Can’t prove you’re from the boot? Don’t even think about it.
I was hungry tonight, 3.5 readers. I should have skipped dinner because I’m fat but screw it. My tummy wanted foody, yum yum.
I went to a strip mall, where there was a pizza joint and a Chinese restaurant. Normally, I would enter one or the other place, order, stuff my face and leave fatter than ever and none the wiser that I had committed a hate crime that made me worse than Hitler, namely, that I ate food that did not hail from my culture.
You see, I’m not Chinese. Of that, we can be certain. And even though that nice Chinese couple who moved to town and spent their savings to open up a business in which they would utilize their skill in cooking and serving their native dishes to anyone willing to pay, I knew better than they did.
Up until yesterday, I didn’t know better. I thought it was OK for me to stuff orange chicken and pork fried rice and beef teriyaki and won ton soup and crab rangoons and moo goo gai pan and chow mein into my pie hole with reckless abandon.
But then, yesterday, I read about that girl who wore a Chinese dress to her prom even though she was not Chinese and I realized that I was a monster for eating Chinese food all of this time without being Chinese.
So I stuck my head in the doorway (I didn’t think I deserved to even enter a restaurant that was decorated in a Chinese style because again, I’m not Chinese) and I told the nice couple that I would not be able to purchase their food again because I am not Chinese. They looked at me and smiled and then when I tried to explain further, the wife grabbed a broom and whacked me in the ass and told me, “Get lost, hipster scum!”
Anyway, so the other place at the strip mall was a pizza joint. I go there often. They have good pizza. However, it dawned on me that I am not Italian.
I thought about it for a moment. Although I am not Italian, I am of English, Scandanavian and German ancestry. As you might be aware (you probably aren’t because you attended public schools), there was a time when Europe was conquered by the Roman Empire.
So…I guess you could make the argument that I am the descendant of subjects who were under the rule of Ancient Italians.
But then I thought, “Well…I can’t really prove that. Maybe my ancestors were aware they were subjects of Ancient Italians, or maybe they were tree people who just danced around in the forest and had no idea about what was going on. Further, I can’t draw a map of what the Roman Empire looked at during any one point in time, let alone during various times as it lasted a long time, and don’t even get me started on the Holy Roman Empire…”
Oh well. I decided not to chance. I got in my car. By the way, my car is American made, so I think I’m OK, but I’m going to put a call into the manufacturer tomorrow to ask if I share the same heritage as the people who assembled the car on the manufacturing line. I mean, if the car was made by a man who isn’t English, Scandanavian, or German, then I’d be culturally appropriating this individual’s work and that would be wrong.
I drove for hours until I found a Norwegian Restaurant. It was called “The Viking’s Helmet.” Finally, I would be able to dine without it being a hate crime because, remember, I’m part-Scandanavian.
Once inside, I was greeted by a waiter dressed in full Viking battle regalia, horny helmet, battle axe, long beard and all.
“By Odin’s taint, I’m Uncle Sven and I’ll be your server,” said he.
“Glad to be here,” I said. “I’m a descendant of the Ancient Viking peoples and I just learned it’s cultural appropriation to eat any food that my ancestors didn’t eat.”
Sven and I got to talking and found we were pissed off about the same offenses to our culture. We were pissed that Marvel was making bank off of cartoonizing our deity, Thor, for he is the God of Thunder and to turn him into a superhero is apparently fine to everyone, yet everyone would shit solid gold bricks if Stan Lee were to churn out a series of comic books called, “The Stupendous Jesus!” See Jesus cure the lepers in a single bound!
Further, we were pissed that there was an NFL team in the current year called the “Vikings” even though the Ancient Scandanavian heritage of any of the players had not been verified. The Vikings were a proud lot of warriors who beat the shit out of their slaves to get them to row their long ships faster so they could get to foreign lands and steal their shit, pillage their villages, set their huts on fire, and abscond with their women so…unless you did all that and still looked good in a horny helmet, I’ll thank you to not refer to yourself as a “Viking.”
Soon enough, Thor brought me a steaming hot plate of salted codfish gonads, which surprised me because a) I didn’t know Vikings ate those and b) I didn’t know fish had gonads. I mean, I guess I knew that but I didn’t know they were anything you could make a meal of, or that anyone would want to.
“Our ancient kinsman would spend many a night looking at their plundered booty and enjoying a plate of salted codfish gonads,” Uncle Sven said.
“Yeah,” I replied. “It’s just that…well…up until now I was more of a pizza and/or beef teriyaki kind of guy.”
“That’s crazy talk, you un-woke, bigoted, unmitigated pile of whale shit!” Uncle Sven said. “You’re not Chinese OR Italian!!!”
“I know,” I replied. “And had I know it was a hate crime to have eaten anything other than the salted codfish gonads that my Viking ancestors consumed while they burnt the villages of their enemies to the ground and defiled the women folk to prove their manliness, then I never would have developed a penchant for pepperoni and spare ribs.”
“Oh well,” Uncle Sven said. “At least now you know you were a disgusting monster and now you can change. What part of Scandanavia did your people hail from?”
“Beats me,” I said.
Uncle Sven gasped. I explained that my family always told me we were part Scandanavian, but never specified which country. Uncle Sven told me the specific country matters, for this was a Norwegian restaurant and Norwegians always cooked and salted their codfish gonads. Meanwhile, the Swedes prefered unsalted codfish gonads and the Finns liked to mix their codfish gonads with a jelly-like substance made out of crushed radishes and the excised tumors of pickled herrings.
Thus, since I couldn’t prove I was a bonafide Norwegian, Uncle Sven could not risk taking part in cultural appropriation, because for all he knew, I could have been the descendant of Finns and he was fresh out of cancer laden pickled herrings.
I told Uncle Sven there were no hard feelings and set off for a German restaurant. I am, part German, after all. I found a restaurant called “Haus of Der Wunder Schnitzel.”
There I met a waiter in leiderhosen named Herr Gunter, who told me he would happy to serve me a delicious, hot pretzel, a frothy stein of German beer, bratwurst, as many weiner schnitzels I could eat, all doused with a heaping helping of sauerkraut.
I told Herr Gunter that all sounded delicious and I could eat all of this guilt free because I’m part German. Alas, Herr Gunter gasped and cried, “Only part?!”
Yes. I asked if “only part German” was good enough and said it wasn’t. You see, at this time, there doesn’t exist a process that would allow a doctor to determine which percentage of my stomach was German so there was no way to know how much food my stomach would be able to carry until it filled up the German part and overflowed into the English and Scandanavian parts. The idea of German food mixing around in a stomach that shared ancestry with non-Germans was morally abhorrent and a definite act of cultural appropriation.
I thanked Herr Gunter for his time and left. I had a similar exchange at Sir Nigel’s Kidney Pie Factory. Sir Nigel was willing to sell me a kidney pie until I explained that I could not explain which part of my stomach was English, and then he told me I was banned from eating pies made out of the organs that eliminate toxins from the bodies of farm animals because, hey, that’s better than pizza I guess.
I asked Sir Nigel if he knew what a man of mixed heritage like me could do, because I was hungry and hadn’t eaten all day. The kind man handed me a box of crackers, which he explained, had been invented by the Brits, for like the British, they are dry, tasteless, and have a history of invading your mouth and leaving crumbs in areas where they didn’t belong. Hence, why my people would always be known as “Crackers.”
The catch was that I had to promise to eat only one cracker every four hours. Thus, I’d be able to ensure the cracker would only stay in the English part of my stomach and not mix with the German and Scandanavian parts.
I agreed. Sir Nigel also gave me a jug of water. It was ok for me to drink water, the Brit noted, because all cultures have enjoyed water since the dawn of time.
I returned home, where I sat on the front steps to my house. I ate a cracker, then checked my watch. I took a sip of water.
A few minutes later, an angry, blue haired feminist wearing a Che Guevara t-shirt slapped the cracker box out of my hand, then seized the water bottle from my other hand and dumped it all over the sidewalk.
“Hey!” I cried.
“Cultural appropriating scum!” the angry feminist said.
“I’m not!” I said. “I researched this thoroughly! I can eat crackers because I am a British cracker and also I have agreed to only eat one cracker every four hours so as to not allow the cracker to inter mingle with the non-British parts of my stomach.”
With a triumphant grin, the SJW pointed my direction to the bottom of the cracker box, which was prominently stamped, “Made in Taiwan.”
I looked to the heavens and, much as Capt. Kirk screamed the name of his nemesis, Khan, so too did I cry, “Damn you, Pacific Trade Partnership!!!”
I composed myself. “But why did you dump out my water? All cultures enjoy water.”
“Yeah,” the SJW said. “But uh…hello? Most anthropologists are in agreement that the first humans were born in Africa and so they were the first people to discover water so unless you’ve got a Ugandan passport on you…”
I sighed. I told her I didn’t have such a passport and laid down on the stoop. As the SJW walked away, I lost all hope. The hours passed, the night went by, and in the morning, my throat was so dry.
As the time rolled on, various helpful social justice warriors stopped by to inform me that my hat, belt, shirt, pants, shoes, socks, and underwear had all been manufactured in other countries, none of which I could claim kinship with. They were nice enough to take all of my clothing, throw them into a dumpster, pour gas on them and set my duds ablaze.
I returned to my front steps, where I laid their naked…until one of the women who complained about the origin of my clothing accused me of exercising male privilege and/or engaging in Harvey Weinstein-esque activity and so, she called the police.
Not wanting to go to jail, I found a sharp object and was about to stab myself to death when another SJW pointed out that if I were to do so, I would be committing a form of the ancient art of hare kare, i.e. the Ancient Japanese tradition of killing yourself in order to preserve your honor when you have engaged in an epic fail.
So, I wrapped myself in a burlap sack. I felt bad because I could not figure out which country had invented burlap, but it was my only option. I headed South, all the way to Antarctica, where I found peace…
…until the world’s only talking penguin accused me of appropriating penguin culture by trying to catch a fish with my mouth.