Never Look Back (Except Now)

Not a Prick
December 26, 2003

I am not a prick.

So please interpret this story as such:

On Sunday, Brent and I were in San Pedro, having lunch with Ken, his girlfriend, and their two friends, who I'll call "Chris #1" and "Chris #2," because that's always a good white-person name. I had never met Ken's girlfriend or their friends before, so none of us had much to say to each other.

Since nobody was really engaging me in conversation, I decided to be friendly and talk to these strangers. But I didn't want to ask stupid, boring questions like "Where do you live?" or "Where were you born?" or some such irrelevant inquiry, the answer to which I would forget immediately after being told.

So when someone pointed out that Chris #2 (who looked like he received lots of Abercrombie & Fitch gift certificates on a regular basis) was going to Cal State Long Beach, I asked politely and enthusiastically, "Oh, are you in a frat?"

Chris #2 scrunched his face, exasperated that I had asked that question, and protested with a firm, "No!"

Ken's girlfriend said that Chris #2 was going to graduate school.

"Oh," I said, "were you ever in a frat though?"

Chris #2 began twitching his head and shrugging, as if to say "Who is this guy?" But instead he blurted, "No!"

I leaned over to Ken's girlfriend and whispered, "Isn't Cal State Long Beach a party school?"

She nodded, "Cal State Long Beach is a party school."

A gloomy silence fell over the table. I didn't know what was going on. So I looked at Chris #2 and said, "You know...frat people are people too."

Chris #2 looked at everyone else around the table, incredulous.

I added, "No. It's just that you looked very offended when I suggested you were in a frat. But I like frat people. I know frat people. Frat people are my friends."

More silence. Then everyone started talking about something else.

Later on during lunch, Chris #2 sneered at me. "So...'Prince' that your given name?" (Now read back that sentence out loud and put some major attitude into it.)

PRINCE: Given in a sense.

CHRIS #2: "In a sense?"

PRINCE: My kindergarten teacher couldn't pronounce my Thai name "Khamolpat" or my Thai nickname "Bin," so she just arbitrarily named me "Prince."

CHRIS #2: Oh, so it's not your real name.

PRINCE: Well, kind of.

CHRIS #2: It just stuck.

PRINCE: Well, you know, whenever white oppression rears its ugly head, I just tend to give in to it.

More silence.

Chris #2 is my new best friend.

[Commentary 07.31.08: I never saw Chris #2 ever again. I wonder where he is nowadays. Making good money somewhere, I'm sure, and donating generously to his old fraternity.]


  1. Damn you for always piquing my curiosity with pictures of nude men and forcing me to read your blog.

  2. Peter, yes, I enjoying FORCING you.

  3. i use the name 'jack' for everyone.

    except you, i call you, 'prince jack'.

    he hates when asperger's rears it's...ohh, look bubbles!

  4. Dude, that was seriously hilarious. A buddy of mine went to CSLB; no, he wasn't in a frat, which sucked because that meant when I went to visit him, I'd have to actually look for the girls myself.

  5. See, everybody already has notions about CSLB, whether you're in a frat there or not. So suck it up, alumni!

    Quin, you can call me whatever you want. Except Susan.

    Nevin, congrats on the spread of the Project Runway blog. Project Runway today, tomorrow the world.