Chinese Tuesdays: Old man one ball


Cancer is no joke, but don't tell that to my friend Bai Heng. We were walking together on Friday night when he dropped a bombshell on me.

"Actually, my friend just found out he has cancer."

"OK, wow. How old is he?"

"He's thirty. It's 睾丸癌症." (gāowánáizhèng – testicular cancer)

"Damn, that's terrible!" I said.

"It's not so bad." A smile crept across his lips. "They had to remove one testicle. But hey, he's still got one left."

I nodded and Bai Heng paused for comedic effect.

"Now we all just call him 剩蛋老人." (shèngdànlǎorén – literally, "leftover ball old man", and an exact homophone for Santa Claus, 圣诞老人)