​​         Chinese Stories in English   

5. Invention
6. Merchant's Sign, The
7. Nervous
8. No Lending
9. Not Weaned

15. Wait for a Break
16. Which Cheek
17. Wives' Knives
18. While You're At It

10. Simplify Matters
11. Singing
12. Sneaky Eyes
13. Stop Running?
14. Three Friends

1. Chinese Views


      In Beijing, the smog is so bad that when you visit Tiananmen Square, you can't see Chairman Mao's portrait hanging across the street.
     In Shanghai, the smog is so bad that you can't see Chairman Mao's portrait when you pull a 100 Yuan note out your wallet.


As Told by a Liuzhou Cab Driver
(No Chinese Text)
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2. Divorce
by Li Congyuan


          "I'm thinking of getting a divorce," Young Wang said to his friend. "My wife hasn't talked to me in two weeks."
          "You'd better think it through clearly," the friend advised him. "A wife like that is hard to come by these days."


上海股市, 2012•11,总333期,第49页, Shanghai Gu Shi No. 333, Nov. 2012, p. 49
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3. Future Husband
by Zhao Zili


          A: "My wife's always bringing up her last husband. It really gets my goat."
          B: "You're lucky. My wife's always bringing up her next husband."


上海股市, 2012•11,总333期,第48页, Shanghai Gu Shi No. 333, Nov. 2012, p. 48
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4. Hide, Grandma!

[Fannyi – This joke derives its humor from a traditional Chinese belief that the spirits of the departed return once every week to verify that the family members are carrying out the proper rites of ancestor worship.​]
          A grandmother sent a text message to her grandson: "Quick, Precious, hide! Your teacher's on the way here looking for you because you skipped school!"
          Her grandson answered: "Grams, you hide! I called the teacher and told him I couldn't go to school today because you'd passed away!"
          By that time Grandma had already opened the door for the teacher. He introduced himself and asked, "and you are…?"
          "I'm here inspecting," Grandma answered. "I passed away seven days ago."


小品文选刊 笑林, Forest of Laughs, Little Literary Selections Magazine, Feb. 2014, 2nd Semimonthly Issue, p. 7
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5. Invention

          Did you hear about the three archaeologists who were discussing the world’s problems over beers in the Lijing Hotel?
          One of them, an American, was bragging about the great contribution to human civilization made by Alexander Graham Bell.
          His Russian friend replied that a recent archaeological dig had discovered remnants of copper wire near Moscow, and they had been dated to the early 19th century, proving that Russians had invented the telephone before Mr. Bell had even been born.
          The third archaeologist, a Liuzhou native, told his friends about a nearby dig in Guangxi province, in 17th century strata, which had found no wires at all. This proves, he announced proudly, that as early as the Qing Dynasty China had already invented the cell phone.


Fannyi's Diary,
https://www.chinese-stories-english.com/Missed_Opportunities.html, (No Chinese Text)
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6. The Merchant's Sign
by Qi Jun


          A merchant came to my community for a special promotion, which was to last ten days. On the first day his sign said, "Warehouse Clearance Sale."
          The second day's sign was, "Hate to Do It, But Everything Must Go."
          The third day it said, "Prices Slashed, My Heart Bleeds."
          The fourth was, "Prices Slashed, Only Six Days Left."
          ……
          The sign on the ninth day said, "Final Gift to the People of This Community… I'm Leaving with Tears in My Eyes."
          On the tenth day we saw, "Thanks to the warm-hearted people of this community for asking us to stay… Final Ten Days!"


上海股市, 2012•11,总333期,第49页
Shanghai Gu Shi, No. 333, Nov. 2012, p. 49
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7. Nervous


Girl: "My old boyfriend used to tell me how pretty I am. He was always nervous around me."
Boy: "M-m-me, t-too. When I s-s-see a p-pretty g-girl, I get n-n-nervous."
Girl: "Ha, ha! You've got the same mentality as him."
Boy: "B-but, for m-me, I get n-nervous around p-pretty g-girls, b-but around ugly ones, that's when I s-stammer."


小品文选刊 笑林
Forest of Laughs, Little Literary Selections Magazine
Feb. 2014, 2nd Semimonthly Issue, p. 14
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8. No Lending


      Lee was stingy through and through. Whenever anyone wanted to borrow something from her, she always turned them down flat.
     The first time her roommate May went out with her boyfriend, she asked Lee, "Can I borrow your eye shadow?"
     "No," Lee said. "I've got granular conjunctivitis, and I'm afraid it might infect you."
     "Well, can I borrow your lipstick?"
     "Can't do that, either. I've got a cold."
     "Borrowing a pair of earrings wouldn't ever be a problem, right?"
     "As luck would have it," Lee said, "I've just started experiencing disequilibrium because of a problem with my inner ear."
     "There's no problem with your head, is there? What does disequilibrium from an inner ear problem have to do with earrings?"
     "I can't loan you my head, either," Lee said quickly. "I've got meningitis and that really is infectious."


 讲义(台湾)Handouts Magazine (Taiwan)
Nov. 2013, p. 116, 殷登国Yan Dengguo, Ed.
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9. Not Weaned


          A two-year-old boy had not been weaned and was always looking to his mother for a snack. One day the boy complained that his dad was always fighting him for his mother's milk. When the boy's grandpa heard him, he turned around and boxed his son's ear.
          "You lowlife!" he cursed. "Back then you used to fight me for your mom's milk, and now you're fighting with my grandson for his mom's!"

小品文选刊 笑林
Forest of Laughs, Little Literary Selections Magazine
Feb. 2014, 2nd Semimonthly Issue, p. 14
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10. Simplify Matters


          Shuli went into the hospital for an operation to remove her appendix. After the procedure she had a fever and abdominal pain, so she had to go back to the hospital for an examination.
          Upon taking an X-ray, the doctor saw a shadow in her abdomen. When they opened her up, they were surprised to discover that a piece of hemostatic gauze had been left inside her.
          The doctors took out the gauze and sewed her up again. Shuli resigned herself to her bad luck and went home to recuperate. But two days later her abdomen started to hurt again, so she had to go back to the hospital a third time for an examination.
          After looking at her X-ray, the doctor said, "A nurse left the tweezers used to extract the gauze inside you. We'll have to perform another operation."
          "Doctor," Shuli said listlessly, "wouldn't it simplify matters if you just sewed a zipper on my tummy?"


讲义(台湾)Handouts Magazine (Taiwan)
Nov. 2013, p. 117, 殷登国Yan Dengguo, Ed.
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11. Singing
Recommended by Wan Qing


          One evening, holding hands with his girlfriend, my roommate went to the riverside for a stroll. He started to sing her a song to get on her good side. Just as he was really getting into it, an old man walked up beside him and stood there listening respectfully.
          My roommate is bashful and stopped singing. The old man sat down beside him and patted his shoulder. "It's OK, young man," he said. "Go right ahead. The pain will go away soon. There's no setback in the world that can't be got over.


今古傳奇故事Legendary Stories New and Old
Sept. 2013, 2nd Semimonthly Issue, p. 43
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12. Sneaky Eyes

          The judge's secretary was standing beside him in the courtroom. "Look at the defendant over there," the judge said. "I can tell he's guilty just by looking at his sneaky eyes."
          "Not so loud," the secretary warned. "The defendant isn't here yet. That's his trial lawyer."


讲义(台湾)Handouts Magazine (Taiwan)
Nov. 2013, p. 116, 殷登国Yan Dengguo, Ed.
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13. Stop Running?

          Little Tang skipped out of work in the afternoon and asked old Long, the guy who sat at the next desk, to cover for him. "I'll be gone a little while," he said. "If the manager looks for me, tell him I'm in the toilet. I've got the runs."
          "If the manager doesn't look for you," Old Long answered, "when will you stop running?"


讲义(台湾)Handouts Magazine (Taiwan)
Nov. 2013, p. 116, 殷登国Yan Dengguo, Ed.
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14. Three Friends

          Three friends, a priest, a monk and a lama, had grown up together, but because they had gone through different life experiences, each was propagating his religion in a different realm. On this day, the three friends had gone boating together on a lake. They were discussing the particular doctrines of each religion and the conversation took on the flavor of a debate. While they were talking they rowed the boat to the center of the lake, where the lama suddenly stood up and said: Oh, right, I’ve got pictures of me with the Delhi Lama in my car; I’ll go get them so you two can see them! He jumped over the side of the boat and, like a dragonfly flitting across the water, hopped adroitly off toward the shore. He arrived at his car, which was parked beside the lake, retrieved the photos, and then returned to the boat in the same manner. Observing this scene inevitably filled the priest with admiration for the skills taught by the lama’s religion.
          A little later the monk said: I’ll go back to my car, too. I have group photos from the last time I was with the Master of Nebulas, so let me go get them and give you two a look. Then he too jumped from the boat and tripped lightly across the surface of the lake to the shore, just like the lama had. He got to his car, which was also parked alongside the lake, retrieved the photos and returned to the boat the same way.
          Witnessing this scene made the priest respect the monk’s prowess as well. He thought to himself, it’s only been a few short years since I last saw these two guys, and they’ve already attained such great skill through their faith. I’m a person of faith just like they are, and I cannot let my Lord lose face. So he stood up and announced: I have pictures in my car as well, me with the Pope from the last time I was in the Vatican. I’ll go bring them here so you two can see them! He jumped over the side of the boat with a splash and sank completely beneath the surface of the lake. After swallowing several mouthfuls of water he struggled back on board the boat. He wondered how he could have made such a fool of himself, but then he seemed to have some sort of revelation. He started to pray devoutly and jumped back over the side of the boat. As before, he splashed into the water and sank to the bottom of the lake. Once again he struggled back on board, and with the greatest effort, he recited the most devout prayer of his entire life. Once again he jumped overboard, once again he splashed, and once again he sank to the bottom. Just as he was crawling back on board with the last of his strength, he heard a whispered conversation between the monk and the lama: Should we tell him where the rocks are?


http://www.lhyc.com.cn/bw/wenzhang/list.asp?id=549
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15. Wait for a Break

          The Director of a certain company, while inspecting the factory, slipped and fell into an abandoned dry well. He cried out in pain.
          The secretary who had been following along shouted down to him at the bottom of the well, "Hang on a sec, I'll go get someone to help you up right now."
          That made the Director anxious. "Are you joking?" he yelled. "The workers are on the clock right now. Wait until break time to bring someone. I ran the 5,000-meter, so I can hold out a little longer." 


讲义(台湾)Handouts Magazine (Taiwan)
Nov. 2013, p. 117, 殷登国Yan Dengguo, Ed.
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16. Which Cheek?

          Little Mao and his dad went to the Public Health Center together to get a shot. While the nurse was preparing the injection, she said to Little Mao: "Drop your pants. Which cheek do you want it on?"
          Little Mao was afraid of pain and tried to negotiate with the nurse. "Would it be OK to inject it there in your cheek?"


讲义(台湾)Handouts Magazine (Taiwan)
Nov. 2013, p. 116, 殷登国Yan Dengguo, Ed.
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17. While You're at It, Give Us a Hand
by Zhang Zhiguo


          A bank was being robbed one day. The robber tied up the bank manager and stuffed a rag in his mouth.
          As he was going out the door, the robber noticed that the bank manager was struggling to say something.
          Overcome by curiosity, he walked over and pulled the rag out of the bank manager's mouth.
          The bank manager took a deep breath. "Please, take the bank ledgers with you, too" he pleaded. "There's 5,000,000 Yuan in bad debts on them!"


上海股市, 2012•11,总333期,第48页
Shanghai Gu Shi, No. 333, Nov. 2012, p. 48
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18. Wives' Knives

          The only two married men in the company were the President, Wang, and the Manager, Liu. They often told each other about their experiences and the things they'd learned after tying the knot.
          I think my wife's going through the change of life," Wang said one day. "She's very forgetful. She often hunts all around our condo for her paring knife when she's got it right in her hand. I can't take it anymore."
          "You're better off than I am," replied Liu. "My wife often goes around our condo with a knife in her hand looking for me."


小品文选刊 笑林
Forest of Laughs, Little Literary Selections Magazine, Feb. 2014, 2nd Semimonthly Issue, p. 15



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1. Chinese Views
2. Divorce
3. Future Husband
4. Hide, Grandma

Jokes from Miscellaneous Sources, Page 1