Blackhumouristpress's Blog

August 27, 2018

Make Believe

 

Kurt ran the plates of the young woman who was swerving while texting in an old Buick.  The car’s registration was expired, the driver’s license was expired and she had no insurance.  She cried as he explained to her that she would be ticketed and the car towed.

“If I had the money for insurance and to get the license tag renewed, I would have done it.  I am flat broke right now until I get my first check.  If you would find it in your heart to let me park here and take the bus home, I will get someone to take me in and register the car…”

Kurt, a police officer used to dealing with so much gang violence on Chicago’s west side, actually felt bad for the young lady.  It did not hurt that she was fit and pretty, dressed well and her car was clean and did not smell of booze or weed.

“Okay Ms. Tonisha…  I will let you get this automobile home without towing or ticketing you.  You have to get everything in order.  The next cop you come across will not be so kind…  I have a favor to ask of you and you do not have to say yes.  There is no gun to your head figuratively speaking of course…”

Now Tonisha felt that white people were the devil and those they were all of privilege, responsible for slavery and for all the misfortunes of the black community and the world.  Only thing worse than a white man was a white male cop.  She saw them as predatory profilers.  Kurt while driving his beat, thought that many blacks were animals that preyed on each other and pointed everywhere except at themselves over problems in their community.  Like most people, Kurt didn’t see himself as racist.  He has a black friend he drinks with that also is a cop and a former soldier.  Every white person has a black friend and they often begin a sentence while speaking to black people by saying- I have a black friend…  Kurt was never drawn to black women particularly but saw how beautiful Tonisha looked and thought hanging with her for the night would be fun and really amusing. The thought came to Tonisha that he was going to ask for a sexual favor.  She hit the record button on her phone.  The question was weird but there was an opportunity to make some money.

Kurt showed up at the banquet hall in a convertible Jeep in a suit, Tonisha in a tight fitting black dress, with pearls to contrast against the tight velvet dress.

“All you have to do is roll with me…  I want to have fun with this all tonight,” said Kurt.

Kurt was fit for a man of nearly 50 years of age.  Kurt had not been to his previous 10 and 20-year reunions but told some old friends that he had lost contact with that he would come. Kurt didn’t believe in Facebook or Twitter and nobody really knew much about him.  He had attended a high school in a northern suburb north of Chicago, joined the military and then became a cop.  He grew up a hockey playing Punk Rock kid with a bald head, tight jeans, Doc Martin Boots, plain shirts with suspenders and hated the world.  He hated his mom for marrying a man he hated back then and the anger of Skinhead Punk Rock, appealed to Kurt.  Thirty years later, Kurt was still playing hockey, was divorced from his wife and living away from his children in another state.  Kurt had a great disdain for the people he went to high school with.  They made fun of the culture he had adopted and didn’t accept him in their circles of friends.  Even the guys on the hockey team felt he was a weirdo albeit a good player.  Kurt put his nametag on and one for Tonisha.  Kurt gave Tonisha his last name on the tag.

“Do you like Champagne?”

“Um…  Hell yes.”

A group of men who used to be on the hockey team were sitting at a table together with their wives.  Kurt walked up and pulled the chair out for Tonisha and then pushed the chair in.

“Wow…  Thirty years…  My god, where has the time gone?  Toni…  These are all guys I told you about that I played high school hockey with…  Lester, Tom, Jim, Horse…  You don’t wanna know why we called him horse…  Bill the goalie.”

Tonisha could feel all the eyes of people old enough to be her parents, burning into her.  The men were thinking that he had managed to land a very pretty, young, black woman… Black woman.  They knew that Kurt was one of those bald kids who hated everything and everyone back in the day.  The Skinheads hated everyone who was not like them and thirty years later, their star defenseman married a black woman?  No way.  After drinks and more drinks, some dancing and then dinner, the questions started coming.

“Toni was driving fast…  I mean really fast.  Texting, swerving, changing lanes without signals, blowing red lights just to get away from me…  Because I’m a police officer, not just some crazed white dude after a pretty African-American princess…  Naw…  I’m just kidding.  She has a thing for ice hockey players and white dudes in general and she happened to be at the rink watching another white dude that she broke up with to be with me.  After a few years, we married and have… two girls…  Twins.”

The women looked at the young woman with a waist the size of a neck and wondered how she got that figure back.  The women there were older, lumpier, wrinkled and Kurt looked like the fountain of youth with a shapely and pretty young thing that would jump-start any man’s libido.  When the night was over, Kurt stopped at a pizza place that never closes in Berwyn and in fancy clothes; they stopped to have a slice of pizza each.  After hours of dancing and drinking, they had worked up an appetite.  Tonisha talked about mundane things with Kurt as they laughed and ate but she had to know why Kurt went through such an elaborate lie with people he used to know.  Tonisha stood to earn $100.00 and keep the clothes he purchased for her and yet she had to know his reasoning for such a bizarre night.

“Those people all live in a Facebook world.  They might take forty pictures of their annoyed wife and kids but they post that one where everyone smiles and looks happy to be together on vacation somewhere.  I’m so happy for you that your kid got a trophy or that you’re at the Grand Canyon…  That’s fantastic…  Why should I give a good goddamn?  It’s not real.  You never hear that their lives are fucked up and that they are stressed out, maxed out on credit cards and suicidal.  They want each other to think everything is fabulous.  I was interested to see if I look as bad, better or the same as those fucks.  I’m trying really hard to fight the effects of aging.  It was purely scientific.  I appreciate your help with this whole make believe night.  I know it’s silly but I really wanted to put on a show for these people tonight.  What are they saying to on another on the way home?  Wow, she is so young, so beautiful and so… Not white.  I may never see them again in my life but I left them wondering…  Come on, I’ll take you home.  Your mom is probably waiting at the window to make sure the cop didn’t kill you…”

Kurt flipped channels as he pet his dog that was sleeping on the couch beside him.  Baseball highlights, hurricane footage from Hawaii.  Kurt was drifting off to sleep when his cell phone buzzed.

I HAD A GREAT TIME TONIGHT.  MAYBE WE ARE FROM DIFFERENT WORLDS AND MAYBE THAT’S NOT BAD.

 

YER WELCOME.  YES.  DIFFER WORLD NOT A BAD THING

 

After close to a half hour a response from Tonisha came in.

I WOULD NOT MIND GOING OUT AGAIN IF YOU WOULD WANT.  I CAN GET BABYSITTING FOR THE TWINS ANYTIME ; )

 

Kurt responded immediately.

 

I WOULD REALLY LIKE THAT.  REALLY I WOULD : )

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July 26, 2018

John Hughes Gone Wrong

Around the time that John Hughes was getting ready to write Sixteen
Candles and pick the homogenous, insulated, sanitized suburb of
Chicago, Luke was about to have a party in a less idyllic Chicago
hamlet.
“It’s fucking selfish of you to not have a party.  Your parents are
in Sweden for two fucking weeks?  Come on, don’t be a fag… If
something goes wrong, we have two weeks to fix anything that could go
wrong,” said Patrick.
Patrick looked middle aged as a junior in high school and because of
his height and receding hairline covered by a black bowler hat; he
could easily pass for 25.  The Korean liquor store clerk questioned
Patrick’s age when he came in to order the keg.
“License!  This is horse shit!  I fucking come in all the time and
buy from you people and now you wanna see my license?  Fuck it, we’re
outta here…  We’ll go buy somewhere else.”
The smiling older Oriental man and they were Oriental back then,
grabbed Patrick’s arm and told him it was okay.

Patrick sat shotgun in Luke’s mother’s 1979 Buick Regal.  It had a
nice stereo and a cassette player.  The song, House of Fun by Madness
was blaring in a distorted way.  Patrick wore a white dress shirt with
the sleeves cut off and a thin black tie under a suit jacket that had
the sleeves removed.  Luke wore a black pork pie hat and a white Fred
Perry shirt, jeans and penny loafers, in the back seat was Tom and
Craig who dressed equally as “Rude” Ska loving Rude Boys.  Patrick saw
Joey Dee’s car up ahead and told Luke to speed up.  Joey Dee owed
Patrick some money and he wanted to collect.  Just like in the movies,
Luke drove fast through side streets chasing Joey Dee in a Chevy Nova.
Joey panicked and hopped the curb and drove through a park, sending
moms and children scurrying in the mid-day summer sun.  Luke followed
and exited the park, swerved to avoid an oncoming car and hit an elm
tree at 35 mph.  The tree shook a tiny bit.  The car was cleaved a bit
right up the middle of the hood.  The four occupants of the vehicle
were involuntarily propelled through the windshield.
“Oh fuck!  I am fucked!  Look at this fucking car!”
Thomas had not said much up until this point.  After checking their
scalps for cuts from the windshield, Tom had a solution.
“Let’s get this fucking thing out of here.  We’ll park it somewhere,
go to the mall, call the police and tell them that we saw some blacks
creeping around the lot and that we think they stole it.”
Luke drove the car looking through a hole caused by his own head.
There were three other holes and then the windshield looked like a
kaleidoscope.  Before all the fluids drained out of the car, Thomas
parked the car and they all piled into Patrick’s car and went to the
mall.  It took the City of Chicago Police thirty minutes to arrive.
Luke looked distraught; the other three were nice and cool. That was
not difficult seeing that it wasn’t there car.  The cops asked what
happened.  Patrick and Thomas took turns giving their thoughts on who
stole the car.
“We saw two young Canadians looking going up and down the aisles
looking into cars,” said Thomas.
“Um Canadians?”
“You know… Porch monkeys, spear chuckers…  Colored folks…  Negros.”
“Okay…  I follow you now.  Anything else you wanna call them besides black?”
“No, I guess you know now.”
“Right…  So what did these two look like?”
Luke and Craig had eyes wide open like Buckwheat while Thomas and
Patrick spoke calmly and openly the way they thought two white cops
might appreciate.
“Um…  As you can see, it’s dark in the garage here.  They were young,
skinny and black.  One was wearing a Walter Payton Jersey and the
other had on a Bulls tank top.  I think he had on an Artis Gilmore
jersey or some shit… We’re pretty sure they stole the car.”
Patrick dropped Thomas, Luke and Craig at Luke’s house.  They carried
all the living room furniture into the garage to make way for the Ska
band that was going to be playing later that night.  Plans were set,
there was to be a party with maybe twenty people, booze, chicks.  Luke
had to figure out how he was going to keep the dog and his
grandfather, a World War I veteran in the basement.  Luke found the
key to the door leading to the basement and locked his grandfather in
the basement with the family dog.  The band set up, people began to
file in and be the time the sunset, there were close to a hundred
people in the house, the backyard, the front yard and on neighbor’s
yards.  The Punk Rockers showed and stood with folded arms and
listened to the band, while the Rude Boys skanked around in a style of
dance only seen at Ska shows.  The Italians showed and began to push
people around.  A big guy named Sal walked around ripping on everyone
at the party that had that new wave look.  The Punks stood up to the
Italians; the Italians began punching the Punks.  The Rude Boys jumped
in to help the Punks.  In all of the wrestling and punching, the keg
got knocked over and cracked the tile on the kitchen floor.  A few
minutes later, the police showed up and cleared out the party.  What
remained was Luke, his three friends and his grandfather who he had to
present to the police to prove that there was an adult in the home.
“Jesus Christ!  I think you broke that Hi-Fi.  It was damn loud up
here and the dog shit on the floor.”
“Sir…  Are you his grandfather?”
“Why yes I am…  Is there some sort of problem, officer?”
“No, sir…  No problem…  Hey kid, no more noise tonight, got it?”
“Yes sir…  We won’t sir.”
There was a sanitary device that clogged the toilet, foot prints on
the wall, cracked tiles in the kitchen and a destroyed car claimed to
be stolen by imaginary black people.  Craig took out two mason jars of
hooch moonshine purchased in Tennessee.  The boys mixed it with fruit
punch while listening to Blank Expression by The Specials on the
Hi-Fi, which was not broken. Luke had a few sips and then hooked the
dog onto the leash to take him for a walk.  The Doberman Pincher
barked for a solid four hours before becoming incensed and shit on the
laundry room floor.  Luke thought about everything that transpired
through out the day as the dog, which walked ahead of him along the
dark sidewalk.  The dog near bushes lunged and grabbed something and
began to shake it.  After a few seconds, the dog dropped what he had
in his mouth.  A white stripe on a small animal trotted away.  A skunk
sprayed both Luke and the dog.  The dog was rubbing his eyes, snorting
and flapping his head.  Luke came into the house barefoot and in his
underwear to get all the tomato sauce he could find to slather on
himself and the dog in the backyard.  The scent of skunk hit the trio
getting loaded up on homemade booze.  Luke went back in the backyard
and covered himself and the dog in sauce designed for pasta.  After
about an hour, Luke came in to find Craig and Thomas still drinking
and Patrick passed out on his stomach.  Patrick snored and wheezed.
Luke kicked Patrick hard once to wake him but he was truly passed out.
Luke left the room and came back with a blue rubber glove that his
mother used to wash dishes and a large jar of Vick’s Vapor Rub.  Luke
hiked Patrick’s pants far enough down to expose his large buttocks.
He then took his middle finger in the rubber glove and slammed it in
the Vicks.  Craig and Thomas laughed knowing what was coming next.
Patrick moaned as the rubber glove entered his anus.  Luke slipped his
hand out of the glove and left it in Patrick’s ass.  Luke calmly spoke
to his other friends.
“I’m fucked.  The house is fucked, the car is fucked and now
Patrick’s ass is fucked too…  I got another glove.  Either of you two
assholes want Vicks up your ass too?”
The four fell asleep on the living room floor until the sun was high
in sky.  After getting slapped by Patrick in the face with the glove,
they set about to touch up the paint on the walls, move an area rug to
cover the cracked tile, fish out the rag flushed down the toilet and
return the furniture to where it once stood.  A few days later, Luke’s
parents returned from Europe and slowly learned about everything that
happened including the theft of their car.  The insurance company
called to tell Luke’s father that they had found the car, there was
damage but it would be fixed.  Luke’s father, an intelligent man
looked at the car and told Luke what he thought.
“You know what I think?”
“What?”
“Here’s what I think…  You went joy riding and racing around in this
car with let’s see here… yourself and 1,2,3 other friends and you hit
a tree…  There’s tree bark in the grill.  One of you Einsteins came up
with the idea to claim it was stolen.  The cops and the insurance
company bought it but I’m not sold on that story.  You then had a
party.  You had a keg and cracked my kitchen tile…  You locked the dog
in the basement with grandpa, the party got out of control.  The cops
came and broke it up…  Am I close?”
Luke was so impressed with his father’s deductions that he admitted
to all.  Rather than yelling or slapping his son, he said nothing more
thing before they got back in their other functioning car and drove
home.  It was a very un-John Hughes ending for Luke and yet
unforgettable.

November 25, 2015

Between Calais et Marseille

Seth knew he was an atheist at a young age.  Being half Jewish and half Muslim left him no choice but to be an atheist out of fear that he might have developed two personalities, each a different religion and wind up attacking himself.  It was upon the death of his father around the age of ten that Seth’s mother dropped the bomb of his life on him.

“Chaim was a very good man and he loved you like a son…”

“Mom?  Wouldn’t he love me like a son if he was my dad?”

“If he was your dad…  But he wasn’t.”

It was with that conversation that Seth learned that his real father was a handsome Algerian man who spoke perfect French, owned a restaurant and had a thing for Seth’s mother.  Soon after conception, Seth biological father sold his restaurant and moved to France, leaving Seth’s mother with an issue- a pregnancy from an affair.  Seth’s mother led her husband Chaim to believe that Seth was his son and so everyone lived happily ever after.  For about 10 years.

Seth learned to play the guitar and he liked to write poetry.  As he grew older he became aware of the world around him and became more and more socially and politically aware.  Seth had a job at an independent coffee shop where he strummed his songs and read his poetry and held meetings of like- minded people.  These like-minded people protested things like the World Trade Organization, police brutality, gay rights, transgender rights, rights of prisoners and most recently, rights of refugees to live democratically free with all the rights bestowed upon born Americans at birth.  Seth was approached by a French student who happened to be at the coffee shop the night that Seth was performing some of his acoustic songs about bringing refugees home to their home away from home in America.  It was all set up for Seth.  The French student contacted someone who knew someone who was putting together a peace rally to raise money for Syrian refugees living in tents near Calais, France.  Seth was to be flown, fed, paid and put up for a weekend in France for a festival.  Seth would be given a 30 minute acoustic set on a Friday, Saturday and Sunday, get paid and return to the United States.  It was a dream come true for pretty much a closet musician who wrote songs that almost nobody ever heard.

Seth arrived in Paris with his acoustic guitar and a back pack.  He wore a pork pie hat and loose clothing.  Seth wanted to try Absinthe while in Paris since he was a huge Hemingway fan.  After several drinks of Absinthe and a discussion with the English-speaking bartender on what life might have been like for Hemingway, Seth was as they say- fucked up.  Seth staggered to the train station and boarded a train for what he thought was headed to Calais on the far north of France near the Belgium border where battles to defeat fascism took place.  Instead Seth boarded a train headed for the far south city of Marseille.  Unbeknownst to Seth, while there was a huge peace rally designed to raise money for refugees fleeing Syria, there was a huge neo-Nazi, skinhead, National Front rally being held in Marseille.  It was at about 2:00am that Seth was awoken from a deep sleep by five British skinheads that were headed south in solidarity with their French fellow racists to be part of huge anti-immigration rally.  They grabbed his guitar case out of his hands and took it out of the case.  It took Seth a solid five seconds to figure out where he was, how he got there and what might be potentially going on.  The five bald young men in boots, tight jeans and bomber jackets studied the guitar.  They knew they were in the company of some sort of hippy, peace-loving American and they were going to make his night miserable if they were correct on profiling him.

“Oi mate…  What ave we here?  A guitar, is it?  Where you headed with this instrument, mate?”

Seth remembered getting his ass kicked by jocks over the years and knew a severe ass beating without any chance of anyone coming to his aid in a contained sleeping compartment could mean death.  Seth played it cool.

“I’m headed to the same place as you…”

The skinheads were a bit perplexed.  This thin smelly American in baggy clothes suitable for a street panhandler in Seattle did not quite look like what was going to be at the far right rally.  They studied the stickers on Seth’s guitar case.  There was a hope sticker with a picture of Obama, a rainbow sticker, equality sticker and several other very liberal looking stickers.

“What’s all this on your case, mate?  Looks loike you ave a strong loike for Obama and rainbows and such.  Did you get all this at skin rallies in the states?”

It was a coy question and Seth rolled with it.  Seth could read the looks on the five young men’s faces and knew the cat was going to have to bark like a dog if he wanted to get out of the dog pound safely.

“This case…  I bought this from a music store just before leaving the US.  I went to a pawn shop and bought it for really cheap.  I told the guy I needed a sturdy travel case for my guitar and he came up with this.  I literally bought this thing yesterday to make the trip.  I haven’t had time to take all the bullshit off that was put on by someone who used to own this.”

“No worries, mate.  We ave ands…  We can elp you with that…”

As the young men picked at the stickers with their thumb nails, took drinks from a bottle and became rowdy, one of them demanded Seth play them a song that he was intending to play at the rally.  Seth convinced them that he once was part of a Ska/Reggae band and was now a solo artist from the states who was for Donald Trump, sending Mexicans home, telling gays that they cannot get married and so on.  Seth was pretty convincing and he kind of needed to be.

“Shit…  Look at shit that Obama has got us into…  Trump is the answer to everything that’s fucked up in America right now.  I’m tired of the gays, ghetto rap, illegal immigrants, feminist, Obama loving liberal shit…  Yup, it’s time for a change.”

“Roight, mate…  So play us a li-ool something you came up with that you are thinking of playing in Marseille.”

Seth was quick on his toes to create something out of nothing.  He modified a strummy folk song he wrote called, “Bring Them Home” into a fast Ska tune called, “Send Them Home”.

It’s time to stand up and do the right thing maybe the white thing

They’re fucking here due to the Arab Spring and here’s the next thing- Send them home,

Send them home! We’ve fucking had enough- Send them home.

 

It was catchy and danceable and the English skins loved it.  One of them asked him to play another song.  Seth became nervous.  He blew his load on that one little ditty and didn’t quite have another bullshit song in him.  The thought suddenly came to Seth to sing The Marseillaise, the national anthem of France.  Seth learned it so that he could strum it and get everyone in Calais to sing along and then because they were as close as you could get to Great Britain, the national anthem of France would morph into, God Save the Queen.  Seth busted out another Ska beat and began to sing in French.

 

Aux armes, citoyens! Formez vos bataillons! Marchons! Marchons! Qu’un sang impur Abreuve nos sillons!

God save our gracious Queen Long live our noble Queen God save the Queen Send her victorious Happy and glorious Long to reign over us God Save the Queen!

The skins listened to the recognizable song in French and sang along to their own national anthem with arms around each other, drinking and shouting. When they arrived in Marseille, Seth was whisked up to a stage that Skinhead bands shared for the weekend long festival. The drunk British skins demanded that between sets that Seth be allowed to play his national anthem medleys and his anti-immigrant song. A barstool like seat was set up for him on a stage looking out at thousands of people. Seth was buzzed again from drinking with his new “mates” and played the songs without thought. The crowd of thousands began to gyrate to the song doing a Ska dance called a “skank”. It was surreal. Seth finished and was patted on the back and hugged. He drank with a bald girl with black lipstick at the festival who eventually fed him, shaved his head and fucked him several times in her hotel room. Seth woke early the next morning to find a bunch of skinheads laying around the hotel room on floors and couches. Next to him was the girl who made love to him and then another guy on the other side of her. Seth gathered his things and slipped out without awaking anyone. He bought a ticket for Calais and arrived a day and a half late. Seth was the second to last performer to sing his folk song for the refugees and those supporting the refugees. Seth looked out at the crowd of thousands who had smiles and were attentively waiting to hear his song, “Take Them Home”. Before going into the song, Seth pulled the microphone closer to his mouth and jokingly said a few words first.

“If you’re an American in Paris… Don’t drink Absinthe before departing for Calais… You might find yourself shaved bald on a train headed to Marseille instead… Long story but I’m here now…”

 

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