Leapdragon 2016 - Aron Hsiao Was Here

A day in late September  §

Conventional wisdom tells us never to order from any Chinese restaurant that circulates full-color delivery menus, taking such extravagance to be a sure sign that a proprietor doesn’t know how to run a business. It’s an overreach for a cut-rate noodle shop at best. At worst, it can be out-and-out fraud.

But I thought I’d give it a try nonetheless, and so at 11.15 am I ordered a lunch combo and some wontons on the side (to meet the delivery minimum) from a place in Astoria with an exceptionally nice full-color delivery menu, after which I immediately returned to reading and grading the pile of paper of various kinds that currently lives on my desk.

At 12.55, having completely forgotten about my order and feeling vaguely hungry for no reason that I could explain, I walked Shandy for a few minutes before having to go to Manhattan for a pedagogy seminar. At 1.10 as Shandy and I returned, my phone immediately rang. I answered.

“Open the door! Open the door!”
“Who is this?” I asked.
“You order food?” asked an annoyed-sounding voice on the other end.
A light bulb went on over my head.
“Chinese food?”
“You order?”
“Yes I did,” I said, “at 11.15! It’s almost 1.15 now!”
“So why you walk your dog now?” asked the annoyed voice on the other end of the line.
“I walked him because I totally forgot about you coming—like I said, I ordered at 11.15!”
“Well I here now so why you walk your dog, make me wait?”

It took several moments and a truly heroic suspension of incredulity for me to realize that he was actually scolding me for making him wait five minutes to deliver a two-hour-late order totaling only two items and eight dollars. I told him I’d buzz him in and then I hung up.

He presented at the door with an annoyed look on his face. When I paid for the order in exact change with no tip, the annoyed look gave way to malice—full-on ill-will.

I shut the door and began to tie my shoes before leaving forthe subway.

Fall will be here any moment, but for now it’s 80+ heat with 80+ humidity. :-/

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