The Landlady

April 11th, 2007, 9:15 pm PST by Greg

I believe I have mentioned my landlady before, but I’ll recap. I live in the downstairs apartment; she lives upstairs. She’s an old Chinese woman whose English is, at best, vaguely understandable. Her husband is dead and the kids have moved out, so she likes having somebody else living in the house.

Tonight, her computer did something unexpected and she asked if I could help her. I went upstairs and clicked “okay” in a dialog box. Then, she was feeling a little chatty, so I talked with her for a while.

Part way through the conversation, she was talking about her son growing up. Keep in mind that I only understand about every third word she says at the best of times. I still have no idea what she said, but what I heard was “The… uh… penis… up, down, up down, up down… he.. ah… hurt himself”. Again, that probably wasn’t what she said, but it’s what I got.

Has anybody else ever tried to keep a straight face with an old Chinese woman after she’s just brought up her son’s spontaneous erection injury? It’s about as difficult as you’d think.

The other choice quote was about some relative (didn’t catch which one–maybe a son in-law?): “in the mind… he a little bit slow.”

And, of course, her catch phrase: “I’m a little bit scared”. Bless her heart, she’s a little bit scared of everything: going outside, being in the house alone, going to China, having her granddaughters stay with her, … . The pronunciation (which I know because I’ve heard her say it probably 20 times) is something like “I a liddle beet scaaed.”

She’s really quite sweet. If she feels better about having me live downstairs, I’m kind of happy about that. Just as long as I don’t have to talk about her son’s penis again.

2 Responses to “The Landlady”

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