im in yr line, observin yr racizm

12.08.2006
Ore : 4:35 PM

He's your dad, your doddering granddad, your most embarassing uncle, and the smelliest guy at the laundromat all rolled into one hugely obese, stained baby-blue sweatpants-sheathed package -- with a long gray ponytail on top. He's come to the check-out counter with enough provisions for a month. He's delighted that the cashier is "a Mexican."

"Well aren't you just the prettiest little thing? I can't get enough of Mexican gals, they're so good-looking..."

The young, emo/punky chicana flashes him a quick, braces-lined smile, and continues running his jars and bags over the scanner. Her body language screams that she feels she can't move fast enough. She knows what's coming.

"When I was in high school my girlfriend was Mexican. Just the most beautiful thing. Damn she was hot." Suddenly, a snag: he's got a coupon for one of those jars.

She cringes a bit as he sidles peremptorily and proprietarily around to her side of the counter, so as to indicate the item for which he should get a discount -- as well as to give her an up-close taste of his manly, ketone-tinged Great Big White Guy musk.

Only once he is assured (you can never be sure with "those people," as they're notoriously lazy and slow) she's got it, once he's heard enough "Oh, okays" (which came, by the way, in a native California accent), does he return to the customer side of the counter to continue regaling us all with memories none of us asked to hear and that are probably 98% self-aggrandizing lies anyway. "Yeah, 'Ana' was her name, and she was just the cutest thing. Great runner, too [I'll bet, chump - ed.] -- a fine athlete. She had five older brothers, you know. Oh, and those Mexican guys, whew, well they don't even want you looking at their sisters. Don't even try it! Yeah, they're horndogs
after other girls, but they don't want you near theirs!"


"Oh, yeah, totally," comes a weak reply, once again sans alien accent.

I swear. The shit we ("we" being poor Americans, period) the shit we eat -- really just gobble down -- for the sake of getting by...

He's got another tangent, something about going to a Mexican wedding, probably involving an observation on their prolific breeding habits. I'm not listening, because my eardrums seem suddenly to resonate with a high, full, blue-white keening -- the sound of the shame, perhaps, that another should be feeling but isn't, so the universe decides to thrust it upon you in that sort of balancing-out that makes everything always seem so unfair.

Tension bleeds out of the store when he wheels his spoils out the automatic door.

"Hi, how are you?"

Good, thanks." I'm shopping for a potluck at work, so I've got four items.

"And your Rewards Card?"

I give her my phone number.

"Okay, that'll be $21.78."

Like an old lady, I've always got exact change.

She smiles. "Well that makes my job easier!"

"Darn, I was hoping we could have a really awkward conversation about your ethnicity."

Yeah, she lost it. I think there were tears. She could get me my receipt, but couldn't manage the "thankshaveaniceday" part. Oh well.

posted by teh l4m3 at 4:35 PM | Permalink |

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Comments for im in yr line, observin yr racizm
Nice. Sounded like Texas for a moment there. I have exact change most the time too.

I'd rather listen to the eliminationist rantings of a proud Klan member than listen to that sort of 'benign' racism. Unfortunately, the benighted lumpenproletariat of Chicago (many of whom are my colleagues) are more inclined to spout the latter. (Case in point: the mere mention of Barry Bonds raises their 'moral' hackles to kill-mode, but discussion of Mark McGwire rates nary an offended peep. You tell me whose home run stats were more obviously juiced.)

I know it's a management cliché, but you can, in fact, tell a lot about a person by how he/she treats the waitress (or whatever).

brilliant.

how i miss america, the land of the free to be racist and just flat-out creepy.
  • Posted at 6:45 PM | By Anonymous almostinfamous

i hate amerikans.

brilliant, teh

That guy sounds like Carl from ATHF.

Especially with the stained blue sweatpants.

chuckles, totally.

"what about the guitars, and the piano, and you know, the stuff us white people like"

Terrific line, teh. And I agree, the subtle "I'm paying you people a compliment" stuff is almost worse than the blatant racism.

teh l4m3 is teh funni.

As a female, that kind of stuff happens all the time. We live in a sick and disturbing society.

For me, I hate when people tell me how to say my non nanobot name. They actually argue with me. To which I reply, "I'll let my mother know who actually gave birth to me, know how you feel."

Very funny.

this blog don't allow annynonymuss commentos.

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