For the last few days, I’ve been trying to figure out what to do, if anything, about the responses to my last blog. I’ve been accused of being a snob, a twit, a spoiled brat and, worst of all, a racist. My stomach started churning the moment the comments started flying in.
My first thought was to ignore all of it, to just let things go. That would be easy. After all, none of you really know me, you don’t’ know where I live, there’s no way you can really “hurt” me except with your words. But that’s not me. Indeed, if you take a moment to read all of my other posts you’ll get a better sense of who I am. You’ll also get a sense that I’m new to this and that I recently started dabbling in Dave Barry-like satire.
As you know, when you try to be funny you can come perilously close to being insulting. It’s a delicate balancing act. Of course, Don Rickles made a living out of insulting people to their face. Others who think they are being funny have not been as successful.
The first thing I want to say is that this incident never happened. When I started writing this piece I was trying to make a point about an incident from my past. It was two years ago when I was standing outside a Toys R Us just before Christmas, waiting with hundreds of others for the doors to open so we could all dash down the same aisle to grab that new, you-just-have-to-buy-this-for-your-kid, action figure. It was pouring rain, freezing rain at that. We were getting absolutely drenched, including a whole bunch of infants. I looked at my watch and it was 8:55. When I looked on the other side of the locked doors, I saw three Toys R Us employees sitting in chairs, yucking it up, sipping their lattes.
I was by myself, so I didn’t give a crap about waiting another 5 minutes. But I kept listening to these poor kids who were getting totally soaked and I wanted to burst. No, I wanted to take out a brick and throw it through the glass doors to give the crowd refuge. Anyway, the point I was trying to make was that, in a situation like that, what is the harm in letting the folks in just a few minutes earlier? I just wonder if we are losing our humanity at times.
Come to think of it now, I don’t’ know why I just didn’t write about the actual incident.
As for my “racist” remarks, this will probably not assuage you but I was thinking about an episode of “The Simpsons.” As you know, that show is replete with jokes about all cultural stereotypes and one of the main characters is a man from India who runs the local mini-mart. In true “Simpsons” style, the jokes are always flying, as they are for the Ted Kennedy-Irish-type Mayor.
Anyway, apologies if it came out the wrong way. I’m not a racist. Indeed, I am the only white person who is a member of our local school’s Black Student Achievement Council. And I never really said those words to any real person. It was an attempt at satire that obviously touched a nerve.
Hope we can move on from here!