Friday, March 13, 2015

Watermelon Hysteria

So, I'm taking the SAT tomorrow, and far from studying or preparing or anything, I am doing what I excel at. I am wasting time.

I have a story, however, that I hope will not be a waste of your time. It is, to me, both a bit terrifying and extremely hilarious. I'll probably make it seem boring, but oh well.
So, grab yourself a cup of (insert favorite drink) and a bowl of (insert favorite snack), and without further ado, let's begin our story.

Firstly, I'd like to paint you a scene. (this isn't really of any importance: it's sole purpose is to make me seem sophisticated). It is a warm summers day (summer 2013), but definitely NOT sunny. The air is heavy and humid and somewhere in the distance, there is a slight rumble of thunder. All around are the sounds of cars, people, and the general sounds of a Chinese city. Yes, we are in China.

I am with my family. This includes Emma, Ben, my dad, my uncle and his fiancee, a great-aunt (I think), my grandpa, and some old family friends or something. I haven't actually met the friends until just this day in question. Maybe it's a Chinese thing, but every time we visit China, we meet hitherto unknown relatives as if my dad is pulling them out of a magicians hat. I swear we have an endless amount of relatives and close family friends!

We have just been at the friend's apartment. The adults have spent about two hours talking and catching up, while we (meaning my siblings and I) were offered a tub of Garrett's Caramel Popcorn. One of the family friends claims that it was from Singapore or something, but for some reason I doubt it. The last time I saw a tub of Garrett's Popcorn, we were in Chicago. NOT Singapore.

Anyways, it's almost dinner time when my one of the friends suggests that we go out to eat a fancy dinner, seeing as its almost time to eat. They decide on a place a couple blocks away, so we gather our things and head out. We walk in pairs, because the sidewalk is a bit narrow, and we arrive at this building. the first floor is a restaurant that looks quite fancy and sophisticated, though it looks slightly unprofessional, because the front door is open and large windows gives us a good view to the grimy and rather sad looking street outside.

A waiter in a fancy suit leads us to a table where we are given menus. I sit between my dad and sister. We let the adults decide what to order, because 1. we can't read Chinese very well, and 2. my dad knows best what we'll eat and what we'll avoid.

It's not until after we've ordered our food that things get interesting.

Without our notice, a grubby and poor looking man from outside has wandered in carrying a sack of watermelons. I'm guessing he's homeless. I'm sitting with my back to the front door, but I turn around just to take in the restaurant's style I guess. I notice him before the rest of our group does, but I don't pay much mind. I suppose he'll realize he's lost or something, and will wander out again. I turn back to the table, and begin a conversation with my sister.

A few minutes later, he sidles up to our table, directly behind my sister and I. He announces that he is here to SELL WATERMELONS, and asks if we'd like to buy one. I jump and turn to look at him. As my gaze slides away from his careworn figure to my dad's surprised face, I hear my great-aunt tell him politely that we aren't interested.

The man looks a little disappointed, but nods his head and walks away. Everyone else at the table turns back to their conversations, but I watch his progress around the room as the hobo walks to every table in the restaurant, offering to sell his watermelons to each of the people sitting there. Finally our food arrives, and I turn back to our table to take in the heaping dishes of Asian food.

We begin eating. The adults pile their plates with food, but I carefully choose from the dishes that smell and look the least offensive. I'm not a big fan of authentic Chinese food. I like fried rice and orange chicken. Not stewed octopus or whatever that jiggly, squishy thing is in the steaming pot. . .

Anyways, the Hobo man seems to have visited every table in the whole restaurant and hasn't managed to sell a single watermelon. He finally circles back to our table, this time determined to sell a watermelon. He asks again if we'd like to buy one, and again, my great-aunt says, "sorry, but no."

He won't take no for an answer.

In no time at all, he's on his knees BEGGING us to buy a watermelon. I feel bad for the poor guy, but frankly, he scares me a little. Upon closer inspection, he seems slightly insane. Our waiter walks over, and calmly tells the man to leave the restaurant, but he remains on his knees, still begging us to buy his watermelon.

Suddenly, he pops up again, and pulls out a watermelon from his sack. He begins pointing out the great qualities of his watermelon to my dad in an urgent, slightly hysterical tone. My dad nods as he talks, and a police man from outside is brought in by the manager of the restaurant. The policeman also politely asks the man to leave, but he ignores the police and talks even faster.

The police doesn't back down. Here is what happens next:

*police grabs hobo by the arm* "Please leave them and go back out side..."

*hobo wriggles free and continues to rave about his watermelon*

*police grabs hobo around the waist and lifts him away from my dad*

*hobo grabs the back of my dad's chair in protest*

My dad is nearly thrown from the chair as my extended family exclaim indignantly. I shrink back away from the flailing man. My dad takes pity on him and says that he'll buy the watermelon, but the poor man is beyond reason. He continues to scream about wanting to sell his watermelon. Besides, the rest of our group, the restaurant manager, AND the police are telling my dad that he doesn't need to and shouldn't buy the watermelon.

At this point most of the rest of the dining room has turned to watch the action. Finally, a back up policeman arrives. With the help of the waiter and the second police, the first policeman drags the man and his watermelons back out onto the street. The police kindly give him some money in exchange for the watermelon, and the man wobbles down the street in search of other customers.

The rest from here is rather anti-climactic. The restaurant manager apologized to my family for the interruption while my siblings and I struggled to hold in our laughter.
Unfortunately, I hadn't had enough sense to pull out my camera and get a video of the whole ordeal. I regret to this day that we don't have a record of this whole scene, as it would make for great home videos. I do have pictures from our group photos taken by the embarrassed and trembling waiter, but I look like a hot mess in them. I have no desire to show off my ugly hair-cut from that summer.

I know that was quite a long story, and hope that you aren't bored out of your mind. I apologize for my seriously lacking writing skill.

Anyways, I thought it was a great story. . .
And I'd better get back to actual work.

x Alexis

1 comment:

  1. :) Don't listen to yourself. I love it when you tell stories!! You're really good at it. Something about how you state what's going on is both endearing and amusing. . . . you can make even zigging and zagging through an airport baggage line entertaining. ;D