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Oliver and Tai
Mescaline Franklin and I went out to Oliver’s house to film two episodes of Hobo History. Tai, his towering heavyweight cousin was there, both of whom I had met in summer 2002 at the Loch Raven Boxing Teams practice on the stage at the old rec center. These guys constantly pick on each other. As Oliver brought me a rum and fruit punch and Tai was in his way drinking a beer he even punched him with an audible thud.
Soon both of Oliver’s children, the energetic boy of 6 and the lithe girl of 8 were bouncing up and down in front of me like I had just been taken down off the cross by God himself, with his girl doing a happy dance before me and then a leaping hug, to which Oliver smacked Tai with a backhand and said, “Now you know you’re nothing special.”
One of the things that the children love me for is that Oliver only turns on the air conditioning—since he’s a cheap-ass Jamaican—when “there is a white man in the house,” who out ranks him in his personal hierarchy.
The children were sent outside to play while Mescaline helped with the cameras and Tai nodded off in the chair from drinking two afternoon beers…
By the time the cameras, audio, lighting, memory cards and such were all going and I sat under the bright lights, we were all dripping with sweat—as I was not spending the night so air conditioning was not necessary. To this, Tai, a man of comfortable income selling automobile warrantees, was awakened by his sweat pooling in his eyes and said, “How ‘bout some air? It’s hot as shit in here?”
Oliver stood up in disgust, slapped the bigger man’s shoulder and said, “What the fuck is a matter with you. We got white men here. There white men in the house and you have to be the first to complain about the heat? Are you kidding me? If it were cold, it would be okay to be the first to announce you were freezing, but if there white men in the house, you can’t be the first to bring up the heat!”
Tai looked to me, “You see what I got to deal with here?”
Oliver then asked me if I thought we could take Tai pro and I said, “Yeah. I know I could find twenty bar bouncers he could KO—then we could feed him to Tyson Fury!”
Tai shook his head, “no” and grinned his pleasant smile and Oliver asked me to risk my life doing a talk on the American Civil War—the first one…
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