Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Are You Kidding Me?!?

  • (Another) 6 Dollar Saturday
  • 23 Dollar Sunday
  • 4 Dollar 4th of July
  • Is That All?

It's July 5th, and it's a Wednesday. It's a Wednesday after a major holiday; and it's a Wednesday after an "Essence Fest" that I am sure set some kind of negative attendance record.
OK, This "Distorted Album Cover Quiz" Should Be Easy

Everybody in the world who is not a particular fan of the hip-hop scene avoids the French Quarter during Essence Fest. I think it was 3 years ago when a stray bullet killed a young lady who was from Houston and was not even part of the entertainment (the obligatory* shooting).

*It's up to someone to use the platform to tell the world: "Fuck with a nigga' and you're gonna get shot!" and so somebody steps to the plate each year, it seems, on the grand stage of Essence Fest weekend.

What I saw this year were small groups of African Americans who seemed to be in a perpetual search for where the action was, and who were here and there; and at least 4 cops on every corner, standing by barricades (which have been beefed up this year to thwart the trend of people ramming crowds with vehicles driven at high speeds) and, mostly staring at the devices in their palms, occasionally giving directions to small gaggles of African Americans, who might have heard that there was actual "action" at certain other spots, and were heavily armed.

And there were a good number of heavyset white women walking around, as if on some sort of mission.

I had the revolting experiences of A: having one young black woman stand in front of me with her legs apart, as if playing defense in basketball, and leaning forward towards me, as if trying to get an up close and personal listen to what I was playing, yet, doing so at a time after I had just started out my jar with a fake 100 dollar bill to go with the only other dollar I had at the time; and then walking off after having held her head 3 feet above the jar long enough to have discerned that it was a fake 100 bill in there; and even evincing signs of disappointment, frustration, anger? upon walking off.

Plus, not tipping me a cent to go with the smile and the affectation of being "so interested" in what I was playing to have wanted to stand in front of me; as if the referee was about to throw a ball up between us.

I also had the disgusting experience of being in the Walgreen's at about 2 PM in front of the beverage case where there were two black women in about their 20's kind of milling about, but not right by me.

I pulled out my money and began to count it.

I really wanted to know how much I had.

After I finished counting what turned out to be 16 bucks, I heard one of the black ladies say: "Is that all?" in a manner that was half disguised as her asking her friend if that was "all" they needed, of something.

But it freaked me out, the pretentiousness of the women to think that I had pulled my money out in order to flash it in front of them.
"You've got to be kidding me!," I thought.

They were so not my type. Amazons they were, for one thing; and not exactly even Venus Williams material in the "beauty" category.

It took an effort for me not to turn to them and give them a look that said: "Don't flatter yourself, I'm just trying to make sure I have enough money in the morning!"

And then, to confirm my stomach turning suspicion, one of them said to the other: "No, I'm not working now..." as if in response to "Do you want to try to work that guy for his money?"

And I thought it had been OK to pull out my impressive wad of 16 dollars in front of "everybody" in the store.

For me to say that Essence Fest was pretty much as expected would be pretty accurate.
Oh, and there was a young black kid, skinny and in his early 20's in front of The Quartermaster one night.
He asked me if I had ID.
He could have just asked me directly: "Hey, will you buy my beer for me, I don't have my ID?" and I would have been more inclined to "help" him.
But then I thought about the guy who was working in the store, an older guy who is usually very pleasant; and I deferred to his judgment in not having sold beer to the guy.
If the guy in the store had a reason for not selling to him (that could have applied even though he appeared to be over 21) than I was going to follow his precedent. Also, as soon as I walked in 5 minutes after the guy had refused him and try to buy the exact same thing, it is going to be obvious to the guy, and he probably wouldn't sell it to me, either. He knows that I haven't drank in forever.
So, to make a long story short.
The kid asked me again, once I was outside.
I turned him down again.
He became angry and said:
"I bet if I had that PISTOL you'd..."
Led Zeppelin's: "Houses Of The Holy;" 1973
And then he made a couple pistol grabbing motions towards his hip.
"That's just lovely. Yeah, I'm sure if you pulled a pistol they would sell you beer without carding you..." I said, giving him my best "you moron" look.
He reached once again for the imaginary pistol in his pocket and then gasped: "Oh!" with such a sense of frustration in his voice that it was obvious that he was kicking himself for not having brought his gun to the beer store.

1 comment:

alex carter said...

I made a little over $26 in a couple of hours last night. And the only black person I had to deal with came up and dared me to try "The Star Spangled Banner", a song I'd not tried yet, and he sang along and it was pretty cool, actually. He had a bottle of Schapps, and I said, "You'll be Schnappin' and poppin" and that got a laugh and he offered me some but I said I was OK.