Monthly Archives: August 2008

ALVIN S. SIMPLETON ASKS WHERE ARE MY FORTY ACRES AND MY MULE

I shattered the silence in the barbershop on this slow day when I mentioned that the U S of A and Russia might be starting WWIII over that mess in Georgia.

Leroy was the first to respond. “Georgia, why is Russia in Georgia? I’d better call my sister in Atlanta to see what’s going on. Hell, maybe I ought to get down there.” He got up and started for the door.

“Leroy,” Jabo called him back, “not that Georgia. The country of Georgia that’s near Russia.”

“Oh,” Leroy said, “I knew that, I just wanted to see if you fools knew it.”

“Man, who cares bout some country most of us folks here in America, the land of the free and home of the brave, don’t know nothing bout.” Alvin spoke in his ‘I’ve got something important to say’ voice. “I tell you what we ought to be talkin bout. We ought to be talkin bout that there resolution the representatives in congress passed a few days ago.”

“You mean the resolution that Steve Cohen, the representative from Memphis, sponsored apologizing for slavery.” I suggested.

“That is the one.”

“Why you so upset, it’s bout time the government of the U S of A apologized for what they done to our folks,” Jabo offered.

“Dang right,” Leroy supported Jabo.
“Alvin, what you got against the United States apologizing for slavery and segregation?” I asked.

“Look here, I don’t want no lame apology. It just like Oscar Brown Junior says on that song, I want my damn forty acres and my mule, and just think bout all that interest.”

“Man, Alvin, you are one big ass dreamer,” I said, “dream on fool. I’m here to tell you the government is not going for that reparation crap. Hey, it would probably break the treasury the government owes us so much money.”

“Alvin, you ain’t no farmer. What would do with a mule?” Leroy wanted to know.

“Leroy right, Alvin,” Jabo backed Leroy.

“Forget youall. I just want what I’m due for all those years my great, great, great grandpa and grandma worked for the white folks for nothing, not one red cent was they paid. Now that ain’t askin too much. If the government ever asks me what I want, I’m gonna tell’em the forty acres and the mule you owe my ancestors.”

It was futile arguing with Alvin once he got an idea in his head.

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ALVIN S. SIMPLETON ASKS WHO IS REALLY THE ANTICHRIST

The big fan in the corner was trying hard to keep the barbershop cool, but was only stirring the hot air. Alvin was too cheap to put in air-conditioning. Whenever we mention it, he would tell us how it is only hot for about two or three months, and that ain’t worth wasting money on air-conditioning.

Anyway, I mentioned that I had read a couple of articles on the Internet that accused Obama of being the Antichrist.

“The anti what?” Of course Leroy would be the first to ask the question.

And Jabo answered: “that is somebody who is evil and against Christ and the church.”

“Louis,” Alvin addressed me, “how come you believe everything you read on that computer? Obama is a christain, even if he has kicked his old pastor to the curb. He ain’t no antichrist, or whatever.”

“Hey,” I replied, “I know that. I’m just telling youall what some of the evangicals are trying to do to get people to vote for McCain and against Obama.”

“Well, who knows, McCain might be the antichrist,” said Alvin.

“Now that you mentioned,” I said, “I also read on the Yahoo site that some Biblical scholars think McCain is the Antichrist.”

“Man, that don’t make no sense,” Jabo said.

Leroy followed with “Louis pullin our leg, ain’t cha?”

“No. I’m tellin you what I read, and youall don’t have to believe it. I don’t.” I explained.

“Well, now, ain’t that sumpin,” said Alvin, “two antichrists. I tell you, that can happen only in the U. S. Of A.”

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ALVIN S. SIMPLETON SAYS IT HAS COME TO US

Reverend Williams sat in one of the chairs against the wall and shook his head.

In the barber chair sat Jabo, who had decided he needed a haircut.

Leroy was in his usual chair next to the door.

I sat against the wall next to Reverend Williams.

“What’s wrong,” Reverend, I asked.

“I was just thinking, it has been a week since that man shot some of the members of the Unitarian Church. What have we in this country come to that folks can’t feel safe anymore in church. Lord, God, help us,” he said.

Alvin looked up from cutting Jabo’s hair. “Well, youall, the madness out in the world has come to Knoxville. The paper said the guy shot all those folks because he hated liberals and democrats. Now ain’t that some shit.”

“The paper say he had a 12-gauge shotgun. Man, that crazy MF meant to do some damage.” Leroy shook his head. “Ain’t nobody safe anywhere no more.”

“Well,” I said, “they caught him and now he’s in jail charged with first degree murder.”

No one said anything. we were silent for about five minutes. I think Reverend Williams was praying.

Jabo had been quiet for some time as if he was thinking about what happened on Sunday (July 27). “You know,” he finally spoke, “I feel sorry for the families of those two people who died. You know something else, I always believed in God and that he takes care of us. But now, my faith is shaken, baby, shaken, I tell you.”

“Jabo.” Reverend Williams sat tall in his chair, and I was glad he didn’t stand because sometimes he just starts preaching on the spur of the moment. “Don’t blame God for what man does. God didn’t make that man shoot those people. He had the devil in him. He needed to be inside the church praying.”

“I hope God can forgive him, Reverend, because if I was kin to any of the folks who died or got wounded, I sure in hell wouldn’t.” Alvin finished Jabo and motioned for him to get out of the chair, and for Reverend Williams to get in it.

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