CI 3/30/97 -- Have a Very PC Easter
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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Thu, 27 Mar 97 19:50:23 -0800
Subject: CI 3/30/97 -- Have a Very PC Easter
CERTIFIABLY INANE March 30, 1997
(c) Patrick C. Ross
Have a Very PC Easter
Speaking of Reverend Moon, I made what I thought would be
a simple trip to my neighborhood Cardmark store recently (note my
adept avoidance of a major lawsuit by using a fictional store
name; bet you'd never guess what it's really called). My
shopping mission (PR's Rule # 312: Men don't shop; they choose
their prey, select the most fruitful hunting ground, and then
swoop down for the kill) was to find an Easter card for my
parents. Little did I know that determining the origin of the
Shroud of Turin would be an easier task.
"May I help you?" the chipper young woman asked after I
had stared at the sea of cards long enough to feel a few hairs
"I hope so," I replied. "I'm looking for a card to wish
my folks a Happy Easter."
"I see," she said, eyeing me up and down. "And what
ethnic group do they fall under?"
"Here at Cardmark," the woman explained patiently, "we've
become very culturally sensitive. We have cards for African
Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, Alaskan Inuits, etc.
Culturally speaking, how were you raised?"
I thought about that for a moment. "I'd have to say
"Hmm, I don't have any of that," she said. "Perhaps you
should look at our generic section."
Now we're getting somewhere, I thought. "Great. Where's
She pointed to a group of about a dozen orphaned cards.
The hawk circled his prey. "Um, these Easter cards are
just to a mother or a father. I have to mail two cards to cover
"Well, at Cardmark we strive to represent all of society,
and we're making an effort to be sensitive to children from broken
homes. Are you telling me your parents are still married?"
"Last time I checked," I replied.
"Hmm," the clerk mused. "We go to such lengths to fill
every niche, but I guess yours was overlooked. Perhaps you'd like
a 'message' card."
At this point I was open to anything if it meant making a
purchase and getting out of there. "Fine. What's a 'message'
"Well, our research has shown that the hardest part of
cardgiving is thinking of something inspiring to write. Besides,
83% of card recipients don't bother to read those somewhat sappy
poems we sometimes print. So tell me: What's the message you're
really trying to communicate to your parents?"
"I see," she replied, and snatched a card off of the rack.
"How about this one?"
The front showed one of those big-eyed DeGrazia children
you see on the walls of motel rooms, offering up a paper heart. I
opened the card and read aloud. "I'm sorry I said you looked like
you were retaining water," the card read. "You're right: It was
just a subconscious display of angst reflecting the humiliation I
felt when I was twelve and mom caught me in the bathroom with her
That wasn't quite what I was looking for. I turned it
over. "Hmm," I said, "only $4.25."
"The envelope is an extra fifty cents," she chirped.
I had a mission to accomplish. I was in a store devoted
to greeting cards, and I was not about to leave without purchasing
one. I decided to be creative. "Okay, here's the scoop. My
mother is half Albanian, half Thai. My father is Palestinian but
was raised by his adoptive Creole parents in New Orleans. He's a
follower of the Reverend Moon, but my mom is a practitioner of
Wicca witchcraft. She likes Easter because eggs can be used in
the invocation of a number of minor spells, although I was always
disturbed when she needed to conduct a bunny sacrifice."
The clerk didn't even blink. "No problem. I just got in
a new shipment that's perfect."
I did blink. I found myself wondering if my parents would
mind ever so much receiving their Easter greeting this year via
"Lotsa laughs... Certifiably Inane lived up to its billing."
Wash. Post 6/27/96 review of this free weekly humor column
Certifiably Inane (C) Patrick Ross 1997
© 1997 Peter Langston