Hank Voge

I have always taken every opportunity to say the most offensive thing I can for the sake of a laugh. I will not provide examples here, but I think you know what I mean. When I came to Not For Sale, I knew I had to speak more carefully.

Now, this task proved harder than I anticipated. On one of my first days here, someone asked me where I had disappeared to for an hour. Not wanting to answer the question, I replied, “I was abducted.” But then I remembered that people all over the world really are abducted all the time. Crap.

I thought that I would always be insensitive. I could hide my jokes, maybe—filter them out while in Half Moon Bay—but I could never keep from thinking them. I was wrong, though. Last night, my friend said something in jest about slaves, and I felt my stomach turn. For the first time that I can recall, I was offended by a joke that wasn’t directed at me. Maybe watching film of sex slaves in Amsterdam and all of Kru Nam’s little children (all former slaves) has finally melted my insensitive, cynical heart.

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