Monday, June 9, 2008

You Speak Good English

Its Saturday evening. My beloved (Junior) and I have decided to go out for dinner. First we pondered the Blue Gill. As we neared the restaurant we changed our minds and decided to ride further East and head to Stix for a little hibachi and sushi action. We are sat at a table for 10 and so far we are the only two. A few minutes later another couple joined us. I find it uncomfortable that your food is cooked along with other peoples right in front of you. I've barely made eye contact with these people and their chicken is touching my chicken? The nerve. At another hibachi table next to us sits a larger group of people. One in the group is an older man probably early 50's. Island shirt, loafers, shorts, teeth, he looks normal. Junior is sitting at the corner end of our table and 50's man is sitting at the corner end of his table. So basically they are side by side. Junior and I are eating our dinner, minding our own business when 50's man says "Hey Big Daddy, where you from?". The reply, "Texas". 50's man then says "You speak good English". At this point the chicken I was chewing got lodged in my throat. For those of you who do not know, Junior is 100% Mexican. The proper term would be Mexican American as he was born in West Texas, U.S.A. He does speak Spanish but only when provoked with road rage or speaking to his father, who was born in Mexico but has been in the U.S.A. for 35 years or better. Junior has no accent of distinction and certainly not a Hispanic one. He has as much of a Hispanic accent as Les Nessman from WKRP in Cincinatti does. 50's man then says "You speak real good English, you should come work for me". Junior laughed. 50's man said something like "all the Mexicans that work for me know one word, de niro". Junior laughed again. 50's man said it one more time "You sure do speak good English". Junior repsonded again "its because I am from TEXAS". At this point I am stunned. Because you look a certain way people assume you would sound or speak a certain way? Unless it were the obvious such as a cat barking or a dog meowing shouldn't that comment be kept to yourself? Now, if a man with no teeth, an Old Milwaukee in hand with a tattoo of Yosemite Sam waving a #3 flag at monster truck rally said in a very proper English accent "Pardon me, do you have any Grey Poupon?" we would know that all laws of nature had been broken. In the future I will not be so quick to judge a book by its cover.

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