Wednesday, February 13, 2008
I have been trying to learn more about web design. Jewell introduced me to a webmaster named Larry who agreed to help me out. Larry was awesome. He spent a lot of time teaching me stuff at my apartment. Often he and I would go grab dinner with my next-door neighbor Lucy after he'd spent hours tutoring me on the computer. We all became good pals. One morning Lucy was having coffee at my apartment and happened to pick up my phone when it rang.
"Hey, LTJ!" I heard her exclaim.
I gave her a questioning look. Who was LTJ? She kept on chatting. From her side of the conversation I deduced that she was speaking to Larry. Why had she addressed him as "LTJ"? Were those his initials? I thought about it for a second. No, Larry's last name was Feinberg. The next thing I knew Lucy was thrusting the phone at me and Larry was talking in my ear. He and I agreed to meet that evening at 5pm for more web design lessons and then we hung up.
"Why did you call him "LTJ"? I asked Lucy.
"That's my nickname for him." she said. "It's short for Larry the Jew."
I almost dropped my coffee into my lap. Lucy looked at me.
"What?!" I said with shock. "Does he knew that? You can't call him that!"
"Why not?" she asked.
"Because.. because.. it's racist, I guess." I stated lamely.
"Why is it racist?" she asked. "His name is Larry and he is a Jew."
That stopped me. I didn't know what to say. Was it racist? Or insensitive? Or something? I really wasn't sure. We dropped the subject and went on with our day. The following Sunday Jewell called and I asked if I wanted to come over for a Bloody Mary. I agreed and drove over to her place. Upon arrival I called out her name as I entered the house. She was waiting for me with leather straps in her hand and she tackled me before I could even react. All of a sudden she was jamming a leather mask over my head and screaming:
"I can't believe the nickname you gave Larry!! You're going to stay bound and gagged for a long time while you regroup the thoughts in your fat, blonde head!"
I wanted to protest my innocence, but I couldn't speak through the confining leather. Jewell did indeed give me a long time to adjust my thinking..
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- XO Tanya