In our last episode, we had just escaped from miles and miles of killer bees. Now it's time for
I try to be a self-aware person. I try to predict how my biases and prejudices will affect how I deal with people and to accommodate accordingly. Today, for instance, I subbed eighth graders and, as might be expected, I had an opportunity to get after a gaggle of girls. I started the getting-after-them process before I actually had noticed what they looked like, but as soon as their appearance crossed into my conscious mind I was wracked with guilt and had to fight to properly finish the getting-after-them which I had started.
You see, one of them was a pale redhead. Why exactly I am so tolerant of pale redheads is a mystery, but it seems to be a fairly new bias--one I certainly didn't have ten years ago.
Anyway the point is that I am aware of this bias and so I can be sure not to let any pale, redheaded, female students take advantage of it. Phew.
I'm afraid have some negative biases also. We'll get to one of these shortly.
We left the bees far behind and came to what might generously be called an outpost of civilization. Anyway it had some fast food joints and gas stations and truck stops and a Pea Soup Andersen's and we were hungry and our frighteningly yellow car was down to half a tank.
We fed the car first, then the Big O decided he wanted a burrito so we went to Taco Bell. This is where the Albanians were.
That they were Slavic was obvious. The men were wearing either leather or tracksuits. The women were wearing their fashionable clothes slightly too small. They were all smoking like Soviet smelters.
And, when we got in line behind one short, muscley, leather-clad man, he shot me an ice-cold stare that clearly said if I got in way of the arms deal about to go down here inside the Taco Bell, neither me nor any of my second cousins would live to see tomorrow.
And thus I realized that I am biased against Eastern Europeans. I don't mean to be--I don't even watch old James Bond movies!--but they're scary!!!
We knew they were Albanians, because the coat of arms was on the sleeve of one of the tracksuits---
Or perhaps other Eastern Europeans use that crest as well just because it's so cool. That could explain why we seem to be meeting so many Albanians lately....
Or maybe they're just watching us.....
Anyway, the Albanians--all forty-five of them--were obviously doing the tourist thing in America, and smoking in the parking lot then going in for Grilled Stuft Burritos then smoking in the parking lot is an obvious must for any tourist doing the tourist thing in America.
And they seemed like a happy and well adjusted bunch with happy and well adjusted kids. Just so long as I didn't look into their eyes. Because then all I could see was bloodstains on moldy concrete walls.
Tune in next time for Episode IIII: HOUSE KEYS.