Front page

Are you afraid of the dark?

(Click to invert colors, weenie.) (Requires JavaScript.)

All email will be assumed to be for publication unless otherwise requested.

What's in the banner?

Friday, September 13, 2002

Medical Men of Tomorrow

OK, so you're a young man of Middle Eastern descent, a US citizen, and you're on the way to med school with a couple of your buds, and you stop at a Shoney's in Georgia for some grub.

And some nitwit is giving you the Evil Eye, and man it's just become so tiresome, I mean, you never once get nervous over strange Middle Easterners, because, y'know, no one like you died on September 11. So it's not your problem, right? And these rednecks are such a damned pain in the ass.

So you decide you'll give them something to be alarmed about, and make stupid jokes the other people can hear, then you finish your dinner and merrily head down I-75. And when you get to Naples you decide, since you're all so really resoundingly stupid, to just blow the toll booth, screw it.

And when, to your surprise, you're stopped by the local law, you have to unship a big ol' cargo of attitude, because here it is September 13 and you sorta kinda look suspicious and you've just ignored a toll booth.

And you are really stupid. Really prize-winningly stupid. Really really gobsmackingly stupid.

Oh, and look, now you're all over CNN and gosh your belongings aren't in too good a shape and at the very very least you have this traffic ticket.

But cheer up, boys! It could've been worse. When you left that Shoney's you could have been overheard by a couple of guys without their full complement of teeth or wits who followed you out to the parking lot and took you at gunpoint to a nice quiet place where your fossils could've become the star attraction at some 581st century museum.

To quote Joel Hodgson, "They'll be doctors someday."

UPDATE: Naturally I am way behind on this story becaue I wrote this the other day and wanted to see if it really was a joke before posting it. Because, you see, the young dears in question said the stupid redneck woman was lying, an' they didn't do nothin' wrong and people are always pickin' on them. This newer article from the Miami Herald says that they were joking, after all.

Stupid redneck woman, on her part, has always said that she wasn't sure whether they were joking or not, and admitted that her son might have been right that they were "just messin' " with her. (Implicit in that statement is that "messin' ", while dumb and rude, is not really harmful.)

But, of course, the real thrill is reading the reactions from the families. Here, from Fox News, are some choice quotes from their families:

From an aunt:

"He is a very nice, warm person, a good Muslim who tries very hard to help others."

And if you ask Mr. Atta he says that Mohammed still calls him every week to say hi. Such a good boy, so kind to his papa. And we all know that a "good Muslim" could never be a terrorist.

From a father:

"This lady in the restaurant didn't like them or something, she thought they were Muslims...She thought they were talking suspicious things, fabricated the whole thing and called the FBI. It is unbelievable to me the FBI would chase, stop them, and harass them because an untrained woman that has probably never interacted with a Muslim or anyone that is not like her said so."

(My emphasis.)

Oh, it's a good thing we're not into stereotypes around here. For my part, one of the very few pleasures of my old age is going to be swatting down young snots who tell me how ignorant I am because I've never been out of the county.

From Hana Geith, a sister:

Questioning whether Stone indeed is even a "credible" witness, the family maintained that there is no way their loved one would have been playing a practical joke or laughing about what happened on Sept. 11.
"My brother doesn't joke about these matters..."

That's not what today's Miami Herald story says. What are you going to do if it turns out to be true? Will you apologize to anyone, or make little Bratley apologize? Bet not.

And now, from one of the little Albert Schweitzers himself, Hana's brother:

"I have one message, I think it's time for us as Americans to put down our big sticks and pick up our books and read about other people and read about what they believe before we jump to conclusions."

I have a message, too, son, and that's that you (that's a collective you) should start realizing that there are such things as Muslim terrorists. Look, you say, "pick up our books"; leaving aside the condescension, you mean that we should learn more about what Muslims believe. Some Muslims believe all non-Muslims, all Americans, should die. They've made that perfectly clear. Now granting that you're not one of them, surely you can see that the difference between them and you is not visible to the naked eye.

Think about what would have happened, instead of pulling some bullshit trick, you would've smiled at the lady giving you the hairy eyeball, and given her a friendly nod. Then, in addition to not having the police chase you down and have all your names and faces splattered all over the news and get a reputation as an asshole, you might've given some non-Muslim American the idea that Muslims are folk just like anyone else.

Oh, but I forgot. You're eye-bleedingly stupid.