Technical Fouls in China

Vice President Joseph Biden, former senator from the same state as George Thorogood and the Delaware Destroyers, and the newly appointed Ambassador to China, Gary Locke of Washington State, are in China. Biden is there on official US business, in private to shake a finger at his counterparts, and in public to have them shake their fingers at him; Locke is there to present credentials, while standing there in full pukka top hat and tails, ready to take up his ambassadorial duties.

Joe is also supposed to bring me back a plastic scale model of the new Chinese aircraft carrier for me to play with in the bathtub.

The Georgetown University basketball team, the Hoyas, are also in China, there on a ten-day goodwill mission to play basketball. All concerned, the US State Department, Georgetown U and all their players, coaches, boosters and vendors of Hoyas shot glasses, hope this will foster good sportsmanship and mutual understanding while enjoying the benefits of cultural exchange. One game went smoothly, and was attended by Locke and Biden. Biden even went straight from the airport to the game, rather than going to his hotel for a shower and a quick one, and he got to see the Hoyas beat the home team.

If a chicken were involved in what happened the next day I would shout, “Fowl play!” What took place was certainly not poultry in motion.

That second night, against the Chinese team, the Bayi Rockets, things got gnarly, with lots of flying elbows and simmering fury; finally both benches cleared, with shoving, punching, kicking, chair throwing, and even some Three Stooges eye-poking. In spite of the fact that the game was not yet finished, head coach John Thompson said, “We’re outa here.” The team made an admirably orderly escape from the court while being bombarded with full water bottles. They gathered up equipment and quickly filed into the waiting busses. No one mentioned having egg foo yung for dinner.

A G’town supporter posted his (or her) admittedly biased view as to what happened on a University message board. According to that testimony, the game became a joke as the Chinese referees called fouls on the Hoyas for having blonde hair and for not saying “Simon says.” In the meantime, instead of basketball, the players on the Chinese side were playing a blend of rugby and the ancient Scottish game of shinty, which makes kick-boxing look like patty-cake — and they were not having any fouls called on them. The Rockets blasted off in the scoring column because they had more foul shots than there are grains of rice in a large bowl.

The Bayi team plays in a professional Chinese basketball league, and the players serve in the Chinese army. You wonder if their basketball practices are more like boot camp with lots of hand-to-hand combat drills, and plenty of basketballs getting shot with live ammo.

While coverage in the Chinese media was minimal, the blogging community was chirping frantically and spreading the news, and surprisingly there was a lot of netizen criticism directed at the Chinese team. For example, Zhou Ting, a 26-year old biology grad student who was at the game, wrote “I can tell you the Chinese players provoked the conflict,” and he refered to their rough style of play as “…a hooligan’s habit.”

What seemed to have ignited the melee late in the game was a particularly hard foul by Hu Ke (no relation to Jersey Shore’s own Snooki). The foul Hu was called for (First Base) was on Georgetown’s guard Jason Clark, who felt that the foul was so egregious that, once it had been called, Clark gave Hu an earful. (It was not known which dialect Clark was using, whether Mandarin, Cantonese, Mongolian, or Parseltongue.) At this point Hu decided to invite his fist to make a short, sharp visit to Clark’s face. At the same time, and this was not reported in the Western media, Hu paid Clark the classic Chinese insult: “Your mother looks like a silkworm,” which was followed by the unthinkable “and your grandfather smells of mulberries.”

What caused all this violence?

To answer this question, children, the story becomes complex, so to best follow along, please chart the grammar using the classic fishbone diagram.

You may have read the recent horrible news about young people in the American South who died due to a very rare strain of amoeba that infected them, and then destroyed their brains. This very rare and deadly species of amoeba is naegleria fowleri. A less fatal but far more annoying species is fowleri’s slightly schizoid sister, naegleria gruberi. It turns out that the Chinese are using this latter amoeba to conduct some reality-stretching mind control experiments.

Exposure to naegleria gruberi can cause behavioral changes such as: freakish violence, as demonstrated by the Bayi Rockets basketball team; the nutty, unfathomable need of the Chinese newly rich to buy and show off their absurdly glitzy luxury goods; and idiotic blithering like that of the recently fired railway spokesman, Wang Yongpin. This reporter has gathered compelling evidence that this punctured raft of occurrences is entirely because of the evil plot of the Chinese government to control its own citizenry. They are experimenting on a wide variety of social groups, to see how much exposure to the amoeba causes what sorts of behavioral disturbances, and to what degree.

According to eyewitnesses, one perfectly normal chap, Zhon Kamrhon Zhwayze, wearing only a fake Rolex and a pink, floppy hat, ran along the top of the Great Wall while screaming that he was Lady Gaga. Many on the scene volunteered that he had more talent than the popular performer.

Official accounts of the Bayi Rockets suggest that they are polite, easy going men who like to decorate cupcakes and listen to Barry Manilow. Exposure to naegleria gruberi made them crazy and violent. Wang Yongpin had been captain of his high school debating team, and had once crushed an opponent by cogently arguing that Fred Astaire was a much better dancer than Gene Kelly. But then came the crash of the much vaunted high-speed bullet train, on which much Chinese pride rested. In his capacity as ministry of railways spokesman, he sounded like he had been kicked in the head repeatedly by large mules for months at a time.

When reporters asked him what had caused the train wreck which killed dozens and injured hundreds, he replied that “God was angry with the Chinese.” Immediately afterwards he received congratulations from rabidly Christian presidential candidate Rick Perry of Texas. When asked why damaged train cars had been buried before a detailed investigation of them had begun, he noted that in Buddhism, the dead are buried quickly, so as to hasten rebirth, and that by burying the railroad cars right away, that was the quickest way to get them back into service.

Rich Chinese are spending obscene amounts of cash on luxury goods, keeping manufacturers such as Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Gucci and Ferrari afloat, if now wallowing, in profit. Such is the need of the über-wealthy to flaunt their wealth that European psychiatrists agree that the only reasonable cause must be brain-eating amoebas. I mean, what kind of moron would drive a gold-plated sports car through a part of the city overflowing with starved, angry peasants? These people would swarm around you, lift up the car en masse, and eat you and every part of the car except the spark plugs, which as everybody knows are impossible to get out of a sports car.

It appears that my editor is going to penalize me for delay of game.

As you probably know, the Chinese police are ratcheting up to “REALLY HIGH SECURITY ALERT” in the region of Xinjiang, which lies in the western, mostly rural part of China. Things have gotten exceptionally violent there, with dozens of deaths recorded in confrontations between the native Uighur population and the recently introduced, crabgrass-like Chinese Han. Clearly, the brain-eating amoeba experiments there have resulted in dangerous chaos, and now the government has to call in the police to clean up the mess made by the clumsy sorcerer’s apprentice.

One of the things the Peoples Bullying Party will eventually learn is that when you try to twist all the knobs and push all the buttons necessary to control 1.4 billion people, inevitably you will burn your fingers.


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