Is That Racist QUESTION

The bar in the Holiday Inn outside Fenway Park that systematically failed to serve me on Flag Day, 1991, even as others got drinks – THAT I’m sure was racism.


So here’s the scenario: a woman (white) goes into a Muslim market, where she is given the cold shoulder, until she asks for some halal products. Then people are quite friendly. And the woman says later, “It seems that racism exists everywhere.” I give an understanding nod, even as I’m thinking to myself, “Is that really racist behavior?” Or is it the action of a group of people who are merely suspicious of strangers, of someone new (and, to be sure, different)?

There are plenty of times I’ve been in that situation: Continue reading “Is That Racist QUESTION”

The Disability QUESTION

Would it be illegal to make fau parking tickets?


The Americans with Disabilities Act turned 20 this week, as I wrote about. Let me tell you one of those disability things that really infuriated me, still infuriates me and it was five or six years ago.

A blind man was crossing the street heading for the local Bruegger’s bakery (at Madison and South Allen, for you locals). I had the sense that he’d made this trip a number of times before. But on this day, some yahoo decided to park his car across the crosswalk. I’m thinking that the driver figured that he’d “only be there a few minutes”. But the blind man was terribly disoriented walking into the car, and I was too far away from him to help. The kicker is that – lazy jerk! – there was a parking space three car lengths away.

I’ve seen other cars park there subsequently and it never fails to irritate. It’s particularly problematic when there is snow on the ground, and those folks with walkers and canes have to maneuver around these turkeys. Ditto to those people who park a second car so that it blocks the sidewalk.
Continue reading “The Disability QUESTION”

PAIN Question

I’ve withstood root canal. I’ve broken a rib. I’ve gotten rabies shots…


My wife managed to roll up the power windows of the car on three of my fingers last Sunday; I was pulling the door closed. Yes, I used invectives that I tend not to use around The Daughter. Later, The Daughter asked me if this was the worst pain that I had ever experienced. The answer was clearly no, and in fact, I was glad that it was the middle three fingers, because I suspect that catching any one finger would have hurt worse and possibly would have suffered real damage.

I’ve definitely experienced much greater discomfort. I’ve withstood root canal. I’ve broken a rib. I’ve gotten rabies shots, which are pretty nasty because they’re big needles and they have to stay in for 10 seconds.

But probably the worst pain involved stepping on a nail, not the initial activity, which certainly hurt enough, but rather the removal of pieces of my sneaker from my foot by the doctor. That was in May 2000; just got a tetanus booster this spring.

So:
1) What was the worst pain you’ve endured? I know for my wife it was oral surgery, which made childbirth seem like a walk in the park.
2) What activity that you do regularly causes you the most pain? Clearly for me, this is donating blood. I have done it 136 times – that’s 17 gallons – and when the nurse says, “You’ll feel a little pinch,” I know that’s a lie. It passes, but it hurts. P.S., I never look. Ever.