By Leeland Lee
As a proud yellow-blooded Asian American male, it warmed my heart recently to see this Ruffles commercial featuring not one, but two—two!—Asian Americans playing that quintessential all-American game, Texas Hold’em. This was especially gratifying because for awhile I’ve been troubled by the media’s portrayal of Asian Americans. But after seeing this ad, all my lingering doubts dissipated faster than a bunch of slanty-eyed misfits at a college frat party.
Which is to say, we Asians have really made it in the US of A.
To start with the obvious, I’m especially proud of my Asian American brother (Mike Park) and his award winning one-syllable performance.
“Call,” he utters.
Say it with me now: “Call.”
“Call what?” you might ask. My mom? My grandma? Done and done. Hard as it is to believe, there’s only one thing in the world that runs deeper than the ridges on those Ruffles—and that’s my unwavering commitment to filial piety.
Anyway, did I already mention how glad I was to see Asian Americans on TV? I mean, that Asian girl (Emily Chang) looks like she’s really made it in life, with her white boyfriend and all. He looks like one of those secret billionaires you always read about who lives like a hobo. I bet he owns some really fabulous tech stocks!
You might think I’m jealous of this hipster, but really I’m not. Why would I be jealous? Because his Asian American girlfriend adores him and appears to have talents besides eating and violin-playing? Because he looks like he can afford to keep her happy with a dozen (authentic) Gucci bags? Get out of here!
I mean, why would I be jealous? I’ve got things going for me as well, things that would make any man jealous. Take, for instance, my mutant super power. Okay, since we’re all friends here, I’ll let you in on a little secret: I have the ability to make myself invisible. For real! It’s great because people don’t notice when I’m standing next to them. And some people don’t even notice when I’m talking to them. Like for instance: women.
Now just because I can turn myself invisible and you can’t, doesn’t necessarily mean I’m a slouch at work either. To be honest, I’m the hardest worker at my company, but I actually enjoy being the stoic exploited computer programmer with the shoe print stamped over my face. I’ve even taken a liking to the taste of sole, and I’m not even talking about the fish, if you get my drift.
And just like that super cool Asian dude in the Ruffles commercial, I’m also well-versed in one-syllable words when I’m at work:
“Of course, sir.”
Needless to say, my life is pretty exhilarating. It’s almost as exhilarating as a roller-coaster, except in reality I’ve never actually been on one since I’m too short to be allowed to ride.
Anyway, enough bragging about my awesome life. After I finish programming this final line of code, I will wipe down my thick prescription glasses, go home by myself, read another chapter of The Game, practice my kung-fu, then fall asleep to anime porn and dream that maybe tomorrow I’ll wake up with pale skin and male pattern baldness so that my lovely Asian American sisters will adore me almost as much as they adore Hello Kitty (who is also white and suffers from male pattern baldness—bet you didn’t know that). Baaa-zing!
And of course, tomorrow I can’t wait to visit my local supermarket to get me a bag of those delicious Ruffles. They go really well with fortune cookies.
By the way, this commercial sucks.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lee has previously written about the collective marriage choices of Asian American female writers.