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White Boy Change Hustle
Big Ron, White Devil with a Magic Act

This was down off Belair Road and Kenyon Avenue [a bad area].

This was a neighborhood where they [the whites] held on until the 80s until it all went to shit. I worked with this one guy who was a laborer who lived there. This guy used to use his forearms to mix up the mud for the bricklayers. His entire forearm, from the elbow to the wrist was solid callous. Concrete is very caustic. You couldn’t even cut it with razor, from mixing that cement with his forearms, what the man did his whole life as a bricklayer’s laborer, a mason tender they call him. He had some kind of goofy nick name, lived at Erdman and Edison. He would labor for the bricklayer and keep a roof over his head and him and his wife would drink and be happy as a lark. You had this guy who was happy as hell dipping his arms in cement. He didn’t make much money. He knew everybody down there [Belair-Edison] and nobody fucked with him too much. I think about these people with money who commit suicide because they have this lifestyle that is designed to crush your spirit. I was taught when I was a kid that there is more to life than money and when I see these people [hipsters, yuppies, liberals] believe it’s true. Keeping up with the Jones will run your ass ragged.

There was this house with this black dude there who would order food all the time, would always cause problems with the drivers and call and complain. There was always a problem with this guy and the he would never ever tip, would stand there at the door with his change—he never had exact change and wouldn’t tip out of the change we gave him—and shut the door.

I went down there fairly early on. I had been there a couple weeks, and I went up to his door. So, I told him what his change was and I count it out and I short him a dollar, like that [demonstrates folded-dollar trick] and I take his dollar and I leave

He calls the pizza shop for his dollar and said to Tiara [the girl I was banging], “That white-boy driver ripped me off.”

I told her to tell him he’d get a dollar off the next time he ordered food. He ordered food like the very next day and this moron, this time I have two dollars folded over and take two dollars from him and walk away. I’ve now got him for three dollars.

He calls the shop and says, “You won’t believe this, but your white-boy driver ripped me off for two dollars!”

So I tell her to credit him again and the next day he orders food and I come down there and he says, “White-boy, you’re too slick for me, so I got exact change fo yo ass.”

Sometimes you just have to straighten a dindu out.

Thriving in Bad Places

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