It’s impossible to get through life without offending someone, but this feels like a particularly wearisome week for offense.
Linda Dwire was outraged over two women speaking Spanish in the aisle of a grocery store in Rifle, Colo., on Monday. She confronted them over what she believed was an erosion of American values.
Then another woman intervened to restore civility in a personal moment inflamed by national tension over immigration policy and American identity.
“I’m calling the cops. You leave these women alone! Get out!” Kamira Trent roared in a video taken by one of the women.
Man, I hear languages other than English spoken in public all the time. In fact, most aren’t even Spanish. I recognize Spanish. I’m pretty good with most of the other common tongues around here, too — Arabic being the big one, but in a typical week, it’s not unusual to hear many, many others. My favorite is when you hear some version of Whatever-glish; I once eavesdropped on a Latina in a Mexican restaurant who was switching, at top speed, between Spanish, English and slang that almost qualified as its own dialect. It was dizzying, blahblahblahblahBITCHPLEASEblahblahblah. It didn’t make me worry about American values. But you knew that.
And there’s this oft-remarked-upon plague, the leaf blower. (Disclosure: I own one. But it’s the far, FAR quieter electric version:
A bunch of neighbors were sitting around the other night, talking yard work, and the conversation returned to a frequent target: a certain ex-neighbor, now long gone, who was unduly fond of his leaf blower. This is a familiar tale, how he tormented the block every autumn weekend chasing leaves around his small yard with his shrieking machine, leaving behind the lingering stench of gasoline fumes and resentment. I never met this fellow—he moved out before I moved in—but his legacy is secure: He is The Asshole With the Leaf Blower.
Perhaps that’s redundant. The tragedy of the leaf blower is that it makes assholes of us all, users and neighbors alike.
You can say that again.
And then there’s this column. Headline: I watched a rape. For five decades, I did nothing. Yep, it’s pretty raw. Read at your own risk.
Guys, I’m trying to get back into the groove of three entries a week, and I know this is pretty thin, but it’s been a far busier week than I anticipated. So go and have a weekend, and I’ll see you here afterward.