29th Jun2005

This One’s Gonna Keep Me Out Of Public Office In California

by Will

Just to prove that not all blogging need be “responsible” or “have a purpose”, I’m now gonna share with you a bit of un-P.C. knowledge…

Anybody ever heard of a “Mexican Breakfast”?

No?

It’s a cigarette and a glass of water.

Heard of a “Mexican Promotion”?

No?

It’s when you’re given more responsibility, but no increase in pay.

I could explain these “jokes” or try to find meaning in their cruelty. But I won’t. Sometimes, a blog is just a blog…

14th Jun2005

Ninjas, Pride DC, MJ, and Natalie Holloway

by Will

Gonna steal Shel’s format for today since I like how it’s shaping up for her…

-So, the ice cream truck just drove slowly down my street, with the theme from “The Godfather” coming from its speaker. Correct me if I’m wrong, but that’s a bad thing, right?

-The other week, while in DC, I saw the best/worse ploy for money EVER. This homeless guy held up a sign that read “Ninjas killed my family. Please give me money for Kung Fu lessons.”

-So, Pride DC just ended. Nothing screams “Equal Rights!” like a shirts-optional foam party at Apex. Man, if only MLK had thought of these tactics, Jim Crow wouldn’t have known what hit him…

-One morning a few months ago, this chick got on the bus, wearing a fur coat. Now, let’s break this down. I know my furs, and it was real. So, let’s point out the key parts of the story. A lady got on the BUS wearing a FUR COAT. And I thought to myself, “You’re wearing a car!” I mean, it’s the BUS. Not like you have to go out of your way to impress those people. And I’d rather wear a ratty Members Only jacket and drive a Focus than wear my fur on the Metrobus and get home smelling like nachos and B.O.

-“There is no such thing as a short sleeve dress shirt.” So true, GQ. So true…

-Well-played, MJ. Well-played, indeed. Now, if I even hear of you going near Children’s Tylenol, I will come over to Neverland and beat your ignorant, hard-headed ass. I am gonna beat it, and I won’t stop til I get enough. So, you can call Billie Jean if you want, but that would be bad. Why can’t you just like girls, Michael? Do you remember the time? Do ya? Have you forgotten the way you make them feel? There are many people like you, Jacks. You are not alone. But, lucky for us, most of them are IN JAIL or under surveillance. Now, when I see your old footage, well you give me butterflies. But this crazy-ass Willy Wonka behavior of yours makes me wanna scream! Just stop pressurin’ me!

_According to MSNBC, they’ve been using Viagra to cure kids with lung and respiratory issues. Oh, God bless the U.S.A.! Just like us to have little boys running around with hard-ons, breathing funny. God, it’s a slow news cycle!

-What is the deal with this Aruba chick! Yes, I can understand that her family wants her found, but I can’t remember the last time a search was this intense. I mean, is she carrying nuclear secrets or something?!! She’ll turn up. In recent years, they all have. Back in the 80’s, those kids got killed. But lately, turns out these chicks just go out for ice cream and forget to call home. For three months. Anyway, I hear Deep Throat knows where she is, and he’s got a press conference scheduled with US Weekly in about an hr…

-So, Jenn updated her site template again. More anime. To quote the great Gomer Pyle, “Surprise, surprise!” Don’t get me wrong; it’s a sharp site. It just seems a bit…cliche? Ya know, for a site that tries to break down all the stereotypes, she sure has a funny approach. Anyway, stay tuned for my “fried chicken and tap-dancing” redesign…

Anyway, I’m done. That season finale’s coming. Special guest stars galore. Well, not really. But, when it’s done, NOTHING WILL EVER BE THE SAME AGAIN!!!!

Seacrest, out

30th May2005

Can’t We Just Shake Hands, Like White People?

by Will

So, I’ve got a confession. I’m sort of ashamed to mention this, but here it goes:

I get nervous whenever I meet a Black guy.

Why?

Because I never quite know how he’s gonna try to shake my hand.

You see, there’s this underlying assumption that Black people don’t dole out simple handshakes. No, it’s assumed that we all use some kind of urban formula to concoct a secret means of greeting one another. And these things change by the week. It’s like “body slang”. Nobody wants to reveal that they don’t know the newest greeting.

Will he come at me with the “pound-on-pound dap”? Will he give me the endearing “Bro-man handshake-hug combo”? Or will we settle on the convoluted “–handshake-elbow-chesting”? So many choices, and you only have a few seconds to figure out the proper course of action.

The minute someone says, “Will, I’d like you to meet my boy, DeVauhwn,” I immediately start thinking, “Oh crap! Ok, Will…remember what they taught you in training. Just remember your training!”

Then you’ve gotta notice the body language. “OK, he’s making a fist…I think we’re going for dap. Now, are we going for a stacking-fist pound, or are we just gonna punch fists?”

Now, I wonder if other Black guys think about this, or is this something I picked up somewhere. I KNOW it’s something that White guys think about. Why? Because I haven’t had an honest-to-God simple handshake from a White guy under the age of 25 in the past 5 yrs! They always assume I’m gonna go in for some kind of Zord-summoning sign language when I really just want a firm grip. After all, isn’t that what we all want?

23rd Mar2005

Gay Guys & Entrepreneurs – They All Want A Piece of The Will

by Will

“One word: ‘Thundercougarfalconbird!'”

Gay guys and entrepreneurs…I’m beginning to think that’s gonna be the title of my memoirs. It never fails. I’m preyed upon by gay guys and entrepreneurs. I swear, if some gay entrepreneur comes out of the woodwork, I may not survive the exchange.

So, why do they come after me? Do I look that gullible? That…gay?

A few weeks ago, I’m in Borders looking at the bargain books. These were the MAJOR discounts, like 50-70% off. This guy next to me offhandedly asks, “What do you think’s wrong with them? Anything worthwhile?” I kinda laugh and say, “Well, they are sort of limited. After all, I’ve ALWAYS been looking for a book on the “Business & Contracts of the Recording Industry!” He kinda laughs. Then, it segues into, “I think I know you from somewhere.” Keep in mind, I don’t think this is flirting or any kind of “advance.” I didn’t get that vibe. He was just some innocent, techie looking Indian guy. Like SO many of the Cornell Engineering kids. Turns out he went to Georgetown, and thought he’d seen me there. I told him it wasn’t me ’cause I’d gone to Cornell.

Cue presentation of business card. All of a sudden he’s “all up in my sensor box” (That one’s for you, X-tina), asking what I’d studied, etc. Turns out he runs a side business, you know for those self-starters looking to make good money. Why did I fall for this? Well, I guess part of it was prejudice.

This is the part where Jenn chimes in.

You see, the dude was Indian. I’m sure there’s some better, PC term for me to use, but for the sake of argument, he was from India. Now, my experience tells me that that’s a good gamble. I mean, THE DUDE WAS INDIAN!!! They can turn a business around in a minute. Sure, it may not be the most glamorous work, but they seem to have a good business sense, especially small businesses like….stores…and….stuff.

You’re saying, “Will, you’re stereotyping.” Yes, I am. And it takes a big man to admit that. We all stereotype. Hey, any middle-class white kids out there go to the “village black guy” when you’re looking for weed? That’s stereotyping. Ever take your car to be serviced in the “Spanish part” of town ’cause they’re “good with cars”? That’s steroetyping. Ever go to the one, specific nail place ’cause “those little Korean girls are so great with the nails”? That’s stereotyping. We all do it. Few of us admit to it, though. I pride myself on being the guy who SAYS what everyone else only THINKS. Sure, it results in cries of, “Will, you’re horrible!” But someone HAS to be. I’m kinda like an un-PC James. Bizarro James, if you will…

So anyway, I took Indian dude’s card ’cause he’s Indian. But when he called, I didn’t pick up. I want no part of that fast-paced, seedy, sinful world of “self-employment”. I hope he gets the point.

Now for the gay guys. I don’t get it. I’m cute to the gays. Why is that? What am I sending out?

The other night, I dropped by The Cornell Center to see Cape, who was actually in Cali with the rest of Last Call. Now, it’s about 10 PM, and things were getting a little seedy in that area. I’m walking, and this FLAMING little dressed-up dude and, for lack of a better term, his hag, called out to me. “We want to talk to you.” I just kinda smirk and keep walking.

At the same time, there were guys along the side of the street, begging for money. Now, I’m no stranger to the guys panhandling for money, but the people out at this time were kinda edgier. They weren’t humorous, nor did they have little signs. Instead, it was more like, “Money or I kill you.” So, after passing about 2 of them, I realized I’d better get into populated areas.

So, I walked in a circle, and who did I run into again? “Jack & Karen”. FUCK! I didn’t want to entertain them, but it was better than getting shanked. So, we kind of pass at an intersection, and they have a little dog. I’m starting to get all paranoid that I’m being followed. Lagerfeld coat coupled with Nordstrom scarf with Burberry print kinda makes my “I don’t have any money” a little less convincing (Wow, when did I become such a materialistic snob?) “Jack” immediately notices me and says, “Oh, we wanted to talk to you! We just wanted you to meet our little dog.” Glancing around, I half-assedly respond, “On yeah, what a cute dog. What’s his name?” The guy says something in Spanish. “What does that mean?” I asked. He sort of giggles and says, “It means he likes boys.” FUCK! Why does this happen to me?

People would say, “Oh Will, you’re LOOKING for these situations. You’re just denying it.” But that’s NOT true. I was just raised to be friendly. It’s that whole “Southern Hospitality” thing, which kinda sucks ’cause I’m not a big fan of people. But I was taught that I SHOULD be a fan of people. Plus, it was kind of a self-defense tactic.

Anyway, next thing I know, they’re trying to take me home with them! Sorry! I don’t think so. “Nah, thanks. I’ve got to go see my GIRLFRIEND!” The little pissers are aggressive, but I ain’t having none of it. I just walked away, rushed to the Metro, and told myself I’ve gotta stop going to DC at night.

Cornell, why the fuck did y’all have to put your DC headquarters in Du Pont Circle? Was Georgetown not good enough? Was the center established by a bunch of Risley kids?!!! Why oh why did you create such a hostile environment, preventing me from upholding my alumni duties?!!! Now ya see, if y’all had put an Indian kid in charge of planning…

06th Feb2005

RIP Ossie Davis

by Will

“Everybody’s changing, and I still feel the same…”

So, in a strange, unfortunate twist of events, it seems I must revisit a former post. You see, a few months ago, amidst a rant about Prince’s lack of acting skills, I made a reference to the oldest Black couple in Hollywood, Ruby Dee & Ossie Davis. Well, as I read the news on Friday morning, I was saddened to see that Mr. Davis had passed away. He was 87.

Do I take back what I said before? No, it was all true. But what saddens me is that the man was a staple of Hollywood, particularly for Black actors. He was doing this when we weren’t supposed to be doing this. And my heart, oddly enough, goes out to his wife; it’s common for the spouse to die within six months when death occurs at this age. I just hope she has her health and the support of her family.

So, farewell Ossie, and farewell to the oldest Black married couple EVER….Ya know, people always laugh when I say that, but in a way, it’s true. We’ve only been allowed to marry for so many yrs, and with hypertension, the Klan, and child support, Black unions don’t last too long. Now, when I talk like this people think I’m some bitter child of divorce, but that’s totally untrue. I challenge you to find me a Black couple married more than 60 yrs. I CHALLENGE YOU!!!

22nd Jan2005

Good Times With Davis

by Will

“That gay albino is hitting on your not-girlfriend!”

So, yesterday was a cavalcade of fun, I’ll tell ya. Due to my total miscalculation of hours, I got cut cut from work early ’cause I made my 40 by 11:30. What happened next? Shopping and drinkin’! And it was good.

Spent several hours at Dave & Busters with Shelly and our co-workers. It was actually a great time. Bonded with new folks, and revealed secrets to others. Can’t remember the last time I started drinking at 1 in the afternoon, but it was a welcome change of pace after the week this has been.

Afterwards, went back to Shelly’s and helped her clean for her college friends who’re visiting this weekend. You know what’s weird? I realized I wash everyone’s dishes but my own! I’ve washed Lip’s dishes, Shel’s dishes, probably washed a dish or two at James & Jenn’s, but it is not something I do at home. Just find that weird…

So, after leaving Shelly’s, I THOUGHT I was going home, but Davis returned my call, and the next thing I knew, he was picking me up at Wheaton Metro. We ended up at Savannah’s. What to say about Savannah’s? Well, I can say it sure was surprising finding a redneck bar in Kensington, ’cause that’s EXACTLY what it was.

But for the record, Dave Murphy is a fucking laugh riot. The guy’s a character. By the time we get there, he’s already had 4 Seven & Seven’s (my signature drink, so he’s already racking up cool points). This girl comes in, he points right at her, and says, “I’d totally have sex with her.” The point lingered even after the declaration. We crack up, and we’re like, “Dude, you just can’t point at people!” Anyway, we drank, Davis offended some guy who had picked up some Camelot strippers, and we ended up back at Davis’s, passing out to some anime (Spriggin, for those who care). All-in-all, it was a fun, yet low-key night.

Quote of the evening: “I’ve never had a Big mac before…I’m so excited! (pause) I wish these Mexicans would hurry the fuck up!”

-Davis, in the McDonalds drive-thru as he anticipates the loss his Big Mac Virginity

17th Jan2005

24, 7th Heaven, Blake-Holsey High, Elektra, Jason Mraz, and Keane

by Will

“I don’t need no instructions to know how to ROCK!”

Random Thoughts of the Past Few Days

-Dude, I really need to stop watching 7th Heaven! Mmm, Ruthie…STOP! I can’t go all R. Kelly!

-I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again: 24 is THE BEST CONCEPT on television. This show never disappoints, even when it sucks (see Season Three). Either way, it’s the most original and riviting thing you’ll find these days. And Mrs. Araz is scaring the SHIT out of me. I hate to think I’m suffering from post-9/11 generalizations, but that’s one cold, scary bitch! And I knew Behrous wasn’t gonna have the balls to kill Debbie. Had no idea Mrs. Araz would, though…

-The best show you’re NOT watching? “Strange Days At Blake-Holsey High”. Yeah, you’ve never seen it unless you had a LATE friday night, which carried into Saturday morning, and you had nothing else to watch. Basically, it’s about the strange things that happen at this elite boarding school. There’s a pseudo-Ghostwriter team that investigates all the weird goings-on. The catch is that the show is part of Discover Kids, so they find ways to sneak in science lessons without being heavy-handed about it. By the end of the episode, you’ve gained more clues in the ongoing saga of the vortex at the school, but you also know that a DNA helix curves to the right, and that some checmical compounds are mirror images of each other…

-Jamie Foxx won a Golden Globe?!!! Man, if you’d told me that 15 yrs ago, I’d had have slapped you across the mouth. Ya know, I’ll bet Kenan Ivory Wayans is KICKING himself! He creates In Living Color to showcase his own siblings, while bringing a couple stragglers along for the ride. Now, fast forward 12 yrs. Jim Carrey’s a $20 million-a-movie star, Jamie Foxx is winning awards, and the most popular Wayans weren’t even On In Living Color (Well, Shawn was SW-1, but the DJ don’t count!). Honestly, the weirdest part of the In Living Color mythos, to me, was that Alexandra Wentworth (AKA “The White Girl”) ended up marrying George Stephanopolous. That must’ve been SOME wedding reception! Anyway, with the way things are going, next thing you know, David Allen Grier will be doing Shakespeare…

-Anybody out there seen Elektra? Starring Jennifer Garner, AKA “The World’s Most Beautiful Man”. I swear, she’s alluring, but she’s not “pretty”. I’ve blogged about this before, but I don’t think it’s more apparent than in the role of Elektra. I think I liked her most in “13 Going on 30”, where she’s all awkward and gangly, but still has a cuteness about her…

-Did anyone out there actually LIKE “I Am Charlotte Simmons”? It seems like Tom Wolfe’s latest novel is THE book to hate right now. I have it sitting on a shelf, but the thing is friggin huge. I don’t know whether to read it or use it to crush cats to death (Yes, Shel..cats truly are evil!).

-Jason Mraz is really worth checking out. Before, I just kinda liked “You and I Both”, but all of his stuff is great. he’s even edging out John Mayer on my list. Especially since there are only so many times I can stand to hear “Daughters” on a given day…

-THE ALBUM to buy, though, is “Hopes and Fears” by Keane. I can’t get over how great an album this is. Looped it like 6 times last night. I give every disc a “one-through”, and usually it languishes in its little slot in my binder, never to be listened to again. But I haven been listening to this disc since November, and it doesn’t get old. Mainly, if you like “thinkin’ music” that’s not as whiny as emo, and has a lot more piano, this is the group for you.

13th Dec2004

A Whole Bunch Of H&M Shit You Don’t Care About & The Return of Natalie

by Will

“Hiya kids. Here is an important message from your Uncle Bill. Don’t buy drugs. Become a pop star, and they give you them for free.”

Seeing as how it’s the holiday season, from now until Christmas, I’m going to start each day’s post with a quote from one of my favorite Christmas movies. Try to guess this movie; I dare ya!

For you newcomers, my friend & archnemesis, Tarek Sultani AKA “The Singing Bush”, has decided to wage a cybernetic war against me. At first, I laughed at his feeble attempts. But, I’ve got to admit: the bastard’s funny! Plus, I read on his site that my own girlfriend has joined his ranks in pursuit of my downfall!! Pretty soon, this blog is going to turn into my daily account of how they “almost got me”!

By the way, Jenn’s not dead. OR James has found a way to post to Jenn’s site AS Jenn. Either way, I’m still suspicious…

Now, down to the nitty-gritty.

I hate my job. Yes, i’ve said this before, and I know some of you are thinking, “Wow, it’s been awhile since a good ‘I hate my job’ post was on this site!” Well, here it is. Yeah, training was a hoot, and I LOVED the Doubletree, but as many of you know, I HATE CHANGE. When I came back to my store, it was like someone had recast my entire show! People were missing, people were leaving. Didn’t really like the new people. It was one big fashion-retail clusterfuck!

The old faithful sales assts are hitting the road, while all of these new colorful characters are coming out of the woodwork. PLUS, we’ve got new managers. Now, sales assts are one thing, but managers are in charge. These are people I HAVE to listen to.

As for the new department managers, the great, underrated Elvis hit, “In the Ghetto” comes to mind. I mean, when the Hell did H&M become Job Corps? Every time I come to work, I expect metal detectors and a surprise visit from my parole officer! By the day, I’m losing more and more respect for H&M’s current hiring practices.

OK, I’m being a snob….but it’s deserved! My main problem is that these chicks are coming here, not even trying to learn how we do things. Instead, they wanna shake shit up, without having a strong foundation. “Frankie says ‘relax’.” They really need to be “watchers” before they become “doers”

Now, remember how i got a promotion? Well, apparently, so did some other guy. New to the company. Seems like they double-booked the position. So, we both have it, which seriously affected my raise because it limited our budget. Either way, I have a partner, and this ain’t “Lethal Weapon”! There’s no buddy-cop vibe here. In fact, they schedule us at different times so there’ll be no real confrontation. Which sucks because we do the same tasks in completely different ways. We’re gonna spend most of our shifts cleaning up after each other . I knew about this guy when he finished training. I was told, “Oh, he’s just gonna fill in until you finish your training.,” I knew it was too good to be true. Smelled fishier than a Taiwanese whore (wow…). So, I get back to my store, and they’re like , “Yeah…Kevin’s coming back next week.” This puzzled me until I just kinda forgot about it. Then, this morning happened.

Yolanda came in and said, “We have 2 ‘new’ people coming back today.”

“Who are they?”

“Oh, Kevin…the other admin. And Natalie.”

Yup, you read that correctly. That star of MANY a summer’s blog returned to work today. Does that bother me? No. I’m am doing OK, and I couldn’t explain that whole saga if you asked me to. You’ve gotta admit: it WAS good readin’. Other than that, that’s all I got. So, no, it’s no big deal. But it WAS the most awkward day that I’ve had in some time. Having to deal with Natalie and Kevin on the same day…I was having a SERIOUS “case of the Mondays”.

So, I also learned that on top of the new admin responsibilities, I’m STILL the Sr. Sales Asst in the Men’s Dept! How the fuck am I supposed to do all of this? I’ll BET Kevin’s making the same thing I am, and he’s not got all this shit to worry about. I LOVE the Mens Dept. i do. Honestly, I miss the days of simply running racks and dealing with JAP-bitch customers. Plus, did I mention that one of the hoodrats is my new Men’s manager? I haven’t had a Dept. Manager in 6 months!!!! That dept was MINE. No interference. it was a fucking Free Zone. Now, I have to answer to someone I don’t even respect?!! I’m sorry, as long as this chick says “Aks” instead of “Ask”, I can’t look at her with a straight face. “Let me aks you sump’n.” HAhaha…see what i mean? She even makes me e-laugh! This is gonna be a LONG winter. I don’t know how much longer I can take this. I’m worth more than this. Not even in a “spiritual” sense. Economically, I’m WORTH more than this!!! I’m not money hungry, but eventually you have to call a spade a spade. Very confused and lost… I leave you with the great Sam Cooke:

“It’s been a long
long time comin’
But I know
A change’s gone come
Oh, yes it will.”

22nd Nov2004

Marion Barry and the Gay Bar

by Will

“Watch out, ’cause here I come. It’s been awhile, but I’m back in style!”

Today’s Episode: “Oh No He Didn’t (Oh, YES He Did)!”

A little backstory: I’ve got a couple of friends at H&M who’ve never received “the blog treatment” before. Anyway, Juwan and Bruce are fellow retailers-in-arms, and we tend to have a good time whenever we’re at work together.

So, last night was Bruce’s birthday & he was throwing himself a party at the Banana Cafe. Well, I didn’t really know what to expect, but NOTHING could’ve have prepared me for what the night would bring. NOTHING.

I swear, folks…you’ve read some wacky shit on this site before, but NONE of it holds a candle to this crazy night in SE Washington…

So, a friend and I decided to go together ’cause we didn’t really know where the place was. Let’s see…2 sheltered kids in S.E. DC. I guess we figured they couldn’t kill us both, right? Strength in numbers, and all that jazz…

The party started at 6, but we didn’t roll in until around 10. Bruce was way drunk, bless his heart! He was glad to see us, as he led us inside. Apparently, it was Karaoke Night @ the Banana. So, he leads us up the stairs, and what do we find? A room full of young, Black gay guys. They weren’t all gay, but you couldn’t swing a dead cat in the room without hitting one. Now, when I say this, I don’t mean it in a derogatory sense at all. I say it ’cause I have never seen a room so CHOCK FULL OF BLACK GAY GUYS!!!

I think what struck me, too, was that it wasn’t all stereotype. It wasn’t like the “Men on Film” guys from “In Living Color” (Wow, I’m seriously dating myself here). Instead, it was an array of NBA jerseys and denim jackets. They looked like they were in a G-Unit video or something.

Anyway, my friend and I kinda look at each other; the White Chick & The Straight Guy. We were basically a bad UPN sitcom waiting to happen. But, what the Hell? We’re there to have fun, right? So, we get to the bar and Juwan’s drunk, too. I mean, DRUNK. But it was cute. He was kinda stumbling around. Every so often, he’d yell “Aw, this is my JAM!” and start dancing.

So, we’re drinking our SoCo & Cokes, getting settled, taking it all in. As I look around the room, I kinda start to feel like the last rib at a Black cook-out. There were all these eyes on me, ranging from “What’s he doing here?” to “Where’ve you been all my life, playa?” Now, for you frequent readers, you know that I tend to find myself in these situations ever so often. But this was only the TIP of the iceberg. Let the craziness begin:

A few minutes after we get our drinks, Bruce comes over and whispers, “Y’all will NEVER guess who that is over there!”

I ask who he’s talking about, and he points to a table near the window. Brace yourselves, folks

 

“That’s Marion Fuckin’ Barry!!!”

I look over and, “Holy shit, that IS Marion Barry!”

Yes, the crack-smoking DC mayor-for-life was sitting right there, about 10 feet from me. For all you uninformed, he’s that guy that Chris Rock loves to make fun of. I swear, he’s been milking that routine for 10 yrs….

Anyway, at the table sat Marion Barry and the cheapest, Sandra Clark imitation hoochie I have ever seen in real-life. This is one of those chicks who was clearly an escort. Not a hooker, but an escort. What’s the difference, you ask? Well, a hooker is someone you just pay for sex, while an escort is someone you pay to be seen with you. She might have sex with ya later, but that’s gonna cost extra.

Also, allow me to say that the good mayor looks like SHIT. I mean, during his recent campaign, there was talk of how bad his health was, but I had no idea it was THIS bad. The poor thing looked WRECKED…

“I’m gonna go say ‘hi’,” I said, as I rushed over to the table. Not really knowing what to say to a world-renowned figure, I offer my hand and say, “Congratulations, sir.” Hell, I didn’t really know WHAT, specifically, I was congratulating him on. Was it his recent election win? Was it his ability to find a woman to come out with him tonight? Was it the mere fact that he’s still alive? Damned if I know. I just figured such a phrase would make him feel good about himself or some shit.

He gave me a limp handshake and kind of mumbled something. I figured it was a pearl of wisdom from a man who’d clearly enjoyed a colorful life and career. “I beg your pardon?” I responded. Once again, he mumbled something. I leaned closer and asked, “What?” The third time, I heard him: “Do I have to go up to the bar, or will they come to the table?” Yup, that’s what the old fool asked me. I kinda stammered: “Uh…they’ll come to the table…..Did you need anything?” Yup, I was gonna buy old Marion a drink, but he just kinda waved me away. Yes, the good mayor and I were about to become enemies…

So, I decided to sing something, while Bruce & Juwan chilled on one of the couches. The first song was “A Song For You”, sung by the Temptations, but better known as a Ray Charles song. Surprisingly, the crowd seemed to like it, or they were just blowing sunshine up my ass.

When I was done, all of us kinda hung out together, the whole time trying to figure out how the Hell we ended up in a gay bar with Marion Barry?!!! But wait kids, there’s more!

It turns out Marion’s skank wanted to sing, too. How to describe her… Well, she was wearing an all black catsuit, with a chain around her waist. She thought she was cute, and Marion seemed proud to have her on his arm. That chick had the audacity to try to sing a Mary J. Blige song, and I don’t think she hit a single note in the song. But she was just smiling and singing like she thought she could sing. Marion decided to get a closer seat, but as I’ve said, he’s a bit out of sorts these days. As he started to sit down, his chair was tipping over and almost spilled him onto the floor. If someone hadn’t caught it from behind, he’d have fallen and I KNOW he wouldn’t have been able to get up! So, he sat there, drinking his drink, watching his girl. A couple of the divas decided to help her out ’cause she just wasn’t doing that song justice. When she finished, Marion smiled and clapped.

The entire time, we’re drunk, off in the corner, asking, “Is that REALLY Marion Barry?!!!’ Juwan would scream out, “Why is he HEEERREE?!!!” Bruce came back over, and I asked if Barry was a regular there. His response: “I ain’t never seen his crack-smokin’ ass around here before!” Barry’s like 4 feet away, mind you. I cringe and say, “He’s right there! He can here you!!!!” Bruce replied, “I don’t care! He knows what he is!”

So, the night continues on, and the drinks keep flowing. I decide to sing another song, but what to sing? Well, I went for the “ringer approach” and chose a song I already knew: This I Promise You (Which, btw, can be downloaded from my music section *wink*). So, I chose my song and signed up on the list.

Turns out, “Catwoman” had signed up for ANOTHER Mary J. song before me. I swear! So, I sat back and watched her butcher yet ANOTHER song, but I also noticed Barry talking to the DJ off to the side. Something nefarious was going on. I think he was trying to arrange for her to sing another song. I’ll be damned if I’m gonna watch THAT happen! You see, I was next on the list, and I wanted to sing my damn song.

I kinda got belligerent at that point. Ask anyone on that couch. “What the fuck is he doing?” I asked. ” I will fight Marion Barry! I ain’t scared of no old Marion Barry!” Sure, I wasn’t screaming at the top of my lungs, but I was vocal. That’s what alcohol does. It’s pure science.

I wanted to sing my song and, I’m sorry, there’s a line! Luckily, he didn’t get in front of me. Bruce swears I wasn’t going to do anything, but I don’t know…considering how surreal the night seemed, I kinda thought it was all a dream by that point anyway!

So, I got up and sang This I Promise You. It probably wasn’t the best venue for such a song; did I mention Black, gay, and S.E. DC?

During the instrumental part of the song, I got a little creative. I said, “This goes out to Bruce, on his birthday. And I also wanna give a shout-out to Marion Barry.” People kinda laughed and/or looked shocked. “What? He’s right here. We all see him!” I said. Did I mention that Marion was like 2 ft away from me? No? Well, he was. Yeah, it was dick of me. But in a drunk, funny way…

I think I got a little too into the song, actually. In fact, I think I might’ve been as off-key as Barry’s girl. Why, you ask? Well, this dude came up from behind me and said, “You’re lucky you’re cute.” OUCH. Back-handed compliments. Thanks, boys…So, I finished that song, and I think only one person clapped.

But the night was about to jump the shark. Just when you thought it was safe, what happens next? Well, I’ll tell ya!

When I get back on the couch, who do i see heading up to the mic? I thought he was lobbying for his girl again, but it was something bigger than that. Something more unexpected. Something monumental. Yes, Marion Barry was gonna SING KARAOKE!!!

I’m about to lose my mind here!!! Am I really seeing this? Is he really who he claims to be?!!! It’s all a blur. And what song did he choose for himself? “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay”, by Otis Redding. Yes, I was about about to watch the tides roll away as Barry butchered a soul classic. We’re falling out of our seats in disbelief! We’re scrounging for camera phones and anything else to immortalize this moment. I yell,”Do you know how much Wonkette would pay for these pictures?!!!”.

He was beyond bad. It’s not that he was tone-deaf..it’s just that he wasn’t listening to the background track. Then, his lady decided to join him for the WORST duet….I can’t even….I’m fuckin’ blown! And to cap it off, you know how the song ends with a whistling solo? He sang it! No, he didn’t whistle it; he SANG IT!!! Words can’t explain…

When he finished, the crowd erupted. I guess we were all in awe of what had just transpired and, as they say in the ‘hood, “Marion was getting his propers”…Some of the guys helped him off of his chair, and after a few more political handshakes, Marion and ‘ho left the building. It was like a mass UFO sighting, though. For the next hr, we were all asking each other, “Did you see that?!!” or “Did that really just happen?” or, my fave, “Fucking Marion Barry?!!” It was like, for that night, we were all brought closer due to our shared ordeal. God bless alcohol and fallen celebrities…

The party wound down, we closed out tabs, and laughed about that shit all the way back to MD. I hope this made some kind of sense in print, but you really had to be there. And I’m sure it’ll never happen again, so you missed out. But from this day forward, children around the world will sing songs of the time Crack-smoking Marion Barry Sang Karaoke in the Gay Bar. And if you ever hear them sing these songs, you just tell ’em my name and that I was there on that fateful day.

Marion Fuckin Barry…

28th Oct2004

Halloween: The Cure For Race Relations

by Will

I think I’ve discovered the solution to better race relations. Brace Yourselves! And the cure is: Halloween.

This holiday has something for everyone!

You see, I’ve come to realize that White people REALLY LOVE Halloween. They throw parties and dress up in elaborate costumes. Meanwhile, Black people LOVE free shit…They don’t necessarily go all out for costumes. That $2 cape at CVS? That’s perfect. Just enough to let the neighbors realize the little kids are trick or treating and NOT trying to rob their homes…

I hate generalizations, really. But these observations have just jumped out at me. Soccer mom after soccer mom is constanly asking, “Do you know where I can find a wig? It’s for my costume.” or “Do you have this plaid top in a larger size? I’m going as Mary-Ann for Halloween.”

In the meantime, from my Nubian (“What’s a Nubian?”) compatriots, I get, “Y’all got layaway?” or” Ain’t y’all got no coupons?” or, my personal fave, “Well, if it ain’t scan, I guess it’s free!”

So, what have we learned? White people really enjoy the fun of Halloween, while Black people really like free shit…

Where’s my Nobel Prize?