Monday, January 18, 2010

In Poor Taste

this happened a few years ago

I have a regular customer and and a good friend named Clifton. He is black and extremely loud and objectionable. But so am I (objectionable that is). The day before MLK day he came into the store being his usual self and as usual customers were cringing all around him.

While I was waiting on the other customers, Cliffy (as I affectionately call him) kept asking me if we were going to be closed for MLK day. I ignored him which is not how I usually treat him but I was waiting on other customers. When I finished with my other customers and Cliffy has forgotten about me I hollered at him and said, "Hey Cliffy, of course we are open tomorrow because everybody knows that it's not a real holiday anyway."

For the first time in our years long relationship Clifton was speechless. He started to sputter. I couldn't contain myself any longer and burst out laughing. The expression on his face was priceless. He knew I had him. Cliffy has never been speechless in all the years I have known him but he was then.

Unfortunately I looked up to see standing in front of me a young, African-American male whom I had never seen before. He was obviously enraged and rightly so. Walking up behind him was a middle aged black lady who said, "I can't believe she just said that!" I knew I was in deep trouble and the silence around me was palpable.

The next thing I knew Cliffy was laughing uproariously! He said, "I can always count on you to say the craziest things! That was a good one!" This broke the ice. Everybody started laughing. It was then obvious to the other customers that I was playing a joke on a friend.

Needless to say I learned my lesson. Clifton KNEW I was joking but the mistake I made was not making sure the room was empty of strangers before I said it.

I learned my lesson.

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