and Peter Pan collar, things like this happen.
I went to a screenwriting panel this week, composition notebook in hand, poignant questions at the ready, joke for Graham Yost rehearsed (it totally landed, btw!). I was sitting in a row by myself when I was approached by this RBP.
I know he was an RBP not just because he was black, but because when he introduced himself to me, the next thing he said was “Yo, how you learn to be so articulate like that. You talk so clear and proper. Where your from?”
I wanted to say “well, I like to be heard and understood, so you know, it kind of comes with the territory.”
But instead I just smiled and laughed and tossed my head to the side the way you do when you want to politely move on from the subject at hand.
For some unholy reason, we exchanged business cards. He said he was a comedian working on a documentary and might need writers, so I gave in.
Then, the next day, I got this call: (translations are in parentheses)
Him: Hey, yo, it’s R— from last night.
Him: What’s up?
TOE: I’m finishing up work, about to head out.
Him: That’s cool. So what’s going on?
TOE: Nothing much. (Didn’t I just answer this?)
Him: Okay, cool….
TOE: So, you called?
Him: Yeah, I’ve got a show tonight. Wondered if you wanted to go to it?”
(Here’s where I think “Did we not establish last night that maybe Oreo and “why you talk so proper guy” might not be hang out buddies?” But instead, I decide to just re-emphasize my Oreoness and let him do the math.)
TOE: I can’t tonight. I’m going to a friend’s show.
Him: What kind of show?
TOE: (he’ll get it now!) It’s a Victorian Synthpunk bank with some Steampunk belly dancing.
(Whew! Dodged that–)
Him: What about tomorrow night?
TOE: I’ve got a gin tasting.
(okay, surely now he’ll–)
TOE: Swing dancing.
(are you effing kidd–)
TOE: Renaissance Faire.
Him: Hmm. Okay. Well, maybe I’ll just send you these sketches and see what you think.
TOE: Sounds good!
It’s nice to see that following the rules and sounding Oreo distress calls does work, even if it takes more time than it should.
What about you? How do you politely (or impolitely) decline invitations? Let us know in the comments!
Also, while I’m glad people are still having the “why do you talk so white” conversation–because it’s pretty much the basis for two years of blogging–But seriously? We’re still having the “why do you talk so white” conversation? I mean c’mon, help me up my game! Talking white is like Oreo skill #1. Give me a challenge, people!