It is hard to learn another language because the people who speak it don’t want to practice it with you because they speak English better than you do Chinese so why would they want to listen to you say “I live in an apartment dog, I enjoy eating roast spit, and I have a 3-year-old daughter wife. How old is your tooth?”
The better question is why would a brain-rotted old fart like me want to learn Chinese anyway? My next trip is to Mallorca for the annual Old Texas Gizzards Romp and Norwegian Salted Fish Beatdown Bicycle Ride and they don’t speak Chinese there, they speak Catalan which is basically Spanish for defectives.
Anyway I like Chinese because it is very cheap. You can entertain the fuck out of yourself with a handful of Chinese words and it doesn’t cost hardly anything. The reason it is entertaining is because of the great simplicity of Chinese grammar, which is this: In order to translate anything in your head from English into Chinese, you simply arrange the Chinese words in an order that you wouldn’t ever arrange any sentence ever and then bingo you are bilingual.
But back to my problem of finding potential Chinese practice victims I did what I do with every life problem I apply a bicycle racing tactic to it. Bicycle racing tactics work for everything. In this case I used the Category Downgrade Tactic.
When you suck real bad at bike racing it’s not that you suck like Brad House, it’s that you are racing a too hard category. So you find an easier one that doesn’t have anyone in it who can beat you. This fits the Derek B. Rule of Race Outcome Prediction, which is this:
The thing that determines whether you will win is not your training or equipment or fitness or brains it is who shows up. Signed, Derek B.
The same thing is true of Chinese practicing. If you want to force someone to talk to you in Chinese their English has to suck balls worse than your Chinese sucks balls which frankly is a whole shit ton of ballsuckery. It’s a challenge because the only people whose English sucks balls worse than my Chinese ballsuckery are aged 4-6 months and they aren’t speaking yet, anything.
Hiring teachers is for balls because they only speak according to the Chinese to English Ration Rule which is this: You pay me $75/hour and I will speak 1:875, one word of Chinese to 875 words of English explanation.
So you pay the fuckers to teach them English.
Anyway, bike racing downgrade tactics work you just have to find someone who really sucks balls at English which is hard but not impossible because there are over a billion of them and about half live in my apartment complex. But if Brad House can win a dozen state championships then you can find one Chinese person whose English is dogsbody bad.
I was walking laps around the apartment complex and saw this aged Chinese couple sitting on the stairs catching their breath from lugging groceries up Ravenspur Drive to their apartment. It’s 18-percent and they were both about a hundred.
“Hi,” I said.
“Hi,” they said.
“How are you today?” I asked.
“Bu dong,” they said.
“Nimen shi zhong guo ren ma?” I asked.
They smiled and said they were. Once it became clear that their English was absolutely nonexistent I had them snared like a new-bike owner on his first Flog Ride. I made a complete ass out of myself but they didn’t care because it fit the Rule of Assdom: No matter how big an ass you make speaking Chinese, it’s okay when your talking partner would make an even bigger ass out of herself speaking English.
I told them I was a lawyer but instead told them I was a fish. I told them I was married but instead told them I was tied up. I told them I had one daughter and two sons but instead told them that I had one toothache and two flippers. I told them my wife was orange. That my grandson’s name was “Cow.” That I like to ride my bicycle on car doors. And that every day I walked 10,000 laps around the apartment.
They smiled and told me my Chinese was excellent. We made a date to get together again and chat about the typhoon. I’m just afraid they will go home, break out the English dictionary, and learn five words of English. Then I’ll have to downgrade again.
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