White People, She's One of Yours

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Loren, Joanne, Gabriel, Diablo, Jonny, and Donovan go to the same bar in Los Angeles just about every Friday night. I usually opt to tour the sights and sounds of downtown Glendale by myself instead because bars are way too loud for my sensitive ears and all the sugar from Shirley Temples makes me go up to guys and scream, "You're a hot piece of ass!"—and sometimes they get offended, especially when they're girls. But a couple weeks ago, my friends convinced me to join them.

Everybody was already there when I arrived (except for Donovan who left to go to some lame improv thing). (See what happens, Donovan, when you go to some lame improv thing? You get written out of blog entries!) They all greeted me warmly, and I noticed a strange Caucasian woman in a cowboy hat whom I had never seen before. She was sitting next to Diablo and was practically rubbing up against her leg like a horny Shitzu. Because they seemed to be so close, I assumed that she was a friend from out of town or something.

"Hi! I'm Prince! Who are you?!" I extended my hand.

She stood up, leaned in close to me, grabbed my hand, and said, "I'm Suzanne!" She was so drunk that a cloud of alcohol vapor shot out of her mouth. (I changed her name here so that I don't get hunted down and killed.)

"Yeah, but who are you?!"

"Suzanne!"

She wouldn't let go of my hand. "Uh...nice hat!"

She yanked the cowboy hat off her head and dunked it onto mine. On the outside, I was very polite: "Thank you." On the inside, I was thinking, "Nobody touches my hair, bitch!"

She still wouldn't let go of my hand, I was annoyed that she didn't tell me how she knew Diablo, and the hat was driving me crazy, but I tried to be as nice as possible since she was a close friend.

With her hand still around mine, she pulled me closer. "I'm sorry," she slurred. "I apologize."

"For what?"

She could barely keep her eyes open. She was serious when she said this: "I apologize for what we did to your country!"

At first I thought, "Um...America?" But then I thought, "Look, bitch, back off!"

Still not wanting to offend Diablo or Jonny or whoever's friend this was, I said, "Thank you. I appreciate your saying so." I quickly yanked my hand away, put the hat back on her head, and ran to the bathroom.

When I returned, Suzanne was rubbing up and down against Diablo again, as they all continued their conversations about something. I sat next to Gabriel and texted him a message on my cell: "Who IS this woman?!"

Gabriel read my text on his iPhone and then texted me back: "She was dancing by herself before, and she came over, she made a funny joke, we liked her, now we're not so sure."

At this point, I began to notice the woman was actually imposing herself in on the conversation, injecting inane drunk comments. Jonny and Joanne broke away from the group to start their own conversation. Diablo got up to go to the restroom for an easy escape. Loren sauntered to the bar because it was going to take more drinks to get everybody through the night. So Gabriel and I were left to entertain Suzanne, who immediately launched into The Litany of Geographical Guesses. Just about every Asian American has been subjected to The Litany of Geographical Guesses at some point in their lives.

She points at me. "Cambodia?!"

"No."

"Korea?!"

"No."

"You're Vietnamese?!"

"No."

"Japanese?!"

...And this went on for what seemed like an uncomfortable eternity when she finally got frustrated and blurted out, "France!"

At this point, everybody was back, and the woman decided that it was time for her to hold court. "I was dancing with this girl last night!"

"Uh-huh," "yeah," etc.

"And she had a heart attack, and the ambulance had to come!"

"Oh, ha ha," "chuckle," etc.

"No, really, she had a heart attack!"

"Wait, what, really?"

Suzanne nodded. The look in her eyes told us that the story was true. "And I spent all day in the hospital today with this girl."

"Really? How is she doing?" someone asked.

"SHE DIED!"

Silence. We all looked at each other, not sure if this were a joke or not. I tried to half-laugh.

But the woman emphatically said, "SHE'S DEAD!"

I don't think I've ever seen a group of people get up so fast simultaneously in my life. Purses were clutched, watches were checked, stomachs were rubbed: "I'm hungry," "let's go," etc.

I ran out of the bar, screaming, and left the others to deal with issues of tact and diplomacy since we were all ditching the drunk.

See what I miss when I don't go to the bar on Friday nights?

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BAMBOO NATION: White People, She's One of Yours
White People, She's One of Yours
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