Racist?

I like it when people laugh. There’s so much angst in the world, especially over the past several years, and I truly believe “laughter is the best medicine”.

Some folks really take themselves seriously, especially on social media. Like many folks, I’ve done too much complaining on the social media outlets about mundane and trivial things, but I’ve been trying to curb this tendency over the past couple of months.

One thing I like to do is “hit and run” a topic with a witty chestnut as a comment or response to someone. I was recently told by a friend that I should have been a writer for “The Golden Girls” or something, because these little chestnuts are reminiscent of something Bea Arthur’s Dorothy or Estelle Geddy’s Sophia would say on the show. My tendency to hit a “block” when I’m speaking has helped me expand my vocabulary over the years; if I find I’m “blocked” in a stream of speech by a certain word, I can usually circumvent my pause by substituting a different word or using a more colorful adjective. This coping mechanism is very useful when also used on purpose.

An old high school friend on Facebook shared a post about the number of people complaining to the host or hostess of a restaurant because they had a party larger than four people and apparently due to COVID restriction, in New York State you can still eat in a restaurant but only in a party with a maximum of four people. The old friend went on to describe the hysterics of folks; apparently people are standing in the lobby of a Denny’s engaging in wild theatrics about being the parents of three kids and the collapsing of their very existence because they can’t sit together in a booth. Anyone with any sense would know there’s all sorts of guidelines and the like regarding public outings. I’m surprised they still have the opportunity to eat in a restaurant in New York State; here in Illinois there’s no indoor dining right now.

Anxious to bring levity to the post, I was about to write a witty one liner and move onto the next topic of conversation. Now, in my constant quest for perfection, the wording has to be just right. I can’t just write, “tell them to stay home and cook!”. Too hostile. “Tell them to hit a drive-thru” was a little funnier, but then I thought about amping it up to “Tell them get in the car and yell in the clown’s mouth”. This is even funnier but you have to be of a certain age and live in a certain part of the country to know what that even means. I then settled on going the “cook at home” route and typed in, “tell them to go home and boil up some Rice-A-Roni”.

Now, the specificity of this suggestion adds humor to the line, plus the words “Rice-A-Roni” carry a certain amount of humor in their sound. I was about to hit “submit” and move on when I realized this line in 2020 could be construed as very inappropriate.

The old high school friend is Asian. His mother is Korean. Mentioning for him to tell someone to go home and boil up some “Rice-A-Roni” could have been insulting to him and anyone involved.

I quickly hit delete and removed the post before hitting submit. I decided to go with “tell them to go fry up some ‘Hamburger Helper’”. It doesn’t quite have the same punch in my ears but hopefully it made someone smile.

I know it made me giggle a little bit. As my husband can attest, I often amuse myself.

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