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?”
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.