Talk to me for than thirty seconds and you’ll think I am a total asshole.
Perhaps because I am.
But perhaps it’s because you’ll think you are talking to someone who just immigrated here from some far off exotic place like Eritrea or Djibouti(Ga-Booootyyy). All my life I have felt I was born in the wrong country. Even before I could wipe myself or those times when I dove head first into the toilet like a Kamikaze nugget’s attempt at water boarding myself as a pathetic excuse for potty training, I have always had a feeling I was switched at birth.
This notion was only solidified when, as a toddler, at the prime age of 3, developed a sophisticated taste for tea, scones, cavalry, James Bond, and the seductive British accent. Babies are assholes. I was no exception. What other human can cry, shit, scream, pee, throw up on you and get away with it?
How the hell I’ve made a writing career for myself is a mystery whose answer the universe will never indulge. Superman had kryptonite. Bugs Bunny had carrots. Amy Whinehouse had crack.
My Achilles Heal is idiomatic expressions.
No words can describe the look my professor gave me the other day when I asked him, “Do you catch my breeze?”
Later after inferring with some colleagues one pointed out, “He probably thought you farted.” Fantastic. Ten points for Gryffindor!
Or that time during an argument I had with a restaurant manager who had just too fat of an ego I yelled, “Go ahead! Let your rabid hyenas out of the bag and we’ll see what happens!” You may be thinking to yourself that this couldn’t possibly be true. Everyone knows the word should be cats. And while I have heard cats as the mammal in question, I thought the animal was interchangeable. And to be honest cats aren’t nearly as terrifying as hyenas anyways.
While hiking for hours in Colorado and finally coming to the realization my friends and I were lost and the sun was setting I decided to point out, “We are stuck between a rock and a Nazi.”
The group turned to me looking puzzled. “What?” I asked them.
“Why did you say ‘Between a rock and a Nazi’?”
“Because it sounds like a pretty terrible situation to me.”
“It’s a hard place!” they shouted in unison.
“What’s a hard place? Being lost in the woods. Yeah I imagine so.” I turned and stormed off in the direction of what I assumed was the Northern Star. It turned out to be an airplane.
When my best girlfriend called to tell me she wanted kids I told her to stop pulling Heather Mill’s leg.
You cannot pull on someone’s leg which is attached to their body. Well I suppose you can, but it would be a waste of time. Pulling off someone’s leg gets the point across much more strongly.
While my great grandparents came to America as poor immigrants in steerage class from the chilled depths of Russia, my grandparents and parents were all brought up in America which doesn’t really explain what went wrong with me. Except for that my mom never did quit cigarettes while I was growing in utero.
My cultural heritage became a whole lot blurrier when I was looked after by a Chaldean babysitter from Iraq. Learning Chaldean before English has instilled in me a sort of hybrid Chaldenglish which comes out far too often in serious or academic settings. “Dondoola!” I might scream while driving during rush hour. Anyone next to me would think I have Tourettes. In actuality I am screaming a much friendlier sounding word for penis. When I think of my comfort food growing up I don’t think of Mac ‘n Cheese or Pizza like most Americans, I think of stuffed grape leaves and spiced rice.
The different angles of various cultures being introduced to a toddler are sort of like a Picasso that’s left out in the Sahara Desert: at the end of the day it’s just colorful vomit.
This pseudo-American, pseudo-Chaldean, pseudo-Russian mutt that I soon became as an infant probably explains why I get so nervous when I get pulled over by cops. Some may fear getting a speeding ticket. I have an irrational fear of being deported.
I did always have a weakness for adorable Latin American women, especially Columbians. I still do to this day. I think I was looking for what I believed to be my long lost parents. Still, at the age of 21, I can barely swim without the use of a flotation device which ruled out my mystery heritage descending from Cuba.
I also have a great love for elderly Chinese women. Perhaps it is because I am a little nugget myself, I relate to people who I can see eye to eye with. On a plane ride back to Detroit, I was sitting with boyfriend and turned to look at a commotion behind us. A family from Hong Kong was sitting in the same row with a cute one year old baby girl playing with a stuffed Pikachu. But my attention was focused on her nugget of a grandmother, who was just over four feet tall, standing on the armrest and attempting to put her carry-on in the overhead compartment.
“I want to adopt her,” I announced.
My boyfriend sighed and said, “The sad thing is I know you aren’t talking about the baby.”
I gave him a look, “Of course I don’t want to adopt a helpless creature that can’t even feed itself. And in case you forgot, while we might have some feminine qualities, that still doesn’t mean either of us can breast feed. I’d much rather adopt someone who can feed themselves, tell me interesting life stories and nurture me with the childhood I was so rudely robbed of by the Pilgrims.”
Luke sighed once more, “I think you have an identity disorder.”
“You get raised by four mothers from different nationalities and see if it doesn’t screw you up just a little either.”
You know you’ve hit rock bottom when you pick up a friend from Italy at Customs who hands you an English dictionary before saying in a heavy accent, “Learn-a day damn lengua-jay or go back to your-rrrr own-a cantry.”
“Thanks for that self-esteem booster Papa Romano,” I retorted, “But you’re just a grouch because the Mario Brothers gave you a wicked case of Venetian Chlamydia. Your stay I shall now intend to make awful. Don’t you know you’re not supposed to shit where you masturbate?”
At least…I think that’s how the saying goes.