Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A Redneck with a Dream

        Only until I moved to Texas did I realize the crazy decision I had made. I was pre-occupied with moving here for work so it didn't occur to me that I was a) moving to a red state and b) moving to one of the fattest places on Earth. However, since spending the last 4 months in Dallas I have been pleasantly surprised by the comparatively cosmopolitan energy the city has at least in comparison to my expectations. There's an entire arts district complete with its own opera company, there are bars filled with non-racist non-cowboy hat wearing patrons of all colors, there's even a gay strip. A great sigh of relief has slowly been exhaled since settling in. But just when my fears were getting away from me and I was finally feeling comfortable in Dallas, I had an adventure in a new place that I had never set foot in before. Ladies and gentlemen, I introduce to you, Dallas's evil twin sister; FORT WORTH!

         My wonderfully Caucasian friend Shoniqua and I moved here around the same time from New York. It just so happens that in NYC we shared a wonderful African sensation of a friend who will be referred to as Simba. Simba is White. I'm not sure how that happened but I'll leave it to her to start that blog: Tales of a White African. I stayed with Simba over the New Years holiday week in New York and was pleasantly surprised when she decided to return the favor last week and paid a visit to Shoniqua and I here in Texas. One day Shoniqua, Evangeline, Simba, and myself were sitting around and for some God forsaken reason we decided to attend a Rodeo in Fort Worth. When you fly into Dallas, the airport is referred to as DFW which stands for Dallas Fort Worth. So in a sense they are like twin cities. What I didn't realize is that Dallas is the Good Witch Glenda and Forth Worth is the Wicked Bitch of the West. I was blithely unaware of this fact. For me it just tickled my fancy at the idea that the four of us would star as the multi-cultural sensation at a Texan rodeo. Sure I was aware that we would probably stand out a little; that was part of the appeal for me in the first place! I assumed that it would probably be a largely Caucasian macho audience watching the American tradition of rodeo. Apparently I set the bar of White supremacy a little too low. At least I wasn't as bad as Simba who actually thought it would be more of a costume party. Boy, was she in for a shock!

         Immediately once Simba took the exit off the highway to enter the "city" of Forth Worth I knew that something was wrong. The streets turned to cobblestone and the high-rise buildings of Dallas had been replaced with midget-sized barnyard bars complete with swinging doors. It was rare to see a head without a cowboy hat. It was rare to see a pair of jeans not covered with chaps (I'm assuming to hide the gun). I believe the first words uttered by Simba were "They're not serious are they? This is just dress up. Right?". Oh, but no. Sadly this was true. Have you ever seen a vision that was so ridiculously hysterical that it actually becomes disturbing. This was one of those moments. I had entered the twilight zone and I was completely lost for words. I had officially entered the world of Caucasia! We found a parking spot. I slowly exited the vehicle with my head low to avoid any rounds of shots to  be fired in my direction. My skin may be light in color but in this situation I might as well have been Blurple. We slowly made our way in disbelief to the cobblestone roads to purchase our tickets. I asked the ticket vendor if there would be an intermission. He said yes. I asked him if I could pre-order my drinks for intermission. This was not greeted with a response. Time to get some alcohol! There's no better way to cope with the impending doom of blatant racist shenanigans than with Crown Royal and Coke (Although I was skeptical that the saloon bars would serve such a Black drink). As we made our way through the cobblestone streets looking for a bar I saw something that for a moment shocked me. A negro! I normally would not refer to Black people as "negros" but when in Rome..... This was the first colored person I had seen in Fort Worth and he looked like he had come right off the set of Amistad II. He had a slight hunch, a few teeth missing and he was selling different trinkets that lit up in bright colors similar to those contraptions you buy at those silly raves (also a predominantly White event, there's a theme developing). At that moment I decided to seek out every minority I could. This would be difficult but I'd keep my eyes open for people at night time whom I could only make out their teeth and eyeballs. It was like "Where's Waldo" with Black people. Finally, we found a bar and went inside.

        The four of us as the multi-cultural sensation walked into a deliciously country looking bar and I was immediately greeted by Negro #2 of the evening in the my game of "count the coloreds". He was selling t-shirts and nic-nacs at the front of the store also appearing to have recently fallen off the back of a truck. I was getting scared at this point. I was in desperate need of hard liquor at this point. I was very happy that they indeed served my Crown and a after a few drinks I convinced myself it was safe to follow the ladies to the back of the bar. Alcohol impairs judgement. Once near the rear of the establishment  we were greeted b y Negros #3 and #4 for those who are playing along at home. Continuing with the theme of employed yet homeless looking Blacks they were two shoe-shiners. Whities jump up on a comfortable couch and have their shoes polished by the saliva of nappy workers. Is this a slave town? I was very concerned in that moment, even having already kicked back two drinks. Simba and Evangeline jumped up to have their boots shined. I would imagine that Evangeline was probably one of the first Blacks in that bar to be on the receiving end of this disturbing event but I was busy basking in the contradiction of the whole scenario. I must say her boots looked amazing by the time the toothless woman was finished. Her boots were so shiny I swear I could see a reflection of myself as a slave picking cotton in them.

        After our antics in the bar finished it was time to go over and get our seats at the rodeo. I wasn't sure if they allowed late seating or how long the previews would last so I figured it was best that we arrived on time. Once we entered we grabbed some delicious "snacks" at the concession stand. It smelled a bit like pig vagina but I assumed that it was just the permeation of the entire rodeo. I mean, we were practically in a barn anyhow right? We made our way into the stands. We had amazing seats! We sat down, got ourselves situated. I looked out to wonderful sea of gleaming, beady-eyed blisteringly White faces all around me; an infestation of cowboy hats! I felt like I was about to witness a hanging. I started to perspire. Thank God I had a Blue Moon in my hand for comfort. Just when I wanted to make a run for it (which I imagined would be quickly followed with a pick-up truck complete with rope and a gun rack) the lights came down and the performance began. Because this was a White event my suspicions were confirmed when the show began on time. Let the racist festivities begin!

Act One: The National Anthem and....a Horse?
        A spotlight came out onto the middle of the stage (which I'm pretty sure was comprised of mostly poop) and out walked a wonderfully thin White lady with blond hair and a cowboy hat. "Oh my God, what is my sister doing here?" was my first thought on account of my sister truly resembling Barbie. She took the microphone and started singing. I felt this seemed appropriate considering that a rodeo is such a traditionally American past time. And boy do these "U S of A"ers love their national anthem! But what was strange was when Black Beauty decided to make a cameo appearance. Out came this horse with long gorgeous hair that I'm sure at some point will become Evangeline's next weave, and atop was a lovely young woman who bared a striking resemblance to the one singing (White people are starting to all look the same to me at this point) and she was holding this largest most gaudy American flag I had ever seen....with sparkles! I'm not sure if it was the tacky nature of this horrific patriotic gesture or the "beef" (I use this term loosely) burger I was eating from the concession stand but I was truly beginning to feel nauseated. Retrospectively, I think it was the combination.

Act Two: Bull Riding (Or as I call it "Have you lost your fucking mind?")
        I'm not exactly sure what would possess someone to engage in this activity but I'm sure that Miller Lite plays a heavy role in this decision making. Basically this event takes place when a hillbilly jumps on top of a 2000 pound cow with a penis. The bull bucks back and forth frantically while the redneck with a dream desperately tries to hold on for his clearly useless life. The rider or as I refer to him the "idiot" is required to stay on for a minimum of 8 seconds and is only allowed to hold on with one hand. Should the hillbilly touch either himself or the crazed caged animal he will be disqualified. Once the rider has dismounted (otherwise known as "thrown off the 2000 pound beast") the rodeo clowns jump in to distract the bull and hopefully prevent it from trampling the redneck to death. I'm not sure who would be attending that funeral, perhaps the cast of Forrest Gump.

Act Three: The Texas Kid Scrambler (You have to recruit them when their young)
        In my questioning of the level of brain deficiency required to engage is such lunatic activities I realized that it's very similar to terrorist mentality. You have to brainwash the children to grow up in this unfortunate culture to actually believe that it's normal. They called out all children ages 6 through 9 to the "stage". I'm not sure what possessed Shoniqua and Evangeline to run out there with the little nuggets but I very clearly heard "ages 6 through 9". Apparently my two friends heard this as their cue for a performance. Simba sat in total disbelief. I think she clearly needed time for recovery. She was probably more mentally disturbed from this event than any of us. I, at that moment had a very quick decision to make. I decided to join them rather than beat them. So I grabbed my beer and went on my merry way having no clue what would be required of us once we got out there. I just decided to focus on my confidence and the fact that this would make a fantastic blog later and prayed that we would not be found out as clearly not children. At this point I need to give a little more context to help give you a very distinct visual of the comedic situation. Shoniqua and Evangeline had decided to play a little dress up for the rodeo. They donned themselves in jeans, high boots, flannel button up shirts and cowboy hats. I had also decided to dress up but I preferred to put more of a contemporary twist to my ensemble. I really wanted my outfit to represent a merging of the traditional and the avante garde. I had on Harley Davidson boots with silver buckles, tight (I mean tight!) purple jeans with a studded belt, a black button-up shirt and to complete the outfit I wore what I would describe as a Spanish bull-riding coat with huge cuffs, big lapel, studded buttons and very long coat-tails that floated in the wind behind me everywhere I went in order to feel that I was merely floating. I scurried my way through the crowd of children and waited for instruction. "There are two rules for this event", I heard a voice booming from a loud speaker. "Number one: You must be ages 6 through 9. And number two: NO PURPLE PANTS!". I was mortified. Shoniqua swears it was the beer that did me in. Completely defeated, I moped my way back to the stands. "Sashay your way on out of here!" said the voice as I exited. But I could not give up. I had an important job to do. I had to make my way back to my seat so I could record this tragedy on video and take mental notes for the blog later. After all, Shoniqua and Evangeline were still out there! I sat patiently with Simba waiting to hear what would come of this situation. Apparently, the scrambler is an event for children in which they are required to chase around a calf all around the stadium and pull a ribbon from its tail! Whoever gets the ribbon first wins. I imagine the prize would be of the Garth Brooks variety. Let me tell you, the moment that little baby cow came out, she was off and running and so were my friends, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum as they chased on after it along with a hundred toddlers. Neither of the two won, some 7 year old no doubt ended up catching the ribbon. I think I was crying by the time it was over. From laughter or from joy, no one will ever know.

Act Four: Intermission (Thank God! I need more alcohol to make it through!)
      I really needed a break at this point. There's only so much animal cruelty I can take in one sitting. I refilled on Blue Moon and made it back to my seat and waited for what seemed like an indeterminable amount of time for Evangeline to return. Both her and Shoniqua seemed to be in hysterics at this point once they finally returned and I assumed this was because they were still recovering from the hilarity of the events they had just recently partook. I later found out that there was a piece of the puzzle I was missing on account of me not being present at the restroom during the break. Apparently Evangeline decided to push beyond the restricting boundaries of gender-assigned washroom facilities and boldly broke barriers by deciding to traipse her way into the men's restroom. That's exactly what we needed at that point after all that attention. The only Black woman in the entire stadium tipping her hat to a bunch of loaded cowboys at the urinal. Bold is the only word I have in description. It's very difficult to think how to react to something like that when you are busy shaking violently from the inevitable laughter. I'm not sure if I would've been able to control myself had I actually witnessed that horrific shenanigan in person.

Act Five: Barrel Racing (Here come the lesbians!)
         I love lesbians more than Pillsbury Doughboy's strudels but this was taking it a little too far. This is an all female event where the "cowgirls" otherwise known as the cast of the "L Word" participate in. No penises allowed! This event (Thank God!) requires no abrasive or idiotic maneuvering of animals or hillbillies. They lesbian simply bolts out on her horse and makes her way around two barrels. The Rosie O'Donnell impersonator just simply has to make it around both barrels and back to the exit without knocking them over. The fastest Ellen Degeneres wins. This was by far the most enjoyable activity of the evening. We were sitting so close to the arena that we could smell the tuna fish as they rode by.

Act Six: Team Roping (Insert Joke Here)
         I don't even know where to begin with this event. This was one of the most horrible, vicious, cruel things I have witnessed since Sarah Jessica Parker got her own perfume deal. This was tragic beyond words. Typical. Just when I'm finally feeling comfortable with the lesbians they bring in the most macho and violent event of the evening; Team Roping! Basically this requires two homeless, toothless rednecks who ride out on horses and are required to tie down a bull. The first hillbilly is called the "header" and is required to practically strangle the poor animal with the rope and the second hillbilly is called the "heeler" and is required to temporarily disable the cattle by tieing all of its limbs together. Afterward they drag cattle across the floor completely helpless until is untied at a later point. And the media is all up in arms over Michael Vic? Really? Where's CNN when you truly need them? I'm not sure who came up with this barbaric idea of a sport but I'm pretty sure the idea of separate water fountains for Blacks was conjured up in the same day and by the same person. I'm not certain how many times I had to witness the misfortune of cattle being dragged but it was enough for me to almost lose my Blue Moon. Somehow I held it together. I did it for the lesbians.

Act Seven: The Gift Shop
       After being completely appalled by the happenings at the rodeo I barely mustered enough strength to leave the stands with my friends. We struck up a conversation with some of the cowboys who looked as though they had never seen Black people before. They probably hadn't; with the exception of having their shoes shined of course. We made our way to the gift shop. I had no intention of spending any money in support for such a cruel and disgusting so-called sport. How could anyone pay their hard earned money on something that represents such denigrating activity. I felt very solid in my convictions in not supporting the rodeo until of course I set my eyes on the cutest cowboy hat ever! Oh my God! It was absolutely adorable. It's Black with a little Black ribbon with three holes on it. And it's huge! It was bigger than Kirstie Allie. Where have you been all my life? I looked pretty amazing in it. My justification of course is that I wear it in salute of the lesbians ONLY! I'm referring of course to the cowgirls and the barrel racing event which is the one event that is completely non-violent. But of course the most important thing is that the enormity of the hat makes me look even thinner.

Epilogue: Afterward.....
          Have you ever woken up and wondered where the hell you were last night? "Wait. This isn't my house?", is usually the phrase that accompanies this feeling. This is the first time I had that feeling waking up in my own bed. I rubbed my eyes. I looked around at my room. Everything was the way I had left it. I thought back to the previous night's festivities. My mind was blank. What happened last night? I couldn't remember a thing. All I knew was that I had a really bad hangover and I fortunately had a large bottle of Extra Strength Tylenol I received from my Secret Santa at work. Dazed and confused, I slowly lifted my aching head off the pillow still not remembering what had happened to me. I walked over to the bathroom in my underwear to brush my teeth. I had a little trouble trying to find the light as though it had moved from where it had been previously the day before. I found the switch, I turned the lights on. I was horrified. I took one look at myself in the mirror. I stared blankly. A few moments of confusion and silence passed. I quietly said, "Why the fuck am I wearing a cowboy hat?".


Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Naked Vegetable Stealer

**I must start with a disclosure stating that the aspects of being naked and vegetable stealing are two separate ideas. At no point was there any vegetable stealing taking place while in the buff. At least not to my knowledge.....  

        Even though my childhood was filled with what felt like every culture and race possible but Black, it has come to me a surprise that lately I have met some very strange African American women. I'm not sure if I find them strange because they represent something I wasn't exposed to until as of late or that I just seem to attract crazy people in general. In any case I have recently met a very strange and peculiar yet completely fascinating individual who bears a striking resemblance to the star of "Princess And The Frog" known as Evangeline.

        I can't remember if Evangeline was wearing clothes the first day I met her or not; it's all become such a blur. It wouldn't surprise me though considering that she seems to be without clothes more than she dons them. This is not because of lack of finances or a completely unrealistic increase in climate due to global warming. I'm not sure how her fascination with all things naked has come to take form but it certainly has been a consistent part of my experience with Evangeline. At first, I was slightly uncomfortable with seeing so many nipples at once. I look back and realize that I was merely exaggerating by the fact that she obviously only has two. For some reason, should I get flashed by one nipple I find it much more easy to deal with. However, at this point I feel quite liberated by seeing the beautiful curvature and chocolate skin tone of a Black woman. On occasion I now find myself doing ordinary housework in the buff. It's hot in Texas! Sometimes I even do lunges.

          Evangeline has taught me so much about what it means to be a Black woman. I had no idea that there were so many details and intricacies to the maintenance of the African American body; especially the hair! Many of the men, like myself simply shaves ourselves to oblivion until we resemble a Butterscotch version of Mr. Clean or a contemporary manifestation of Shaft. When I first met Evangeline she had very short adorable twists all over her little chocolate head. A few days later, I saw her at work with perfectly straight hair that went all the way down to the middle of her back. Oh my God! It's a miracle! Her hair had literally grown over night. This was a power I didn't know women of color possessed. Simply amazing. A few days later after that I saw her again; all the hair was gone! Was her pin-straight ponytail like Cinderella's shoe? Only good until midnight? Was there an expiration date I wasn't aware of? Witchcraft was clearly involved. I saw this pattern repeat itself for a long time including several incarnations of hairstyles. After spending several weeks being completely enamoured by Evangeline's ever-changing coif she finally informed me of some very special secrets. She explained to me that the hair on Black women's heads is detachable! Yes that's right! They just simply clip on to the back of their heads and swing around perpetrating as their own. They come in many styles, lengths, and textures. They each come in separate packaging and once they are opened by their owners they receive birth names. Evangeline has several pieces including my favorites Diana and Loretta. I am completely shocked and amazed by this feat. For so long I wondered why these women ran around everyday with hair that seemed to grow, shrink, and grow again all within a week's time like the Black Rapunzel! It's time for the brothers to jump on the bandwagon. We can't let women have all the glory. I will be superglue-ing a Chia pet on my head this weekend.
        Probably one of the most bizarre idiosyncrasies of my new found African-American friend is her relationship with vegetables. Evangeline is a vegetarian who will on occasion eat a little fish so it is understandable that she is not only educated but interested and intrigued by the produce section of the grocery store. I can understand that. She is a fantastic cook and prepares an array of dishes, she's like the  Black Martha Stewart. However, her interest in vegetables has taken a strange turn in the past few months that has caused me to question her level of sanity and has also caused me to fall to the floor in stitches on account of her ridiculous behaviour. The first incident I was not present for but was retold to me by her roommate and my very good friend Shoniqua. Essentially they both were at a restaurant in Dallas and upon leaving Evangeline noticed a beautiful vegetable garden outside the establishment. Apparently she was so overwhelmed at the mere sight of freshly grown produce she gingerly hopped over the fence and stole them! She put them in her purse and took them right home. I don't feel sorry for the red Swiss chard (or Silverbeet for our Australian friends) that she took but I do think that the owners of the restaurant would be very confused at the tiny footprints left in the garden the next morning. On another occasion at an undisclosed location we were together at a particular establishment that happened to be decorated with gourds. Upon a sill was a delicious looking untouched butternut squash I had passed by. I was continuing about my business when I walked by at a later time when I noticed it had vanished. Considering I had only recently endured the pain of the incredible laughter I experienced being told the story of Evangeline jumping into a public garden I knew very well what happened to the damn squash. If I remember correctly the next day Evangeline was eating some delicious pureed squash out of a tupperware container at work. I know stealing is wrong but the tears of joy were very difficult to hold back watching Evangeline delighting in her free cuisine. Ahh the contradiction of comedy!

         Evangeline is a certified Pilates instructor and has recently taken her knowledge of exercise and her passion for nudity and has created a deadly hybrid aerobic routine; Booty Barre! She is creating a workout program that emphasizes the movement and shape of the most glorious part of the African American woman. It begins on the floor with jiggling and gyrating against the ground which moves to a series of movements standing at the Ballet barre which mostly involve bending over whilst shaking the glutes and concludes with a centre floor combination. I've seen her demonstrate her ideas several times and on every occasion she takes her co-workers through this incredibly long-winded and elaborate ordeal we are all usually left shaking ourselves on account of the boisterous laughter we experience. It is indescribable how she is able to move her body in this way. It's as though her bum has a life of his own. Her beautiful tiny round sensation that sits so perky on the top of her long legs just seems to have a conversation with it's audience like it's the new host of the Tonight Show. It's a talent that is unmatched and something I have never seen in my life especially by any of her Caucasian counterparts. Please look for Booty Barre soon, I truly feel it will be the next George Foreman grill.

        I am so fortunate to have met someone who has educated me further on what it means to be a colored woman in the United States. I grew up with no examples so I am so glad to finally get a glimpse into their culture. Evangeline has trampled the stereotypes that Lil' Kim and Condaleeza Rice have created in my mind and replaced with fresh ideas of booty jiggling, detachable hair, and vegetable stealing. She is truly one of a kind. I have never met someone who has literally kept me laughing every day of my life on account of her brilliant comedic sensibilities and her incredibly free spirit. Evangeline, just like the movie, is a wonderful princess.....except nude.

Dedicated to a beautiful Chocolate dumpling
-From Yours Truly, A Gingerbread dumpling

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Mirror Mirror On The Wall: I'm Turning Into A Raisin!

       I consider myself a good person. I may have a slightly demented sense of humor but I swear it's well intended. I know I don't go to church enough. I haven't quite decided which religion I believe in which makes things more difficult. Not knowing what race I am keeps me even more pre-occupied. As if anyone is perfect in the first place. We all have our issues. I believe that deep down inside I have a healthy and happy spirit. So can someone please tell me why I'm turning into a raisin?

      Here's the deal. I went to bed last night 17 years old and woke up 24. I don't know what the hell happened in these last 7 years but it's not pretty! I used to revel in the fact that my age finished with a "teen". I loved being so damn cute and adorable at the little clubs and bars I would go to. (P.S. Legal age of drinking is 19 in Canada so please don't send letters!) I doted upon myself in the mirror embracing my lovely undamaged shade of hazelnut skin in the mirror. I would gracefully sashay my way through the beaches of Vancouver, Miami, Toronto, New York wherever I was at the time for people to bask in my gingerbread glow! But now things have changed. And quickly!

       I began to notice this change just last week when I returned back to my lovely new home in Dallas, Texas. Upon arrival, I looked around my bedroom and thought to myself, "Something is missing". I couldn't put my finger on it. So I did what I always do when I feel I can't find the answers; I went to the freezer and grabbed myself some Patron. It's very important to keep well chilled hard liquor in your house if you ever want to be happy in your life! I made myself a delicioso margarita on the rocks and went back into my room to ponder. As I sat perplexed stirring my very strong beverage decorated with a tiny umbrella it dawned upon me. I knew exactly what my room was missing; ME! I needed more of myself plastered throughout the room. My mission was clear. I remembered I had done a photo shoot some years back with a  lovely photographer and dear friend of mine in Toronto. All of the photographs were in my underpants and they are fabulous (both the photos and the underpants). I searched through my files and uncovered several hundred of them that I had printed off immediately when I got them done years ago upon seeing how amazing I looked in them. I took them out and frantically started spreading them out all over my floor. I was in total awe of my own beauty. I organized them in a pattern I liked and started plastering them all over my walls. After several margaritas and three hours later I had used all of my hundreds of photographs. My masterpiece was complete. It was ME all over my room. Amazing! In my drunken stupor I lay on my bed to admire my hard work and tanned body a thousand times over. I realized at that moment how truly amazing I am. How incredibly thin I am. How incredibly brown I am! I didn't even want to blink thus I miss a second of a glimpse of the gift Jesus had given to me; my svelte body!

        I can't emphasize Jesus's sense of humor enough! At that moment, in my sheer self admiration, all of a sudden I felt unsure. I felt uneasy and insecure out of nowhere. I doubted reality itself and knew that something was wrong. Something was about to happen! I needed to poop. (Side note- I always hover over the toilet seat making sure not to touch it because sitting on the toilet is nasty!) After lighting several matches and spraying vanilla-scented Glade I stood up to wash my hands. I had no idea what God had in store for me. As I massaged my soapy hands together I slowly looked up and saw something that no good person should ever see; myself in the mirror.....without photo retouching! I screamed in horror at what I saw! I almost spilled my fourth margarita! Where can I begin with the absolute monstrosity of the vision that was bestowed upon me in that moment. I had spent all of that time being so thankful for what Jesus had gifted me with! I had no idea how quickly my bountiful beauty would be taken away from me! My hair line was receding! The grand canyon had incarnated its way onto my own face! My skin had dried up like Rosie O'Donnell's vagina around a locker room filled with nude male football players. My formerly beautiful face had become a complete abomination! What a disaster. This was worse than Cruel Intentions II.

        I'm not sure how I blocked out the past 7 years of my life but I swear I was 17 yesterday. If it wasn't bad enough to wake up at 24 with no memory of my early twenties and late teens but to make things worse I now look like my age has a 3 in front of it! I never use abbreviations but now it seems appropriate...WTF!? How is this possible? Since that day I truly saw my own hideous image in the mirror it seems as though the rest of the world has caught up as well. I've had friends tell me that I look like I'm 30. Bartenders have stopped carding me. A senior citizen invited me to bingo! What's wrong with this world. What have I done to you Jesus to deserve such tragedy in my life?

        I feel incredibly shocked and obliterated by this news delivered to me from my own reflection in the mirror. Clearly, I'm turning into a raisin. I'm not sure why this is all happening but one thing's for sure; I will do everything I can to reverse my aging! I will shave, wax, tweeze, moisturize, exfoliate, and rejuvenate until I once again have the body of  a 14 year old Korean gymnast! Jesus, you better watch out! You may be slick and trying to punish me for not going to church enough but what you don't know is that I have Maybelline on my side. I'm going to pull out all my tricks so I can again be asked for identification when I order a Long Island Iced Tea at Hooters. Hell, I'm going to look so good by the end of this month that Hooters will want to hear me as their head waitress! All I need is some foundation, lip gloss, Vaseline, and dental floss and we'll be in business!

Monday, January 3, 2011

A Night in Cleveland

         I haven't had much contact with the outside with the world in this past week and I apologize (thus the lack of blogs). I went through a very traumatic experience and it's taken me some time to get over it. Second only to the time I was punched in the testicles, this was the most painful experience of my life. (I was punched in the testicles because I stole someone's Dunkaroos). I was spending this past Christmas with my lovely friend that we'll call Shoniqua. She lives in Michigan just outside of Detroit. I left there on December 26th to travel to my favorite place on Earth next to the liquor store, New York City! You may have heard on the news that there was a slight predicament with my travel plans. There was a hideous blizzard that raped the entire East Coast. They never did give this blizzard a name, in fact I'm not sure if they even name blizzards but I have one; Blizzard Punch-Me-In-The-Nutsack. If it wasn't bad enough that I was travelling by Greyhound bus (or as I call it, Hillbillies On Wheels) but I was stuck in one of the most frightening places in the universe: Cleveland!

         The last time I was in Cleveland I also happened to be on a layover. The only thing I remember about this Ohio city was going to a barbershop. When I asked for a haircut the barber told me he couldn't cut "African-American hair". I couldn't decide whether my response should've been "Good thing I'm neither African or American so get ready to cut some Canadian hair bitch!" OR "Well I'm only half Black so can you just cut the left side?". I was so indecisive at that moment that I graced him with neither response and just stared blankly. He directed me to where the Blacks get their haircut down the street which happened to be the most ghetto experience of my life (a future blog). Needless to say I wasn't exactly thrilled about revisiting Cleveland for an inordinate amount of time. On this occasion, I was scheduled for a 30 minute layover just to change buses. Once in line, there was an announcement made on the P.A. system that all buses to New York had been cancelled! I needed a Pepto Bismol at that moment. My self-diagnosed IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) was not happy about this. I knew it wasn't going to be pretty. But I knew it would make a great blog.

          It's times like these when we most need our friends. No matter what is going in my life I always turns to those who are close to me and always there for me. I have to be thankful for the fact that despite troublesome times I always have someone to turn to. This is why I felt so lucky that even though I was stranded, I just happened to have my BEST friend with me; Crown Royal. She's truly never let me down. Shoniqua had actually given me a bottle for Christmas! Shoniqua understands the spirit of the holidays; harmless drinking. I was fortunate enough to have that bottle in my murse (man purse). So I pulled her out and decided to have a conversation with Mrs. Royal. I looked at her and said, "What are we going to do now? We're stuck in Cleveland!". She looked at my with her glassy shiny self and said "Listen you little bitch! We haven't come all this way on this shitty ass smelly bus with a bunch of hobos to start crying and complaining like a whiny skank! So you need to get yourself together, leave your suitcase here and let's go out and party it up in Cleveland. So suck it up ho!" That's the thing about friends. Sometimes they tell you things you don't want to hear but you need to hear it, even though sometimes it's hurtful and offensive. On Mrs. Royal's suggestion, I left my suitcase in the lineup and she and I skipped our way holding hands out the station.

           My day of fun with Crown Royal began with a trip to the movie theater. I wanted to see "How Do You Know?" featuring Reese Witherspoon but she wanted to see the "Focker" movie. But I explained to her that I already saw "Little Fockers" with Shoniqua and I didn't want to see it again. We fought for a good 20 minutes before I finally gave in and decided to get "Focker-ized" yet again. Truthfully, the movie is actually quite good and there was one part I was especially excited to see. I won't give away the movie or even the scenario, just one fantastic line; "Can a girl poop from her vagina?". This line makes the movie fantastic. For those who have seen it you will also probably appreciate all of the "Early Human School" scenes which are just absolutely entertaining. Once the movie was finished Crown Royal and I staggered our way out the theatre. As I was making my way to the exit Mrs. Royal kept tugging on my arm. "Stop it!", I said. "Shut the hell up. You're coming with me you little bitch!", she replied. I know too well that when Crown Royal gets in her mood there's just no point in trying to argue with her. I had no idea where we were going until she grabbed me firmly by the elbow and dragged me into another theatre before I even knew it. We were in effect "stealing" another movie! "For Christ's sakes! We can't do this. It was Jesus's birthday only yesterday!" I pleaded. Crown Royal replied, "Sit your ass down! Screw this up for me and I'll punch  you in the vagina!". That shut me up immediately. I've never been punched in the vagina before probably on account of the fact of me not having one but I'm still very freaked out and perturbed at the possibility. I begrudgingly sat down but was somewhat relieved at the fact that Crown Royal pulled me into see "How Do You Know", the movie I had wished to see from the beginning. I felt relatively guilty at the fact that I bitched and moaned at Crown Royal for forcing me to steal a movie only to give me what I wanted in the first place. I was excited to finally watch my movie of choice. By the end of the movie I felt very differently. This movie was awful. It was nauseatingly atrocious. I would rather make out with a toilet seat than re-live the slow and painful experience of sitting through that abomination. I fell asleep at one point. Crown Royal woke me up once the credits started rolling. "Nice choice, you slut!", she said to me. I shrugged my shoulders, we got up and left. "Let's go find a bar!", I said to the empty Crown Royal bottle.

           By the time I left the theatre, it was blisteringly cold outside. I think I actually saw my eyelashes turn into icicles. So I ran! I ran like Forrest to the first bar I could find. I burst my way through the door and realized immediately that I was either being punished for stealing a movie or being punished by not being at all selective with my choosing of a bar. I think this was the first time in my life I've seen interracial trash. Generally speaking, people whom are arrogantly disrespectful and obnoxious tend to also be quite discriminatory; it all falls under the same umbrella of ignorance. Therefore, I was quite surprised to see frighteningly loud and filthy people of all races packed into one seedy bar. Unfortunately, I didn't have many options at that point considering the weather conditions outside so the only choice I could make was to squeeze my tiny tukkus onto to only available bar seat at the corner. I ordered Gin & Tonic. It was 7 dollars. I was appalled. This place was filthier than Amy Winehouse's dirty laundry basket and yet they had the nerve to charge me 7 dollars for a shot of Blue Sapphire and tonic served in a plastic cup? But again, I just had to suck it up because I was not nearly warm enough to head back out there. I sat and slowly sipped out of my blue straw. As I looked around something appalling became very clear to me. This bar was completely filled with all the crazy people I rode the bus with! Each and every one of them, gallivanting around with drinks spilling on eachother, popping quarters into the jukebox playing anything from Snoop Dogg to the Spice Girls. The scariest part of it all was realizing that although I was behaving, I was still in fact one of them! For Christ's sake. I've really taken a down fall. I finished my drink and ran the hell out of there before I was either recognized or the line dancing started.

          It was about 6 in the morning by the time I got back to the station. It looked like a murder scene. Billions of people just sprawled out on the floor asleep on top of their baggage and holding on to their jackets for dear life. What a hot mess festival! But sticking with the theme of my Cleveland adventure in being forced into less than fortunate situations I decided to give in and park myself in the front of the line-up where I left suitcase and fell asleep in my drunken stupor.

          I awoke to the sound of a television and for a moment I was delighted in the idea that it was all a dream and I was in my bed back in Dallas. Before I could open my eyes I remembered that I did not have a television. I was disappointed. Greyhound Stations can't afford to keep their floors clean but somehow they managed to get funding for two HUGE flat screen televisions that they decided to blare at 8 in the morning! I staggered my slightly drunken self over to the screen to find out that the officials decided to put the news on so we could watch the weather reports. Because as we all know just by simply watching news being reported it will somehow cause us to depart earlier. It was completely absurd. I've never seen people so dramatic on television. It was like a damn soap opera. You would've thought this blizzard was a sign that the world was ending. Was Jesus coming? I wonder how he's aged. Even in the midst of this ridiculous forecast I, like so many others, was completely transfixed on the screen watching news reporters standing outside of a completely empty La Guardia airport for 5 hours. This was useless! There I was, starting to feel my sobriety set in, my Crown Royal was gone, I had no food, I was stuck in Cleveland, and my self-diagnosed IBS was not helping the situation! I started crying. This is never a good sign. I sat and sobbed quietly to myself as onlookers in du-rags shook their nappy heads in disapproval. But it was in that moment when Jesus and perhaps Moses heard my plea. A golden light appeared over my vagina....I mean my head but vagina just sort of flows better (try saying out loud, you'll see what I mean). My prayer had been answered with the announcement made over the P.A. system, "The bus scheduled to New York will depart at Noon from gate number 8". Fabulous! I was free. Free at last! Free from slavery!

         I loaded my pink baggage below the coach and stepped onto the bus again for the final time. I was very lucky to have kept my suitcase at the front of the line because I was able to leave on the first bus ahead of the seemingly billions of people still stuck in the station. I lay my head a few rows back and stared out the window to watch the sad faces of people who were still stuck in Cleveland who were yet to make their way out of that hellhole. I don't think most of them were as fortunate to have flasks with them. As the bus slowly exited the station and we embarked on our Eastward journey I paused for a moment of reflection. I realized that the reason why Jesus put me through that ordeal was so that I could truly understand the meaning of friendship. I, so often, had taken advantage of those who were close to me and never truly appreciated their unrelenting dedication and devotion to me. I pulled out my Crown Royal bottle and gave it a kiss right on the crown! "Thank you.", I whispered. She peered back at me with her golden sheen and said "How could you spend 20 hours in Cleveland and not meet Elvis. Dumb bitch!"

Friends are Golden.

Happy New Year.