Monday, October 24, 2005

Race-related interactions are interesting and important. And life is funny. Sometimes, the two collide.

I was at one of the biggest electronic superstore chains Sunday (returning a TV; if I'm going to pay that much for a box, I want it to be "awesome!"; not "pretty good").

Here's the scene:

A white women ("White Employee") is helping me in Customer Service. A black man ("Black Employee #1") is also helping, testing the TV I'm returning. Stay with me, because I wouldn't mention skin color if it wasn't germane to the story.

While I'm waiting (a looong time), another store employee -- also black ("Black Employee #2") -- walks over from the video section and yells, "Hey! Black Guy! I need to talk to you! Yo! Black Guy!".

Think about this. In today's hypersensitive social world, I found it interesting that this guy was acting this way -- face it, we live in a stupid pseudo-tolerant world, so the whole thing was surprising.

Anyway, Black Employee #1 says something like, "Hold on, I'm busy" (which makes me think he knows this guy).

Then White Employee, semi-joking (I'm thinking because she wants to play in the banter, but is a little uncomfortable with a customer involved) says, "I want you both to know that I'm offended by that."

To which Black Employee #2 says, "Why? You're not black."

And then -- I kid you not (and this is the "life is funny" part) -- the long trailer for Crash starts playing on the bank of TVs behind them.

You can't script an interstitial better than that. It's had me thinking all evening.

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