August 31, 2006

Senseless Acts of Stereotyping

I was at Los Angeles Airport yesterday taking a bus between the terminals. The bus was empty except for myself and the driver. He was an older black man who sounded like he smoked at least 20 packs a day and spoke about that many words per second. He slowed the bus at each designated stop to scout for potential passengers. Which is why I was surprised when in the middle of the street, for no apparent reason the bus driver screeched to a halt and he cranked the door open.

A middle aged Asian man was walking down the sidewalk holding a fluffy Pomeranian dog. My bus driver yelled out at him, "Hey man, is that cho' dinna?"

The man didn't respond immediately so the driver again yelled, "Is that cho' dinna?"

"Excuse me?" said the Asian man.

"Are you gonna eat dat dog?" yelled my jovial driver.

The man looked confused. "No," he answered simply. Then my bus driver burst out in cackling laughter, slammed the door shut and the bus screeched on its way. I looked back at the stunned man standing on the curb with his dog as he watched our bus drive away. I found no other option in the situation but to join with the driver in a good chuckle.


Lisa M. said...

Okay for some odd reason, I found this very funny. I have been yellin at my kids, "you gonna eat dat"

It really isn't funny, I get that, but for some reason, It is SOOO something that would happen to me.


So you are in UTAH?! What a great place to be, the Pres is too.

Angela M said...

I had taken a train to Washington DC's Union Station a few years ago and needed a cab. A taxi promptly pulled up to the curb in front of me. A 20ish black man was standing closer to the curb and had been waiting longer than I had. The cab driver, also black, told the other guy he was stopping for me. I was so confused. I don't remember his exact words but the driver said something about having to be careful who he picked up.

Not nearly as funny as your story but you know me and my "here's a related story because I am too lazy/uninspired to get my own blog" habit.

It is always a surprise when something that sounds so completely scripted happens in real life. Maybe you were on one of those hidden camera shows!

Rachel said...

I am taking a class about Asian Americans this semester (ethnic studies requirement)... so I should not be laughing about their misunderstood culture now that I am more enlightened. THANKS A LOT! BTW, Do you think I would get bonus points for retelling your story in my class?

Sarah said...

Share it all you want - make sure to add all kinds of extra details like how the Asian guy was holding tabasco sauce in the other hand and the bus driver rescued the dog from its doom.

Doug said...

"Am I a bad person for laughing with him?"

As if THIS would be the reason that tips the scales when there are so many other good ones to choose from!

compulsive writer said...

Even better--make it Tabasco Chipotle Pepper Sauce.

This cracked my totally non-PC self up. So I must be a bad person, too!

Lisa M. said...

So we are sitting in the movie theater... waiting for trade center to start, and my husband leans across and says, really quietly.. out of the blue..

"Is that cho' dinna?"

For some reason, that totally cracked me up.

Molly said...

Actually, I think that bus driver should be fired. I probably would have laughed, too- but I mean, really- you can't yell stuff like that to people.

John said...

Let me be the first to question the truth of the story of the bus driver. I mean, come on, Can we really believe something as outrageous as that? I need some corroboration of the incident and until the Asian man steps foreword I will file this one away with the rest of the urban legends that I have heard.

Sarah said...

My own brother questioning my integrity as a blogger! If I wasn't already sickened the pound of cookie dough I ate last night you'd make me sick.

But I guess it serves me right for trying to tell a Provo boy about how loco life is outside the Happy Valley. I'll limit my future posts to reports about yummy jellos and exciting scrapbooking moments to keep you at ease.

ahn-hay-la said...

This story makes me sad. :(

Torchness said...

Hey man, I figure you should make a BIG deal about your birthday while you are actually still excited about it and don't dread it, as those years are fleeting... and doing a birthday up sex-and-the-city style with girlfriends for cocktails at the Crescent and buying a brand new big queen bed doesn't hurt either ;)

Suzie Petunia said...

You gotta wonder what is going on in that bus driver's head all day long. Is he continually looking for people to heckle? I bet he's a fun dinner party guest.

kookaluka said...

this is hillarious! so are many of your posts. i take a look occasionally. keep up the fun!
christy(kelsey's brother cory's wife)

s'mee said...

I am putting this post in my fav. places and saving it for a day when all seems bleak and hopeless and dreary.




i, seriously, i am crying.

i also think i know the bus driver. maybe even the Asian guy.

Not sure about his dinna.