November 28th, 2015: Jews are people
Posted by Gravecat at 3:25 am under Childhood. Comment?

Okay, first of all, hey, hello, welcome, and all that shit. I’ve retired my old blog and migrated all blog-related things over here to my new home, because reasons. This new blog — encouraged largely by some idiotic conversations earlier — is going to be a dumping ground for all of my general idiocy, including my incredibly misinformed views of places in the world I know nothing about, anecdotes about my rather odd childhood, and whatever else seems like a good idea at the time. It’s a cornucopia of Gravecat, and if that’s not something you’re interested in, then you may very well be in the wrong place.

I’m going to kick things off with something from my childhood — specifically, a scan of a page from my schoolbook back in 1987, when I was a mere six years of age. This is a story I’ve told to a number of my friends, but it’s about time I share it with the internet. I give you the story behind the inexplicable phrase, “Jews are people. They get struk [sic] by electric.”

Jews are people. they get struk by electric.

There’s two parts to this, and I’ll approach each one in turn. First of all: Jews are people. Well, of course they are; but the reasons for writing this were not quite what you’d expect. You see, as a young child, I had little sense for concepts such as “things we shouldn’t say”, and for reasons that completely escape my memory, another child in the class had at one point told another that Jews were “pakis” (impolite British slang short for “pakistani”, generally used to refer to brown-skinned people). I can only assume this is because we’d at some point learned that the people around where all the Jesus stuff was kicking off would have been middle-eastern, thus brown-skinned. We weren’t complex or intelligent children, we were a rabble of lunatics. In our tiny minds, brown skin must equate to paki. I think you can see where this is going.

In our classroom — and likely in many others, too — if we didn’t know how to spell a word, the policy was to write however much you knew of it, then bring it to the teacher who’d help you to finish the rest. Being the rebellious sort even at such an early age, I’d convinced myself that it was a fantastic idea to begin my essay with “Jews are pakis,” a phrase that had been uttered around the classroom numerous times, much to the teacher’s chagrin. The pitfall here was that I didn’t know the spelling, so I simply wrote “Jews are P”, and brought the book to the teacher to ask for help spelling the rest. I felt like a hero. I was doing this.

Before I could utter a word — and I remember this with startling clarity even to this day — the teacher’s eyes widened into an enraged glare and she announced loudly enough for the next classroom over to hear, “Jews are not pakis!” The terror I felt at that moment was palpable; I knew I’d made a horrible mistake. Imagine, if you will, being a tiny child with an enraged teacher looming over you, eyes filled with abject rage, face reddened. She’d had enough of this classroom of little shits. I was the last straw.

However, I’m nothing if not resourceful, and I seem to have a knack of getting myself out of difficult situations. In a surprisingly quick move for a six-year-old, I swiftly declared, that, no, I wasn’t asking to spell “pakis”! I just wanted to know how to spell “people”! Jews are people, right? This immediately defused the situation, the demon-teacher returning to her usual expression of moderately-stressed stern, and helped me to spell the word “people”. Disaster averted.

The second line of this… essay? …is a bit more of a mystery, as I’m afraid my memory of the events fades at this point. I can only assume that — having absorbed small fragments of knowledge from the Bible, with parts of the Old Testament tending to stick more firmly due to their more dramatic nature — I must have concluded that God had punished people by striking them with bolts of lightning. (I’ve not actually read the Bible, but I’m sure someone reading this could confirm or deny this.) I didn’t know how to spell “lightning,” however, despite fully understanding the concept, and I was frankly terrified by the teacher after my initial encounter had ended in such abject failure. I couldn’t possibly risk asking for another word-spelling! Fortunately, due to my interests in technology even at an early age, I understood the word “electric” (presumably, I was trying to say electricity) and decided it would make an adequate substitute.

That’s about all I could think of to say about the Jewish people of Biblical times, so being the delinquent problem-child I was, I decided to leave it with that. Jews are people. They get struck by electric.

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