Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Say "Trick or Treat" Three Times Fast

I actually considered dressing up for Halloween this year, which is pretty unusual for me. I had a brilliant idea for a costume, which drew me out of my usual Allhallows Eve apathy. For one frightful night, I was going to be the Honorable Clarence Thomas, associate justice of the Supreme Court. (I could not think of anything scarier.) I wanted to don a judge's robe, a salt'n'pepper baby Afro wig and some big glasses in that classic 1970s, tortoise-shell brown. I would've walked around carrying a coke can with curly, black hairs taped to the top. If anyone spoke to me or inquired about my identity, I would've replied in a slow, southern monotone voice about the rewards of growing up in the rural south. "Country livin'll surely grow you into a fine, fine man!"

But, alas, I ended up sitting at home and watching Monday Night Football. By half time, I'd completely forgotten that that night was any different from any other Monday night, which is why I was surprised when someone knocked on my door at 9:30 p.m.

Let me set the scene before I continue. I live in a duplex apartment in the hood. When I didn't get my dream apartment, I settled on the first place I found because I didn't have time to find anything else. When I moved in a few weeks ago, the apartment had post-apocalyptic roaches that walked on stilts, a leaking bathroom sink and a stove from 1947 that did not get hot. And the place seemed much dirtier than when I'd visited a week before. All has since been fixed, but my little Durham, North Carolina duplex apartment still doesn't feel like home. That knock on the door (along with most other noises I hear in this place) startled me a bit.

My first thought was that my neighbor, a grad student, wanted me to turn my music down, but I quickly realized that the volume was already low. So I walked to the door and peered through the peephole to see who was there. I saw a black man, probably in his forties -- a round fella with a ragged beard and short hair. His red T-shirt was too small for his belly.

"Who is it," I asked.

"Chicken," he answered. Or at least that's how it sounded.

"I didn't order any chicken," I thought to myself. "I didn't even know they delivered chicken."

"What you want, man," I asked , confident that the chicken wasn't mine.

"Chicken," he said again.

I took a second look through the peephole. I was certain that this man wanted me to open my door so that he could burst in and beat me with a gnarly stick. I listened more closely.

"Trick or treat!"

"Riiight. It's Halloween!" I looked through the peephole again. I did not see a child or a costume, just a big Negro from the hood looking warped through the glass. He didn't have a bag of candy or any chicken. "Sorry man, I don't have any treats."

I really didn't have any candy, but I wouldn't have opened the door if I did. Maybe some fried chicken would have been worth the risk, but until I get used to my new neighborhood, I'm playing it safe. Ain't nobody trickin' me. And I ain't treatin'.


Blogger The Quintessential Negro said...

I'm back, y'all!

11:37 PM  
Anonymous Josh said...

The six foot tall ten-year-old who knocked on your door will never forget this.

10:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Qulassic Quint. Only in the South do they trick or treat for chicken.

11:42 AM  
Anonymous rachel said...

For joy! Quint is back!

This post makes me hungry for chicken. And I'm sorry the housing situation didn't work out. Hopefully you'll soon find like-minded folks to hang out with in more propitious areas of your town.

5:22 PM  
Anonymous Camille said...

lmbao @ 'trick or treat' sounding like 'chicken!'


the place you acquired sounds mad scary Quint.
what is up with you and your lady battling roaches all the time?!

10:56 AM  

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