And Yes, I Do Carry Tranq Darts Around, Just In Case of Socially Awkward Situations.

June 27, 2011

Film, Humor

So, put yourself in this position and ask yourself what the appropriate response would be:  A friend of mine was telling me about a few years back when she and her (then) husband were at Disneyland.  They’re in line for whatever.  The husband sees an man of Asian ethnicity a few places ahead of them in line.  He says to her, “Oh my God, it’s Long Duk Dong!”

Long Duk Dong, of course, was the Asian exchange student in the seminal 1984 John Hughes movie, Sixteen Candles.  He’s

What's undignified about that?

also kind of an appalling caricature of Asian people.  A character who uses a knife & fork like chopsticks.  A character for whom, every time he enters a scene, a gong sounds.

In other words, if you met an Asian person and called him Long Duk Dong, he probably would not laugh, and you would probably be a jerk.  (Here’s an interesting article about it: “Long Duk Dong: Last of Hollywood Stereotypes?”)

Okay, so my friend is shushing him madly.  He says, “I’m going to go talk to him and ask if he’s Long Duk Dong.”  She furiously tells him to stop, but he is adamant.  So, what do you do if you’re her?  I can only see a few viable options:

  1. Put him in a choke-hold until he’s unconscious.
  2. Run.  Run and keep running and don’t stop until you’re in another state and you can send the divorce papers via Fed Ex.
  3. Use the 5-Point Palm Exploding Heart technique and kill him on the spot.  (I realize, of course, that this last one is impossible.  The 5-Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique wouldn’t work because no one ever dies in Disneyland.*)

I said, 'Leave the guy ALONE!'

To me, the idea of approaching this man is incomprehensible.  I’ve written a little bit before on a similar issue (see here), but, given the potentially racist faux pas involved, the cost/benefit analysis?  Forget it.  There’s simply no way you think that’s a good idea.  And if you’re with the person doing it?  Good lord.  Break out the tranq darts.  One for your friend, one for yourself just to get out of the situation.

You know, I was also on a little show called ER, jerk.

So, you ready for the twist ending?  It was him.  It was Gedde Watanabe.  Are you kidding me?  Well, so, okay, on one hand, bullet dodged, right?  But the thing is, forgetting the gamblers odds in that situation, it’s still a bad move.  “Say, aren’t you the actor whose been in literally dozens of films and TV series, many of them classics, but who will forever be remembered as naively doing the Asian equivalent of a shuck ‘n jive minstrel show?  That’s you, right?  The Donger?  It is!  Ha ha! ‘No more yanky my wanky!’ I knew it!”  That’s got to be rough for Watanabe, no matter how nice of a guy he supposedly is.

So if, really, “Just leave the guy alone” isn’t an option, maybe at least go with option #4: Take an extra 30 seconds and think of something else he was in.

* No one ever dies in Disneyland because if they do die, the body is taken off the property before an examiner declares them legally dead.  This is true.

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About The Byronic Man

Recently voted "The Best Humor Site in America That I, Personally, Write," The Byronic Man is sometimes fiction, but sometimes autobiography. And sometimes cultural criticism. Oh, and occasionally reviews. Okay, it's all those different things, but always humorous. Except on the occasions that it's not. Ah, geez. Look, it's a lot of things, okay? You might like it, is the point.

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8 Comments on “And Yes, I Do Carry Tranq Darts Around, Just In Case of Socially Awkward Situations.”

  1. stevebetz Says:

    Today with smartphones you could probably do a quick IMDB search and find out something else more legit.

    Though I must admit, I’d have a hard time not just walking up to him and shouting “Sexy American GIRLFRIEND!!!”


  2. Gow Says:

    This is the story of my freakin’ life! I don’t know how I managed to be born into a family filled with people willing to say anything, any time to anyone while I’m cowering in a corner somewhere just wishing the earth would open up and swallow me.

    Pass me a tranq dart please.


  3. cassiebehle Says:

    Is the whole bit about people not being allowed to “technically” die in Disneyland really true?? EIther way, great story!


  4. Maria Says:

    Another fun read with you! You mix humor with travel/human interest/culture and it always turns out to be one of the best reads of my week.

    Keep the darts in their special pouch but carry them w/you… just in case.


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