Blackhumouristpress's Blog

August 27, 2013

Separate and Equal

“So wait a minute? You telling me that my friend is not allowed in here?”
The manager wore a thin suit with a thin tie. His hair was combed back with a grease based hair trainer and he was nervously chewing his gum, with his arms folded.
“Hey Mack… It may not feel like it to you but this is the south and the powers that are around here look the other way to what we have here so long as we don’t rock boats. You follow me?”
“Tens of thousands of Negroes are teaming around this town to get civil rights, voting rights, jobs and so forth and you won’t a let a Negro have a beer at your bar? This is crazy. You got a bar full of queers hiding the fact that they’re queer and they all hate that they gotta live double lives but there’s no fraternal bond here, eh?”
The upscale bar frequented by well to-do white men, was a nice place that had live Jazz most nights and a cigar room for men to pick out cigars, have a cognac and get to meet other professional men. You know… The musicians, the patrons, the bartender and all the male waiters all stopped dead in their tracks and watched in shock and astonishment the fact that a black man had entered the discrete bar and sat down at the bar as if he were white. Men whispered to one another. Was this another Woolworth lunch counter gimmick? A black man asks to be served just because he’s in a white establishment. Gay or not.
The bartender wouldn’t approach Clarence or Tom. Everyone in the bar was aware of the large gathering of blacks in town and the speech by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The wealthy, white, gay patrons had their own crosses to burn. Most were indifferent to the plight of blacks but didn’t necessarily feel solidarity with them over discrimination.
“Listen, if it means so much to you to have a drink with your friend, get a room and a six pack and work it out yourself. This is a business and I wanna stay in business… You follow me? So if there are those willing to look the other way on something’s but not others, I gotta respect that and as the owner of this place, you have to live with what I tell you. So hit the bricks. If you two can do this in Milwaukee or Minnesota, god bless you. End of conversation. Now get going.”
Clarence and Tom walked out of the bar and into a black Ford sedan. Tom lit a cigarette as Clarence drove. Clarence hit the pre-set buttons on their government issued automobile to a black radio station that was playing doo-whop. Tom thought to himself and then laughed.
“I dunno if we were believable as a mixed queer couple. Maybe the queers got some kind of hand signal or code words that they use with each other to identify other queers like the Masons or Elk. All I know is that for whatever reason J. Edgar is very concerned that queer joints don’t start allowing blacks in them. I can’t figure out the work detail sometimes. We got a million out of town people that are probably all communist and we’re going into a god damn gay bar to make sure black fags are not drinking with white ones… Pull over to that diner. I love their hamburgers.”
It was a diner in an all white part of town that blacks just knew that they weren’t allowed into. No signs just the unwritten look of disapproval let any blacks know that being served at the white restaurant, frequented by whites for whites, was not worth forcing the issue.
“I’m only gonna be twenty minutes or so. You wanna wait here and I’ll bring you out a burger, Clarence?”
“Naw… No need. There is a place better than this one where I can set my black ass down comfortably and eat like a human… I’ll see you in an hour. We can go in after that and write the report about tonight’s findings.”
“Ok … See you soon.”

August 20, 2013

When Pigs Flew Over Detroit

Filed under: Detroit,humor,Short Story — blackhumouristpress @ 6:17 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,

At 4:42 am on a July morning, angry clouds swirled and twisted as the sun behind a curtain of storm cover, began to light the sky. A loud boom and a flash of lightning hit the Fisher Body 21 building and illuminated it like a Christmas tree for a solid ten seconds. It was so beautiful to see the mother of all Detroit structural eyesores, shine as though rapture was going to take place at the site where chassis for Cadillac’s prestigious cars were once made. It has since become a haven for urban dwellers that tag walls and break windows, those who harvest metal to earn money and those without a place to live.
A semi carrying canisters of nitrous oxide slammed into the back of a livestock transporter full of pigs being taken to slaughter to make things like bacon, bacon dates, bacon bits, canned hams, ham sandwiches and so forth. The livestock transporter swayed hard to the left and then back to the right until the back end swung around and knocked the cab on its side. Sparks flew as the two large vehicles slid for the length of two football fields. A motorcyclist hit a large sow that had been released from the carriage and was running toward the motorcycle. It took several seconds for the brain of the motorcyclist to accept that a herd of pigs were running full boat towards him at daybreak, with a really angry sky and cars dodging animals and other cars on interstate 75. The motorcyclist hit a pig and flew over cars, over the barrier wall for the freeway and experienced the sensation of flying down a rollercoaster until he landed on the back of a scavenger’s truck that just happened to be driving under the freeway, filled with metal and a bedbug infested mattress to break his fall and save his life.
A car full of potential terrorists that had flown from the middle east to Canada, had hit some strip clubs and Caesar’s Windsor casino before crossing the bridge to America to punish Americans for infidelity to god, over indulgence and a lack of discipline and morals, for their weaknesses in giving in to cravings and twisted sexual desires and the idiocy of what they have seen on satellite television on Maury Povich’s paternity and infidelity shows. Infidels to be sure.
The church bus on the way to a retreat in the Upper Peninsula hit a two hundred pound plus hog and propelled it through the air and through the windshield belonging to the men on a mission to punish Americans for being Americans. They took it as a sign from Allah that maybe they were doing the wrong thing. They rationalized that if during a severe storm, Allah sends a pig through your windshield, forcing you to touch a forbidden and dirty, bloody animal during Ramadan, and then maybe it would be best to return home or at least back to Windsor.
A notoriously morally corrupt state trooper who had a knack for stopping attractive young women who were sure to be given a DUI for leaving the casinos drunk in the early morning hours, was touched by the storm and ensuing calamity of flying and running pigs, car crashes and leaking nitrous oxide. The truck with nitrous oxide that hit the livestock truck that caused the motorcyclist to fly onto a bed on the back of a beat up old truck, which distracted the church bus driver, who hit a pig that sent the pig through the windshield of wannabee terrorists (you’re not actually a terrorist unless you’re successful) who then hit the state trooper’s vehicle that was parked on the shoulder while he received oral sex from a young woman who could never have afforded the $10,000.00 in fees for a DUI, all exited their cars and watched the former Marine turned state trooper, walk through the pile up of cars with his zipper down and his bloody detached cock in his hand. The youth pastor of the church bus that was on it’s way to bring troubled inner city youth to a place they could have only dreamed of, exited the bus through a window and began to scream at the clouds. The minister truly believed that Christ had returned and took what he needed and had left the rest for Satan to sort out. The minister tried to quickly reason why it was that he had come up short. Was it the underage girl he had a relationship with when he was young and impressionable at the tender age of thirty-four? Was it the years of anti-war protests, LSD and free love back during the Vietnam days?
“You cannot leave me! I have walked the path I was shown and have shared your message for you. I have acknowledged my sins and have asked you to become my personal savior. How could you forsake me?”
The wannabee terrorists, the church campers, the truck drivers all stood around as the skies poured rain, became windy and brought about hail. Within minutes, the skies cleared and the nitrous oxide leaked and was inhaled by all that converged around the trucks. At first a few people near the leaking tanks of laughing gas, began to giggle and then others whose days and lives were temporarily ruined came over to see if the group of people were laughing or crying.
By the time the paramedics arrived, they found a rather diverse group of stunned people laughing and hugging one another. No apocalypse, no rapture, just a really bad start to a day in July. A day when pigs flew over Detroit.

August 13, 2013

When Maeve Met Medgar

“So if you cannot see, what can you describe to me to help me understand what you know about the color black? As in black people. I’m so interested to hear what you have to say.”
A beautiful young blond and blind woman happened to plop down at the first table she could find at the food court in a mall she had never been to before. She was pouring water into a bowl for her seeing-eye dog. A tall man was eating an ice cream for 49 cents from Mc Donald’s. Medgar loved eating soft serve ice cream going back to the days when he would visit his grandmother in Mississippi in summer months and take pocket change with him and his cousin to the Tastee-Freeze.
Maeve was dropped off by her aunt’s caretaker who was livid that the woman she had cared for, for close to thirty years while she declined with Alzheimer’s, willed her small fortune to her blind niece from Detroit. Aside from assuming that she would inherit the home and money for being a friend and constant companion, Sarah had a thing against German Sheppard dogs whether they were seeing-eye dogs or not. Sarah was Jewish and lost relatives in death camps at the hands of Nazi in Germany. As a girl, Sarah heard stories of German Sheppards snarling and biting hiding Jews in cities in Germany. Oddly enough, Sarah’s great-grandfather was a man who was responsible for creating chemical warfare during World War I and a pesticide called Zyclon A that was eventually modified to kill humans in Nazi death camps and renamed Zyclon B. Sarah was related to that unique man attributed to a lot of death during two world wars. A definite player in human history, German history, modern warfare and a German Jew.
In any event, Maeve would inherit a large Frank Lloyd Wright home in Oak Park, Illinois, Sarah the Caretaker and a few million dollars after the death of her wealthy aunt. The end was drawing near and so Maeve moved from her small apartment in suburban Detroit to suburban Chicago. One warm summer day, Sarah dropped Maeve off at a indoor mall in a lower economic area that had very few Caucasians milling about to buy gaudy t-shirts, cheap jewelry, gym shoes and hip-hop wear. Maeve was told by Sarah that the mall was a nice mall, with nice people just like at home in safe, homogenous Troy, Michigan which is a good fifteen miles from the muck and mire of inner city Detroit.
Maeve, unbeknownst to her, plopped down at the same table as the ice cream eating Medgar. Medgar startled Maeve by speaking to her.
“What a beautiful dog you have, Miss…”
“Oh! I’m sorry; I didn’t know this table was taken. I’ll take another.”
“No need, no need. I’m just sitting here enjoying an ice cream and some air conditioning. Can I buy you an ice cream?”
“Thank you kindly. I am on a strict diet. I’m trying to eat as healthy as possible. I have done research on partially hydrogenated products that are the causes of heart disease. I’m trying to stay away from anything with too many additives. This is my first week in Chicago and I’m truly lost here. I told Sarah that I visited the Summerset Mall in Troy, Michigan nearly everyday. So she decided to bring me here. Is this a nice mall?”
“Well, malls are malls, Right?”
In Troy, the mall had a glass atrium with faux palm trees and resembled a place in Dubai. The mall had granite floors polished so that one could see their reflection and was as clean as if it had just opened. It housed five star restaurants and top shelf department stores. The mall near Berwyn, Illinois catered to lower economic people. There was an all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet and all the fast-food kiosks that one would find out on the boulevard. People were obese and poor and people of color by in large. Maeve didn’t learn this during her first visit. Medgar, a sensitivity trainer for union workers who were disciplined for racial slurs, was between classes. Most of Medgar’s clientele were white, blue collar, under educated and under cultured, suckled from the tit racists with a fear and disdain of others unlike them. In order to keep their union jobs, they would need to take fifty-hour courses that illustrated the fact that all Americans were immigrants and that all immigrants had taken their turns as the lowest rung on the ladder. There were also testimonials from Asians, Hispanics and African-Americans who had been discriminated against. Most whites left more resolved in their racism but they learned to keep their racism private at work.
“Black… Hmm… Dismal, dank, despair, no light.”
“Light? What is light? “
“Something warm like the sun. I can feel the sun. The sun feels light and airy. The smell of trees and flowers. At night, it is cold and I hear the night is black and black is cold and it doesn’t have sun and warmth… You know?”
“Forgive me for asking but I just think it is so interesting to speak to some who is visually challenged…”
“Visually challenged? Please… That is insulting. I’m blind not stupid.”
“Okay, as you wish… Blind. It is interesting to hear what the blind perceive.”
“I see… Sorry, I hear that all the time. Just thought I would use that phrase even though I can’t actually see.”
“Ha… I got it… So Detroit. Motown. What was that like? Lots of black in Detroit.”
“I was born in the city of Detroit and never went back. All I heard was how screwed up Detroit was going back to the riots after Martin Luther King Jr. From what I hear and know, Detroit was like Rhodesia and has become Zimbabwe and there were too many Robert Mugabe like mayors that ran the city into the ground instead of a Nelson Mandela.”
“That is an interesting analogy. Detroit went from being a prosperous white city to a bankrupt black city. What do you think will save Detroit?”
“White people, white money. It’s okay to have a black city but you cannot exist without whites. I have studied the differences between Chicago and Detroit and the whites have not abandoned Chicago.”
“Did you know that Chicago had a few black mayors?”
“Yes. Did those mayors work with whites?”
“You got me there, Maeve… I am so glad that our paths crossed today. It has been so interesting to me to get your point of view. You being blind and discussing your views is like me being at a dinner party and being invisible. Just listening and taking it in. Good luck here in Chicago.”
Sarah was standing off to the side listening and watching the interchange between a good-looking black man and a good-looking white woman, Maeve. When Medgar departed, Sarah approached Maeve.
“I didn’t hear everything that transpired between you and the gentleman at your table but I do want to make you aware that he was a black man. Did you know that? Did he tell you he was black?”
Maeve furrowed her brow. She felt duped and used. Every black man she had come across in the past had a pseudo, bastardized Deep South accent. Medgar didn’t sound like Amos or Andy. He sounded white as if a color could have a sound. Maeve was embarrassed by the assumption that she was speaking to a white man and ashamed to admit it to Sarah who had been less than nice to here during the short amount of time she had been living with her and her aunt. Sarah asked Maeve what he sounded like to her. Maeve gave a snide answer.
“Well Sarah… He sounded much taller than he looked to me. Can we go home now?”

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