Saturday, September 23, 2023


Ms. Huang, ivory and proper, contorts her face in horror, reaches down for a slipper, and lunges toward the cockroach. She jostles the table, spilling the tea, and missing the roach, leaves a mark on the wall. 

Two of her guests stood up in sympathy. I remained seated.

Really, Ms. Huang, you should think of the roach as a tiny folded amber fan, a silent listener, with breath likely sweeter than that of your aunt, who nearly knocked over her chair. And did you know, Ms. Huang, that roaches groom themselves ceaselessly, are even cleaner than your cat, whose hair now clings to my slacks? In fact, sorry to tell you, the roach’s body hosts less bacteria by far than either my or your fingers—-yes, even your delicate fingers—-not to mention your aunt’s mouth, which just now has bitten a cookie, and soon will start gossiping again. 

A folded amber fan, a slim gold fingernail, hardly heavier than confetti—-and you’ve put a gray mark on your wall. 

QED: Idiocy, Ltd.

Chinese edition / 中文版 : Idiocy, Ltd.

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