"I've never had lunch with a communist before..."
A few years ago, my ex's uncle tried to start an international incident in a Wendy's.
This was before the screaming and then throwing of weighted breakable things and threats of restraining orders. Back when her uncle would give me the time of day.
If was a family outing that I'd been guilted into attending and it wasn't even a family I was a part of. The aunt had talked the uncle into hosting a Chinese professor. From China. Where they manufacture the Chinese. Off assembly lines. That's how the uncle described them. I think he was bitter Rush Lumbaugh hadn't been elected lord high chancellor of the universe.
His wife, the aunt, she was far more laid back and liberal. Opposites attract when they're diplomatic enough to put politics aside and focus on starting a family. She taught pinko tree hugging liberal propaganda at the local university. I have that on good authority from the uncle.
She's all smiles at the airport when the prof zombies his way off the plane. He perks up, but traveling half way around the world exacts a toll on a man. He wasn't at all prepared for the barrage of questions that came from the aunt that was actually one question. "Are you hungry? Do you want to go eat? Did they feed you on the plain? Where did you want to go eat? What sort of food are you hungry for?" Since she won't eat airline food, it never occured to her that other people can and do.
So there we are at Wendy's after many awkward moments of semi-understood exchanges between auntie and Chang (not his real name... just the one uncle gave to him). If you asked me why we decided on Wednesday, I'd likely cite part of the Geneva convention. It was the only thing everyone could compromise on. My ex and I, we're off at the next table hoping everyone will think of us as Switzerland.
The uncle, he hasn't said anything. Not a word to this Chinese professor. Nothing. He's been completely closed lip which has made the entire trip about as enjoyable as a nazi camp tour. My ex and I know, just [I]know[/I], he's going to say something. And he does.
The bastard actually waited for the prof to take his first bite of American Wendy's beef as though this was some great insult to Americans everywhere. Out of nowhere, he turns to his wife and says in a tone the people in the parking lot probably heard, "You know, I've never had lunch with a communist before." The word communist comes out like "pedophile" or "assassin of kittens".
Chinese professor has enough sense and English to see the trap. Or so he thought. Really, his only way out was to gnaw off a leg. The uncle wanted to see blood and squirming.
"I'm not a member of the communist party" he replies.
Now they get into it. Uncle is chastising professor because apparently the prof lacks the courage of his convictions. Clearly, he must be a [I]cowardly[/I] communist. The professor is going back at him telling him that he doesn't understand which isn't helping. The aunt is trying to play peacemaker and failing miserably. They restaurant has stopped eating. The wage slaves behind the counter are burning things. Everything within earshot is now spellbound by this cold war spectacle. This argument of philosophy and politics. It's a fist fight or food fight waiting to happen.
My ex? She gives me this [I]why is this [I]my [/I]family look[/I] and asks me a question quiet enough so that only I can hear.
"Have you read ever read Choke?"
Long story short, the Aunt turns NFL ref for about fifteen glorious seconds and saves me from having to pretend I'm choking to get them to stop arguing.
That day was the start of two things:
1) A long spiral of nasty arguments that ended with me splitting from my ex. I still can't believe she wanted me to actually choke myself to get them to shut up.
2) My love affair with Chuck. I've read nearly all of his work and had the pleasure of seeing him give a speech in Columbus, OH the last time he was here.
I'm Zhavric and I hope you found this entertaining.