Goin' Down To Anglotown - William F. Wu - ebook

In this alternate world, a parody of old stories and movies about Chinatown, three recent college graduates of Chinese and Japanese descent celebrate graduation with a dinner in Anglotown. Pals Ken, Andy, and Garth joke and harass each other at dinner, but Ken’s curiosity grows. Cindy Smith, hostess, offers to take him into the back where he can see the secrets of Anglotown.~~~~~ Excerpt ~~~~~“I’ve heard Angotown has all kinds of underground tunnels, secret rooms and passageways,” said Ken. “Maybe it’s just urban myth, but the rumors go way back.”“Urban myth,” said Garth. ”Let’s look for the Loch Anglotown Monster, too.”Andy laughed and gave Garth a whack on the arm.Ken parked and led his friends up the sidewalk, looking around. He didn’t remember the name of the restaurant. It was a weeknight, with few tourists out.Some of the tourist-based businesses in Anglotown had the pointed windows, steep gables, and gingerbread of Victorian homes. The shapes created other-worldly shadows, hinting at ghosts from when California was mostly Anglo and Hispanic. Other buildings reflected Colonial Revival, meaning a rectangular shape, two or three stories, symmetrical façades, brick or wood siding, pillars, and windows with shutters. Yet none of it seemed quite right; the shutters were just for show, nailed against the front walls, and many structures had been added awkwardly. Signs, written in archaic lettering, swung in the breeze from horizontal posts out front that evoked New England or Britain itself. None of it seemed to belong in Los Angeles, yet it all belonged in Anglotown.   “Smells good,” said Andy. “Is that meatloaf cooking?”“I smell pot roast.” Garth, who knew about all kinds of food, raised his head and breathed in. “Hey, does this hakujin restaurant you like have cheap prime rib?”Ken ignored him, eyeing a narrow storefront jammed between a big seafood restaurant with a Cape Cod front and a bank with a Victorian-era façade. “Chillicothe Katfish Kitchen” was painted on the door above “Genuine Missouri-Style Cuisine.”

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Goin’ Down to Anglotown

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.