Lunchtime Story Hour with Han Mu Suddenly Turned Very Dark

I know it isn't New Year's yet, but I am making a resolution in September. I am going to stop saying that things can't get any worse. Because they clearly can. Never underestimate fate's capacity to inflict more experiences upon you. And if you are dumb enough, like I am, to say that things can't get any worse, they clearly do. Last Saturday's lunch with Han Mu was a little impromptu. The scheduled lunch was on Sunday. That lunch was with an interpreter. Han Mu requested four hours of my time. If you are wondering what 4 hours with Han Mu is like, just imagine reading the US Tax Code for four hours. Now every 45 seconds or so, have someone hit you upside the head with a frying pan. Repeat for 240 minutes. Also, smoke an entire pack of cigarettes and practice frowning a lot. My mom asked me, "If it's so terrible, why do you keep on meeting up with him?" I suppose the answer is two-fold. One, I have more material to share with you dear readers. And secondly, I cannot answer anything about my biological mother, so I intended to learn a little bit more about her this time around. But my mom definitely raises a very good point, because no rational person would subject themselves to this much drama unless they are a regular on a soap opera. When I arrived in Seongnam for lunch, I was not shocked at all to see a third person waiting for me. Yup, you guessed it, another social worker. Han Mu has social workers like you and I have underwear. I had not met this one before. I suppose the regular social worker couldn't make it to this round of spectacular display of disfunction. This one seemed pretty nice and I found out that this was the first time she had any experience with Han Mu, but his reputation and legendary status preceeded him.

I really shouldn't complain though, because many of the stories that come out of Han Mu's mouth end up making me look really, really good. However, if we are to doubt the veracity of his stories, I am not sure we can be so selective and decide the parts where I am a badass are the true parts and the rest of it is where he decided to get off the truth train and head on his deranged moped into Liarsville. I believe that many of you will be able to come to the accurate conclusion that as I am nowhere near as awesome in the format that you know me. The probability that I was that astoundingly cool as a young child is staggeringly low. In case you missed the previous stories, as a small child, I reported a missing child to the police hours before my parents did, I made daily trips across the valley to tell storekeepers to "tell Han Mu that I said hello," and I single-handedly evicted the Japanese occupation forces out of Korea using a bowling ball made out of dog whiskers. So I knew that whatever stories I would discover from this session would have to be doozies. The one good thing about Han Mu is that he never disappoints with opportunities to hate him.

What might be the most disturbing thing about what I am about to share with you is how he told the story. It was about as matter of fact as you reciting the receipt from the grocery store if all you got at the grocery store were oatmeal, q-tips, and carpet cleaner. I didn't become aware that something was wrong until I started to hear the responses from the interpreter and social worker. Several time I could tell the social worker wanted Han Mu to repeat what he had just said, then she would look at me with alarm, and then she would ask another question. At one point, she started to cry and after the intepreter told me what they had been discussing, she apologized and left the table and said she couldn't be around Han Mu at the moment. This was an hour into the 4 hours that she and the interpreter had committed to spending with us. So the rest of the lunch was going to be a blast. But we'll leave that story for another time. Back to this awfulness at hand.

Apparently, back in the day, when my biological mother was balls deep in her career, she was no longer around to take care of my brother and I. Han Mu was left to become a single dad, and the major networks weren't picking up his script for a new sitcom. So it was either the rejection letter from Netflix or the fact that he had to take care of kids by himself, but Han Mu decided that things just weren't going his way and he had a final solution to everyone's problems. So he packed us up and went to a hotel room where he was going to put us all out of misery. 100 pills were acquired somehow, the interpreter did not divulge what kind of pills they were, but let's just say they rhyme with Schmicodin. 20 of the pills were for my brother, 20 of the pills were for me, and 60 of the pills were for Han Mu. Han Mu explained that I was aware of what he was about to do and, as he was trying to give the pills to my brother, I was fighting him and physically trying to prevent him from doing so. While this was happening, I was making such a racket by commanding him to knock it off that hotel management came to the room to inquire what the hell was going on. So instead of a grisly murder/suicide situation, the hotel found a very pissed off five year old tongue-lashing his father while protecting his younger brother. Han Mu said that I told him that he was not fit to be our father and demanded that he take us to the orphanage.

As the interpreter is explaining all of this to me, Han Mu is just sitting there, gazing off into some place I don't even want to imagine. The sorrow in the social worker's eyes was making me sad, but I was trying to focus on what she and the interpreter were saying to me. I think I asked them, "Did he just admit to trying to kill us? And he is saying I stopped him? And I'm the reason we went to the orphanage?" Shortly after they confirmed that all the answers were yes, I started to learn how to chainsmoke. Han Mu made a comment that I was smoknig a lot. I think I told him I only had 20 cigarettes, but I could certainly get 60 for him since that is a number he seems to be fond of. I am not sure what needs to be done to be taken off a Christmas card list, but I have a strong suspicion that the Sane One won't be licking any stamps on cards that go to Han Mu this year. Or ever.

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