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Strip for 2/13/2002  
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Happy Chinese New Year, everyone. I got an e-card from cousin Michelle and I had no idea what the occasion was. I'm really sad that I can't go home this weekend to see my parents and have lots of food. Hung pao would be nice as well. Now that I'm the only unmarried one in the family, I'm the only one who gets the red packet. I remember when we were younger and my parents would make us serve tea before we would receive the money.

I have another really strong Chinese New Year memory. I was about 10 or 11 and I loved going to Fuddrucker's, mainly so that I could play videogames while waiting for the food. One day in January, my dad suggested we go out to lunch and I of course threw in my vote for Fuddrucker's. I was vetoed and we went to Bombay Bicycle Club instead. Being the brat that I've referred to in the past in these blurbs, I was beastly in the restaurant. I was such a stabbing, shooting pain that my dad sent me out to the car to wait for them to finish their meal. I went to the car and quickly got bored. So, I opened the door, got out, and locked it. It was the Honda Civic and I knew that the doors needed to be held unlatched as you closed them or else the lock would pop up again. Then I started off for the bookstore, thinking that I'd just hole up there and let them wait for me to be done reading before I'd go home. My sister came running out of the restaurant warning, "Dad says to get back in the car or he's going to get really mad." So I went back to the car, but my attention quickly wandered again. So, this time, I got out on the far side of the car and crept along the sides of the parked cars, waiting by the wheel wells. Then I got dragged back into the restaurant. When the meal finally finished, we went back out to the car and then I realized that on my last escape attempt, I'd locked the keys in the back seat. These were the days before cell phones, so they had to use a pay phone to get ahold of my aunt. She had to go to our house, get the spare key, and then drive out to the restaurant to extricate. Dad was purple by the time we got back to the house. Since the rattan canes they used to use for whackin were unable to be located (I'd hidden them months before), my dad found a wooden window blind rod and started swinging, testing it's properties of strength and give.

And then, my mother intervened. She said that since it was Chinese New Year, it would be bad luck to start it off by whaling me. And so, my behind was spared, but not my afternoon. I spent it pulling my ears in the corner (why is pulling the ears punishment?) and licking the drywall (that was my own addition). But hey, no welts.

I think corporal punishment really helped me be a better kid... I don't think that it should be in schools, but I do believe that parents (and only parents) have the right to use it as a disciplinary tool. Besides, it teaches kids ingenuity (I hid the canes in the freezer once, thinking that if it froze, it would break when they tried to use it) and drama (Chinese New Year would've had to have been a lot more frequent to save me from all the canings that crocodile tears got me cleared for). Not saying I never got hit (my siblings assert that I got the cane the least of us).

I better stop before my parents come down here to deliver retroactive whacks.