Friday, March 22, 2013

I Love Everyone...Except Jessica Chastain, Apparently.

Walking through downtown Portland the other day with my friend Gina and the world's third cutest baby, my godson, Milo. . .*

*Ain't nothin' cuter than my short people when they were babies.  

. . .I was yet again struck by the beauty and eclectic charm of my fair city. Portland is a metropolis replete with artistry, culture, lush verdant landscapes, and more gastronomically glorious food carts than you can shake a dead hipster at.

"Dude, when I was pregnant I LIVED on pierogies and sour cream".  I told Gina with a solemn nod.  "There was this amazeballs Polish food cart about three blocks from my office and the dude who worked there would hook a PG sistah up, yo."

Gina sighed, a blissful expression crossing her perfect features.  "I haven't had pierogies in a dog's age,"  she moaned.  "Is that cart still around here?"

"No,"  I replied sadly, "unfortunately, there aren't any Polish food carts left on this side of the river."

"Hmm," Gina mused. "I wonder why."

I shrugged noncommittally.  "Dunno.  Maybe they couldn't keep the lights on."  Gina stared at me blankly.  "You know, not enough employees to screw in a light bulb."   Cackling like a couple of coked-up whores, we continued to wend our way down the street in quest of lunch.

"Didn't that kick-ass Thai cart used to be over here?"  I asked, watching in awe as Gina veered Milo's stroller through the foot traffic.*

*Seriously, that girl can maneuver a Peg Perego like Hackman in The French Connection.  It is a thing of beauty.

She squinted at the phalanx of carts before us.  "I think so.  I have no idea where though."

"Well, Mama needs her Pad Se Euw," I scowled with determination  "and I'm fully prepared to go all 'Zero Dark Thirty' to hunt that shit down."

Suddenly, I was met with a furious glare as the girl standing before me whirled around.  "ExCUSE me!"  she hissed angrily, "but for your information, I am one-half Persian and I REALLY don't appreciate your racial bullshit!"

Gina and I gaped in stunned silence.  "Wait. . .what?"  I stammered lamely.  The girl rolled her eyes and tossed her glossy brown hair.

"Zero Dark Thirty?  Osama Bin Laden?  What, so you're going to hunt the food cart down like a terrorist?  Because ALL Iranians are terrorists, right?"  she said with a knowing smirk before rolling her eyes and turning away.

Now, I understand we live in a society with zero tolerance for racism and by God, I embrace that.  But are you freaking kidding me here?  Amber Alert: We're probably ALL part Persian...and part Asian...and part Southwest Uruguayan Jew or some shit like that.  That's what this country was founded on; a bunch of inbred mutts that no one else wanted who decided to give their homelands the middle finger and build their own clubhouse in the U.S. of A.*

*By the way, does anyone else find it ironic that the most famous symbol of American racial and ethnic acceptance, the Statue of Liberty, was given to us by the French who freaking HATE us?  No?  Just me?  Never mind then...

You know, honestly, despite my untethered vitriol for my neighbors, I'm a pretty affable, happy-go-lucky kinda gal.  It takes quite a bit to make me go the full Limbaugh on someone and despite my cathartic rants on my blog, in the "real world" I'm about as confrontational as Deepak Chopra on Thorazine.  But if you REALLY feel the need to see me up in your grill like Joy Behar on Bill Maher, call me a racist. . .please. . .I dare you

In truth, it was only a matter of time before the youth of Portland rose up against me because they've been profiling me for years. I'm no longer bothered when people in the 18-25 year demographic look at me like I'm a soulless heretic.  I expect it from you guys.  I get it, because I was the same way at your age.*

*God, that makes me sound old.  Now let me get my my scooter chair, I need to be at Denny's in time for the Honored Citizen's special, by cracky!

Of course young people are indignant.  Of course they're all angsty and self-righteous and touchier than Mary Kay LaTourneau at a Cub Scout Jamboree.  Young people get offended by 90% of what I say because in their minds I represent the generation that jacked up their tuition rates and treated their planet like the dumpster behind the 7-11.  Their skin is still tender and sensitive as they have not yet acquired that rhino-like hide of apathy and cynicism  that comes from a lifetime of mortgage payments and dysfunctional relationships.  Don't fight it, little ones; eventually you all cross over and it's so much easier if you just stop struggling and let time and tide wash your innocence away like a cheap dye job.*

*We all float down here.

I'm not saying we should declare an open mike night on racial epithets, but for the love of Ban Ki-Moon can we stop being so damned hypersensitive and understand that not every innocuous comment is a hate crime?  Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, Sigmund.  Lighten the hell up.

As the girl before us retreated, Gina and I continue to stare at one another in confusion.

"Was I just called a racist?"  I asked.

Gina tilted her head in thought.  "Quite possibly."  she concluded.  "However, one could argue that the act of going all 'Zero Dark Thirty' on someone was actually a slur against Jessica Chastain.  You don't have a particular hatred for actresses of Scottish and Northern Irish descent, do you?"

"Not that I'm aware of."  I replied.  "But then again, I was unaware of my obvious latent hatred for Persians, so. . ."

"I love that she didn't have a problem with your 'Polish-screw-in-a-lightbulb' comment but went batshit crazy over an obscure movie reference." Gina chuckled.

I sighed.  "Apparently she is selective in her causes de jour.  I'm just glad I didn't make a joke about hipsters or she might have spit her soy chai latte all over her Urban Outfitters sweater."

Gina laughed.  "Yeah, she seemed so fired up that I didn't have the heart to break it to the poor girl."

"Break what to her?"  I asked.

"Osama Bin Laden wasn't Persian."  Gina said with a grin.  "He was Saudi Arabian."

And this?  Right here?  Is why I love my friends.  


PS:  Speaking of love, would y'all be willing to show me some?  Noa, of Oh Noa is holding her annual elections for the League of Funny Bitches All-Stars.  If you have a moment, your vote HERE would rock my world. You know...if you're comfortable voting for a racist, that is.


TheOtherLisa said...

Voted for you, of course. And a couple few others.

Probably because I am neither Persian nor Scottish and Northern Irish.

Laura said...

Oh honey... Despite nearly spitting my coffee all over the monitor I typically learn something from your blog... a) The French gave us the Statue of liberty b) OBL was a Saudi (didn't even get that from the movie) and c) the correct usage of douchenozzle... is always a plus.

that said I would have looked her straight in the eye and said...

what the hell's the matter with you?! Stupid! We're all very different people. We're not Watusi. We're not Spartans. We're Americans, with a capital 'A', huh? You know what that means? Do ya? That means that our forefathers were kicked out of every decent country in the world. We are the wretched refuse. We're the underdog. We're mutts! ;>)

Jennifer Clark said...

Props to Laura for the fab "Stripes" quote!

My Prussian grandfather, who unknowingly was the descendant of French royalty, used to bitch that the French could keep their damn statue; they should have payed the war debt they incurred when we saved their sorry asses in World Wars I & II!

I totally would have pointed out the Saudi thing. But I'm coping with a kid who has a flaming case of PTS (Pissy Teenager Syndrome). Seriously, we passed a flowering plum tree and I admired it's pink blossoms. Not looking up from the txt he was writing, the kid sneeringly told me it was white. Repeatedly. I flipped a U-turn, roared back down the street and came to a dead stop in front of the tree with the PINK blossoms. His response? "It musta just turned pink."

I know I'm trying to stop the tide, but it's just so damn irritating! Good on ya, Jen.

Soonie said...

Despite being half Iranian (Persian? Please - I'm not a fricking rug or a cat), half Iraqi, brought up in the UK and having lived in Ireland for 8 years - I totally appreciate your equal-opportunities approach to insults and fabulous way with words.

In short, you're a funny bitch. Voted.

Maggi Shelbourn said...

Voted for you (and Misty and The Bloggess, etc) even though I am half-Irish and half-Polish. Yea...when I was in college my excuse for drinking was a result of my heritage; "I love to drink but I don't know why..." Talk about some racist shit...

Valerie said...

I'm half polish, and I laughed at your lightbulb comment. My Cuban side knows how to change a lightbulb... Too bad I can't say that for the polish half of my family... Gods rest their stupid little souls...



Laura said...

Ok. I officially LOVE Soonie. Please... I am not a frickn cat or a rug...


Persian doesn't make me think cat or rug... I think Jasmine and that friggn flying carpet...

at least you didn't joke about that...

Kari said...

Voted for you and Dani and Noa and the Blogess, and while I tend to side with my Irish ancestors, in truth I too (and even more so my poor boys, distilled down another generation) are total mutts.That's the whole point of identifying as American. And I have tremendous respect for you shrugging that off and walking away. I wouldn't have been capable of such restraint. Hope your house stuff is going smoothly!

Collette Palmer said...

Hmm...seems to me that not only was she 1/2 persian/iranian but also a spy because who else would have been eavesdropping on your conversation. In any case, I am 100% Polish & am only insulted that you spelled the plural of pierogi wrong. Pierogi is the plural, while pierog is the singular. This is forgivable because even most people who are part Polish don't even realize it. Some of us Pollacks are not stupid ;)

Brett Minor said...

Last summer, I got some new Mexican neighbors. Over the course of the next few months, I fixed their computer and took the two teenage boys to a zombie festival. Sometimes they would come over and play XBOX and I gave their mother a ride to work a few times.

That fall when the leaves fell, she sent her boys over to rake my yard as a thank you for the things I had done for her.

I stepped outside and said, "Just what I always wanted. Mexican gardeners!"

The boys laughed, but from behind the tree stepped their much older brother who I had never spoken with. He threw down his rake and stomped back to the house. He still hasn't spoken to me.