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Strip for 7/31/2002  
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Yeah, this actually happened. Long story (of course).

We were painting the living room at 614 and I got a call. This guy needed someone Asian for a commercial and he wanted me to come in for a screening. I checked with my director to see if it would be OK to skip work on Tuesday (when the commercial would shoot) and then called the guy back. He told me the address of the studio and I washed off the paint and drove over to Schaumburg.

The screening was interesting. I definitely did not fit the part (it was a commercial for a tool set and I'm decidedly unburly and unbrawny). They took someone else; I'm not sure who. Probably the other Asian guy there, who actually is a mechanical engineer / English graduate from U of I. But the guy in charge told me to give him a resume and headshot for future work.

I was driving back from the screening, trying to make it in time for my 3:30 meeting. A little east of Woodfield Mall, the road went down to one lane. Like most people, I merged to the right early. This Nissan Axxess minivan came screaming up on the left, trying to cut in. I hate those people. Anyway, the passenger of the Axxess had his visored head out the window, flicking off all of the conscientious drivers in the right lane. I finally let him merge, because he was coming dangerously close.

Soon, the road went back to normal, and he went flying from lane to lane, trying to get by. He never got very far before having to slam on his brakes. About a mile down the road, I came level with his car.

The passenger was looking for people to heckle and I tried to avoid his eye. He saw me anyway and started yelling and giving me the finger. I shot it right back at him glared. Visorboy was delighted to have an audience.

"Hey, chink boy!" he yelled, while making one eye slanted with his finger.

I rolled down my window and said, "Pick an intersection up there, so I can stop and kick your ass."

He started to get out of the car, which suited me fine, since I wanted to run him over, but then cars started moving. I drove with him, wishing he really would stop.

I was boiling mad the entire way back. I took down his plate number on my phone, as I had no paper or pen in the car. 279-6606 and I saved the entry as "Asshole." All of the good feelings of the morning (painting was a lot of fun, and the commercial was supposed to pay $300, my life was going wonderfully!) were forgotten. I don't think I could have really beat him up, but I would have put up a good fight.

From being wanted because I was Asian to being insulted for being Asian. What a pair of multicultural attitude bookends to the day, huh?


postlude: I told the apartment about the incident last night and Sheila made me call the Schaumburg police, reporting him for racist road rage or something. The cops said, "Uh huh... uh huh... well, that's not really a crime, you know." So, if anyone sees a bluish Nissan Axxess with Illinois temp permit 279-6606, throw something at 'em. Tell them the chink sent you.