Reparations?

November 27, 2008 at 1:00 pm (Cussed Dumbers)

I deal with all races, classes and walks of life at work. If I see a color, it’s green. I’m there to separate you from your money as pleasantly as possible, and I’m pretty good at it. People who swear “This is the last time I’ll ever pay that exhorbitant price!” are back the next day, and I’m there, cracking wise and hooking them up with their legal vice(s) of choice.

I swear I’m not a racist. I may be old and ignorant sometimes, but I don’t feel animosity toward other races. We all put our pants on one leg at a time, as Daddy used to say.

Last night a slip of the tongue almost got me into trouble…

A lot of security guards and transit cops come through our store. They come in for coffee, or to warm up. We’re all on a first name basis, sharing horror/funny stories. One particular team came in last night. It was quiet, so we shot the breeze for a few minutes.

One of the guards we call Major Nelson, in reference to I Dream of Jeannie. (His last name is Nelson.) He groans inwardly, but tolerates it. (Believe me, it’s much nicer than what his co-workers call him.) He’s a laid-back ex-cop, retired and paying off his Harley.

His partner-for-the-day is a very large black man named Harold. I have met Shaquille O’Neal, and Harold is bigger and taller. (Shaq could outrun him, though.) Harold is mellow, friendly, fun-loving.

And very intimidating when pissed off, as I was about to find out.

The barbs were flying about, Harold and Major Nelson were taunting each other, and Nelson got in a sweet zinger. Harold was shaking his head.

“It’s okay Harold. As long as you call him Master and evaporate back into the bottle, he’ll forget about it.”

“WHAT?” Harold’s demeanor changed quickly. He was scowling.

I began whistling the theme to I Dream of Jeannie, replaying the words in my head, and the racial implications hit me.

Ohhh, shit.

“Motherfucker, you just brought out the ghetto in me!” Harold had stopped smiling. He was shaking his head, looking into his coffee.

“Dude, you get the reference, don’t you?”

He looked at me with furrowed eyebrows. “I have an attorney on retainer, I may have to give him a call…”

I rang up a couple customers. Nelson stood there with a blank look on his face, trying to stay out of it. Harold could crush both of us if he wanted to, and it looked like he wanted to. As soon as I got the customers out of the store, I motioned Harold over. There was a big vein on his forehead, throbbing.

“Harold, you know what I’m referring to, right? You’ve seen I Dream of Jeannie, right?” I felt like I was making it worse. “Jeannie always calls Major Nelson ‘Master’, and hides in her bottle when she’s been bad. There’s that psychiatrist, Major Healy, that’s always trying to catch Major Nelson-”

Harold interrupted, “It’s Doctor Bellows. At least get that right…”

“Wha-”

Harold broke into a big grin. “I’m just fuckin’ with ya!”

“AUGHH!” I was at once humiliated and relieved. I was starting to break a sweat. One thing Master P will not tolerate are racial slurs or racist behavior. Visions of the unemployment office were dancing in my head.

I know when I’ve been had.

Harold, you pwned me.

1 Comment

  1. situation commie said,

    Jeannie wuz teh hawt!1!

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