It's Friday morning and I'm on the Bolt Bus on my way to New York City for the weekend. There are two young dudes (maybe college age) sitting in the seats directly behind talking a loud as humanly possible. I'm doing everything in my power not to smack one of these little snots in the head. It's probably 7:30 in the morning and I haven't had my coffee yet.
I just fired off a warning shot to them. I told them politely to please keep the noise down. I hope that works, otherwise I'll have to resort to Plan B: Sraight ghetto. I've noticed that people here in Washington don't really respond to you in kind if you're polite to them. I've also noticed that getting ghetto works. Maybe its an intimidation factor or something. I had hoped not to resort to that level of communication because I thought I had left that behind me when I left the inner-city years ago.
Take another example. The guys across the hall from me, also college-aged white men, tend to have very loud parties every weekend when I'm trying to sleep or draw cartoons. A few weeks ago they were exceptionally loud (music, screaming etc). I went over and knocked on the door and asked them politely to please keep the noise down because people are trying to sleep. They laughed in my face and slammed the door on me (seriously). Minutes later they turned up the noise even louder and screamed even louder. I knew that I had to take drastic measures.
I went over there a second time, this time I banged on the door. I started talking in the best ebonics that I could remember. This time I warned them if they kept it up that things could get hot. I channeled my inner Raheem spoke in a way that would have made Biggie Smalls proud. Straight gangsta, baby.
Well, that had the desired effect. The young fellows were suddenly extremely apologetic and even promised to be quiet in the future (which they did). Strange how nice just doesn't work in DC.
Sometimes you just gotta get ghetto.