Sound Bites For Dummies, by Michael Davis
"Every time I think I’m out they drag me back in!”
Al Pacino. Godfather 3
I had another article all ready to go. A lighthearted article about how I really loved comic books and how proud I am that I work in this industry on so many levels. I did not want to write another article on race, but thanks to Jeremiah Wright here I go again…
Some time ago I was given a gift certificate to The Burke Williams Spa. For those of you who don’t know, it’s an upscale health resort. Those who know me know that the last thing I’m about is anything “up scale.” I like simple. “Upscale” to me means a bunch of people who think they have a right to look down on other people. I know that’s a wide net to cast, but that’s how I feel. So when I got the gift certificate I was a little hesitant to go but man was I in a bad way and I really needed a massage. The gift certificate was for a massage and a milk bath…A MILK bath.
Look, I’m a MAN from the projects and a milk bath should have made me very uneasy, but truth be told it sounded so good. So I put my reservations on hold and made my way to Burke Williams. When I arrived I notice that the spa was staffed with women.
Beautiful women. Tall, shapely, sexy women.
When I checked in at the front desk I’m asked if I want a man or a women for my massage I say “woman,” thinking about all he foxes that are floating around. The receptionist looked at me strange, so much so I said “What?” I was starting to feel like this was exactly why I did not want to go to an upscale establishment. I’m a pretty simple guy. I like things simple. I hate interaction with people when my goal is to do something else. As an example when I walk into a Starbucks I just want a cup of coffee. I don’t want to buy a CD; I don’t want to hear about the new Booty juice latte, just give me my damn coffee. In fact if I walk in and there are more than two people on line, I walk out. BTW, I like my coffee the way I like my women…with soy sauce.
“What?” I said to the receptionist. “Well, a lot of men like to have a man give them a massage because they have stronger hands” I said “I want a woman.” She gave me that snob look and introduced me to my guide who was to take me to the dressing room.
I undressed, put my clothes in the locker assigned to me, put on a robe, then followed my guide to what I thought would be my massage room. Nope. He led me to a door and opened it. Sitting in a VERY dark room were four men wearing robes all now staring at me. I felt a lot like my dogs when I take them to the vet. They just stand without moving and refuse to step into the office. “Eh, what’s this?” I asked while the men all continued to stare at me. “This is the quiet room. You sit here and reflect and relax until you are called to your massage.” The guide said as the men inside chuckled at my ignorance.
The men were all seated next to each other. I spotted an empty seat (or so I thought; the only lighting was tiny floor lights that gave off just enough light for you to see a few scant feet from the source) so I headed towards it. When I sat down one of the men said “What’s he afraid of?” I’m sure he did not mean for me to hear that but there was no other sound in the room so I did.
So there I was getting a wee bit pissed. I came there for a damn massage. I did not come to sit and reflect and relax in a quiet room. Hell, where I’m from this was punishment. “Go to your room and be quiet.” Was a common forewarning to a beating when I was a kid. I noticed a light switch and turned it on. I then noticed there were magazines that I could read so I picked one up.
I assumed that coughing was meant to get my attention. or someone had better lay off the Lucky Strikes. I could care less in any case.
It was meant for me. I ignored it. I was trying to reflect and relax…
“ Are you talking to me?” I asked.
“Yes. You have a light on.”
“You don’t put a light on here.”
“Because this is the Quiet Room. No one put’s a light on here. It’s just not done.”
“Oh. This is the Quiet Room?”
“Then be QUIET Motherf…”
“Mr. Davis, your room is ready.” My guide had come to collect me. I got up left the light on and while walking pass my fellow roomies I kept my finger to my mouth indicating the need for quiet.
LOOK. I’m a simple guy. There was a light on my chair and magazines for me to read. So I cut the light on. I’m also a grown man, do not attempt to tell me what to do or not to do. Do not laugh at my ignorance at something I clearly have no knowledge of. THIS is why I do not go to upscale places like this. People tend to assume you are just not worthy. I know, I know I’m still casting a wide net and yes I have been to a many places, which can be considered upscale and have been treated well. OK how’s this there are some places (NOT ALL) where I would rather not go because SOME of these places SEEM to treat you as a second class citizen.
That better? Good, because that’s the best I can do.
My guide brings me to my room where I fully expect a lovely lady to rub my aching body. I’m told to lie on my stomach and my masseuse would be there in a moment.
“Hello. I’m Larry.” A chipper manly voice said to me. I lifted my head and saw that my girl masseuse was so ugly she looked like a man. No, it was a man. I said “I asked for a woman.” Larry was a nice enough guy but I asked for a woman. Larry went to get me a girl and I set about trying to calm down. Now I really needed to reflect and relax, perhaps now would be a good time to visit the quiet room. My head is buried face down when I heard; “ Hello Michael. I’m Amber.” Now that was a girl and judging from that voice a very pretty girl. Hey, that voice could have asked me for a credit card number right before she asked me ‘What are you wearing?’
I wondered which one of the many lovely ladies I had seen earlier this was. It was none of them. This lady was a hobbit. She was 5 feet tall if that and (how do I say this) she was wide.
Let me be clear. I have had many massages in my life. Most by ordinary looking women. When I go to get a massage I’m there because of a stressed filled life. I’m not looking for a supermodel I’m looking for a massage. That said if I go to a place where the masseuses look like supermodels then that’s what I want. If you go to a five star steak restaurant you want a five star steak and not a Big Mac. Why don’t I want a man? Well I’m not homophobic, trust me I have no fear that a guy will put his hands on me and all of a sudden I will turn gay. I just prefer women. If I have a choice between a man and a woman and who will rub oil on my ass I’m choosing the woman. Besides chicks love my witty banter.
Amber (I think that was her name) was really nice and gave me a decent massage. When it was over she led me to my milk bath. The bathtub was in a place where I could see men taking a shower and they could see me. I decided to skip the bath.
LOOK, when I take a bath I just want to take a bath. I don’t want to see any other man’s ass when I’m trying to relax and reflect. So I skipped the bath. I changed back into my clothes and went back to the receptionist to check out. There at the desk was the guy who told me “No one put’s a light on here. It’s just not done.” He was telling someone that there was an “Obvious homophobic black guy” who was in the quiet room.
By now you must be wondering what this story has to do with Jeremiah Wright. Give me just a little more time…
I stepped up and said to the guy “I’m not homophobic, I simply did not want to sit in the dark and do nothing. Also, what does me being black have to do with anything?” He thought about it for a second and realized I was right. He and I had a nice little talk and he turned out to be a decent guy. I’m not homophobic. End of story.
Now what did this have to do with Jeremiah Wright being a narcissistic fool who has a real chance of destroying the campaign of a great man’s attempt to win the presidency?
Well, very little. But I took a look at what I first wrote and realized it was REALLY harsh even for me. I thought it best to give myself some breathing room and tell a story that embodies the same points without me writing an article that would surely burn some important bridges even for me who never worries about burning bridges.
Most times there is no hidden meeting to what people say. The media would have us believe that we are so stupid that just because Jeremiah Wright is losing his mind we should attach his stupidity to Senator Obama. Now the Senator has come out and distanced himself from Wright in the strongest possible terms. But still we see Wright on TV.
I’m not homophobic. I simply want what I want. When I get a massage I want a woman. When I take a milk bath I don’t want to look at anyone’s ass. Neither of those things makes me homophobic and asking me the same question over and over and over will still not make me homophobic.
But eventually I may get upset and answer you in a way that makes it seems like I am. Asking the same question over and over will most likely result in a mistake. So what are they STILL asking the Senator? Did Obama go far enough in denouncing Wright? Is Obama a racist? Why did he wait so long to throw Wright under the bus?
This is what the media and the republicans KEEP asking Senator Obama. They do so hoping for a mistake so that will be next week’s sound bite. I’m sorry. That was wrong of me. I did not mean to say “Republicans.”
I meant homophobic Republicans.
Jeremiah Wright is trying his best get his 15 minutes of fame.
Jeremiah Wright does not speak for Senator Obama.
When I approached the guy at the receptionist desk who thought I was homophobic and we spoke it turned out OK. He understood my point of view and I understood his. That’s what adults do. They talk. Yeah, I was a bit of a dick earlier but that was because I did not (nor did he) have a decent understanding of the other’s position.
What do I think of Jeremiah Wright? Nothing. I’m smarter than that. I’m smart enough to know when the media is playing me. I do have a suggestion for Rev. Wright. He should try the quiet room at Burke Williams. Maybe there he can reflect, relax and shut up.
ComicMix columnist Michael Davis is not homophobic, but damn, a milk bath…