It was so, like, (inwardly) embarrassing …
Mandela Shabazz, a sort of “Jedi”-like dude with his hoodie sweatshirt, neatly-coiffed dreads, and “calm within the storm” aura, one day, out of the proverbial “nowhere,” decided to inject a little levity into the daily “Announcements” meeting at the F.F.P.I.R. canvassing office by reading aloud that day’s 2-3 panel “soap” comic from the newspaper (usually buried in the “Classifieds”), Judge Parker.
It was, shall we say, unintentionally hilarious — intentional on Mandela’s part, but the faux-“drama” — coupled with the cryptic nature of only getting two or three panels PER DAY — gave us something “random” to look forward to, each business day, before going back out into the “grind” of canvassing.
FLASH FORWARD TO: Not a month or two later, Mandela’s long gone, and, lo and behold, a certain red-bearded, generically-dressing, pseudo-intellectual “hipster” decides that HIS moment has come to revive the practice … as though, yeah, hey, it can be HIS joke, too! (Isn’t HE funny! It’s like, you know, “contagious”! “Bask” in it! It’s “up for grabs”! etc., etc. …)
Umm … okay, “Trent,” go right ahead, and impress the canvassers who weren’t in the office when Mandela came up with it, to begin with … I mean, like, what are we SUPPOSED to do … tackle you? (i.e., “No, man, that’s Mandela’s joke, that ain’t right!” Blah-blah-blah … )
Not gonna happen.
FINE, then … go ahead, little boy, like you’ve got an idea of YOUR OWN, if you need to prove yourself THAT BADLY!
LATER ON: I’m in Powell’s, and my “Spidey-sense” starts tingling that someone stole some of MY shit. Initially, I suspect it’s a theft of my property, but then … months later, I find my account, from “The Den of Amateur Writing,” where this piece appeared, and I had been earning 88%-89% approval ratings from the fellow members, unaccountably deleted, after they shift into a new password scheme.
Two e-mails later, after asking them “WTF?”, I receive, still, no word on why/what happened …
MORAL: I’m not giving up ANYTHING I wrote, okay? (It’s fucking MINE!)