Results of a five-minute probe of local store Chop Suey have revealed not a single portion of Chinese food, a Richmond man confirmed today. Instead, Virginia Commonwealth University sophomore Sean Tully reported only finding “a bunch” of eclectic, slightly-worn used books inside.
“Judging by the way the signage outside looked, I figured this place at least did take out,” said Tully, a 19-year-old at VCU, who, at the time of his preliminary investigation of Chop Suey was “insanely starving,” as were several of his suite-mates back at their Plum Street apartment.
Witnesses said Tully, dressed a black North Face jacket and jeans, walked into the 7-year-old West Cary Street bookstore in an attempt to buy a dinner of fried rice, Lo Mein and possibly a few egg rolls with a $20 bill.
“I could tell he’d been drinking a bit, so I just acted calm around him, and let him go about his business,” said Chop Suey owner Ward Tefft, who admitted to using the student’s obvious intoxication as an attempt to sell Tully on a copy of Shamans, Housewives and Other Restless Spirits: Women in Korean Ritual Life. “But I definitely didn’t want any trouble.”
Sources close to the investigation said Tully’s testimony into the no-Asian-food finding includes a camera phone image of a wooden bookshelf filled with paperbacks, some of which had slight water damage, others with sunning or tear damage to the spines. Despite his intoxication, the sources said Tully was able to decline Tefft’s offer of the 1991 book, which the shop owner described as being in “very good” condition with a minimal amount of highlighting and underlining and several black and white illustrations.
As of press time, Tully said he has not received a formal recommendation from peers on whether to continue seeking a dinner for four of fairly-inexpensive Chinese food, but did plan to make a $9 purchase of Quetzalcoatl and Guadalupe: The Formation of Mexican National Consciousness, 1531-1813.