"I'm going to speak my mind because I have nothing to lose."--S.I. Hayakawa

Sunday, August 21, 2011

You Say Tomato and I Say Tomahto

You like potato and I like potahto, You like tomato and I like tomahto
Potato, potahto, Tomato, tomahto, Let's call the whole thing off.

--Louis Armstrong lyrics, Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off


(Evening.  Commercial zone outside entrance to Denali National Park.  Dark rain clouds threaten to drench customers waiting to order food from “Chinese Food Express.”   Large poster on side of trailer displays photos of various dishes, most of which have dark brown sweet sauce on them.  Gullible waits her turn, then steps up to the window.  Pretty Asian woman is taking orders.)

Pretty Asian Woman (PAW):  Yehs, wha you want?

Gullible (G):  What kind of sauce is on the Almond Chicken?  (Please don’t let it be sweet brown sauce.)

PAW:  Wha?

G:  The Almond Chicken?  What kind of sauce in on it?  (Please don’t let it be sweet brown sauce.)

PAW:  Sau’?  Number 8?  Chicken?  Oh.  (speaks in foreign language to unseen cook.)  Bowel.

G:  Wha...?  What?

PAW:  Bowel.  Number 8, ri?  (Speaks to cook again.)  Bowel.

G:  Uh, okay, I want the Almond Chicken with egg rolls.  (Please don’t let it have sweet brown sauce on it.)

PAW:  Hokay.  A few min, hokay?

G:  Yes, fine.  Thanks.

(Fifteen or twenty minutes pass as previous orders are filled, placed in Styrofoam containers, then in plastic bags.  Misty rain starts to fall.)

(PAW smiles at G; G smiles back.)

PAW:  One min…  (Big smile.  Raining harder.)

(Unseen cook extends fry pan and ladles contents into Styrofoam container.  Gullible wonders about the orange slices in the Almond Chicken, but what the heck, everyone makes it differently.)

PAW:  This yours.  Fifteen ninety-five, please.

(Gullible walks back to the RV park and into her trailer just as heavy rain starts to fall.  She promises Pablo a great dinner as she unwraps the Styrofoam container and opens it.

The Almond Chicken does not have a sweet brown sauce on it.  It has a sweet orange sauce because it is not Almond Chicken.  It is Orange Chicken.  Who knew Almond sounded so much like Orange?

 Raining too hard to call the whole thing off.) 


  1. Inquiring minds want to know: does Pablo eat orange rinds?

    We're in the middle of a noisy thunderstorm here. Thunder and me giggling at this post. Thank you. . . I needed a good laugh! :)

  2. As far as Pablo is concerned, most foods have hulls, shells, rinds, etc. Thus, Pablo eats the orange but not the rind. He eats the chocolate and peanut but not the M&M candy shell. He eats the pea (as in cooked frozen green peas), but not the membrane that keeps the peas halves together. Bird knows what's up.

  3. I'm still wondering about the Bowel sauce.

    I hope you were able to enjoy your dinner even though it wasn't what you really wanted.

  4. Well, at least she was pretty, which rates higher to me than getting my order correct.