Monday, March 7, 2011

The Color Purple

A few coincidental things happened today.  First off, I unwittingly put on a purple shirt.  Next, my laptop screen started acting up with this annoying purple tint.  Lastly, I looked out the window and noticed the blooming purple flowers of my Redbud tree.  Was someone smoking hooch when they named this tree btw…WTF with the red?  Anyway, these three occurrences of purple reminded me of a story.

Over a hundred years ago, there was a shipbuilder named Mr. Mister.  He went by Mister for short.  His company was called Broken Wings, because ships can’t fly.  He would take his Broken Wings to sell at the major port in town.  One day he heard singing in town.  He asked the Jet Ski saleman next to him, “What is that?”  The guy, named Harpo, said, “That’s Shug and Celie…apparently this morning Shug told Celie she feels like singing.”  Mister looked at him like he was crazy and said, “This ain’t no jut-joint.  They both must have that nasty woman’s disease.”  Now this didn’t sit too well with Harpo.  He stared angrily at Mister.  Mister stared back and finally said, “Now what’s wrong with you?” Harpo stood up straight and looked Mister in the eye, “You a low down dirty dog, that’s what’s wrong.” Mister stepped back and said, “My God, the dead has arisen” this was because Harpo was usually really quiet, unless he was working a good deal on a Jet Ski set. 

There was no way this exchange was going to go smoothly.  Both Mister and Harpo were clearly upset.  In the background, the singing continued.  Harpo didn’t take kindly to Mister’s sarcasm with the dead arising comment.  He knew he was shy, he didn’t need Mister to be a jerk about it.  Harpo finally replied, “You just a big ol heffa.”   Mister was shocked by this biting reply and shot back, “You sho is ugly.”  At this point, his fists were balled up and ready to fight.  Harpo’s mind was racing.  He said over and over to himself, “he ain’t worth it, he ain't worth it.”  Harpo knew he didn’t want to fight.  All his life he had to fight.  He had to fight his daddy.  He had to fight his uncles.  He had to fight his brothers. He never thought he’d have to fight in his own Jet Ski booth.  His anger mixed with fear got the better of him and he screamed, “I’ll kill you dead ‘fo I let you beat me.” 

Now Mister was really pissed, but he sure didn’t want to die.  Especially not today, he was expecting a really rich customer.  He put his fists down and stepped back from Harpo.  “I guess you just wanna go to jail then?”  Surprised by his backing down, Harpo squinted his eyes and said, “The jail you planned for me is the one you’re gonna rot in.”  At this point, Mister was just tired of the whole thing.  He sneered at Harpo.  Harpo raised two fingers and pointed at Mister, “Until you do right by me, everything you even think about gonna fail.”  Now this is not at all what Mister wanted.  He wanted to make that sale later.  He replied back at Harpo, “I made a mistake.  I’m sorry.  I hope you’ll remember that sinners have souls, too.”  This really got Harpo and made him feel mighty bad.  He nodded and moved back to his booth.  He looked back at Mister and said, “Pass me them peas.”  They had been sharing a bowl of peas before the altercation started.  Mister handed him the peas.  The singing continued in the background.

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