14. James Gets Food Stamps (With A Side Of Ignorance)


I had a great adventure today. But if I talk to you regularly, you know that I have great adventures EVERY.DAY.

Today: food stamps.

I applied for everything online. They ask for how much money have I saved up, how much money I make at my jobs, how much my rent costs and how much my utilities cost. So. I had a phone interview where I told them all the same things all over again. Then I received my card and my PIN number. Lots of people have their picture on their Food Stamps card, but I don’t.  Apparently it’s not necessary. The card is like a debit card. So. I get $115 per month on this debit card. I’m not quite sure how to use it yet. (I’m not sure what I can use it on/what stores I can use it at.)

I waited in line for 3.5 hours. The first hour, I was standing outside in the rain. The line went down the block. It was craziness. I then waited in a huge line inside… to talk to the reception desk so they could direct me where to go next. Then, I sat in a waiting room for like 90 minutes. And this is where the real adventures began.

I sat beside a woman who immediately started talking to me. She had the thickest Polish accent. I know her real name, but Kelley suggest I call this special creature Rasputin. Yes. Rasputin.

I felt bad for this woman for about 20 minutes. Maybe 15. She has lived in the United States for 40 years, and she served in the Navy for 12 years. (My mother says it’s not possible to fight in the Navy if you weren’t born here… but I have a tendency to believe whatever I’m told… but she has a veteran card?? Whatevs.) So. She gets a pension. But for some reason, she lives in a women’s shelter in Manhattan. And recently, they started giving her $16 a month for food. She’s pretty livid.

Then she asked me if I was religious. I said, “I’m a Christian”. She asked where I go to church. I said, “I don’t”. She told me to go to the Times Square Church and they would give me guidance. Kind.

She asks if I know the Bible. I say, “No”. Then she starts to lecture me about the Bible… but she couldn’t remember the name of the dude who got trapped in the whale’s stomach so, being the heathen that I am, I helped her: Jonah. (Thank you, Veggietales.) She asks the woman sitting next to her if she knows Jonah (…like, personally??). The woman is Colombian and she responds, “Poquito ingles.” To which my open-minded Polish friend responds, “Well, go learn. Go to school and learn English.” THANK GOD this beautiful Colombian woman doesn’t speak English. I smile at her kindly, and she smiles back. She doesn’t need to understand the hate that is stumbling brokenly out of Rasputin’s mouth.

But Rasputin is convinced that Colombian Goddess doesn’t know Jonah because she’s Catholic and, apparently, Catholics know nothing about the Bible (in the words of Rasputin).

Then a little latino precious angel baby comes up and fake spits at us. Rasputin responds appropriately: she yells at the baby. Then she “whispers” to me about her Latinos. She is upset, because everything in this office building is in English and Spanish. “What about Polish?” she asks. I say, “Everybody here speaks Spanish; nobody speaks Polish.” She continues to spit out the words, “boleto, ventana” repeatedly with disdain. I smile politely at all the SPANISH-SPEAKING PEOPLE AROUND ME. “Dear God, please let Rasputin’s speech be unintelligible to everyone but me.”

Then, she tells me that the reason her food stamps got fucked up is because “there are too many Iranian terrorists working in the agency.” I don’t know what any of that means. But it made a lot of sense to her.

Then she says that men are foul, and they cheat on their wives the second their wives become pregnant and fat. She said that a female elephant’s pregnancy lasts two years, and during this whole time, the male elephant stays with her faithfully. He feeds her and cares for her. But she says humans aren’t like elephants. (This little anecdote may be the only thing she said that I enjoyed…. but I’m not sure if it’s true…)

Then she asks who I’m going to vote for. “Obama?” she asks. “Yes,” I respond. She says she thinks Hillary Clinton would be a better president. She asks what I think. I tell her, “I think Obama was put into a shitty position, and I think he’s doing a great job.” She scoffs. She says that Hillary would make a great president because she doesn’t wake up with a boner…. like men. And she wouldn’t be wasting her time playing golf with ambassadors. Okee dokee.

Then. She says that British men are all faggots (her words, not mine). She says that it is scientifically proven that they have something in their DNA that makes them more feminine. …I smile politely and let that one slide.

But then, I crack. Cuz she says this…

“Obama was born in Kenya, his mother was a prostitute, his father was a Muslim and that’s why Obama sympathizes with Muslims.”

I cracked.

“That is not true,” I say, between giggles. I can’t hold them back anymore. She scoffs at me and rolls her eyes. I decide it’s time to open her eyes.

She tells me to be careful in marrying a woman, because she will cheat on me.

Me: I don’t want to marry a woman.
Rasputin: What, you want to marry a man?
Me: Yes.
Rasputin: *disgusted face*
Me: *laughter*
Rasputin: Well that’s your choice, but it’s not natural.
Me: I disagree.
Rasputin: How are you going to have children?
Me: I’ll adopt.
Rasputin: Who will give you baby? A cow? A horse?
Me:… human beings…
Rasputin: What type of person will give you baby?
Me: I don’t know. Some people have kids that they don’t want to keep.
Rasputin: What is the sex of these people.
Me: A male and a female.
Rasputin: Exactly.
Me: *laughter*
Rasputin: Ok, but you cannot talk about this anymore because I feel I am going to vomit.
Me: *laughter* That offends me. That really hurts my feelings.
Rasputin: It’s not all about me me me. You hurt my feelings.
Me: How did I hurt your feelings?
Rasputin: Cuz I want to vomit.
Me: That isn’t hurting your feelings.
Rasputin: You hurt my taste.
Me: *laughter*
Rasputin: You laugh!
Me: Yes, you’re being ridiculous.
Rasputin: You don’t understand me. You don’t understand my generation. I am from the Old Country.
Me: Well you don’t understand me, and my generation.
Rasputin: Yes. And we can’t force our opinions on each other.
Rasputin: You’re an actor, because you don’t want to work.
Me: That’s not true.
Rasputin: Then join the army.
Me: No.
Rasputin: Ach. You’re an actor, because you don’t listen to your parents, right?
Me: No. That is not true.

And then her number was called. But please, keep in mind, I smiled the whole time. I did not lose my cool. And I laughed the whole time. I think her last words to me were something like…

“Well, I’ve taught you a few things today.”

Yes. Yes you have. But I don’t know if it counts if it was all FALSE.

I’m still giggling thinking about it. She didn’t really offend me in any way. Although I was quite shocked that she knew I wanted a cow-baby… I’ve only told that secret to like, my closest friends. Perhaps Rasputin has a future in soothsaying. One can only hope…

No, but really. Here are truths of today…or the things that I am educated enough to know are true:

Obama was not born in Kenya.
Obama’s mother is not a prostitute.
British men are equally as gay as the rest of the world.
I am an actor because I love it.
Catholics know the Bible, too.
Rasputin’s food stamps are probably fucked up cuz she’s volatile, not because of Iranian terrorists.
An elephant’s faithful one-hundred percent.
Hillary Clinton does not wake up with morning wood, because she has a vagina. It is impossible to foresee what Mrs. Clinton would do with a penis (…unless you’re Soothsayer Rasputin).
Being gay is so natural. Perhaps.. too natural. But really:
I will be a great father to a human baby. And I will have valuable lessons to teach about courage, humor, kindness and LOVE.
Gay people have the option of adopting a horse-baby, a cow-baby or a human-baby.

To my parents:

Thank you for this indestructible sense of humor.

Now to dream of my future cow-baby…

(nothing but love)




One response »

  1. I can’t wait til someone makes a movie of your life.

    I envy your ability to keep your cool and keep laughing.

    You’re a beautiful person. 🙂

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