Saturday, June 12, 2004

WASPiest Jew in Kensington.

The other day I was strolling though Kensington Market in a vain effort to find sharkskin suits that fit me. Most were either former closet dwellers of 'fat men with short arms', or 'tall men with long arms'--happily, I fall into the 'average men with mid-length arms'.

I was distracted from my search by a man sitting on the curb of Augusta Ave.; with no job to keep him chained to a desk, he was taking little advantage of the sunny day by sitting in the shade.

A- "Got some change?"
B- "Sorry. Not today."
A- "Are you Jewish?"
B- "No."
A- "You look like you have a bit of Jew in you."
B- "Nope. I'm about as WASPy was they get."
A- "You could pass for a Jew."
B- ". . .thanks?"

I thought, originally, that the man was paying me a compliment. I'm trying not to sound like a boor, but he looked more Jewish to me than, say, my identical twin brother. I assumed that he was paying me a compliment, however strange, by suggesting that he and I were cut from the same cloth. Assuming that he was Jewish. And that I look Jewish. It wasn't until I related the story to my brother, who promptly branded the man "an anti-Semitic ass" for suggesting that my thrift regarding panhandlers was related to some 'religious stereotype' typified by thrift, that I too thought the man an ass.

Had I realised where he was going, I would have drawn from my proud Christian tradition and burned him on a stake.

No comments: