Socio-Cultural Misunderstanding

Robert, or “Bobbo” as he preferred to be called, loved his new gold necklace.

It was a gift from his father, a kindly, banal man who had been born in North-Western England, though really it was somewhere on the border between England and Wales. When Robert, or “Bobbo”, had opened the gift, Robert Sr. had said, “Here’s that necklace you were eyeing in the shop. I even had it engraved with your name.”

He hated when anyone called it a necklace, because it wasn’t, dammit, it was a chain, and it was a damn fine one, at that, now bearing his name (which he had engraved on the other side, “Bobbo”).

And when Robert, or “Bobbo”, wore his chains, he preferred to think of them with a “Z”.

So it was with the greatest of consternation that Robert, or “Bobbo”, looked at the people laughing at him while he crossed the stage at his graduation with a master’s in ethno-sociology, following his thesis on cultural appropriation. He leaned back, holding up his pale, spindly fingers, crossing the middle and ring finger to form a sideways “W” or, as most saw it, an “E”.

It wouldn’t be for another seven months, following a dearth of employment, that “Bobbo”, or Robert, would trade in his chainz for cash to fund his Ph.D. in socio-racial employment discrepancies.

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