Once You Go Black…..

I was in a pub in Slough a while ago.

For those who don’t know, Slough is a lovely little town in Berkshire.

The primary reason I was there (apart from the need for liquid refreshment) was that a few people I had spoken to had warned me not to go into this pub.

Roughest pub in Slough, I was told.

Red rag to a bull, as far as I was concerned.

So in I went.

To be approached by a group of young Asian teens who felt the need to show me how “street” they were. Allow me to set the scene….

I am somewhat of a casual dresser: baggy jeans, t-shirt, Nike’s. If I have to be in a meeting for work with important types, I have been known to throw on a shirt…

So here I was, having stepped into a pub in Slough of notorious reputation.
Alone.

Found myself approached by a group of Asian teens, whose “leader” took one look at the dreadlocks I was sporting at the time, and said,

“Wassup my bredrin, what’s happenin’?”

I merely nodded.
Strong but silent.

Undeterred, the Leader continued.

“You not from round ‘ere, are ya? What brings you round to my ends?”

“Beer,” I said.

The teen in front of me wore a Adidas vest over a t-shirt (never understood that trend) and jeans almost as baggy as mine.
Except his were halfway down his legs.
I could see his boxer shorts.
The view wasn’t good.

He nodded. “Tru dat, blood, touch.”
He made a fist and attempted to touch fists with mine.

Inwardly, I sighed. Touched fists.

Answered the predictable questions about whether I liked listening to Bob Marley, no, I don’t have any weed, and haven’t spent half my life in prison.

I was tempted to point out that he was speaking to me in a way he assumed every black guy talked, and it sounded stupid – especially coming out of his mouth.
The closest he’d come to the “hood” was when his mum bought him a Parka when he was six.

But I didn’t.
I shrugged, and went to get my beer.

Copyright © Mark A. McPherson 2012.
All rights reserved.

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