LowComDom Performances Presents
Have a Very PC Easter
Speaking of Reverend Moon, I made what I thought would be a simple trip to my neighborhood Cardmark store recently (note my adept avoidance of a major lawsuit by using a fictional store name; bet you'd never guess what it's really called). My shopping mission (PR's Rule # 312: Men don't shop; they choose their prey, select the most fruitful hunting ground, and then swoop down for the kill) was to find an Easter card for my parents. Little did I know that determining the origin of the Shroud of Turin would be an easier task.
"May I help you?" the chipper young woman asked after I had stared at the sea of cards long enough to feel a few hairs turn gray.
"I hope so," I replied. "I'm looking for a card to wish my folks a Happy Easter."
"I see," she said, eyeing me up and down. "And what ethnic group do they fall under?"
"Here at Cardmark," the woman explained patiently, "we've become very culturally sensitive. We have cards for African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, Alaskan Inuits, etc. Culturally speaking, how were you raised?"
I thought about that for a moment. "I'd have to say 'suburban.'"
"Hmm, I don't have any of that," she said. "Perhaps you should look at our generic section."
Now we're getting somewhere, I thought. "Great. Where's that?"
She pointed to a group of about a dozen orphaned cards. "Right there."
The hawk circled his prey. "Um, these Easter cards are just to a mother or a father. I have to mail two cards to cover them both?"
"Well, at Cardmark we strive to represent all of society, and we're making an effort to be sensitive to children from broken homes. Are you telling me your parents are still married?"
"Last time I checked," I replied.
"Hmm," the clerk mused. "We go to such lengths to fill every niche, but I guess yours was overlooked. Perhaps you'd like a 'message' card."
At this point I was open to anything if it meant making a purchase and getting out of there. "Fine. What's a 'message' card?"
"Well, our research has shown that the hardest part of cardgiving is thinking of something inspiring to write. Besides, 83% of card recipients don't bother to read those somewhat sappy poems we sometimes print. So tell me: What's the message you're really trying to communicate to your parents?"
"I see," she replied, and snatched a card off of the rack. "How about this one?"
The front showed one of those big-eyed DeGrazia children you see on the walls of motel rooms, offering up a paper heart. I opened the card and read aloud. "I'm sorry I said you looked like you were retaining water," the card read. "You're right: It was just a subconscious display of angst reflecting the humiliation I felt when I was twelve and mom caught me in the bathroom with her 'Cosmo'."
That wasn't quite what I was looking for. I turned it over. "Hmm," I said, "only $4.25."
"The envelope is an extra fifty cents," she chirped.
I had a mission to accomplish. I was in a store devoted to greeting cards, and I was not about to leave without purchasing one. I decided to be creative. "Okay, here's the scoop. My mother is half Albanian, half Thai. My father is Palestinian but was raised by his adoptive Creole parents in New Orleans. He's a follower of the Reverend Moon, but my mom is a practitioner of Wicca witchcraft. She likes Easter because eggs can be used in the invocation of a number of minor spells, although I was always disturbed when she needed to conduct a bunny sacrifice."
The clerk didn't even blink. "No problem. I just got in a new shipment that's perfect."
I did blink. I found myself wondering if my parents would mind ever so much receiving their Easter greeting this year via e-mail.