The Chinese Take Out Experience

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Spending your childhood working as a counter staff in a Chinese Take Out is a great way to grow up. Fortunately, this is a standard industry practice and the kids get a healthy dose of dealing with model citizens who are verbally abusive and condescending. We also run into a lot of wacky and eccentric characters. So, here is a list of some of the most interesting characters I have met:

The “I’m from Brooklyn, so I want the Brooklyn Ghetto price”

These are the people of darker complexion who are used to the hustle and bustle of Brooklyn. They are from the ghettos where the Chinese Take Outs used to accept food stamp before the Feds went into and cleaned them out. Anyway, they only order fried chicken or chicken wings with rice/plantain/French fries. They want extra ketchups and sauce. They will yell at you, roll their eyes, act tough, hit on my sisters and do those tough NYC thugs walk.

I know, I know, you’re tough and you’re a thug. Baby, I’m 6’ tall, 225 pounds, I wrestle and I play football. I am standing next to a fryer with 10 gallons of frying oil at 350 degrees. Hypothetically speaking, I can scoop up this hot oil with a metal scoop, pour it on you and make an order of delicious “Krispy Brooklyn Skins.” Would you like to try that? I also have about 15 sharp meat cleavers that I can use to dismember your joints. After de-boning chicken for 8 years, I know exactly how to cut through your arm, trim the ligament around your elbow and separate your lower arm from your upper arm. Would you like the sensation of not using your arm ever again?

The “Does Anyone Speak English Here” people

These people come in and automatically assume that they will be greeted by some character out of a SNL, Mad TV or Seinfeld Spoof. I am going to an Ivy league school next year and your son has a weed habit and still lives at home at the age of 26. How do I know? The stench from his room was unbearable and you’re just living in denial.

The Health Department

They are usually people who are in their late 40’s with a clip board showing up unannounced during your busiest lunch hours want to see if you keep cooked rice at room temperature. They are jaded, hate their jobs and essentially cocksucker who can close down your store if they feel like it.

Double standards.

They never question the pizza places for keeping meat, diary and cooked carbohydrates at room temperature for the entire day. Supposedly bacteria grows exponentially in meat, diary and cooked carbohydrates and only needs about 4 hours before it makes people sick. Okay, that slice of anchovy/pineapple pizza has definitely been sitting there since 9 AM and it’s 7 PM now. But, the health department don’t give a fuck. But, when they come in to the Chinese take out, they say, you keep cooked rice at room temperature. Asshole, when I sell 50 quarts of pork fried rice at lunch, I have to put the cooked rice in a container close to the wok so that I can easily access it and cook it again to customer order. So, let’s do the math. I make a batch of 50 quarts of cooked rice. I keep it in a large rice cooker that keeps it at 150 degrees. This is a safe temperature for rice. Now, during lunch time, I take out 15 quarts of rice at time and place it close to the wok so I can mix pork, shrimp or chicken with the rice and stir fry it until it reaches over 200 degrees. The 15 quarts of rice are only exposed to room temperature for 60 minutes before we use up all of them. But, you don’t give a fuck. You come in, you see cooked rice and you slam us with a ticket for $500. Quit your job and help a brother out.

The “My son is an honor student…”

These are mostly Jewish moms and some Jewish dad who would come in and talk about how smart their scrawny, socially inept and weasel looking children are. They are the pride of the family and they even have that generic bumper sticker that proclaims “My son is an honor student at @^@%^ High School.” Fuck you, I carried a 96 GPA in High School and I was the one who fucked up the curve on the test. Quit bragging. You know your life sucks and you’re just trying painfully hard to live it through bragging about your children’s accomplishment.

The “My son is an athlete…”

These are blue-collar fathers who were once an okay athlete at the High School level. Since, they never made it to at the college or professional level; they are pushing their kids to excel. These are the parents who enrolled their kids in Pee Wee football, youth wrestling camps, youth baseball camp etc. Once again, they are living their dreams through their kids as well.

Look if your son is doing better than his peer because you have been pushing him since he was 4 to play Pee Wee football, it’s not really that impressive. Your son really isn’t that good anyway. It’s just that he is afraid of disappointing you. For Christ’s sake, he can’t even think for himself. Oh, so he’s gonna earn a college scholarship. Okay, he will go to college, play Division 3 football and then get depressed because he will realize that there are black athletes who immigrate to this country from Africa who picked up football in their senior year of High School. These guys never lifted weights in their life. After 4 weeks on a college weightlifting program, your son is still 5’ 8” and 170 pounds. His African import teammate is 6’2”, 235 pounds, runs a 4.4 40, bench press 350 pounds, and squats about 600 pounds. So, after 10 years of being the jock in the same school district, your son is now a D-3 washout who also happens to be dumb and ignorant.

P.S. Remember # 65 who demolished your son when he carried the ball in the 1st quarter? That was me.

The “I called 2 hours ago, where’s my food…”

Okay, you didn’t call 2 hours ago. You called 30 minutes ago. I know, I know, we’re a bit behind schedule. But, it’s fucking Friday night and everyone is ordering food. So, stop yelling into the phone, because I know where you live and I’ll be glad to come over with 6 of my football buddy and flip your car. How’s that for a practical joke?

The “You messed up my order…”

For $30, you ordered

Steam Chicken and Broccoli, with extra chicken, less broccoli, but you don’t want to pay extra money for the extra chicken, spicy black bean sauce on the side, and brown rice instead of white rice. In the sauce, you want no salt, MSG or sugar.

Roast Pork Lo Mein with no mushroom or bean sprouts. Instead of the regular seasoning, you want the spicy garlic sauce instead.

Bar-B-Q ribs, extra sauce, well done but not burnt, cut in half.

General T’so Chicken with white meat, extra spicy, roast pork fried rice instead of white rice and mixed veggies instead of broccoli.

You want forks, knives, spoons, sauces, napkins, plates, fortune cookies, and the whole nine yards and you want each order bagged separately with separate receipts. And you intend to pay separately.

Okay, fuck you. I run a Chinese take out. My sign does not say “Florist or gourmet cookies for all occasions” I am not making $30 on that steamed chicken and broccoli dish alone. And would you just collect the money. Because you’re not good at doing arithmetic either.

The “I want store credit, money back and etc…”

You eat your food and then you decided that it tasted awful. But, you ate it all. If it’s awful shouldn’t you eat a little bit and be turned off and not finish the whole fucking 2 pounds of Moo Shu Chicken? Oh, it tasted awful, but I only ate 2 pounds of it.

I hope that God glue your asshole shut permanently. So, you have to eat and shit out of your mouth for the rest of your life. Maybe then, you will know what truly tastes awful.

The Mexican supermarket producer staff

Those are actually the easiest people to take care of. They don’t speak a lot of English. They don’t demand much. They never order alterations. The amigos just want to their Camarones con Broccoli y Coke. Everyone comes in in hordes of 10-20 and you bang out $50-$100 of lunch in 20 minutes. Once in a while, you get a guy who’s really FOB (Fresh off the boat), he doesn’t know how to say Shrimp and Broccoli with Fried Rice. So, I get to practice my high school Spanish. “Que quieres?” “Quierro Camerones con Broccoli con Arroz Fritas y un Coke para aqui.” “Okay, Shrimp & Broccoli with Fried Rice to stay”

They annoy me when they hit on my sisters. It is no secret that the Mexicans have a reputation for publicly proclaiming their dirty lust for any biped that wears a skirt. They don’t even care if that biped has cankles. I guess they like ‘em thick and juicy, slap the thighs to generate waves, ass so thick that it is the ultimate shock absorber. That’s when I tell the amigos that they will not get their food if they keep this up.

The angry white people who work at Supermarket making $7 an hour

These are the people that make LI/NYC famous for being rude etc. They are people who never gave a damn about school, have a few bad habits, and just can’t seem to make ends meet. They are perpetually angry but never blame it on their lack of intelligence or lack of motivation to achieve. They have that characteristic “I’m pissed off, fuck you, fuck you, fuck you, fuck the immigrants taking my landscaping job, fuck the government for raising my tax, fuck my wife for being a bitch, fuck my kids for being such fucking brats and retards, fuck the customers who are bitching at me.” It is best to get ‘em their food and try to not to make eye contact with them. They will sit there, pissed, baffled by the fact that they are 30+ years old and they are gutting fish or slicing pastrami at a Supermarket. So much for white people being dominant, oh well.

The Stripper who greeted me with her bare beautiful tits

There is a strip club close to my take out. They order once in a while and my brother and I would fight over who gets to deliver this order. This is when he was still a sophomore in HS and before my parents found out that we were fighting over delivering to a strip club. I showed up to a dark place that looks like a bar. I told the receptionist that I have Chinese food for Sally. She paged her and she came out wearing G String and baring her beautiful 36 D silicon free tits. This was back in the days when I worked out 5 times a week and looked like Rick Yune (Asian Mafia guy from Fast and the Furious and the Villain from one of the Bond Movie). She had beautiful, freshly shaven and toned legs and wavy brown hair. And her tits are simply buxom and juicy. I think I might have said, “Can I burry my face in those.” I am not sure. But, she thought that I was cute and gave me a peck on the cheeks and felt up my bicep for a little bit. I don’t know where her crotch or her mouth has been, but I probably wouldn’t hesitant to wrap myself snuggly in latex and rail the living daylight out of her.

The 3 Jewish American Princesses who charges their $4.61

There are these three JAPs that used to come in during the summer of 2001. One was about 5’ 10” and had a muscular frame. She had average facial features. One was smaller, cute face, but had chubby arms and legs and ass that were too thick for me. The other one was hot. But she reeked of JAPness and talked in that patented and proprietary Long Island Jewish American Princess style. Essentially, if we can put all three of those girls into a huge blender and mix them up and then meticulously rebuild them drawing from favorable characteristics of each individuals and we might be able to come up with a cool hot chick. But, that’s just a fantasy. They are probably in their mid 20’s, going out to the Hampton a lot looking to score a sugar daddy or a marry rich.

During the summer, I used to work the counter and wear a wife beater. It is about 120 degrees in the kitchen, so obviously there were sweat that streaked down my neck into my pecks and my biceps had a glistening coat of definition enhancing salty moisture on it. I speculated that they had flashing thoughts of hooking up with the “Beast from the Far East.” At the same time, I’m sure they deliberate on the fact that I was a college age guy who worked behind a counter in a Chinese Take Out. I wonder what those whores are doing these days. BTW, they used to charge their lunches on their credit card, so they can save their cash for going out in the Hampton on the weekend. I have 2 advices I’d like to give. 1) If you’re hot, you don’t need money to go out. So, accept the fact that you’re not hot. 2) If you’re charging your lunches so you can have cash for going out, then you shouldn’t be going out. Work and build some wealth.

The gay guy who appears to be an Alpha Male at first

There was this guy who drove a BMW, dressed GQ, had an Adonis physique, very well groomed and carried himself like a dominant heterosexual Alpha Male. I didn’t suspect that he was gay because he had too much toughness to himself and he was very reserved whenever he ordered food. I was thinking “Good for you buddy, you’re doing the male population a favor by getting ass.” Well, I can assure you that he does get a lot of ass and maybe even give a lot of ass as well. But, I doubt that he gets a lot of pussy. Sure, he could’ve if he wanted to.

It all happened one day, when the BMW pulled up and parked in the fire lane right in front of the store. Everybody does that, park in the fire lane. A bunch of femme gay guys came out of the car. Then he came out as well. I never thought of the connection before, but now it makes sense. They ordered their food and the femme gay guys put on a show of “hey, OMG, I’m so flamboyantly loud, can you notice me?” I don’t care if a guy wants to eat pussy or suck dick or put it in the pussy or in the ass or take it in the ass. That’s their choice. But, I am somewhat annoyed if you’re just an attention grabbing “homosexual who is trumpeting your presence.” I guess you can’t ever judge a book by its cover.

The astonishing girl who works for an alarm company located on Lauman Lane

Hi, if you are reading this, I would like to go out with you. Despite that fact that you are clearly 5 years older than me, I think that it would be a good time. You were a hottie who always smiled at my brother and I. You didn’t speak much, but my brother and I have long fallen in love with you. We are infatuated with your angelic face, your devilishly hot body, your soft skin, your hair that waved as you walk toward us with your $18.29 + $2.71 as tips for us. I never bring girls home to meet and greet my mother. But, I will make an exception for you.

The people who lived 7 miles away and ordered delivery

Inspired by the success of my uncle who delivers to Queens when his take out is in Nassau County, my father decided that we need to expand our service territory. So, he started advertising in this town that was in the middle of nowhere. It is 7 miles away, we have to jump on the expressway and then connect onto another expressway and then somehow drive through meandering roads in this community of houses. First of all dad, I respect you a lot. You came here in the early 1980’s with nothing but $5 in your pocket, the American dream and absolutely no knowledge of the English knowledge or American culture, you sent 4 kids through good colleges. You are an intelligent and capable individual. But, you’re an absolute idiot for advertising to deliver Chinese food at locales 7 miles away. And to the nice lady who loves our Chinese food, b/c she lives in the middle of nowhere, you’re a really nice woman. But you should stop ordering from us. Because, when the kitchen is chaotic on a Friday night and my father is threatening the customers, we do not need a to go to Siberia to drop off a $30 delivery. Btw, you’re very pretty for a mom, but you’ve got quite a donk, junk in the trunk, shock absorber, cushion for the pushing… might want to work on that.

The nursing home staffs

This is probably the group who are the most pissed off at the world. Does life get any worse than looking after a bunch of old people who are ready to kick. I mean, sure old people resemble babies and babies are really cute. So, old people should be cute as well. I mean, they both have no teeth, no hair, can’t do anything on their own, needs help with everything, wet their bed, say incoherent things, have wrinkly skin, drool excessively, difficult to feed and cry excessively at times. I mean, they are essentially the same thing, but one is about 15-30 times the size of the other. Well, have you ever been to a nursing home. It makes me seriously consider taking gene therapy when I get older, die young or take lots of growth hormone and just die of a ridiculously fast acting malign cancer. It is unfair that everyone love babies and everyone despise old people. The staffs spend their days feeding these patients, changing their soil sheets, give them medication that the patients adamantly refuse to take. They are the bitch for these patients and they hate every single fucking moment of their lives. Okay, I sympathize with you. But don’t make my life miserable by not tipping because you collect everybody’s money and then decided to give me $2 and keep the rest of the tips for yourself. I know your trick. You keep the rest of the tips so you don’t have to pay for your meal. That’s why time after time, you’re the one who ask your colleagues if they want to order Chinese food for lunch and dinner day after day.

The family who consistently orders $72 of food and tips $2

This family buys $72 dollars of Chinese every week. Do you know what $72 of Chinese food delivery looks like? It is a huge cardboard box with all these metallic and paper containers and it weighs as much as the last fat chick that you bagged. Of course, these are polite people who want their food the moment they call and they are so polite to ask for enough sauces and fortune cookies to last Napoleon’s army through a Russian winter. I would personally carry this mammoth cardboard box normally designated for moving purpose up the stairs into their house. Then they will do a spot check of $72 of Chinese to make sure that we didn’t screw ‘em over by leaving anything out. Then they climax the whole experience by saying “oh, this is for you, a whopping $2”

Okay, I know, sometimes you have to take some losses. I’ll pay for gas out of my pocket. But, bitch, I can’t even wipe my ass with 2 Washingtons even when I am fasting. So, please be considerate to my ass wiping the next time you order $72 of Chinese food.

Anyway, it has been 12 years, and I finally got this rock off this chest. I am actually a nice person who cooks quite well. I now have about 8 years of experience cooking Chinese food. I would later learn how to cook American and French cuisines at an Ivy Fraternity. Thank God that these experiences are over and done with. We finally sold the restaurant and I no longer have to ask “Do you wnat fried rice or white rice with it.” My best friends do occasionally bitch about not getting free Chinese food anymore. Oh well, you win some, you lose some. I’m telling you, the Chinese food counter boy will one day grow up to be the guy who takes over Wall Streets. So, next time you order Chinese food, just ponder which character are you.

If you’re that girl from the alarm company located on Lauman Lane, I want to take you out for drinks.

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Original Source: best of craigslist: The Chinese Take Out Experience




One thought on “The Chinese Take Out Experience

  1. Oh, that is so funny! I like your stories a lot. Very funny stuff. I am an East Coast raised Chinese American. Our family did not have a Chinese takeout, but I have observed a lot of the characters you describe as customers at many Chinese takeouts I have gone to in the past and just wondered how you folks were able to put up with all this rudeness/weirdness/stinginess from your customers.

    Thanks for writing this. This is the best thing I have read all week.

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