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Walking through San Francisco's Chinatown, a tourist from the Midwest
was fascinated with all the Chinese restaurants, shops, signs and banners.
He turned a corner and saw a building with the sign "Moishe Plotnik's
Chinese Laundry."

"Moishe Plotnik?" he wondered. "How does that fit in Chinatown?" So

he walked into the shop and saw a fairly standard looking Chinese laundry.
He could see that the proprietors were clearly aware of the uniqueness of
the name as there were baseball hats, T-Shirts and coffee mugs emblazoned
with the logo "Moishe Plotnik's Chinese Laundry."

There was also a fair selection of Chinatown souvenirs, indicating
that the name alone had brought many tourists into the shop. The tourist
selected a coffee cup as a conversation piece to take back to his office.
Behind the counter was a smiling old Chinese gentleman who thanked him for
his purchase in English, thickly accented with Chinese.

The tourist asked, "Can you tell me how this place got a name like
"Moishe Plotnik's Chinese Laundry?"

The old man answered, "Ahh... Everybody ask that. Is name of owner."

Looking around, the tourist asked, "Is he here now?"

"He is right here," replied the old man. "He is me."

"Really? How did you ever get a name like Moishe Plotnik?"

"Is simple," said the old man. "Many, many year ago when come to this

country, was stand in line at Documentation Center. Man in front is Jewish
gentleman from Poland.

"Lady look at him and say, 'What your name?' " He say, 'Moishe

"Then she look at me and say, 'What your name?'

"I say, 'Sam Ting.'"