“Loan” not “Lawn”!


Sometimes having a Scottish accent can get you into all sorts of trouble in the US. Americans just can’t get to grips with my short vowels.

I just came back from my trail-running group in which I inadvertently managed to insult a Latino guy. I had overheard him talking about work and deduced that he did something involving “loans”. Later, at dinner, I was trying to make casual chit-chat, so I asked him what he did for a living. I said, “You work in the loan industry, don’t you?” and I couldn’t understand why he nearly spat out his drink and gave me a dirty look. He had, of course, understood “lawn industry” and not “loan industry”. In this part of the world, there are a lot of recent Mexican immigants who cut people’s grass or work in construction to get by. In other words, the guy thought I assumed that all people of Mexican heritage couldn’t possibly do anything other than cut grass!

Once I explained, everything was alright, and we had a good laugh about it. The guy was a bit of a dick, though. It turned out that he considers himself a libertarian, and I was quite disgusted. Now call me an inverse racist, but it bugs me when African-Americans or Latinos (and also gay people or women) could even think of being anything other than Democrat. Poverty rates for black and Hispanic people greatly exceed the national average, and Republicans and Libertarians don’t give a shit. All they care about is themselves. How is it possible to belong to an ethnic minority, which has millions of people struggling to make ends meet, and be a libertarian?! Obviously the Democrats leave a lot to be desired, too, but they’re still a helluva lot better than the GOP or libertarians. Oh well. I guess there are selfish cunts everywhere, no matter what their skin colour is.

Besides making an inadvertent racial slur, and having to deal with a libertarian, I’m enjoying being back in a running group again. Running is such a solitary sport, and I already spend so much time by myself, so I don’t really enjoy it if I do it by myself. I wish I hadn’t taken so much time off because there are some people in the group whom I’ve known for a couple of years, who were way slower than I am, and now they’re the same pace or even faster! There’s this one girl who asked what my fastest marathon pace was, and when I told her, she said “Oh, we’re the same pace now!”. Well, I’ll let her think that, but there’s no way this state of affairs will continue. It’s taken her two years of diligent plodding to get to what took me several months of natural talent and total laziness. Just think how fast I could be if I trained hard for once!

I don’t know if this is a bad thing about my personality, or if it’s just the way I am, but I am an incredibly competitive person. There are many things in life which I enjoy but I enjoy them even more if I can potentially kick some ass along the way. It’s very motivating to think about running faster than this woman…and I will (especially because she’s a Republican!).

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7 thoughts on ““Loan” not “Lawn”!

  1. Andrew October 22, 2009 at 2:29 am Reply

    I’m the same way. If someone is going to label their political beliefs (I’m Republican, I’m Democrat, I’m Libertarian, etc.), then I’m going to view them that way and usually only that way. If someone tells me he or she is a Republican, my opinion of him or her will usually drop 50 percent just like that.

    • petrichoric October 22, 2009 at 3:10 am Reply

      I daresay that there are nice Republicans out there but I just can’t help but find them to be fundamentally selfish people. To be honst, I find Libertarians worse because they usually come out with some crap like “I’m socially liberal, but fiscally conservative”. What the fuck?! If you’re socially liberal, then you need to put your money where your mouth is, and put up with paying higher taxes so the underprivilged can be helped.

      You must have a very low opinion of a lot of people in your particular area of the country, I imagine! I don’t imagine you exactly trip over liberal types every time you step out the door.

      • Reluctant Blogger October 22, 2009 at 10:35 am Reply

        I was thinking about the trail running. I think I would like it but I am just so scared of getting injured. For the past 5 years or so, every time I get a slight injury it takes so bloody long for it to get better than I am out of running (and everything else) for ages. So I stick to the footpath. Tedious eh?

        I envy you being younger and not having to worry so much about such things.

  2. dumbfounded October 22, 2009 at 9:30 am Reply

    I had the sublime pleasure of dining in the home of a lifelong friend who married a man from a central american country. Who had imported a live-in maid / nanny, who was in their home undocumented for years, who was, by this time, a full fledged member of the family. Emotionally, anyway.

    This was at a time when the repugs were marching in the streets by the thousands against illegal immigrants, pushing legislation to catch these illegals and “send ’em back!” Some of the very legislation that plagues your job search, Petrichoric.

    I thought, ok, here we go, the repug balloon is gonna break, or at least let go of a little hot air. Nope. He ranted on the problem of illegals, even though he hired them on a regular basis. And regarding his maid? “She’ll just have to go back” If she’s found out, that is. Apparently he was on board with the lower taxes and anti-illegal-immigration portion of the repug party platform but not so on board with the family values, obey-the-laws-by-turning-your-maid-in portion.

    The sunken looks on his kids faces still haunt me. But the blatant hypocrisy left me dumbfounded. I won’t be going back.

  3. chris October 22, 2009 at 12:58 pm Reply

    YES YES YES! I agree completely! Frustrating, huh.

    Congrats on running again, I’m a runner too and know the importance it has for physical well-being and mental well-being!

  4. Fantastic Forrest October 22, 2009 at 2:09 pm Reply

    Lawn industry. That is priceless. Reminds me of the time Professor X and I were talking with a couple from one of his previous colleges. The husband was regaling us with the tale of how one of the faculty had been discovered to have been cheating on his wife with a student. He said that when some other fellow faculty couples had been on a weekend getaway, the man was seen in the hotel hallway with his power mower.

    At least, that’s what I heard. I thought WTH?! Why would this guy’s having a piece of yard equipment prove his guilt?

    Our friend had said “paramour.” But he pronounced it funny. And he wasn’t even Scottish.

    Like you, I find it bizarre when some people identify with the Republican or Libertarian Party. Party leadership and philosophy is often directly against their own interests. I have one friend who thinks she’s Republican, but she is just misguided. I have hope that once her divorce is complete, we can turn her from the Dark Side.

  5. pandabox33 October 22, 2009 at 2:25 pm Reply

    It must be a quebecois thing that we don’t give a shit about politics, we don’t talk about it, barely think about it and lots of us don’t vote. I do vote, it’s important. Besides that I don’t care what people vote.

    I am mystified by competition. I just discovered this year how competitive I am. Was I in denial about it or is it just that I didn’t know that’s what it was ? Who knows. I don’t think it’s a bad thing if it gets you to move forward with projects or if it makes you exceed your expectations. I try to mesure up to myself because when I measure up against other people I have this incredible controlly-bitchy-angry-contempty feeling…I have to be the best. I wasn’t like that when I was kid. Quite the opposite and I hate competition in sports. But I’m so competitive in the kitchen, in social situations…arg.

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