Did You Hear That?


Date: May 20, 2008
Time: 2:00 p.m.
Place: An undisclosed location in Rio Dell, CA

Two women, presumably grandmother and granddaughter are sitting at a table drinking tea and chatting.

Granddaughter: My friend’s husband is taking her to Venice for her 30th birthday. Isn’t that sweet? I would love to go to Venice.

Grandmother: Venice? You mean in Italy?

Granddaughter: Uh huh.

Grandmother: Why would you want to go to Italy? There’s nothing but Wops there.

Granddaughter: Uh…Um….

Grandmother: You know, this used to be a Wop and Portuguese (pronounced port-a gee) town, but you can’t use words like those anymore. People get mad.

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10 responses to “Did You Hear That?

  1. My objection to Venice ,when I went there, was exactly the opposite of Grandma’sI thought the place was completely overrun with tourists and that there were simply not enough “wops.”

  2. Way back when, when I was about 12 or 13, I remember seeing a movie where a bunch of Catholic Italian kids had cornered a Jewish kid in an alley, and were giving him a bunch of shit about the Jews having killed Jesus. The poor cornered Jewish kid finally spun around and screamed at them, “PONTIUS PILATE WAS A WOP!”That STILL cracks me up.When my grandmother was in fourth grade, she knocked out the school bully’s two front teeth because he’d been mercilessly picking on her beloved little brother, calling him a filthy little Portuguee you-know-what. She told me that back then, the prejudice against the Portuguese was as bad, if not worse, than the prejudice against the Mexicans would be later on.I’ve been to Venice. It’s a splendid city that I hope to take my sweetie to some day. But I must say, I agree with 10:03’s assessment. One must leave the heavily-visited parts of the city to really appreciate it. But that must be true of any great city, I imagine.I haven’t been to Flores, in the Azores, where my family on my mother’s side was from. It’s the westernmost island in the archipelago, and as such, the westernmost point of Europe. But I think that’s a journey I want to take by myself – at least the first time.

  3. OMG! I totally know what we’re doing for the next family talent show now!By the way, that first dance instructor looks a lot like Mresquan. Do you think he’s led a secret life?

  4. Cristina….I can remember being driven around Humboldt as a kid and at any brightly colored house one of my family members would say, “A portagee must’ve painted that.”

  5. LOL.conversation between my great-grandmother and myself:me: how did you get into town?Grandma: I took the bus.me: Oh, I didn’t know you took the bus. You can get around ok?Grandma: Yes, don’t fuss! The only thin I don’t like are all the colored people. They look like monkeys, they do. I don’t understand why God did that. Why would he make them??um. yeah. whaaa?

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