That was me to Mrs. Field as we ate out today in one of those chain restaurants (I won't give the name) that serves up the standard A-merry-can cuisine. You know the type of joint I am talking about. Television sets on every wall, entrees average about ten bucks a pop, and there is a huge circular bar for folks who just want to drink. The kitchen is visible for everyone to see (I guess that's the new thing with these types of joints, so that everyone can see how their food is being cooked.
Of course, me being me, I notice that there is nothing but brothers in the kitchen. And conversely, all the waiters, waitresses, hosts and bartenders are white.
"Who are you, 'Buggin Out' from 'Do The Right Thing' now? Maybe if the 'brothers' would get an education past the tenth grade they wouldn't have to be in 'the kitchen." Mrs. Field was glaring, and I could see where this conversation was heading. Mrs. Field has a serous issue with brothers and education, or lack thereof. "Yeah yeah, I know, but no disrespect to waiters and waitresses, but I am quite sure that it's not rocket science. Some of those brothers in the kitchen would probably make fine waiters." "Would they?" (Mrs. Field was glaring again.) "I mean you would have to be able to understand them when they describe the menu, you know how your cousins are." Whenever Mrs. Field speaks ill of black folks they all of a sudden become my cousins. "Whatever, I am just saying there is an apartheid element to it that's just a little unsettling. Hell, this is Philly, we aren't in some back water town somewhere." I was getting a little pissed off myself. "Exactly, which is what makes it even more sad. We must have over a hundred colleges within a fifty mile radius of here, and I guarantee you that not one of those grown ass men back there ever set foot on a college campus. Field, not today, I am not in the mood for your defend the brothers no matter what conversation."
It was my turn again, and I know she was waiting....I figured I would get diplomatic, and end an argument that there is no way in hell I was going to win. (You brothers with the "I do's" in your past can relate) "Well, at least they have jobs. I will give the restaurant that much; they gave the brothers jobs. Now maybe they can earn a living and save up enough for college. At $200 a week, they ought to be able to sign up for a class or two" (I couldn't resist, and she knew it).
"Not today Field, not today."
"Hi, I am Mandy (her real name), may I take your order?" "Mandy, are you in college, my husband and I were just having a conversation about area colleges." (She just couldn't resist)"Yes, I am at LaSalle, but I just took a semester off, I'm going back this fall." "Wow, that's nice Mandy," I said. "May I see your drink menu, please?"