They were talking about Nazis on the news this morning. I know I should have been concerned. They said the German military has an infestation of Nazis—an infestation, like roaches. Nazis plus military should always be concerning.
Then, my brain took the wrong set of stairs and I started thinking about how easily Nazis could sound silly—just one letter away: Nozis, Nezis, or Nizis—when I got to Nuzis it got me thinking about Newsies—a movie about white American teenagers who, if born in Germany, would probably have been Nazis.
I watched this movie a lot as a kid. Also, as a kid, my parents had a friend named Henry. Henry once told me that his uncles had been Nazis. He said he remembered his family telling him that his uncles had been Nazis who came to America after the war.
He said he’d watch his uncles laugh and eat chicken at family barbecues just like everyone else. That’s what he said to me, he said, “They eat chicken just like the rest of us.” Then he smiled and ruffled my hair.
This, I now realize, might’ve been an attempt at insightfulness. Except, at the time, I didn’t know what insightfulness was—or what the point was. I only thought: he’s talking about his Nazi uncles eating chicken. Maybe adults aren’t as smart as I think they are because, from what I’d heard, Nazis should be in prison whether they eat chicken or not.
But there they were, just hanging out, in the back of Henry’s adult addled brain.
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