**Disclaimer: This ancient Man Law is related to my story
Earlier this year, a buddy from Saudi Arabia wanted to hang out at an urban club... I didn't like the idea of this considering his inexperience in hanging out with folks like us - but this guy is pretty cool and he really loves Black women - as most intelligent guys do. So we decide to check out a local club that my boys Mark and Byron manage. It wasn't exactly 'hood' from a Black man perspective, but I like the vibe, and I was sure that we wouldn't have to deal with the 'hood' elements... beefing, fighting, smokers, etc. So we drive by to peep it out - we see that there is a nice crowd, so we decide to partake.
So we're having a good time, great music and the DJ is hot. As we're hanging, I see a beautiful female that catches my eye (and no, I didn't spit that "you caught my eye" weak game at her). I introduce myself and we commence to small talk... I learn that she (Lannette) is visiting Houston from Tennessee and is in town for the weekend, but she enjoys the city and is now contemplating a permanent move here. This brief exchange quickly turns into a 20 minute chat... we exchange numbers, bid adieu and part ways. Naturally, my boy was laying back taking mental notes while I unleashed the verbal 'swag'.
As time passes, we leave the club and head towards the parking lot, where I am approached by Lannette... she is accompanied by her girlfriend. She tells me that they are both heading to Denny's, and invites us both to come - "cool, let's do it." I'm not expecting anything more than just a "pow wow" session as my boy and I head to Denny's.
As we arrive, Lannette and her friend are already sitting at a table, so we walk in - but to my surprise there are 3 brothers also at her table - which is totally unexpected. No biggie - after all, I was invited by Lannette, and since I'm just here to have a good time I didn't think that anything would pop off. WRONG. As my boy and I are introduced to everyone, one of the guys decides that he didn't want to acknowledge me or my boy with a handshake. Once again no biggie, until he starts coming off foul at the mouth:
"I don't know why ya'll nuckas are even here in the first place? What's up with these nuckas Lannette?"
But wait it gets worse...
"And who's this Iraqi dude up in here anyway? What's this all about?"
At this point, my boy was getting antsy - he didn't want to stay. And me? I knew that dude was definitely drunk, and these types usually fall into one of two categories:
A. He is drunk, angry, and ready to take his anger out on anyone for any reason. aka: "The Firecracker"
B. He is drunk, doesn't realize what's popping off out of his mouth - but he is harmless, he'll totally forget all that he has said as soon as it comes out, and will ultimately fall asleep while chewing on his Denny burger. aka: "The Smoke blower".
I'm not leaving - so I tell my boy to be easy. As I'm sitting across the table from this guy, I act as if he doesn't exist. Everyone else is laughing and bugging out, reflecting on the recent presidential election amongst other things, and eventually we place our order with the waitress... everyone except dude. In fact, dude was pretty vocal about NOT wanting anything to eat. I sense that I'm dealing with "The Firecracker", as he shouts at the waitress:
"I ain't eating NOTHIN'. Don't get me NOTHIN' to eat around here. I don't even understand why I'm sittin up in here with these nuckas anyway... I ain't eatin NOTHIN'."
At this point, I'm pissed. I'm tired of being referred to as a "nucka," and this dude is disrupting the whole mood. I can't ignore this anymore.
"Yo dude, seriously, what's good man? Why don't you just leave?"
"You talking to me? Do I even know you? Man, don't be talking to me man unless you got something for me man... I don't play that - we can go right here."
At this point, I'm ready to fight... dude is looking at me hard with his battle face on - and I'm ready for him. But before I react, I have a moment of clarity (pause. breath. assess: that split second when everything just slows down enough for you to take a mental pause to reflect on your emotion before you say or do something that you will end up regretting). My moment of clarity went a little something like this:
"Ok Ron... it's Friday... if you fight this dude you will most likely look like a fool in front of all of Denny's and these ladies that I just met... not to mention, I'll sit in jail tonight, on Saturday AND on Sunday - in other words, I will violate the all important Man Law #3142. Although punching him will feel really good, can I risk getting into a fight??"
Yes I can. I'm still angry, but I start to think of ways that this situation can be handled diplomatically while preserving the 'swagga'... (pause. breath. assess). Ok, I'm at a point where I start to rise up. I think, "as we are both Black men here, and our new President is Black, what's the point?" I also remember that underneath my pin stripped shirt is my black President Obama t-shirt. I unbutton my shirt to show dude my Obama t-shirt... and I tell him:
"Yo dude, our President is Black. We'ze supposed to be happy up in this piece... I ain't got time to be beefing with you like this... our President is Black homie! What's really good?"
At that point my friend breaks out in song, "Ayeeee, my Prezzident is Black, my lambo's blue, Ayeee."
Everybody laughs at my boy's attempt to be the first ill Saudi rapper... "The Firecracker" couldn't even hold his ice grill anymore. He pauses, takes a breath... and acquiesces.
And all is good in the 'hood - Denny's that is.
A wise man once told me: negativity will always die - it simply refuses to last forever - it's impossible ... but positive energy is a never-ending flow. Like love, it lasts forever.