April 28, 2009

Now, if I could just get reparations

Okay, first, a little family background. My sister-in-law is a single mother with an adorable two-year-old daughter, who now qualifies as my niece. The two-year-old niece happens to be dark-skinned, owing to the fact my sister-in-law's choice of bedmate a few years ago happened to be of Dominican origin.

Okay, next, a little jiu-jitsu gym background. One of my fellow students is a very dedicated, nice individual who has an unfortunate pre-disposition to talk pretty much all the time. And I do mean ALL the time. I'm a pretty quiet guy in person, having adopted the philosophy many years ago of "it's better to be thought a fool than to speak up and erase all doubt." Therefore, conversations with my fellow student are largely a one-sided affair, with me nodding or saying "oh, really," from time to time.

Well, a couple weeks ago, my wife and I were babysitting our niece, and we were enjoying an outing at the local mall, where I happened to see and wave at my fellow jiu-jitsu student. I thought nothing of the chance encounter.

Now, a brief pause. For visual reference:


So, last week, I was at the gym, changing in the men's room, when my fellow student came by to chat. During the course of the one-sided chat, I got the feeling he really wanted to ask me something, but wasn't sure how best to approach the question. Finally, he just came out with it:

"How much black do you got in you?"

Now, in any other circumstance, this question would have left me completely at a loss. However, almost as soon as he asked the question, I remembered seeing him at the mall when my wife and I were babysitting our niece, so the pieces fell together in my mind with impressive rapidity, considering the obscurity of the question.

Bear in mind, I'm about 50 percent Irish, with sprinklings of Norwegian and French to round out my ancestry. In other words, I'm whiter than freshly blowing snow, and my wife is, if anything, even whiter (hell, her maiden name was "Whited," for crying out loud).

"Dude, that was my niece you saw me with last week," I quickly explained.

"Oh, well, I was just wondering," he said, and he could have let it be at that. Instead. . .

"Because you do have some black features."

Granted, I was changing in the men's room, so he may have been referencing. . . oh, who am I kidding? I have absolutely no idea which features he was referencing.

In the end, we established I'm pretty much a white guy, and he seemed satisfied with my explanation.

Jiu-jitsu can be wierd.

Posted by Ryan at April 28, 2009 06:44 AM | TrackBack

Dude, as we all know, you got back. So that must have been what he was referencing. Heh. Because you know, your wife doesn't look all that ecstatic. Happy yes, ecstatic, no. Heh.

Posted by: Donna at April 28, 2009 12:34 PM

Why do I see that picture popping up on fark in the next few days with the word "OWNED" written above your head?

Posted by: LearneFoot at April 28, 2009 01:44 PM


Posted by: Autumn at May 4, 2009 12:57 PM
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