25
Mar
10

Christopher Scott Cherot–love 40, baby…

“Hav Plenty” is one of my favorite movies of all time.

I can feel you judging me.

Stop it.

Now, I love this movie for a bevy of reasons, but primarily because it introduced to me what I perceive to be the most prolific phrase of all time. In a heartfelt letter to his glacially antipathetic love, Haviland Savage—a letter only rivaled in greatness by Captain Wentworth’s emotive missive to Anne Elliot—Lee Plenty describes his fascination with Haviland as “simultaneous attraction/repulsion.”

Simultaneous attraction/repulsion.

Absolutely brilliant.

Because, when you think about it, a great many things in this world have the ability to captivate us on a daily basis; and said captivation is entirely predicated on one, lone principle—the notion of all at once being unflinchingly drawn to something that disgusts you.

And this isn’t some alien concept. We’re all familiar with this phenomenon. Lee Plenty’s letter simply puts beautiful language, and applies a sentimental subtext, to what society at large has already deemed, “the trainwreck effect.”

Now, upon reading this, some of you will immediately reach for the tried and true; those well-established things in which we shamefully imbue ourselves: reality television, Peeps, Snuggies.

I implore you to go deeper.

That’s right.

You know where I’m going with this.

Blacks.

Blacks.

I can only best describe the mesmerization I have with my people as a simultaneous attraction/repulsion.

And don’t go giving me the benefit of the doubt, either.

I’m not singling out “ignorant” black people. It’s easy for any person to disdain any thing once the “ignorant” modifier enters the picture.

I’m just talking about blacks.

That’s right.

Blacks.

Garden variety people of color.

Every day of my life, I reflect, in some manner, some form or fashion, how truly fucked up we really are.

And yet–I can’t look away.

I

can’t

look

away.

Two weeks ago, while diligently working in the comfort of my office, my delicate nostrils caught whiff of something that I could not quite identify. The smell was not entirely unfamiliar, and was vaguely reminiscent of what can best be described as “hips.”

Alarmed, confused as to how my fragile senses could be violently assailed with anything of an assy-smelling nature in the sanctity of my workplace, I threw open my office door and took three determined steps in the direction from whence the aromatic travesty of justice came. Wild-eyed and desperate, I burst through the doorframe of my young assistant’s office and was immediately horrified by what I found.

There, amidst a desk piled high with files—the vast majority of which were mine—sat one, solitary Dixie plate overflowing……..

with crab legs.

Crab

motherfucking

legs.

And behind that Dixie plate full of stereotypes sat my young assistant—the Anna Mae to my Ike—wearing an expression of satisfaction one only achieves post-fulfillment of fiendish craving.

“Have some?” she eagerly offered.

I walked out.

Because while I’m generally allotted a great deal of leniency with respect to my mouth, I would have been fired for sure offa the word I had in mind to call her.

And I fixated on that shit all day.

Why in the fuck would you bring crab legs to work? Where in the fuck did this bitch get crab legs? She is stankin’ up this office to all damn eating some crab legs. Where the fuck is she gonna throw the shells away? IS THIS BITCH ABOUT TO THROW THOSE STANKIN’ ASS SHELLS AWAY IN THE COMMUNAL KITCHEN?

And you know what?

She did.

I don’t think I hate Flavor Flav’s blackness as much as I hated that bitch’s blackness on that day.

—-

My boss recently handed me a case for litigation because the nature of the cause of action was so tenuous (read as “complete bullshit”) he was unable to settle. I made an appointment with the client, and 4 days later she arrived at my office, a little late, but not so much so that it warranted comment.

I indicated a chair for her to sit in. She did. Then she immediately got up with nothing more than a “I gotta use the phone” and proceeded to the foyer to use our receptionist’s phone. When she came back into my office, she again sat down. But only momentarily. She got up, once more, crossed the room to the area behind my seat, and plugged up her cellphone. I looked at her, wordlessly, for a full minute trying to take in the complete spectrum of her blackness and my disdain of it.

Throughout the course of our meeting, she indicated that, between she and I, “Yeah, maybe I coulda gone home and put an icepack on it, and it woulda probably been fine,” “I ain’t really hurt,” and “Whateva, whateva. I went to the emergency room.” These admissions were followed by a monologue rife with verbiage entirely unfamiliar to the English lexicon. She also kept repeating “I swear ‘fore God,” in some futile attempt to assure me of her genuineness. When asked for proof of her lost wages she shiftily looked away and informed me that we could “skip that part” as she didn’t want “folks” “all up in” her “bidness.”

After our meeting, the reality of what I had just endured set in, and a wave of pure horror overtook me. I felt violated on all fronts. Sitting down at my desk, I placed my head in my hands, relieved that she was gone, when, all at once, her head popped back into my doorway. I couldn’t control the tortured look on my face when I recognized what she held in her hands. “ I forgot to ask you. You wanna buy a Barack Obama key chain?”

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12 Responses to “Christopher Scott Cherot–love 40, baby…”


  1. 1 @NyceBryce
    March 25, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    That’s really funny because I actually thought last night that I wanted crab legs for dinner but didn’t feel like going to the store to get them. My next thought was, I wonder if I can get some heated up near work and have them for lunch tomorrow. But then the difference is, I work at TV One so the cultural norms of professionalism are slightly skewed. For example, a few weeks ago a lady cooked two T bone steaks in our toaster oven. IN OUR TOASTER OVEN!!!!

  2. March 25, 2010 at 3:05 pm

    LMAO!! This is hilarious, but I also have to admit, very true…
    I have kinda the same fascination/revulsion with black people as a whole, and then my fellow Nigerians…oh, the stories I could tell, lol.

  3. 3 Abreezy
    March 25, 2010 at 5:47 pm

    Just wanted you to know that I FUX wit your musings…you have successfully put a procastination indentation into my otherwise success-filled day…’tis all

  4. March 25, 2010 at 11:13 pm

    i cringed at the crab legs story. i mean, i love crab legs just like the next person….. but, to bring them to work? AND throw them in the community kitchen? How tacky and inappropriate.

    lol @ “I swear fore god!” I knew a guy who always said this…. it just sounded so awful every time he said it (and ‘fore was always pronounced “fo”).

    lol, funny stuff!

  5. March 26, 2010 at 12:56 am

    did @nycebryce just say someone cooked TWO T BONE STEAKS at his job…in the communal toaster oven???? is that what he said??? * DEAD * * DEAD * * DEAD *

  6. 6 The Great
    March 27, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    I swear the question of what food you can and cannot bring to work is one only Black people struggle with. Every time I order oxtail, rice & peas with a side of yams and greens from my neighborhood Jamaican/Soul Food spot, I’m tempted to pack up a plate for work the next day. But, I refuse, downright REFUSE, as the only grain of pepper in the salt, to let my coworkers see me sucking meat and marrow off a bone around our communal lunch table. Damn if that doesn’t take the willpower and strength of 10 men because the temptation is always there.

  7. 7 Bunny
    June 24, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    I’m so late on this one but I couldn’t help but comment. I have the exact some feeling of attraction/ repulsion to our people. Especially after moving to DC and riding the metro everyday. And the lady plugging her phone in your wall, well the comcast man did that same shit to me! I was like whattt so are we installing cable or using up my damn electricity. Not to mention he asked me if I was from the Carribean because I had “soft skin”, which the nigga did NOT touch, and then tried to sell me his “cable” which had no clear price or name. I was like what’s the point in even saying anything to him…really?

  8. 8 olga
    July 30, 2010 at 2:23 am

    Ok… this made me laugh!!

  9. October 31, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    Oh…NOT THE CRAB LEGS! I had a similar experience with someone heating up Chitlins in the communal kitchen. MOTHERFLIPPIN PIG INTESTINE!
    Also, absolutely adore Hav Plenty, as well! Love 40, baby!

  10. 10 tee
    November 7, 2010 at 7:23 am

    the one thing i hate smelling is fish..mainly raw. i only work in retail but some food need to be kept at home such as sardines. Everytime i pass by in the back hall way i know who is in the breakroom. The same guy everyday ..who eats the same thing sardines. When my mom would eat them when i was young i would go outside. I hate the smell of sardines just foul.

  11. 11 Anonymous
    May 27, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    Hilarious and sooo true, the love-hate relationship! Loved Hav Plenty. My grand-daughter’s name is Haviland… her parents, too, loved the movie!

  12. 12 Anonymous
    June 30, 2013 at 5:03 am

    That’s our problem. We’ve been so reprogrammed from who we really are that there are two types:

    Those who are trying to still get the white man approval and those who don’t care.

    Black people! GET TO KNOW YOURSELVES. Try helping each other instead of looking and thinking to yourself acting like you’re better.


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