Coke, Pepsi and doogh drinkers' habits & tastes
October 3, 2003
The US Census Bureau and the Department of Labor
should modify the way they categorize the population
sub-groups based on race and skin color, such as American Indians,
Caucasians, African Americans and Hispanics. Such stereotyping
can adversely affect the welfare
of certain classes.
For instance, take Arabs who because of fear of harassment
end up checking boxes on job applications claiming that they
are American Indians. If you question them about the degree of
their purity as an American Indian they probably say "well
my mom was 7/16 Cherokee and my dad was 11/32 Navajo." I'll let
you figure out what that would be in the metric system but the
fact of the matter is that they were born just the other side
of Kuwait City but if they are authorized to work, then their race
should not be brought into question.
I recall that during college
we had to struggle with this question on the job applications:
"Did you ever serve in the military?" I had served two years in
the remotest villages of Iran and it was no easy potato. But I
could not answer "yes" because then the next question was, are
you a veteran? Yes I was a veteran
-- a veteran of the war on illiteracy.
As a soldier with an education,
I was a member of the Literacy Corps. But that didn't
count. It was the Vietnam era, and I felt like a lard ass
admitting I was fighting illiteracy instead of the Viet
Even during the time when the Shah was Nixon's best buddy
and Ambassador Zahedi used to send the likes of Liz Taylor in
private planes to Tehran, still you would never hear from the potential
employer if you wanted to let all the truth be known about your
ethnicity. So I would swallow my pride and just say "No" to
the military question.
If we intend to classify Americans into distinct
groups, the issue of ethnicity is no longer a valid issue. There
are better and
stronger factors that help statisticians determine
public behavior and separate distinct "tribes" without
stereotyping. With that in mind we divide Americans into two distint
A) The Coke drinkers and
B) The Pepsi drinkers
Iranians in the US can be divided into two
A) The Doogh
Khaanehgee (homemade buttermilk) drinkers and
Ab-Ali (trade mark fizzy buttermilk) drinkers
At any chelokababi anywhere in the continental USA order a doogh
and the waiter immediately asks: "Would like homemade or Ab-Ali?"
has stolen a well-known brand from Iran and gives the impression
that indeed it's brought to consumers from Ab-Ali, the mineral
water resort town east of Tehran. (Other disingenuous Iranian brand
names in the US are poor Akbar Mashdi ice cream and Shamsheeri
However, there are limits. You'll never see Asghar Ghatel
braned on any product sold at an Iranian grocery stores here.)
The Ab-Ali brand I have no problem with. What troubles my fragile
imagination is the way they make "homemade" doogh.
I visualize the restaurant owner's unhappy
wife in the back alleys of Encino, California, toiling in the backyard
of their house, with several ten-gallon plastic containers lined
up under an oak tree, as her naked four-year-old plays in a mud
puddle. The ten-year-old son helps mom make doogh with Safeway
yogurt, salt, crushed mint, Arm & Hammer baking
soda and ample water from the hose.
In any case I'm trying to suggest to
the Census Bureau not to categorize people based on the color
of their skin but according to their social behavior and taste.
The following is the result of an unofficial statistical sampling
generated from a recent telephone poll with a margin
of error of +/-90%.
Voting and Economy
As many as 75% of Coke drinkers voted Republican
during the last presidential election and will do so
again if George Bush bends
the Axis of Evil so far until it turns into a Circle of Evil. It
will be much easier to control Evil if surrounded by
a circle. The other 23% of Coke drinkers abstain from voting
and watch sports on TV.
51% of the Pepsi tribe would vote Republicans if they legalize
riverboat gambling on the Tigris and Euphrates outside of
Baghdad. This would allow Iraqis to sample Western
pleasures on their way to democracy, while singing Frank Sinatra's
did it my way".
The other 49% of Pepsi drinkers believe Saddam is alive
and working as a busboy in a restaurant
Damascus best known for its lamb rotisserie.
will vote for Democrats no matter who runs for president as long
as he is tall and handsome.
Some 75% of the Coke tribe lost all or most of their 401-K investments
and retirement savings thanks to corrupt mutual funds, and the
rest will lose them within the next nine months.
Of the Pepsi tribe 83% lost all their savings in
the stock market but most received a check for $100 thanks to the
Republican tax cut. The other 17%
have no idea what's going on. They only keep football scores.
Some 70% of Coke drinkers have either no health insurance or if
they do it's most likely a HMO that will not pay for
most medical procedures. The other 30% decided not to get sick
65 and qualify for Medicare.
Pepsi drinkers fair better: 71% are covered for
life insurance and they pay hefty monthly premiums betting that
they are going to die soon but the insurance companies bet that
they won't die for a while. But, like Coke drinkers, 59% of Pepsi
fans also do not have health insurance and rely on the power of
About 68% of the homemade doogh lovers think the Shah is still
alive and will return to Iran to kick some ass. The other 32%
son will eventually say something that makes sense.
of both tribes think their home phones are wiretapped by Homeland
Security so they always talk in Zargaree
dialect to confuse the listeners. The CIA is running ads looking
for people who can speak Zargaree but they must
to DC area for $21,000 a year. Good luck!
The Ab-Ali lovers are among the most educated. Some 98% have
a college degree, but of that group only 16% are working in their
own field and the rest are in real estate business
most advertise their name as "Dr..."! It
makes you wonder why would you need a doctor to buy a condo in
Of the homemade and Ab-Ali tribes combined 70%
call each other either "doctor" or "mohandes" and they
kiss each other 4 times on the cheeks every time they meet. That's
just the men. The women kiss the air so they won't smear their
make up. The other 30% have suitcases that are
as big as a Volkswagen. Most will argue
with airline agents who demand fees for these suitcases that
usually weigh no less tha a ton.
Future Census Bureau and the Department
of Labor are studying these proposed questions to better understand
population tastes and trends:
-- Do you eat lamb, pork or beef? If the answer is "no" please
explain why .
-- Do you think Jesus is either God, son of God or messenger of
no, why the hell not?
-- Do you pronounce it: Baklava, Baghlava or Buclava?
-- Do you pronounce it: Kabob, Kaybob, or Al keebob?
-- Do you think women should not be allowed to: sing, belly
dance, drive, or get child support?
-- Do you carry your daily prayer by: crossing your hand,
crossing your heart, or bending over? If you bend over how many
a day and in which direction?
With these kindns of questions we will
help the economy better serve the population based on their
every day habits and tastes and without
racial or ethnic stereotyping.
Next week we will discuss
why a dying Iranian in need of an emergency medical operation
cannot get a visa to the US but the grandson
of Ayatollah Khomeini is granted a visa and given red carpet
Farrokh A. Ashtiani is the founder of PersianParadise.com
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