Canoga Park, California, Summer 1962: Ron, the Megatar shop foreman, was a junior in High School, and his pal Johnny Blevins worked for Lim’s Chinese Food restaurant at Sherman Way and Topanga Canyon Boulevard. One day Johnny told Ron he needed some help.
“I’ve got to go on a vacation with my parents,” Johnny said, “and if I don’t get somebody to fill in for me at Lim’s, I’ll lose my job!” Ron stared.
“What do you do?” he asked.
“All you do is answer the phone,” Johnny said. “Mr. Lim doesn’t speak English very good, so you just take the orders. It’s just for a week.”
“OK,” Ron said.
“And ask him to feed you,” Johnny said, “That’s part of the deal. He’s supposed to give you dinner.”
“OK,” Ron said.
Vacation time arrived, and Johnny left with his parents, and Ron showed up at Lim’s Chinese Food restaurant. Mr. Lim looked him up and down.
“Huh!” said Mr. Lim, pointing to the phone. “OK. You take order!”
Ron took the orders. It was quite busy, one order after another. It turned out that Mr. Lim spoke very, very little English. Ron had to write down the orders by number. For example two orders of pot-stickers was “two number four,” and one order of beef and broccoli was “one number seventeen.”
In this way, they worked their way through the evening.
It grew late and Ron was hungry. He felt a bit timid, but finally he stuck his head into the kitchen.
“Can I have something to eat?” he asked.
“What?” screamed Mr. Lim. “You got no mother? You got no father? They don’t feed you?!!“
Ron’s head shrunk down to his shoulders. Hungry, and crushed by the harsh words, he slunk back to his ringing telephone and took another order.
Then, another order. Then, another. While Ron was writing down these orders, there suddenly appeared before him a heaping plateful of rice and vegetables, steaming, with a heavenly smell!
Mr. Lim took the written order. Ron fell on the food.
“Huh!” said Mr. Lim.