Ponder this:

Sunday, November 1, 2009

June do a blackcent

It wasn't fifteen years ago that I stopped waiting tables down in the city's gut. Anything you do for money is work, but that job was as much fun as a hard job can be. I got pretty good at the local dialect and body language, and I apparently have a face from which people do not expect such an accent.
An' you know whut? Ah steel gottit; Iss lite ridin' a byesthicuh...

A few weeks ago a young African American man came in to my office. He doin' he street strut, he dress in black and colorfully printed nylon running pants, a matching jacket and shades. He held out a business card to me, and asked if he needed a permit to operate a cab company.
"Where you plan on garaging these things?" I asked, and he told me they'd be garaged in an adjacent town, so I told him he needed no permit. He said he'd been operating his cab company in a town a little west, "...but they don' like me no more, so it time to move."
I slipped into the my old waitress persona.
"Why they don' like you anymore?" I asked him.
"Well," he say, "the KKK startet not too far away, and i' hasn' change much. At the end o' the day I'm still a black man, and this is a little closer to the city, so I figure it's diff'rent."
"I hea' dat," I said.
He doubletaked and said, "You hea' dat? Dat's gud." He noddet, satisfi'.

So many stories from my time in that restaurant, most of them fun.

One of the cooks innat city restaurant, he name Finesse. He real name Napoleon, but he din' like 'at so he wen' by he street name, Finesse. Finesse' brother, Ezon (as in ...Downna Road) work there too. One day some fine lookin' young women came in and Finesse tryta put some moves on. Dey wudden' havin' it, and when he back off, one woman, a curl to her lip, ask me,
"Whut he name?"
"Finesse," I say. "I don' know what that mean, but that what he call'."
"It mean 'fine,'" she say, "but he ain' fine."

The manager of the store was a black woman, the assistant manager a black man. One day during the after-lunch/pre-dinner lull, the three of us were leaning on the counter, watching traffic through the plate glass window. The manager remarked that the store had a lot of black employees. The assistant manager began to list the workers: "....he black . . . he black . . . he white
. . . she black... June . . ." he gazed at me for a second or two, "she pink."
We all dissolved in laughter.
I guess I wore excessive blush in those days...

6 comments:

Tigerbi said...

I can almost hear you ;)

And I wish I'd eaten at your restaurant !

June said...

I wish you had, too!

Wanda said...

Cute story June.

Mary said...

Maybe we'll see your standup routine on You Tube someday! You really had some unique experiences.

GooseBreeder said...

Lovely times!Glad to hear about them and glad you treasure the memories Pink June.

JOE TODD said...

More restaurant stories please