Chinese Stories in English
All in the Family
Previously translated material has been omitted from this page.
Ditzy Wife was translated from version at this site.
Cutting Remarks by Parents was translated from this site and is also available here.
Humor in the Family was translated from here.
Fathers and Sons is available here.
You can also find these pages on other sites by searching for the Chinese titles.
Lots of Fun with a Ditzy Wife
二货老婆欢乐多 by Kou Kou (蔻蔻)
2013 Annual Humorous Writings of China, from Comedy World Magazine, Ding Si, Ed., p. 96
The ditzy little woman at home keeps my mind jumping. She’s always saying or doing things I’d never think of, which brings unlimited joy to my life.
Independent Since Birth
[Pun alert: The term 独立, usually translated as ‘independent’, could be literally understood as ‘stand alone’ or singly stand’.]
I switched to a new department at the beginning of the year, one which requires me to travel a lot on business. My wife has always seemed like an immature child and I was worried that she couldn’t take care of herself. So I told her in all seriousness that she needed to learn to be independent: that someone alone at home has to make sure all the doors and windows are shut, that they should eat meals at regular times regardless of whether they’re hungry or not, and other things like that.
My wife thought I was just being a nag. “I’ve known how to stand independently since the day I was born,” she told me disdainfully. “You think I need you to teach me?”
She could see from my attitude that I didn’t believe her, so she calmly strolled over to me, lifted up one foot, and struck the Taiji pose “golden pheasant stands independently on one leg”.
“OK, so I’ll shut up.”
Such a Prize
I used to smoke a lot, but with the assistance of my wife’s carrot-and-stick approach, I finally succeeded in quitting. My wife was eminently pleased. She said she’d give me a gift as a reward for all the hard work I’d put into quitting.
I waited with eager anticipation. Her gift was slow in coming but eventually arrived. I excitedly tore off layer after layer of packaging and was surprised when a limited-edition Zippo lighter appeared before my eyes.
When my wife saw how completely befuddled I looked, she smiled insidiously and told me, “I’m checking to see if you’ve completely quit or not.”
A World of Difference
My wife and I have different likes. She likes to buy pretty clothes and all kinds of digital products, while I like to travel and see different scenery.
After I got my seasonal bonus, my wife got a look of yearning in her eyes and described all the things she wanted to buy. She noticed that I was unmoved and asked, “What do you want? I’ll buy it for you.”
“I aspire to the whole world,” I told her.
“That won’t be easy,” she replied, “but you have my support.”
I was quite moved. I thought she was going to put aside that list of things she’d admired for so long, and switch to accompanying me on a trip. As I was about to praise her, she said in a leisurely manner, “Tomorrow I’ll buy you a world map.”
Life is Theater
My wife and I came home from shopping one day, and it started to rain just as we were getting out of the car. My wife was all smiles as she took an umbrella out of her bag and bragged about her foresight in bringing it.
Truth is, she’d put that umbrella in her bag the last time it rained and, absent-minded as always, had completely forgotten about it.
Since my arms were full of packages, she had to take on the job of carrying the umbrella. She’s on the petite side, and her arm kept swaying back and forth, so I was getting wet from being occasionally exposed to the rain. I had to tell her over and over to move the umbrella to my side.
This made her unhappy. She said, “Do you mean to say that you shouldn’t take pains to cover me from the rain so I don’t get soaking wet? Shouldn’t that be your role?”
I couldn’t think of anything else, so I said, “This is real life, not a TV drama.”
She wouldn’t concede the point. “Don’t you know that life is theater? Play your role well for me.”
OK, there was nothing more I could say.
Parents' Cutting Remarks
A girl asked her mother, "Mom, you’re always saying I'm a 'two', meaning I'm dumb. But if you and dad are both so smart, how could you have such a dumb daughter?"
Her mother replied with a heavy heart, "Because one plus one equals two."
Getting a Sugar Daddy
As a single woman who's getting on in years, I get all kinds of words of encouragement from my parents every day…. It really depresses me, so one day I couldn't help saying, "I'm going to have an affair with a sugar daddy."
My dad, who was watching TV, looked me over carefully for a long time. Then he said slowly, "Too old and too ugly. No way!"
He went back to watching TV, leaving me speechless.
Can't Give It Up
My BFF had reached marriageable age but didn't want to get married. I asked her why but she wouldn't say. Just now she finally told me.
"It's because," she said bitterly, "when I think about marriage, I know I'd have a kid, and if I had a kid, I'd have to give him half of everything I ate. I'd hate to give up all that food…. Thinking about it is really painful."
Is This Her Birth Mother?
A certain woman, who was both tall and fat, decided to go on a diet. When she came home one day her father said, "Why are you getting so thin, Dear?"
"I'm dieting," she said happily.
But she started to cry when her mother surprised her by saying from the kitchen, "It's no use. A camel that's starved to death is still bigger than a horse."
A young man was on his way to college. "Study well, son" his father said as he saw the boy off. "I have only two requests. First, don't do anything bad, 'cause I don't want to have to go up there and see your teacher; and second, don't do anything good, 'cause I'm too young to be a grandfather."
I asked my dad, "Can you do text messages?"
He said, "You don't listen to anything I say now, so what'd be the point of sending you text messages?"
A boy came home from school. His dad asked, "Tell me, anything new?"
"I thoroughly screwed up," the boy answered. "I failed the finals in two classes."
His father sighed. "I said, anything new…?"
Humor in the Family
1. Daughter: "Ma, I wanna get a selfie stick. I can use it to take pictures of myself that'll look especially beautiful."
Mother: "How much?"
Daughter: "Maybe 8,000 Yuan for a good one."
Mother: "That's more than it would cost for plastic surgery to make you really beautiful."
2. Today I explained to my mom, "I know you're not me real mother. You got me as a prize when you paid your China Mobile phone bill."
She listened to my explanation and said, "Don't worry, dear, I did indeed give birth to you. If China Mobile had given me something of your value as a prize, I would have switched to using China United long before now."
4. A mother was riding the subway with her child. It was very crowded. The child kept crying, "Where's my little yellow ball?"
Eventually everyone in the car helped look for the child's little yellow ball, but they didn't find any balls.
The child stopped crying and said, "That's OK, I have another one," pointing into his nostril.
6. One day a young boy went to the park with his father. Pointing to some fish in a pond, he asked, "Daddy, why don't fish talk?"
The father thought it over, then answered, "Silly boy, would you be able to talk if you had a mouth full of water?"
8. Son: "Can I ask you a question, Pop?"
Father: "You just did, my boy."
Son: "Can I ask you a second question, then?"
Father: You already have!"
10. My grandma was over 70. I gave her my cell phone so she could see some pictures I'd taken of her.
I told her, "When you finish looking at the first picture, touch the phone and gently flip the page by moving your finger from left to right."
She flipped the page once, and as she was about to flip it a second time, she moistened the tip of her finger with saliva.
"Are you reading a book, Grandma?" I asked.
11. As the train started to move again, an old lady said, "Why isn't my best friend here yet?"
"Where are you going, ma'am?" a comrade sitting across from her asked.
"I'm going to Nanjing," she replied.
"But that was Nanjing Station we were just in! Why didn't you get off?"
My best friend told me, 'Don't move around after you arrive. If you do, you won't be able to find me…."
12. On the subway, a beggar was holding out a paper cup from a well-known chain of milk tea shops and asking for money.
After he had passed by a grandmother with a young child, the woman pointed at him and said to the child, "You see that? If you drink too much milk tea, all you'll be able to do is beg for food. You're not allowed to drink that stuff anymore. You hear me?"
13. I have to walk the dog every day when I'm home. Doggie gets especially excited whenever we go downstairs. I really can't restrain it and just have to run along behind.
Yesterday Doggie was running like crazy, pulling me along. An old man sitting by the road glanced at us and said, "Maybe flying a kite."
14. An angry girl said to her father, "What right do you have to bawl me out?"
"Because I'm your father."
"So what if you're my father?!"
"I have the legal right, and you know it." The father acted quite smug.
"What legal right?!!" The daughter was very perturbed.
"The right to bawl you out, of course."
"And what gives you the right to bawl me out?!!"
"Because I'm your father."····
15. Bright Boy went to the park with his mother one day. "Mama," he told her, I want a lollipop!"
"Will you do what I say?" his mother replied.
"No," said the boy.
"If you won't do what I say, I won't buy you a lollipop."
" Mama, Mama, I'll obey you."
"You're a good boy, son. You obey me. So, let's not buy any lollipops."
16. I was disobedient when I was young. I never washed me hands after going to the bathroom.
When my mom bawled me out, I'd talk back to her. "I didn't get anything on my hands, so why should I have to wash them?"
Once after going I had a sudden impulse to wash my hands. My mom came running over, all in a fluster.
She yelled angrily, "You didn't do a good job when you went number two! What happened? You got some on your hands, I bet."
17. Yesterday I met a man and his son on the high-speed train.
Son: "Daddy, how long till we get there?"
Father: "Thirty more minutes."
Son: "That's a long time."
Father, looking at his watch again: "I'm sorry, I read my watch wrong. We'll be there in another half an hour."
Son: "Wow, that's really fast!"
Fathers and Sons, New Edition 《父与子》新编
2013 Annual Humorous Writings of China, from Comedy World Magazine, Ding Si, Ed., p. 148
1. The telephone rang.
"Vladimir, come down to the villa right away."
You'll regret it if you don't come. We've got beer, and pretty girls…. It's great!"
"Come on, Pop, don't think you can trick me again. You've got to pick your own potatoes."
2. "Dad, what's a 'money-making expert'?"
"It's someone who makes more money than his wife can spend, son"
3. A father and son passed by a school.
"You go to school here, don't you, son?"
"I went here, too, twenty years ago."
"Ah, now I understand why the principal said he'd seen someone as dumb as me twenty years ago."
4. A boy brought a classmate home with him. "Dad," he said to his father, "this is Sandy. He's not like other people."
"How is he different," the father asked as he looked the boy over carefully.
"He's a worse student than I am," his son replied.
5. The father was furious as led his son home from the store. He asked the boy, "Who promised me they'd behave themselves at the store?"
The boy wasn't cowed a bit. "And who promised Mom they'd behave themselves on vacation in Turkey?" he responded.
6. When the father came back into the room after finishing his phone call, he scolded his son. "Didn't I tell you to keep an eye on the milk I was heating on the stove?"
"I did keep an eye on it," the boy argued, certain that right was on his side. "It started boiling at exactly 3:13."
9. After they divorced, their son went to live with his father. His mother was worried, so she came over to check things out. She felt the boy looked a little pale, so she asked him, "Are you sick, son? Where does it hurt?"
The boy told it like it is. "I'm not sick. Daddy gave me a bath yesterday."
10. A boy asked his father, "Dad, what's a true he-man?"
The father explained, "A true he-man is someone who accepts responsibility, cares about children and protects the family."
"That's fantastic! I want to be a real he-man, too, like Mom is!"
11. A son got in a serious argument with his parents. "I'm sick of always being with you! I'm sick of always having to be home on time! I want freedom! I want beer! I want pretty girls! And I want romantic love. Bottom line, I want out of here. Don't try to stop me."
When he finished his tirade, he walked toward the door. Just as he got there, his father came chasing after him.
"Didn't you hear me, dad? I said, don't try to stop me."
"You got me wrong, son. Just wait a minute and I'll go with you."
12. The father had been reading his newspaper all evening. He wouldn’t pay any attention to his little son playing beside him.
Daddy, is an owl a fish or a bird?"
"Don't bother your father. Play by yourself."
"No, Daddy, tell me right now, is an owl a fish after all, or is it a bird."
The father stared at his son and said impatiently, "It's a fish, a fish. Don't bother me again."
"So why does it stay in trees, Daddy?"
"Because it's gone crazy."
13. The mother had been away on business for two weeks. When she got home she asked her son, "Was your papa unhappy while I was gone?"
"He wasn't unhappy at all right after you left, but the last couple of days, he seems to have been getting more and more unhappy."
14. Feeling wronged, the boy told his father, "I offered my seat on the bus to a young lady today, but she wouldn't take it."
"No reason. She climbed back up on her daddy's knee and stayed there."
15. On the eve of his son's wedding, a father gave the young man some serious advice. "If you pass three tests after you're married, son, you basically won't have any problems down the road."
"What three tests?" His son was all ears.
"The first time you see your wife without make-up, the first time you take her shopping and the first time your mother-in-law comes for a visit."
16. The son came home for his first vacation after going away to college. His father asked him about his life at school. "How is it with the girls around you at school, son?"
It's a total downer, dad. Those girls don't want to have anything to do with me." The young man was depressed.
His father didn't think that was so bad. "That's nothing! Now, if three girls in your class got pregnant at the same time, and all three kids were yours, that would be a real downer!"
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