I always figured i'd get my first Death Threat sometime before I kick the proverbial bucket... who knew that it would be this soon! (Getting a death threat that is, not kicking the bucket)
For those who know me, and most of you do, you will know that i'm a cynic and a sarcastic bastard at the best of times. At the worst of times, I border on the mindset of a Fox News reporter.
My Twitter and Facebook status updates bares testament to this.
Today was no different to my average Saturday morning.
I woke up and looked at my appointment book, then sent out text messages of apologies to clients I knew would annoy my weekend before it even began.
"Dear Sir/Madam. I wont make todays meeting as my dog is missing & the missus is distraught with grief. Thank you for your understanding."
For some reason, bringing a helpless pet into the reasoning always seems to work.
The clients I do want to see always get the personal touch on weekends.
No sending out my Project Managers to see them. I see them myself.
So it was today, and I decided to stop at a nearby pharmacy to pick up some lozenges before beginning my day.
Now I certainly didn't plan that I would be attended to by a rather chirpy Indian saleslady.
She greeted with a toothy "Hullo" and within seconds I thought i'd stepped into a time-machine and ended up in Mahatma Ghandi's kitchen!
I totally missed the middle bit of her sentence, and just barely caught the tail-end which had something to do with how her Gran cooks a strong fish curry to get rid of a sore throat.
Needless to say, I updated my Twitter and Facebook status to read, and I quote:
"Indians have been in South Africa for 150 years already, yet some still speak like they just stepped off the ship! Like WTF? "
There you have it.
That comment right there seemed to have inspired people of all races and cultures to either break out in laughter, or become violently opposed to me and have a burning desire to see me killed, dead.
One of my favourite responses was from a guy whose username already indicated to me what ladder of the social rung he was stuck on.
Idiot : What the F&*k bra! How you chooning about the Indians... Dont dala, we'll f&*king assinate you ekse.
Me : Don't you mean "assassinate" ?
Idiot : Ja, don't get funny ekse.
Me : I thought only famous people get assassinated?
Idiot : I'll make you famous bra! Dont dala!
I'm still not sure whether this guy really likes me or hates me...
Here's the thing I don't understand.
We have no problem laughing at other's, but as soon as the joke is on us, we tend to lose our sense of humour.
The number of negative responses I got were certainly a minority, but as soon as I indicated that I too was an Indian, poking fun at other Indians, they seemed to have lost their sense of tension and aggression.
I think it's a dangerous society we live in when we first have to ascertain the race, culture or creed of the person behind a comment before we invoke a response.
It reminds me of a song I once overheard being sung by a kid standing behind me at the movies.
It was an American rap song laced with vulgarity and racial slurs, and the person behind me singing it happened to be a young white kid. The lady directly behind him tapped him on the shoulder, waited as he turned his iPod down, and cautioned him about singing the word "Nigger" in public.
Now I get that. I totally get that.
It sounds offensive even to myself who is not a black man, and can never fully relate to the experiences of those who had to endure the word being used on them in all its negative connotations.
But it did leave me wondering what would have transpired had the kid singing the song behind me been black.
Would he still have been cautioned?
Would I still have felt as uncomfortable as I did previously?
I guess there will always be more questions than answers.
For me though, I think we should start by being able to laugh at ourselves.
Only then will we have the right to laugh at others.
I'd love to read your comments on this.
From a recent mail I received ...