Blackhumouristpress's Blog

July 19, 2011

Ali/Babar and the Wife Thief

Filed under: Detroit,Ethnicity,humor,Oprah,Short Story,walmart — blackhumouristpress @ 5:15 pm
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Ali was born a full six minutes ahead of his twin brother Babar.  Mother decided that her boys would be A and B and so it was.  A and B’s father decided when they were young that there was a land of great opportunity and diversity where immigrants were accepted and could find work, this land was Canada of course.

            Ali and Babar were as identical as identical could be.  Their parents could only tell them apart as infants and toddlers by a small birthmark on Ali’s left butt cheek.  As time went on, Ali was the quiet, thoughtful and a methodical young boy that would construct buildings with Lego’s and Babar was the loud, busy child that would deconstruct things his brother created.  As time went on, Babar suspected that his parents favored his twin brother at every turn in the road.  When it came to time to find them each a wife, Babar was convinced his parents held Ali in higher esteem.  Babar was matched up with a woman nearly the same height as him who carried more than a few extra pounds who had to shave the hair on her rotund stomach.  She wheezed, chortled and drooled in her sleep and always smelled like salami.  His wife’s mother had accompanied her only child to Canada fromPakistan and so Babar had a package deal that he did not care for on top of all the quirks.

            Ali went to Queen’s University in Kingston,Ontario and landed a job with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.  Babar often joked with his brother that he wanted to come toOttawato see his brother on a strong black horse, dressed in a red suit.  Ali was not offended.  Ali’s wife had been a runner-up in the Miss Pakistani World contest in Mississauga,Ontario and was beautiful among beautiful women.  Babar was upset that his brother had a good government job and a hot wife who maintained her shapely physique despite having two children, while his wife appeared to have swallowed furniture after having just one child.

            Babar actually loved the freedom of being a cab driver.  Like most Canadian boys, Babar was hockey crazy.  Babar loved watching the sport and playing it.  Babar kept his goalie equipment in the trunk of his cab and would not take customers who needed the trunk for suitcases.  Babar played shinny and league games all overTorontoand in nice weather, he could be found playing cricket at a park here or there.  Having a smaller home and less prestigious job was the trade off for Babar who loved the freedom to do what he wanted at anytime.  Babar could live with all that.  Having a less desirable wife than his brother was something that was hard to absorb and after close to seven years of marriage, the reality that his wife was plain and heavy and his brother’s wife was stunningly pretty and fit, still was something that overtly bothered Babar.

            Babar was more Canadian than he was Muslim or Pakistani and so it came as a surprise to Babar’s extended family when he had made the announcement that he was going back toPakistanto become a better Muslim than he had been up to that point.  Babar made friends inPakistanand grew to hate the Americans like the rest of the world.  A persuasive older man had convinced Babar that he was the best candidate to go to Afghanistan to train to be a terrorist.  It sounded like a good idea at the time.  Train to do god’s work of stopping infidels who occupy the land of Allah and his messenger Mohammed. 

            Babar got into the best shape of his life running around in a part of the world that looked more like the moon.  Babar was sent back toPakistan and ordered to wait in a hotel room.  Three men picked up Babar and covered his head, whisked him away in a hot van to a room without windows where an intense older man with a beard, instructed Babar in English what it was that he had to do.

            “Have you been to Chicago in the United States, my brother?”

            “No sir, but it has an attractive lake front with a food festival in the summer that would be worth checking out if I had a week or so to spend away from home…”

            “Yes…  Well that can be arranged.  You will be picking up a Ford Flex at Pearson Airport that will be registered to you with Ontario plates.  We will need you to drive to Chicago and put the vehicle through the basement of what they now call the Willis Tower.  Most still refer to it as theSearsTower.  Same difference. It is on a South Wacker Drive.  You have to navigate your way to the lower Wacker in order to get to the parking structure that supports the entire building”

            “Am I to leave this car in the parking lot of the building?”

            “You are to drive this automobile at top speed into one of the supports of the building…”

            “And when do I bail out of the automobile?”

            “There is no bailing.  Thus shall it be.  You shall be paired with companions pure, most beautiful of eye.  In the gardens will be mates of the modest gaze that have never been touched…In other words, you get the virgins when you’ve completed the mission.”

            It was sort of a tough sell for Babar.  He undoubtedly felt that the talent in the afterlife had to be better than what he had at home.  One in seventy two had to be hot or at least beautiful to the eye.  Babar convincingly accepted the task of picking up a new Ford Flex stuffed with explosives and caesium-137 that had been purchased by a Russian cab driver who was actually Ukrainian but spoke only Russian because back in the old days, that is what everyone spoke.  This Russian cab driver used to be a scientist in the formerSoviet Unionand was able to steal enough of the radioactive material stored in lead cases to sell to crackpots for a good price.

            While Babar was on a long flight from Pakistan to Toronto, he thought about how he could get out of committing suicide.  After all, Babar didn’t hate Americans anymore than other Canadian citizens.  Americans were loud and fat and felt that they were the standard bearers of freedom and had won the Cold War through their brand of democracy and capitalism tinged with strategic economic imperialism.  Babar really wasn’t passionate about felling the largest building in the world that represented American greatness and strength.  Babar was just not that passionate about donating his life to the cause.  The wheels began to turn in Babar’s head and before long, Babar had devised a way to complete his mission and get his brother’s beautiful wife all at the same time.  All he would have to do is convince his twin to drive the Ford toChicago.  And rig the automobile to detonate from Toronto with his brother in the vehicle in Chicago.  Technology is wonderful.

            “I have never asked anything of you in my whole life.  All I am asking is that you drive this automobile for me toChicago.  Someone will meet you in downtown Chicago who is interested in buying this vehicle that I won in a hockey raffle.  I don’t need the car, I need the money. I cannot afford to make this trip right now.  You have the vacation time to do this for me. You park it in a parking structure and wait for my instructions.”

            Ali opted to do this for his brother.  Besides, he really wanted to visit Chicago to hear some Blues and eat some really good pizza.

  Ali had crossed the border at Windsor without much questioning just as the skies grew dark and angry.  Before Ali could change his Canadian currency into American greenbacks, it had begun to storm.  The wind was hurricane force and the sky was as dark as night.  Ali pulled off the highway in Detroit as the windshield wipers could not keep pace with the rain that came down as if he were in a car wash.  The streets in Detroit resembled rivers.  Ali had decided to pull off the highway until the rain let up when he hit a hole in the road that was caused by a Detroiter who had stolen the sewer cap to sell as scrap metal.  The scrap yard accepted the sewer cap even though it had stamped on it in clear letters, CITY OF DETROIT.  The new vehicle had extensive damage and made a wheezing sound like Babar’s wife as it chugged along at about 10 miles an hour or 6.2 kilometers per hour.

            Ali drove past many abandon homes and streets that had no homes as the sky began to clear up.  Off in the distance was a Walmart unlike any he had ever read about in the middle of nowhere Detroit.  This Walmart was the Disneyland of Walmarts.  There was daycare, eye care, auto care and a petting zoo within the building that stretched over a length of a city block.  Ali passed thousands of parked cars as the Ford Flex limped up to the auto center.  Upon lifting the auto up in the air, it was discovered that the shocks were shot and the frame was twisted. 

            Ali walked to a motel that rented by the hour or night.  The beds took quarters and the ceilings had mirrors.  Ali watched the BBC news on public television and drifted asleep.  It was early in the morning when he returned to the Walmart. Ali drank coffee in the waiting room of the Walmart auto service center watching re-runs of the Oprah Show when the explosion occurred.

             One of the mechanics took a torch to the shock and a frame support that had gotten crushed when the front wheel on the driver side fell inside a large hole.  Ali had been speaking on the phone when he hit hole at thirty miles an hour.   Ali nearly bit off his own tongue as his head hit the roof of the vehicle.

            The explosion was the loudest thing that anyone had ever heard before except for those that had served for their nation in places like Afghanistan or Iraq.  The sound was familiar to them and they knew that it wasn’t a gun shot or a back firing truck.  It was a homemade bomb.

            Babar took a train up to Ottawa and hung around a coffee shop until the news broke that there was terrorist act against the world’s largest Walmart.  The CBC showed pictures of stunned people crying and consoling each other while fire fighters tried to extinguish the smoldering mess that was once the grandest department store ever erected.  Babar wondered what had happened and what had gone wrong.  It made no difference to Babar either way.  A few Detroiters were interviewed near the scene.  One was a man who went by the name of Yates.

            “Itta damn shame actually…  You know how hard it was in the first place to get any kinda grocery stoh, dee-partment stoh and automotive stoh and what have you right here in inna city Dee-troit?  Shhh damn…  Come on, now.  Who gonna wanna come back now aftah this?  Terrorist don’t like no success.  Dee-troit was coming back.  People was working again and buying cars and now this.  We all gone hafta go north of 8 Mile again or buy all important stuff at liquor stores…  Ain’t right.  It like roaches, you think you got them all an then some somehow git into yo box of cereal. Bin Laden waddent the end.  He die and someone else grab the wheel and drive. I’m saddened by this today.  Damn shame….  Ain’t nothin else but a damn shame.”

            Now Babar had gotten a tattoo of a mole on his left ass cheek and purchased clothes that he knew his brother would wear.  He walked into his brother’s house with out Ali’s wife or kids batting an eye.  The dog knew his master by scent and snarled at the imposter.  Babar had to give the dog some treats just to calm him.  The wife clung to who she thought was her husband and tried to console him over the possible loss of his brother.

            “It is a shame really.  To think your brother, playing hockey, drinking and watching porn and he turns around in a short period of time to become a fundamentalist.   They say he is in intensive care and has no hearing and cannot remember who he is…  So sad.”

            Babar was hopeful that his brother might die or remain incapable of knowing who he was.  Babar rolled with it.  He made love to his sister-in-law five times the first day and four the next.  She had to leave home to shop just to keep who she thought was her husband off of her.  Everything was working out as planned until Monday morning came around and Babar arrived at work and showed his name tag and had to hold his hand over a scanner.

            “This crazy thing has been acting up lately, Ali…  Just go ahead, we’ll have this checked, eh?”  Said the guard.

            Ali worked in forensics for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.  In fact Ali or Babar was studying finger prints and did not have a clue what he was supposed to be looking for or what he had was supposed to have been working on the Friday prior.  Ali’s co-workers thought he was a bit out of it but understood since his brother had been part of a terrorist plot to destroy an American institution like Walmart.

            When Babar returned home that Monday evening, the land line rang.  His wife or sister-in-law answered the phone and had a look of relief and happiness as she listened to a doctor report’s that Babar or Ali actually, would live.  They suggested his twin come to Detroit to spend time with him in hopes of getting his memory back.  Ali’s heart sank but really it was Babar’s heart.  He wondered if he would wind up in a Canadian prison or an American prison or if the terror cell that paid him and trained him, would catch up with him and kill him.  Ali/Babar looked at his beautiful wife/sister-in-law and told her what he thought would be best given the situation; more sex.

            “I will go to Detroit to help my brother…  It is the best thing I could do now.  I think before I go though that we should probably…  Well you know…  One last, I mean more time before I go.”

            The beautiful woman became suspicious.  The unquenchable appetite for sex, the politeness, the indifferent attitude towards their children and the dog who constantly growled and snarled at Ali/Babar all indicated that Ali was not Ali actually.  An idea came to the beautiful woman.

            “It has been quite a long time since I’ve allowed you to have anal sex with me… I think since we may be apart for some time, anal sex would be best for both of us.  Would you enjoy that, my love?”

            The real Ali had confided in his wife about his brother Babar’s fascination with having anal sex.  Ali on the other hand was never interested in engaging in that sort thing.  Ali/Babar’s eagerness revealed who he really was.

            “Okay my love…  I’m going to freshen up.  Why don’t you hop into bed and I will be there momentarily…”

            Within minutes, the RCMP had surrounded the house and came through the bedroom door and windows where Babar anxiously waited with an erect penis that pitched a tent under the sheet while he clasped his hands behind his head.  It became a very interesting story to all that heard, watched or read the details.  A man trained to be a terrorist sends his twin brother to bomb the largest building inNorth Americawith a vehicle packed with explosives and nuclear material, while moving in and assuming his brother’s life. 

The two Mounties and FBI agents burst out in laughter when Babar told the story of laying in bed waiting to have anal sex with his wife or the woman who was supposed to be his wife.  One of the FBI agents, a large African-American man, shook his head and put his hand on Babar’s shoulder.

            “You should have gotten up and ran at that invitation…”

            “Why do you say that?”

            “What beautiful woman asks her husband to perform anal on her…?  Shh damn… Come on, now.”

September 8, 2009

Death a la Carte

Filed under: Short Story — blackhumouristpress @ 4:31 am
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The people who live off the interstate 94 north of Chicago between Dempster Street and Church street could not mistake the Mercury Marquis that hit a tree on the east side of the highway at 4 am on a Saturday morning.  It shook the windows and sound as if a bomb exploded.

Terrance Caldwell was thirty nine years old and was born and raised on the south side of Chicago in an area that had been primarily black since World War I.  Terrance showed so much promise as a young man.  He attended Malcolm X College to study business and wound up a heroin addict.  Terrance went from flopping in abandon homes to robbing people and stealing things until he wound up in jail for a few years and then later again for a few more.

When they found the heavy built eight cylinder automobile that was built with pride in Windsor, Ontario for Ford, it was cleaved in half right up the middle.  The police and curious neighbors, found belongings and body parts in the parkway adjacent to the expressway.  Terrance was a wreck when they found him one hundred or more feet from the burning vehicle.  Terrance had been drinking hard alcohol and took some pills before deciding to drive north to get his daughter from his ex-common law wife’s apartment north of Chicago.  Luckily for the little girl, Terrance never made it.

Terrance’s parents were both bust outs if you will.  The job of rearing Terrance became that of his aunt Matilda who was a small bowl legged black woman that never missed a day of church in over thirty years.  Her white wooden house was a show case of days long since gone.  Porcellin figurines, doilies and pictures of her soldier husband from World War II filled the immaculate living room.  Terrance was actually the grand son of Matilda’s sister who had died fifteen years earlier.  Terrance was dropped off by his mother at Matilda’s door when he was four years old and never returned.

Matilda did all she could and tried to instill good Christian values in the young man but he ultimately fell victim to the allure of quick money from other young men without strong male figures to guide them in their neighborhood.  When Matilda got the news from the state police that Terrance had died, she was of course grief stricken but relieved that a troubled life was finally at peace.

Matilda’s husband had believed in hard work and saving money.  He remembered stories from old people when he was young, people who remembered slavery and being a slave.  Those were people who had nothing and owned nothing and it was important to own things rather than being owned and so Jacob, Matilda’s husband purchased a final resting place for his extended family.  There just happened to be space for Terrance at the plot purchased by Jacob in 1958.

It had just been two months since a neighboring cemetery was under investigation for a scam where by cemetery workers were digging up the long since dead, discarding their remains and reselling the plot.  As Matilda drove up in the cab along 127th Street, she could see the Illinois State Police camped out in front of the neighboring Burr Oak Cemetary.  Across the stree, Matilda came into the office of the Lincoln Cemetery which was named after a man who had been a president of the United States, lived in Illinois and pissed off a lot of white southerners by declaring all blacks in the confederacy free.  The blacks in the union were already free and the declaration never really freed one black man at the time but it sounded pretty good or as the saying goes; looked good on paper.

A well dressed young black man ushered Matilda into an office and offered his condolences before hitting her with the fees.  It had been over twenty five years since Matilda had to bury a relative in the family plot.  A lot had changed since 1984.

“Now ma’am…  We will work all this out with the funeral home.  This is a one stop shop operation if you will.  The funeral home will do all the preparation of your loved one.  The charge for the services of the funeral director and staff is for their response to initial service, conference with yourself… The responsible party to determine all services required at this time, cooridination plans involved in the final disposition of the deceased, recording vital statistics, securing permits, authorizations, filling out and obtaining the death certification and any other forms necessary at this time.  The charge for this also includes services of the funeral director and the staff for the coordination and direction of the wake and visitation service, funeral service, handling of the flowers and any and all other memorial tributes, the supervision of the burial and any other requested and or necessary services…  I’ll need your signature here and down here and initial that you understand all that I have just explained to you,” said the facilitator.

There were several words that sound as if they could be strung together to make a sentence that would have been familiar to Matilda’s ears but for the most part much of what the young man explained, did not resemble the English language.

“Now then Ma’am…  Embalming…  Embalming is not required by law but it may be necessary if you opt for a viewing…” said the facilitator.

“Well…  I ain’t so sure I want people to be seeing Terrance.  He got into a terrible accident and well the po-lice were able to git most his parts together but he in terrible shape,” said Matilda.

“I understand ma’am.  Your other choice is cremation and then we can discuss burying the remains in your plot,” said the facilitator.

“Cremation!  I don’t know bout that, now.  Naw, I don’t think I want cremation for the boy.  You go ahead and do the embalming.”

“Now then…  Let’s go over the other fees.  The cost for visitation and viewing is $190.00.  For the use of the chapel which would accommodate a small group will be $325.00.  This includes transportation of the remains and set up fee for the church services.  The cost to transfer the remains is a flat fee of $325.00 within twenty five miles.  Anything beyond twenty five miles is a .75 cent per mile charge above that,” said the facilitator.

“You all running a cab service?  Y’all nickel and diming me til I’m in the dang gone ground…  I’m jus glad mah Jacob done took care of my costs foh me befoh he die.  Ida hafta git a job now jus to pay foh ma own funeral…  Go head then young man, let me have it,” said Matilda.

“Yes…  The acknowledgement cards are $20.00 per 100 cards,” said the facilitator.

“Ima have mah self an three other old ladies an that’s that.  I ain’t got no use foh no 100 cards,” said Matilda.

“I understand ma’am but $20.00 is the minimum,”

“Fine.  Go head befoh you burying me.”

“The registry book is $20.00, pallbearer’s gloves are $20.00, limousine is $375.00 from the funeral home to the cemetery… Let’s see what else we have then…  The minister cost is $95.00, the organist is $95.00 as well as the soloist except on Saturdays then they each charge $125.00.  A men’s suit cost is $150.00 and come in either blue or black but we now have white available…  I believe that is so, let me just make a quick call…  Mary, do we have white male suits available now?  That’s what I thought, thanks…  Yes, we do have white and the cost for that is $200.00 and that includes the white leather shoes…” said the facilitator with a smile.

“You ain’t told me yet bout the caskets,” said Matilda.

“Yes, yes…  We have this very nice ornate casket that goes for $2500.00 and can go up with accessories up to $9,298.00 for everything which would include a music box of your love one’s favorite song, mirrors and gold handles with his initials engraved upon them,” said the facilitator.

“Imma take the one you got here foh $350.00.  He dead and he won’t mind.  Tally all this up, young man.  Let’s git this finished today,” said Matilda as she removed and envelope stocked with one hundred dollar bills.

The visitation and funeral was attended by Matilda and three of her friends from the Baptist Church.  Matilda opted to use the funeral home minister, organist and singer for the ten minute service at the funeral home since it was cheaper than what her own minister would have charged and then Matilda would have had to feed everyone in attendance from the whole church.

At the grave site, five chairs were set up for the old ladies to sit and hear the canned words from a stranger as the remains of Terrance were lowered into the ground.  Matilda cried as the fat black man sang, How Great Thou Art, in a deep baritone.  Three Mexican men shovelled dirt onto the casket as the four old ladies waddled off in their nice dresses and hats.  Matilda ordered the limousine driver to take them to Chinatown.  It was a surprise snap decision by Matilda.  The old ladies questioned the choice.  Matilda had a simple response.

“Back when that boy had his whole life ahead of him and I could still reach him, he would aks me to take him to Chinatown to eat if he was good…  I want him to know where ever it is he wind up that he was always good to me.  He done broke mah heart but was always respectful…  An I don’t want no complaints bout nothing from any y’all.  I’m paying.  Food always find a way to taste good when it free…  Amen.”

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