Talking political correctness with a bottle of syrup

Published 3:06 pm Friday, July 10, 2020

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The scene: A grocery store aisle, one-way, 6 feet from another human being, masked and looking for any available paper products since toilet tissue seems to be as rare as a singing frog these days. And then, suddenly:

“Pssst!  Pssst!  Down here!  Help!”

“Are you a syrup bottle?”

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“Yes, I am Mrs. Butterworth and I recognize you. You are Dick Yarbrough, the modest and much-beloved columnist who is the spitting image of Brad Pitt.”

“Yes,  I hear that a lot. But why am I talking to a syrup bottle?”

“It is not just me. There are a number of us hiding down here on the bottom shelf and feeling threatened by what is happening.”

“And what is that, Mrs. Butterworth?”

“Shh!  Not so loud. A group of people dressed like weenies came into the store dragging a statue of some old dude on a horse behind them. Before we knew it, they had snatched Aunt Jemima right off the shelf! And when Uncle Ben started to protest they grabbed him, too, saying that he should be ashamed of himself for being a symbol of racial inequality by promoting white rice!”

“My goodness!  What then?”

“A bunch of guys wearing snowshoes and smelling like caribou headed straight for the frozen food section and melted all the Eskimo Pies!”

“Ah, I think I see what is happening now. It is the politically correct police. But why are they after you, Mrs. Butterworth?”

“I’m not sure but from what I hear, they can’t decide if I am black or white. When I am empty, I am white.  When they fill me with syrup, I don’t look white anymore. That’s not my fault, is it?”

“No, but common sense isn’t exactly a strong point with the PC police. By the way, who else is down there with you?”

“This is Mahatma. He sells rice. He is an Indian. Not an American Indian, but an Indian-Indian.  There is a difference, you know. Say hello to the nice man, Mahatma.”

“He who dreams for too long will become like his shadow.”

“I’m sorry but Mahatma loves to quote Indian proverbs.  I also have this little guy here with the funny hat. His name is Quaker Man and he makes oats and stuff.”

“First off, Mrs. Butterworth, you have probably noticed that he is like, uh, very Caucasian. That’s not a plus these days. And then there is his religion. I suspect this store gets federal dollars for something or other and now we are into the question of separation of church and state. The ACLU will be all over this as soon as they handle the burning issue of boys and girls being able to use each other’s potty.  First things first.”

“And this is DiGiorno. He makes pizzas. Because he is Italian the PC police suspect he might be related to Christopher Columbus, like a third cousin or something. They say Columbus was not nice to the Taíno people of Hispaniola when he discovered America. The crowd dragging the statue of some old dude on a horse demanded DiGiorno change his name to Guabancex, the Taíno goddess of hurricanes. Tell Mr. Yarbrough what DiGiorno said about that, Mahatma.”

“The dog’s tail stays crooked even if he is buried for 12 years.”

“Oh, stop it with your Indian proverbs, Mahatma!  Actually, Signore DiGiorno told them he would make them an offer they couldn’t refuse. That seemed to take care of that. I wish the rest of us could be so lucky. I am very upset about what has happened to poor Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben. Bless their hearts.”

“I’m afraid it isn’t going to get any better, Mrs. Butterworth.  It seems that the inmates are running the asylum these days.”

“Oh, my goodness!  Isn’t saying that going to get you in trouble with the politically correct police?”

“Don’t worry about me, Mrs. Butterworth. I’ll be OK. As a matter of fact, when I get home I am planning to have a wee dram of Southern Comfort, eat a tub of Land O’ Lakes butter and see if I can interest anyone in a game of Chinese Checkers. In the meantime, I would suggest you drop the ‘Mrs.’ and change it to ‘Ms.’ before that bunch of weenies dragging the statue of some old dude on a horse returns. A syrup bottle can’t be too careful these days.