My apologies to The Onion for using their “Area Man” gag, but since they stole it from those of us who actually used that lame, unimaginative, oddly comical construction many times without irony in the rush of getting a paper out every day, I guess I’m entitled.
Anyway, even though this is from Rotary before last, I still wanted to share with you the story that Darrin Thomas shared with us when he did Health & Happiness Sept. 13.
Here’s a summary: First, he skilfully misdirected us by making us think this was another case of his being mistaken for Steve Benjamin. He’s had a real problem with that, and having confused white folks (at least, I assume it’s always white folks) repeatedly for that OTHER black man in a suit, we thought that was what this was about.
But it wasn’t.
It began with a trip to the supermarket, during which he noticed that an elderly woman standing near the turnip greens was staring at him with disdain — a look he hadn’t seen since he was in parochial school. He turned his attention to inspecting the produce, but when he looked up again, there she was, still staring at him “with this awful look.”
Finally, he decided to inquire. He said “Ma’am, have I done something wrong?”
She shook her head and said loudly, “You’re an embarrassment to our state!”
Flabbergasted, he said, “Pardon me?”
She repeated that he was an embarrassment to the state, and to everyone who had ever worn a military uniform.
He said, “Ma’am, I don’t understand, and I think you’ve mistaken me for someone else.” By this time, several people had gathered around to witness the exchange.
Then the old woman said, “I’m no Republican, but I hope and pray that Jim DeMint destroys you…”
He took a moment to regain his composure, then said “Ma’am, I’m not Alvin Greene.”
She replied, “Yes, you are. [This next part is hard to hear because of the laughter of Rotarians, but I think she goes on to say…] I’ve seen you on TV many times. I know who you are.”
He denied it again, and said, “I can prove it to you. I’m not Alvin Greene.”
She said, “I don’t want to hear it. Get away from me!”
He was stunned, embarrassed and frustrated. He concludes: “Unfortunately, my family won’t eat this week, because I left the entire basket, and simply walked out…” He then conducted a tutorial on “How to distinguish Darrin Thomas from Alvin Greene:”
- “I was never in the military.” The closest he got was when he wore a Boy Scout uniform.
- “My idea for economic development would never include the creation of an action figure in my likeness.”
- “While I did many things to procure dates while I was a student at the University of South Carolina, showing a young lady pornography was not one of them.”
- If he were unemployed, yet had $10,000 in the bank, “Please know I would not invest in a campaign.”
- “Thanks to my English teacher in high school, Darrin Thomas speaks utilizing complete sentences.”
He got a big round of applause. He deserves it, for being able to laugh at this.