‘Commie Consulting’ was what I suggested when Mike Sun — ardent Daoist and clandestine Christian who took pride in sharing a surname with Zhou dynasty war (now business) strategist, Sun Zi — asked what we should call our company that helped foreigners do business in China.
“I like it.”
Thus, as conceal-carry attracts violence in the hope of playing hero, so it was there, packing heated wallets while Americans marketed their Chopstix® to the Chinese and garishly joked while downing and drowning in sorghum wine and braised Sichuan pork butt from the shared ‘iron rice bowl’, that it was considered “unpatriotic to eat this stuff in the States.”
But as the hot peppers made their way into the blood and the Chinese got to prophesying about a worldwide LIBOR scandal (it did happen, not more than two years later) and they wanted us to get across to the high-nosers that it wasn’t a conspiracy or the ‘Ancient Chinese Secret’ but more like ‘Corruption is in the eye of the beholder’. Yet, perhaps there was a secret to which only the mercurial middle men in amaranthine Middle Kingdom had access…
Before I could happily lose myself in pondering my good fortune, out of the corner of my eye I saw a dumpling fly across the table from east to west (or vice versa?) like ethnocentric invective gone tangible. And finger-lickin’ good. But do you know what that savvy businessman did to save face even with minced meat sliding off his own? He took his pair of sample Chopstix®, retrieved that broken dumpling from his lap, and stuffed it in his mouth, maintaining eye contact with his foe all along. When the adversary, not to be outdone, threw his 100 yuan bills into the hot pot, fished them out, and ate the dripping, soggy, spicy money… well. That’s when I had an intimation that perhaps business was not my game.
Legend has it (okay, my former business partner told me) that a deal did come of this flamboyant show of “Who Kowtows the Lowest?” but, clearly, the product’s success in China quickly fizzled.
©2017, Amaya Engleking