I have to fight my instincts a lot. It's not really fair because I think I'm a good person. But the urge to laugh at the wrong time or to say something offensive is always around the corner for me. For example, my older brother knew I was taking care of business in a public bathroom last week, so he walked in and stomped around the bathroom and whispered "bye-bye!" as he walked out. And I had to hold back my laughter until my next-stall neighbor left the bathroom. It was the hardest thing I've ever had to do... until last night.
We went to Benihana for the first time in my life. And I've always wanted to go. I've heard great things about it, I've seen it on an episode of The Office, and I just love saying the name of the restaurant really fast ("Benihana!"). So we went last night and our genuine Japanese hibachi grill instructor was really cool. And really fast. And really funny. But he had a really thick Japanese accent. And the hardest thing I've ever had to do in my life is sit through a meal with him talking to us without yelling, "HADOUKEN!" at the top of my lungs. It was almost unbearable. I was fidgety, I felt like I was sweating. It was like trying to hold in a sneeze. But I made it through the whole meal without offending anyone.
However, I can't say the same for my son. It was also his first experience at Benihana. And his first experience face-to-face with someone with a Japanese accent. And when the guy was talking really fast, my wife and I caught our son whispering, "Ah-ta-ta-ta-ta." And we were horrified. (And for the record, this was not a learned behavior. He came up with that himself.) So we had to discreetly tell him to stop without drawing attention to him. Luckily he stopped without anyone else noticing. But this just proves that he's as advanced as we think he is. I mean, he's practicing racism on a fifth grade level!