A Sorry State

I dropped by the barbershop yesterday for my usual pruning, and as I entered the shop, it was empty excepting the barber and a young man, maybe 20 year old, sitting in his chair. I took this as a good sign as I expected the wait to be brief. However, the young man and his non-stop stupidity seemed to make those 10 minutes last the better part of the morning.

It started positively enough. The kid was telling the barber how he was headed into the military next month. He was hoping to use the deal to get his college education. That’s certainly a respectable path, but as he droned on, any modicum of respect her earned was lost. He boasted how his dad had a friend who told him how to play the recruiter, and he did so like an old fiddle. You see, he wanted Uncle Sam to pay for school, but there was no way he was gonna risk winding up in a pine box for a (insert derogative term for Black person beginning with the letter “n” here) President. Nice. Apparently junior here fancies himself handy with computers, so the Army promised him they’d train him as a computer tech and there’s no way they’d risk a guy like that anywhere near where the bullets fly. Uh huh.

It went downhill from there. The other reason he’s headed to the military is he can’t get a job since his previous employer had him arrested for stealing car parts. But he wasn’t worried because he ditched the parts and there’s no hard evidence against him. It’s just his word against the store owner’s. And his dad got him a lawyer who found out the store owner is an AA member, so by the time he’s done everyone in town will know the owner’s a drunk.

I would venture that this kid needs the military way more than they need him. I suspect he’s also in for a rude awakening when his plan for a cozy stateside gig doesn’t work out quite to script. I also hope that during boot camp his drill instructor smacks him hard enough that his dad feels it.

2 thoughts on “A Sorry State

  1. How did you or the barber sit there an listen to any of that after the first President comment without way more words back to him (or at the very least a good whipping). Yet one more reason it’s a good thing they wouldn’t let me in a barber shop.

  2. Well, the more complete story would be that I didn’t quite hear the n-word comment myself. I had just come in and wasn’t really paying attention to them until I overheard just part of the no pine box for a President comment. I thought that was a crappy attitude, but I didn’t hear that he had used the n-word until after he had left and the barber apologized to me for having to listen to it.

    So from the part I heard first hand, he was just being stupid. I didn’t realize the rest until he had left.

    As for the barber, he was just biting his tongue in the interest of his business. As he pointed out, back when he was a bartender at least he could rationalize that people were drunk when they spouted such crap.

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