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Tony Grist

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Everyday Racism [Apr. 16th, 2008|09:01 am]
Tony Grist
The guy has come to replace the boiler. The new boiler will be 31% more efficient, he says. He arrived on time and spent the first 20 minutes telling us about his friend the boffin and how his friend the boffin once made a artificial heart valve and how his friend the boffin used to fine tune motor bikes.

I thought, I don't know why you're telling us all this but maybe it's a ploy to put us at our ease. A technique.

Then he asked us- apropos of nothing- if we'd been "invaded".

I thought Ailz fielded it adroitly. She said we got on very well with our neighbours and since they were mostly muslims we didn't got bothered by drunks wobbling up and down the street on Friday nights.

It sort of killed the conversation though.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: frumiousb
2008-04-16 09:10 am (UTC)

the idiot american asks...

What's a boffin?
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-04-16 09:33 am (UTC)

Re: the idiot american asks...

Boffin is slang for scientist- a bit old fashioned, but still in use.
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From: manfalling
2008-04-16 09:29 am (UTC)
He definitely meant it in a racist way- and not about cockroaches or something?

I watched 'This is England' last night. Did you see that yet? Great movie- a hard watch, but very good. All about racism.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-04-16 09:34 am (UTC)
No doubt about it- he was talking about immigration.

I haven't seen This England- that's the Shane Meadows movie about skinheads, right?
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[User Picture]From: pondhopper
2008-04-16 09:46 am (UTC)
I've never heard "boffin" before. I see the definition in your comments but it sure is an odd word.

"Invaded". Being an immigrant myself, albeit a privileged one, comments like that still hit a bit too close to home.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-04-16 11:01 am (UTC)
Britain is a nation of immigrants. Most of us have ancestors who came in from overseas in the past two or three hundred years.
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[User Picture]From: saare_snowqueen
2008-04-16 10:31 am (UTC)
Bravissima Ailz!
Nothing more to say - racists are jerks.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-04-16 11:02 am (UTC)
What gets me is how they assume you're going to agree with them. If I had dodgy views on this that or the other I'd keep them to myself.
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[User Picture]From: jackiejj
2008-04-16 12:33 pm (UTC)
I would have thought he meant aliens from outer space.

What is a boffin?
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-04-16 01:12 pm (UTC)
I'm afraid he meant people from the Indian sub-continent.

Boffin is slang for scientist. The word is old-fashioned but
far from obsolete.
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[User Picture]From: wyrmwwd
2008-04-16 01:27 pm (UTC)
Good for Aliz!

We have a lot of that nonsense going on in my neighborhood as well. A neighbor from around the corner has started trying to get the corner store across the street from my house shut down. I cannot see any reason other than it is run by Muslims. It is putting me in an interesting position, since the guy around the corner is gay (as, of course, am I). But, this is ridiculous, since I have a much better relationship with the guys at the store than I do with that old busy-body drunkard around the corner.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-04-16 01:58 pm (UTC)
Who in their right mind wants to close down a corner shop? Corner shops are invaluable. What excuse is he using?

I'm intrigued by the icon. Western heroes/badmen, right? I'm thinking that's Wyatt Earp in the centre with Billy the Kid looking over his left shoulder. Are those the James boys to his right? As for the military man I'm going for Bloody Bill Anderson. What's my score out of 5?
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[User Picture]From: veronica_milvus
2008-04-16 02:44 pm (UTC)
Like... what happened when the Brits decided to invade India...? at least we did a proper invasion, with soldiers and all. The immigrants who then came over here were not really trying hard enough.

Wonder what he says to them when he goes to fix their boilers?

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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-04-16 04:58 pm (UTC)
He was saying he does a lot of jobs for "those people" and some of them are "all right".
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From: msjann65
2008-04-16 03:07 pm (UTC)
I like Ailz's answer. I plan to use it myself next time the immigration issue comes up, after revising it to fit the profile of our own Hispanic "invasion", LOL! I get on very well with the neighbors, since there are no arguments with people who do not yet speak the same language. Or something like that. Actually, I find the Hispanic woman very warm and loving neighbors, and generous to a fault. We swap words -- I give them an English word, they give me a Spanish one.
Same thing with the Chinese contingent that live in my elderly building. No language in common, but genuine affection - and word-swapping.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-04-17 09:51 am (UTC)
Our neighbours are mostly from Pakistan.

It was the Pakistani chap from three doors down who put us in touch with Warmfront- the government agency that gave us the grant to have the boiler replaced.



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[User Picture]From: oakmouse
2008-04-16 11:39 pm (UTC)
Ailz is too cool for words!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-04-17 09:51 am (UTC)
She's the best.
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