My Thanksgiving break was pretty darn good. Lots of food, some hanging out with old friends, spending a week with the fam, and offending minorities. Yes, apparently I’m racist.
Those of you that know me know that I am not a racist. However, you also know I often times take delight in being disagreeable just because I think it’s funny. One of my common practices is to take something I know someone to like or have some allegiance to and automatically declare that I hate it or that there’s something wrong with it. In practice this often turns out to be hilarious and entertaining to everyone around me and good times are had by all and everyone likes me and we all become the best of friends and I end up making out with a hot girl. Alright fine, so a lot of people think I’m an asshole, but I’m not – alright I sort of am, but for the sake of humor, not because I actually dislike people…most people…some people…anyway.
A girl I used to work with came into the club I was at with Erik and introduced me to her friend. At this point in the night I was fairly far along on my goal of filling up the dishwashers of the local bars so I don’t remember how or why it came up, but I don’t remember asking or mentioning it. Moreso, I think it was just stated to me – “This is my friend, her husband is Puerto Rican.”
If you’ll refer back a paragraph or two, you probably won’t be surprised to learn that my response was “I hate Puerto Ricans,” followed by crossing my arms and shaking my head in an obviously fake sternness.
Well, that was it. The next thing I know the girl storms off and my ECW comes over and tells me I’ve greatly insulted her and her husband. “What?” I said.
“You said you hated Puerto Ricans. You should apologize.” she replied.
“I’m not apologizing because your friends have no sense of humor,” I responded.
I realize it’s not funny to say you hate someone. Actually that’s not true, I don’t realize why you wouldn’t find that funny. I tell my friends I hate them all the time. In fact, if you cruise over to Erik’s blog, you’ll find derogative comments on pratically every post. Don’t even get me started on Jay. Anyway, the conversation continued…
“Andy, they have gone through a lot of crap being an inter-racial couple in central Pennsylvania. It’s hard for them.”
“So are you going to apologize?”
ECW returned to her position at the bar next to her friend (which, by the way, was only about 15 feet from where myself and Erik stood). Now, maybe I was being a bit insensitive, and maybe Erik was too (he was standing next to me during all of this and overheard everything), but we started to come up with all kinds of ways I could “apologize.” And they were hilarious. And we thought so. And so we began just cracking up:
“I’m really sorry…sorry you’re Puerto Rican! Because I hate Puerto Ricans! As I said earlier.”
“I’m really sorry…that you’re a whiny little girl.”
“I’m really sorry that you married this awful biatch of a woman.”
(in a sensitive tone) “Look, I wanted to come over and apologize. I don’t hate Puerto Ricans. I just hate you. And your wife….you’re both very, very ugly. So if you have some attractive relatives, don’t think I hate them. I misspoke and I feel terrible.”
This must’ve looked pretty bad to the offended seeing as how after anytime we were approached by one of their party, Erik and I burst into uncontrollable laughter just seconds after they resumed their seats.
Anyway, Erik and I had pretty much moved on and our friend who manages the place came over and said “Andy, what did you say?”
“I didn’t say anything!”
“He says you called him a ‘dirty spic.'”
Erik and Andy commence laughing hysterically.
“All I said was that I hate Puerto Rican people.” I then found using this as a defense to being accused of calling someone a ‘dirty spic’ hilarious for obvious reasons. I then explained to my buddy how it all went down and he said something to the effect of “I knew you wouldn’t say that and I told him that.”
After a little while I noticed my bladder was full of urine. I decided I’d go to the bathroom since that’s typically the remedy for such a dilemma. After I took care of business I walked to the sink. Looking to my left, I noticed my buddy talking to the enraged Puerto Rican guy. At this point I felt bad. Not for saying I hate Puerto Ricans. But for my friend (the bar guy) who had to deal with this whiny girl of a man. Having to put up with idiots gets old fast so as I approached the sink I look at the Puerto Rican guy and say: “Hey man, sorry about that, just jokin’ around.”
“I’M NOT EVEN FUCKIN’ TALKIN’ TO YOU RIGHT NOW!”
“Nice. Okay, see ya later.”
See? I tried to do right by him. He really is a whiny little girl. I needlessly apologize to this stupid jerk and he explodes and swears at me. If I would’ve been wearing a hat, I might’ve turned it sideways and said “THAT’S IT, YOU WANNA GO?! YOU WANNA GO RIGHT NOW?!” I might’ve thrown an “esse” in there somewhere to really get him riled up.
On my way out I stopped by the guy’s wife and ECW just down the bar from Erik.
“Hey, I just figured I’d apologize before this gets blown out of proportion. You see, I live in a Puerto Rican neighborhood in New York and I doubt I’d be able to set foot there if I actually hated them all. I was just joking around.”
Her response was a much nicer one and she was able to accept my apology, rather than swear at me. Though she ended her comment with something a little stupid, at least she tried to make a reasonable argument…she failed, but at least she tried.
“Thank you, I really appreciate that. It’s just that we’ve gone through lots of crap living in this area and being a mixed racial couple. You shouldn’t joke about stuff like that. How would you feel if my husband walked in here and called you a stupid white-cracker?”
What I wanted to say was: “I would assume he was joking and would tell him that I hate Puerto Ricans. And if he seemed serious I’d write him off as a stupid asshole, and tell him I hate Puerto Ricans. Because I’m not a small girl…you know, like your husband Sally over there.”
(Me, needlessly apologizing…at least she was receptive)
Maybe I don’t understand this hyper-sensitive undying allegiance to a country you don’t live in just because your parents were born there. Or a country you left behind years ago. Or to the color of your skin. It could just be me. Does that make me racially intolerant? I hope not. I tend to get along with pretty much everyone as long as they’re not a stupid asshole – but whether or not you’re a stupid asshole has nothing to do with where your passport is issued and if I happen to think you’re one, I promise it’s not because your skin has a darker hue than my own. It’s because I just don’t like you as a person.
My hope is that in the future when people hear me say something like “I hate ____ ” they know I don’t actually hate it. It’s called sarcasm. I learned it from Roseanne Barr and the Golden Girls.