Friday, January 11, 2008

White people are friendly.

Comedian Katt Williams is one of many who has commented upon the friendliness of white people. (“You can call them muthafuckas up at three in the morning with a wrong number and they won’t even be mad at you.”)

I shared a plane ride yesterday with one of the friendliest white guys of ’em all.

First, let me announce that I’m back in California... and back to full-on compulsive blogging. (Mmm... dopamine.) And I do thank the blog gods for the Phoenix-to-LAX leg of my return trip.

I was settled in an aisle seat near the front when a white dude boarded and motioned his desire for the window. I rose to let him enter; he smiled and thanked me heartily, even patting me on the shoulder.

I slid back down, thinking, “Wasn’t no need for physical contact. I’m almost sure of it.” But... whatever. Let’s fly this bitch.

Before the plane even got off the ground, Mr. Happy Window Seat struck up a conversation. “What do you do?”

Who, me?

I told him I write for television, instantly worried that the next 55 minutes would seem twice as long if Charlie stayed in a talkative temper.

Man, this guy loved to talk. And, like most people who talk too much, he was waaay more interested in himself than he was in me. So all I had to do, for the most part, was nod and seem interested.

In about 20 minutes’ time, here’s what I learned about this total stranger:

He’s from Oklahoma. He’s a dentist. He is of German ancestry. He was on his way to hook up with his girlfriend in L.A. She’s a bodybuilder. They were gonna spend time in Newport Beach, Beverly Hills and Culver City.

He has a pilot’s license. He owns a Piper jet. I forgot how many hours of flying time he has... but he told me. He is 37. He has never been married. And in 2003, he was involved in a car crash in which his girlfriend at the time was killed.

Yes. He told me this. He told me this.

Can you believe we had time to talk politics?

He volunteered the fact that he has always voted Republican. But he said he was so disgusted with the state of things that he might go a different way this time. He doesn’t like Hillary Clinton, “but I could vote for Obama.”

He didn’t have a clue I was black, because he went on to say: “The black people I know, they’re not excited about Obama. And I said, ‘Are you kidding? He’s frickin’ black!’ If I was black, I would definitely vote for Obama.”

Now here’s what I thought: If there are lots of white folks like Mr. Charlie who swear, right now, that they might vote for Barack Obama... Obama shouldn’t count on that. Because those people are just one “Tarzan” movie away from going “Uhhh... better not” when they get in the voting booth.

Just a feeling I have.


John B. said...

My wife's from Nigeria and this is something that never fails to amuse her - the way white Americans just SPILL THEIR GUTS about everything. As a white guy myself, I'll admit I never noticed this until she pointed out, I was just used to it, I guess. I think this is a fairly new social phenomenon, though. It must have something to do with the whole pop psychology thing that's caught on in the last 40 years, and Oprah's only made the whole thing worse.

I think your experience was pretty typical.

Undercover Black Man said...

^ Thankfully, not too typical, John B. I fly a good deal, and I've never had anybody unload on me like that.

odocoileus said...

**He didn’t have a clue I was black, because he went on to say: “The black people I know, they’re not excited about Obama. And I said, ‘Are you kidding? He’s frickin’ black!’ If I was black, I would definitely vote for Obama.”**

You crazy man!

Besides, Barack is a Midwestern WASP, just like his mom. That's why he talked down to Hilary. He looked at her and saw his mom. I think dude's got some issues.

Michael Fisher said...

And what would that behavior have to do with being white, David?

Undercover Black Man said...

^ Beats me. I'm just tryin' to crack a few jokes here, Fish...

Dan Coyle said...

Speaking as a white person, I'm too paranoid to reveal my shit to anyone. You might steal it! Or post about it in a blog! YIKES! ;-)

But seriously, I'd rather just spend my trips with my face buried in a book. It's much easier that way.

Malik Shabazz said...

Rule #1 of air travel: Take the window seat, so you're less likely to have to interact with other passengers.

Rule #2 of air travel: Bury your face in a book as soon as you sit down.

Undercover Black Man said...

Rule #1 of air travel: Take the window seat...

But Malik, what about those of us afflicted with "girly bladder"??

Anonymous said...

I see the glass half full when you tell that story, David. Would that same guy have even considered voting for Obama 20 years ago? I don't think so. He may or may not pull the trigger, but even the fact that he's openly considering it is progress to me.

SJ said...

Btw UBM did you know that "The Wire" is Obama's favorite show? I don't know he still advocates the drug war even after watching The Wire...I mean, sure it's a TV show and all, but at the same time it's very important.

Undercover Black Man said...

^ Did not know that, SJ! Thanks for that piece of knowledge... It might serve me well if I ever get within shouting distance of Sen Obama.

Bklyn6 said...

With my masterful ability of deduction and superior searching skills, I was able to find that guy's home address and SS#! Seriously, though, TMI! .

UBM, I wonder whether he would've been as candid if you looked like Wesley Snipes? Okay, maybe he would've been this way with anyone. Perhaps he's just very extroverted/likes to hear himself talk/loves talking about himself.

Michael Fisher said...

vote fraud in NH?

Undercover Black Man said...

^ You have walked into the land where Rush Limbaugh and the ultra-left meet. Except that Limbaugh just threw out the "voter fraud" thing to slime Hillary and sow confusion among Democrats.

But they were talking about these machines last night on Bill Maher... I don't know, Fisher. Could be genuinely fucked up... or could be the hate-America crowd wanting it to be fucked up.

Or both.

I guess we'll know the truth when Mitt Romney is taking the oath of office with his hand on the Book of Mormon.

Stay tuned.

Undercover Black Man said...

With my masterful ability of deduction and superior searching skills, I was able to find that guy's home address and SS#!

You know what, Bklyn6? Within minutes of me posting this, commenter Bill posted a link to this guy's homepage. Sure enough, it was him.

The only other piece of information I had in the original post was the guy's first name.

I went through and removed it, and removed Bill's comment. Mr. Chatterbox needs to be saved from his own nature.

justjudith said...

ubm: bill maher DID bring up voter fraud last night.

Dougfp said...

Hey, it could be worse. I once sat next to an insurance agent, who spent the entire flight outlining on a cocktail napkin how I could protect my future with life insurance. He even gave me the napkin when the plane landed. With his phone number on it in case I wanted insurance.

Yeah, the guy was white.

Undercover Black Man said...

^ :^)

Bklyn6 said...

Within minutes of me posting this, commenter Bill posted a link to this guy's homepage. Sure enough, it was him.

Word? Wow.

Hope he's a law abiding citizen, because if he ever turns up on "America's Most Wanted" he's so caught.

Anonymous said...

How could the guy not know you were Black?

Undercover Black Man said...

^ Uhhh... hello?

Bklyn6 said...

^Yeah, you look pretty undercover to me, mayne! :-D

Anonymous said...

See, I wasn't the only one who wanted to sk that question. But I see how that could happen.

Bone Crusher said...

If you search David Mills on IMDB, one of the results is misc crew on trick my truck! You're not a country bumpkin are you LOL.

dez said...

Nice porn 'stache in that first pic on IMDB, UBM!

Cal said...

That's why I used the Bose Q3 Headphones...evening if I'm only listening to white noise. I always thought nobody usually wants to hear somone's life story unsolicited.

Undercover Black Man said...

Nice porn 'stache in that first pic on IMDB, UBM!

Heh-heh... thanks, dez. I likeded my 'stache. Until it went gray on me.

bill said...

I went through and removed it, and removed Bill's comment.

Sorry about that. Really no reason for me to have posted that -- his identity wasn't the point. I think I was shocked how easy that was.

Undercover Black Man said...

^ No, I appreciate what you did, Bill. The one piece of information that motivated me to protect his identity was the bit about the car accident.

But the way this guy talks, maybe his patients know all about it. Can you imagine this guy scraping under your gums, telling you about his dead girlfriend?

Anonymous said...

My wife and I teach part-time at the same schools. Mixed race setting, if that matters. Her students tell her all sorts of things; when she relays some of the stories I am shocked. Me, nothing; yet everyone is fond of me as a teacher. This happens to her all the time. Babies and small children are drawn to her -- and she can't stand either.
Annoyed on plane flights ---garlic sandwiches.

Anonymous said...

I don't think this narcissistic lack of boundaries is a White thing. As someone who has traveled extensively on both sides of the color line, I can say without reservation that plenty of Blacks suffer from the same affliction. I think reality TV and daytime talk shows like early Oprah, Phil, Morey, Ricki, etc. have made a lot people think they're always performing for some invisible camera.

Xboy said...

You were lucky. I get a Chatty Cathy almost every time I'm on a plane, train, or bus. And they unload the most apalling crap on me! Favorite topics:
1) Horrible traumas and how they were scarred for life by them, as if I was their shrink.
2) "Have you accepted Jesus as your personal savior?"
3) Conspiracy theories ("Did you know that the letter J was put in the alphabet by the white man to keep black people from praying to the One True God?")
As Lou Reed sang, "I don't know what it is , I just got the kind of face people trust (The Power of Positive Drinking)."

Jeffrey said...

** alert: white guy posting ***

That's hilarious. I think some people babble when they're nervous. Though I admit if he's really a pilot, that doesn't make sense.

Hell, maybe white people do babble.

On the Obama thing. I freely admit that there's no way I'd vote for him, but it's due to his political positions.

I think he might be good for the country if he's really the "uniter" he claims to be. However, his politics show he's a typical liberal & that makes him bad for America in my book.

Find me someone like Thomas Sowell who bases his decisions on sound, thought out, principals & I'll vote for him in a heartbeat.

Unfortunately, no one in either major party seems to fit the bill this time around. And the libertarians all seem to be nuts.

Apologies for ranting. I just don't see what anyone sees in Obama. If he's elected, I'll bet you'll be disappointed, even as the press makes him appear to be a miracle worker.

elle said...

1st of all,damn UBM, you are one light-skinned negro. Secondly, I have had the same thing happen to me with white people, like this one white girl that told me she was adopted and who genetic parents were addicted to drugs. And lastly,jeffrey, would you propose the same tired conservative "bomb all arab nations on being suspicious looking, destroy the safety net in America" platforms? You probably do as you watch Rush Limbaugh or Mort Zuckerman, or some other talk show "host".