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Hey, remember The Fourth of July, 2003? We don't, but found this in our archives:

Fourth of July Fourthiness.

Independence is on the march, patriots.

& Recently . . .

Kurt Cobain's Ghost with an Invitation to a Fourth of July Picnic and Fireworks by Angela Genusa

"B.L.T.": A Review by Will Layman

Ten Tiny Poems by Brian Beatty

Angry Words from a Gnome Who to This Day Continues to Think the Human Genome Project Was Actually The Human Gnome Project by David Ng

Key Party, N.Y.C., Circa Always by William K. Burnette

A Day on the Phone with Mythological Norse Firewarrior, Bringer of Storms by Aaron Belz

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Friday, April 1, 2005   |    Fiction

The Humor from China

by Han Yao Wen

1. Auditorium

One day, I went into a restaurant to have my dinner. I waited for a long time, but no waiter served me. Seeing the people eating with great relish, I went to the chief of the dining hall: “Excuse me, didn’t I sit on the auditorium?”

2. Don’t Blame Me

A man, not to be good at socializing, used to say something not to be auspicious at the happy time. One day, his neighbor gave birth to a child. Many people went to congratulate them on it. And he went, too. As soon as the neighbor saw him, the master hastily let him to eat and drink so that he couldn’t say more.

The man ate and drunk without a word.

When the banquet was over, the silly man said to everybody, “You see, I haven’t said a word today. If the baby die one day, don’t blame me.”

3. I Don’t Want the Eggshell

Three persons went to a small restaurant to have breakfast.

The first said to the waiter: “A fried egg without the yolk.”

The second said: “A fried egg without the egg white.”

Now it’s the third turn. The waiter asked: “What about you? What didn’t you want?”

The answer was “I don’t want the eggshell.”

4. Pig Brains

At night, three boys went to a small restaurant. They chose “Pig Brain Soup”. Because there were many people in the eating room, in order to make things easy, the waiter shouted: “Pig Brain! Pig Brain! Three Pig Brains!”

Three boys simultaneously answered: “Yes. Here! Here!”

5. A Man of Ability

A stingy boss ordered the servant to buy wine, but not give him any money.

The servant asked: “How can I get the wine without money?”

The boss answered: “It’s easy to buy the wine with money and everyone can do it. If you can buy the wine without money, you are really a man of ability.”

After a while, the servant brought back an empty bottle and the boss was very angry, cried: “How silly you are! What do I drink without wine?”

Calmly and deliberately the servant said, “It’s easy to drink from a bottle filled with wine and everyone can do it. If you can drink from an empty bottle, you are really a man of ability.”

6. Judgment

A husband hated his mother-in-law living too long with his family, so he consulted with his wife for a plan to deal with her.

The husband told his wife: “When we begin to have supper this evening, I will pretend to say the food not to be cooked well and you insist on them cooked well. Then we will begin arguing. Last we will ask your mother to make a judgment. If she agrees with you, I will let her out. If she agrees with me, you will ask her leave.’’

According to the consultation, they were arguing when they had supper. At the end, the husband asked his mother-in law: “How do you like the food that your daughter has done?”

The old lady answered: “It’s too short time that I’ve lived with you, and it’s hard to tell you that the food is good or not. I will make a judgment for you after several months later.”

7. Mortgage

A customer of a restaurant: “I’m sorry, Boss. I think I can’t pay for the meal because I don’t have any money with me.”

The boss of the restaurant: “That’s all right. You can pay for it next time, but you must sign your name on the wall.”

The customer: “That won’t do. Everyone will know it.”

The boss: “You can put your coat on the wall. That will cover it.”

8. Chicken

A waiter was serving a chicken to a customer.

The customer: “Why is the chicken one leg long while one leg short?”

The waiter: “What does it matter? Don’t you like to dance with it, Sir?

9. Birthday’s Courteous Reception

A husband has never helped his wife to do the housework chores. He was prompted by a sudden impulse and said to his wife on her birthdays: “There’s no need to wash the plates and bowls for you today.”

The wife was overjoyed: “It’s very kind of you. Thank you for your help.”

The husband answered: “You may wash them tomorrow.”

10. Don’t Beckon the Businessman

I always have baked pancakes for the breakfast near my office. The boss gets to know me well for this reason. When I stretch one finger, he will bake one pancake for me. If I stretch two fingers, he will do two.

Yesterday morning, I got up earlier than usually and had my breakfast at home. When I passed the pancake room, I waved my hand to greet the boss. Then I went to my office.

After a while, I found the boss rushed into my office, a bag with his hand. “What’s the matter?” I asked.

“You stretched five fingers just now, and I have baked five pancakes for you. But you didn’t come to eat them, so I carry them here for you. Please have them as they are still hot!” he said.

Han Yao Wen is a humor writer living in Yulin City, Guangxi.