Away And Home For The Holidays

"and this is the Grunting Man Convenience Store," David Jacobson says as we slide into a parking space on Clement Street in the Richmond District of this crazy city. Full Story
Cassandra

Orlando, FL

#1 Dec 23, 2007
God, this is awful.
Voltaire

Glastonbury, CT

#2 Dec 23, 2007
Le secret d'ennuyer est...de tout dire.
Carol

Glastonbury, CT

#3 Dec 23, 2007
I'm too ignorant to know what Voltaire's saying, but the article is not awful. It's what I've come to expect-insightful, witty, a little twisted, and fun. Good work! Merry Christmas!!
John from South Windsor

North Westchester, CT

#5 Dec 23, 2007
Cassandra wrote:
God, this is awful.
Since this was a challenge for you, next time stick to reading the weather.
Cassandra

Orlando, FL

#6 Dec 23, 2007
John from South Windsor wrote:
<quoted text>
Since this was a challenge for you, next time stick to reading the weather.
At least the weather has useful content. Colin is an empty container. Elaborate and frilly, but empty.
Voltaire

Glastonbury, CT

#7 Dec 24, 2007
Carol wrote:
I'm too ignorant to know what Voltaire's saying, but the article is not awful.
All you need to do is paste the phrase into Google and you'll get all twenty billion comments on this quote.

First, I listen to Colin and I read him. Second, sometimes I read him and I think, "He's just filling air time to get to the next commercial." That's the problem with the present piece. It's Colin being Colin. This is galling, because there are some really fine craftsmen out there who can't find a publisher. There is no right to blab, no matter how respected you are. Finally, Colin doesn't need protecting.

“Shawnzo”

Since: Mar 07

Norfolk, MA

#8 Dec 24, 2007
Ouch!! I enjoyed the piece precisely because it is Colin being Colin. I look forward to Colin's blog posts and his columns. Kepp it coming, Colin!! And here's to getting through the holidays. Best to you and Mortimer!
LHHOQ

Greenfield, MA

#9 Dec 24, 2007
I'd rather read E.B. White being E.B. White.
LHOOQ

Greenfield, MA

#10 Dec 24, 2007
Sorry, it's LHOOQ.
How sad

Wayne, NJ

#11 Dec 24, 2007
Colin, the man didn't speak English. But instead of just smiling and asking your questions of someone who did speak English, you decide to embarrass and humiliate that Korean shopowner. You demean him by calling him "Grunting Man", and your friend asks him increasingly difficult questions in English, deriving mean pleasure from the other man's inability to speak English.

Let me ask you something, Colin. Do you speak Korean? Does your friend? I do. I spent over two years in the Peace Corps where I had to learn Korean. It wasn't easy, I can tell you. I was the only foreigner for miles around. I mangled the language for months. And every once in a while someone made fun of me. But that was rare. Most of the time Koreans actually cut me a lot of slack, helped me learn the language and did their best to understand what I was trying to express or ask. How sad that you and your friend didn't extend that little bit of human kindness and decency to that Korean shopowner.

I wonder if you've ever been a foreigner before. I don't mean a few days in France on vacation. I mean several months as an exchange student or a couple of years as a Peace Corps volunteer somewhere where you really had to struggle with the language, somewhere where you weren't taken care of by the doting employees of the local hotel or spa. Had you ever been in a situation where the tables were turned and you were forced to rely on the kindness of strangers, I guarantee you that never in a thousand years would you have treated that Korean gentleman as you did, and never in a thousand years would you have stood by while your friend mocked anyone for not understanding English well.

If you're Catholic, I do hope that you ask for forgiveness next time you pass through the confessional. But perhaps you'd like to make amends some other way. Why not go to a Korean restaurant in the area, have a great meal and, even if the waiter or waitress doesn't understand English well, leave an especially big tip.
Patrice

La Puente, CA

#12 Dec 24, 2007
I think you are brilliant. Honest to Goddess. You make me laugh and cry, on a day when I just dashed around for the last possible store time and got cash and gas and face moisturizer and 3 pairs of ski pants in the hopes that 1 will fit a daughter. I am in between singing at services on Christmas Eve, getting on a plane for Steamboat Springs at 6:30 a.m., and in awe of the power of a full moon just after solstice.

I can hook you up with a truly amazing masseuse who will find all your big crunches.

A happy ending after all!(But I thought that was something from Friendly's.)

Merry Daze to you, Colin.
Voltaire

Glastonbury, CT

#13 Dec 25, 2007
I agree! I agree! I agree with Greenwich! Je suis d'accord avec la sorciere verte. How sad. I struggle with the English very much, although in my homeland I am considered an essayist of some weight. A kiss on both sides of the face to you.
Maureen

Albany, NY

#14 Dec 26, 2007
Or perhaps the man just grunted a lot. I knew of someone who speaks English just fine and yet answers most questions with a grunt. I too will ask increasingly complex questions to see if I can garner a more eloquent response, occasionally I do peak his interest and get an actual response.. usually I get a grunt. You don't know this man of whom Colin speaks, you don't know if he speaks English or not, if he has indeed been in this country a long time, or as was said his nephews took over the store, perhaps that is just their way.. and not a lack of communication at all. Such negativism from you all. I LOVE Colin's writings and his talk radio show, so much so that I continue to listen via the internet because I moved to Albany and can no longer listen on the radio.
I can't help but wonder Cassandra, why do you (did you) read his column at all?? This IS Colin's style and I found it quite humorous. If you detest it so much why are you reading it? Some word comes to my mind and it starts with a B.. shall we all have a guessing game what word I might be referring to????
LHOOQ

Greenfield, MA

#15 Dec 26, 2007
Gee, my guess is "Brainy" for the mystery word, Maureen. You sound like you're swell fun, but definitely not LHOOQ.

Cassandra has a long history of being right. Just ask the Greeks.
Darth Reader

United States

#16 Dec 26, 2007
LHOOQ, I'm your father.

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