Searching for an exit strategy

Struggling in her search for an exit strategy, Selma brings things into focus.

“Manny, let’s get back to now.”


“In our well-intentioned American ignorance, it looks like we’ve stumbled onto an ICA.”

“ A what?”

“An International Cultural Aneurysm and it looks like it’s going to burst.”


“Yes. That’s a thinly disguised weak spot in the lining of the aorta of the bleeding heart of humanity’s conglomerate cultural heritage.”

“Oh. I guess we are still on the same track. When I was back in Salt Lake City looking for my religious roots, I came across some stuff on St. Nicholas coming from Spain with a black helper carrying a bunch of sticks for the parents of kids who hadn’t behaved during the year.”

“ Well in the lexicon of Dutch celebrations, St. Nicholas Day is right up there with birthdays, weddings, anniversaries and close to the Dutch National Soccer team winning the Euro Cup.”

“ I just thought of something else; maybe this demonstration is a labor dispute and really just about job description.”

“What on earth do you mean, Manny?”

“What if St. Nicholas was a black Moroccan and his helper was White Piet and no sticks”

“ Unfortunately, legends, myths, traditions, religious histories and stories are not usually negotiable due to tribal loyalties and mores.”

“I guess that’s just another example of the more things change, the more they stay the same, right?

“Right. And since there’s no umbrella for that kind of catastrophe maybe our best plan is to get out of here.”

Walking back to the hotel and not being able to get over the conflict of the demonstration, Selma began to rhapsodize on the topic.

“As for racism, I have an idea. “

“OK, Stella Espinoza. What’s your idea?”

“ Well . . . It’s been said that kids behavior drives their parents insane, right?”

“Yes, and so?”

“Then my idea offers a logical solution: If insanity is a disorder that parents get from their kids then racism is a disorder that kids get from their parents. Therefore to eliminate the disorder you must fix the genetic source.”

Fed up with the subject and lapsing back into his best Wal-Mart Dictionary of Idioms and Vocabulary,

“No Shit, Sherlock!”


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