Charlson Ong’s “How My Cousin Manuel Brought Home a Wife” in THE BEST PHILIPPINE SHORT STORIES OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY

The narrator’s cousin stayed away from his family for 20 years.  Suddenly, he re-surfaced, a Brazilian wife in tow.  The narrator was given the task of picking them up from the airport.  Upon arriving home with the romantic pair, mayhem ensued (P.S. The narrator’s and his family are Filipino Chinese):

Mother threw something at me, missing by an inch while Mei Lu wailed.  “You call that a daughter-in-law?”

“Yes.”

“Ah Jiyet, just shut up.”  Mother was all set to explode.  You could tell she was loading up whenever she took to call me by my Chinese name.  “Why did you bring them here, you idiot?”

Mother’s query clawed away my last skin of good humor.  “What?” I nearly choked.  “Where was I supposed to bring them?”

“To a hotel . . . anywhere . . . “

“This is just great,” I blurted.  “So now it’s all my fault.”

“When will you ever grow up?” Mother countered my exasperation with what seemed like genuine disgust.

“I think you’re both crazy,” I nearly screamed and Mother was about to hurl another projectile my way when Mei Lu wailed:  “O ke kiam tua kno waah . . .

“Big and black . . .  big and black,” the woman moaned like some professional mourner weeping over a mutilated corpse.  “She’s bigger than the Great Wall and blacker than the pit of my kettle.”

“She’ll bear big children,” I blurted and Mother had more or less given up on trying to control the whole scene.  “Big and black . . . ” Mei Lu kept on.  “Big and black children.  Oh . . .  Ah Di ah . . . what have you done?  Why didn’t you look after your only son?  Are you too busy laying women in the netherworld of burning in hell that you should allow this tragedy?  What will your ancestors say?  They will tear me to pieces in the afterlife and curse me till eternity’s end . . . “

“You know how much they make these days in the NBA?” I rambled on, but Mother was beyond railing.  “Carlos, please.  This may all seem very funny to you, but it isn’t.  It really isn’t.”

“She’s a healer,” I said.

Mother scowled:  “What?”

“She’s a psychic healer.  You know, voodoo stuff . . . zombie specials . . . “

Mother attacked me with the folded 20-page ads of the Sunday Bulletin, forcing me out of the room.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

3 Comments

  1. Jayde-Ashe said,

    September 9, 2013 at 4:56 am

    Sounds like a great story so far! Can’t wait to read the next bit 🙂

  2. September 9, 2013 at 5:05 am

    I’ll try and post more. I tend to read very VERY slowly. I thought this part was just too good not to share.

  3. paul said,

    March 5, 2017 at 12:04 am

    will somebody compare and contrast the charlson story and manuel arguillas story. i cant get it


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Rantings Of A Third Kind

The Blog about everything and nothing and it's all done in the best possible taste!

Sauce Box

Never get lost in the Sauce

GK Dutta

Be One... Make One...

Cee's Photography

Learning and teaching the art of composition.

fashionnotfear.wordpress.com/

Fear holds you back, fashion takes you places!

Wanderlust and Wonderment

My writing and photo journey of inspiration and discovery

transcribingmemory

Decades of her words.

John Oliver Mason

Observations about my life and the world around me.

Insanity at its best!

Yousuf Bawany's Blog

litadoolan

Any old world uncovered by new writing

unbolt me

the literary asylum

the contemporary small press

A site for small presses, writers, poets & readers

The 100 Greatest Books Challenge

A journey from one end of the bookshelf to the other

Random Storyteller

“Stories make us more alive, more human, more courageous, more loving.”― Madeleine L'Engle

Rants Of A Gypsy

Amuse Thyself Reader!

FashionPoetry by Val

Sometimes, I write down my thoughts (and other random stuff) and I share them

Kanlaon

Just another Wordpress.com weblog

%d bloggers like this: