What was it, 1991. An ethnic-German Protestant minister in a little ethnic-German town in Romania was telling us a story about a Romanian telling a member of the Gypsy minority there that “Gypsies are the lowest form of life” and the Gypsy responding, “You should be glad we’re around, otherwise you would be.”
Occasionally that conversation pops into my mind and reminds me how pathetic people are, needing to look down on someone else. Or, how pathetic people need to look down on someone else, maybe. It makes me try harder not to look down on other people.
I have a cousin, she is my favorite cousin which is saying a lot because I have several cousins I’m crazy about. One of her sons, who is a great guy, has Down’s Syndrome, so some of us are sensitive about how the word “retard” is used, as you might imagine. In fact, I don’t know that any other word pisses me off so much.
Especially, but not exclusively, when employed by your dumbass business-major types.
It seems I drive past a sheltered workshop on my morning commute. Today, there was one guy sitting outside in the sun, crumpled down in his electric wheelchair. A group of four people exited the building and walked past him. Judging from their faces, and the way two of them walked, they were residents of the sheltered workshop/halfway house, but from what they wore it looked as if they’d all had makeovers. Suits. The woman wore a pantsuit and had a big perm and wore big glasses. They carried briefcases. They looked like business majors on their way to negotiate a deal with a bank. They looked successful and confident.
I thought a few different things at once. I thought, “good on them.” More people should get makeovers, I think. If I were federal chancellor of Austria I would create a Ministry of Makeovers that had the power to snatch people off the streets and give them makeovers and style counselling. I also thought, “if these mentally-challenged people are modeling themselves after business majors, what does that say about business majors?”