Monday, April 27, 2009

Another Day In The Life


Every day that you wake up is like a roll of the dice. Your life can go one way and it can go another way. It can be routinely boring and run of the mill or it can be fascinating. I always wake up expecting a fascinating day... forget the stories you have heard me tell on this blog that might lead you to believe that my life is one big drama. Most of my days are as routine and boring as yours. It's just that I've had my share of extraordinary days and this day was one of them.

It started as normal as any other Sunday Morning... my wife and I woke up to (unseasonable) 93 degree weather and sunshine, which was a relief. We have had a rash of cold, nasty, and rainy days so, this weekend was well needed and appreciated.

My Air Force unit was having a reunion picnic today that I planned to attend. Since I got on Facebook, I have been "discovered" by several of my old Air Force buddies. We have been talking back and forth on Facebook, through emails, and by phone. We agreed to meet up in Horsham, PA at the VFW post to attend our old unit's picnic and reunion.

One of my Air Force buddies lives about four blocks from me. We talked yesterday and agreed to go to breakfast this morning before we went to the reunion and I told him to pick the place. I was just glad that I didn't have to drive for a change. He picked a nice bar and grill in a suburb of Philadelphia that was on our way to the base. The first thing I noticed was, not only were we the only African Americans in the eatery but also, the youngest. Most of the guys in there were my father's age and older. An interracial couple (black man, white woman, and a child) about my age or a little younger came in after us and sat in the booth across from us.

There were two white men about my father's age sitting at a table right across from us. One guy who was talking loud and obviously inebriated (drunk). It was 10:30am, he looked at the couple, and then said, "Soon we are all going to be one race, you know... with all the mixing going on." His friend said to him, "Curt... Curt... will ya shut up and drink your coffee." But, Curt kept talking and said... "Well, you got your new President and he's half white you know. His mother is white and his father is African so, he's mixed. It's the new trend."

His friend looked at me and my friend and then, at the interracial couple. He admonished his friend and said... "Curt, would you please shut the hell up. People are trying to eat." Out of the blue, Curt then says to me... "Hey, pal... Are you a full-blooded negro?" The guy that was sitting with the white girl turned and looked at him. Then, my friend said... "Yo! What the hell?" I raised my hand to tell my friend to cool it. I looked at him, smiled, and said (using my best Stepin' Fetchit impression) "Why, yas suh. I sho' is... One hundred percent knee grow. And, how 'bout you? Is you part negro?" I was having a good time and it was obvious. The brother with the white girl looked at me and winked. Then, he cracked a smile but, his wife didn't find it funny at all.

Curt's friend was mortified. He looked at all of us and apologized... "I'm awful sorry for him guys. He's drunk and when he gets drunk he's a little irregular." I looked at him and said... "It's okay, I imagine he's not much different when he's not drinking, am I right?" Curt's friend grabbed him, hoisted him up, began walking him towards the door and replied... "You got that right buddy. Thanks for being a good sport. I'm really sorry." I looked at him and said, "It's okay. If I'm lucky enough to live to be his age, I'm gonna say the first thing that comes out of my mouth too." Then, they were gone.

The brother with the white wife and child looked at me and laughed. His wife said, "You were a lot nicer to that creep than he deserved. What a racist lout." I simply said to her and my friend, who was equally astounded at the man, "He was drunk and he only asked a question. He didn't call anybody any names." Her husband agreed with me. Then, my friend and I were off to the reunion.

This was the first time I had been anywhere near my Air Force unit in the three years since I retired (June 2006) and it was like a high school reunion. Here I met and got reacquainted with Black, White, Asian, and Latino people that I had served with in the United States Air Force for a span of 22 years. I caught up on who had gotten married, who had children or grandchildren, who had died, who was still "in", etc. It was a decidedly more civil racial atmosphere. We were one Air Force, one military, and our obvious differences had to take a back seat to the mission at hand. At least, that's what was instilled in us from boot camp.

Let's face it... even little children notice differences. It's just that, unlike adults, it seems that they don't let it bother them. They are just happy to play. We kinda lose that as we get older and drift into our tribes of differences. Today, on this brilliant sunny day with summer like weather, we were all one and it was good. A situation in a bar and grill, that could have turned into a big "rowdy dow" had someone else been involved that didn't share my sense of humor, was averted and peace ruled the day. As I returned home, I wondered why these bizarre events always seem to happen to me or when I'm around?

When you wake up, you never know what a day may bring your way. One day is boring and routine and another day is... well, like this one.

23 comments:

Captain Jack said...

What an intolerable lout...You were real nice about it Keith..A lot nicer than I would have been.

Sean said...

Wow...I know I would've been offended..I doubt if I would have taken it as light hearted as you did..but in the real..You probably handled it right...Why spoil a good day with a big incident before the day begins.

Sunflower said...

You're a good guy Keith..I would have been livid..You chose to poke fun at him though...and that is what he deserved...You chose right.
smart way to divert a disaster.

James Perkins said...

Hillarious! That's how you deal with ignorance...you make fun of the ignorant, without them knowing they are being made fun of..It shows everybody else just how ignorant they are.

Simon Bastion said...

Hillarious!

Angie B. said...

You're a trip Keith!-lolololol..Making fun of that kook..Glad you had a nice time at your reunion.

Brenda said...

I love the way you take the most mundane of events and make people care about them..Sign of a great writer and storyteller.

Cheryl said...

ROFLMAO @ you being stepin Fetchit...You are a trip...stop messin with people...lololol.

Vanessa said...

You are crazy mane!!!!lololol.

Strongblkwmn said...

I admire the way you handled the situation. You never know how you're going to handle things until they happen. Some people aren't worth the aggravation anyway.

Toni said...

You make my day Keith, you never disapoint!

Swaggie said...

You're a better man than me Keith..I couldn't have taken it that way.

Tate2 said...

Funny the way you handled it...but not funny the way dude was spouting off. His boy had every right to be afraid.

Jazzy said...

ROFLMBAO!!! You're the King bruh!!!

Grover Tha Playboy said...

I, like you attract drunk and ignorant folk that suddenly want to talk to me in public...Don't know if I could've handled it as you did..but in retrospect, you handled it fine..It was so nice yesterday..Who needed drama?

Lisa said...

Hey Keith,Glad you didn't let that butthead spoil your reunion.

Halo said...

Funny story...People like that drunk guy aren't worth the aggravation anyway..Glad you enjoyed your reunion.

Raven said...

Wow...I live in Texas so nothing surprises me when it comes to race.

LadyLee said...

This type of thing happens up north??? Sounds like something that happens down this way, in Georgia or Alabama.

You always have good stories. Very mature way of handling that thing!

Thoughts of a Southern gal said...

You handled that very well. LOL @ you saying he's probably the same way when he's not drunk.

Rich Fitzgerald said...

Things like that happen to you, because God knows you can handle them and when it's over, everyone is a bit better for the action you took.

Way to keep your head. I think I would have bust out laughing if old dude asked if I was full blooded negro.

Angel said...

It’s not by accident that they happen with you, like you say it could have been someone else and some foolishness could have erupted and then someone might be dead.

The way I see it, you are on this earth to handle the bizarre events that teach others how to behave in this world. You are the best man for the job.

Mizrepresent said...

And in the end Keith, it still was a good day...that's what i love Keith...keep making happy endings!




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