They grill hamburgers, onions, fish cakes, pineapple slices in the backyard and the food is so good. Mrs. Yee surely knows how to prepare all the ingredients. At first everybody is very interested in what Mr. Yee has to say. He tells one anecdote after another, to his own amusement and to the delight of his audience. However soon everybody realizes that he’s only interested in food.
At first the guests are quite polite towards their host, but after a while the fatigue about food topics set in and the guests start to block Goh Yee’s attempt to talk about food. Realizing the general attitude, Goh doesn’t back down. If anything, it perks him up. He fights to drag other people’s topic back to food.
For a while there’s a tug of war going on. His guests are doing their best to talk about the pandemic, children’s school, where to go to find the best hairdresser for Asian hair in New Jersey, soccer games. Goh Yee, the host, tries to talk about planning a group trip for saltwater fishing and where to go to pick fresh peaches. However people are deliberately not showing interest in him, which drives Goh a little mad.
After a while, Goh discovers an opportunity. His 12-year-old son Loong is talking with Lulu, the acknowledged scholar among them, about American Revolution. Goh budges in and says,
“The American Revolution starts from tea leaves, you know?” Goh says.
“Yes, but that’s just a symbol. The Revolution is not about food and drinks.” Lulu says to discourage Goh’s food talk.
“But I don’t believe the revolutionists really dumped the tea leaves. Like what you said, it is a symbol. They just dumped the empty tea chests and carried the tea leaves back home. It’s insane to dump precious tea leaves. I just don’t believe it.” Goh says, who can’t be easily discouraged.
Nobody responds to him and after a brief pause, people are set to go back to talk about other things. Goh is a little desperate in his attempt to attract people’s attention and he says,
“Do you know what kind of food those American revolutionaries ate?” Goh asks. “Anybody knows?”
Now he gets the attention of all his six guests. Goh smiles triumphantly. And he asks the question again, but nobody can answer.
“What do you mean? They ate meat and vegetables and bread. I guess.” People are bewildered.
“Meat and vegetable? That’s too general. I am asking for the specific kind. So you don’t know. You don’t know what kind of food they ate.” Goh says. And with an exaggerated gesture, he pours himself a new cup of rice wine.
Now all eyes are on him and he starts to enjoy himself.
“Now let me tell you. And listen carefully. They ate organic food.” Goh says and gulps down the rice wine, which tastes better than any cup he has ever drunk before.