag. It was a very watery barf, though there were definitely a fair amount of chunks, which came in two distinct waves. Dave pulled over and Isaac jumped out of the car to finish his business and dump the bag. When he came back we asked him how he was doing and he said he felt great. I have to say, he took the whole episode is a lot of grace, given the circumstances. Thank goodness we had stopped at the Safeway a few minutes earlier, otherwise we probably would have lost our deposit on the Battlestar.

So with everyone feeling not-nauseous we got back on our way. We were crossing Market when I saw an equally giant vehicle, a Nissan Titan, barreling down at us. Dave saw him too and slammed on the breaks, and we both stopped in the middle of the intersection. We stopped maybe 1 or 1 and a half feet from the truck, with the driver right in front of us. He didn’t even look at us, just took off. I could hear other people yelling stuff like “Oh shiiiiiit” but, surprisingly, no one in our car said anything. The other guy took off and we just kept driving. I was preoccupied with the fact that if he had T-boned us I would have probably been reduced to a little puddle of fleshy goo. Then someone made a joke, which was a bad idea. For whatever reason Imari found the joke hilarious. First she started laughing, which caused her to start coughing, which then caused her to start dry heaving. She was doing all three at once and it sounded really bad. Unfortunately Isaac had just used our only bag. We pulled over and double parked, but because the car was new we didn’t know how to use the hazard lights. We were just sitting there in the TL with Imari sitting behind me, yakking/laughing/coughing. I kept telling Imari to get out of the car, mainly because she was sitting directly behind me and I didn’t want to get hit with any splash damage. I had to repeat myself a few times but eventually she got out and the rest of us just sat there, in the TL in the middle of the night, watching Imari dry heave by the side of the road. I rolled down my window and I heard a homeless guy yell something at us like, “You guys havin’ a big night, huh?” After like 5 minutes Imari finally stopped laughing and got back in the car. The homeless guy came over and asked me for some change but I really just wanted to get home at this point. I told him I didn’t have anything and we drove off.

Oh yeah, and then later that night Imari actually threw up.