Friday, August 19, 2011

Who's on first?

Listening to NPR morning news today - they're referring to Xi Jinping as Joe Biden's "counterpart." Ok, technically, they're both "vice" guys. But Xi has been pre-selected as the next President of China, meaning that if all goes well, he will become, arguably, the 2nd most powerful man in the world. As for our Vice President, if all goes well, he will never become President.

This inspires me to write up a fun little script that you can play with your kids to help them get a sense of three prominent figures in Chinese politics.

ABBOTT: The newspaper says that Xi will be the next President of China.

COSTELLO: The next President of China will be a woman?

ABBOTT: No, Xi is a man.

COSTELLO: Weird. What is his name?

ABBOTT: Xi.

COSTELLO: I thought you said he is a man.

ABBOTT: He is.

COSTELLO: So what is his name?

ABBOTT: Xi.

COSTELLO: Wait a minute! Just tell me - who is the next President of China?

ABBOTT: No. Hu is the current President of China.

COSTELLO: I don't know who is the current President of China.

ABBOTT: Well, he is.

COSTELLO: Who?

ABBOTT: Yes.

COSTELLO: Yes?

ABBOTT: Yes.

COSTELLO: Yes is the President of China?

ABBOTT: No! Hu is the President of China!

COSTELLO: I don't know! You said "Yes" is the President of China.

ABBOTT: No, I said Hu is the President of China.

COSTELLO: I don't know! Just tell me, who is the President of China?

ABBOTT: Yes.

COSTELLO: Yes?

ABBOTT: Yes. Hu.

COSTELLO: I don't know. Who?

ABBOTT: Yes. Now that we cleared that up. Tell me, what do you think of Xi?

COSTELLO: Who?

ABBOTT: No, Xi!

COSTELLO: The woman?

ABBOTT: Xi is a man!

COSTELLO: Who is a man?

ABBOTT: Back to him? Yes.

COSTELLO: Yes is a man?

ABBOTT: Now you're just talking nonsense... Let's just get this straight. Xi is a man, and Hu is a man.

COSTELLO: She is a man?

ABBOTT: Yes. And the next President of China.

COSTELLO: Who?

ABBOTT: No!!! Hu is the current President of China!

COSTELLO: Yes?

ABBOTT: Yes.

COSTELLO: And the next President of China?

ABBOTT: Xi.

COSTELLO: The woman with no name, who is a man.

ABBOTT: More nonsense! There is no woman. Xi will be the next President of China. Hu is the current President.

COSTELLO: Yes?

ABBOTT: Yes. You've got it?

COSTELLO: I don't have any idea what you're talking about!!! When will the new President take over?

ABBOTT: Wen?

COSTELLO: Yes, when?

ABBOTT: No, Wen is the Premier.

COSTELLO: Is that what it's called, the "premiere" of the next President?

ABBOTT: No, just the Premier.

COSTELLO: Sheesh. Ok. When is the premiere?

ABBOTT: Yes.

COSTELLO: Him again? I don't want to know who, I want to know when!

ABBOTT: The Premier.

COSTELLO: Yes. When is it?

ABBOTT: That's right.

COSTELLO: What's right? When will be the next President of China?

ABBOTT: Wen will not be the next President of China. Wen is the Premier!

COSTELLO: I have no idea when will be or not be the transition!

ABBOTT: Hu will step down as Communist Party leader in 2012 and as president the following year.

COSTELLO: I don't know. Who?

ABBOTT: Yes.

COSTELLO: Who?

ABBOTT: Yes, Hu.

COSTELLO: Yes?

ABBOTT: Yes.

COSTELLO: When?

ABBOTT: The Premier.

COSTELLO: In 2013?

ABBOTT: Xi will be President.

COSTELLO: Who?

ABBOTT: No, Xi!

COSTELLO: The woman?

ABBOTT: No, the man, Xi. Hu is also a man and the current President of China!!!

COSTELLO: Yes?

ABBOTT: Yes!!! Got it?

COSTELLO: I have no idea... I know nothing. When is the premiere? Who is the President?

ABBOTT: That's it!

COSTELLO: That's it?

ABBOTT: Yes, Wen is the Premier. Hu is the President. What do you think of Xi?

COSTELLO: I don't know when! I don't know who!! And I have know idea about she!!!

ABBOTT: Well, then, that puts you about even with most people.

Anyway, you get the idea. Have fun with the kiddies. And if you're too young to know about the inspiration for this, check out this classic clip. (Even if you know it, it's always worth another look!)

2 comments:

  1. Johnny Carson's version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JdPZSwo6FpQ

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  2. @rd: Hilarious! I had missed that one. (Chung Dung Hu is made up though, right?)

    I've always wanted to see someone work in President Bouteflika of Algeria (along the lines of a Beyoncé interpretation). Know any where they use his name?

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