It had been a long day. It was the sort of day that needed to be polished off with a pint at the local pub. And so that’s where Steve sat. Drinking at the bar, nursing his drink and cursing the anti-smoking laws that had been introduced some years ago now. Some years ago, so many years now that he had lost count. Yet his mind had not forgotten, every time he was forced to venture outside for his intake of nicotine, he cursed the bastards who had taken away his right to smoke indoors. Better health, better conditions they called it. Better health and better conditions could also be translated into the same sentiment as; same shit, different day. Who the hell had gotten on this bandwagon? Were their lives really that much better than his?

Then Bill came in. It was hot and dusty outside and he took off his hat and slapped it on his thigh, sending dust in the air. Bill was a labourer and worked his arse off every day for minimal wage. He walked up to the bar and ordered a pint of pale ale. “What a day, what a day, what a day… What a day!”

Steve turned around to him and asked, “Oh yeah, what happened to you today?”

“Well, Steve. I was on my way to work and then my car broke down.”

“Fark, that’s no luck. No luck at all.”

“Yeah, wasn’t lucky. But then this guy in a Mercedes Benz comes up and asks me where I’m going. I tell him I’m on my way to work. So he offers me a lift.”

“Did you take it?”

“Sure did Steve. And then we’re talking on the way to work and he offers me one fine cigar and I take it and light it up. So I ask the guy, why he’s being so nice to me. And he says, ‘Well, because you’re white of course.’”

“That’s odd.”

“Yeah, so I get to work. And they’ve cancelled the labouring day and given us all a fully paid day off work. So I go up to the boss and I ask him, why is he giving us this day off. And he says, ‘Well, because you’re white of course.’”

“Right…”

“Anyway. Didn’t know what to do with myself next. So I just start walking home. I come across a park in the middle of nowhere. In the park, there’s this guy setting up a hot air balloon. And he’s just standing there, as if he’s waiting for me. I go up to talk to him, ask him for the time, and before I say anything he offers me a ride in his hot air balloon and I say fark yeah. And I ask him why he’s doing this and he says, ‘Well, because you’re white of course.’”

“Uh-huh…”

“So I go off in this hot air balloon. Just up in the air, drifting amongst the clouds, the happiest I’ve ever been. And then I ask myself. I’ve sure been lucky today, wonder what’s going to happen next. Then the hot air balloon runs out of gas and I don’t know what’s happening. Then the thing starts going down and I’m praying that I land safely. I’m closing my eyes and praying for my life. I feel the thing land and I look around. I’ve landed in the middle of the farkin’ playboy mansion.”

“The playboy mansion?”

“Yeah, then there’s all these girls around me. Beautiful women and they’re dancing to the latest tunes. One of them comes up to the hot air balloon and asks me if I’d like a drink. So I ask her why is she being so nice. And she says…”

“Because you’re white of course. What a load of shit, now what really happened?”

“Well, the car broke down. Then some arsehole in a Mercedes Benz flicks a cigar and it hits me in the face while I’m signalling for a car to pull over and help. I call the boss up at work and explain about the car, he fires me over the phone. So I start walking home, kind of distraught. There’s a guy with a hot air balloon. I go up to ask him for the time, but before I say anything he tells me to ‘Fark off!’ So I wander around. My phone’s out of batteries. So I go up to a group of ladies and ask if I can borrow their phone for one call and they say, ‘No, fark off!’ Don’t know why it all happened and all I can think is that it’s because I’m white.”

Steve took a sip of his beer and thought about it. “I don’t think race comes into it. People use it as an excuse or explanation, but the truth is that everybody has shit things happen to them. People can be cunts and the world is just a cunt in general.”

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