H A J I N At last the two jokers were captured. They had not known the police were after them, so they had come to town without any suspicion. The instant they entered Everyday Hardware, a group of policemen sprang at them, pinned them to the cement floor, and handcuffed them from behind. With stupefied faces smeared by sawdust, they screamed, "You made a mistake, Comrade Policemen! We didn't steal anything!" "Shut up!" "Ugh . . ." The police plugged their mouths with washcloths from a bucket and then hauled them out to the white van waiting on the street. At the police station, the interrogation started immediately. It didn't go well, though, because the two peasants denied that they had spread any counterrevolutionary slander. The police chief--a bespectacled, pockmarked man--reminded them of the joke they had told. To everyone's astonishment, the tall peasant asked the chief, "Who's Deng Xiaoping? I never met him." He turned to his buddy. "Have you?" "Uh-uh, I guess he must be a general or a big official," said the short peasant. "Stop pretending!" the chief shouted. "Comrade Deng Xiaoping is the chairman of our Party and our country." "Really?" the tall
Manoa – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Apr 1, 2000
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