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August 08, 2005 - 1:09 pm


School’s about to start again, and that’s gotten me thinking – thinking about how remarkably similar some things are to when I was in school. Did you know they still have the same lunch menus they had 30 years ago? They do. One day I asked my kids what they had for lunch and when they said “pizza” I asked if they had corn and jello with it. They thought I was Kreskin.

And another thing that hasn’t changed is that kids today are always learning interesting new words from other kids, just as I did. I remember this one time when I was in the first grade some black girl called me a soda cracker. She was clearly upset with me, but, not being prone to speaking much, I didn’t really press her on what she meant. Instead I went home and asked my mom what a soda cracker was.

She looked at me, kind of smirking, and said, “Soda cracker is another term for a Saltine cracker. Why do you ask?”

When I told her someone called me that, she just laughed and said “Don’t worry about it, honey.” That was the end of the conversation.

I was pretty baffled by the whole thing, curious what in the world I had about me that reminded this angry girl of a cracker. Was I square? Crumbly? Did I break easily if placed back in the tin improperly? Beats me.

It wasn’t until years later that I realized it was actually a racial slur. Like honkey or gringo. I was more perplexed than ever.

To this day, that’s got to be the least offensive racial slur I’ve ever heard. Who doesn’t like crackers? You know? What’s more harmless than a little old cracker? It’s crispy, lightly salted, low fat, and always comforting when you’re sick! It goes well with chili, soup, and oysters, not to mention a wide variety of cheeses! So versatile and satisfying!

Hell, that’s so me it's scary.


reading -Snow by Orhan Pamuk
viewing -West Side Story
listening -“I Won’t Love You (‘Til You’re More Like Me)” by The Snakes

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