Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Top 12 Bad Impressions and the Resulting Cultural Stereotypes

12. Vietnamese

Bad impression: "Me so horny!"

The truth: The Vietnamese are actually a remarkably chaste people. Some would say too chaste. Those some are classified as vietnamophiles by the DSM-IV.

11. Italians

Bad impression: "Hey! That's a spicy meat-a-ball! Principessa, come-a with me to my bed, I kiss-a you face!"

The truth: Come on. That makes Italians sounds like some infantile, food-obsessed, sex-crazed bunch of weirdos. Maybe when you do your terrible "Italian man selling food on the street to a beautiful woman" impression, what you're really saying is, "Oh world, if only I could express my lust for food and sex candidly... But nay, I will veil my desires with self-loathing!" Grow up, hypothetical jerks. And hey, Italy... keep on keepin' on, okay?

10. Cokeheads

Bad impression: "Oh hey, buddy, {rubs nose}, I didn't see you come in, hey, how's it going anyway, {rubs nose}, how great is this club, I mean, how great is this night I mean, {rubs nose}, I haven't seen you in friggin' ages, I mean we gotta see each other more, dude, {rubs nose}, like let's go dancing or something oh man, {rubs nose}, I wanna dance so bad, well, anyway, great catchin' up, buddy, {rubs nose}, I mean gimme a call when you're in town again {rubs nose}."

The truth: I feel like the people mainly responsible for this misperception are high school kids who have never tried cocaine or observed anyone on cocaine. They then go on to play cokeheads in plays. Plays they wrote themselves. Plays they are also directing. Then, one of the tech kids gives them a bump of blow at the cast party and the next day they're hard at work on their next magnum opus, "I Didn't Rub My Nose Once: The Musical!" (Also, anti-props to The Office for falling victim to this in Season Four.)

9. Germans

Bad impression: "Ja, ve are ze Germans und ve drive on ze Autobahn und ven ve vere tiny how you say kinderlings our mutters all were given us flavor-sticks for ze chewing on."

The truth: I have it on good account that Germans are not pansexual, speed-hungry, mutter-worshiping technopervs. That being said, I am German. So I might be lying.

8. Shortstops

Bad impression: "Oh, look at me, I'm a shortstop... I'll never be anything but a singles hitter who maybe steals a base every now and again. Count on me for a .295 average, tops."

The truth: Okay, frankly, y'all may have something here. It's not a good sign that "power hitting shortstop" turns up a whopping 229 hits on LastGoogle.

7. Jerry Seinfeld

Bad impression: "What's the deal with blah! It's like, there's blah, and then there's blah, how can blah be any more blah?! I mean, what is the deal?"

The truth: NO. No no no. NOPE. Nooooooo. WRONG.

6. Borat

Bad impression: "My name a-Borat. I like sex! Is niiiiice!"

The truth: When you and your frat buddies quote Borat, you have actually been tricked into saying explicit, homosexual come-ons made up of Kazakh false cognates. You are now required by both US and Kazakh law to make love. In other news, you aren't doing an actual impression, you're reciting catchphrases.

5. Babies

Bad impression: "Babies are so cute and adorable and fun and safe and non-threatening and not at all terrifying!"

The truth: You guys, babies are terrifying. When the Big One hits us, the man with his finger on the button will be a baby. And that finger will be pudgy and widdle. Look, I've seen Baby Geniuses. That was like a damn Al Qaeda recruitment film, except this time Al Qaeda is full of babies!

4. Jamaicans

Bad impression: "Welllllcome to Jamaica, mon! Climb in me bobsled wit me and make a tiny prayer to Ja, as I hit dis ludicrous bong. Oh, the ganja is good today, mon! Wi-yo!"

The truth: The other day at a comedy show, I saw a dude say basically that, and he did it in the most pitch-perfect faux-Jamaican. I wanted to high five him. He was exceedingly white. If I had high-fived him, both our white hands would have touched and it might have been construed as a hate-demonstration. Anyway, then some woman came out and tried to go along with it, but she sounded as Irish as the day is long. Therefore, I feel it is important to not here that Jamaicans are not, in fact, Irish.

3. The Irish

Bad impression: Anything about potatoes. Or Jesus. Or Mary. Or Joseph.

The truth: The Irish are, in fact, Irish. Unlike Jamaicans. However, I'm pretty sure they've moved on from that whole famine thing by now. That being said, it is fun to do bad impressions of Irish people. (So, that's pretty much the take-home truth, I guess.) For instance, Tom and I like to make up fake Irish poems, in the style of Seamus Heaney. They're usually about picking blackberries and sinking your hands into the earth and feeling around for your father in the ground, but only finding mud and broken berries. Then, it is customary for the speaker to weep. For lost youth, for lost father, and of course, for lost Ireland.

2. Minnesotans

Bad impression: "Oh yah, we're from Meeenasohhhtaaah, and comin' from Meeenasohhhtaaah, I gotta tell ya, it's cold up 'dere, because up 'dere in Meeenasohhhtaaah, it sure can get chilly, yah sure, you betcha."

The truth: Let me just first say that this REALLY pisses me off because it makes absolutely no sense. I get that every accent has certain words that allow you to feel especially rooted in the accent, but people don't just say the name of their home every four fucking words. IT DOESN'T MAKE SENSE. Also, people who come from cold climates don't constantly bring it up because THEY'RE GODDAMN USED TO IT BY NOW. Finally, Minnesotans never complain. Ever.

1. Canadians

Bad impression: "Didja hear Gordie crashed the zamboni? Yah, he's a bit of a hoser, eh?"

The truth: There is not currently, nor has there ever been, a national entity known as Canada.

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