Thursday, June 4, 2009

Politically Incorrect Yet Informative

I found this great Chinese Checkers tin today and just about did a dance in the middle of the thrift store isle. I'm not sure if I'll be able to make anything from it though.

I'm most confused by the Spock ears on this gentleman. I guess he's the Pixie, but I think he's been China-fide for the occasion. I searched a little on Google to find more info about this manufacturer, but strangely couldn't find much. There is an image of a Pixie brand pick up stick package. That also seems to contain a pixie, but apparently one of western descent. I'm totally inclined to make a necklace from this guy, but I'm not sure who would ever buy it.
Not only is this just a fun tin to look at, I was surprised about how much one can learn about the Chinese from the illustrations. Like, for example, I had no idea that the Chinese play Chinese checkers so much. Of course, I guess there's no surprise that it would be a mainstay of any good tea service: However, I was a little more amazed to find that it is regularly played in the middle of the street. Of course, this is an old tin, so I'm sure the roads were a little less crowded then.As awesome as in-road checker bouts are, I think this tidbit is even more astounding:I had no idea they had so much fun in the rice paddy. I had always envisioned that as difficult, almost back-breaking work, but apparently there's plenty of time to kick back and enjoy a round of checkers with your chums.

I would love to be able to explain what is going on here, but I'm at a loss. If anyone out there speaks cartoon Chinese, maybe that character below the table could give us a hint. I'm guessing 'cheater' or 'alien' or 'the illustrator dropped acid.' If anyone out there can tell me what I'm supposed to be learning about the Chinese culture here, please be sure to leave a comment.All-in-all, this was a great find. It's not often that I learn so much from such a simple object. Maybe next week I'll get even luckier and find a tin with images of the French eating French toast!

5 comments:

Beth H said...

hilarious post! what a weird & fascinating find. yes, i think the illustrator did drop acid.

training education said...

very unique..

susan said so said...

I had THIS VERY SET when I was a child, and for many years after I reached adulthood, but lost it in one of my bazillion moves.

Great find!

xox,
Susan

mommalibrarian said...

a belt buckle for Steven or maybe a bolo tie slide

Anonymous said...

I, too, had this exact set as a child. (I'm sure my mom still has it somewhere.) I always interpreted the last scene as:
youngster: (see hand move) jump, jump, jump, jump...
elder: you have learned much, young grasshopper.
youngster: (touches hat and beams) me so smart!
Yes, politically incorrect, perhaps, but PC had not really been invented yet, at least not in Texas...
Man, I suddenly miss the vicious competition this game brought out between me and my brothers...