Hey you! You should probably read THIS BLOG first before you start reading down there. Don’t worry, we’ll wait.
Date: Saturday, April 13
Time: 3:15 pm
Place: Subway Restaurant in Decatur (where it’s greater). GA
The line for sandwiches at the Subway was at a standstill but I paid it no mind because “E.T.” by Katy Perry was playing over the store’s speakers and I was GOING IN singing along with the lyrics! One of the “sandwich artists” paused from sprinkling oregano on the sandwich in front of her and flashed a look in my direction that said “why this Black dude standing here singing this song by some white chick?” Just as I was about to flash her my million dollar smile, I saw her eyes go towards the door; immediately her expression turned quizzical which caused me to seek out the object of her confusion. Standing just inside the door of the restaurant was a short stub of a man; a Black man wearing black jeans and a black short sleeved shirt. A blue duffel bag was over his right shoulder and held aloft in his right hand was a yellow piece of paper, printed on that paper were the words “Sock Man”. He stood there just inside the door for a beat and then shuffled his sandaled feet across the tile about ten paces until he was standing right in the middle of the place. He did not speak, he did not look anyone directly in the eye. He just stood there in the middle of the floor with his “Sock Man” sign held at shoulder level in his right hand.
Now in our post 9/11 society, I’ve come to be very wary in situations like this. Call it profiling or jumping to conclusions all you like; as unlikely as it would have been for a dude to come into a random Subway in the ‘hood populated by 7 of the most random people you could ever imagine and do something diabolical, the fact that he stood there so stoically with a nondescript bag slung over his shoulder had me a little worried. One by one, each set of eyes made their way to where he was standing in the middle of the floor, no one talked, the only sound was the whirring of the oven where someone’s turkey sub was being toasted and the final strains of Katy Perry’s song that I had moments ago stopped singing in order to focus on alternate exits from the building. After about 20 awkward seconds and just when I had the fleeting thought that perhaps I should take my leave from the establishment he spoke out in a voice far larger than any of us were likely thinking he possessed: ( I swear on everything that I love I’m not making this up!)
“1 pair for $2.00, 3 pair for $5.00, 5 pair for $10.00! If you buy the five pair then you get an autographed picture of Ronald Reagan!”
**insert confused looks from every last patron and worker in the place**
One of the sandwich artists asked the most obvious question that was on all of our minds when she stopped what she was doing and said, in an accent straight from the heart of Decatur, “Ronald Reagan?!” to which he immediately responded to her in his sales pitchy voice…
“Yes. Ronald Reagan. The 40th President of our nation; he was a great man!”
…and then he commences to reach into his duffel bag and pulls out a framed 8×10 picture of President Ronald Reagan with a signature written in what looked like fresh silver sharpie ink. I mean, the corner of Flat Shoals Pkwy and Columbia Drive isn’t what one would call Republican stomping grounds so dangling a framed picture of Ronald Reagan wouldn’t be the best bait to use for peddling multiple pairs of socks, right? And who signed that picture? Ron has been away from us for a little while now and it’s highly unlikely that he came back to this earthly realm to sign a few portraits for a friendly neighborhood hustle man. As if on cue, the lot of us started laughing aloud which brought a look resembling offense to his face. Likely knowing that there were no sock sales to be made at the Subway he folded up his “Sock Man” sign and placed it in his front pocket then placed the “autographed” picture of Ronald Reagan under his left arm and made his way toward the front door. He pushed the door open but before stepping back outside into the Georgia sunshine he turned around to tell us all again:
“He was a great man, people!”
Weird. Very weird. But at least he really did have socks in his bag and there was no further treachery afoot. I really needed to give some thought as to what two sandwiches I wanted, but I couldn’t quite concentrate on the menu because the ridiculously long fake eyelashes on the woman in line in front of me appeared to be waving in the breeze of the air conditioning vent above her head. The clock on the wall read 3:19pm
To be continued…
~thanks for reading
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