Our German translator JLH takes a break from his usual labors to ruminate about becoming a person of color…
The Hue and Cry
The blackest day of my life was when it dawned (rosy-fingered) on my stressed-out brain that I was white — not brown or beige or bronze or any other natural, innocent hue. I was red with fury at the cruelty of fate. I was green with envy of those who were not fish-belly white. I was so blue! I was yellow with nausea and pink with self-loathing. Maybe this was why all my friends spent the entire summer trying to become darker — a dark thought.
But perhaps, somewhere in my family tree, I could discover a bright spot of darkness. Possibly one of my great- great-grandparents could make me 1/32 Inuit! And I would be invited to a luncheon of whale blubber! What a wonderful thought!
And then it dawned (out of the clear blue sky) on me: perhaps James Cameron is the answer! Blue is the new color of minority. Perhaps there is a skin treatment… I wouldn’t really have to get the tail, although it might come in handy after I gained control of it. (Does it obviate the missionary position?)
And belonging at last to the Other, I would of course immediately cease to exploit the world around me. My two-room house would be just small enough to heat and cool with solar power. (Best not to ask where the energy comes from to create the chips and panels). My three-wheeled, one and one-half passenger vehicle would have a tow bar and trailer for groceries and the like, since a roof rack is out of the question when the roof supports a windmill large enough to propel my mini-SmartCar at up to 30 mph.
Possibly I should lay in a supply of Beano, so I and my family will not contribute to the global warming disaster the dinosaurs so thoughtlessly began. And I will go beyond vegan — no more biting into living fruits and vegetables! Processed dirt — sorry, earth. I think I remember a Captain Kangaroo story about stone soup. Hard on the crowns, but worth it for the minerals. And if we accidentally include a grub or earthworm — well, a little protein can’t hurt.
I wonder if I can get a government grant?