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Musings from the Edge of Forever

Note: This blog expresses only the opinions of the blog owner,
and does not represent the opinion of any organization or blog
that is associated with RONIN ON EMPTY.

The Case of the Uncanny Resemblance

A few days ago, I posted about a recent Korean drama ludicrously entitled A Man Called God, which I saw in a DVD bin while hanging out with forum moderator, Wongsaurus. During our misadventures in Chinatown, we stopped at Red’s Place, and I was introduced to Helen, the bartender.

According to Wongsaurus, she said I looked like Takeshi Kaneshiro, and I heartily thanked her for the compliment.


“Whatever. I’m totally better looking.”

And when it comes to comparing a person to someone famous, that’s really how you’re supposed to do it. If you think a person you meet resembles a celebrity, I’ve always believed you should only mention it if that celebrity is generally considered to be handsome/pretty.

Believe me: “You know who you look like? Jabba the Hutt” is never a good icebreaker.


“Sie batha ne beechee? Echuta!”

 In return, I wanted to tell her that she looked a bit like Cecilia Cheung, who is by most accounts, an attractive woman. But considering the fact that a) I don’t know what Cecilia Cheung looks like at the present moment and b) I was unsure of how people generally felt about her in the terrible fallout of the Edison Chen scandal, I was unsure of how this woman might take the comparison. I didn’t want to insult her, and I certainly didn’t want to raise any sexual implications to my intended compliment. So I said nothing. After all, an innocent observation can have unintended consequences.

In my life, I’ve been told I look like Brandon Lee, Keanu Reeves, David Duchovny, Daniel Henney, Richard Gere, Nicholas Tse, Patrick Tse Yin (”When he was young!”) and Jacky Cheung, etc. Although tastes differ, none of these fellows are exactly horrible looking. Let me be clear, I’m not deluded enough to think I strongly resemble any of these dudes. I’m just trying to illustrate that the people who made these comments actually picked mostly good-looking folks to make a comparison. And that’s how it should be, right?

I’m also always suspicious of people who say I look like Bruce Lee or Jackie Chan, especially if the person making the comment is not of Asian descent. It just seems like a lazy comparison since, odds are, these two are the only Asian men these folks are familiar with. Hell, for most of elementary school, people thought I looked like Jonathan Ke Quan, AKA Short Round from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. And perhaps they were right. After all, about 90% of all Asian boys look like that at some point in their life. A quick comparison:

Shorter Round Short Round

Me (left), Short Round (right)

Which brings me to a story…

Once upon a time I was a substitute teacher at Rush Springs public school. A young student from this predominantly rural white community said, “You know who you look like?”

As he took a breath before finishing his thought, I shuddered. Oh no, here we go…

“You look like that guy from Rush Hour!”

Some of the students laughed, some told the kid he was crazy, but me? My heart sank. Still, I figured Jackie Chan was the only Asian guy this kid probably knew by name, so it was pretty much a forgivable offense.

I replied, “You mean Jackie Chan?”

And then suddenly, the boy looked absolutely dumbfounded. “No!!” he exclaimed, “the OTHER ONE!”

“Chris Tucker?”

“Yeah!” he said earnestly, a big grin on his face. He wasn’t kidding around.

Now everybody in the class was laughing, me included.

Rush Hour 2

Frankly, I don’t see the resemblance. Neither does Jackie.

3 Responses to “The Case of the Uncanny Resemblance”

  1. CeeFu Says:

    Yeah… do look like somebody famous….but it escapes me at the moment! :)

  2. Wongsaurus Says:

    You handsome devil. Our mixologist must have gotten you mixed up for someone else. I told her I thought you looked more like Aldo Raines without the moustache. Ha Ha Ha!

  3. tk Says:

    post a recent picture of yourself so I can judge who you resemble.

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