Got the Money Anyway
(A Comic Piece for the CCTV Spring Festival Gala 2009)
Play script by Cui Kai et al.
Uncle Zhao, acted by Zhao Benshan
Shenyang, acted by Shen He
CCTV Man, acted by Bi Fujian
Yadar, acted by Wang Jinfeng (Mao Mao)
编创者 崔凯 等
(This short play is set in a restaurant named "Scottish Taste / Feel." Uncle Zhao, in his customary Chinese tunic suit, enters, carrying a string of garlic on his back and a pheasant in hand, with his granddaughter Yadar in tow.)
毛毛： 爷爷，你念反了，苏格兰情调（qíng diào）。
Uncle Zhao Here we are.
Yadar Here we are.
Uncle Zhao It's the most pricy eatin' spot in Tieling: "Scottish Tease / Fool."
Yadar You got it wrong - Scottish taste / feel, not tease / fool.
Uncle Zhao All right, taste / feel. We're gonna have our meal here anyway.
Yadar But it's very expensive.
Uncle Zhao So whut? We've got the money, 30,000 yuan. Where's the bag?
Yadar What bag?
Uncle Zhao The yellow one with the money in it.
Yadar Oh no, I left it on the brick bed.
Uncle Zhao So whut can you do at all? I'm goin' t'rough all this for you and you had the nerve to forget the bag on the bed! Any money left on you?
Yadar Let me see... (Fumbling) only 70-plus yuan.
Uncle Zhao Here's 400 more.
Yadar Still not enough.
Uncle Zhao No matter. Waiter!
(Shenyang, the waiter, enters.)
Shenyang Sorry, sir. We're of high class here. We don't take on stuff from street peddlers.
Uncle Zhao We're your customers. Don't we look like it?
Shenyang Not quite.
Uncle Zhao We're gonna have an important meal here, miss.
Shenyang Don't you call me a miss. I'm a man - from the inside out.
Uncle Zhao Then how c'me you wearin' a skirt?
Shenyang Why, it's men's wear in Scottish style. See, it's no skirt but Capri pants. Look at this, look. Oh, damn it, I didn't get into one of the trousers in a hurry. No wonder I feel different while walking.
Uncle Zhao Leave that trouser for tomorrow, hah! I tell you, boy, we're gonna have a damn' important guest here in a minute. You should do you' best.
Shenyang No problem.
Uncle Zhao How much does a meal cost here if we get at it like mad?
Shenyang Why so / What's wrong?
Uncle Zhao I mean if we order nothin' but the best.
Shenyang About 10,000 to 20,000.
Uncle Zhao Whut if s'mebody eats today and pays tomorrow?
Shenyang You'll give me an IOU?
Uncle Zhao Not that. I've got the money anyway. Take this.
Shenyang What's it?
Uncle Zhao A tip for you.
Shenyang You do understand people / things / the world, sir - you look cool!
Uncle Zhao Whut's a hundred yuan to me! Still, you ain't get it for nothin'. When my guest c'mes, you put on a show with me. If I order expensive food, you should stop me doin' so.
Shenyang Like how?
Uncle Zhao Showin' due respect for my guest, yes. Spendin' too much on a meal, no. Whut if I ask for somethin' dear?
Shenyang I'll say "sorry, this we don't have."
Uncle Zhao You're smart. C'me, here's another 30 yuan.
Shenyang I'm not gonna cheat you when it comes to prices.
Uncle Zhao Thank you, boy.
Shenyang Nothing much.
Yadar Grandpa, I'm hungry.
Uncle Zhao How much's a bowl of noodles?
Shenyang 78 yuan.
Uncle Zhao Whut noodles can be so expensive?
Shenyang Scottish sauced noodles.
Uncle Zhao Does the sauce cost much, too?
Shenyang It's free.
Uncle Zhao Get us a bowl of sauce, so we can see whether the taste's right. Quick.
Shenyang That's no way to serve a meal, sir.
Uncle Zhao You think so only becuse I didn't show up here before. Now it's time to make s'me change.
Shenyang (to himself) Had I said the noodles are free, he would've asked for noodles.
Uncle Zhao (to Yadar) Listen here, Yadar. When Mr. Bi from CCTV's Starlight Broadway c'mes, you must show you' best, OK? It's the best opport'nity for you' own future. Grandpa's been preparin' you over the past 40-plus years.
Yadar Grandpa, see how old I am now.
Uncle Zhao I prepared you' daddy for 30 extra years. Though he ain't good enough, he's the chief of the township's cultural center. So you really should outdo him. Can you make it or not?
Yadar I can.
Uncle Zhao Swear if you're serious.
Yadar The Yangtze River like the Hong waters rolls on and on,
Each wave behind higher than the one at the front.
Young people are born to challenge their elders;
I'll beach my daddy like... like a wrecked old ship.
Uncle Zhao Good for you / Well said!
(Shenyang enters again.)
Shenyang Here's the sauce for you.
Uncle Zhao (to Yadar) Eat this, so you won't be too hungry.
Yadar Grandpa, it's a bit salty.
Uncle Zhao (to Shenyang) Fetch her s'me water to drink.
Shenyang You mean free water?
Uncle Zhao Just plain boiled water, you miser.
(Bi Fujian, MC / anchorman of CCTV's Starlight Broadway program, enters.)
Shenyang Why, aren't you that one - Zhujun! Oh sorry. Bai Yansong? Oh no. Or a Bi something! Are you Mr. Bi?
CCTV Man I'm Bi Fujian.
Shenyang Come here everyone, it`s Mr. Bi here. (To CCTV Man) Why are you hanging out here, sir? Hurry up! Come here! He can go elsewhere at any minute.
Uncle Zhao Whut the hell's going on? Anythin' to be so fussy abut? You're being hounded by a wolf?
Shenyang He's Mr. Bi...
Uncle Zhao I know, an' he's the guest I'm honored to keep comp'ny today.
Shenyang Gosh, can I have a picture taken with you, Mr. Bi?
Uncle Zhao (to Shenyang) Wait, wait. (To CCTV Man) Welc'me, Mr. Bi.
CCTV Man Nice to meet you.
Uncle Zhao I've been waitin' all this time for you.
CCTV Man Thanks a lot really. May I have your name please?
Uncle Zhao Which man did you expect to see?
CCTV Man I'm looking for Zhao Tiezhu, chief of Lotus Township's cultural center.
Uncle Zhao You got it. Here's his daddy and I'm...
Yadar Zhao Tiezhu is my daddy.
Uncle Zhao An' I'm Tiezhu's daddy. Aren't you lookin' for a dad... I mean it's right to be looking my way.
CCTV Man Hi, daddy... I mean buddy. So where's your son?
Uncle Zhao He's at the township waitin' for you. Local government officials all lining up, too, to pay their pious respects to you. With enormous care they've prepared a great hall, a big room, with a large photo of you hung in the middle. Flowers all around.
CCTV Man What're the colors of the flowers, buddy?
Uncle Zhao They're all in white and yellow. Lots of folks' waiting for you with signature pens in hands, tears spillin' all over.
CCTV Man Why's that?
Uncle Zhao They're excited.
CCTV Man Let's go there, then.
Uncle Zhao The center asked me to feast you here in town first. How abut that?
CCTV Man Why here?
Uncle Zhao Here we've got the best restaurant in Tieling. Do c'me this way please.
CCTV Man But I've had my meal on the plane.
Uncle Zhao You're my guest, so please follow my arrangements.
Shenyang A picture of the two of us, please.
CCTV Man (to Shenyang) You're... a male waiter?
CCTV Man You look awfully, awfully sweet, boy.
Uncle Zhao I, too, took him to be a woman when I first came. How funny he is dressin' up like this? Sit down here. Did you enjoy your trip?
CCTV Man Yes, quite.
Uncle Zhao We mus' be fellow townsmen.
CCTV Man Are we?
Uncle Zhao Ain`t you from Dalian?
CCTV Man Sure.
Uncle Zhao Which part?
CCTV Man Old Turtle Bend.
Uncle Zhao Where her mummy's daddy used to live, too. So we're even relatives.
CCTV Man (to Yadar) What`s his name?
Yadar Bi Menting.
CCTV Man Your grandpa must be good at playing mahjong.
Uncle Zhao Why?
CCTV Man The name sounds like a mahjong term.
Uncle Zhao That matches you' nickname "Bi Mengpao," as you're a mahjong man you'self.
CCTV Man Just Bi Fujian.
Uncle Zhao Yeah, whut an... well, I'm really... (To Yadar) Look, he smiles like the last picture of you' dead grandpa.
Yadar Look, even more like it when he doesn't.
CCTV Man So I'm hopeless either way.
Uncle Zhao The girl's much closer to her maternal grandpa than to me. Sort of cried her heart out when he died. Say hello to you' new grandpa.
Yadar (kneeling down / with a kowtow) How do you do, grandpa.
CCTV Man Don't, please. It`s Spring Festvial now, and I should've given you some gift money.
Uncle Zhao Don't bother with that, sir. You're indeed...
Shenyang We haven`t had our picture taken, sir.
Uncle Zhao (to Shenyang) We haven't ordered our dishes yet. Put this damn' thing away. We'll see whut to eat first. C'me.
Shenyang Just one picture, please.
Uncle Zhao Serve the meal first.
Shenyang What if he runs away after the meal?
Uncle Zhao Who will? Mr. Bi's a modest man, coming all his way from Beijin' to give us folks a chance. Don't you say a thing like that. (To CCTV Man) I'm whut they call a "country pumpkin," my dear in-law, not really knowin' how to treat a guest. So you please order the dishes.
CCTV Man Don't be too polite. You do it.
Uncle Zhao Now we peasants have got rich, much better off than before. Eat as much as you want, it ain't gonna be a big deal anyway. Please give me the menu.
CCTV Man Don't be extravagant, buddy.
Uncle Zhao Australian abalones, four.
Shenyang Sorry, they're out of stock.
CCTV Man Too expensive anyway. Let's move on down.
Uncle Zhao Lobsters of 2 kilos each.
Shenyang Sorry, nothing that big.
Uncle Zhao Whut kind do you have?
Shenyang Half a kilo each.
Uncle Zhao Somethin' you really have?
Shenyang Yes we do... or no?
Uncle Zhao C'me on, boy, it's you take care of things here. Don't you know whut you've got an' whut not? I'll ne'er shortchange you.
Shenyang So no, we haven't got lobsters.
CCTV Man Let me have a look. Even less need for ordering shark's fin.
Uncle Zhao I won't. Once a sharp bone in a fish got stuck in my t'roat. I tried to remove it by swallowin' lumps of rice an' softenin' it with vinegar. It didn't work, though. I was then rushed to hospital to get it picked back out with s'me tweezers. So, sharp stuff jus' won't do.
CCTV Man Not included on the menu, anyway.
Uncle Zhao This restaurant's got nothin' to serve. You've wasted you' chance to make customers happy. A disgrace to my greatest guest Mr. Bi. Where's you' boss? Get him here.
Shenyang No boss, sir.
Uncle Zhao Run out of a boss as well?
Shenyang Well... the boss is out.
Uncle Zhao Where's he?
Shenyang No idea.
Uncle Zhao Whut the hell shall we have to eat, then?
CCTV Man Just something homely.
Uncle Zhao All right, homely fare then. A lovely little pheasant boiled with mushrooms.
Shenyang I'm sorry, sir.
Uncle Zhao That's whut you can have.
Shenyang Something we really don't have.
Uncle Zhao All right, serve the one we brought. Get it here, Yadar. Lucky we didn't c'me with empty hands.
CCTV Man No, buddy...
Uncle Zhao I thought you could take it back to Beijin'. As you can't, we might as well finish it up here an' now.
CCTV Man Pheasants are forbidden for consumption.
Uncle Zhao This one's grown at home. Cook the wild mushrooms, too, in a high-pressure cooker till they're th'roughly done. So far we've got one dish ready. C'me here, dumb bell.
Shenyang What did you say?
Uncle Zhao I mean plus a dumb egg.
Shenyang We don't have any, sir!
Uncle Zhao I do. All right...
CCTV Man Buddy...
Uncle Zhao Stir-fry the eggs with the green onions.
CCTV Man Why bother yourself with every ingredient when coming to a restaurant?
Uncle Zhao They've got no stuff like this here. Not even if you're willin' to pay. See, we've got two dishes in all an' that's fine! (To Shenyang) Now I'm givin' you a chance to show you're truly hospitable, with Mr. Bi here.
Shenyang We'll serve one dish for free. You're too mean, sir, getting us to compliment you with one dish without ordering any yourself!
Uncle Zhao I did place my order, boy. But whut did you have, abalones or lobsters?
Shenyang Is it up to me to say yes?
Uncle Zhao Is it up to me, then? How ridiculous!
Shenyang Cut it out, sir. If I say yes, who knows what'll happen next?
Uncle Zhao Have you got the things or not? Not that I ain't get the money.
Shenyang This I know, sir, but with Mr. Bi here, perhaps only for once, can't you stop being so stingy? I am still young, but I see life can be so very short, it sometimes is much the same as taking a sleep. Eyes closed, eyes opened, and a whole day is over. Eyes closed but never opened again - then your whole life is over.
CCTV Man That`s wit! / What a master of wit!
Uncle Zhao Not wit, he's a waiter. / To me, he jus' stings like shit!
Shenyang I didn't mean to offend you, sir.
Uncle Zhao Then whut did you mean?
Shenyang One shouldn't set too much stock on money. What good can it do, really? The most
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