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The Chinese Monopoly

Background:  Our 3rd new mission comes to us from another one of you...the viewers.

From: Paul *Last name omitted* [mailto: Address Omitted]
Sent: Thursday, October 24, 2002 5:16 PM
Subject: I have a stupid question!

Have you ever noticed that almost all fast food Chinese restaurants have
the exact same menu board, you know with the red and blue fishes and crabs
and stuff around the edge, then they have fading pictures of the dishes on
china looking plates, with the list in the center.

My question:  Where do these sign come from and why do they all look the
same, does someone have a monopoly on fast food Chinese signs?  Or are
they part of a "Chinese take-out Restaurant - in - a - box" kit?  or are they
all part of a global network, designed to make us think they are all
independently owned.

We too wonder about this now...have the Chinese "Ma and Pa" take out places really been messing with us and one large corporate VP in some far off country is laughing at us "stupid Americans"?  After some thought and some fried rice/wanton soup later it was decided to look into the matter (man was it some good soup too) ourselves and call up the local Chinese takeout place and get some answers as well as our fortune cookies they didn't give us (they always get you somehow).


Info:  Well after getting the run around for a while we were able to speak to one of the head guys who make the little menus.  If we heard him correctly it seems that they make the nice little pictures from stock footage of other dishes since most of the restaurants have pretty much the exact same menus.  If the owners want more they have to pay "a little extra" and take their own pictures.  We thought the answer would be a bit better but we pretty much boiled it down to that since it took us another 2 days just to translate everything that had been told to us...I guess we just aren't sophisticated enough to have an ear for Chinese accents.  Oh well back the Ramen...since we know its stock footage you never know what they used in the ACTUAL dishes (poor puppies and goldfish [we know for a fact Ramen is pretty much just salt with some noodles]).


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