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THE Lowly Peon

Making Fun of People Who Don't Want It 
02 April 2011, 5:48am

If there's any place designed for personal rants, it's a blog like Avalantern (which you all should do more of, by the way). And this is something that's irked me for many many years.

I simply do not get why people make fun of people. I don't mean the kind where you poke fun at your friend for the way they said "svenjolly". I mean the kind where someone you're not particularly close friends with starts laughing at you because of an honest mistake you made. Perhaps I'm too sensitive, as bottom* holes I used to work with used to say when I asked them honestly to stop making fun of me for not knowing obscure punk music from the mid-80s. Or perhaps it's just a habit that people need to break.

As many of you know, I was born and raised in America. A north suburb of the great Chicago, to be more exact. And from that, you can conclude that I was not born and raised in any Chinese-speaking society. I learned Chinese from books and classes, and years later, from the woman I wound up marrying.

I've been living in China now for a few years, and though my Chinese is far from perfect, it's enough that I can communicate just fine with my friends and strangers. In fact, I've had some pretty life altering conversations in Mandarin, which I'm really quite proud to say.

So why is it that when my department took me out as a going-away lunch, some little sexual intercourse*, one who's always bothered me and is somewhat renowned for being an bottom*, laughed his bottom* off when I used the wrong measure word for a cow?

If you didn't quite understand that last paragraph, you likely didn't come from China, where they have a different word that you put between the quantity of something and the something itself. For example, you don't say "one pen", you say the equivalent of "one long skinny round thing pen". And if you want to say "one computer", you say roughly "one machine computer" (more specifically, "one machine electric brain").

At lunch, everyone was picking on me for being a vegetarian. I'm used to that mockery, so it rolled right off me. (A post on why I'm a vegetarian has been in the works for years.) One reason, I explained, is that the amount of food used to feed a cow can feed far more people than the cow can, so why not go straight to the source. Well, silly stupid American me, I said "one small-to-medium sized animal cow" instead of "one medium size animal cow". What an idiot I am.

And this kid got such a kick out it, he wouldn't drop it. And the rest of the meal became me and half the group having a conversation while the other half made fun of my strange -isms when speaking Chinese.

Thus brings me to my conclusion. Unless it's your wife, your husband, you close friends or your family, just don't make fun of people. It doesn't make them feel good, and it doesn't make you look better. In fact, it makes you look like a small-dicked bully. So HA.

(I should also mention that I felt much better when this kid, who named himself Echo in English, spent ten minutes trying to pronounce the word "avatar" to me.)

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[02 April 2011]