AMERICAN CHRONICLES: POLITICALLY CORRECT (FOR THE HOLIDAYS)
Copyright: John C. Merino 2015
I don’t know about you, but I find that this time of year brings out the best…….and sometimes the most annoying sides of people’s desire to be “Politically Correct”.
Let’s take a visit to any store or shop, looking for the perfect gift for your loved ones, for example.
When is the last time you actually had a cashier make change without looking to the register screen to see how much you were due? It just doesn’t happen. Most can’t count….and just as we used to learn to write cursive in school, making change is an art that is no longer taught either….therefore it no longer exists….
…..and heaven forbid you reach in to the penny cup at the counter to pay the 3 cents your charge calls for……….well watch what happens. The look of confusion and embarrassment that runs across the cashier’s face……especially if the bill is $6.33 cents…..is just priceless.
You hand them a $20.00 bill, a $1.00 dollar bill and grab 3 pennies from the courtesy cup. Well…..be prepared to wait twenty minutes………and don’t be surprised if they have to call the manager for assistance…….and all of this simply because you’d prefer to have a $10.00 dollar bill and a $5.00 dollar bill as change, because you already have a bill fold packed with ones.
……..and how about the “new” standard seasonal greeting…. “Happy Holidays”…….and what holiday might that be, I thought…. The Fourth of July?
I asked a young woman behind the counter at the mall the other day why she didn’t say “Merry Christmas” especially when the chocolate Santa stocking stuffers were piled 10 deep and 10 high next to the register where she was standing. Ready for the answer………..”We’re not allowed to say that”. “What”, I said…….”why not”
…….”because we might offend someone, I guess” she told me. I couldn’t believe it. We’ve become so worried about political correctness that saying Merry Christmas has become a possible offense…….so retailers have added that to their personnel policies so as not to open the door for a law suit or worse……..someone overreacting to the holiday’s well wishes and storming out of the shop. Go figure.
What I especially don’t like this time of year is having to worry about knowing what greeting to utter……depending of course…..on with what company one might find themselves.
Happy Kwanza for my African American friends who celebrate this holiday, Happy Hanukkah for my Jewish pals, for the Buddhists I know (and yes I know quite a few)…Happy Bodhi Day, Happy Id al-Adha for the two practicing Muslims in my circle of friends, Have a great Winter Solstice I keep in mind for our one Wiccan Friend, how about Happy Festivus for my friend George who hasn’t been able to go a single day in two decades without watching reruns of Seinfeld, and I don’t know any Japanese folks, but just in case……Happy Omisoka.
…….and how about this one………..Merry Krismas……..spelled: K-R-I-S-M-A-S for those Agnostic, Atheist and Deist folks we run into from time to time……..and the Neopagan’s celebrate Saturnalia……you know, a seven day feast worshiping the ancient gods of Rome………these folks are everywhere so be prepared.
It’s all too much. From now on I’m not saying anything remotely connected to a seasonal celebration………..
………I’m going to revert to that old standby……the one we all say…..the phrase which tends to annoy everybody……everywhere……all the time…….and is probably the most spoken phrase in the English language……….”Have a Nice Day”……so sue me!
Damn that Forest Gump anyway.
I’m John Merino and this is American Chronicles.
American Chronicles is a bi-weekly locally produced feature on WRFA written and produced by retired Gebbie Foundation CEO, John C. Merino. Currently, John is an Adjunct Professor of Micro-Economics, Organizational Management, and 20th Century World History at Mercyhurst University. American Chronicles airs twice monthly, Friday mornings at 7:15 and Friday Afternoons at 4:35. American Chronicles features original stories (partly fact and partly fiction), commentary on local, state , national, world conditions and more.
Find past episodes at www.wrfalp.com/tag/american-chronicles/