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The Lessons We Learn From Take-Out

Night before last I went to get some Thai food from my favorite local take-out joint, and it wasn't quite done. The guy at the counter asks about my name, I tell him it's German, and we fall into conversation. In a minute he divulges he is both German and Native American. I ask "Which nation?" — always a good move, because nation and tribe aren't quite the same thing.

As it turns out, he's a Yakima, and he's got issues with that. Mostly, he's annoyed that the Yakima nation, which owns a lot of land on the eastern side of the Cascade mountains, does not have a casino or oil or what have you. He's quick to look down on the Muckleshoot for being a mere tribe, but it's clear he's jealous of their monthly tribal stipend. Yes, every month, Muckleshoot tribal members get money from the casino profits. In the case of the Muckleshoot, he claims this amounts to $10,000 per month. For other tribes (such as the Alaskan tribe his half-brother belongs to), it's more like $500 a month. Still nothing to sneeze at, if true. I half suspect he's pulling my leg, but he seems really put out that the Yakima pays its members nothing, which makes me think it might be true.

The Yakima Nation has more than a million acres of land that's good for fishing, untillable for agriculture, and downright lousy for a casino. So, my poor Thai restaurant employee must earn his daily bread by the sweat of his brow. Rather like myself. My food arrives before I have much of a chance to commiserate, and to tell the truth I don't have much of an inclination to bemoan cruel fate in this instance. Fortunately, I do not point out that I, a member of the Teutonic and Slavic tribes of Northern Europe, have never previously heard of nor expected any such windfall.

But if my sister got $500 a month as an accident of birth I'd surely be jealous.


( 3 sutras — Your wisdom )
Feb. 4th, 2005 06:36 am (UTC)
This is me playing the world's tiniest violin. Poor fella has to work just like the rest of us? Well, garsh! He should try being some other minority some time. He might find that he likes it right where he is.

(That came out a little more bitter than I intended. Well, okay a lot more bitter than I intended. But, really, taking a walk in someone else's shoes might be instructive.)
Feb. 7th, 2005 10:39 pm (UTC)
The problem is that you're of Teutonic and Slavic stock. If you'd been of French stock, on the other hand, you'd be like me and be entitled to a monthly stipend from the casinos in Monte Carlo.

Sometime soon I'm going have to send them an invoice for the late stipends.
Feb. 7th, 2005 11:06 pm (UTC)
Darn you suave Frenchies anyway! Always have to rub everyone's faces in Monte Carlo... I take comfort in the fact that if you'd had a Teutonic accountant, this lapse in the stipend would have been brought to your attention in a much more timely fashion.

I'd also respond that at least I've got... Baden Baden? Where the heck did the Romanovs and the Hohenzollern and the Hapsburgs blow their ill-gotten funds?
( 3 sutras — Your wisdom )

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