817 Special: Barbell Laughter


[TN Note: Goes sometime before Extras 5 and 6 (The 2016 & 2017 New Years Special) but definitely after “Ten Years Later”]


It rained a lot in summer. The splashing water from several waterfalls was mixed in with the torrential rain, making people feel that this small village would be submerged. In addition, there was the deafening sound of water coming from the roaring streams. But nature was so uncanny. All the rain, waterfalls, and streams didn’t stay in the village. Instead, they would pour down, wash everything away, and then disappear without a trace.

I made tea in the house. After several days of torrential rain, I figured I finally understood why this place was called Rain Village. I also knew that this village was definitely unusual. The gullies and inner layers of the drainage mountain here were different from other places. It was either because of the ancestors’ wisdom when it came to labor or because water conservancy craftsmen had been here.

The tea was very fragrant. Fatty felt uncomfortable with the damp. The moisture here was heavy during the summer, so I didn’t know whether he was covered in sweat or dew. He had been in a bad mood for a while. I told him yesterday that he was going through menopause and he insisted on pulling me to a bar in town to show me that his figure was still very popular.

Menopause and auras were two different concepts, but I didn’t want to argue with him. Watching him go stir-crazy because he couldn’t go out on a rainy day made me uneasy, so I found a corner to drink my tea and avoid him.

When he saw that I obviously didn’t want to talk to him, he went and sat in a bamboo chair next to Poker-Face. The two of them opened the door and watched the curtains of rain pour down from the eaves outside. The bamboo chairs were very short, so the two of them sitting on them—one fat and one tall—looked like two uncles doing farm work.

Fatty sat there for a long time before he turned to Poker-Face, “Little Brother, I want to discuss something with you. The village branch secretary came to me the day before yesterday and asked me to get your help with some work. In a few days, the town’s agricultural leader will come down for an inspection. Mr. Naïve’s agricultural business and sideline products are very impressive, so the village branch secretary blabbed about them when he was making his report. As a result, the leader wants to come see us. If he’s impressed, he’ll set up a pilot project. When the village branch secretary came back and thought about it, he was afraid it would blow up in his face when the leader came. So, Little Brother, let’s think of something, yeah?”

I already knew about this. The village branch secretary was a very active person who ran up and down and got involved in all kinds of franchises. But with our identities, I didn’t want to have any more troubles. I usually just let him be, but I couldn’t help with this kind of thing. I couldn’t imagine Poker-Face introducing a new agricultural product to the leader. But the village branch secretary took hold of Fatty’s weakness. Fatty had lost more than forty times playing mahjong before, so this was his chance to save some face.

“Don’t bother. We’ll withdraw to the town and then you can find some villagers to pretend to be us. You can definitely get it done that way.” I took a sip of my tea.

“It’s an idea, but it’s not necessary. This kind of thing will make us look fucking unconfident in our abilities, Mr. Naïve. Our relationship with the village committee is already so tense. If you don’t set an example, life will be even more difficult. Damn it, can you quit being so lazy? Go back to the smooth and slick little master from before. I’m going to run for director of the women’s committee next year and you can’t stop me.”

“There aren’t many women in this village. You’ll be running for a corn cake office (1) instead,” I said angrily. “Why are you trying to start a business here? Don’t you understand that we’re in seclusion?”

Fatty’s anger had been simmering for a while and now he suddenly exploded, “Seclusion?! You fucking quarrel with the aunt next door every day in seclusion! And the whole village treats us like we’re the Japanese entering the village! It’s like they can’t wait to engage us in tunnel warfare! If we keep this up, we’ll definitely be on the news. And when that happens, the people will definitely treat us like fugitives. We need to be approachable and have a good relationship with them.”

The muscles in my forehead jumped. It wasn’t because I was angry with Fatty, but because I thought of the neighbor next door. There always seemed to be all sorts of bad things every day here. I took a deep breath. Fatty wanted to keep going, but Poker-Face suddenly turned to him.

Fatty was startled and immediately made a defensive move. When he had nothing else to do before, he would watch Poker-Face train his fingers, so now he had a lingering fear.

Poker-Face said faintly, “What you said…”

Fatty took a deep breath and said to him, “In fact, it’s nothing. When the leader comes, just smile and nod.” Fatty suddenly pressed his diaphragm and said in a deep voice, “Ha ha, the leader has worked very hard. Please remember to come here often. That’s it. Just a few words.”

Poker-Face thought for a moment. He didn’t give any sort of indication, but there was still some hesitation.


The leader arrived a week later, and after he left, our relationship with the village got even worse.

Before the leader came, I had several nightmares in which the old people in the village complained. In the middle of the night, I often heard some strange sounds in the woods outside the village that sounded like laughter and barbells. I often woke up in the middle of the night and only felt relieved when I saw Poker-Face and Fatty sleeping soundly.

Fortunately, it was just a dream.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ~ ~ ~

<Notes from Rain Village> <Table of Contents><Extra: The Daily Life of the Iron Triangle in Rain Village>


TN Notes:

(1) Also called “Bao Gu Ba”. It’s made from corn and is popular in Southwest China. It’s a delicious Yunnan snack that’s usually ground into a thick paste with sticky corn and then steamed into palm-sized chunks


2 thoughts on “817 Special: Barbell Laughter

  1. Wu Xie should not relieved, he himself know that he absorbs danger wherever he goes. Poor Fatty stuck between a stubborn lazy Wu Xie and a distracted Silent Xiao Ge. 😄
    I hope he does not help the farmers himself, I’m afraid that poor farmers get an endless hole instead of their land. (In the end he will blow up their farmland as well.) 😂😂


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