Living in Another World.
Today something happened which absolutely enraged me. I'm not talking just saw a clinton on television enraged, I mean really completely and totally pull out the guns and commence dispersing death enraged.
Roll back a few hours. My gearheadedness is well known in certain circles, and considering some of the cars a few friends own, and the cost of maintenance on them, I tend to be on speed dial when things that ought not happen do so.
Enter said friend, owner of a new Porsche GT2. Car is doing odd things, says friend. Be specific, saith I. Car is jerking at high speed and/or full throttle, making hissing noises. M'kay, say I, drop it off and I'll take a look. So, I played hookie from work, and spent the day wrenching. Short version: Boost leak. Bought $3 clamp, saved friend $900 worth of Porsche Mechanic wages. Much beer is expected.
So... upon cleaning up, it was time for the road test. I called a friend up, who happens to be a young lady of color, and asked her if she'd like to do lunch in the burbs. Oh, and by the way, I've got a GT2 that needs to be... What's that? Alright, be right over.
On the road we go, off to a little place called West Nyack. Sidenote: Porsche GT2's are rather stable at 150 miles per hour, but I recommend keeping them under 100 or so on expressways, lest ye be followed by flashing lights of a familiar color scheme.
Or just outrun them, that works too.
Anyway, off to lunch. There's a neat little texmex place I know of, near to the area Bill Murray calls home. Arrived, spent 20 minutes looking for a Porsche-safe parking spot, and commenced scarfige. A minute or two after the Margaritas arrived, so did the object of my kill-small-animals rage.
Said object was a pair of... people, and I'm being kind to call them that. I was fairly certain they were not from the area. Probably Jersey, judging by the level of demandingly arrogant petulancy oozing from the both.
Sidenote: Yes, New Yorkers are demanding as well. But in a I paid forty bucks for this steak, so it had better be done right way, as opposed to a I am the Queen of Discontentment, bow before me peasant! way.
So, said couple walks past our table, stops midway, and sneers. I'm not talking a slight facial tick, I mean full-bore sneerage.
I blink, wonder what gangrenous body part I mistakenly dropped in their corn flakes this morning, and asked: "Something the matter?"
The haughty reply: "You should know better."
ExSqueeze me? I should know better than to.. what, exactly? Eat mexican food? Drink alcohol? Carry a loaded firearm? Proclaim the wonders of nuclear energy? Oh, please, great bastion of wisdom, enlighten me as to my grievous crime.
"You should know better.", Saith the cow, while lifting a nose skyward in the general direction of my lunch companion.
Swish. Over my head. Huh? What, has a good friend of mine suddenly become a serial killer, cooker of puppies, or a democrat? Cue blank stare.
Then, it dawns with the subtlety of a sledge hammer. Indignation batteries to power, ass-kicking turbines to speed. I stand, adjust my shirt, and flat out bellow: "What, because she's black?"
Cue curt nod, and cue every fiber of my being required, and only the threat of 25 to life, to keep me from putting a .45 caliber hole in this cow's noodle. Instead, I went with a slightly more subtle "What the !@#$!@.", before launching into a tirade of biblical proportions. I'm talking every Screed, every Acidman-grade rant, every possible insult it is humanly possible to launch at a load of white trash. I didn't go off, I went off.
Got up, tossed a handful of bills on the table, and departed in a cloud of melting rubber and screaming Porsche turbochargers. I mean, I was pissed. The ugly head of racism reared up and took me completely by surprise. I wanted to say: "What, they still make people like you?" (and quite possibly did). My friend took it in more stride than I, by far, but for a moment I could quite easily see that she was flat out hurt that someone would say such a thing. Especially today. Especially in New York, for chrissakes.
It took a lot of tire burning and ritzenfrickin' racksenheimering for my mood to slide back onto safe, from its prior KILL setting. As it did, it dawned on me that I just totally missed this crap. I missed the time in history when this kind of thing was commonplace, and even expected.
There are few things I'm more grateful for in life than that.
posted by Mr. Lion | 08/29/03 @ 17:37 | comments (6)