Thursday, June 29, 2006

Just a Plain Old White Chick

All she had wanted was an oil change.

She went to the gas station on a recommendation from a friend. "It's the cheapest one you're going to find." Alright, then that's where she was going. When she got there, she handed the man her keys and took a seat next to the slurpee machine (At $13, guess you get what you pay for).

After about 15 minutes the man came and asked her to come to the garage with him. He pointed out that her fluids needed topping off and he'd be happy to take care of it for a few extra dollars. She knew she was getting ripped off, but laziness can sometimes be worth the money. "Go for it," she said.

She paid for the service and walked back around to reclaim her car. The same man was standing there and looked like he wanted to say something.

"Do you speak Spanish?"

"Nope," she answered, "But I get that question all of the time."

He insisted that she looked Puerto Rican (he appeared to be so himself). She explained that she was "just a plain old white chick." Russian Jew to be exact (by heritage), but caucasian nonetheless.

The interrogation continued with the following call and response:

"Are you married?" - "No."
"Do you have a boyfriend?" - "No."
"Really?" - "Really."
"Can I have your number?" - (look of amusement) "No."

...he had already gotten her warmed up and into the habit of saying no.

Of course, with hindsight being 20/20, she began to ruminate later on.

"Plain old white chick?" What does that mean? Lately she had been asked so often where she was from. Puerto Rico, Cuba, Mexico, Spain, Italy, Greece, Egypt and very occasionally "Oh, you're a Jew." What the hell did it matter? Why did she feel like apologizing for being white? Why was that such a dissapointment?

Next time (and there was no doubt that there would be a next time) she wasn't apologizing for anything.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

American Men: Put away the scissors!

For most Americans, I'm about to get pretty controversial. For everyone else, this post isn't going to be a big deal.

It has come to my attention that most American men are circumsized, while most men around the rest of the world are not. Has anyone ever wondered why that is?

Americans insist that the circumsized penis is cleaner. An uncircumsized penis is ugly and unsanitary. That's the theory. I think the theory is bullshit.

A European friend and I were discussing the origin of circumcision in the United States. It turns out that this was a Puritan practice meant to discourage young boys from masturbating. By removing some of the sensitive tissue (and tissue that allows masturbation to occur without chafing), masturbation will be less pleasurable.

This practice has continued because, like most long-held beliefs, it is very difficult to get people to admit that they are wrong about something to which they have physically committed themselves. How many men that you know would like to admit that their penis has not been circumsized, rather, it had been mutilated?

African women are circumsized, but we generally recognize this practice as barbaric. Why then is male circumsizion both allowed and encouraged? Although not all pleasurable sensation is removed, glands that protect the penis as well as the protective foreskin are literally cut off exposing the penis to infection and cuts.

I realize that this concept leaves most American men feeling less than adequate. Accepting this argument means accepting that they are indeed mutilated. That's a tough pill to swallow. The only thing that would make it worse would be continuing the practice. Let's just try to think about this before we continue to snip our little boys without even giving them the choice.