© 1963 (Renewed) CHAPPELL & CO., INC.
All Rights Reserved
Used by Permission of ALFRED MUSIC

You Call Everybody Darling
Words and Music by Sam Martin, Ben Trace and Clem Watts
(c) 1946 (Renewed) EDWIN H. MORRIS & COMPANY, A Division of MPL Music
Publishing, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
Reprinted by Permission of Hal Leonard Corporation

“I Enjoy Being a Girl”
Copyright © 1958 by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II
Copyright Renewed.
Williamson Music (ASCAP), an Imagem Company owner of publication and allied rights throughout the World. All Rights Reserved.

¶ This book was set in Carat and Equip, both designed by Dieter Hofrichter at Hoftype.


Lauralyn Chow was born, raised, and educated in Edmonton, Alberta. Her first summer job was at a radio station and she later worked as the first in-house lawyer for the Calgary Board of Education (the public school board). She has a B.A. in Psychology, minoring in Sociology, and an LL.B. from the University of Alberta. When she visits Hawaii, which she does frequently, she is often mistaken for a local and once won an air ukulele contest during the Aloha Festivals. She currently resides in Calgary, Alberta.


Chrome paper napkin dispensers, mini-juke boxes at each Formica tabletop booth, a tall paper calendar on the wall at the back featuring a Chinese ink drawing of a pink orchid in a square plant pot, an illuminated analogue wall clock with rectangular flip-down advertising, a small plastic cog flipping the plastic pages of the ads down every fifteen seconds, (Silverwood’s Dairy, Player’s Navy Cut Cigarettes - Filter, Texaco Motor Oils, Allstate Insurance), a jade plant, round white tea pots filled with leaves and boiling water.

Round banquet tables, covered with white cotton tablecloths, in turn covered by large round Lazy Susans, enormous rectangular fish tanks (lyretail mollies, angel fish, neon tetras, bronze catfish, orange swordtails, bleeding heart tetras, kissing gouramis) with aerators disguised as plastic deep sea divers, illuminated cigarette vending machines with chrome-plated pull knobs, behind the host’s desk, a large glass mirror etched with sprays of leaves and flowers.

Small red-and-gold altars, incense spiraling smoke, golden statues, tiny vertical banners of Chinese calligraphy, oranges.

A multi-page English language menu (sometimes bilingual with Chinese writing), plastic laminated, offering forty-seven, eighty-eight, one hundred and twenty-nine, different Chinese dishes, all listed by number. Sometimes, one printed page in the menu for Western cuisine. At the back of the menu, a short list of beverages. No pots of Chinese tea or bowls of steamed rice; these come to the table under their own steam.

A Chinese language menu (never bilingual), written on pink paper, sometimes in a plastic pocket inside the English menu, sometimes in a plastic page protector given only to certain guests, listing at most seven dishes.

An unwritten menu of non-replicable Chinese dishes, food that no other table is served, after Dad goes into the kitchen, only with his son, to visit with his friends, the cooks.

Of course, you are bilingual, English and French (un petit peu). No Chinese, though. In Chinese restaurants, you only eat unscripted, Chinese food from the unwritten menu for the first half of your life. The calendar flips. On your family tree, you get closer and closer to the ground. On your family tree, no one eats from the unwritten menu anymore.

Illiteracy makes you hungry.


Today’s Menu

Number 25. Eight Precious Jewels with Bean Cake

Number 88. Spicy Beef in Lettuce Wraps

Number 183. Seafood-Steam Whitefish with Scallion Chop

Number 57. One Thousand Year Old Eggs

Number 117. Almond Guy Ding

Number 19. Egg Drop Soup

Number 124. Shark’s Fin Soup

Number 29. Fragrant Meats with Chinese Baby Greens

Number 188. “Peeking” Duck

Number 1. A Bowl of Rice, A Plate of Sliced Oranges