At Walgreens pharmacy today a gentleman, late 60s, was called to pick up his prescription. The pharmacy tech was Asian, presumably Vietnamese, presumably named Nguyen, but I didn’t look at his name tag to be certain. When I experience moments like the one, I am consumed with the urge to apologize for my race, which makes me equally stupid. The guy behind the counter was probably just bewildered more than anything. Eventually, though, I couldn’t help but laugh – loud and hard – because the conversation became ludicrous.
First, the man asked why “you people” are all named “Nguyen.” The tech didn’t answer. Then, the man asked the tech if he was Vietnamese, the tech looked at him blankly, and then the gentleman said, “I knew you were, because of your name.” Then he informed the tech that his dentist is Vietnamese. That is when I laughed out loud. I really couldn’t hold it in. I think I upset this gentleman because he looked at me askance (how often can you use that word?) and then turned back to the tech and said, “He’s a really good dentist, my favorite, the best I’ve ever had.” That takes care of that.
In honor of the occasion, I present this recent viral video: What kind of Asian are you? It was amusing in its original fifteen minutes of fame; now, it just makes me sad. Additionally, the actors made a second video in which they perform the YouTube comments. That’s really funny.