As a grown-ass man with a love of knowledge, I don’t follow sports too closely. Obviously. I enjoy watching a game just like any other straight guy. But if a year goes by before I watch another game, then so be it.
But you know how it is when you drink in bars where mostly only guys hang out[||] and you work in a lower class retail outlet – people always come up to you wanting to talk about sports.
This summer, I was standing around the BGM, minding my own business, when this guy comes up to me and starts talking about the Cardinals. Over the years, I’ve developed a certainly ability to bluff it, so I went ahead and went along with it.
As we were talking, I looked down at his hands, and I noticed he had these little dots tattooed on each one of his fingers. It was in that light green Indian ink shit they use sometimes in the joint, and I figured he might have once been locked up. Then I noticed, on that little flap of skin between his thumb and his index finger, there was a tiny swastika.
At first, I couldn’t help but be taken aback, the way you are any time you see a swastika and it’s not in a History Channel documentary about World War II. (If you’re not from the Midwest, you’ll just have to imagine what I’m talking about.) But this guy didn’t seem racist or anything. After all, he was shooting the shit with me. He actually seemed like one of the cooler people I’ve spoken with the entire time I’ve worked at the BGM.
It could be that he doesn’t have anything against black people; he just hates the Jews. Which is certainly understandable, given the fallout from last week’s post about Peter Rosenberg. (Seriously, one of you guys needs to intellectually pwn me just to restore my faith in Judaism.) And dare I say, it may have even been a sign of the extent to which a black man has come up in this world in the age of Barack Obama.
If it really is, I might have to take back some of the stuff I’ve said about how his presendency will essentially constitute the 8th consecutive term now of Ronald Reagan – albeit not the substance of it. But fine, I’ll tone down some of the rhetoric!
Fast forward about half a year later, to the other day. I’m standing there again, and up walks my Nazi friend from this summer. We start shooting the shit, and I ask him if he’s ready to check out, so I can look busy.
He calls his wife over in the way that only a certain kind of white guy could get away with, and I start ringing them out. But then his wife had some shit that didn’t have a tag on it, so she went to grab another one, so I could scan it with my little light gun. (I know… I should have tried harder in school.)
While she was gone, this woman walked by with the kind of figure that mostly only exists in the imagination of depraved Japanese men, and my Nazi friend was like, “Man, you see some incredible women walking through here!” As I recall, this may have also been a topic of our previous discussion.
Of course, I agreed. When you’ve been reduced to working in a place like that, the least you can do is completely eye rape any woman who walks by who happens to be… shall we say, especially talented. It’s one of the few things that keeps me going these days.
In the line next to mine was this guy with a cop uniform on, but with a dark blue sweater on over his polyester cop shirt, with a shiny medal badge pinned onto it. I couldn’t help but be weirded out by him, because he looked way too fat and too old to be a cop, and yet, he definitely had this huge hand cannon on his hip. He looked like a fatter, more southern Yaphet Kotto.
So I’m standing there talking to my Nazi friend, and all of a sudden he takes off running. I figured he might have had some meth in his pocket, and he was afraid of getting busted by Yaphet Kotto. But then I saw he had run over to where this old lady had all of a sudden tripped and fallen.
He was acting all frantic and shit, and advising her on how she shouldn’t move her neck – like they do in a football game when they think a guy might have a spinal injury. This despite the fact that I’m almost certain that my Nazi friend doesn’t have any more medical training than I do. (Remember, I hold a certificate in food safety that I earned while working at a White Castle.)
I yelled to my Nazi friend whether or not I should call 911, but he obviously wasn’t operating at 100%. So I went ahead and called 911 anyway, since it was obvious she wasn’t gonna get up – either because she, couldn’t, or because my Nazi friend (I really need to find out this guy’s name) told her not to.
911 connected me to the ambulance people, and they kept asking me about the old lady – how old she was, whether she was lucid, etc. I wasn’t at a very good vantage point, so I called over Yaphet Kotto, who was also all up in the mix. I heard him explain that he was a sheriff from down in the city (which explains a lot), and that he was gonna have the situation under control until the ambulance showed up.
Finally, what may have seemed like an hour later (but may have only been 20 minutes later), my Nazi friend came over and paid for his shit. He was like, “Man, this is a crazy day.” And I was like, “Um, yeah, it is.” Then he suggested he should get a discount, for helping the old lady. At first, I thought he was joking, but then I realized he was at least 80% serious.
I explained to him that they don’t allow me to discount shit like that, but if they did, I definitely would. And you know what? I meant it. I already thought he was a cool guy, aside from his Nazi tattoos. But now that we’ve gone through this traumatic experience together, we’ve developed a certain bond, as if we were in ‘Nam together.
To think, if I wasn’t the enlightened individual that I am, I might not have spoken to him in the first place.