Moishe’s Chinese Laundry
I remember when there was a Chinese laundry on every corner. Here’s the story about one such Chinese Laundry owned by Moishe Plotnick.
Walking through San Francisco’s Chinatown, a tourist from the Midwest was fascinated with all the Chinese restaurants, shops, signs and banners. He turned a corner and saw a building with the sign “Moishe Plotnik’s Chinese Laundry”.
“”Moishe Plotnik?” he wondered. “How does that fit in Chinatown?”
So he walked into the shop and saw a fairly standard looking Chinese laundry. He could see that the proprietors were clearly aware of the uniqueness of the name as there were baseball hats, T-Shirts and coffee mugs emblazoned with the logo “Moishe Plotnik’s Chinese Laundry”. There was also a fair selection of Chinatown souvenirs, indicating that the name alone had brought many tourists into the shop.
The tourist selected a coffee cup as a conversation piece to take back to his office. Behind the counter was a smiling old Chinese gentleman who thanked him for his purchase. The tourist asked, “Can you tell me how this place got a name like ‘Moishe Plotnik’s Chinese Laundry?'”
The old man answered, “Ahh… Everybody asks me that. It’s the name of the owner”
Looking around, the tourist asked, “Is he here now?”
“He is right here,” replied the old man. “He is me.”
“Really? How did you ever get a name like Moishe Plotnik?”
“Is simple,” said the old man. “Many, many years ago when I came to this country, I was standing in line at the documentation center. The man in front of me was a Jewish gentleman from Poland. “The lady at the counter looked at him and said, ‘What is your name?’ ” He said, ‘Moishe Plotnik.'”
Then she looked at me and said, ‘What is your name?'” I said, ‘Sam Ting.'”
Humbly submitted for your consumption. As they say, a laughing belly is a, umm, happy belly!
—Mee Magnum (“Chop! Chop!”)