Mo meets Mom in the deep South

I have a paternal uncle who arrived in the deep South 50-some years ago. He was the only foreigner the area. His face was splashed all over the newspapers as “Mo” the tennis star from Pakistan, who had a tennis scholarship at Clemson. Wherever he went, he was recognized: “You’re Mo, aren’t you!”

So 50 years ago in Greenville …

My uncle shows up at the young Nancy’s house, to meet her mother. (They had to wait 9 months till she was legal to marry.) He was an undergrad, a clean-cut, modern, polished Pakistani from a prominent family in Lahore. He’s short, brown, with a strong Pakistani accent.
She’s a farm girl, with 6 brothers, sitting around the house in dirty boots.

Nancy’s mother interviews young “Mo.” He’s still Mo. (Mohammad).

Mom: “So you’re not from here are you?”

Mo: No.

Mom: where are you from?

Mo: Pakistan.

Mom: Oh Palestine!

Mo: No, Pakistan.

Mom: I heard you, you said Palestine. (She remembered her Bible lessons).

Mo: I’m not from Palestine, ma’am, …ย  I’m from Pakistan.
Mom: I know where Palestine is, son.

Mo: Forget it. Yes, I’m from Palestine.
Mom: So what religion are you?

Mo: I’m Muslim.

Mom: What’s that? Is that like Catholic?

Mo: No.

Mom: OK. You can date her then!

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9 Replies to “Mo meets Mom in the deep South”

  1. The funny thing is, in spite of Pakistan being on the radar for most folks now, I still got the “Palestine” mix-up just a couple of years ago by someone in cosmopolitan SF!

    As JA commented, your Uncle is a brave man to date a woman with six brothers!

    I love this bit:

    Mom: Whatโ€™s that? Is that like Catholic?

    Mo: No.

    Mom: OK. You can date her then!

  2. as baraka pointed out already….the line about being Catholic is hiliarious. and so true.

    it reminded me of a scene from flannery o’connor’s first novel wiseblood:

    He said he wanted to rent a room.

    “What do you do?” she asked. She was a tall bony woman, resembling the mop she carried upside-down.

    He said he was a preacher.

    The woman looked at him thoroughly and then she looked behind him at his car. “What church?” she asked.

    He said the Church Without Christ.

    “Protestant?” she asked suspiciously, “or something foreign?”

    He said no mam, it was Protestant.

    After a minute she said, “Well, you can look at it”…

    ————
    Catholics are clearly not to be trusted ๐Ÿ˜‰

    LoA.

  3. Indeed. Of course this is long before the Iranian revolution and suchlike, long before Americans decided they knew all about Moslems, Palestine and Pakistan.

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