Thursday, September 16, 2010

Testin' My Gangsta, Part Deux: Habitual Line Steppin'.

While driving out of my subdivision this morning, I passed two younger Black males engaged in some type of verbal altercation. One of them seemed to be truly irate as he was gesturing and pointing very angrily at his counterpart. The other one seemed to not enjoy the company of a finger in his face and he proceeded to move his hand to other young man's face. All of sudden, I start to see hands raining down in combat.

I stopped the car to break it up and proceeded to ask them how this all started.
Sidebar: when did I become the old guy to break up fights?

It turns out it stemmed from them disagreeing about who was the better basketball player, Kobe Bryant or LeBron James... and then one of them called the other stupid... and someone's mother got dragged into it and next thing you know, they're fighting as if their lives depended on it.

And of course, once the mama gets dragged in - it's time to rumble.

I can't deny I was tickled by how that all started but I quickly remembered that I was once young and dumb myself. In fact, I was extra idiotic in several instances. Let me go ahead and tell you about it.

Cue Minnie Riperton.
*Back down Memory Lane....*

It was fall 1998.

The leaves were starting to change colors and a chill was starting to fill the air. I was starting to adapt to life away from home and had begun to venture out to make new friends and new experiences. It was also around this time I began to start routines, such as hanging out on the yard, playing spades and staying up late to have in-depth conversations about women.

Give me a break here, I was 17.

Doing all these things would leave me famished and tired so these things would usually coincide with a late-night fast food run. Unfortunately, the bustling urban jungle of Nashville had minimal options of sustenance after 10 pm, save for the always satisfying (and affordable) Wendy's.

Nothing says delicious like 99 cent nuggets at 2 in the morning but I digress....

Sadly, the nearest Wendy's was about 20 minute walk away from campus and my institution was not necessarily in the safest of areas, so the only way I could get to that greasy goodness was to hitch a ride. Many of my fellow freshmen did not own vehicles but I was lucky enough to know who did. My good friend from Los Angeles (via Little Rock via Chicago) would make the trek in his trusty Amigo and several of us would pile in to taste what Dave Thomas' red-haired daughter was cooking.

This one evening in particular, I was particularly hungry. It felt like my stomach lining was touching my spine and that Sally Struthers would soon appear asking people to send money for me. It turns out that I wasn't the only suffering from that particular malady because all of a sudden I heard the most magical words ever: GOIN' ON A FOOD RUN!

Being the smart guy I am, I called out shotgun* to ensure that I would be first in line to quell this internal rumble in my jungle.

*This is for my non-urban people. Shotgun is a term used to infer claim to the passenger seat in a vehicle.*

I then sped out to the Amigo (along with 5 other hungry souls) to journey towards to holla at Young Dub (that was my nickname for her - she was my boo) when I noticed someone sitting in the front seat.

"Hmmm..." I thought to myself. "Maybe he didn't hear me say shotgun."

I spoke to him and let him know that I had indeed called shotgun and that sadly he'd have to go to the back and sit thigh to thigh with the other brothas in the back.

He looked at me and said: "Forget all that, I beat you to the car."

Man Law #1725.49: When one person calls SHOTGUN, that person reserves the right to sit in that seat unless driver defers or person relinquishes position of passenger seat.

Neither of these things occurred so I calmly went back to the gentleman and let him know that rule and asked him to move to the back.

He looked back at me and said: "Tough tits."

I have to admit I was taken aback by the crass words uttered by this young man. I might've even gasped.  I began to float away and have an inner conversation with my conscience. Here is a snippet of it.

Me: "Self, is this fool tryna punk me?"

My Conscience (speaking back): "Um yeah, Captain Obvious."
Me: "What is I gonna do?"
My Conscience: "Break that fool."

With lightning quickness, I began to try and wrap that ruffian like a pretzel and push his head to the backseat. I was sure that adrenaline had started pumping through veins because I starting cursing at him like I was speaking tongues like Sister Claudine. You know her, that one lady who catches the Holy Ghost right after offering every Sunday at 12:45 pm.

It was at that time that it occurred to me that we were fighting over the front seat.


We are fighting over the front seat.
Not over world peace.
Not over pro-life or pro-choice.
Not Michael Jackson or Prince.
Not Coke or Pepsi.

Next thing I know, we're being separated and pulled away from each other and my boy lets us all know that unless we chill out, nobody was going to Wendy's.  Needless to say, we all straightened up rather quickly and I got my seat (along with a stiff neck, swollen lip and sore temple).

I thought about it during the aftermath as I gummed my Junior Bacon Cheeseburger.

You just someone fought over the front seat. 
Was it really worth it?

You bet your auntie's tough tits it was.

Before I let you go, let me know about a time you've had a dumb disagreement/fight/altercation.

That's my time.
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