Your Claims Of Racism Go Up In Smoke

| Friendly | January 26, 2016

(It’s after nine pm and I decide I want ice cream and have to run to the store. I live in a pretty safe town and don’t think much of running out by myself. There aren’t too many cars at the store and I don’t park by any of them. When I come out of the store there is a mini van parked next to me. A Spanish-speaking couple are standing outside the van smoking. It should be noted that I have severe asthma and can not be anywhere near cigarette smoke. It causes my chest to tighten and my throat will feel like it’s on fire. I have actually been sent to the emergency room before due to smoke- induced asthma attacks.)

Me: *walks the long way around to my car while looking away so I don’t breathe in smoke*

Lady: *loudly, in English* “I tell you, the people in this town are all racist! They think we Mexicans are good for nothing, lazy jerks who all came here illegally. They hear two people just sitting around innocently speaking their native language and they just can’t bear to be near us.”

Man: “I agree. They just can’t handle hearing the Spanish language. They all think we’re awful people and completely avoid us and go out of their way to not be near us.”

(At this point I turn my head and see them looking directly at me. I can already feel my chest tightening, but I’m close enough to my car to open the door and grab my inhaler, so I decide to reply to their comments.)

Me: “I can’t help but think your comments are directed at me.”

Lady: “Of course they were! You were making a point of totally ignoring us!”

Man: “And just because we were speaking Spanish! We call out racists when we see them.”

Me: “I could not care less what language you were speaking. To be honest I wasn’t paying that much attention. I was avoiding you because I can’t be around cigarette smoke. I have asthma and was trying to keep breathing.”

Lady: “Likely story. Racist.”

Man: *blows smoke in my direction, making me cough* “Excuses, excuses. You’re just like every other whitey in this town.”

(At this point my chest is really tight and I am having trouble breathing. I actually need to use my inhaler. I take it out of the bag and take two puffs in clear view of the couple while they stare at me, realizing that I was telling the truth.)

Me: “Yeah. Not racist. Just trying to avoid a trip to the hospital, and yes, cigarette smoke has caused asthma attacks bad enough to need the hospital.”

(The lady quickly put out her cigarette and actually apologized for making assumptions. The man was still eyeing me suspiciously as I got in the car and drove away.)

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The Tailgate Scandal

| Right | January 26, 2016

(In this particular car park, you take a ticket when you arrive — you can’t get past the barriers if you don’t — and then use the ticket afterwards to pay for how long you’ve been there. I’m waiting to pay for my parking, and a group of giggling girls, no older than 21 or so, approach the security guard.)

Girl #1: “So, like, we can’t get out; we don’t have a ticket.”

Guard: “You’ve lost your ticket? You can get a replacement—”

Girl #1: *giggles* “No, like, we never had one.”

Guard: “You… didn’t take one when you came in?”

Girl #1: *brightly* “Nope!”

Guard: “How did you get in?”

Girl #2: *clearly thinking that they were being smart* “We followed another car in!”

Guard: “So you tailgated another car in? Right, I see. You’ll have to call the control centre, and pay for a full 24 hours parking.”

Girl #1: “Uh, no. If we wanted to pay for parking, we would have just taken a ticket, right?”

Guard: “Yeah… You can either pay for a ticket, or you can go to jail. It’s your choice.”

Girl #1: “…How do we get a ticket?”

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The Fast And The Hilarious

| Friendly | January 14, 2016

(I recently moved to live closer to my parents, to help drive them around and help them out in other ways since they’re getting ‘older.’ As a result, my dad has found our car is no longer quite big enough and he complains to a friend, a lawyer, in the church’s parking lot. This happens right after I, my brother, my mom, and dad have all gotten out of the car.)

Dad: “This car is too small. You couldn’t even fit one clown in it!”

Lawyer Friend: *not missing a beat* “No, three clowns and your wife just got out of the car.”

(And I did get the lawyer’s permission before posting this!)

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Trying To Backtrack The Conversation

| Right | December 30, 2015

(During peak hour traffic, it’s very slow on the highway, which also slows the number of cars trying to get out of our car park as our centre is right alongside the highway. There’s often a long queue of cars trying to leave the carpark.)

Customer: “Excuse me, how do I get back onto the highway?”

Me: “The exit is that way.” *points*

Customer: “Do I have to get behind that long line of cars?”

Me: “Yes, there’s only one exit.”

Customer: “Where’s the back way?”

Me: “There is no back way. That’s the only exit.”

Customer: “But there’s too many cars there! How do I avoid them?”

Me: “You don’t. There’s one exit. That’s why all the cars are lined up there.”

Customer: “…So, there’s no back way?”

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Indian, Pakistani, It’s All Greek To Her

| Related | December 16, 2015

(I am an observer walking directly behind this conversation, which takes place outside of a gym with a pool. A mother walks out with her two daughters. The daughters are holding towels to towel off after swimming. The older daughter wraps her towel around her like a toga.)

Daughter: “Look, Mom, isn’t this toga pretty?”

Mother: *in a disgusted voice* “How can anything Indian be pretty?”

Daughter: “Mom! A toga isn’t even Indian.”

Mother: “Fine. Pakistani!”

Daughter: *jaw drops* “It’s what men wore in ANCIENT ROME AND GREECE.” *mumbling* “Why are you so ignorant and racist?”

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