Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Episode 63: Sunburns and Cultural Confusion

So, on a beautiful September day in the great state of Indiana I was minding my own business watching what was supposed to be soccer (as it turns out, 7-year-olds aren't very good at making it look much like soccer, despite the jerseys, cleats, shin guards, goals, and soccer balls) when I was brutally attacked by the sun.  

I made it through two years of pool days, beach days, and other-activities-in-the-sun days in the hottest days of summer only to be sucker punched on one side of my face by the almost-fall September sun in the middle of the midwest.  While I have no statistics to back me up (something that has never stopped me before) I am quite certain no one else at those soccer fields got sunburned that day.  I take it as a vicious attack on my culture by a remorseless celestial bully.  

That's right only someone whose blood is entirely Nordic could have felt the effects so severely, at least I think Nordic means Norwegian, or at least something geographically close to Norwegian anyway.  I'm not actually sure about that that because really the only thing Norwegian about me is my blood and genes and all that.  I have never even been to Norway.  Once, when I was motivated to learn more about my cultural heritage I tried to learn some Norwegian.  It didn't go very well on account of the fact that there are no vowels and every word looks like a random collection of letters designed purposefully to be impossible to pronounce.  In point of fact, I am probably more Mexican when it comes to actual demonstrations of culture.  I speak Spanish, have been to Mexico, and love the food.  I don't speak any Norwegian, have never been there, and dislike the only foods I have encountered from Norway.  This is very confusing for me.  

My blond hair, blue eyes, and basement-dwelling skin tone don't fit very well with Mexican culture, but I don't know anything about the culture of my blood.  I guess this is what it means to live in a melting pot.  At least I can always claim my American culture, whatever that means...unless I am in South America. Even American culture is confusing.  Well, for easier discussions about my culture I am going to call myself Normeximerican from here on out.  We are a small, misunderstood culture, but we will never lose our roots...at least not after we find them anyway, provided they are not hanging out anywhere near that back-stabbing, two-bit, sucker-punching sun.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Episode 4: Super Windy Turbo Jet Turbine Hand Dryers

Who knew it was so difficult to build a functional paper towel dispenser for restrooms? I use two hands and pull, just like the very helpful instructions indicate, but I know who writes those sorts of things, so it is not a big surprise when it doesn't work.

Instead, I end up with a wet, thumb-sized scrap of paper towel clutched tightly between the thumb and forefinger of each hand, and an otherwise undisturbed paper towel mocking me from the dispenser as I shake my hands violently to dry them enough to grip the remaining towel well enough to dislodge it. By the time I get my hands as dry as possible using towels with the absorptive qualities of the thirty-year-old shingles on my roof, my food has gotten cold, so my wife has boxed it up, paid the waiter, loaded the babies into the car, pulled up to the door, washed her hair, walked the dog (presumably someone else's since we do not actually have one), read an epic novel, and fallen asleep.

That is why I heartily endorse the super windy turbo jet turbine hand dryers. Not only do they provide loads of amusement for kids waiting for their parents, but they also keep restrooms free of paper towel trash. I am trying to convince my wife to get one for the house.