Accents

Well, I’ll be damned. It’s Monday. This afternoon, it was pretty blustery in Toronto so much that I’m sure at least 6 baby birds got caught in my afro and are currently making nests: the joy of procuring pets (and dinner) for free.

This past weekend I left town via the train to visit my family. It was great. Got to use my natural Jamaican accent with only a small amount of mocking (as opposed to Toronto where people cleverly deduce that I’m going to shoot them based on my nationality). This got me thinking about an experience I had a while ago that would have made me blush if the darkness of my skin allowed for it. Like last weekend, it started off on the train to see my family.

I sat down in a seat that was grouped with three others, generally trying to mind my own damn business. I pulled out the script for a play I was participating  in and worked on memorising my lines. It is here that I will mention the play was written in French. What does that mean? Once focused, my brain recalibrated itself to NOT English. As I pored over the pages, a very attractive guy sat in the seat across from me. I tried not to let that distract me as I really needed to memorise my lines.

What I looked like trying to focus on the script

I glanced up at one point and he had fallen asleep. His ticket fell from his hand and landed softly on the ground between his feet. I thought for a brief moment that I should retrieve it like a Good Samaritan but then common sense kicked in. Hell no. There’s no fucking way. I’d bend over to get it and with any luck, he’d wake up to find my face in his crotch (the seats were close; our knees were touching). I refuse to go to jail, so I let that shit be. I kept memorising lines.

A few minutes later I heard a startled snort across from me. I looked up from my script again and noticed my seat buddy was frantically searching his immediate surroundings with more skill than a pedophile in a teen chatroom. I figured he was looking for his ticket so I said, “I think you dropped your ticket on the ground.”

Normal conversation, right? Wrong.

My stupid ass forgot I was reading French, but was also a little nervous to talk to him because I thought he was cute, so I had a medley of French, Jamaican, and a pinch of English accents. Where in God’s name the English accent came from, I don’t have an inkling of a damn clue. God is a troll.

The guy looked at me inquisitively, sort of with the question, Where are you from? written on his face. Instead he asked:

“So do they check the tickets on the train often? I’ve never ridden it before.”

[No answer]

“Are you coming from Toronto or visiting friends?”

[No answer]

“I’m sorry. Did I offend you?”

[No answer]

I was so fucking embarrassed about the accent mishap I couldn’t even talk.My dumbass self… He tried to be friendly and make conversation. I stared back at him like a creep.

Shit.

He’s my Brother

Family. They are always there through the ups and downs in your life. You always have a special place in their hearts. They pick you up when you need it most. Best of all, they cheer you on until you end up on top. Having a family is a pretty sweet deal when you think about it.

Now, my younger brother plays for his high school football team. Don’t ask me what position he plays. I don’t fucking know. I’m still trying to figure out why it’s deemed a super macho, “heterosexual” sport when the dudes are eager to jump all over each other in tight-ass pants.

Oh, I get it now; Freddie Mercury designed the uniforms...

My brother’s team was in really good shape and they made it to play in the finals in downtown Toronto. I went to the game to support him and cheered as obnoxiously as possible when they won. To embarrass his adolescent ass, of course. After the game, everyone gathered around and took photos. I took one with my brother and made it my Facebook profile photo.

A few days letter I got the following text messages:

Oooh! Who’s that CUTE boy you’re with on your Facebook?

zOMG is that your boooooyfriend?!?

Hey! Who’s that guy in your pic?

I get it; he’s taller than me and we’re standing more than two feet apart so obviously this person must be my boyfriend…

Really, people?! I’d like to be the first to point out the obvious fact that my brother and I are BIOLOGICALLY related. We basically have the same fucking face. I don’t understand what part of that was confusing. However, I can clearly recall at least five – count ’em – FIVE different people who assumed my kid brother was my romantic interest.

Well, I’ll be damned! I’m a frigging pedophile and didn’t even know it! Uh oh! We better call up the folks from “To Catch a Predator” and get all Chris Hansen up in this bitch.

You bet your sweet ass she isn't 41...

It pains me to say that this isn’t even the first time someone has mistaken us for a couple. When we were on vacation a few years back, some vulture-bait quality of a man swaggered up to me with his raggedy-ass self and said he’d been watching me for a few days (I love when people admit that).

“Je t’ai vu avec un black. Est-ce que c’est ton petit copain?” (trans. “I saw you with a black guy. Is he your boyfriend?”)

In that case, yes. He most certainly freaking was.

Have a great weekend, everyone.

Sweat

I love the gym. It’s a great escape from life’s bullshit. Focusing on wearing out my body makes me momentarily forget that Snooki from “The Jersey Shore” was permitted by some unholy force to publish a novel entitled “A Shore Thing”. There’s also the whole keeping in shape/staying active/keeping my lard-ass under control thing.

I probably never get bored at that place. It’s filled to the brim with ass-hats who aren’t there to get into shape at all. Girls bust the fuck out of the change room with full make-up painted on like clowns at the circus and clothes too tight in which to move. The guys try to wheel them. What is wheeling?

wheel       /(h)wēl/      (verb): The art of attracting the opposite sex.

Typical day at the gym

Normally this display of debauchery is absolutely hilarious, until one of these clowns makes the mistake of thinking I want to be involved, too. Fuck my life.

One particular workout day, I decided to use the stationary bike to do some wheeling of my own (see what I did there?). I sat down two bikes away from this guy who very possibly owned a collection of Ed Hardy graphic tees. I didn’t pay too much attention as I began pedaling my bike into buns-of-steel oblivion. 10 minutes into my workout, I noticed irregular movement out of the corner of my peripheral vision. Out of normal human curiosity, I glanced in that direction. Much to my disdain, my eyes made contact with those of the massive guido close by.

“Oh, hey there,” he said as he gave me a supposedly sexy up-nod. He waved.

“Hi.” I turned away to face forward again.

“How’s it going?” He raised his eyebrows as he flashed me his pearly whites.

Oh, hell to the no. Ain’t no one getting in the way of my workout. I go to the gym to kick some ass, not tap it. This little bitch was hardly going to put an end to that. If I weren’t already exhausted from the elliptical, I would have knocked out his damn bleached teeth. I paused the workout on my bike and abruptly stopped pedaling. I leaned my right elbow on the handlebars as I turned to face him. I looked about as bad-ass as Sailor Moon herself.

"I will right wrongs and triumph over dipshits; and that means you!"

“Listen,” I huffed. “Do not talk to me. I’m trying to sweat.”

His facial expression was the combination between a surprised wombat and a herniated duck. Satisfied with his silence, I resumed biking. Fucking right. No one messes with my workout.

Note: I sorely apologize for the lateness of this post. I’ve been mighty ill.

Edit

I stumbled on this link and had to share.

http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/2aceh9/theoatmeal.com/comics/gym/

“Why can’t I call you ________?”

“Why can’t I call you n*gger?”

I feel like I get this question often. At least a couple times a year, some moron posing as a great intellect has to blow their damn cover and make it public. It’s as if ass-clowns just can’t keep that shit to themselves. After an extremely fatiguing process, the most ideal response seems to be:

“Shut up or I’ll throw you under a bus.”

Now, you, dear reader, must be thinking, “Oh, but that isn’t fair! The person was merely asking a question and maybe wondered why the word offended you so much.”

Fair enough response. Story time.

Two years ago, I sat in a bar with a few friends with whom I attended university. It just so happened that it was February 28. Black History Month. My personal beliefs toward this so-called “celebration” are not relevant to the story. It will suffice to say that one friend of mine, we’ll call him John, and I constantly make “Happy Black History Month” jokes throughout February. John, his girlfriend, my roommate at the time, and our mutual friend who we’ll call Craig, were to be my companions for a drunken night (Canada had just won gold for Olympic hockey; enough said).

20 minutes into lounging at the bar, John and I started up again with our antics. We were having a pretty good time, when John looked at his watch and mentioned that Black History Month was soon to be over as it was nearly midnight. We would be forced to poke light fun at something else. This is when Craig piped in:

“Yeah, I’ve had enough of hearing about you n*ggers.”

I’d first like to address that John is Caucasian, so the comment was solely directed towards me. With all the strength in me, I remained calm and asked with a deep scowl on my face, “Did you just call me the N-word?”

“Yeah, that’s right,” he smiled, his eyes twinkling like Edward Cullen’s skin in the sunlight. “I called you a n*gger.”

Wow. He must have lost his fucking mind. Maybe he had a brain tumour that interfered with any and all neuro-pathways for higher functioning. It’s also possible that he thought he was a Super Saiyan and could fend me off if I tried to murderize his fool ass.

Next time on Dragon Ball Z: Black woman kicks the absolute shit out of jackass

Some people do not know what is good to say and what is not. Before I could even begin to process this dipshit’s troll logic, John stepped in:

“Whoa, whoa, whoa! Listen, man. Of all the Black people to pull that shit out on, Timmi is not the one.”

I love John. And just when I was about to let the whole conundrum go, Craig decided to fan the flames:

“Why can’t I call you that? It’s just a word! Listen, I’m gay and people call me f*ggot all the time and you don’t see me getting into a huge fuss about it. You need to stop acting like you’re the only one with problems.”

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

You poor thing. You just called me one of the most offensive words in the English language and you need to ask me why? Here, let me give you some pencils to sharpen so you can fall on them. Oh you poor, poor thing. I feel terrible for you.

Seeing as how you don’t understand what I’m saying, let me give you the remix.

Reasons to not call me the N-word:

1. I asked you not to. Prick.

See, I thought that refraining from ever using that sort of vocabulary in my language would aid those with a low IQ in understanding that I find it unacceptable. I don’t use any word that is specifically designed to belittle a demographic. That’s right, shit-licker. If you’re getting an insult from me, I won’t get lazy and call you a word to describe something you can’t help. That’s no fun. I’m going to personally hand-craft and specialize an obscenity for you, delivered at your convenience. However, clearly I am the fucking idiot in this situation. Instead, I should have allowed someone else to tell me what should offend me as a Black person. Yup, makes perfect sense.

It’s strange the amount of persistence I get every time I ask someone not to call me the N-word. I feel like there’s a club and  you get to be part of it when you get a Black person to say, “Oh, yeah! Right on, bro! You can definitely call me n*gger! No problem!” Oh wait, that’s already a club…

Immortality

A few months ago, my current flatmates and I discovered an issue with our apartment (I will not get into it here; it is just too fucking long and infuriating a story for that). Needless to say, we called up our landlord and he hired a service man to resolve the problem. The day of his arrival, my schedule allowed for me to be at the apartment to let him in.

The man seemed friendly enough, not that it really mattered. I just needed him to do the job he was paid for and get the fuck out so I could back to sleep. He also had a demeanor that vaguely resembled that of the Ghostbusters.

Basically, this guy's dad showed up

That was slightly reassuring to my already stressful situation because I know the Ghostbusters have always been reliable. Having your own theme song scores major trust points with me. Even if your name is Cruella de Vil. Or Karla Homolka.

As he pottered around, we made casual conversation. He asked about what I study and if I enjoyed it, told me about his kids, and cursed Toronto weather. All in all, the subject matter was very surface material. Then he came out with:

“So are you in first year, second year…?”

This is  pretty common question for me. No one can guess my age. Usually people believe I’m either in high school or have graduated university for a couple of years.

“No, I’m actually in my fourth year of university.”

He seemed a little bit embarrassed by his age approximation so I tried to reassure him.

“Oh don’t worry! It seems like it’s difficult for most people to put their finger on my age. I bet to some people I look five (obviously an exaggeration or they’re putting too many hormones in the goddamn chicken because I’d be one of the few five year-olds to hit puberty)!”

This is normally where, when I have this particular conversation, the dialogue ends and the subject is changed. With this guy? Not fucking likely.

“You know, when I was around your age and going to university, I lived with a lot of black guys.”

Here it comes.

“You guys don’t age at all, eh!”

Oh. My. God. I’m immortal?! Why the fuck did no one tell me? Was there some meeting I missed? If that’s the case, I’m going to get all Greek deity on the world’s ass. You assholes better watch out. I’m not playing. I’m getting some lightning bolts so that when people piss me the hell off, I can chuck one of those motherfuckers at them. Or better yet, I’m going to transform my immortal black ass into a horse and kick Ghostbuster guy directly in his face.

Excuse me, my golden chariot to Olympus awaits.

Frosh Week and 50 Cent

Ah, Frosh week. A time when the university student is finally able to stretch his wings far enough to reach for a beer bottle and drink himself to a drunken stupour. A time when groggily waking up to find yourself stranded in Quebec wearing nothing but your underwear and a tramp stamp that reads Suburban Lyfe, Bitch means you didn’t party as hard as your friend who ended up in Guam. Frosh week: a time when anything seems possible.

My own university orientation was one of sorts, as some would call it. Being the rebel that I am, I was careful to curiously flirt with the line between outrageous and square. Of course, that implies that I only did 3 lines of coke instead of 5 like my friends. Whilst watching neo-Nazi instructional videos. In a brothel.

My besties from Frosh ❤

The organizers arranged a club night for our year, and a bunch of my new-found friends and I decided we would go. It was a pretty good time, us minding our own damned business as some guy, thinking he was a girl from behind, started grinding up on my long-haired male frosh leader better than any rap video I’ve ever seen. Needless to say, the two of them were tickled pink with dread once he turned around. I wish I had been so lucky.

I continued dancing with two friends of mine whilst the rest of them went off in search of the washroom, or quite possibly Narnia. It had been a while since I had last seen them so I turned my head, but only managed to meet the gaze of this bloke who was dancing with his group of friends. He smiled at me, and in a purely camaraderie-of-Frosh way, I smiled back.

Big fucking mistake.

University Lesson 1: smiling at someone indicates that you want your junk violated with their exorcism-like pelvic thrusting.

Now, because I was pretty still breaking out of my shy phase for cussing people the fuck out, I looked at my friends for help with pleading eyes. They did no such thing. Assholes that they are, they watched as this guy made me his personal scratching post. However, things escalated to a new level. I distinctly remember the song “Low” by Flo-Rida playing as we… “danced”. If you don’t know what I’m talking about:

The lyrics to the chorus are as follows:

Shorty had them apple bottom jeans (jeans)
Boots with the fur (with the fur)
The whole club was looking at her
She hit the floor (she hit the floor)
Next thing you know
Shorty got low, low, low, low, low, low, low, low

That was not at all what I heard in my ear because this moron was screaming like a chimp in heat. The guy decided that those lyrics were not good enough. That couldn’t possibly be the way to musically demean a lady. In fact, he was going to show me that he had just descended from heaven and was the Messiah of Music himself. Or maybe his accent was just really heavy:

Thowty ha’ ‘em appeuh bottah jeaaaaaaaz
Boos wi’ da fur
Da hoe crub rooking at her
She hi’ di flow
Nex’ fing you know
Thowty gah row, row, row, row, row, row, row, row

Just when I thought my ears would bleed and fall off the sides of my head, he stopped singing. Praise the Lord! There is a God!

“They call me 50 Cent.”

I retract my previous statement.

50 Cent

 

The moron who approached me

Let me get this straight. You expect me to believe that ANYONE on this entire planet calls you 50 Cent? I’m sorry but do I look fucking blind to you? Does it seem like I’m visually impaired? You’re four feet high, man. There’s no fucking way you can pass for that. Unless you get stilts.

I don’t know what got into me at that moment but I turned to him and called his bullshit:

“What? They call you 50 Yen?!”

Caribbean Fun

Wow, I must be running on Caribbean time because I didn’t even attempt to start this post on time. Sorry guys. I feel like in the spirit of Black History Month, the month into which I try to pack in the most slavery and back-of-the-bus jokes, I should be forgiven just this once.

Earlier this year I decided I to take a course on Latin American and Caribbean music as an elective. I was pretty excited about it because it was my first-ever university music class and music is my passion. It was also really interesting to learn about cultural practices that are not mainstream in North America (in a totally non I-am-a-snobby-ass-pretentious-hipster-who-needs-to-get-thrown-under-a-bus kind of way). On top of it, my professor was passionate and really knew his stuff; awesome traits to have in someone who controls your grade.

The lectures eventually hit the topic of Trinidad and Tobago. I was fucking loving this unit because I got to listen to steel pan. It was basically a party. But in the morning. And sitting down (a big fuck you to those who go to parties and drink sitting alone in the corner; that is hen shit and everyone is having a good time without you… make friends). Naturally, the professor touched on the social implications of Soca music to Trinidadian culture. The elite were very abrasive to it at first; it was seen as “whinin‘ music”.

This is where the professor paused. “Can anyone tell me what whinin‘ is? Does everyone know what it means?”

I looked around and saw the few Caribbean-descended students in the class shift uncomfortably in their seats, like they just sat in some homeless man piss.

"Just... don't... make... eye contact"

We all knew exactly what the fuck it meant but you can’t just blurt that shit out. You don’t talk about that sort of thing at school. There seemed to be a general fear shared among us that whoever answered the question would instantly have a letter addressed to their parents sent from the university explaining our class participation, and then promptly have a wooden spoon being broken over our ass. Or worse, a Hot Wheels track. Batteries not included.

One confident individual who was not part of the shitting-your-pants club eagerly raised his hand. Lord Jesus Christ, I thought. The professor called on him and the guy immediately started rubbing his hands together like it was his job.

“It’s the passionate merging of two bodies on the dance floor; a sensual dance involving much gyration of the hips.” With each definition he gave, he rubbed his hands more intensely. His words flew out of his mouth at rapid-fire speed, building in shrillness. It seemed like this motherfucker used Hannah Montana music videos as his personal porn stash.

The best of WHICH world?

“The connection of groins beneath clothes; the –”

The professor cut him off. “Yeah I was just looking for the word grinding.”

To be fair, our instructor had asked us for the definition of the word. That is his own damn fault for the amount of awkward experienced. I mean, how do you get a fucking job as a professor at a top university and not understand that, statistically speaking, it’s real likely that some perverted twit is enrolled in the class and wants to make his masturbation session public. I ought to have slapped the man upside his head for getting my brain violated. That memory is going to remain up in my hippocampus until I get freaking dementia.

What a dumb shit.