[Sca-cooks] Small ladies, big cleavers, was Re: [Sca-cooks Laurel's Prize Tourney

Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius adamantius1 at verizon.net
Thu Jan 24 22:44:23 PST 2008

On Jan 24, 2008, at 11:17 PM, Laura C. Minnick wrote:

> At 06:23 PM 1/24/2008, you wrote:
>> I wonder if Amalric's challenge to me is still in effect? He seemed a
>> little less interested after seeing me work with a meat cleaver, for
>> some peculiar reason ;-)...
>> Adamantius
> Frankly, I'd be more worried about your second! The thought of Susan,
> armed with a cleaver...

Well, while in this case I doubt it would be a problem, there's always  
that remote possibility that she'd decide Amalric was in the right all  
along, and I'd be history.

The thing about her is you never, ever know for sure. All those  
cliches about alleged Asian inscrutability? In her case, they're all  
absolutely true. Ask Annie if you doubt this for even a second...

She never, ever jokes, but once in about every three or four years  
she'll say something screamingly funny, with a completely  
expressionless face, and you could spend the next ten years losing  
sleep, agonizing about whether she was kidding or not. Generally it  
becomes clear you're better off not knowing... and people wonder why I  
don't seem to sleep at night ;-).

Several years ago, when Evil Spawn was maybe nine, we're watching this  
rather cheesy kung-fu movie on television [Iron Monkey -- essentially  
an adaptation of The Curse of Capistrano, a.k.a. The Mark of Zorro,  
set in the Qing Dynasty; lots of fun and containing in its screenplay  
The Single Greatest, Most Disrespectful Insult Ever Directed By One  
Human Being Toward Another*. It also features as a major character  
Wong Fei-Hung, who was a real person of some importance in the history  
of martial arts, and in the political and military history of China.  
There are, literally, hundreds of movies about him. And he also turns  
out to be a distant relative of Susan's.]

So E.S. and I are watching this rather dubious classic, and some  
fifteen minutes before the end comes the Big Scene, the final showdown  
between the Good Guys and the Bad 'Un. For reasons I don't recall,  
there's this sort of forest of pilings driven into the ground at  
various heights, each one only wide enough for an extremely agile  
person to stand on with one foot. There's dozens of them, all within  
leaping distance of one another. Of course, to make this more  
interesting, one has to do this while fighting the villain to the  
death. In the dark. In a driving rainstorm. And naturally, this would  
be no fun unless someone has just spilled several barrels of lamp oil.  
And just as naturally, this lamp oil has recently caught fire.

Susan walks into the room, glances at the screen for a second, and  
speaks, in perfectly ordinary conversational tones.

"I just HATED doing that when I was a kid. But my cousins made me...  
Oh, well!"

My jaw dropped. I missed my chance. Years have passed. On quite a few  
occasions I have almost managed to get the subject of discussion back  
to that movie and her comment. But not quite. I really, really want to  
ask. We'll have been married twenty years in a couple of months. I  
should be able to ask her anything, shouldn't I?

But I'm probably better off not knowing, huh?


*["Your mother would have been better off giving birth to a pork bun  
than to you!"]

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