You can't say "retards" can you? I was late to the game about "mulattos" being offensive, in fact I learned it from an episode of curb your enthusiasm. I've gone on to use the term hybrids, blends, mochachinos and halfies, but I'm doubtful those terms are any better. Natassia keeps telling "midgets" is a bad word, but I'm stubborn and refuse to believe it, plus I don't know the alternative aside from not referring to them at all (halfling can't suffice right?). But I was raised with "retard" being the polite nomenclature, though it sounds biting off the tongue. Maybe it's like Jew where sometimes it's ok, depending on tonality, intention and the poisonous adjective you place in front of it "my friend Charlie is a Jew" vrs "that dirty Jew owes me money". I hope you all know me well enough to know I'm not a bigot, My best friend is a mixed Jewish handicapable halfling, his name is Leroy Rosenberg and I love him. But I digress, my mom has come to visit and decided to stay a little longer than usual, so it's basically been bring your mother to work week. If you've ever seen the Frank Grimes episode of the Simpsons, you'll know what I've been experiencing. In said episode they introduce a normal character into the cosmic madness of Springfield. Well, my mom juxtaposed against the backdrop of the record store of my employ has made me realize that my life is that of a cartoon character. When a "special person" (those quotes make you hear the word retard don't they, I've poisoned you, I'm sorry), anyway, when a special person jumps into the store and tries to scare you by saying "BOO" (a rather old school approach) and then offers your mom a plastic cup full of Hershey's kisses, one's day to day routine becomes visible as the reality of psychedelic folly that it is. On 4th of July, my mom put in a full shift at the Cow, my 68 year old Christian mom from the south counseled drunks with a slur so bad they made mushmouth sound like Thoreau, crazy people "tripping balls" for the fireworks, hipsters searching for the esoteric reaches of band names, yes, I was fortunate enough to have a guy ask my mom if we had any "diarrhea planet". I shit you not, I pun you yes. Well, I guess bringing her to the Casbah prepared her a little for the life her son had chosen. I've been wearing summer sweaters all week, hiding my tattoos and sweating like Aaron Neville at a humid gig when he hits the acrobatic peak of Don't Know Much. But I forgot about the metaphorical unicorn draped in a confederate flag in flames neck tattoo of a life I have attained, unmaskable, with all its fevered rock and roll low wage high reward glory. Wouldn't trade a thing.