True Story: “I need to look like a nigger”

There it was, a whole big round apple pie baked and cooked. Ready for the fat slobs in the living room. And there was the gravy chicken. So much of the chicken and so much the gravy. At least they left out the beak and the scaly legs. Cooked everything else.

“I can’t eat that maa, amona diet”

“What? I slave all morning baking and frying and cleaning up and you won’t eat Christmas dinner?” countered Mom

“I have to watch what I eat. I need to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger for the photo shoot.”

“What’s taking so long?” whined Dad.

“Your son won’t eat with us. Cause his friends tell him he needs to look like a nigger,” Mom explained.

“Damn, those white college folks you hang out with are worse than the farmers down at the farm,” stated Dad.

“Now listen to me son…… don’t let anyone ever tell you you don’t belong here or there or somewhere. You are the hands and feet that built America. You are the blood and sweat that nurtured this great nation from infancy.” Grandpa sat me down for a history lesson.

“Grandpa, I don’t need to look like a nigger. I am training. I workout. I need to be fit.”

“Fuck all that fitting in shit. Peer pressure is the number one cause of drug addicts and suicides as per Time magazine,” Dad protested.

“You read Time magazine?”

“It was there at the barbershop. Your third cousin’s neighbour’s son got hooked to MP3s due to peer pressure and now he won’t hear anything, say anything, just sit in a corner and nod to himself.” Dad elaborated.

“MP3 is not a drug dad.”

“At least have some soup dear. I put the liver bits in it along with peas. You love peas. I know, I am your mommy. I heard you went to the Veteran’s Day parade asking for peas.” Mom caught up with the conversation.

“Mom. Peace. Not peas.”

“That’s what I said.” Mom clarified.

“Listen there son. You don’t worry about them Veterans. I didn’t went to Vietnam just to see my grandson beg for food at rallies. You eat your Christmas dinner son. As long as your grandpa can stand and walk straight no one person under this roof stays hungry.” Grandpa was misty-eyed. Really.

“Listen now folks, I gotta run. A couple of us are meeting at the gym to discuss strategy. We need to make it to the finals this year. Or the college looses all sponsorships.”

“Running on a treadmill. All that heat and you stay in the same stinky spot.” Mom fanned the apple pie.

“Listen son. Don’t worry about football scholarships. I am working jobs on weekends to get you a professional degree. Not to see you wear a clown suit for some ball team. And your college has the worst mascot anyway. A rooster. What do we say, “Go chicken, cross the goalpost” ? ? ?” Dad’s appetite fueled his anger.

“Dad, we are meeting up for the debate team. The gym is just a meeting place. And mom, I lift weights. Treadmills are a no-no.”

“Can I come. I love the treadmills,” little angel Amy chimed.

“You can barely walk to the school girl”

“Mommy, tell him to take me to the treadmill,” Amy complained.

“Isn’t there anything on the TV tonight cutie?”

“Hey, there is a real treat. Big guns and bigger guts. Predator with Arnold Schwarzenegger and gang is on prime time tonight. Let me see if we can catch the old interviews they rerun.” Grandpa was delighted for a change.

“I love that man. You used to be half that man David. Too bad you stopped going to the gym.” Mom chided Dad.

“Now he sits gossiping in the barbershop, tee hee,” Amy teased.

“Well I am bald. What else do I go there for?” Dad sighed.

I sneaked out. Closed the door behind me. Prayed to Jesus to show them the light and “show me the money”.

~ Ujjwal Dey

arnold-schwarz-and-nigger

 

 

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