“Psssssshhhhht!” and Two Other Stories.

Filipino parents have a “pssssshhhht” sound that’s like a choke chain; when you hear it, you turn the hell around.  It’s a loud, turbulent sound that cuts through the white noise like your mama’s flip flop that found the back of your head.  It’s like The Dog Whisperer’s attention sound, only sharper and more angry.

I psssssshhhht’ed my parents’ terrier-chihuahua Yoda  today, for barking at the mexi-neighbors.  Usually there’s a constant stream of bass booming from that house across the alley, so much so that you can barely hear the vietnamese karaoke further down the alley.  When the mexas came back, Yoda started yipping at them through the steel door.  I was standing over him at the time, and I psssshhhht’ed him hella hard; he jumped back and immediately put on his “sorry” ears.


This morning after the breakfast dishes, mama and I went to Home Depot and bought a carpet shampooer, to rescue my 12 year old carpet from the wrath of the little dogs.  We bought one, after zero help from the staff, and then stopped at McPhereson’s.  I kept reminding mama that they’re heading home in a couple days, but she couldn’t resist getting some oranges, strawberries, white peaches, papaya, watermelon, carrots… seriously, we only stopped to buy celery!

When we got home, we struck out right away for the light rail station and took link to the ID to attend the “Dragon Fest.”  It seemed less corporate this year.  Still, Ronald McDonald was on the main stage, boring everyone when we arrived. Seriously:  BORING.  Soon the Dragon, lion, and dog dance came, thank goodness, and after that were some kung fu weapons performances.  Mama bought a bag from the hippy bag vendor.

So the restaurants in the ID offered $2 samples; each time they’d stamp a special stamp card, and then when you got four stamps you could turn in your card for an unspecified prize drawing.  We started out enthusiastically, got two stamps even; but then we said ‘screw it’ and went to 錦棠海鮮酒家 Honey Court for dimsum.

We took the 7 bus home.  It sure was a fun mission, and nice day.


The other day my parents went to the Olympia Farmer’s Market.  Back in the day, my dad was a regular with the oyster guy, who was a big union supporter, so he always gave my dad a discount.  So they recognized each other after all these years, and he sold my dad these absolutely monstrous oysters, as big as a cow’s liver.  My dad was beside himself with the joy of a good deal, because he got them for $8 a dozen, and several of these behemoths were doubles; two giant oysters stuck together for the price of one.

“He said this one is four years old!” exclaimed my dad, joyfully pointing to an oyster as big as a toilet seat cover.  That makes sense to me; my parents moved away from Olympia seven years ago, so it just figures that these giants would be waiting half a decade for my dad to return.  It’s really only the immigrants that like to buy them big; those of us born stateside prefer the tiny, precious ones.

These big ones are too damn big to eat raw; we steamed ’em.  Well, we steamed a few of them.  These were five- and six- bite oysters… we couldn’t get through the whole dozen.  The ones we didn’t eat, they managed to unionize quickly and are refusing to agree to arbitration.

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