Month: June 2017

Matthew Gets Dreadlocks: A short play by The Oreo Experience

Matthew Gets Dreadlocks: A short play by The Oreo Experience
Based on true events

 

INT. PERFECTLY NORMAL CONFERENCE ROOM IN A PROFESSIONAL SPACE – DAY
The Oreo Experience finishes some emails on her laptop while other people file in.

THIS ONE GUY:
Did y’all see that Matthew got dreadlocks?

THIS ONE GIRL:
I did!! It’s crazy!

THIS OTHER GUY:
I can’t believe he just did that. I mean, it looks cool, I guess. But, it’s so different.

THIS OTHER GIRL:
How do dreadlocks even work?

A quiet beat.

All heads turn, nearly in unison, toward The Oreo Experience as she looks up from her laptop.

THE OREO EXPERIENCE:
Are we waiting for Margot to join, or are we just getting started–
(then, off their looks)
–What?

THIS ONE GUY:
Like how do they work?

THE OREO EXPERIENCE:
How does what work?

THIS ONE GUY:
Dreadlocks.

THE OREO EXPERIENCE:
I don’t know. So, is Margot–

THIS OTHER GUY:
I mean, it’s fake hair, right? Like Matthew had to get extensions, right?

THE OREO EXPERIENCE:
I don’t know Matthew and I don’t know anything about his hair.

THIS ONE GUY:
You saw the tall guy with dreadlocks today, right? That’s fake hair, yeah?

THIS OTHER GUY:
It has to be. His hair was not that long, was it?

THE OREO EXPERIENCE:
Are you asking me?

THIS OTHER GIRL:
Yeah, how does it work?

THE OREO EXPERIENCE:
Look, I’m writing this down to make fun of this later, and I’m not even sure if it’s “dreds” or “dreads.” So maybe you should just google it?

THIS ONE GUY:
It’s not that serious, but like… how does it work?

THE OREO EXPERIENCE:
I don’t have dreds…dreads…whatever. So I really don’t know.

The Oreo experience takes this opportunity to re-open her laptop and get back to work since this is how it’s gonna be.

THIS ONE GIRL:
Can you wash it?

THIS OTHER GUY:
I read that you can’t wash it.

THIS OTHER GIRL:
He doesn’t smell, so he must wash it, or something, right?

THIS ONE GIRL:
Like, how long does that take? Can you do it in a couple hours?

THE ONE GUY:
How long does it last?

THIS OTHER GUY:
How do you get it to grow in that shape?

THIS OTHER GIRL:
Is it soft? Like what does it feel like?

The Oreo Experience looks up, expecting to see people looking at other people. Nope. They’re still looking at her.

THE OREO EXPERIENCE:
If you really want to know, maybe you should just ask Matthew…directly?

THIS ONE GIRL:
Well no, I mean, I’m not going to be all weird or rude about it!

 

FIN

 

******

If you can answer any of these people’s questions about dreadlocks, please send me your responses and I will make sure they get delivered appropriately.

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Fly Too Close To The Sun…

Regular readers know that one of the key tenets of The Oreo Lifestyle™ is to blend in as much as possible and as quickly as possible. The sooner you can get people to stop noticing you’re not white, the sooner they’ll stop posting weird, passive aggressive messages about you getting out of your own car in front of your own house on NextDoor.

 

 

Oreos are very good at this. But every once in a while, it goes all pear-shaped.

Like for example: That time last week when you found a nearly dead baby hummingbird in your driveway and spent your nightly-youtubing-British-sketch-comedy hours on frantically getting this little bird to the right rescue.

 

 

We all know how this goes. One minute, you’re discussing fledging behaviour, humane traps for predators, and the best ways to clean your yard fountains to prevent the spread of conjunctivitis, and the next minute, one of your rescuers says:

“Yes, I’m employed by the organization, but for money, I also hunt for recyclables in the park. I’m like a blonde Mexican!”

Whoops! It’s a classic situation–assimilating so well that your conversation partner believes that you will be happy to trade in stereotypes about another race. It just means you’re too good at being you.

But what’s an Oreo to do?

Call them out and you risk being labelled a paid Black Lives Matter protestor. Laugh along and you risk them assuming that you also voted to #MAGA.

It seems like a lose-lose situation. And it is. But follow one of these three simple steps and you’ll get out of there unscathed.

Exotic allergies are your friend

Start coughing or sneezing or scratching yourself furiously and blame it on something very specific like westerly winds, or yellow #7, or laughter. This is a great tactic since sudden onsets of specific sensitivities are super Anglo-tastic and no one can tell if what you’re saying is true. All they want is for you to calm down so we can all get on with the evening.

Exotic languages are your friend

Start signing or speaking Japanese or interpretive dancing and explain that with your very interesting upbringing, spoken English wasn’t your first language and you’ve been lip-reading slash translating as best you can this whole time and you didn’t understand that last bit, but you’re very tired, so maybe it’s best that y’all just call it a day.

Exotic women are your friends

Try this sentence: “Did you really just say that you’re like A Blonde Mexican? Oh! Are you talking about how much you look like Rita Hayworth in The Lady From Shanghai? I totally agree!”

 

Doesn’t matter if she looks like Ms. Hayworth or not, just pay her the compliment and let her be happy about it. Hopefully, she’ll be so excited that she’ll forget about the racism and you can begin your exit. (Yes, Hayworth was Spanish, not Mexican, but trust me, this woman you’re talking to won’t know the difference).

Get out of the conversation unscathed and you can be happy in the knowledge that you saved a little bird’s life and kept that nice lady from feeling embarrassed.

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What are your favorite tips for making it out of an awkward moment? Let us know in the comments! 

And for more helpful How-Tos, be sure to check out:

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For Mor-eo Oreo: Follow The Oreo Experience on Twitter (@oreoexperience)

And be sure to check out the Oreo Experience-produced webseries: Black Girl in a Big Dress
Leave a comment here or at any of the above and let us know what you think!