One of my essays for the colleges I'm applying to requires an episode to be written about my family, (with undertones about racism/social justice/immigrant status). I figured I'd archive it here! NOTE: It is meant to be a parody, of course.
Essay: What Happens in the Cul De Sac, Stays in the Cul De Sac
There is only one
way to survive being a minority family in America, and that is with a great
sense of humor. Thus, my family’s television series would be quite the comedy.
Growing up with Iranian immigrant parents in Los Angeles has subjected me to
hundreds upon hundreds of interesting stereotypes, opinions, and beliefs. Over
the years, I have garnered an incredible number of speculations about my
family, the most interesting of which being that we were a mafia family. Best
described and explained by this episode, it is important to note that the main
character and narrators are in fact, the neighbors from across the street- (As
the stories of most minorities are told by the way they are perceived by the
white man)-the incredibly American neighbors. And so, our episode begins.
character, Jim White, is an incredibly nice guy. He works an average nine to
five job, loves his wife and two children, and his Prius. Jim doesn’t think
twice about the new family moving in across the street. In fact, they’re just
like his family. A nice family of four, a father, a mother, and two teenaged
girls. The mirror image of his family. With one catch: They are Persian. But Jim is a self-proclaimed
liberal humanist, so he certainly isn’t at all weirded out by it. Until, one
morning, while he reads his recycled newspaper, his daughter, Sarah, mentions,
“You know our neighbors? Well, I go to school with their daughter, Nikita. And
guess what? I hear her family is part of the Persian mafia.”
Jim chuckles on
his bite of gluten free Wheaties cereal. “Oh, Sarah, come on now. That’s
Sarah shakes her
head. She has a plethora of knowledge on the topic of mafias. After all, she’s
seen The Godfather. And, like, half
of Scarface. And that scene in Clueless where Cher mentions the Persian
mafia. So, she knows. “Check it out
dad.” She insists.
Jim doesn’t think
anything of it, because teenagers are full of talk. Jim embarks on his usual
brisk Monday morning walk, he is surprised to see a series of trucks parked out
by the curb. Bearing no commercial logo, Jim pauses, for a moment, Sarah’s
words reflecting in his thoughts. No, he
thinks. It’s just a coincidence. A bunch of white, unmarked vans pulling up to
his neighbor’s house, their doors looking ready to slide open and snatch him up
at any moment- No. That’d be racist.
And Jim most certainly isn’t a racist.
A week passes, and
Jim’s surveillance continues. On Tuesday morning, Jim notices the father leave
the house, in a white BMW. Jim wants to think it’s nothing out of the ordinary,
until another one pulls out of the
driveway. Multiple white German luxury
cars? Clearly the work of the mob. On Wednesday, Jim sees the family out
going for a walk together. He is appalled
to find them wearing track suits. Actual, honest to god track suits. Where on Earth are their khakis? Where is
their sense of American culture? Jim is unnerved
as he quickly speed walks back to the safety of his driveway. He might just
have to bring this up at the homeowner’s association meeting, if this keeps up.
Sure, he’s all for diversity in the neighborhood, but this? A threat. He simply
can’t have it. It’s not until Friday evening, that Jim notices cars lining the
sidewalk. Only a mafia family would
gather in such large numbers voluntarily. Oh, the number of BMW’s and
Mercedes is horrendous. They line the sidewalk, all the way to his driveway. In
fact, one car is exactly one eighth of an
inch in his driveway. (Yes, he measured for accuracy). Jim is on his way to
call the police about the blatant violation on his property, when he sees the
family taking out the trash. Among the average bins are rolls of carpet. Tied up. Jim is petrified in his Birkenstocks. And
then, to top it all off, gunshots. Actual,
honest to god gunshots echo and resonate throughout the cul-de-sac.
Jim makes a mad
dash for the house, calling to his wife, “Anne, call the cops! Get the
neighborhood watch! Do something!”
The police arrive suspiciously
quickly, as they love to do their rounds in neighborhoods where nothing ever
happens. They first stop before Jim, who is standing nervously at the foot of
his driveway. They ask him to recall what happened, and with baited breath, he
answers, “They-” and he points his fingers accusingly in the direction of the
neighboring home. “-they are part of the mob. I’ve seen it. They have…unmarked
vans with strange deliveries, and they all drive white BMW’s, and they have
bodies rolled up in carpet by their trash! And, for the love of god, they wear
tracksuits! In 2016! Listen! Listen! Gunshots!
The police look
largely unimpressed. “Mr. White, those are not
Jim is persistent
that they investigate, nonetheless.
It takes only
twenty minutes for Jim to have his answers. It takes only twenty minutes for
Jim’s entire theory to be debunked. Just for kicks, one of the officers kicks
the rolled carpet to his feet, where it unfurls to reveal an elegant pattern,
with just a stain in the corner. (And no corpse).
“Are you afraid of
Persian carpets, Mr. White?’
“But…” He stammers.
“But, the white vans-“
“-Delivering a new
sound system for the home theatre.” The officer replies, wryly. “Which would
explain your so called gunshots.”
“-The BMW’s-“ Jim
shakes his head.
“-a popular car
“-The cars lining
the streets!” Jim protests.
family, visiting. Persian families are closely knit, Mr. White.”
about the carpets?”
“I was told they
would rather be dead than caught with stained carpets.” The officer chuckles
fondly, now, as if he’s made friends with them.
“…And the track
suits?” Jim whispers.
White, it is incredibly vain of you to judge people by their choice in clothing,
their upholstery, their cars, and their race.” The officer tsks. “If that’s
all, I’d like to bid you a good night.”
is left speechless, as the officer turns to get into the squad car, where his
partner is waiting. “Did he buy it?” His partner asks, as soon as he shuts the
matter.” The officer smirks as he pats his chest pocket, filled with a wad of
one hundred dollar bills. “He’s none the wiser.”
Okay, still working on that script, but also: Personal statements to colleges I'm transferring to. I don't know if that counts as creative writing but I'm creatively trying to sell myself as a stellar student (which I'm not) so... why not add that here.
How do I feel about the process?
...Let's just say I'll rest easy when the application is sent and it's out of my hands.
A script for a student film project at Pepperdine University!
How do I feel about the process?
I hate myself! Just kidding, it's actually pretty fun. It's difficult and fun to write with boundaries that have to be filmed later. I really enjoy this process and hope to go into screenwriting or something of the sort!