Welcome back to Stories From Around My Way…my name is Skrap and I’ll be your host for the next 2 to 3 minutes depending on how well you used to score on those reading tests back in the day; remember those joints in elementary school? I was always a good reader so the clock never ran out on me, I finished my paragraphs in enough time to answer the comprehension questions and write a “Do you like me? Yes or No” note to that cute girl that sat three desks over…meanwhile the kid in the back of the class that rode the short bus to school and had to wear a helmet so as not to kill himself between Language Arts and Science class was slamming his pencil down because he only made it 4 sentences in. Anyway, all that to say, if you were the helmet wearing kid back in the day, it might take you a little longer to get through this…don’t bump your head walking to your car after work today, a’ight? Let’s move on.
I was on my way back to Decatur this evening after hanging with some friends of mine down at Centennial Park. There’s something about the park in the summer, the evening air, sounds of music from the nearby bandstand, the beautiful sight of black woman hips swaying in sundresses; yes, the park in summer in Atlnta is a beautiful place…anyway…I was on my way home and pondering what I was going to eat for dinner because I knew that I wasn’t going to be cooking anything; then the little voice in the back of my head said, “Hey Skrap, you haven’t had wings in a while. Why don’t you go and get some chicken wings?” The voice was right; I hadn’t had wings in a while so I pointed my car in the direction of my favorite wing joint smack dab in the middle of grey Decatur at the intersection of Memorial and Covington. When I entered the spot there were two people in front of me in line, one of which ordered up a 50 piece hot wing box which meant that I would be posted up in that spot for at least the next twenty minutes. As usual there were only three people staffing the place…there was Ming Li at the register, and Yung Won and Yung Tu were in the back firing up the grills, they do good work and the wings are always worth the wait so I grabbed a seat by the window so I could watch the world go by while I waited.
Because we’re in grey Decatur there’s no telling who is going to walk into the spot at any point. There were older people, families, and regular folk like me that came in while I was there but I’ll get straight to the principle characters in this story. About 5 minutes into my wait I notice two dudes by the entrance to the wing place. Dude One is about 17, wearing a pair of red Dickies shorts about 7 sizes too big and a white tee (of course) that was about knee length, white socks and some fuzzy house shoes. Dude Two is about 18-19, in jeans, a black shirt with a picture of a Wheaties box on the front…wait a minute…that doesn’t say “Wheaties”. After further review I see that the box printed on the front of the shirt says “WEEDIES” with a picture of Bob Marley blazing a fat one on the cover. Anyway, Dudes 1 and 2 are posted up out front, they have ordered earlier and are killing time outside smoking a cigarette.
About 2 minutes after noticing these two I see a group of people coming in, 3 females and a male. The ringleader of this set is a female that we will refer to as “Candy” because that is what she had tattooed on her left arm. “Candy” is about 18 and is about 65 pounds past “thick”; she had on a pair of black pants with the drawstrings at the cuff and a black t-shirt that she must have borrowed from her little brother because it wasn’t quite long enough to cover what was an impressive gut by NFL Offensive Lineman standards. She had a Batman backpack purse slung over both shoulders, piercings in her eyebrow, 3-4 in each ear, and one in her tongue which I only know because she was playing with it every so often while standing in line waiting to order. Being the nosy person that I am, I noticed Dude One and Dude Two watching the crew of 4 walk into the spot. The Dudes shared a few words and went back to smoking their cigarettes until they heard their number called to pick up their order. This is about 15 minutes into my wait…and also where Skrap gets his education in new millennium Ghetto Thugonomics Pimpology 101.
Dude One in the Dickies and the houseshoes walks to the counter to pick up his wings; he gives Ming Li his ticket and she, in turn, hands him the bag of chicken wings. He turned to “Candy”, she of massive girth and piercings galore, and the following exchange takes place at regular conversation volume in the middle of a small chicken wing/chinese food restaurant populated by roughly 13 people not including the three staff members. Please excuse the profanity
Dude One: “Ay, Shawty…you dyking?”
Candy: (full of Decatur attitude) “What you say?!?!”
Dude One: “Are you gay, shawty?”
Candy: (louder and with more Decatur attitude) “Awwwww hell naw, n*gga! I don’t lick no p**sy, I like d*ck! You must got me f**ked up!
Dude One then says “A’ight then, well here…” He pulls out his cell phone and says, “I was just checkin’; you in here with these two otha hoes and this gay lookin’ n*gga so I wanted to know. Here’s my cell phone, put yo number in it, I’mma call you in about 5 minutes so I can holla at you…and make sure the number real, shawty!” Candy shoots him a smile and says “okay” (she said OKAY?!?!)and puts both her home AND cell number in the phone before handing it back to him. He looks at the numbers and says, “A’ight shawty, I’mma holla at you tonight” and he and Dude Two head out the door.
At this point my mouth, boys and girls, is wide open…I replayed the exchange over and over again in my head and tried to make sense of it all: Did this cat really roll up on Alice the Goon, ask her if she was gay and upon her denial, hand her a cell phone and say “here, put yo number in here”? Every time I asked myself the question, though, I’d get a syntax error, then a bunch of clanging noises in my head and I’d have to reboot my brain. What’s that you ask? How do I know the number was real? I’m glad you asked, boys and girls…
I’ve been waiting on wings at this point for over 20 minutes, I’ve missed a good portion of the baseball game I was listening to on the radio and my butt hurts from sitting in this hard wooden chair. Candy and her posse are sitting at a table waiting for their order and I hear a cell phone ring, Candy looks at her phone and then looks at her girls, guess who…
Candy: “Hello?…Yeah, I know you said you was gonna call…..Naw, n*gga, I told you the number wasn’t fake when you left here…..I’ll be home in about 20 minutes, call me back in 20 minutes…A’ight den…”
Mercifully, Ming Li, called out “NUMBER FIVE” and I sprung out of my seat to get my wings and get out of dodge; I’d had just about enough of this place for one night. The last thing I heard before leaving the wing shop was “Can you believe dat n*gga asked if I was a dyke? As much as I like dick???” I got in my car with my mouth still hanging open, turned the game back on the radio, and headed for the house thinking to myself, “I couldn’t have dated if I were a teenager now…”
But that’s my little slice of Decatur, and there’s no place like home…