Monday, August 6, 2007


It started as a pretty normal telephone call. A patron had purchased some lipstick and read the ingredients list and came across an ingredient she did not know and decided to find out more about it. OK, maybe not that normal. The ingredient, which observant readers like you already figured out is Squalane. A little research (which involved more than Googling I'll have you know) gave her the information she was looking for, but since this goo can come from animal sources, she wasn't sure she wanted to use it. Then she told me that the lipstick came from China and launched into a real tirade about all the crap turning up things imported from China. At this point she veered away from the realm of the acceptable and turned her tirade away from the crap and the crooks who sent it to a blanket condemnation of the Chinese in general, using several nasty terms I haven't heard in quite some time and a few she probably made up on her own.* When I didn't join in, she worried aloud that perhaps I was Chinese, but then went in for another round of icky name calling. I suppose I could have used this moment to engage in a bit of anti-racism work and I really wish I knew exactly how to do this, but instead I pretended that I had another call and quickly disconnected. Cowardly, I know.

* I resisted the temptation to point out that technically she oughtn't call people in the People's Republic "Chop Sueys" since that dish originated in the United States.

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