Study Guide

American Born Chinese Chapter 6

By Gene Luen Yang

Chapter 6

Danny & Chin-Kee

  • We're back at Oliphant High with Danny and Chin-Kee.
  • The two of them are late to class, probably because Danny doesn't want anyone to see Chin-Kee with him.
  • In class (specifically, American Government), the teacher asks the class a question and, of course, Chin-Kee knows and volunteers the answer, which totally embarrasses Danny.
  • The same thing happens in every class Danny's in, regardless of the content. Chin-Kee knows everything and he isn't afraid to show it—loudly. Even in Spanish.
  • At lunchtime Chin-Kee breaks out some seriously gross stuff for food, like fried cat gizzards (or, in Chin-Kee's Chinglish, "flied cat gizzards wiff noodle"). Danny really doesn't want to be around Chin-Kee.
  • Then one of the jocks, Steve, stops by and congratulates Danny on making the varsity basketball team.
  • They joke around a little in the way that jocks do until Steve notices Chin-Kee.
  • Danny tries to distract Steve from talking to Chin-Kee, but that only gives Chin-Kee the chance to do something really mean: he takes Steve's can of Coke and pees in it before putting the can back on the table.
  • Why? It's a joke. One that, by the way, results in Steve barfing up his Coke, though he has no idea about what Chin-Kee has done.
  • After class Danny has to go to detention because of how tardy he was, so Chin-Kee goes off to find some "Amellican girl to bind feet and bear Chin-Kee's children."
  • Are you thinking whatever? So is Danny.
  • While Danny walks toward detention, he sees a couple of white students laugh and make a slanted-eye face, which kind of makes him feel sucky.
  • Then he runs into Melanie, so he tries to apologize for Chin-Kee's behavior toward her.
  • Melanie's pretty cool about the whole thing, but when he asks her out on a date, she lets him know that she just thinks of him as a good friend. Ouch.
  • Danny, of course, thinks it's all Chin-Kee's fault and tries to convince Melanie that he's not like Chin-Kee at all.
  • But Melanie tells him that's not it.
  • Although… she does tell him that his teeth buck out a little. So she gives him her uncle's business card (he's an orthodontist)—you know, because that's what a friend would do.
  • Danny's depressed now. Sitting in the gym. Alone.
  • Then Steve walks up and asks if he's okay. (Steve's not a bad guy.)
  • They start talking and Danny reveals that for the last three years he's transferred to three different high schools, because every year Chin-Kee visits him and ruins his social life at school.
  • Steve tries to convince him that Oliphant High is different, that people aren't that hateful here.
  • Then he offers to buy Danny a Coke, which ends up triggering Danny. He asks (kind of defensively) "What, so I can pee in it?" which makes alarm bells go off in Steve's head. So that's what happened to his Coke earlier.
  • Steve ends up barfing again into a trashcan while Danny walks off.
  • High school. Sigh.