Thursday, August 14, 2008

Me Chinese, Me Play Joke

Being the "racially insensitive" person that I've been described as being (i consider it equal oppurtunity mockery) and having the maturity of a child, as I've also been described, has meant that even as an adult I remember those little "racist" rhymes I think most everyone heard at some point during childhood. You know the ones,

Me Chinese
Me Play Joke
Me Go Pee-Pee In Your Coke

or, if the person in question were to claim that they in fact, were not Chinese, you could substitute;

Dirty Knees
Look At These

They're not terribly clever little rhymes, it's just that upon hearing them as a child they've somewhow managed to survive all these years in those precious few brain cells that alcohol hasn't destroyed. I may have fogotten basic math, but I'll be damned if I'd forget this. And with the Olympics going on in China, well they seem quite relevant.

Now what is funny about this, is that a while back I was enjoying BaD Radio as I do most everyday, and Dan brings this up on the air. Thing is, Dan grew up in Cleveland. Bob was also familiar with it, and Bob grew up in Wisconsin. Not to mention, they're a few year's older.
I can understand most everyone having the common experience of say, as a child, looking at a globe and seeing Niger and giggling (although I'm guessing the black kids might not have done so). That seems like it would meet the logic requirements for most any 8 year old boy, it could very well be universal. But the rhymes, how did they make the rounds?

There was no internet. And I can't imagine that they were prominantly featured on Saturday morning cartoons, even if it was a less uptight time. I can see some word of mouth, but how could there be enough word of mouth between kids to travel such a distance? So how is it it that a mid-30s man from Cleveland, a mid-30s man from Wisconsin, and a late 20s man from Dallas could all have had an experience with the same childhood rhyme?

It's something to think about. Especially if this guy walks up and offers you a coke.

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