Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Sure you're not a racist...

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="240" caption="Image by sajbrfem via Flickr"]cookie--not a racist[/caption]

Do you have any idea how hard it is to declare that you are a white guy and not make it sound like you're a racist? I didn't either until I had this recent email exchange:

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Mr Terra,

Greetings, and allow me to introduce myself.  I am SFC Michael Sampson1, an Equal Opportunity Advisor (EOA) from Ft Bragg, NC2. I am in search of a guest speaker for the Hispanic Appreciation Festival/Luncheon3 that will be held on the 2nd of Oct. 20114 at Ft Bragg. I was wondering if you would be our guest speaker for this Festival/Luncheon. I look forward to hearing from you.

Yes, the email really did start off with UNCLASSIFIED. Good to know.

Since I make a portion of my income doing public speaking events (and pickings are slim in 2011 thus far on that front), I was intrigued. And a little puzzled. So I sent this missive:

Hi Michael,

I haven't been back to Ft. Bragg since I was born there5.

I'd love to come, but am curious as to the content you're looking for and how I might contribute?

Because who knows? Maybe my fame has reached all the way back to my birth place, and they want me for my fine oratory skills rather than the path my ancestors took to the New World.

I awaited his reply with much anticipation and was rewarded with:

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Mr Terra,

I thank you for your reply. We are looking for a 25-30 minute speech on the topic of Hispanic culture in America; struggles, personal gains and/or losses. Just a speech of your experiences,  be they either positive or negative. And maybe how those experiences helped you or deterred you thus far in life. I hope that is some help to you.

Now... I'm pretty quick on my feet. And rather resourceful. At this point I'm 100% confident I can nail, NAIL the type of presentation the Army is looking for. I shall take the audience on an emotional roller-coaster in those 25-30 minutes that leaves them weeping at parts and cheering in others. They. Will. Love me.

Just one problem. See if you can figure it out in my reply:


It seems to me this information would best be presented by someone of Hispanic lineage. I don't check that box when it's census time. :)

Because how the hell do you say to someone, someone who thinks you are of a particular minority, that you are, instead, a pasty white guy? You can't come right out and say Sorry, but I'm white. Because that is the exact same thing as saying Whaddaya think I am, a Mexican?, which is not at all what I was trying to say!

To say I trembled in anticipation of his reply would not be far from the truth. It arrived:

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Mr Terra,

I aplogize if I have in anyway offended you. I thank you for your time.

FUCK! I did it anyhow. Gods dammit, man! Did you not see the smiley-face at the end of my prior email?! How could that have failed to properly convey the levity in my statement?

In a meek frenzy (yeah, picture that), I quickly replied with:

No offense taken, Michael. Honestly, I was more concerned of that going the other way. :)

Great. No other option but to go with the I have plenty of Latino friends line, I suppose. To which I can only assume he's thinking:

... fucking racist.

1 - Not his real name. Don't want to Google-bomb the poor fellow.

2 - Not the real military installation. See #1

3 - Not the real name of the event. Though it was Hispanic. See #2

4 - Not the real date. This is the military, people. They have really good weapons.

5 - Not true with  #2. But I was born at the real installation in the real email. From the real guy. Really.

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Friday, April 15, 2011

Yeah, this will piss you off. Yay!

OK, people. This shit is not as hard as you are making it out to be.

For the last fucking time...

  • Yay - An exclamation used to express extreme happiness or joy. E.g., Yay! She touched my pee-pee!
  • Yeah - Colloquialism for "yes". E.g., Yeah, your inability to get this right is kinda pissing me off.
The following terms are not acceptable alternate spellings. Not now. Not ever.
[caption id="" align="alignright" width="166" caption="Image by Olivander via Flickr"]No Morons Allowed[/caption]
  • Yea - The opposite of and rhymes with nay. If asked "Should it be legal to throat-punch those too stupid to spell  either yay or yeah correctly?", I would proudly answer with yea.
  • Ya - Slang for you. Ya rhymes with uh..., which is the noise I make in my head when you try and use this word in place of yay, ya fucking moron.
  • Yah - Slang for yes, but only if you speak German. Yah rhymes with thaw. Assuming your intent is proper, you're still too stupid to spell ja correctly.

I'm glad we cleared that up.

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Friday, April 1, 2011

Crossing the line on friendship

Updated the day after April 1st, 2011 - Why yes, this was my half-hearted attempt at an April Fool's missive for 2011. Not a lot of folks here in town were suckered in, but more than one from afar fell for it. Heh. I suck.

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you've probably seen a few... well let's just call them odd updates from me from time to time. OK, sure. Most of my updates are odd, but these tend to be rather out of character.

You see, Jeff Moriarty and I work together during the day. And our office computers are literally a few feet a part. We started this game sometime ago where if one of us leaves our computer unattended, the other is almost obligated to hijack Twitter or Facebook for a raunchy post or two. It's all in good fun.

Or rather, it was.

I once gain left my computer unattended for a while yesterday, and Jeff proceeded to do what he does. There's no use in looking for the evidence. I followed my normal procedure and deleted the offending update from both Facebook and Twitter. This time, however, I wish I didn't.

Here's where it gets a little uncomfortable. I happened to be doing a little online banking on that computer. I don't worry about that too much since the bank times the session out after just a few minutes of inactivity. But Jeff is a swooper and manages to get on the computer literally seconds after I walk away. So while he was doing what he was doing, the online banking window was still open.

And when I check my accounts this morning, I see that $500 has been transferred to an account I don't recognize.


Funny? Not so much. I'm still shaking a little as I write this, as I'm not exactly sure how I'll address the situation. I'm pissed, puzzled and seriously thinking of pressing charges. The fun, is over.

I really find the whole thing hard to believe. And to think that it happened today... of all days. It's really unbelievable.

Don't let this happen to you. Don't let things get out of hand. Always lock your computer. Oh, and check your calendar.