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by William F. Wu
“We’re goin’ down to Anglotown!” Ken Wong yelled happily over the sound of the wind rushing into the car windows as he drove up the freeway.
He was racing east on the 10 Freeway toward downtown Los Angeles from Westwood with his two best friends. They had just graduated last week from UCLA. The big graduation parties were over, but now, on a perfect June evening, the trio wanted one more night on the town together before going their separate ways.
Tonight, Ken was treating his friends. A freshly minted college grad, with a major in business and a minor in history, he was the only one with a well-paying job lined up. Ken had even received a startling amount of congratulatory money in lai see from his relatives. So with a big wad of cash to say farewell in style, he was taking his friends out to dinner.
Filling the shotgun seat with his bulk, Garth Endo folded his arms across his broad chest. “I still say Little Eire’s better. It’s next to Anglotown. We can get drunk and sing ‘Danny Boy’ for the Micks.”
Hooting with laughter, Andy Fan leaned between them from the back. “Yeah, I’d like to hear you sing that, you sentimental jackass. Where the hell are pipes callin’ you, anyhow? Japan?”
Garth gave him a light-hearted swat with the back of his hand. “I’m gosei, baka-boy! You oughta remember that by now. Fifth generation! Even my grandparents don’t know anybody in Japan. And you got the green hair, dude. Is that Kelly green?”
Ken laughed. Andy’s degree was in film, television, and digital media, with a focus on screenwriting. He had a modest new job reading scripts for a small production company, and for a year he had dyed his black hair into day-glow green.
“It’s an artistic statement!” Andy yelled, laughing.
“It’s a lotta snot!” Garth growled back. “Get a snot rag!”
All three roared with laughter.
“Remember that seventies movie Anglotown?” Andy grinned impishly. “The one starring Jack Nguyen? The last line is a classic.”
Garth turned to Ken. “Damn it, he’s going to start in with movie quotes again.”
“He’s unstoppable.” Ken shook his head.
“‘Forget it, Jake. It’s Anglotown,’” Andy intoned.
Garth gave him another back-handed slap.
Ken sped on, the skyscrapers of downtown in view ahead. He would start work in one soon, with his new business degree and his new job at a financial firm. Tonight he was taking his pals to a particular restaurant. A waitress there had caught his eye a month ago. He hadn’t told Andy and Garth about her.
Beyond the skyscrapers beckoned Anglotown, a strange and mysterious island of Anglo culture in the fused Asian America of greater Southern California.