Saturday, March 31, 2007


Why people are so fascinated with my ethnic origin is beyond me. It's not like nobody's ever seen an Asian person before. Other than being about 6 feet tall, I look like any of the millions of Asians running around in the world. Perhaps they're guessing that if I'm about to incorporate some bizarre exotic ethnic ritual involving chickens to their operation, it'll be good to know at least what country it originated from.

Me: ...so it looks like the tumor is confined to the colon and I think we'll be able to get it out without any trouble.

Patient: Uh... OK.

Me: Do you have any questions about the operation?

Patient: Uh... No.

[I get up to leave.]

Patient: Oh wait! Tell me, what nationality are you?

[Who cares? What's this have to do with anything? I'm about to cut his belly wide open and remove a part of his intestines and the only question he has is about where I'm from? Ridiculous. I size up my patient.]

Me: Aboriginese.

[confused silence]

Patient: [with brows furrowed] Where's that?

Me: It's a small province in northern Pakistan near the Ivory Coast.

[More silence. I can smell the smoke coming from his ears.]

Usually by this point, if the inquirer hasn't figured out I'm bullshitting, I've got to call it quits. Otherwise, it's hard to drum up enough trust to have them let me operate on them.