This past weekend, Snow Storm “Jonas” beat the holy hell out of New York, dumping the biggest snowfall on us in the last 150 years, with nearly 27 inches of snow. 27 inches of snow slightly edges out the nearly as impressive “12 Inches of Snow” claimed by the one-hit-wonder 1990’s white rapper, Snow, but that’s neither here nor there.
Watching people knocking themselves out to dig out of the snow with their shovels, snow blowers, and plows brought back an old memory for me of one of the funniest, silliest, most ridiculous stories I ever heard. I want to share that story with you in this Blog, but I do so with the following forewarnings:
The story I am about to share in this space is completely racially insensitive. YOU ARE HEREBY FOREWARNED, if you continue reading this article, you are being politically incorrect, enforcing horrible stereotypes, committing a human rights violation, and accelerating the path to World War 4 (we’re already in World War 3, aren’t we?), AND BRINGING ABOUT THE END OF THE WORLD.
The two characters in this story are my old friend, who is a Persian Jew (both Jews are Persians/Iranians are stereotyped as being cheap, and Iranians as being unlikely to keep their promises, so being both is a double whammy), and his neighbor, who is an older Asian guy (Asians are stereotyped as being very hard-working, organized, efficient, and clean, and, like the Jews, also very cheap).
FURTHER DISCLAIMER: I am personally offended by the comments above, which are untrue, unfair, unconstitutional, and a smear against me, my family, and my people. Also, many of my best friends are Asians. I love Asians. I am Asian. (Seriously, Iran is technically considered part of Asia). I will be suing myself for slander at the conclusion of this Blog.
My old friend, the young Persian Jew, hated the snow, because he had a big, long driveway, and rather than hire someone to plow it for him when it snowed, he preferred to save money and shovel the driveway himself. He absolutely hated doing so, and did it grudgingly, but did it to save a few shekels. [STEREOTYPE ENFORCED: Jew being cheap. RACIAL INSENSITIVITY TALLY: 1] My friend’s neighbor, the older Asian guy, similarly shoveled his driveway himself, and did so in a much cleaner and more efficient way than my friend did, with nary a complaint or break. [STEREOTYPE ENFORCED: Asian being hard-working, organized, and efficient. And cheap. RACIAL INSENSITIVITY TALLY: 2]
That year, the winter was particularly harsh, with heavy snow storm after heavy snow storm. With so much snow to clear by hand, my friend, the young Persian Jew, eventually got worn out from all the shoveling, and got increasingly disheartened watching his old Asian neighbor wordlessly clean his driveway without any complaint. He consulted some snow removal people, but balked at their prices, and decided to keep on shoveling the snow himself. [STEREOTYPE ENFORCED: Jew being cheap. RACIAL INSENSITIVITY TALLY: 3]
Eventually, enough was enough, and he needed some help. He decided that he would get himself a snow blower from Home Depot, and that would help ease his burden, without breaking the bank. He went and got the snow blower, and the first time he tried to use it, he was taken aback by how heavy and unwieldy the snow blower was. He was also flummoxed by the fact that the snow blower was blowing all the snow it was clearing right back onto the rest of his own driveway, nullifying the cleaning he was attempting to do. All the while, he was being further dispirited watching the old Asian neighbor shoveling neatly and quietly next door. [STEREOTYPES ENFORCED: Jew being cheap; Asian being hard-working, organized efficient, and cheap. RACIAL INSENSITIVITY TALLY: double slander score, counts for double; 7]
When the next big snow fall came around, my friend came up with his “brilliant idea.” He hung back while the old Asian neighbor quietly shoveled the driveway next door, and then, when my friend finally turned on his snow blower, he directed it in such a way as to blow all the snow he was removing from his own driveway onto the just-cleaned portion of the Asian neighbor’s driveway. He explained that the Asian neighbor would look back in confusion, and then look up at the sky, and couldn’t understand how the section he had just shoveled and cleaned so quietly and diligently was now full of snow again. Was it still snowing? Was this a curse from the heavens above? My friend repeated this pattern over and over, using his snow blower to blow all of his snow onto the Asian neighbor’s driveway, and suppressed his laughter while watching the kind old Asian neighbor confusedly shovel all the snow over and over again until his driveway (or in reality, both driveways) was finally clean. [STEREOTYPES ENFORCED: Jew being cheap, Persian not honoring the social contract of being a good or trustworthy neighbor; Asian being hard-working, organized, efficient, and cheap. RACIAL INSENSITIVITY TALLY: triple offense special, counts for triple; 16]
The story would go on like that for quite some time, with my old friend, the young Persian Jew, keeping this pattern going for as long as the snow blower worked, repeatedly blowing his snow onto his old Asian neighbor’s driveway, which the confused Asian would repeatedly shovel to keep clean. The kicker to the story is that when the snow blower finally died and blew away its last snow, my friend returned it to Home Depot for a full refund! [STEREOTYPES ENFORCED: Jew being cheap, Persian not honoring the social contract of being a good or trustworthy neighbor, and also not honoring the agreement to keep a purchased item; Asian being hard-working, organized and efficient. RACIAL INSENSITIVITY TALLY: quadruple quandary collection, counts for 100; 116]
So, the moral of this very silly story is that my friend, the Persian Jew, epitomized at that time all the horrible stereotypes about both Jews and Persians, and probably added some to the list, and was really not the best of neighbors. The old Asian guy, while being a diligent worker and a good, quiet neighbor, should probably have widened his focus a little more from his intense shoveling to avoid being duped and unnecessarily shoveling so much additional snow for no reason. As for me, I will likely next be seen in Geneva at the United Nations’ most headline grabbing case for human rights violations, for the villainous crime of enumerating and poking fun at all of the stereotypes tallied in this story, and making you, the reader, share in them with me!
The upshot of the story? The next time it snows heavily, and you either can’t shovel all the snow yourself, or don’t want to commit the social offense of blowing your snow onto your neighbor’s property, hire a Hispanic guy. They’re great, and they work cheap! [STEREOTYPE ENFORCED: Hispanics are day-laborers who will do manual labor for less money than other races. RACIAL INSENSITIVITY TALLY: Off the charts. END OF THE WORLD: Now!]