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This sounds vaguely familiar…

But I could swear it takes place on the West Coast – in a place like Seattle or something…

Race Relations in Seattle

So I’m waiting for my ride at 5th and Jackson, when my bus driver friend Gary (older black gentleman, very nice, but very formal) drives up in the #14. A lady with tattoos on her face staggers towards the bus as I’m talking to him, so I step back to let her on, rolling my eyes to let Gary know he’s got a real winner coming on board. She’s just trashed, and being Caucasian, I guess that makes her White Trash (in this part of town, it’s probably 50/50 odds the inebriated person is black or white. The Asians are rarely wasted, or they never show it, and I won’t even mention the Native Americans).

Anyway, after the drunk Caucasian lady stumbles past Gary, he looks at me and says, “That’s one of your people, Finnegan.” Then he closes the door and drives on up Jackson.

Maybe you’d need to know Gary, but it was funny as hell.

Now, if our roles were reversed, could I say the same thing, and would it be funny? Obviously no, and I think it could be justifiably considered a racist comment. Doesn’t that mean that Gary’s comment is racist as well? What’s fair (or unfair) for someone on the basis of race must be fair or unfair for someone of a different race, right?

Only if you’re an idiot. The manner in which people of different races, especially blacks and whites, view one another has a long history in this country, and ignoring it, or trying to ignore it, turns us into fools. People are different. We treat different people differently, and that’s just the way it is.

No, it doesn’t mean racism is a laughing matter. Neither, in most or at least many circumstances, are drunkenness and tattooed faces. And I’m not sure how well this story would play in front of a crowd, told by a comedian. In fact, this seems like a pretty good illustration of the difference between what’s funny for professional comedians, and what it means to have a sense of humor in the midst of whatever life happens to throw at you. The former can be enjoyable, but the latter is necessary so that life doesn’t become unbearable.

Badger Korrektiv

aotm

Yep, just like the proverbial blister – showing up after the work is done. That is in fact JOB staying the hell out of the way of men who actually know what they’re doing as he heads to Twin Cities for something called the Argument of the Month Club as chauffeur for ten good men in Driver 8, including Matt Korger, Wisconsin’s Own Blogging Superstar of the Catholic Blogosphere, who was there to document the crash course with zaniness.

We were done in under 20 minutes with plenty of time for beer and appetizers…

Enough to make even the Old Man proud.

from the Seattle Transit Blotter

2014.09.20 17:35 Route #13 Third & Bell, Northbound

A couple in their mid to late 40s board the bus. Both are slender, fit, well dressed and in reasonably good spirits. Not at all down and out. He says, “for both of us,” and tries to feed a five dollar bill into the fare box, which the fare box refuses to accept.

Looking on, she says, “Must be one of them bills you got at a strip club!”

The bill is in fact the color of boiled spinach, a fairly sodden greenback that has lost any stiffness it once had, even as he pushes it forward.

“Yeah, right, when I was picking you up from work.”

“Phhh!” she says, rolling her eyes. “I wish!”

Seattle Metro Bus Blotter 2014.9.18 2:25PM

Me, to a kid who just ran a block to catch my bus, “You know, if you pulled up your pants, you might be able to run a little faster.”

Kid, to me after he gets off the bus, “You know, if your mouth was a little bigger, you might be able to suck my dick.”