Monday, January 31, 2011

I'm Poor; Need Ride

I’m very surprised to see that hitchhiking still goes on in this day and age. Granted, I understand that the age-old problem of “I’m poor; need ride” will never go away, but I’m surprised people still attempt to hitchhike knowing the reputation it has. With all of the stabbings, chokings, rapings, and other miscellany murderings blamed on hitchhikers on the news, does anyone left really have the courage to actually pick one up?

I would guess that it’s tough for hitchhikers to shed their crazy, murdery reputation when they all continue to look and act the same. They are a group that is forever disheveled, unclean, foul-smelling, poorly dressed, and equally poor at spelling. If I was going to hitchhike, the first thing I would do is go buy myself a very sharp business suit; something with a modern cut to it and perhaps with a subtle pinstripe. I would want passing motorists to see that this was one hitchhiker who was both reliable and responsible. Next, I definitely wouldn’t sloppily write some message on a jagged trapezoid of greasy cardboard. I would get a professionally printed sign, maybe at Kinkos. It would be one of those two-sided jobs so that the sign could be read from both directions, and I would make sure it was thoroughly spell-checked. It goes without saying that I would get my hair cut and a fresh shave. After all, being a hitchhiker today is the same as going to a job interview. You don’t hire the guy who looks like a dirtier version of Steve Buscemi, who also smells like a dumpster and has “nead ride to Chicoggo” written on his résumé in lipstick. No, you hire the clean guy in the sharp suit who has his shit together.

 Steve Buscemi: Even his own limo driver won't pick him up

The other day, I was unfortunate enough to be stopped at an intersection where a scruffy fellow was trying to hitchhike. I had my window down, so that was the only invitation he needed to ask me for a ride. I said, “I don’t think so. You are dirty, and you smell like burned taco meat.” To which he replied, “well you don’t have to be rude about it, jerk.” I replied, “sorry, I thought I was being polite. If I was being rude, I would have told you that your odor reminds me of when I take a big, messy dump in the morning, but don’t do such a great job of wiping because I know I’m just going to get in the shower, but then I turn on the shower way too hot and it gets all steamy, and then when I hop in, the entire shower just smells like a sweaty, half-clean anus. And if you don’t mind, I don’t want my 2006 Honda Accord to smell like a sweaty, half-clean anus, because it’s got a nice leather interior, and I’ve kept it pretty cherry for five years now.”

Obviously, he had no retort for that one, and the light turned green. But as I pulled away, I couldn’t help but wonder if I would have picked him up had he been wearing a nice suit, and smelled like Old Spice instead of an anus. Probably not, but maybe I would have at least tossed him a fiver.

Drifty McStabs: Take a good look at the last hitchhiker you'll ever pick up

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Racist Toys

In this country, we will never be able to extinguish the last remaining flames of racism that continue to smolder without properly conditioning tomorrow’s generation. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to send the right message to kids today, as toy companies continue to bombard the collective subconscious with racist imagery and messages of bigotry. Below is just a small sample of toys and games that can be found on the shelves today that are propagating the intolerant, prejudiced messages of yesterday.

Lego: Space Police

On the surface, this box looks harmless. But let’s look at it in a little more detail. What you essentially have here is a white police officer chasing down a “bad guy” who looks considerably different. The bad guy, whose mug-shot is included with the nameplate of “Squidman,” is running from the “po-po” with $100 that was most likely robbed from a space convenience store. Basically, this is teaching kids that if you are not white, you will most likely be hunted down by the police without cause. What if Squidman got that $100 via legitimate means? What if it was just payday down at the space-squid factory? Squidman will most likely end up behind bars after an unfair trial and a 14 minute jury deliberation. Great message to send kids.

Dora the Explorer Garden Tools
Dora the Explorer is a wildly-successful Hispanic character that is found to be both enjoyable and educational by children of all races. So why would a company belittle Dora’s contribution by releasing what are essentially yard-working tools with her Hispanic persona pasted all over them? What’s next, a Dora the Explorer lawnmower? A Dora the Explorer counterfeit green card? These people make me sick.

Mr. Pencil Leapster Game
This is another subtle one, but the imagery is there. You have the happy, Caucasian-esque pencil, the Caucasian-esque eraser, and then you have a dark-colored marker who is sporting a knit cap, a huge gold chain, and has rather sleepy eyes. One begins to suspect that the racist illustrators of this package wanted to subconsciously hint that Mr. Smooth Marker has been up all night smoking the chronic. That’s just not right. I’m guessing the other characters only hang out with him when they need someone for a pickup game of basketball.


The only person who’s “sorry” on this package is the ethnic looking kid on the left who is being double-teamed by these junior Hitlers. I find it interesting that the kid in the middle’s hand is hidden behind the dark-haired kid. Is he holding a gun to his back? It’s hard to say for sure. They might as well have just illustrated him wearing handcuffs.

Lego Airport

Lego is a repeat offender. What you have here, on the surface, is a tranquil airport scene. Subliminally, you’ll notice that there’s only one black-haired fellow, and he is creeping around on the tarmac with a suitcase. On his face is a menacing smile, and in his hands is most likely a dirty bomb.

I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before the Lego TSA agents gang-tackle him and quietly force him on the next unlisted flight to Guantanamo Bay.

Walkaroo Sticks

This is a picture from Walkaroo Sticks, which are clearly intended to make fun of handicap children. Sure, he’s smiling now, but he won’t be smiling when the other kids leave him out of their kickball game.

Don’t Tip the Waiter

Like Walkaroo Sticks, this one doesn’t qualify as racism per se, but it is still plenty narrow-minded. This game is called “Don’t Tip the Waiter,” and the waiter is clearly a first-generation Italian immigrant who is just trying to make a living in this country. Hey kids! Don’t leave a modest gratuity for the greasy mustached guy who is breaking his back working two shifts a day to serve you pizza just so you can laugh at him and call him ‘Dippy Dego’ behind his back!

Charades for Kids

There are a few noticeable problems with this package. One, the black kid is in the prototypical “spread eagle” pose, as if he had been searched by the police many times before. Two, he’s wearing black stripes, subliminally indicating that he is on the rocky path to convicted felon status even at such a tender age. I’m sure if you zoomed in more, they probably have him wearing a tattoo on his neck. In the foreground is an Asian kid doing -- what else? -- some sort of martial arts pose. I understand that you need to make charades easier for children, but recycling old stereotypes is the lowest of the low. Where is the Mexican kid crawling under a fence, or the Jewish kid bear-hugging a piggy bank? Racists!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

What Did You Just Say?

Whoah. Easy there! I know you're probably joking around, but some of the other people here don't know you as well as I do. I'm usually not one to judge, but I'm starting to wonder about you. I'll be honest with you; that last thing you said sort of crossed the line. I mean, I knew there were people out there like that, but I never thought you were one of them.

What's that? Still perplexed? Use this flowchart to figure out if the comment you just made could be considered racist.