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Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Amreekistan II: Pretty please with ketchup and cheese

Setting: the US luggage inspection counter at O’Hare airport, the day of our flight home.

Me: (to security officer) Excuse me, but this suitcase is torn and we didn’t notice it, do you guys think you could tape it up so it doesn’t bust open later?

Officer: Yeah, you might wanna tape it up, cuz after we take it it’ll be throw around a couple time like a volley ball. A few guys might play catch with it…

Me:Jump up and down on it a few times…

Officer: Yeah, exactly.

Me: Do you guys think you could tape it up?

Officer: That depends on whether or not you ask nicely.

Me:Pretty please with ketchup and cheese?

Officer: With ketchup and cheese? What kind of a please is that?

Me:Well, I was going to say hummus and tahini but I wasn’t sure if you’d know I was talking about…

Officer:Hummus? I know hummus! See, that’s racial profiling, you think just because I’m black that I don’t know what hummus is. I know hummus, and falafel and lots of other Arab food…

Me: Now that’s racial profiling cuz you’re saying I should know what these foods are because you think I look like an Arab.

Officer: No, you’re not an Arab, none of you are. (actually one of us was, half-Arab anyway). Now that one, she’s Urdu. Aren’t you.

Sabah: Urdu’s a language. I’m Indian.

Officer: Same thing. My co-worker over there, he’s Urdu too.

Sabah: Right.

The suitcases were eventually taped. Amreeka is such an interesting place…

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