Blackhumouristpress's Blog

December 9, 2014

A Kidney Don’t Mean Beans

Filed under: humor,humour,Short Story — blackhumouristpress @ 7:26 am
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Terrance not Terry was listening to Kenny G. on the way to Midway Airport in Chicago. The official story was that he was on his way to visit a client in Fargo, North Dakota but actually he was on his way to see his girlfriend in Memphis, Tennessee. Terrance’s wife didn’t stop to think that in Fargo, North Dakota, there probably wasn’t a great need for hair care products for black women in such a homogenous part of the country. All Lanita knew was that her husband traveled a lot for work leaving her to raise their two children for the most part.

As Terrance was listening to the whiny soprano saxophone music that would fit well to soft porn on Cinemax, the thought popped into his head that possibly he forgot to turn off the computer in the living room before leaving home. On the screen would have been his email messages to his girlfriend Chiquita in Memphis. Lanita, the wife, knew nothing of Chiquita the girlfriend. Terrance looked at the digital display on the dashboard. The flight was to depart at 12:35pm it was 10:55am. Terrance thought that he might have logged off but then again maybe not. He had been on the phone arguing with Chiquita about paying bills for her that her ex-husband should have been playing and may have forgotten to log off of his email account. Terrance was also a bit put off that he donated one of his kidneys to Chiquita and she had only thanked him initially and then never discussed it again. Terrance expected more gratitude from his girlfriend.   Spoiled, kept women don’t usually lavish praise on their sugar daddies for going overboard. It’s part of the game. You take care of me and I will provide some ass. Or something close to that.             It had been three months since he learned that he was a match for Chiquita whose kidneys were failing. Terrance never hesitated. When Lanita saw the scar on her husband’s body, she asked him what happened.

“Well… When I was in Arkansas some time back on a sales call, a big pit-bull came right at me. I ran my ass towards a fence and climbed as fast as I could, slipped at the top and snagged my side on top of the fence. It was just a few stitches… I’m tough, I can handle it.”

Terrance exited Lake Shore Drive heading south and immediately tried to enter going north so that he could get back to his condo overlooking Lake Michigan and ensure that his email was in fact logged off. Terrance sped in his late model Jaguar like a state trooper in high pursuit. About a block ahead, it looked to Terrance like people sitting across all lanes of the highway. He wasn’t imagining things, there were people sitting in the road. As he pulled up, there were young artsy looking people, mostly white but some blacks and other people of color. Some were chanting, “can’t breathe”. A few were banging drums. One loud, white young man with snarled rat’s nest of braids under a bandana, wrapped within an American flag, was ranting into a bullhorn.

“They send young men to fight for freedom on the other end of the world when we don’t even have freedom here in this country. African-Americans are being massacred by the law, a law that doesn’t protect us. This big brother shit and heavy handed, racist system has got to stop now, people!”

As the saying goes, he was preaching to the choir. Nobody disagreed with him or the megaphone message. Terrance was trapped with cars ahead of him and behind him. He began to panic about the thought of his wife coming home and finding out about the kidney donation, the girlfriend in Memphis and so on. Terrance walked up to the skinny young man and tried to get them to move by making up a plausible story.

“Hey man… I don’t want y’all to stop what you’re doing and as a black man, I appreciate your attention to this sad situation but the thing is right now my wife is bout to have a baby and any minute she bout to drop… You dig? I need to git through and git my wife to the hospital… The water broke… Baby is coming… I need to git home now.”

The ranting young man hugged Terrance as he was speaking. Terrance wanted to punch the man in the face but didn’t.

“Life is a beautiful thing, man. It’s sad that your son will be born into this world, this country and have to worry about being jailed, shot at by gangs or cops. I feel for you, man.”

Terrance took the arms of the young man off of him and spoke more firmly.

“I ain’t havin a boy. It’s a girl and my wife bout to trip if I don’t git her to the hospital…”

Terrance ripped the megaphone from the young man and pled his case to the crowd. The group of subversives, anarchists, nihilists, communists and trust funders all looked at the black man in a nice suit and collectively decided that Terrance was not the type they were fighting for. A rich black man in a really nice suit next to a really expensive car struck the crowd as if Terrance was an Uncle Tom, sellout. The group was not interested in moving for him even if his wife was going into labor. Terrance became honest with the crowd.

“When y’all finally own something one day, you gonna want that protected. You gonna want protection. When a cop stop you, they ain’t never no reason to resist arrest whether you feel justified in selling single cigarettes on the street or walking up the middle of a busy street after stealing a blunt. Get you Johnny Cochrane and plead yo case in court. That’s how the world works and it ain’t gonna change. Y’all agree with each other on what’s wrong with society but these people in these cars need to be somewhere right now. Right now they hate y’all and they wish to hell y’all git arrested and I agree with them. Now imma tell you that if y’all don’t move the fuck out the road now, you gone git hit by my automobile… I hope you can understand the fucking words coming out my mouth.”

Cars moved enough in front of Terrance so that he could drive to the front and play a game of chicken with the protestors. Terrance blared on his horn and inched forward until someone whipped a can of paint at his window. Things got ugly after that. Terrance was arrested and bonded out by his wife. Lanita gripped the wheel of her car and said nothing to Terrance. The silence concerned him. Terrance asked if everything was okay. It was a silly question.  Things had come unraveled in their married life. Lanita not only read the emails regarding their relationship but found pictures of her husband and some white woman with a ridiculous name like “Chiquita”. What Lanita didn’t know was that Chiquita was a former stripper who could do interesting things with a banana and her vagina. Chiquita wasn’t Latino and didn’t particularly like bananas.

“Baby… You gonna git tired and you gonna need to rest. When that happens, you gonna wish all you lost was your kidney…”

And so they went home. You use your imagination as to what happened next. The end…

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December 19, 2011

Occupy Detroit

 

 

 

It sounded silly at first as if someone was trying to be funny but it wasn’t a joke when a protestor by the name of Billy amassed people from all over North America and the world to occupy public space within the city of Detroit.

900,000 vacant lots within the city limits of Detroit and to occupy a blighted big city sounded almost charitable.  Bill was feeling anything but compassion for the city of Detroit and the United States in general.  Bill started off watching crowds of people on television in the Middle East fell leaders like Mubarak and Gaddafi.  It was en vogue to drop heads of state like at no time since the fall of the Soviet empire.  Billy joined people in occupying parks in places like Oakland and New York Cityonly to be returned home by Billy’s father’s deep pockets when it came time to bail him out.  Soon the idea came to Billy to amass as many dissatisfied, disenchanted, and downtrodden; serfs and petty bourgeoisie and set up camp around the General Motor’sRenaissance Center in the heart of downtown Detroit ironically enough called Hart Plaza.

            At first, Bill didn’t have many takers as most of his Detroit buddies who lived in metropolitan Detroit, knew that at night, late night, there were not a whole lot of people around downtown Detroit.  Sewer covers blew off steam like English tea kettles every few feet around desolate streets and sidewalks.  Every now and then you’d see a Chrysler 300 at a red light, waiting for no other cars to pass as the lights quietly turned from green to yellow and red.  Most police officers patrolled several blocks away in the more vibrant Greektown where middle class Detroiters could take a stay-cation at one of the casino hotels, eat at a fairly upscale restaurant and try to win their house out of foreclosure inside the casinos.  Those that stayed at the Hilton at the top of the GM Renaissance Center drove in by taxi or limousine and never had to venture out into the streets of Detroit.  The people the protesters were trying to harass were largely unreachable.  From up high, executives staying for a night or two could see the tents set up in the plaza.  Most thought it was some sort of Hooverville in a town with nearly 20% unemployment.

            The first Occupy Detroit gatherings were sort of pathetic as those who wanted to yell and scream at passersby took note of congregation of homeless men who actually danced to the sounds of a drummer who was leading a chant, “Bring out the 1%, bring out the 1%”.  The black homeless men wondered if somehow the population of white people had actually dropped to 1%.  The thought of white people being only 1% of the city of Detroit lead a few homeless people to wonder if they should pick up and move to other big cities where there was a larger pool of financially stable and generous white folk.  The native Detroiters felt sort of silly when nobody noticed them except a few Red Wing fans that cut through HartPlaza on their way to Joe Louis Arena to catch a game.  The hockey fans thought it was sort of dumb to camp outside in inner city Detroit but they politely ignored the small group.  Within a few days, the Detroit protestors packed up and went home without any fanfare.  No beatings, television crews, cops with night sticks or tear gas. Billy had to retool.  Billy read up on other charismatic leaders like Hitler, Jim Jones, Pol Pot, Fidel Castro and H. Ross Perot to see how it was that they were able to draw people to them.  Billy would never admit to reading Perot’s biography since he was in the top 1% of the top 1% but he read it nonetheless.

            Billy remembered Michael Moore’s movie called Roger and me and how Moore had hounded a GM executive named Roger Smith everywhere in order to get an explanation why it was that he closed GM plants in Flint, Michigan and so Billy wrote a letter to Moore in hopes that he might be willing to help a fellow antiestablishment native of Michigan. Mooreliked the idea quite a bit.  Michael Moore then used his larger base of fans and followers who hated the government, rich people and the mainstream in general and before long, Billy had close to a 1000 people who had descended upon Jefferson Avenue in front of the GM Renaissance Center in downtown Detroit. Moorehad chosen a rare time when there were throngs of sports fans out to see the Detroit Lions on a Sunday afternoon and the Detroit Red Wings in the evening. Moore told Billy to get the people together at about five in the evening and think of something that would bring traffic to a screeching halt.  Billy had a great idea.

            Hundreds of football fans on their way to see a hockey game and hockey fans that had just seen a football game, were stopped by a large group of mostly young white people who were throwing metal spoons onto Jefferson Avenue in front of the General Motors building.  Bill felt like Che Guevara and Fidel Castro rolled up into one big Hugo Chavez.  Bill climbed up a statue that symbolized the city of Detroit onWoodward Avenue and spoke through a megaphone.  A few news trucks were out in front of the melee and filmed the action.  Bill was in heaven.

            The crowd quit banging drums and throwing metal spoons onto Jeffersonwhile Bill stood with his ratty looking red dread locks that hung like dirty rope over a Jamaican flag hoodie as he shouted into the amplification device.

            “I’ve been to Seattle and New York and Oakland to help the people of those cities get people to understand that we are being taken for a ride by our government, by the fat cats who own 85% of everything worth owning.  Look at that giant symbol of what the government involved itself in…  General Motors.  General Motors made a shit product and made the people at the top wealthy while working people on assembly lines lost their jobs.  What happened?  Your government gave your tax dollars to save a company that should have never failed.  General Motors was once the largest manufacturer of automobiles in the world and they became in danger of going under.  How does that happen?  Your government bailed out companies that have fucked us all in the ass…  How many people are out of jobs?  How many people have been foreclosed on?  Who has swooped up and bought up all these homes that once belonged to working people?  The very banks that have caused this fucking mess.  You starve and they eat cake with silver spoons in their mouths.  Well if they are in search of a spoon tonight, my friends let them come down to the streets ofDetroitto find one.  Millions of spoons for millionaires.  When are you going to wake up people?  When are you going to get up out of your chair and go to the window and yell that you’re mad as hell and not going to take it anymore?”

            It was at that moment that a man by the name of Bob who owned a gun shop and riffle range in Northern Michigan, had decided that since the Lions were in danger of making the playoffs for the first time in years and that the Detroit Red Wings were in danger of making the playoffs for the 21st year in a row, that he would make the pilgrimage to the city of Detroit that epitomized everything that Bob disliked about America; Crime, racial tension, traffic, shopping malls, unemployment and rich white kids with nothing better to do than take up a liberal cause.  Bob decided to rip through Jefferson over the spoons in his large truck, sending protestors flying to the left and right of him.  A dozen or more people had leaned on a sign near the tunnel to Canada that read, Welcome to the United States of America.  The sign snapped off and flew into the windshield of Bob’s brand new GMC truck that had a hand painted sign on both sides and the back window that read, “Bob’s Emporium of armaments- The playground for those believe in the Bill of Rights.

            The windshield looked like a kaleidoscope after the heavy sign hit the windshield.  Bob exited the vehicle as his wife rolled down the passenger side window and calmly lit a cigarette and gazed at the mob that had filled the street.  Bob walked towards the sound of the voice and saw the slight figure yelling passionately into the megaphone.  Bill seemed like the ring leader of the band of misfits and so he pulled Billy down off of the symbol ofDetroitand gave him and ass beating like he had never had before.  The local news caught the whole the incident.  A large man in a Detroit Lions hat and a Red Wings Gordie Howe jersey beat the young man with the megaphone senseless.  Protestors through bottles and rocks at the Bob and before long, large groups of drunken football and hockey fans came to the rescue of Gordie Howe or at least a man wearing his jersey.  When the dust settled,Detroit had made the national and international news.  Possibly a million spoons littered Jefferson Avenue in front of the GM Renaissance Center and brought traffic to a stand still. Red Wing and Lions fans and protestors alike were taken into custody by the Detroit Police.  Billy was given his proverbial one call.  Billy called his father as he always did and expected to be bailed out without question once again.  Billy hated his father for being a rich and successful owner of a flatware company that had moved operations from the United States to China.  The spoons that were scattered all over the streets of Detroit came from a warehouse belonging to Billy’s father.  Billy, well known to everyone who worked for his father, loaded crate after crate of spoons into trucks from his father’s factory for the sole purpose of letting people know that the rich were born, living and dying with silver spoons in their mouths.  Billy’s father attitude had changed towards his son.  He was very firm and to the point with Billy who had cost him a lot of money by stealing his spoons.  Several millions.

            “I’m going to speak plainly to you, son.  The fake Rasta hair, no deodorant, Reggae listening, Haile Salassie is god bullshit was cute.  You thought you’d rebel against having life the easy way and I would just sit back and shrug my shoulders because I should have some sort of guilt for having money.  I have no guilt, son.  I don’t know a man alive who ever claimed to have enough money and today, you cost me a whole lot of money.  Your father is part of the 1% and you thought you might try to punish me at a tremendous expense by taking my spoons.  You’ve dubbed yourself the new voice for the poor and people of color, right?  A modern day Lenin waiting for the revolution to take hold in the streets of Detroit.  It isn’t coming, Billy. Well I want you to know that you are going to work to pay off your debt.  You want to ally yourself with the poor and ordinary man.  You’re going to be right there with them now.  Reading Marx and hating me while I put you through college and this is what I get… A big bill for all your pseudo communist bullshit.  Here’s the deal, son; you will learn what it is like to truly work for one solid year or I will see to it that you spend your time in jail for what you’ve done.  This is America, son.  A free country and one where you have choices and so I give you the choice, if I bail you out this time, you go to work for one year, no days off or you can say no and know that I will do all I can with my pull and connections to see that you do at least a year for your brash stupidity.  When some lifer is lining your ass up in the shower like a Penn State date, you’ll wish you had joined the proletariat…  The choice is yours to make.”

            In a factory in a remote part of China, where people wear medical masks over their faces at all times and are forced to breathe the air that has a strange tint to it when the light of day illuminates the sky, works Billy.  Behind him wearing a suit is a young black man, whose only job is to watch and live with Billy 24 hours a day for a year.  The day after Billy’s father bailed him out of jail; Billy’s father ordered a shake at a fast food restaurant and offered a job to a young man that was mopping a floor who was roughly the same age as Billy.  The young man went from making minimum wage to a half million dollars in a year and his only job was to make sure Billy worked every day, twelve hours a day, loading silverware into boxes to be shipped to the head quarters in Detroit,Michigan.  Hundreds of sullen Chinese stood in front of an assembly line, collecting spoons, knives and forks with one young white American.  Jefferson, who just the week before had to take two buses to make just over $200.00 a week, was dressed in nice clothes, had a chauffeur and a nice apartment that he shared with Billy.  Billy’s father sent Jefferson a text, thanking him for taking the $500,000.00 dollar job that came with a bonus of a new car and a condo if Billy could complete the year without fail. Jefferson replied to Billy’s father.

            NO THANK YOU, SIR.  AND THANK YOU FOR KEEPING THE AMERICAN DREAM ALIVE AND WELL.  GOD BLESS YOU, SIR.

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