"...at that time, I noticed that the subject was as nervous as a poodle in a Chinese restaurant, so I pointed at the subject and ordered ..."
"'Dog, what is this?"
"That's an incident report. We're supposed to make one whenever we interact in a negative fashion with people who aren't us."
"Smartass. I know what it is. What is this part?"
I look where his index finger is pointing. "You want me to explain the concept of sentences, words, or just letters?"
"No. You can't say, 'Nervous as a poodle in a Chinese restaurant.'"
"Sure I can. Only one of those words has more than two syllables, and my vocal chords, lips and tongue are all functioning perfectly, so I am absolutely capable of saying those particular words."
My Lieutenant rubs his temples as if a sudden headache had crashed down upon him. Articulating carefully, he responds:
"You're not supposed to say that."
"Why the hell not?"
"Because you can't. It's a slur to Chinese eateries everywhere."
I stare at him for a long time. He has the grace to look uncomfortable.
"You want me to get the Health Department records for the last three times they shut down the Peking Moon?"
"But you can't ..."
"Fi Do Gai Pan."
"Three times, it was shut down."
"Have we had the talk about stereotyping yet?"
I look at him in disbelief.
"I'm fixing to lose this one, aren't I?"
"You mean 'A mental picture that represents an oversimplified opinion, prejudiced attitude, or uncritical judgment'? I believe I last heard that particular phrase in a Cultural Diversity class taught by one of the people in this conversation who isn't me."
"The same class, as a point of fact, in which I heard the instructor -- again, currently in this conversation and not me -- use the concept of Americans regarding pets as family, and certain Asian groups regarding the same animals as food items as an example of cultural differences which can cause friction."
"I don't suppose we can just forget that this conversation ever took place?"
One of these days he's going to learn.