Friday, 19 February 2016

Humour a la Cathay.

To continue the China theme, I just remembered a little something from when I was a kid. Whenever China or the Chinese came up in conversation, my mother would trot out the same old line:

Who flung dung at Cheung? Or it might be written Hu flung dung at Cheung!

And then she would titter. It kept her amused for years, and it even impressed me at the time. What didn’t impress me more recently, however, was the fact that I never heard Michael Wood in his History of China use the name Cathay. That’s a shame because I like the name Cathay. One of my favourite early blog posts was a one-liner called ‘The Chinese Wuthering Heights’:

Oh Heathcliff! Oh Cathay!

I remember Lucy Wu from Sydney, NSW being amused by it. She didn’t get the white-horse-called-Kevin joke, though, which just goes to show that while Chinese people might not be inscrutable, they do appear to lack the capacity to appreciate oddball humour.

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