As translated from my "conversation" class's textbook. There seem to a few recurring themes. One is Wang Dabao's almost Norman Bates-like obsession with listening to what his mother says. Another is the absolute absurdity of the concept of having more than one child. Yet another is the virtue of turning your mother in to the neighborhood cadre. As for my translation itself, I don't think I have a career as a professional translator. I've literally translated in most places so if it seems awkward, it's because the text was awkward. Also, stuff like punctuation is a Western value that's been imposed by the post-colonialists; the run-on sentences are in the text. So here it is.

Yang Dama: Hey, who's that? It's so late, and you're still sitting out here on that stone bench looking crestfallen.

Wang Dabao: Dama, it's me.

YD: Oh, it's Dabao. Why aren't you at home? Did you forget to bring your key and lock yourself outside?

WD: (points to this house's door nearby) No, I -

YD: Did you get in a fight with the missus?

WD: No. (points to stomach) She -

YD: Xi Ling, what's up with her? She isn't paying attention at her kindergarten class?

WD: It's not that either. It's my mother. She-

YD: What? Is she having another case of high blood pressure? Passed out?

WD: It's not that either. It's -

YD: It's not this, it's not that. You're hemming and hawing. You must feel oppressed. What is it then? Can't you tell me?

WD: It's her. My mother doesn't agree.

YD: The reason is that Ya Ping is pregnant again. Your mother fears going against the family planning policy, although disagrees with it[Ed: indeterminate pronoun. I assume it's referring to the policy.], eh? Well, it's not a good situation, but tomorrow you should got to the neighborhood committee chairman and get the certificate and then bring her to the hospital to get the surgery done. If you don't have free time, then I can bring her.

WD: My mother doesn't her to go to the hospital. She wants a grandson.

YD: And Ya Ping? What does she think?

WD: These past two days she's wanted to eat sour food; also, she's been nauseous and wants to vomit. She consulted with me and plans to hide the truth from my mother and go get the abortion done. I don't know what to do. My mom found out and she vehemently disagrees. She says, "sour boys spicy girls" [one of those obscure Chinese idioms] and that this time it's definitely a boy. She also said that you can't cut off the Wang family name. She said not to tell anyone else and to protect this secret.

YD: Oh, your mother is so clever. So Xiao Ling isn't a part of the Wang family? All through the generations we have valued boys and overlooked girls. Moreover, "paper can't hold fire." You can't hide raising a small dog or cat in your house from other people. How are you going to hide Ya Ping's bulging stomach so that other people can't see? It's really fucked up.

WD: My mom says that she has the master stroke of deception. If only three people know, there won't be any hindrances. She has a way to not let the neighbors know and secretly birth this grandson.

YD: This is insanity. Then has she told you her plan?

WD: She says, let her bear this for a couple of days and don't let outsiders see. When we get through the first steps, then we'll be ready to go.

YD: And her bulging stomach?

WD: My mom says the first three months it doesn't show. After a bit, she'll go to a trusted person, pull some connections, find a doctor to give Ya Ping a high blood pressure or hepatitis certificate, bring her to her uncle in the countryside, and there would be no way to be found out. Also she said that the situation out there isn't bad. And after the son is born, who would kill him?

YD: Yowsers. This idea is quite something. Your mom is so concentrated on having a grandson. Dabao, you're young? What's your plan?

WD: We've been crying out, "One couple, one child" for so long that our "ears have developed calluses." If we have a second child, then we'll be criticized, pay a fine, who knows? Moreover, Xiao Ling is starting kindergarten, we only got through toilet training with much difficulty, now we have time to read a book or watch TV at night to relax. Let me tell you from my heart, who could possibly not realize that one child is optimal!

YD: Well, think this through and do what you feel.

WD: But my mom is such a pain. This isn't like soccer, 2-1 we win. Once I mention this, Ya Ping and mom will get into an argument. One will say that you're the son's father, be a man, and make a decision. The other will say: you're mom's filial son, the backbone of the Wang family, think for the Wang family. They can't come to a solution, so I'm stuck in the middle. What do you think I should do?

YD: You're almost 30 years old. Do you think you can hide this and it will go away? That arguing will solve the problem?

WB: OK, you go beseech my mom. You're the neighborhood cadre. Certainly she'll give you face.

YD: If I go now, that wouldn't be good. Once I walk in, she'll know my motive, we'll lock horns, and our work will be harder. Let me think...

Ya Ping: Dabao... Oh, Yang Dama is here.

YD: I know all about it. Don't worry. Aha, I have an idea.

WD, YP: What?

YD: Your mom is "subtle and smart to achieve her ends," eh? We'll turn her trick against her, have a battle of wits with her. Tonight, you two go back home and don't mention this. Especially you, Dabao, don't pull a long face, act more lively. But don't say anything, change the subject, flatter your mom. Keep everyone in their place. The day after tomorrow, I'll go find your uncle.

WD: To do what?

YD: What does your uncle do?

WD: He's the village cadre.

YD: He understands the national family planning policy, right?

WD: He's served as cadre for most of his life. What doesn't he understand?

YD: How's his relations with your mom?

WD: No need to say, she always said that uncle is more cultured than her, he's served so many years as cadre, has lots of intellect. When my dad passed away early, every time she had a problem, she would go to uncle make the decision. You can say that she hangs on every word that he says.

YD: Excellent! I'll meet with your uncle and get someone to call on your mom to come by for several days. If you fear she'll have doubts, we'll say uncle is sick, then she'll definitely go. While your uncle is taking care of mom, we'll go to the hospital. Then your mom comes back, the deed will already be done! This "lure the tiger away from its den" tactic shouldn't be delayed. What do you think?

YP: What an excellent "double sided plan"?

WD: Why couldn't I think of it?

YP: Oh you! Don't bother of thinking of another plan. Let's think this over and consider some strategies. Dama, we've decided. It's getting late. You should go home and rest.