I don't think "funny" translations are all that funny...

... my theory being, I am allowed to make fun of someone's translation of Chinese into English only when I'm ready to have a Chinese person make fun of my translation of English into Chinese. And I will never be ready to do that.

On the other hand: If I were going to translate something into Chinese, for a wide audience of Chinese people to read, I might possibly consider having a native Chinese speaker take a look at it before I gave the final OK. Which is why I continue to marvel at specimens like this: the always-welcome "moist towelette" from yesterday's Air China flight from Chengdu to Beijing (click for larger view if the point is not clear):
 

http://i142.photobucket.com/albums/r96/jfallows/IMG_4800.jpg

This was not the strangest aspect of the flight, however. As part of a general tightening up of security in China, the screening line in the Chengdu airport required me to do two things I haven't done on any of my 40 or 50 previous domestic flights in the country: remove my belt, and take off my shoes.

It was boiling hot in Chengdu, and I was wearing shorts and moccasin-type shoes with no socks. So when I took the shoes off, I was just there in bare feet. Nonetheless, like the other passengers who had socks on when they removed their shoes, I had to hold my feet up while a young security officer waved a metal-detecting rod around the top, bottom, and sides of them. "Those are my feet," I helpfully pointed out to her. "For the Olympics!" ("为奥运会!") she said, with what looked like a smile.