Made in the U.S.A.

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Hong, Soong-gee-dee

Two senior men have been best friends all their lives, and they sometimes do not see eye to eye. Nevertheless, their friendship is unmovable. Not even ingrained bias can weaken their lifelong friendship.

 

 

 

Made in the U.S.A.

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Hong, Soong-gee-dee (????)

 

 

 

 

 

First Edition

By Hong, Soong-gee-dee (????)

© 2020 by Hong, Soong-gee-dee (????)

All rights reserved

 

 

 

 

 

Disclaimer

The following story was inspired by true experiences; but the names of persons, organizations, and locations were changed to protect the privacy of everyone involved.  Therefore, any similarity between any of the names in this story to any known individual, whether living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Hong, Soong-gee-dee (????)

 

Table of Contents

 

Title Page ------------------------------------- i

Copyright ------------------------------------ ii

Disclaimer ---------------------------------- iii

Table of Contents -------------------------- iv

Introduction --------------------------------- vi

 

Chapter Page

1.  At the Yard Sale ----------------------- 01

2.  Japanese Drill Press ------------------- 08

 

 

 

 

3.  The Kia --------------------------------- 13

4.  At the Trade Center ------------------- 17

5.  Chinese Drill Press -------------------- 28

6.  Jill’s Concern -------------------------- 37

7.  George’s Plan -------------------------- 42

8.  Friendship Secure --------------------- 51

Update -------------------------------------- 57

 

 

 

Introduction

Dale’s wife of 40 years had been dead for almost 10 years, and he had not been interested in any other woman until now.

After picking up his tray of McDonald’s Buttermilk Crispy Chicken Sandwich, he scanned the nearly full restaurant and noticed an attractive dark-haired woman who was eating alone at the rear section of the dining area.  He discreetly approached her table and asked:

“Excuse me, . . . is it okay if I join you?  It’s a bit BUSY by the door, and I like to eat where there’s less traffic. . . .”

  The woman looked around the room and noticed that the room was quite full.  She smiled and politely answered:

“Yes, please do.”

Dale thanked her and seated himself across the table from her.  He ate a few bites of his meal and said:

“My name is Dale Z-----.

 I don’t come here very often; how about you?  Do you eat here regularly?”

The woman answered:

“No, this is my first time.  I just moved into the neighborhood; I live within walking distance from here.

Oh, I forgot to introduce myself:  My name is Jill Bradstreet. . . .”

Dale was a faster eater than Jill was, and therefore, even though Jill was already eating when Dale joined her, they finished their meal at the same time.  Hence, Dale asked:

“Since we’re leaving at the same time, I could give you a ride home if you wish.“

Jill thought for a moment and answered:

“No, . . . I don’t think that would be a good idea, maybe some other time.

Thank you just the same.”

Dale had enjoyed Jill’s company, and he wanted to see her again.  He asked:

“Would you be interested in eating together again? . . .”

Jill now felt a bit uncomfortable.  After all, she and Dale were complete strangers.

As for Dale, he definitely wanted to see Jill again, and he was not about to give up so easily.  Therefore, before Jill could answer, he slowly asked:

“A-A-A-h, . . . perhaps I should rephrase my question:  Would you, . . . ah, . . . be interested in eating with me again HERE in a week or so?”

Jill now felt more relaxed.  She replied:

“H-m-m-m, . . . we don’t have to wait THAT long:  How about day after tomorrow, same time?”

Jill’s answer was much more than what Dale had expected.  He quickly answered:

“All right!  You got it!  I’ll be waiting for you here in two days. . . .”

Dale and Jill met again two days later and began a meaningful relationship.  Before long, they were seen together everywhere:  in restaurants, at the movies, in grocery stores, at the mall.  Within three months, they  were inseparable.

 

 

 

 

1.At the Yard Sale

Six months after they met, Dale and Jill arrived at a yard sale and immediately noticed an unusual two-wheeler.  Dale spoke excitedly:

“Whoa!  Look at THAT.  I haven’t seen a bike like that since I was a kid:  I was living in Kentucky when we neighborhood kids saw a six-foot-tall college student trying out his new bike.  He looked extremely awkward and out-of-place, riding such a small bike.  He claimed that the new style, with the 20-inch tires and banana seat, was the latest fad.  He called it ‘Schwinn Sting-Ray.’

I later saw the 1963 ½ model selling for $49.95, but I don’t remember if that was the regular price or the ‘on sale’ price.

Anyway, that bike was made in the United States, not in China:  We weren’t even TRADING with Communist China at the time.”

Jill was not interested in bikes;  she wanted to look at the jewelry and the DVD movies that were halfway across the yard.  So she said:

“H-m-m-m, . . . that’s very interesting, Dale.  This is the first time that I’ve ever seen a bike like this. . . .

Oh! . . . I see some things over there that I want to check out.  I’ll be right back.”

Jill then walked away to look at the jewelry and the DVD movies, and Dale continued to admire the 1963 ½  Schwinn Sting-Ray bike.

Meanwhile, a man nearby had overheard Dale’s comment concerning the bike.  After Jill had walked away, he  casually approached Dale and remarked:

“Yup, . . . just about EVERYTHING is made in China now.  All our jobs are going to China because of their unfair cheap labor.  They’re nothing but CHEATERS.”

Dale was confused.  He asked:

“How are the Chinese cheating us?”

The man answered:

“They sometimes sell their products cheaper to US than they do to their OWN people:  It’s called ‘dumping.’”

Dale was still confused, so he asked:

“What’s wrong with THAT?  Why do WE care if the Chinese give us a better deal than they give to their own people?  Isn’t that what we want?  We’re getting the best price for the product.”

The man replied:

“No, that affects the TRADE balance:  They sell more to US than we sell to THEM, which increases the national debt.”

Dale still could not understand the man’s explanation.  He suggested:

“Well, if that’s the case, . . . then, . . . why don’t we just insist on paying the same price as the CHINESE customers pay?  Wouldn’t that satisfy both parties?  After all, I’m sure that the Chinese manufacturers would gladly accept the larger amount of money from us. . . .”

The man was now becoming exasperated.  He groaned loudly and answered:

“Are you kidding me?  Why would we be dumb enough to pay more than what we have to?  It’s THEIR job to sell us their products at prices that won’t mess up the trade balance.

Besides, their unfair low wages and prices are causing our AMERICAN workers to lose their JOBS, because our manufacturers cannot COMPETE with such low wages and prices.”

Dale still did not understand the man’s explanation, but he decided not to continue the discussion.  He politely thanked the man for the information and excused himself so that he could look for Jill.

Neither Dale nor Jill bought anything at the yard sale:  The prices were too high.

 

 

 

 

2.Japanese Drill Press

A week after the yard sale, Dale’s best friend George called and asked:

“Hi Dale, . . . ah, . . . I’m in the market for a drill press, and I’ll be in town tomorrow to shop around.

I don’t really NEED a drill press, because my 3/8” hand drill is sufficient for my needs.  But I just want one because I came across a couple of them in the ads for under $100.00.

So, . . . do you want to shop around with me tomorrow?  I can pick you up at about 9:30.  I’ll buy you lunch after we’re done looking, okay?”

Dale had nothing planned for the following day, and therefore he eagerly accepted the invitation:

“Okay, I hate to see you buy something that you don’t really need, but I’m willing to go if you pick me up. . . .”

George arrived at Dale’s house the next morning at 9:22, and they went to C and J Hardware, which was 3 ½ miles away.  They saw a small, discontinued, Japanese-made drill press that was on sale for $63.95.

Dale immediately noticed how well-built it was.  He excitedly remarked:

“Wow!  Look how everything is so finely machined:  The parts move so smoothly, and there are no sharp edges to cut your hand.

I think you should buy it right now before someone ELSE buys it.  This is the perfect size for you.  You won’t get a better deal.”

George carefully looked over the drill press, but he was not completely satisfied with it.  He said:

“Well, . . . it’s more than what I want to pay.  I think I can get one cheaper.  Let’s try another place.”

Dale disagreed with George’s reasoning, and he said:

“George, you are NOT going to get anything better for $63.95.  They’re selling this one extra-cheap because it’s the last one in stock:  There are no more of these --  buy it before it’s gone!”

George refused to take Dale’s advice, because he believed that he could buy a drill press at a better price elsewhere.  They went to several more places, but they could not find anything that was cheaper.

They ate lunch at Burger King before going home disappointed:  George was unhappy because he could not find a cheaper drill press, and Dale was disgusted because George had refused to accept his advice.

 

 

 

 

3.The Kia

Two weeks after George’s failed shopping experience for a cheaper drill press, Dale and Jill were visiting Dale’s next-door neighbors Alan and Sue.  They all were sitting on lawn chairs in the front yard when Alan happened to notice a foreign-made car passing by, and he casually remarked:

“Well, there goes a piece of sh-- from South Korea.”

Dale asked:

“What is it?”

Alan answered:

“It’s a Kia.  It’s made by Kia Motors Corporation, which is South Korea’s second-largest automobile maker.”

Dale asked:

“Well, . . . why do you call it ‘a piece of sh--?’”

Alan replied:

“Because it’s made in Asia.”

Dale commented:

“It must be a pretty good car, because my younger sister and her husband in Wyoming are on their second Kia.  The first one lasted nine years without any trouble.  They had a chance to buy an American-made car after someone smashed into the passenger front door, but the Kia dealer offered them a comparable car with several more features; and it cost almost $500.00 less.”

Alan did not want to hear anything good about foreign products, especially products from Asia.  He said:

“We’ve got ENOUGH unemployed workers in our country without foreign companies taking away our automobile manufacturing jobs. . . .”

Jill and Sue wanted no part of Dale and Alan’s discussion, so they graciously excused themselves and went for a walk around the block.

 

 

 

4.At the Trade Center

A month after visiting his neighbors, Dale asked Jill if she would like to go to an indoor flea market that was 30 miles away.  He explained:

“My bedspread is wearing thin, and I’d like to see what’s available at the M -------- Trade Center.  I can’t decide if I want to buy another bedspread or buy a quilt.

My elder sister wants me to buy a quilt, but I never owned one.  So I have no idea how to SHOP for a quilt.  Maybe you could help me.”

Jill was happy to help, and she replied:

“Sure, I never had a quilt either, but I did used to watch my grandmother MAKE them.

I’ll gladly accompany you. . . .”

They arrived at the flea market and waited in line for the doors to open.  The doors opened twenty minutes later, and the customers eagerly entered the building.

Dale and Jill visited several booths before they stopped at “Donna’s Clocks and Bedding.”  They saw bedspreads and quilts that were priced from $43.95 to $96.99.  The vendor was eager to “negotiate,” but Dale and Jill wanted to visit other booths before buying anything.

Five booths later, they arrived at “Leona’s Fabrics and Quilts.”  They arrived just in time to witness the sales pitch that the vendor was delivering to a potential customer:

“. . . We have everything you need for quilting:  We have rotary cutters, self-healing cutting mats, quilting rulers, curved safety pins, wonder clips, threads, Elmer’s Glue, and all types of fabrics.  The only things we don’t have are irons and ironing boards.

If you’re not interested in making your own quilt, we have a wide selection of quilts that were hand made in the U.S.A. . . .”

Dale and Jill carefully examined six of the 90” x 80” quilts that were priced from $329.95 to $524.99.

Dale asked the vendor:

“These quilts were all hand-sewn in the United States?”

The vendor glanced at Jill before she carefully answered:

“Yes, . . . they all were hand made by our suppliers in different parts of the United States. . . .”

Dale thought for a moment and remarked:

“Some of these quilts look very similar to the ones we saw at ‘Donna’s Clocks and Bedding.’”

The vendor quickly responded:

“Yes, some of them do look similar, but hers are all made in CHINA, while ours are made here in the United States.”

Dale nodded his head up and down, took a deep breath, exhaled slowly, and said:

“Okay, . . . we’ll think about it while we eat lunch at the cafeteria.

Thank you.”

Dale and Jill went to the cafeteria and ordered the lunch special, which included roast beef, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, and a roll with butter.

As they were eating, Dale asked:

“What did you think of the quilts that supposedly were hand made in the United States?  To me, both vendors seem to be selling the same items -- just different prices.”

Jill quickly agreed:

“Same here, they looked the same to me too.

I hate to disagree with the last vendor, but her quilts were NOT hand sewn; they were MACHINE sewn.  If you look closely, you can tell the difference between machine stitching and hand stitching.

Machine stitches produce a tight and crisp appearance. They make the quilt somewhat ‘stiff,’ but they also make the quilt more durable, which means that they can be washed more frequently with less wear-and-tear.

Hand stitches, on the other hand, produce a loose, somewhat ‘fluffy’ appearance.  They make the quilt look more attractive, but the quilt is not as durable as machine stitched quilts.  Therefore they must be washed more gently. . . .”

Dale swallowed what he had in his mouth and asked:

“Why is there such a wide gap between the lowest price and the highest price?”

Jill thought for a moment and replied:

“Oh, . . . ah, . . . I need to correct myself before I answer:  I said that the quilts were not hand stitched, but that’s not 100% true.  Some of the quilts did have BINDINGS that were hand stitched, but none of the TOPSTITCHING was hand stitched.”

As soon as Jill had finished speaking, Dale immediately asked:

“What is a ‘binding?’”

Jill answered:

  “Ah, . . . the binding is the strip of fabric that is added to cover up the raw edges of the quilt.  Maybe that’s why some of them were so much more expensive -- because of the hand stitched bindings.”

Dale thought out loud:

“I wonder if some of the suppliers could have removed the original machine stitches on the bindings of imported quilts (along with the tags and labels) and re-stitched them by HAND.  Then the dealers and the customers would assume that the quilts were all hand made in the United States.”

Jill tilted her head to the right and shrugged her shoulders to indicate that she had no opinion.

After lunch, they went back to “Donna’s Clocks and Bedding” and purchased a bedspread for $46.95.

 

 

 

5.Chinese Drill Press

A week after their trip to the trade center, Dale and Jill were about to eat dinner when George called.

George excitedly asked:

“Hey man, R-------- Hardware has power tools on sale!  There’s a drill press on sale for $110.99 plus tax.  Do you want to go with me tomorrow and look at it?”

Dale did not want to accompany George to the hardware store, and he tried to think up an excuse.  He said:

“Ah, let me think for a second; I might be . . .”

Just then, the microwave began to beep.  George heard the sound, and he asked:

“Your microwave is beeping.  What are you cooking?”

Dale replied:

“Ah, . . . some leftover spaghetti.”

George ordered:

“Oh, okay, just tell me if you want to go with me tomorrow:  If yes, I’ll pick you up at 9:30; if no, I’ll call you later – now get your spaghetti out of the microwave.”

Dale quickly answered:

“Okay, pick me up at 9:30.  I just remembered that I’m free tomorrow.

Bye.”

By this time, Dale and Jill normally did not do anything without first informing the other of what was happening, and therefore Jill felt uncomfortable because Dale just now had made plans without discussing it with her first.  Hence, she asked:

“What’s wrong?  Why did you have to make plans without first discussing it with me?”

Dale did not want to give Jill the truthful answer.  Therefore he said:

“Oh, . . . sometimes George gets a little grumpy, and I didn’t want to upset him.

I’ll talk to you about it at some other time, okay?”

Jill was not happy with Dale’s answer, but she trusted his decision.  She believed that she could bring up the subject at a better time in the future if necessary.

The next morning, George picked up Dale at 9:28 and drove to R-------- Hardware.  They quickly found the drill press that was on sale, and they checked it over very carefully.

Dale immediately noticed that it was much larger than the one they had checked out at C and J Hardware almost two months earlier.  It was extremely durable, but Dale believed that it was way too large for George’s use.

George, on the other hand, was not interested in the size.  He just wanted to buy it while it was on sale.  He sighed and said:

“Well, . . . like everything else, it’s made in China, and the Chinese are putting Americans out of work.

It’s not bad for the price, so I guess I’ll buy it.”

Dale was irritated by George’s attitude and behavior.  He asked:

“George, if you dislike the Chinese and their products so much, why don’t you save up your money and buy things that are made in the United States?

For example, you could buy an American-made drill press that is similar to this Chinese-made one for $600.00 - $700.00 if you’re willing to pay the higher price.”

Without even stopping to think, George asked:

“Well, who can afford to BUY it at that price?”

Dale became confused, and he asked:

“Then, . . . are you saying that it’s the fault of the Chinese for making things that you CAN afford?

As for your decision to buy this Chinese-made drill press instead of an AMERICAN-MADE one, don’t you think that you’re now at least PARTLY responsible for putting Americans out of work?

I’m not blaming you for our American unemployment situation:  I’m just saying that the Chinese workers are no more responsible for it than WE are.”

George refused to believe that his purchase of a single Chinese-made drill press would have any effect on the American economy.  He said:

“Eh, . . . I’m on fixed income, and I can’t afford to spend that kind of money for something that I’ll be using only a few times a year. . . .”

Interestingly, George would use the drill press for many years until his death, and during all that time, he would never have any trouble with it.  Yet, he would regularly refer to it as “that Chinese cr--.”

 

 

 

6.Jill’s Concern

When Dale returned home after accompanying George to the hardware store, Jill was waiting for him in the living room while watching a movie.  She welcomed him home and asked:

“How did things go?  Did George buy the drill press?”

Dale sighed and replied:

“Y-e-a-h, . . . he bought it.  He could have bought a smaller one earlier for half the price, but he thought that he could get one cheaper.  So now he has a drill press that’s actually too large  for his use, and it cost him TWICE as much. . . .”

Jill wanted to change the subject.  She said:

“Well, . . . hopefully, he’ll LISTEN to you the next time.”

Jill, then, paused for a moment and asked:

“Dale, we’ve been together for about nine months, and I’ve never MET your best friend George.  When can I meet him?”

Dale replied:

“Oh, . . . soon, . . . maybe the next time when he’s in town.”

Jill wanted to add a bit of humor to the conversation.  She said:

“Good!  I was beginning to feel that, maybe, you were ASHAMED to introduce me to him.”

Dale laughed and asked:

“Wh-a-a-a-t?  Why would you SAY that?”

Jill smiled seductively and replied softly:

“O-O-O-O-h, . . . because maybe I’m not pretty enough.”

Dale laughed heartily and hugged her for nearly 10 seconds before he said:

“Of COURSE you’re pretty enough.  You’re the best-looking woman in town, and the SMARTEST woman as well.

It’s just that George and I have been best friends all our lives, but there are some things that we just don’t see eye to eye.

For example, like the drill press that he just bought.  As I said before, he could have bought a more suitable one for HALF the price two months ago, but he tried to get one that was even cheaper.  To me, that kind of shopping is a waste of time.

I’m sure that I do things that are just as annoying to him, so I try not to complain too much.

Anyway, you’ll meet him before long, okay?”

Jill happily accepted Dale’s explanation and never mentioned the subject again.

 

 

 

7.George’s Plan

A month after accompanying George to buy the drill press, Dale and Jill were eating lunch when George called.  Dale put down his glass of water to picked up the phone, and Jill went to the cupboard to get potato chips.

George asked:

“Hi Dale, I’m thinking of moving into senior housing:  I’m getting too old to keep up my house.  I just want to get rid of all my junk and take it easy for the rest of my life.

Would you like to go with me to fill out a couple of applications?  I’ll be in town day after tomorrow.  I can pick you up at 9:30, like usual. . . .”

Just then, Jill began to open a bag of potato chips, whereupon George heard the crinkling sound and asked:

“Wow, how can you hold the phone and open a chip bag at the same time?  You must have grown a third hand.”

Dale replied:

“No, . . . not quite, . . . I have company, and she’s opening up the chip bag while I sit on my can and shout out orders like a heartless slave driver.”

George asked:

“Huh? . . .  Why didn’t you TELL me that you had a lady friend?  How long has this been going on?”

Dale answered:

“A-A-A-h, . . . maybe ten months.”

George responded:

“That long?  Good heavens, we’ve been best friends ever since we were kids, and there’s NEVER been any secrets between us.  So I’m surprised that you didn’t tell me about your lady friend until NOW.”

Dale thought for a moment and replied:

“Well, it’s complicated.  We’ll talk about it when you get here, okay?. . .”

The next day at noon, Dale and Jill met at McDonald’s.  They normally would sit in the rear section of the dining area, but today, there was no table available in the rear section.  Therefore they reluctantly chose a table near the door, and Jill immediately excused herself and departed for the rest room.

Just then, George entered the restaurant and saw Dale sitting alone, and he casually approached the table and joined him.  George explained:

“I stopped at your house, and since you weren’t there, I decided to eat lunch in town before going home.

I had trouble with my bank account, and I had to speak to a banker today.

Afterward, I stopped at two senior apartment buildings and picked up applications.  I’ll fill them out tonight and bring them back tomorrow.

In the meantime, I need to buy a new keyboard, because some of the keys are sticking.  I’ll pick up a new one on my way home.  It’s only three years old, so I really shouldn’t be having any trouble with it.

Oh well, what can I expect from something that was made in Asia? . . .”

Dale laughed and said:

“Now, George, . . . let’s be fair about this:  Do you remember spilling Mount Dew and coffee on it?  And you eat your MEALS at the computer desk whenever you research on the Internet, dropping crumbs all over the keyboard.”

George had to agree.  He sighed and begrudgingly admitted:

“Y-e-a-h, . . . I remember, I’m guilty. . . .  But why do you keep speaking up for the Asians?  If I didn’t know any better, I’d swear that you’re becoming an Asian lover. . . .”

Just then, Dale saw Jill walking out of the rest room area, and he said:

“Ah, . . . I see Jill coming, so now you’ll get to meet her.”

George nervously apologized:

“Oh, I didn’t know she was here; I thought you were eating alone.

I’ll leave right after I meet her so that you two can have privacy. . . .”

Jill overheard the last part of George’s apology as she approached the table, and she said:

“No, you don’t have to leave.  Please stay.”

Dale immediately took over the conversation to make George feel less uncomfortable.  He said:

“George, this is my lady friend Jill.

Jill, this is George S----- , my lifelong best friend.  We’ve been best friends ever since we were kids.”

George and Jill smiled and shook hands as they said hello.

Dale resumed:

“Well, now that we’re all here, let’s go to the counter and order our meals. . . .”

They ate slowly and visited for an hour before going home.

 

 

 

8.Friendship Secure

The following morning after meeting Jill at the restaurant, George picked up Dale and drove to Peterson Senior Village and Forest View Apartments.  He delivered the completed applications and spoke to the manager at each property, and he drove away with a positive view of senior housing.

As they drove away from Forest View Apartments, George asked:

“Dale, why didn’t you clue me in on you and Jill?

First, you didn’t tell me that you even HAD a lady friend for ten months.  And second, you didn’t tell me that she was ASIAN.  I was almost SPEECHLESS when I met her:  It took me a few seconds to get my bearings.

What is she anyway -- Chinese, Japanese, Korean?”

Dale chuckled and replied:

“Does it really matter?  If it does, maybe you should ask her.”

George retorted:

“Okay-okay, I get it, you don’t want to tell me.  But I wish that you had told me about her earlier, because now I feel like a FOOL.”

Dale laughed and replied:

“Well, . . . maybe that’s good. . . .  It serves you RIGHT for always bad-mouthing the Asians.  Now maybe you’ll think TWICE before you say anything negative about Asians or any other people who are different.”

George “rolled his eyes” and admitted:

“Yeah-yeah, I know, I’m always sticking my big foot in my mouth. . . .  But seriously, from now on, I’ll be more careful when I talk about Asian people and Asian products, okay?

Jill seems to be a fine woman, and I have nothing against her on account that she’s different.”

Dale responded:

“Sounds good.  I didn’t mention her earlier because I know how you feel about Asians and Asian products.  And I didn’t want our friendship to suffer because of my relationship with Jill.

I’m sorry for not having had more faith in you.”

George suggested:

“That’s okay, Dale.  I think we BOTH learned a valuable lesson:  I need to be less critical of foreign people, and you need to trust your FRIENDS more.”

Dale agreed, and he now believed that their lifelong friendship was in no danger of weakening.

They picked up Jill at her apartment and went to McDonald’s for lunch.  After they had picked up their meals at the counter and had sat down at a table at the rear section of the dining area, George complimented on Jill’s outfit and asked:

“Jill, what nationality are you?. . .”

As Jill answered George’s question, Dale thought:

“H-m-m-m, . . . I was hoping that he’d begin a conversation with some other topic, . . . but, . . . oh well, he’s my best friend. . . .”

 

 

 

Update

Six months after applying for senior housing, George received a letter from Forest View Apartments:

Dear Mr. George S-----,

We have an apartment that has become available.  If you are interested, please contact us at 810 --- ---- by October 7, 2019.

Sincerely,

Jessica Jewel,

Forest View Apartments

George immediately contacted Forest View Apartments and made an appointment for an interview with the property manager Jessica Jewel.  He then called Dale to tell him the good news.

A week later, George picked up Dale on his way to the interview, and they walked together into the property manager’s office for the 10 o’clock appointment.  During the interview, Dale gave his name, address, and telephone number for George’s Emergency Contact Form.

The manager showed George and Dale an apartment that was on the fifth floor, apartment 511.  It would be available for occupancy on the first day of November.  Before exiting the apartment, the manager asked George if the apartment met his approval, to which George happily answered “Yes.”

They returned to the office so that George could write a check for the deposit and the first month’s rent.  He then signed the lease agreement, whereupon the manager gave him the key to his apartment.  She also gave him the key and the “key fob” to the building’s entrance doors, along with the key to his mailbox.

Dale helped George with the moving, and George was completely moved in by 6:00 p.m. on November 1, 2019, which was on a Friday.

George liked his new home, and he made friends with several of his neighbors.

Moreover, George now seemed less hostile toward Asians and Asian products, most likely because of his admiration for Dale’s lady friend Jill.

Then, a short time later, the world began to suffer from the COVID-19 pandemic, and before long, George reverted back to his bad-mouthing against Asians and Asian products:

“We should stop trading with the Asians, especially with CHINA; their products are no good anyway. . . .  We should make China PAY for sending us the virus. . . .  We should bomb the HELL out of China. . . .  If I were the president, there wouldn’t BE any China. . . .”

Interestingly, in spite of all his harsh words against the Asians, George was a kind and gentle person.  He always spoke favorably toward Jill, and he enjoyed being around her.

One day, Dale asked:

“George, you’re back to bad-mouthing the Asians, but you treat Jill as if she were your SISTER.  Is it only because she’s my friend?”

George quickly and nonchalantly answered:

“No.”

Dale asked:

“Well, . . . then, . . . WHY?”

George asked:

“Do you remember when I asked Jill about her nationality at McDonald’s?”

While displaying a look of confusion, Dale replied:

“Y-e-a-h, . . . s-o-o-o?”

George explained:

“Well, there’s your answer: . . .  She said that she was born in Monterey Park, California, . . . which makes her ‘Made in the U.S.A.’ . . .”

Note:  Dale and Jill married nine months later, with George as Dale’s best man.


Submitted: October 16, 2020

© Copyright 2020 Hong Soong-gee-dee. All rights reserved.

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