• Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 63 other followers

  • Share TheBayAreaBrit blog

    Bookmark and Share
  • Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 63 other followers

Inappropriate Behavio(u)r

     There’s a scene in the film The Terminator when the human-looking robot played by the former Governor of California is asked an inappropriate question. From his point of view, there is a computerized choice of options on how to respond. This is it:

 

       I don’t think I’m special when I say that I do this also. Years of working in the service industry condition one to respond politely and appropriately, even if the question or demand made is inappropriate.

Read more

Read more    51Kt5ekM8cL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

 

Stop The Lin-Sanity!

So I know that this kind of thing is always a sensitive subject, but I’m going to run with it and face the consequences of your opinions. In some cases I will be taken to task and enlightened, and in other cases I will probably be misunderstood. For the most part The Bay Area Brit avoids serious issues. I try and keep things loose, and ideally I like you to leave my little home here with a smile on your face.

So here it is: The New York Knicks have a player that has come from the sporting equivalent of nowhere to become a sensation. Jeremy Lin dominated February’s basketball headlines and became the darling of New York. In the biggest city in America, he rose above the pressures and created an overnight success story. Fans held signs punning Lin’s name. “Lin-Sanity” was popular, “Lin-credible,” “Lin-spirational” etc etc.

 Some of them were funny and some were clever, but I didn’t see any that were offensive.

David Letterman even did a Top 10 List. However, things took an ugly turn when pun turned to slur. An ESPN headline writer penned the words “A CHINK IN THE ARMOR” when Lin’s winning streak came to an end.

Now I’m not particularly sensitive or “politically correct” for that matter, but using a derogatory word like “Chink” in referring to a player of Chinese ancestry cannot possibly be accidental—like the writer pleaded.

I’m guessing he thought he was being funny. He failed—miserably.

I know. I often fail miserably when trying to be funny, but then, no one and I mean NO ONE expects me to be serious or educate my audience. And since my audience is so much smaller, the expectations for me to be responsible are lessened.

Okay, so here’s a joke:

Jeremy Lin has come from such obscurity that if you Googled his name a month ago, a mid-level computer programmer at Microsoft would have popped up first.

Can I even say that?

Firstly, I think we can agree that the joke isn’t that funny. And it’s not, unfunny because it’s particularly offensive. It’s just not funny because it’s not funny.

Also, the thing about a joke like that is that while the Google search statement might be true, it might be deemed as offensive because it hits on a stereotype: Asians are smart.

Okay, admittedly not a very negative stereotype but one nonetheless.

So how far is too far?

I thought I had a rough idea, but when I saw the story below, I realized I just don’t know, any more.

Last week, Ben & Jerry’s felt they had to apologize for their latest Ice-Cream Flavor. Here’s a breakdown of my immediate reaction: “Uh-oh what did those dopey stoners do now?”

Then after reading more, I discovered that they called their new flavor, “Taste The Lin-Sanity.”

So I thought, “Did Ben & Jerry’s offend an advocacy group that works for the rights of the mentally ill? Is that why they had to apologize? No, that can’t be it.”

Then: “Ooh, what about the ingredients? Maybe the ice-cream contains some of that bright red, shiny, dead duck that you see hanging in the windows of some Chinese markets and restaurants.” I half expected to see the words: “Shiny, Red Duck Bits and Plum-Caramel Swirls.”

That wouldn’t be the worst ice-cream flavor I had ever heard of.

So it turns out the ingredients were: “Vanilla frozen yogurt, Lychee honey, and fortune cookie chips” I was still kind of at a loss…yeah, I guess that could be a little offensive…then I thought, is that really the reason? Is there more to this? Maybe they were apologizing because the flavor (much like my joke earlier) wasn’t any good.

Now here’s where I may be offending my Chinese readers. Are Chinese people really offended by the use of fortune cookies in an ice cream flavor? Or is this the work of politically correct, white people that think Asians would or should be offended? Which, in a way, if that’s the case, actually offends me.

I really don’t know. I guess I’m asking…throwing it out there…waiting to be informed. Why is this so awful?

There are Chinese-owned restaurants all over the world with the name “Fortune Cookie” in it. I still get fortune cookies when I order Chinese food. And sometimes they’re actually clever.

Please bear in mind my philosophy: I try to poke fun at everyone, and I do it as much as I make fun of my people, and myself. I openly embrace the modern British stereotype that we are beer-guzzling, soccer hooligans that have bad teeth. I get it.

The Asian community has embraced Jeremy Lin with pride…and rightly so; he’s the ultimate underdog, and he is the first American basketball star of Chinese descent, but his success has nothing to do with his race or his ancestry.

The gray areas of racism are just that: caught between the black and white. It’s just such a touchy subject, and people’s opinions differ so strongly on it that it’s difficult in that gray area to truly know what is right or wrong.

I know in my heart I have to feel comfortable with what I say or what I think. I have my own boundaries, but I don’t like being censored or told “I can’t say that,” but at the same time, I am willing to listen to both sides of the argument, and especially if it is done articulately and intelligently and without any name-calling.

Meanwhile, here’s a young man who went back to work this week. He already has enough nicknames, but whatever, he’s the real deal. Go Giants!

The Tap-to-Tap Challenge

Ladies and gentlemen, friends and enemies…It’s time to be baffled and amazed as The Bay Area Brit takes you on a quick journey of San Franciscan self-deprecation to lows you’ve never seen before, unless you’ve spent time kissing the rain gutters of this fair city.

Picture if you will, a sprightly jaunt, two blocks downhill on Fillmore Street to my former favorite haunt, (what was once) the greatest English pub San Francisco has ever seen: The Mad Dog In The Fog…..

Soon to be featured in More Inappropriate Behavio(u)r coming in 2020

Do The Right Thing

About a year ago, I was coming home on the BART late at night and witnessed what most people would characterize as unusual behavior: A young man was animatedly acting out two sides of a conversation. There was no one else in that particular car except me, and I immediately felt uncomfortable.

He occasionally looked over at me with a stare that said, “What’s your problem?”

Or it might have been: “Why are you eavesdropping on my conversation?”

Or…perhaps it was: “This is a conversation between A and B, so why don’t you ‘C’ your way out of it.” He, of course, was both “A” AND “B.”

Had he actually said that, I would of course have said, “I would be ‘D’-elighted.” and moved to the next car on the train.

      I witnessed this man do this on seven or eight different nights in the space of three weeks.

Read more

Read more 51Kt5ekM8cL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

The Gospel According To BART ….part II

BART continues to be a source of amusement for the pic-and-caption team at The Bay Area Brit. I hope that you feel the same way.

The BART station agent’s financial woes are aired for everyone to see. However, if BART paid him more money maybe he would stay in his little booth the whole shift like he’s supposed to.

I keep seeing these ads on the BART platforms everywhere. I know when I’m scraping together the $2.75 to take BART in the morning, I often think to myself: “I should just donate my luxury yacht to some page 3 pin-up dressed like Donald Duck.” Really?

Speaking of ads: Why did the people that paid for the Judgment Day Warning posters pay to have their ads run through the end of July? Silly rapture-wanters.

This young man takes a heroin nap during the evening commute to San Francisco. He will wake up three hours later in Richmond and will have somehow lost his wallet, his ID, his sunglasses, and his Nikes.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen this happen, people.

A Female commuter regrets her decision to partake in “Take A Convict To Work Day” when he tells her that he’s never really known true love before…until now.

You know I just couldn’t resist

If you missed the first one, click below, and don’t be shy with a comment if you liked it, hated it, or are in one of the pictures and want your silly face blurred.

https://thebayareabrit.com/2011/03/07/the-gospel-according-to-bart/

Take Some Chants On Me

A few years ago, I was on the N Judah returning home after a Saturday night of drunken debauchery out in the avenues. It was a bright, Sunday June morning, not unlike any other beautiful San Francisco day. I was trying to remember the name of the woman I had woken up next to…Svetlana? No…maybe it was Caterina…something Russian. I think. I remembered that much at least.

Read more

 

 

The Illustrated Guide On How To Dine And Dash

***This particular blog has become extremely popular. It is satire, and should not be taken seriously. We do NOT condone Dining and Dashing.***

**************************************

“HOW TO DINE AND DASH” is now a short film. Just click on the link.

An Indian restaurant in London called Khan’s had so many issues with people running out without paying their bill that they only hired young, lean Indian waiters that could run the 100 meters in less than 11 seconds. There were usually 9 or 10 servers on the floor, all of them with leg muscles stretched and limbered up, ready to take off into the night to chase someone likely so full of curry they didn’t stand a chance of getting away. 

On at least three visits to Khan’s I saw someone try to Dine And Dash. It would usually start with some plates being dropped, followed by the sound of furniture being swept aside, and then frantic yelling (Probably Hindi for, “We’ve got a runner!”) then there would be a flurry of white shirts and Nikes sprinting out the front door in spicy hot pursuit of the Dine ‘n’ Dasher like they were running from the bulls in Pamplona.

They always caught the runner and dragged him back to the restaurant. The Dine ‘n’ Dasher always looked like he had been roughed up a bit in the skirmish, and the adrenaline-pumped waiters’ high-fived each other in victory as other diners applauded.

Embarrassing to say the least.

If only the Dine ’n’ Dasher had thought more carefully about his restaurant choice—unless of course he enjoyed the rush of being chased down and beaten by a swoop of young Indian men.

Here now is

“The Illustrated Guide On How To Dine-And-Dash”

1)    Location, Location, Location

The successful Dine ‘n’ Dasher chooses their restaurant carefully.

The restaurant MUST be busy, the more chaotic the better.

If the restaurant has more than one exit, this is a plus.

Often, restaurants inside hotels are prime choice because the restrooms are located in the lobby and not in the dining room, making escape easy.

The experienced Dine ‘n’ Dasher knows that choosing the right restaurant shouldn’t be based on the quality of the menu, but the likelihood of a successful escape.

Continue reading

Dear God……Whassuuuuup?

Dear God

This is the first time I have ever written a suicide note…….well….not counting that one time after I strangled that homeless guy  and dumped his body in the lake after I accidentally gave him $20 thinking it was a dollar and he wouldn’t give it back. I didn’t know his name and so I just kind of scrawled a squiggle as his signature at the end of his sad “woe is me” note. I guess bringing that up right now isn’t going to help my cause to get into your Heaven Compound or whatever you’re calling it these days.

So the word is that the world is ending. Fortunately, by the time you read this I will probably be laying on a cold slab in the morgue and not suffering the ordeal of this “end of the world as we know it”  business. I mean seriously, who wants that malarkey?

Read more

Read More                 51Kt5ekM8cL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

 

Dear Princess

       To My Dear Lovely Kate, or should I say, Duchess of Cambridge, as you are now known.

         As I sat by my mailbox waiting for my velvet cloaked invitation to your wedding (an invitation that  never came by the way.) I wondered how long it would be before your royal romance ended.

 

Read the rest of this story and more in “More Inappropriate Behavio(u)r” Coming in 2020.

Steaming Aphrodite

I recently bought a trunk at a flea market and was surprised to discover that it had a false bottom. Under the faux cover I discovered a diary written in 1909 by a man named Dr. York Van Landingham. Here is a page:

July 17th 1909

She was from Mother Russia and her name was Svetlana Minsky. She spoke perfect English in an accent that one could not detect as foreign. Svetlana had a penchant for bawdy revelry, and used the kind of language which might make an unassuming male turn burgundy from blushing. I had sought her company while we were aboard a steamboat vessel bound for the shores of North Africa. I was wary of her however, as earlier, I had witnessed her bilk three men of their life savings with a fifth, and yes even a sixth King up her lace sleeve.

In the event that her conniving was discovered, she kept a knife in her garter. Upon discovering the weapon one sultry night in Constantinople I decided to nickname her “Svetlana Switchblade.” As I recall, she only stabbed me with it once, and I remain convinced that it was somewhat accidental, but the piercing occurred after I confessed that I relinquished one of her diamond earrings to get out of a tight spot in Bombay.

The night we met, I caught up with her on the deck as she stared out across the Atlantic Ocean at the purple dusk, her winnings tucked into the folds of her undergarments. She told me she’d first noticed me playing trumpet among the troupe of musicians that kept the passengers and crew entertained. It was someone else that she had seen, but I played along not wishing to disappoint her.

She told me she had been entrusted to discover if there were truths to the legend of the goddess Aphrodite and the potions so named after her. She had journeyed through Greece and was now headed to the barely reachable corners of the darkest continent. Entrusted by whom she never confirmed, but she had alluded to a man named Rasputin.

I knew nothing of Aphrodite and she asked me to join her in her cabin to discuss matters of amour. I hadn’t been invited to a woman’s quarters since my journey began and I lustily agreed. She asked if I had absinthe, and of course I did.

We sipped our pastis and made playful conversation. She pulled a patina box from the drawer and opened it. “This is dust from a rhinoceros’s horn,” she said, offering it to me.

     “And?” I said.

     “You snort it, like so.”

     “Madame, I have ingested many a foreign object in my time but nothing from a beast of such stature.”

“It’s an aphrodisiac.

 “An aphro what?”

“It’s named after the goddess,” she said. “If you take it you will likely want to consume me with desire.”

     “I have never heard of such a thing. Won’t I become ill?”

     “No. Legend says that you will become aroused. Try it.”

      “Hm, do you have any other aphrodisiacs, say something in a chewable form?”

       “Many men have died trying to discover what it is about this and other ingredients that turn us into savages.” She passed a leather-bound book under my nose that she had been writing in. I opened it somewhere near the beginning and read her words. I suddenly felt the urge to regurgitate my lunch.

      “What in the name of Satan’s hot tub?”

       “What did you read? Is it the tiger penis thing?”

        “Yes, of course it’s that!!”

        “That’s usually the reaction.”

         “People actually eat tiger’s penises?” I blurted. She nodded slowly. “I mean I’m adventurous in the kitchen, Svetlana, but there is one ingredient that doesn’t leap to mind when cooking and that is tiger penis. I mean, how does one even discover something like that? Oh, I know, why don’t I try tiger penis in my omelet this morning? But before I can do that it’s off to hunt and castrate a tiger…hope he doesn’t mind having his masculinity severed from him before he’s had his morning cup of tea. Maybe I can find other ways to use tiger penis, since I went to the trouble, maybe as an accompaniment to a cheese plate. Oh what have we got here then? Brie, Camembert, Stilton, Tiger penis…oh, yes, perfect, just fits right in there doesn’t it? Pass the salted crackers; this tiger penis is in need of a bed of crunchiness before I can consume it. Good god!”

        “What is it then that makes man want to consume the horn from a rhinoceros and the genitals of a jungle cat?” she asked with a perfectly straight face.

        “I couldn’t tell you, Svetlana, but if this catches on, these poor things are looking to go the way of the dodo and the unicorn. Oh no, do you think that’s what happened to those doomed creatures? Unicorn testicle flambé ? Dodo Eggs Benedict?”

       She calmed me with her smile and we drank long into the night. At some point she asked if I would be interested in joining her on her mission. I laughed. “As long as you don’t try to get me to snort pelican beak, drink panda bear urine, or inhale a mongoose’s fart. I’ll think upon it.”

      Hours later I awoke under my own bed with a headache the size of the earthquake that shook San Francisco. In my view was a half-eaten plate of oysters and my ears filled with sounds of an accordion melody skipping on the phonograph caught in a three second loop. Oh, Svetlana, I thought, I really must stop drinking that absinthe.

I crawled out from beneath the bed and sought the comfort of some woolen trousers so that I might get some fresh sea air and locate my mysterious Russian adventurer. Tomorrow night we are due to dock in Casablanca. I hope that there are no tigers in Morocco, the temptation might be too great an urge to resist.