Before I begin, I should set the stage…
A friend invited me to a newish bar for his friend’s engagement party. I was of no significance to this event, just a mere tag along. It turns out that two other friends were there as well, so that was a pleasant surprise.
As usual, I am generally friendly with anyone and everyone I encounter, because, you know, a first impression is a lasting impression. So, I’m outside having a smoke, chatting with two strangers. Handlebar Dude and Italian Gyopo.
Italian Gyopo asked me about winter vacation, so I go on to tell him about my trip to The Philippines and my newfound appreciation for traveling alone. Then he asked about where I’ve traveled to and where I’ll travel to. I disregard the former because the list is microscopic and instead tell him that I’m aching to go to Latin American countries. Handlebar Dude says, “Why the fuck would you want to go anywhere? I’ve been here ten years and it’s amazing!” Yes, everyone is entitled to their own opinion and understanding this I say, “Well, because there’s so much to see, eat, learn, experience, that Korea alone hasn’t to offer.” Italian Gyopo nods in agreement and says, “You’re Indian right?”. I literally lol because it’s the third time That’s been assumed of me this month, so weird. “No, actually, I’m American. Born and raised in California.” Confused, he questions, “but, your mom and dad are Indian, yes?” “Nope, my mom is Guatemalan and my dad Puerto Rican and yes, I can speak Spanish.” Handlebar Guy takes a phat swig from his cigarette and says “HEY BEANER, ORALE VATO, GO BACK TO WHERE YOU CAME FROM!”
What the fuck just happened?
“Excuse me, what?” I’m overcome with rage and confusion.
“You heard me beaner! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA” sounding like an evil witch in heat.
“What the fuck is wrong with you? That’s rude!”
“I can say whatever I want, beaner, I served in the Army for over 20 years. I’ve earned the fucking right!”
“Dude, that’s uncalled for. We’re just here having an amicable conversation and you pull this shit?!”
At this point I’m yelling and pointing at his face because it’s the only way I can express myself without bashing his head in.
“I don’t give a fuck if my POLITICAL INCORRECTNESS offends you, learn how to take a joke. Better yet, go to school you goddamn beaner, we don’t need you here.”
“What the fuck are you even talking about ‘WE’, you aren’t Korean! You’re out of your goddamn mind!”
“Hell, I might be out of my mind, but at least I’m no BEANER.”
“You think you’re some fucking hotshot because you spent your life in the military? Well guess what, your life has amounted to absolutely nothing and you’re exactly what is wrong with this world!”
He flips me the bird as he walks away, “fuck off beaner!”
Italian Gyopo simply stood there the whole time, jaw dropped. “What just happened?!”
I’m livid at this point, “DID ANYONE ELSE SEE THAT?!” Looking around the smoke room for some acknowledgement, just to make sure it wasn’t some kind of hoax. Everyone else went on about their business. I rush inside for a drink to remedy my anger. My friend notices that something is up, mostly because I have the tendency to wear my emotions outwardly. “Are you okay?” “Not really, that dude in the Black Sabbath shirt just called me a Beaner for no good reason.” “What’s a Beaner?” He’s from Canada, so he needed some explaining. “Beaner is pretty much synonymous with Wetback.” His face became a fury red, “WHO THE FUCK CALLED YOU THAT?! Tell me and I’ll go fix it!” The guy magically disappeared, go figure. With a drink in one hand and pizza in the other, I chilled out and let it slide.
About an hour later, as I’m chit chatting with some friends about doppelgängers, Handlebar Dude shows up again. This time, he was trying to get to the restroom and so he shoves me out of the way and says “out of my way beaner!” As an impulse I respond “FUCK YOU MAN!” Everyone heard me, everyone turned to look at me, everyone confused.
I really didn’t mean to cause a scene at an engagement party, I was so embarrassed. But I also wasn’t going to let him do that to me and go unnoticed. I go back to my table to regain composure. As I’m sitting there, I see that he goes back out to the smoking room. So I follow him. And my friends follow me.
“Listen man, what the fuck is your problem with me? Why are you doing this?!” My minor attempt at engaging in a conversation about this.
“You have no sense of humor, it might be because you’re a beaner HAHAAHAHAHAHA”
“This isn’t about my sense of humor but rather your lack of respect. You’re a rude person, that’s all.”
“Oh whatever, I’ll call you anything I want”
“Keep that shit to yourself then because I’m being awfully civil with you. Just ignore my fucking existence. Don’t you ever talk to me or even look at me again. EVER. You fucking piece of shit”
Maybe I shouldn’t have been so vulgar. But I didn’t want others to fight my battles. My friends were eager to take the guy outside and give him the beating of his life. I didn’t want that to happen though. This man, rude as he was, obviously led a terrible life and it wasn’t my turn to make it worse.
I’m truly ashamed for having caused a scene at this joyous engagement party. What else was I to do?