A long time ago, Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention put together a track entitled: “It Can’t Happen Here.” Exactly what it was or is that can’t happen here is never particularly mentioned in the song, but ol’ Frank seems to be adamant that whatever “it” is, it ain’t coming down around here (wherever “here” is) ... or maybe it is.
It was a long but productive week I spent in Dallas. Helping bring a system up, teaching a maintenance course using that system, then assisting one of my students in qualifying some spare assemblies for that system while helping him learn how to do at least some of the work himself was tiring but satisfying. We quit early that day (my associate was feeling a bit off), and I returned to the hotel to check email and watch news before going to grab some dinner.
I was stuck with using the hotel’s computers to do my cyber-homework, as the display on my laptop had decided to file for separate maintenance, and I spent maybe half an hour checking email and writing the last installment of a trip report for the man who was sponsoring this trip. That done, I headed down the hall for the elevator which would take me to the third floor and my pro-tem residence. The elevator door was open as I approached and I called out, “Hold, please!” as I watched a couple enter. He was tail, dark-skinned, but the woman was far more notable, particularly for her dress. It was long, flowing, a deep royal blue with black accents. What was more remarkable, though, was that it did not stop at her shoulders, but continued all the way up to the top of her head. As I entered and redundantly pressed the “3” button, she turned to face the elevator door, and my suspicions were confirmed: her face was as covered as her hair was, with the exception of a three-quarter-by-five-inch opening which revealed her blue-grey eyes and nothing more. Yes, she was wearing a burqa, but that isn’t the end of it. As I entered, I caught the end of an exchange between the man (I presume her husband) and the woman. Her accent was 100% American. We arrived at the third floor and the doors opened. I went west, they went east and that was pretty much the end of that encounter.
So … yes I know there are all sorts of women, Americans included, who convert to Islam for one reason or another and wear the hijab or something like it. I’ve seen many such women in my travels … but an American woman wearing the Islamic equivalent of the Full Monty? I didn’t let my face show it, but I was seriously boggled to hear a Midwestern accent from the inside of what was that over-designed bag.
So Frank … was THIS what you were talking about when you said, “They were so sure it couldn’t happen here, buuuuuuuuuuuuuuuut?” … and as for YOU, Suzy Creamcheese … what’s YOUR story?