Saturday, February 10, 2018

Nigger-Rich Defined

  • 33 Dollar Friday Follows 169 Dollar Night
  • Bobby In Building C

I got back to the apartment about 9:30 PM, last (Friday) night. I had moved to outside the Uxi Duxi after they closed at 8 PM and worked another 45 minutes on yesterday's post.

I had a good mind to pack up and try to get the next bus into the Quarter.

I had a little bit of weed to smoke, needed batteries for my spotlight, but was otherwise equipped to go out and play decent strings and a decent harmonica, to see what kind of night would follow the 169 dollar outing of the night before. Was that a fluke, or would the Mardi Gras continue to be lucrative?

"You Did What?!?"

I stopped to see Bobby in building C, thinking that I would get a little more weed from him, and that I would offer to pay him his cost on it, since I had made some money.

When I had been totally broke and having 4 dollar nights, Bobby had given me a lot of weed.
When I had money, I offered to pay him his cost on it.

I can't afford his weed at its regular price of 20 dollars per gram. The alternative would be to get a 5 dollar sack of regular old house weed from the dealers in front of Banks Meat Store who allegedly sell it there.

I told Bobby that I had made 169 dollars the night before.

"You did what? What did you say?" He seemed so incredulous, that it became clear to me that he must think that I do nothing but go out and have 4 dollar nights.

"I got 169 bucks last night..."

"Are you gonna get the guitar out of layaway?"

And so, there it was. My initial thought was that he was irresponsible with money.
I have always liked Bobby.
What's not to like, one might ask.
He has given me plenty of weed, along with guitar strings, art supplies, etc...
And, he is basically in the process of buying me an electric guitar and amplifier, so I can make more money "out there."
Though, he encourages me to get off the street and at least try to play inside a club somewhere where I might get a "regular" 50 bucks a night, and where I would still have a tip basket in front of me where more could go.

I had to push away the initial thought that Bobby must be irresponsible when it came to finances, to even suggest that, after having the first really good night in 11 months (over a hundred bucks for the night) I throw the whole amount onto an electric guitar, that I won't be able to play right away, that I might not even enjoy playing (I haven't totally embraced the concept of electric instruments and "street music") and that I would have to scrap the past 6 years of learning of acoustic music to go ahead with.

Nigger Rich

That is what I have heard described as being "nigger-rich" -a derogatory term to describe people who wildly overestimate just how much money they have -usually someone who has never held more than a few hundred dollars in their hands their whole lives, who suddenly comes into maybe $20,000 due to a lottery win or an insurance settlement in their favor.

They then fancy that they are financially independent, super wealthy and ready to embark upon champagne wishes and caviar dreams.

But one of the keys is that their attitude towards money in general is that the lack of it had been causing them to feel "less than" and held down and they now view their windfall as a means to show off, pure and simple.

They might harbor the illusion that wealthy people have been actively flaunting their riches all along; with the intent of making others feel "less than." "I've got all this, but more pointedly, you don't!" type of thing.
The nigger-rich have the attitude that it is "their turn" to, I guess, make others feel "less than."
When I was in Army basic training and we were granted a 2 day "liberty," to leave the fort and, for most, go into San Antonio, Texas for the weekend; I returned with a photo of myself, taken at a certain studio of myself in "full uniform."
It was not my uniform but rather one off a rack of ones that the photographer had handy. The theory was that soldiers on liberty were not going to be in uniform, but might like a picture to send home of themselves in uniform, and what uniforms they had.
I was photographed in a jacket bearing the insignia of a highly decorated 4 star general, more of a costume outfit than anything.
But, when I got back to the fort, one of the black recruits, who was from the inner city of Detroit or something, I noticed looking at the glossy 8" X 11" photo of myself with the stars on my shoulders with a kind of baleful envy.
I had no idea what was going on in his head, but another more worldly black guy from Detroit also, approached the kid and informed him: "You can get one of those. You can go to the same place and get one for yourself."
It was then that my eyes were opened to the fact that some African Americans from impoverished backgrounds had apparently been brain-washed into thinking that some things were only for white people -unavailable to the black man.
 

But, the nigger-rich (a play on the term "nouveau riche") see money as not a medium for exchange, but as a medium for showing off.
  
Maybe they want to prove to themselves that they can have things that they previously thought were only for white people, by buying them, whether they really want them or not.

They are the types that will buy a gallon of Hennessy brandy and make sure that they place the bottle on the top of their car, wherever it's parked.

It would be parked somewhere where it and the bottle could be plainly seen.

It is designed to make the statement of "Yeah, this is how I live! I'm a special person, note the bottle!" to other materialistic black people, and to attract equally materialistic black women (because it works, for reasons beyond the scope of this post).
And in the mind of nigger-rich people who happen to be black, to piss off white people, in whom they imagine will foment the attitude of: "Where the hell did that nigger get his hands on a gallon of Hennessey, that shit's expensive!"


These are the types of people who can't really taste the difference between that expensive brandy and the 8 dollar a pint stuff that they normally swill down. They will also try to keep the grimace off their face when eating caviar in front of whomever they are strutting their wealth for.

They will grossly underestimate just how long the amount of money will support this kind of life-style, or never do the math at all, and do things like buying the biggest and best of everything "give me that deluxe one, fuck it!," and do things like tossing the warranty, as well as important information in the trash along with the rest of the packaging in their haste to get to showing off the product.
Important information like "You must ride very slowly for the first 600 miles to give the gaskets a chance to become seated properly -revving over 3,000 rpm before the engine has been properly broken in can seriously damage it."
"I don't need to read all this; I know how to ride a motorcycle," the nigger-rich guy might say before peeling off in the parking lot of Sky Cycle then racing down the street.
When they return the bike a couple days later because "they's somethin' wrong with this one," and are told that they can't get a replacement because they had voided the warranty, this will awaken latent thoughts such as "this is just another way that 'they' screw over the black man, voided warranty, it's always somethin' like that!" and will probably produce the platinum card that still has a lot on it, but he's not exactly sure how much, and say: "Fuck it, I'll just buy me another one, how's that? You weren't expecting me to say that, I bet!" Give me that black one over there, no; make it the red one! You don't know what kind of nigga you're dealing with!"
Yes I do, one that's nigger rich.


One that's going to be riding a motorcycle that's blowing thick blue smoke out the tailpipe in short order.
This is the description given to me by my redneck friends in Florida.

I told Bobby that my spending a quarter of what I made the night before on a big ol' sack of the most expensive weed would be comparable to that.

As would running to the music store for an electric guitar be, when I need toilet paper and light bulbs.

Then I would have an electric guitar and no amplifier...and nobody to show it off to.

Bobby means well. He thinks that the sooner I get out there playing a loud guitar, the sooner I will start making 4 times as much as I am now. And he is right, in a sense, but just doesn't see the whole picture.

"Oh, no, this is just back-fill," I told him, and then explained that I have fallen so far behind that a lot of the money has to be used to catch me up on everyday things like light bulbs, cleaning supplies, and to supplement the food stamp money which has almost run out already, one week into the month.

He seemed to be upset about the fact that I wasn't going to use the money from my first good night in a while on the electric guitar, almost as if I wasn't willing to pull my weight. "I'll help you get an amp for it," he said. ...and a bike and a trailer to pull the stuff behind me....

That almost turned into an argument, as the clock ticked away on a Friday night.

Eventually, I just wanted to get a little bit of bud and get out of there.

"20 Dollars!," barked Bobby, as he handed me what he had been charging me only 5 bucks for, when I was out there, struggling.
There was anger in his voice.

I felt like I had made a mistake in telling him about the 169 bucks I made.

It is not an indication that I have "started to make money again," and everything is going to be smooth sailing from here on.

I wound up paying him full price for a bud of weed, feeling like I did after I had told the food stamp people that I made "a little bit of money" busking, and was subsequently "rewarded" with a letter a few days later telling me that my food stamps are to be cut by 65 bucks a month. Congratulations on your finding a way to make a little bit of money...
 
I told Bobby that he was making me feel like the food stamp people.

He seemed to understand it from this perspective.

It's like when you go to jail in some states. If you have money on you, they will confiscate it from you in order to cover "administrative fees," then you become just as indigent as the others, who get to stay for free.

How well the guy whose money was confiscated will sleep, knowing that he has paid his administrative fees, is hard to say.

"I need to take about 40 dollars to get a new harmonica, so it will be easier for me to busk up the money for an amp to go with the electric guitar."

I was able to calm Bobby down by telling him that "the way I spend money" was never to throw all of the money I had into anything. "I would wait until I had about 500 bucks before I spent 165 of it on anything..." Very few things are worth every cent you have to your name. (Crack cocaine doesn't count...)

1 comment:

alex carter said...

My understanding is, the saying means, you're used to getting by on very little money, so when you come upon some paltry amount, say $20, you feel rich.