Masks on the Streets of Asia

They say that if you see a person wearing a mask over his or her nose and mouth on the streets of Asia, that individual is responsibly trying to prevent the spread of his or her germs to others. If you see someone wearing such a mask in the U.S., it’s to keep from catching someone else’s germs.

In the U.S., if you’re sick, you go to work anyway. Everyone does it. For example, a leper named Carol works at my company. She’ll take every opportunity to assure you that her disease is not communicable. You can be sitting in a meeting and somebody at the table will sneeze and Carol will say, “Well, at least right now everybody isn’t breathing in leprosy germs,” and Dave will say, “Well, at least my nose isn’t going to fall off in my coffee.”

The mask thing is one indication that Asians are team players. Which is strange when you consider that China’s best sport is ping pong. There is a safety for the Patriots named Patrick Chung but he’s from Jamaica and he doesn’t look Chinese. It might be that, the population of China running to a billion or so, the Chinese require very large teams for their cultural biases to kick in. The country could support one thousand teams of a million each, but this would have to include, in addition to sports teams, debate teams, drill teams, and casual neighborhood pickup teams. Note that for a basketball team, the shoot-around practice will take so long that it’ll be hard to fit in a game.

Meanwhile, in the U.S., a football player will enter the game with a runny nose. Yet, have you ever seen a player use a kleenex or handkerchief on the field? You understand what this means, snotwise. It’s all about the germs.

They say that conflict is coming between America and China. There are many Chinese in America, but few Americans in China. Chinese-American children are taking piano and violin lessons and acing math and physics exams; American children in China rarely leave the embassy compound. In America, there are many Chinese restaurants; in China, there are a few McDonald’s. So, will Chinese germs find happy, pleasant homes in their welcoming American hosts? Will American germs find any purchase in the countless Chinese hordes, where the Chinese germs are formed into those million-man teams? I have a friend who says that he has “yellow fever,” but he seems OK to me.

One Response

  1. F#%king hilarious. Did you see the Chinese opening Olympic ceremony? It was like one, giant ipad made at Foxcon. If their army is anything like that, we are screwed.
    Americans don’t want you to come to work sick, but if you’re sick, they just want you to come to work.

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