Mimmi, middle-aged cashier who kindly greets every customer, checks out my order after my shift.
I move to an unused register back and pack the food in my backpack.
As I zip the bag she has this verbal transaction with a young, hip hop-uniformed thug prince, less than half her age, purchasing a pack of Kool menthol filter kings:
Mimmi: “Good morning, sir.”
Thug Prince: A glaring silence. The Kools are dropped on the belt.
Mimmi: “May I see your I.D., please.” [The policy is to card all tobacco purchases.]
Thug Prince: “It ain’t on me.”
Mimmi: “I need idea to ring a cigarette purchase.”
Thug Prince: “You sold them to me last night.”
Mimmi: Mimmi, being a dull-witted Caucasian thinks that his use of ”you” denotes her, the individual, when the general thug use of “you” denotes a group as a whole, retorts “I don’t work nights.”
Thug Prince: “Don’t fuckin’ run me like dat,” he says as he walks past me.
Mimmi: “You don’t need to speak to me that way.”
Thug Prince: The Thug Prince pauses, seems to consider his next action, uses his blank smart phone screen to look over his shoulder at myself and the male grocery manager, who stand ready to block his return to Mimmi’s register, puts his dark mirror in the chest pocket of his denim jacket and walks on out the door.
If this would have transpired at night, or if there had been a female Dindu with him, this could have escalated into an altercation, because Mimmi has not been versed on The Doctor Doolittle Rule: You Don’t Speak to the Animals—Doctor Dolittle does—and as noted by his prodigious absences, he is aptly named, perhaps even retired.
Fortunately for Mimmi’s serenity and the grocery manager’s completion of his purchasing survey, the Dindu was not yet powered up. Hell, it was four hours before he should have dragged his knuckles out of bed, five hours before his first pop tart, six hours before he smoked his first blunt…
Palefaces of the world, when you find yourself besieged by Dindus, i.e. working in retail in Indian Country, it behooves you to understand enough of their language to parley in between attacks. As a race of individuals it may be hard to understand why the term you would be applied to a group rather than an individual, but it is not ours to reason why, only to do, so that they will buy.