No small parts….

by Radio Somewhere

In an interview years ago, some members of Monty Python’s Flying Circus were asked what they’d like to come back as in a future life. Terry Jones remarked that he’d like to come back as the “Spam lady” as it would be such fun!


I think it was a great answer — because it suggested to me that Mr. Jones had thought about what kind of life would make him happy, regardless of how small the circumstances. (I’m suddenly reminded of the thing about “no small parts, only small actors”….)

Anyway, onto the next scene which is a smashing one with some lovely acting involving some actors who are actually small of stature on account of being little old Asian ladies although not small of spirit on account of

OK. My mid-morning bus ride from Belltown to SODO through downtown Seattle takes me by the International District (Chinatown). There’s always a gaggle of Asian seniors who board the bus. Not always the same gaggle. Not sure if it’s even a single gaggle — or same ethnic origin even! Sometimes all ladies — but occasionally a token male, in plaid pants and baseball hat, who gets ignored completely once on the bus.

The ladies sport bonnets — rain bonnets most of the year, sun bonnets in summer — and carry large shopping bags or small backpacks. Unlike their Caucasian counterparts, they do not move their shopping on wheels — perhaps they make more frequent trips with smaller loads — and they always seem able to get on the bus without needing much assistance, other than having the bus kneel it stops away from the curb. (Being small does seem to convey a certain advantage with age.)

They talk energetically and always look happy. These ladies are perhaps my version of the Spam Lady. It all looks like rather a lot of fun they way they do it — riding the bus in from Burien or Renton or wherever to shop the markets in the ID and grab a custard tart at Uwajimaya. Well, I’m not sure THEY do, but I would, because a decent custard tart outside of England is pretty hard to find, although I suspect that the custard tart was invented by the Chinese

Anyway, I think I’d rather enjoy coming back as one of the little Asian ladies on the bus — as long as I could come back already old and already in the Seattle area, so as to be spared the hardship they surely went through on the way.

But then, maybe I wouldn’t appreciate it as much.