-You see we got Gasol from LA?
-I saw it on the SportCenter last night. That’s a big man.
-He is a big man. That’ll be a nice one-two threat with Noah down low.
-Where’s he from now? Slovakia? Slovenia?
-He’s from Spain, you dunce.
-I don’t know…
-Another good thing that came from the signing is we got rid of Boozer.
-Right? The man is a bum…
-Worst 80 mil the Bulls ever spent.
-Loved him when he was at Duke though.
-He was great at Duke.
-Pretty descent at the Jazz, too.
-But with the Bulls…
-And what’s with the painted beard and hairline?
-Who knows. Maybe that’s the black guy version of a toupe. Is that racist?
-I don’t think so.
-I give us two years and then we’ll bring the title back home.
-You think so?
-I know so. D Rose will be back stronger and smarter. Noah and Gibson, too, we’ll be unstoppable in the East.
-I hope so. This city needs another championship.
-Either way, I’m just glad we got rid of Boozer. I couldn’t take another season with that bum.
-I did like him at Duke.
-Yeah he was great at Duke.
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-Hello, mam. What brings you to the ER today?
–I feel sick.
-Ok, sick how?
-Well, I’d think you would. Why are you here?
–Where do I start?
-Let’s try with why you came to the ER today.
–Two weeks ago I’m on my way to my sister’s house for lunch. I wanted to have lunch at the deli over on Dempster, you know, the place that has those amazing sandwiches, but she insisted I go to her house. Why she insisted? I don’t know….
-Mam, can we focus on why you’re here today? What’s going on with you?
–I’m getting to that. Don’t rush me.
-I’m not, it’s just that we’re really busy. I need you to tell me why you’re here so we can help you.
– So, like I was saying, I’m on my way to my sister’s house and I stop by the dry cleaners to drop off some of my husband’s shirts–you know, because he’s so busy in his retirement that he can’t drop off his own dry cleaning. God help me, the man is useless.
-Mam, really, let’s get to why you decided to come here. Not two weeks ago. Not yesterday, but today.
–It’s all part of the reason why I’m here. Will you stop interrupting me already? Jeez I thought you were supposed to make me feel better. You’re making me worse with all this aggravation.
-Mam, I’m just trying to understand why you’re here today.
–And I’m trying to tell you, but you keep butting in. Let me finish, will you?
-I apologize, mam. It’s just that you are in the Emergency Room and we are dealing with emergencies. I’m just trying to manage it all in a timely manner, but, please, continue.
–Thank you. So I stop off at the cleaners and drop off my husband’s shirts. I’m pulling out of the parking lot when this punk on a bike cuts right in front of me and scares the life out of me. I slam on the breaks, my purse goes flying off the passenger’s seat and my seat belt locks up and slams across my chest, knocking the wind out of me.
-So you’re here for chest pain related to that incident.
–No. No. You’re not listening.
-Ok, so again, why are you here?
–Let. Me. Finish.
–I gather myself and head to my sister’s and we have lunch. I tell her about the whole thing. She can’t believe it. I can’t believe it. The nerve of this punk–darting out in front of me like that. He’s lucky I didn’t kill him.
-Yes he is, mam…
–So I get home later and tell my husband what’s what. I mean, I’m really tearing into him. It was his fault that I nearly killed someone. He’s going to start taking his own damn shirts to the cleaners. I’m not his slave.
-No, you are not, mam…
–And you know what he tells me?
–It’s all my fault cause I’m a bad driver. A bad driver!
-Mam, please, I really need to move on.
–So that brings me to why I’m here today. I’m just so upset about it all that I’ve developed a terrible headache. I mean, something really horrible. Is there anything you can do for it?
-Sure there is. Just wait here and I’ll be back just as soon as I can. We’re going to bump you up to our number one priority….
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–Jesus that Janet has been riding my ass all shift.
–What are you going to do? She’s just one of those nurses that can be a real pain in the ass sometimes.
–All day long she’s running around the ER screaming out my name. I swear, it makes me hate the sound of my own name. And it’s always on some, ‘Can you do me a HUUGGEEE favor, pleeeeaaassseee????? Like every stupid little thing she needs is the biggest, most important thing in the world.
–I know, man. And God forbid you suggest that it might be quicker if she did it herself instead of waiting around for one of us techs to do it.
–Yeah, it would insult her “I’m a nurse, that job is for techs” approach to healthcare.
–The shit’s annoying as hell.
–What’s really annoying is that we don’t pull that shit on her. If there’s something I can do to keep her out of a room, I do it. Even if it’s not my job. Even if I’m busy as hell.
–Just do what I do to get out of having to do annoying little jobs for nurses.
–Always wear gloves, move around the ER fast and look upset like you’re so busy, you don’t have time for petty shit. Works like a charm.
–Seriously, dude. I do it all the time. I just move around the ER quick as hell from point to point, with a pair of gloves on, looking annoyed as shit, like whatever I’m currently working on is so important, it tops whatever silly request nurses like Janet might have.
–It’s an ER. Everyone is running around busy on one job or another looking busy.
–Yeah. Everyone is running around, but usually not while doing all three. Think about it. If you see someone moving quickly, looking annoyed, while wearing gloves, what comes to mind?
–That person has just touched some nasty ass shit or is about to touch some nasty ass shit–either of which I can relate to and know is annoying as hell.
–Exactly. And? You don’t want to fuck with them or ask them to do some bull shit that you can easily do yourself, right?
–I guess that makes sense.
–Fuck yeah that makes sense. Now, quick, here comes Janet. Put these gloves on and head over to the blanket warmer looking annoyed as shit. And if it doesn’t work, just scream out “Busy!” when she screams your name and keep moving.
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-Whatcha doing tomorrow, man?
-Shit, gonna watch USA versus Germany in the World Cup.
-What? What for?
-I don’t know, Willie. Cause I like watching soccer.
-Man that bullshit don’t make no sense to me. And it’s boring as hell. Bunch of Mexican mother fuckers running around kicking at each other and falling down.
-Willie, it’s called the World Cup. Teams from around the world enter the tournament. Not just Mexico. The United States is in it and our guys aren’t doing that bad.
-Still, I don’t get it and I don’t like it.
-You should come through and watch it.
-Bro, brothas don’t mess with that shit. You should know that. And ain’t you Puerto Rican?
-So? Don’t ya’ll play baseball?
-I mean, yeah, that’s what we’re known for but I don’t like baseball. It’s too boring. Not enough action.
-Too boring? Ain’t this some shit? A Puerto Rican that likes to watch Mexicans chase a ball around for 90 minutes and maybe, maybe, score once or twice but he doesn’t like baseball, America’s sport.
-What do you want me to tell you, Willie? Forced to choose, I’d choose soccer over baseball any day.
-Well I’ll tell you what. It sounds like to me three things need to happen then. You need to have your American and Puerto Rican cards revoked for turning your back on both countries’ national sports and we need to ship your confused ass down Mexico so you watch and play all the soccer you want.
-Nah, I’m good here. Besides, I’ve never played soccer before. I just like to watch it.
-Ain’t. That. Some. Shit. You really are a confused SOB.
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I have this weird way of dealing with pop culture that always has me catching on to things five, six, even ten-years down the line after something has been introduced to the main stream, run it’s course and faded away.
It goes like this…. Something new comes out. Let’s say, the TV show, Sopranos. Critics, friends, any one that has a heart beat and an opinion, rave about it as the best show on television at that point in time.
Must see TV. Have to watch it. Nothing better since the last big hit series that I happen to miss.
What do I do? I resist. All the noise and praise for the damn show puts me off. The day after chit chat about what happened on the show and the next unexpected twist, do nothing for me. My brain for some reason interprets all the fuss as just that, fuss.
They’re all talking about it, but I don’t want to hear about it. I’m the odd man out because I haven’t seen any of the episodes.
Fast forward to last year. For some damn reason I get the urge to watch the Sopranos.
And guess what? I love the damn show. I’m binge watching whole seasons over weekends. All those people years ago that were going on and on about the show were right.
And guess what else? As I’m watching the seasons, I’m coming into work all excited talking about what happened on the last episode I just watched.
Only, Sopranos was last relevant like six years ago. Nobody wants to talk about the show anymore. They’re on to latest. Again, odd man out.
The same goes for The Wire, Treme, The Office, shit, I just started watching 24 last week.
I mean, it’s not that big a deal. But I’d like for once to make a Jack Bauer reference and have someone get it.
There’s no time!!!!You have to trust me!!!!
–What happened to Junior, bro?
–I don’t know. He said he was going to holla at Tata.
–Tata? That crazy chic ain’t going to fuck with his broke ass.
–I know that. But that nigga is sprung, bro. He’s fiending for that ass. He can’t let it go.
–Or he won’t. You know how he is.
–She’s fine as hell, though. As messed up as she is, I can’t blame him.
–Puro Boriqua princesa, papas. Diablo, she’s crazy, but she’s fine as hell.
–You make your way to the park yet. The whole place is filled with cops.
–It’s always like that, bro.
–Yeah, but this year it’s seems like those pig motherfuckers multiplied by a thousand.
–Shit, you know what multiplied by a thousand? Those white folks, bro. Those motherfuckers are walking through our park like they own the place–comfortable as shit. I saw some white girls tanning in bikinis the other day. Bikinis! White girls! In the park! Like it’s North Ave. Beach, or some shit.
–They’re taking over, bro. Soon the only signs that it was a Puerto Rican hood will be the flags and a few restaurants that serve Puerto Rican food.
–Man, that’s fucked up, bro.
–It’ll be like Greek Town or Little Italy. All the Puerto Ricans gone–replaced by yuppies who say they live in Humboldt Park, the Puerto Rican neighborhood.
–We’re fucked, bro….
–Yeah we are….
–Hey, there goes Tata’s fine ass.
–Oye, mami! You looking good, baby. You wanna go smoke some Buddha and see what kind of trouble we can get into?
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I consider myself to be a pretty tough guy. I mean, I’m not wrestling gators for fun or any shit like that but I think I can hold my own. I like to consider myself a man’s man; I do my work, accept full responsibility for the good and the bad things that I do and try not to complain much.
Having put that out there, I recently had a couple of experiences that have called my toughness into question.
The first happened about two weeks ago.
I’m walking home down Thorndale after a long day at work. I have my earbuds in and I’m jamming to something intense, completely zoned out.
Now mind you, the stretch between Broadway and Clark on Thorndale is dark as shit. There are old trees that line both sides of the street, blocking out the street lamps. So I can’t see shit.
I’m marching along past one of the larger apartment buildings when I hit the corner and run into a little white woman about half my size.
“Oh, shit,” she screams as she damn near falls to the ground, absolutely paralyzed with fear. Her fear was almost immediately replaced with embarrassment for her reaction at the unexpected sight of a big, bald brown man harmlessly walking home.
My response? I was a bit startled.
Actually, if I’m being absolutely honest with the readers of this fine and reputable website, I let out a squeal like a little school girl at a haunted house.
Well, shit…. She scared me. It was late and I was zoned out jamming to my music and mentally on another planet. I didn’t expect to bump into anyone.
You might as well try to wake me from a nightmare or trance or whatever dream-like states you’re not supposed to wake folks from.
Whatever…. I punked out at the unexpected sight of a little white woman. Who cares?
The second event happened a week later. I’m walking to work and I stop at a light where I see a couple fire rigs rolling by that belong to the town I work in.
I was curious because three of our ER boys had recently made the cut and were in training.
As I look into one of the rigs, I see one of our guys sitting to the left , which made me happy.
Those boys worked their asses off to get on the department and it brought a genuine sense of joy to see one of them living out their dream.
So naturally, and enthusiastically, I smile and wave. Only, the fire rigs are moving so fast that our guy catches a brief glimpse of me and the guy seated on the right–who I didn’t know and had caught a full glimpse of my goofy ass smiling and waving–was left to wonder why a fully grown man was smiling and waving like a five year old boy who’s dreaming of being a firefighter one day as fire trucks steamed by.
All that was missingwas for me to scream out while jumping up and down: “Yeeeeeaaaahhhhh!!!!!! Fire trucks!!!!Awesome!!!!!”
Anyway…. Just two of the many of my not so proudest moments as a man’s man.
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