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The Feast of the WASP

October 7, 2010

David Knows What’s Up:
The Feast of the WASP

The first time I was stung by a WASP, I was twelve years old. A pale, blond classmate who knew about cheese knives had invited me to his family’s cottage for a weekend. This kid was cool. He’d Frenched a girl at recess. One time he got kicked in the ribs by an unpopular twerp who was into picking his scabs and showing his ding-dong. The kick triggered an asthma attack. We got revenge on the scab picker a day later. I held him in a headlock while other kids punched him in the kidneys. People get what they deserve.

So I’m at this kid’s cottage. It’s the morning after a pretty raucous night of FIFA 94 on Sega Genesis. (I dominated.) We go to the kitchen. His mom has laid out a big bagel spread. The bagels had both butter and cream cheese on them. The Mom spies the skeptical look I’ve adopted in response to the CC-and-butter bagels.

She: “Don’t the bagels look good?”

Me: “I don’t usually put butter and cream cheese on bagels.”
She, disdainfully: “I thought you people liked bagels.”

I’m a Jew. They were WASPS. WASPs sting. Clothes ain’t cut right. Butter. Yacht club is full. Cream cheese. Maid prepares the guest bedroom. On a bagel.

The kid’s mom gave me twenty bucks when I left to go home.

I told that story yesterday to my mentor when were chopping down a tree. Here’s what he said:

WASPs try to warm up, sometimes, but they just don’t get it. They try to pronounce ethnic names correctly, but in a half-assed way, so it sounds even worse. They try to get into art or fashion, but they’re too stuck in the past to push things forward. And they know it. That’s why they start fox hunting societies, so they can make believe that their inability to get with it is rooted in noble tradition, not cluelessness. Still they think they’re better than you, and that playing polo is power.

At this point my Yoda-man thwacked his axe into the oak. The tree fell. Then he continued:

We’ve got the WASPs right where we want them. They need us. They’ve gone soft. We were striving while they were eating cucumber sandwiches at the pony party. We know where the art is. We know what sounds to listen for, and which clubs to go to that’ll make your soul feel even bigger on the way out than it did when you came in. We can get what we want and they’ll help us do it. Our electricity turns on a light in their fog-covered hearts. We’ll put our bodies in the dirty places they’re afraid to go. They know that, too, and it scares them. So they fix their fear the way they always do, by throwing money at it.

They sting. We feast.

Then we went and got some bagels. Lox, cream cheese, no butter.

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