We Happy Black Girls always seem to laugh loudly. My friend Ronald Dzerigian once dated a girl who proclaimed that I laugh with my whole mouth. I’ve never forgotten that. I know it’s true.
My neighbor used to be my studio engineer back when we were both in radio. He controlled the dials. I conducted interviews & picked out dope music to drop.
Once, for an entire month, I stifled my laugh on air because he advised me that it was unprofessional and distracting to the listener to hear me “cackle” all night. Then listeners started calling in and asking if I was ok, and saying they missed it on the drive home. Soon thereafter he apologized for trying to change me, secretly I think it still bugged him though.
A few months ago on a beautiful Saturday afternoon I passed him (the neighbor) on my way home. He was riding his bike with one hand, and trying unsuccessfully to hide a beer can inside a brown paper bag, with the other. He didn’t notice me as a drove past him.
I took the scenic route home and just as I put the car in park I glanced in my rear view mirror only to notice that he’d switched from bike lane to side walk and was comin up pretty damn quick.
I decided against getting out of my car for some reason when I glance up again and see that he seemed to of lost control of his bike. He was racing towards the hedge in front of our courtyard with one hand on the wheel and the other inside his jacket (and around that beer can).
What happened next still makes me laugh just thinkin about it. He crashed soo deep in that hedge I couldn’t even see his full body, just the tail end of the bike and his butt. Mad Winnie the Pooh style. All I heard was WHOA…What the fuck??? Followed by the rustling of bushes and some loud cartoon type curses. Mind you I’m still in my car. Less than 5 feet away trying hard to stifle that laugh of mine that used to drive him crazy. It was hard…damn near impossible.
It was like a Mr. Bean skit come to life. I had to act quickly, I whipped out my phone and called a friend and pretended I was laughing with him on the phone so neighbor dude wouldn’t think I was laughin at him. As tears rolled down my face I did the side eye peek and watched him pull himself, then his prized bike out of that hedge. He took a huge chunk out of it too.
He had scratches all over and kept looking back at the bush like it had somehow tricked him into runnin into it. As if…
It only took a moment for me to decipher laughing loudly would not be the biz that afternoon. It’s gonna take a lot longer for that chunk of shrubbery to grow back and for me to stop shaking my head whenever I pass by it and recall the day it lost a fight to the neighbor boy and his bike. -dm