Flash Fiction #151
Pammy, her husband Pan, and their son Sam, who’s a sophomore in high school, are having their first breakfast of the new year.
Sam: This homemade soy milk is a little …
Pan: You are right, Sam. It is diluted. I’ve told your mom several times.
Pammy: You know how expensive the soy bean powder is? $4 a pound. We can’t afford to drink undiluted ones. You know with all the mortgage payments and everything. We also have to save for Sam’s college tuition.
Sam: I don’t need to go to college, but I have to have some tasty food.
Pammy: You have to go to college and you don’t need to have tasty food.
Sam: And this rice pancake. It doesn’t taste right. Something is not right here.
Pammy: I added the soy bean grounds into it. After you make a pot of soy milk, the sediments and dregs fall to the bottom. I don’t want to waste them.
Sam: But you always threw them away in the past.
Pammy: Well, not any more.
Sam: And this rice porridge doesn’t taste as fresh. Did you use the leftover rice? You used to say rice porridge has to be made from freshly grounded rice.
Pammy: Yes, I used the leftover rice, un-grounded, from yesterday.
Sam: You used to say Asians don’t eat takeout food or leftovers.
Pammy: Sweetheart, I said that before the inflation came. Now we still don’t eat takeout food, but for different reasons–we can’t afford it. And now we have to eat leftover food and I don’t want one bite to be wasted.
Sam: And where are the fried bacon bits? I need that for my porridge.
Pammy: Sam, bacons are very expensive. The price has doubled. Anyway, we don’t eat bacon. We are proud Asians. Have some Asian pride, will you? Wait, wait, where are you going, Sam?
Sam: I am throwing the rice pancake and rice porridge away and I’m going to meet my friends at…
Pammy: Don’t eat junk food when you are out there…
Sam: What choice do I have? I don’t feel satiated with your poor man’s breakfast here.
Pammy: Wait, are you going to meet that girl again? She doesn’t look Asian to me.
Sam: Stop spying on me. Leave my social network alone. I can’t believe that you often complain about the prejudice against you while you yourself are so prejudiced.
Pammy: OK, Sam, if you have some Asian pride, you will want to have an Asian girlfriend.
Sam: Oh… now I understand why you talk about Asian pride so much nowadays, to the point that we don’t eat bacon anymore; we don’t have a Christmas tree this year. I mean in the past, you were so eager to get me Americanized–to eat more American food and to have a Christmas tree every December. Then you suddenly realized that if I am “too” Americanized, I might get a non-Asian girlfriend, right? I see. I know what you are doing. Now you change your directions abruptly to this Asian pride thing just for the purpose of inducing me to date an Asian. Mom, why do you have to be so scheming?
Pammy: You cannot use the word “scheme” on your own mother. When other people do it, it’s called scheming, but when your mother does it, it is called …