Friday, February 24, 2012

Humor Break: How I Became the Lapdog

Relationships, if they are healthy, are full of humor.  Life after all, is pretty funny.

Fairly early in our online dating, Minxi decided I needed a nick name.  My birth sign in the Chinese zodiac is the dog so she first decided to name me "Wang Wang."  This is the Chinese word "bark" but for obvious reasons would not do in English.

She the next name she chose for me worked out better.  She chose to call me "xiao gao gao."  Literally translated this works out to "small dog dog" but means something like "lap dog" or "dog for petting."   This is very funny because I'm 6'1" and 200 pounds, not very lap dog sized in the USA and basically a giant in China, where at 5'5" Minxi is considered to be an amazon.

Being named "lap dog" has it's perks.  I get off on the right foot with basically everyone because I give them a good laugh right up front.  When I arrived in Xin Du, Minxi's hometown, I was given a ride to her brother's house.  When I met him, a dignified local business owner about 50 years old, I proudly announced,  "Ni hao.  Wo jaio 'Xiao Gao Gao!'"  Pretty much everyone in hearing distance broke into laughter to hear the first westerner ever to visit town declare that he was a lap dog.  It set the tone for what was a great visit.

I also get along with children really well.  You know how Barney is technically a big scary dinosaur but is really totally a totally harmless guy in a fuzzy purple suit?  Giant white foreigners who call themselves lap dogs have the same effect, especially if they bark, "Wang Wang!"

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