Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Sticker Shock

Memo to Racist Hicks: YOU NEED BETTER EXCUSES.
Seriously, pigfuckers. Work on your plausible deniability. I know that you wouldn't be dipshit racist rural hicks if you had a brain in your thick, meaty heads in the first place, but where's your supposed work ethic? It may take you ten times longer to come up with an excuse for your racism that doesn't sound completely implausible, but it'll pay off in the end.
Remember the Kentucky senator's race? Where they called the senile senator's opponent "limp-wristed", a "switch hitter", and someone for whom the word "man" may not apply? It worked, and Bunning won in a squeaker. But the people who did it actually had the gall to come out and say, in their defense, that they meant none of it in a sexual way.
That's an awful excuse. Nobody believed that excuse. It was just embarassing. They didn't put any effort at all into it. Not in coming up with a slur, and not in coming up with an excuse to get out of the slur. Bunning was a major league PITCHER, for fucksake. If you can't work some gay innuendo off of THAT, you probably... live in Kentucky, actually.
Of course, even here in the northern wastes of Minnesota, we have a spiritual South. Some of it, true to its backwards nature, is actually situated way to the north. And some of it is in Mankato, south of the Olsen-Olsen line.
In Mankato, there is a mall. The River Hills mall. A for-real mall and everything, with a Sears AND a Penney's. And recruitment centers for all four branches of the military. Shockingly, no Hot Topic. Oh, and a little store called "Custom Now"*.
"Custom Now" is not, as you may think, a slightly archaic demand for people to shop there. No, it's a place that sells stuff with words on it. Presumably the usual array of Big Johnson Sex Wax shirts, local sports jerseys, and Jack Daniels labels. Maybe some of those Calvin-pissing-on-an-automaker-logo stickers. One thing Custom Now doesn't sell anymore, though, after being told to stop by the River Hills Mall management, is a certain bumper sticker.
The text of the sticker - I kid you fucking not - is as follows: "SAVE A HUNTER - SHOOT A MUNG".
Now, since half a dozen hunters were recently shot and killed in Wisconsin by a Hmong hunter from St. Paul in an incident that received national media exposure, it would be understandable for you to think that perhaps the proprietors of Custom Now decided to (a) cash in on tragedy, (b) express redneck outrage, (c) do so in a patently racist and violent way as is their wont, and (d) misspell the name of the ethnic group they were trying to slur. This is how a reasoned, rational mind takes new facts and combines them with history and experience to reach a conclusion.
If you're feeling particularly generous, you may think that the misspelling was deliberate, so that, when questioned by the media or the mall managers about why you are selling a bumper sticker full of classic American pigfuckery, you could claim in all innocence that it was a reference to the mung bean, and since beans are easier to shoot than deer, you are "saving a hunter" a great deal of frustration and a fortune in expensive deer urine. This would not be a GREAT excuse, but it would at least show a bit of initiative.
And it would be better than what Custom Now came up with. Owner Michael Baumann claims the stickers were a half-dozen leftovers from a customer's order that got put out for sale by accident. Normally, the store wouldn't even print anything racist in the first place, but the customer explained that "MUNG" stood for "Miniscule Unseen Naughty Gnat", and thus, the sticker was OK.
Credit where credit is due - whichever racist fuck came up with the sticker not only knew the word "miniscule", he knew that it meant "small". Perhaps he has had it shouted at him frequently by a series of disappointed, moderately erudite girlfriends over the years. And I can see "Gnat". After all, you live in Mankato, you need something bad that starts with the letter "G", and you know you'll get in trouble if you say "gay".
But that leaves "UN". Now, you know the United Nations is bad, after all, Norm Coleman said so, but Miniscule United Nations Gnat doesn't work. Gnats are hard to see, and hard to see is kind of like invisible... so there's Unseen! Miniscule Unseen N... Gnat. And that's when you get up to the counter and you need an "N". And you panic. Because you did not plan ahead.
And that's assuming you believe Baumann. Which is tough to do, because he's REALLY dumb. It's ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!
"If I'd known that would have turned into a racial slur, I would never have taken the order. Our store is not a racist store. Half of our store is minority." That's a lot of stupidity in three sentences. It didn't "turn into" a racist slur when people started complaining, Baumann. It was a racist slur the instant a guy asked for a bumper sticker that joked about shooting Asian immigrants. Second, by definition, nothing can be HALF MINORITY. Learn math. And third, how large a payroll does a shitty Mankato mall printing place have? Two? Four? Giving minimum wage jobs to a whopping PAIR of Mankato's non-white community does not make you Enlightened Whitey or get you off the hook. Not the pigfucker hook, and not the DUMB hook. Next time you pull something like this, make your excuse to the press part of your plan.
In the most informative news article, the shop is named as "Custom Zone", but "Custom Now" makes for a joke you're about to read, so I'm sticking with it.