When I was a kid, we'd pile into the station wagon and drive to my Aunt Betty's house for holidays. The oldest of my father's six sisters, Aunt Betty's house was an island of security and ritual. For years, the holidays revolved around turkey, mash potatoes, See's Candy and conversations about those damed Poll-lochs.
Aunt Betty's French Canadian husband Iz usually started the conversation. In heavily accented English, he would regale us about the mythical Poll-lochs. Those Poll-lochs bred like "cockroaches". They soak up all opportunity. The Poll-lochs threaten the very existence of God fearing people. Shaking a turkey filled fork in my four year-old-face, he'd say, "Mark my words. The Poll-lochs will destroy our world."
In the station wagon home, I'd ask, "What's a Poll-loch?"
"Shh," my oldest sister said slapping my face. "Don't say that."
While never really sure what I wasn't supposed to say, I decided that those Poll-loch were akin to the boogy man. Damned to lives live in a mystic, mythical world, the Poll-lochs bred children like cockroaches while they waited to invade the human world. God fearing people must always be on guard for their kind.
In the mid-1970s, the Poll-lochs were joined in their mystical land by the mythical Gooks.
"They couldn't keep the Commies out of their own country so they invade our country on their God-damned boats. They come here, steal our opportunity, then breed like cockroaches."
"Like the Poll-lochs?" My 10-year-old self asked.
Not long before my Uncle Iz succumbed to lung cancer, he told me that I should spend my life fighting to keep the Spics out of "America". Why? It turns out that the Spics steal opportunity and breed like cockroaches too.
Why am I tell you about the mythical Poll-lochs, Gooks, and Spics?
Because last week, a friend told me about the "Muslim hoard." It turns out the Muslim hoard also soak up all the opportunity, breed like cockroaches, and threaten the very existence of God fearing people. Breathing hard, her eyes glazed over, I thought she might be possessed.
"Like the Poll-lochs?" I asked. (It was the only thing I could think to say!)
She blinked at me then shook her head.
"You don't understand. People like you don't have children while the Muslim hoard breeds like cockroaches."
I knew better than to ask "who the Muslim hoard was". After all, somewhere in the world, my oldest sister would look up and slap my face.
What did I say?
I said, "That's odd. According to the UN population statistics, Muslim people have always had relatively small families. Plus family size is linked to longevity. People who live longer have less children."
I wasn't surprised when she asked for the check.
I learned this from Uncle Iz. Hatred only transfers, it never ends.
In case you are interested, this is a easy to understand, interesting video that explains UN population statistics.