“Excuse me! Excuse me!” A male voice called out from the large doorway in strident voice as if he had been standing there for twenty minutes waiting for recognition.
I left the 2002 Buick I was under the hood of, and walked out to greet him. As soon as he saw me coming toward him, he launched into a string of unrecognizable jargon. I’d of rather he kept yelling if he could have done it coherently. We danced at the door for a few minutes with me repeating the phrase ‘I have no idea what you just said’ and him repeating the same non-language; but slower, and louder. Finally realizing I had no intention of playing the street lingo game, he decided to make what he was saying relatively understandable.
“I see you alone, man. Have any work I could do around here?”
Let me explain Workman’s Compensation in
“Well who does your sweepin’ and clean-up?”
“I do it. I’m too small time to hire clean-up crews or even another mechanic. It’s just too expensive.”
He thought this over for a moment; and I took the opportunity to turn toward my Buick, only not fast enough to escape his next conversational step I had figured was coming.
“How ‘bout lending me…”
“Sorry, I don’t give out money here,” I cut in, as I returned to the hood of the Buick.
“Well, let me borrow a can opener,” he calls out after me.
I start laughing.
“It ain’t funny, man,” he petitions for understanding, to no avail.
“Yea, it is,” I replied. “I don’t have a can opener because everything is pop-top these days, even soup cans; but I don’t loan items out of here anyway, so it really wouldn’t matter if I did have a can opener. Now…”
“You ain’t very Christian, man!” He pronounces judgment on me.
“Yea, I am,” I disagree again, “but I have enough lion in me to believe God helps those who help themselves. You were on the right track when you came in here. Try getting hired on at a place needing help.”
“It’d be different if I was a white man,” he pulled the race card, to no avail. Been there, done that.
I laughed, because after over thirty years working here in