Monday, December 19, 2005

the good, the bad and the ugly

Thanks to all for kind comments and assurances - I do think that neurotics are drawn to academe in part because it plays on our best and worst personality charecteristics.

The good: I woke out of a sound sleep on Saturday night suddenly struck with the thought: Red book - why the heck haven't I looked it that index? I read Red Book for qualifying exams, but I haven't touched it since - oh, I could tell you the basic argument and evidence used, but I haven't really looked at it since then. Sure enough, Red Book has some really juicy quotations and great bits that I can work in. Hurrah!

The bad: Sam broke into my chocolate stash. It's been an exciting morning. Let's just say that dogs and chocolate don't mix and leave it at that.

The ugly: I went to the P.O. to mail Christmas packages this A.M. The line was long but moving and everyone seemed in good spirits. One man in the queue insisted upon saying "Merry Christmas" to everyone and getting a cheery reply. What a nice man thought I. "After all," he added, "Christmas is for children. All of these ignorant foreigners come here and destroy our culture to suit themselves by getting rid of Christmas."

Do not, I repeat, do not mess with a stressed out doctoral candidate in American history. "Oh, really? Tell me, when did your ancestors come to this country?"

"Huh? Oh, I dunno, sometime in the 1880s."

"Well, Jewish people have lived in this country since the early years of the 1700s. I'd hardly call them 'ignorant foreigners.'"

"What? That's impossible!"


Words Written: have said a great many nice things about the author of Red Book and only thrown Green Book across the room once

Lessons Graded: that's next - not going to be pretty


Doug said...

Re - the guy in the Post Office:
I'm pretty sure I fear ignorance more than actual malice. (An ignorance/malice combination is clearly very potent as well.)

The other day I was in court trying to collect against a debtor-defendant. She told me she had applied for welfare but was denied "because her skin was the wrong color."

"All of the blacks, Latinos, or whatever are taking your welfare away from you. Allow me to cry you a river, you racist piece of crud."

John B. said...


That crap doesn't wash too well with me, either.

Good for you speaking up...ignorance is no excuse for him acting like an ass.

torporific said...


I am glad you spoke up. Every time I hear someone say something like that, my internal jukebox starts playing the They might be Giants song "This is where the Party ends cos I can't stand and listen to you and your racist friend."