Random Observation Of A Racist Stranger

So I was at the supermarket and like, I don’t record people, certainly without their permission. That doesn’t mean I don’t get to listen and repeat what I hear, such as when I was at the supermarket in the Meat Area, which is right next to the vegetables. While I inspected some apples, a mother held up a package of meat, in which there was a broader than normal cut of meat, showing more of the bone. If you’re not familiar, this can show a darker segment of bone than more thin ones. Either way, point is, there was a chunk of bone in this meat that the woman couldn’t quite tell if it was good or not.

“Is this dark bit in the bone,” she said, pausing, “okay?”

“You won’t see that shit on the pork, you see?” her husband responded.

Now, you don’t have to be a dialogue writer to have a mental reaction of what? But she held it up and pointed at the bone, in the middle of the packet. “This, I mean?”

“Nah, the Arabic squiggly shit. They don’t bother putting it on the pork.” he said.


See turns out this gentleman was mad that the package of meat his wife was holding had, up in the top right of its label, a small mark in Arabic script. It also had a note in Korean Hangul, and two characters in Chinese on the label – I know, I checked – but the important thing, the very important thing to this man was not what his wife asked and what she’d said… but that someone had written Arabic text anywhere on the packet.

I’m mad about a lot of things but wow, I thought, that was some remarkable pettiness expressing itself as rage at a label on a packet of meat so intense you could ignore your wife asking you a question. Twice.

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