Reagan versus Obama

by jkatejohnston

3 January 2013

Dear Max,

Enzo explained to me and Teresa that brown people smell.  We tried not to show too much alarm at his natural born racism.

“Some do maybe,” said Teresa.

“Kobe smells.”

“Right, but does Abyssinia smell?”


“What about mama Teresa?” I said.

“Yeah, I’m brown,” said Teresa.  “And I’m the least smelly person in this family.  Have you smelled mama-Kate lately?”

“And you’re half-brown,” I added.  “Your donor has light brown skin–that’s what his paperwork says.”

Later that day on the light rail a very smelly black guy sat down near us.  “See?” said Enzo.

“Shhhhhh!”  And I was thinking, great, all our busy indoctrination down the tubes.

That night we were reading fun facts about the Presidents in Enzo’s National Geographic Kids magazine.  His favorite is Ronald Reagan and the six thousand pounds of jelly beans that were shipped to the White House for his inauguration.  But there’s also an entry for Barak Obama, who could speak Indonesian when he was a kid.

“I bet Barak Obama doesn’t smell,” I said.

“Barak Obama is the only brown person I like.”

I told Teresa about that, and she said, “He just gets ideas in his little head.  It’ll be gone next week.”