Amidst all the current razzmatazz over the Joyous Tidings of the 19th Party Congress and the mighty Uncle Xi, a tweet from a fine Chinese scholar notes the dazzling series of media eulogies from babies, kindergartens, primary schools, secondary schools, universities, the elderly, the religious, the sick, and criminals [sic], asking “Whatever next? Series of eulogies from animals, toys, and coffee?” Good old social media…
So, in the spirit of the Anthology of folk tales of the Chinese peoples (Zhongguo minjian gushi jicheng), this is as good a time as any to tell another classic story (somewhat in the vein of the old Brezhnev joke) about the hapless former leader whom I shall call “Lee Beng”:
Lee Beng is paying an official courtesy visit to a hospital for the criminally insane. All the inmates are gathered together in the hall and Lee climbs onto the platform, announcing grandiosely:
“Comrades! On behalf of the Politburo of the Central Chinese Communist Party and the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, I would like to sincerely extend my warmest greetings!”
One loony leans over to the guy sitting next to him and goes,
“So we’ve got a new arrival then…”
No less prescient is this Marx brothers scene.