Blast San Francisco Bureau
It all became so clear to Mr. X one day in Chinatown. His pager didn't do alpha, his phone was still cellular, and he pined for the days when DV8 was still open. Sitting in his lowered Celica listening to New Order on the Blaupunkt, Mr. X suddenly realized he was no different than a mosquito trapped in amber 30 million years ago or that old man in the sickly beige Member's Only jacket. Young Asian bucks in Acuras who used to give him hard stares -- good for an Asian male -- now just smiled or laughed. He could see them mouth the words: "Look at that chump, he must still think it's 1988."
Mr. X slinked back to his apartment in Walnut Creek, Calif. and took some action. He called ÜberAsian. That's me. We decided to meet at a neutral site, a nice deli on California Street in The City. From there it was walking distance to Chinatown.
X -- "Hi ÜberAsian, I'm glad you could help me. I've got a big problem."
UA -- "Yes, I can see from your all-black outfit. Do you think you're Steven Segal or something?"
X -- "No, it's just, it's all I've got in my wardrobe."
I broke out my Coach daytimer and prepared to go down a check list of standard options. I could see it was going to be a tough case. My Nokia chirped. I talked for a few moments with another client. He said he was having problems deciding between DVD or Laserdisc. I told him I'd get back to him.
X -- "You're, you're talking on your phone in the daytime?"
Poor fool. Years of using Cellular One's free nights and weekends, while paying 42 cents a minute in the day time, had conditioned him to leave his phone off until 7 p.m. Then his phone would power up and stay on all night as he made 'free' calls.
UA -- "How long is your phone contract and how much time is left on it?"
X -- "Three years and about 18 months."
UA -- "Damn. You are screwed. You'll have to eat the cost and just buy a PCS phone."
I dialed mother. She was happy that I called and wanted me to drop by Grandma's to eat mooncakes tonight and to pick up some pork buns because I was near Chinatown. "Yeah, yeah, whatever, mom." I hit the end button. See, frivolous calls even to mom.
X -- "Wow, that's impressive."
UA -- "Yeah, and you get voice mail, caller ID, 300 minutes peak of off-minutes 'free' and alpha paging. You can get rid of that clear plastic Bravo Express pager that makes fruity noises too."
X -- "But my phone is digital PCS, too."
UA -- "No. No, don't even try to tell me that. What kind of sucker are you? They is lying to you. True PCS phones are 1.6 gigahertz. They're just trying to confuse the issue. Plus, their digital makes everybody sound like they're Mickey Mouse. Don't even tell anybody else you have a PCS phone or I'll walk away right now."
X -- "What if I take a vacation? Will PCS work on a drive across the U.S.?"
UA -- "First, PCS will work in major metropolitan areas. Second thing, you're Asian. When was the last time you took vacation time?"
X -- "Uhh, never."
UA -- "OK, let's talk car. I know it's a Celica, I know you've got Recaros but the Wink mirror has been out since George Bush. You'll have to lose the entire vehicle."
X -- "But..."
UA -- "Let's see, you'll need an Acura with a big plastic wing, get an exhaust tip as big as a coffee can. Lower it so you have to slow down for pebbles on the road. Also buy tons of those cute, well-made Japanese trinkets that go inside. Oh yeah, you'll need an air freshener. Even if the car is new, you'll need one."
X -- "Check."
UA -- "All right, what do you do for a living?
X -- "I'm a software engineer at Sun Micro."
UA -- "Good, that will work. You can keep your job. Are you in management yet?"
X -- "Not yet."
UA -- "OK, that one's easy. Just start leapfrogging into jobs you're unqualified for. Before anyone can figure you don't know what you're doing, jump into another job. Pretty soon everyone will think you know what you're doing, and you'll be a manager or director. That's how they make all executives."
X -- "What about my Sony XBR flatscreen TV and my Sony cordless phone, is that OK?"
UA -- "Is it all black?"
X -- "Uh huh."
UA -- "Yeah, that's OK. We'll have to go over each component one by one that."
It took a long time, but Mr. X was close to achieving ÜberAsian status once again. We substituted Bolle sunglasses for the Ray Bans and made a few other minor changes. By summer, Mr. X was walking with his head up high in Chinatown.
But there may be others out there suffering the same affliction. Are you still all dressed in black? Do you let your car alarm remote hang outside your pants? Can't decide whether to get a GPS unit for your car? Write to UberAsian@aol.com for help in obtaining super Asian status.