Monday, March 25, 2013

I AM Motherf***in' Civilized!

A fellow employee at the arena, after hearing me recount my story, told me, "You have to blog that!" Which reminded me that I have a blog and that I haven't touched it in, what, 2 months or more? So I thought this might be my entry back in to blogging. I like blogging. I do. I should do it more.

I worked a basketball game tonight, an exciting game whose result came down to the last minute of play. With about two minutes left in the game, a super fan, with his hair painted in the colors of his favored team, abandoned his seat and stood on the landing. We, as ushers, are required by the Fire Marshal to keep landings clear in case of evacuation, plus he was blocking the view of the dozens of fans behind him, so I dashed out to him, trying to stay low, and said, "Sir, you can't stay on the landing. Would you please return to your seat?"

"Yes," he said, and continued to stand there.

"We're required to keep the landings clear in case of evacuation," I said, "and the Fire Marshal is sitting right over there."

"Yeah, OK," he said, and continued to stand there.

"Seriously," I said, "You can't stand here. You have to go out onto the concourse or go back to your seat."

"Seriously!" he snapped. "Are you going to kick me out in the last two minutes?" But he went back up the stairs to his seat.

A moment later, he came down and sat in an empty seat further down. Then he stood in front of the seat. Then the patron sitting next to him, a man in his sixties or seventies, asked him to sit down so that the fans behind him could see. I couldn't hear what the super fan said, but the older patron quickly came down and exited, saying to me as he went by, "That guy's nuts. Really. He's completely nuts."

Next, with the game clock down now to about a minute left, another patron came down and informed me, "That guy told the guy that left that he'd motherf***in' kill him. I thought you should know. He's kind of out there."

"Oh," I thought. "That's why he left and called the guy nuts."

A few seconds later, the super fan came down, staring hard at me all the way, his brightly colored hair standing straight up. In the last minutes of the game, fans often accumulate in the portals (the doorways between the concourse and the seating area) torn between the urge to beat everyone else out the door to avoid the traffic snafus and the urge to see the end of the game. Two other fans were standing next to me, watching the last minute. The super fan stopped across from me in the portal, still glaring.

I said, "Did you really tell that guy that you were going to kill him?"

"Uh, no." He seemed a little taken aback. "I told him if he had a problem with me, I'd see him outside. He saw my kid slip on the stairs and said, 'Must be in the gene pool.' He's going to say that s*** in front of my kid, I'm going to take him outside! And you! You are so motherf***in' white!"

"Wow," I thought. "He, in his late twenties or early thirties, is going to call out a man in his sixties or seventies to have a fistfight in the parking lot?" But of course I didn't say that.

Instead, thinking of him blocking the sight lines of the other fans, I said, "Sir, I was just asking you to act like a civilized human being."

He exploded. "I am motherf***in' civilized! I am so f***in' civilized! My f***in' girlfriend has all of it on video! She has you on video! She has that other guy on video!"

After a few moments of uncomfortable eye contact between us, he thankfully stormed off onto the concourse. The two fans standing next to me both looked at me shaking their heads. One of them said, "The stuff you guys have to put up with."

So yes, I repeated this story a few times to co-workers tonight. "I knew I was white. I just didn't know that I was mother***in' white!" But my favorite facts were:

1) My fellow arena employee, on hearing the tale, wrote "I AM mother***in' civilized!" on a post-it note and declared it would be her new catch phrase.

2) The nut who accused me of being "so motherf***in' white!" was also white, and the two patrons who commiserated with me about "the stuff you guys have to put up with" were both black.

Some might take this as a tale of how awful the general public is. I instead choose to take it as an example of one end of the bell curve, evidence of how many people who come through our doors, and there are thousands after thousands after thousands, who do not behave like people who are biologically incapable of living successfully among other human beings. Wheee! This is why I love working the arena!


She Said said...

You're not just white, but motherf***in' white? Oh man, I'm so motherf***in' outta here.

I, Rodius said...

It's such a weight off my chest now that it's out in the open. You can't imagine how stressful it's been hiding it from you all that I'm full-on mother***in' white.

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