Wake up, and Smell the Coffee

When I was in the USA, I lived in the midtown area of Atlanta…which was lovely! I was told this was the “gay area” by someone in hushed tones, but honestly I didn’t see the problem – all I saw were friendly strangers who liked to give compliments, and some great brunch establishments! How could anyone hate that?! Certainly always put a smile on my face!

50 Cent Patrick Stewart GIF

But anyway, this was a little far to travel for some friends who lived outside of the city, so I would hop on the MARTA train and meet them half-way at Bankhead Station…then we’d drive out to some random diner, restaurant, or coffee shop for a catch up on the latest shenanigans…

One of these times stands out, and has been turning over, and over, and over in my head recently – I’m sure it won’t take a genius to work out why…

On this occasion, four of us pulled into a quiet roadside place, and piled into one of the cushioned booths to get warm. A chirpy waiter came over immediately to take our orders…we were all pretty exhausted, so there was only one obvious choice for most! “Black coffee, please!” “Black coffee for me too!” “Yeah, black coffee – thanks.” 

He nodded and smiled, as he jotted it all down – before turning to me.

“Errrmmm…” I murmured, a little unsure as I stared at the menu. “Can I have white coffee please? I don’t really like it black.”

Buffy Staring GIF

There was a silence. A horrible, agonising silence. 

Everyone had their eyes fixed on me, I instantly turned the brightest of reds – as if a volcano had erupted in my face, and was attempting to force its way out through my ears…I had no clue as to what crime I had committed, but I was sorry all the same. I looked desperately at the faces of my friends, hoping one of them would throw me a life-line…all they threw me were looks of complete, and utter disbelief.

“Is that supposed to like…be funny? Because its not.” cautioned the waiter,

“Erm, no…not at all – you don’t…you don…you don’t have white coffee? I mean…wha?!”

The waiter looked across to my friends, as if to say; “who is this no-good piece of shit, and why do you even hang around with him at all? Can we shoot him in the head, once my shift finishes?” I wished that I hadn’t been so choosy, I could have just said “black coffee for me too!” and all of this mysterious awkwardness could have been avoided. I wriggled, and writhed in my seat – the leather sticking to my sweaty backside, as I prayed for the ground to swallow me up whole. I gave it one last try…

“Sorry…I want a WHITE COFFEE, PLEASE!” More stares, now there were some who were shaking their head – as if I had gone too far with a bad joke…this was past the point of humiliation, doubly so as I didn’t have a fucking clue what was going on! “Black coffee…you put milk in, and it’s white coffee. What…you don’t have milk in a coffee shop?!”

Crazy Pills GIF

“Ohhhhhhhh!” everyone chimed together, which instantly broke the awkward deadlock of silence. But I was still completely dumb-founded, my head bobbing from person to person hoping for an explanation. They laughed (a lot), but eventually told me I had incurred a rather regrettable mistake – and that it was probably best to not repeat it again, even if it is an everyday phrase in England. Ask for a coffee with milk, or a latte…or…anything but a fucking WHITE COFFEE! Well, you didn’t have to tell me twice! Jheez!

After all this they dropped me off at the station, and I was just looking forward to getting to bed – so I could forget about how shitty a person I was without even knowing. And I was in luck! The train was right there! Everything was coming up John, after all!

Not quite…ten minutes later, and I was still sat there – the train hadn’t moved an inch. I put my phone away, after all it was all full of white coffee jokes from the friends I had just left. I glanced to my left, and did a double take as I caught sight of some commotion in the opposite carriage…I moved for a better view, maybe this was the reason that…oh Jesus…fucking hell… 

There was a black man, lying there lifeless – with a puddle of blood around him. There were policeman murmuring into their radios, and a paramedic still desperately trying in vain to save the poor man…with blood all the way from his hands, to his elbows. I couldn’t make out much more than that.

I held my head in my hands, tears began to swell, as I began to struggle to breathe. I looked up at everyone else in my train carriage, I watched for their reactions which were basically just to glance over shrug, and go back to their phones, their books, their whatever else. “Babe, some guy’s dead. So I’ll be late.” I heard someone announce in a bored tone.

So wait…a man dies in a bloody fashion, and no one bats an eyelid? But I mistakenly use the wrong phrase when talking about a cup of coffee, and everyone loses their minds? Something’s wrong there, surely.

You see…I didn’t link the two like this till recently, they were just separate events in my head. But the two are unequivocally intertwined, I see that now.

We can’t just stress, and worry about words…and being “politically correct” or appearing to be a person of true compassion. REAL equality comes about with REAL action. Not just talking the talk. All of the horrendous news stories we have seen laid bare recently, SHOULD be sparking something inside of you…and that something shouldn’t be disdain for well meaning people like Benedict Cumberbatch…but more horror for corrupt, or racist individuals.

Please, don’t just look away – wake up, and smell the coffee – BE the change. 

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Taco Bell Romance

The title says it all really! This is a tale of true romance that took place in the most romantic of all romantic locations..a Taco Bell. And a Taco Bell bathroom at that!  Trust you’ll get a giggle from it…enjoy! 

If you have a video request you can leave a comment, or send me an email – if it’s a cool/interesting idea then I will get to it as soon as I can!

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Please buy my collection of stories! Get it in paperback here – or on Kindle here! ALL proceeds go towards Macmillan Cancer Support!

UK vs. USA

UK VERSUS THE USA!!!! WHO WILL WIN?! WHO IS BETTER?! BATTLE ROYALEEE! LET’S GET REAAAAAADY TO RUMMMMMMBLEEEEE!

Okay, it’s not as dramatic as all that but still…in this video I look at the differences between the UK and the USA…were are we similar? Were are we COMPLETELY different?!

I only name  few that I have encountered firsthand…did I miss any major ones? 

If you have a video request you can leave a comment, or send me an email – if it’s a cool/interesting idea then I will get to it as soon as I can!

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Please buy my collection of stories! Get it in paperback here – or on Kindle here! ALL proceeds go towards Macmillan Cancer Support!

Waka Flocka Flame (USA)

USA – Atlanta ~2011

Naturally while I was in the USA I wanted to soak up as much….errr…culture, as possible! This is my vague aim everywhere I go I suppose, after all before you know it, the trip, holiday, or stay, is over – and you are back in your “ordinary” setting, almost like it didn’t ever happen at all! You are just left with the memories…so why not make ones that are worth remembering? Ones that are unique to the place you momentarily find yourself?

Wale uh huh GIF

Makes sense, right? 

Well, one thing that is undoubtedly HUGE in the USA, particularly in Atlanta...is rap music. So when a friend of mine told me that one of my favourite artists, Wale, would be performing at an intimate venue within the next week – I didn’t even have to mull over whether or not I would be in attendance, it was a simple:”YES, YES, YUSSS!” Or you know…like, words of that nature.  

After all the way he constructs his songs, the topics he touches on, and his overall lyricism, are something which I had deeply admired for some time! My friend told me that an up-and-coming local act, who is popular in the area (Waka Flocka Flame) would be supporting him. I thought this was fair enough. But…I didn’t have a clue who this young chap was, so I did a little research of my own…

Here’s an example of what my search came up with – this is  taken from his break-through track ‘Hard In Da Paint’;

“what the fuck you thinkin’ n***a, I won’t die for this shit – or what the fuck I say – BRICK SQUAAAAAD! – front yard broad day with da SK – BA BA BA BA BA BA BOW!”

Waka Flocka GIF

Alright Mr, Waka, to each his own! And just for the sake of comparison, here’s an example of Wale’s lyrics, taken from his track ‘Bittersweet’;

“understand every imperfection – I just embrace it, and take it in within my essence, with little effort, soon they will respect it – I am the smelling-salt, to whomsoever narcoleptic!”

The astute among you will probably notice that they are two very different artists. But this didn’t stop me from heading there anyway, why not see what the people loved so much about Flocka?! When we arrived there it was packed out, and we could smell those weeds cigarettes things strongly (what are they called? I wouldn’t know..) Anyway, we pushed, and squirmed ourselves awkwardly to the front, and waited it out. I was squished in, and my arms were locked into a T-Rex position…but at least I had a good view. I wouldn’t get to do much dancing, or bouncing, or anything else of that matter – I could probably do a great mime of a bongo player, but that’s about it.

After a couple of, errr, sub-par warm up acts – it was announced that the home-town hero Waka Flocka would be coming out…the place went fucking bananas! It became apparent that most had came to see him, rather than the main act himself, Wale…

Waka Flocka Crazy GIF

Out he popped, bringing ear bleeding bass along with him, it was thumping so loud that I thought my heart was going to burst out of my rib-cage…but with that said it was all a pretty exhilarating display – before long he was diving into the crowd, I didn’t exactly know what was going on but I sure was enjoying it!

There was pushing, and shoving – my arms were free at last! But then some huge sweaty titan had his arm around me all of a sudden…a long slug like trail all across my shoulders, and the back of my neck. It was the man himself! He was shaking his head in a mad frenetic motion, flicking it, and swirling it along to his booming beat. (A bit of one of his deadlock things slapped me in the eye, which kinda hurt, but I didn’t have much time to think about it!) 

Security moved him away, and he pushed on to the other side of the stage – grasping arms outstretched trying to catch a feel. He made it back up to the steps with huge difficulty  – but it’s at that moment that Wale came out. It was kind of weird to have him there all of a sudden, I enjoyed hearing his material, and he is certainly a cool guy in the flesh – but the crowd wasn’t right for it…in fact he kept making apologies, and at one time even said “I know you came here to see Flocka, and don’t know the words to my songs – but just vibe with me anyway”… I wanted to be like “I DO, I DO, MR. WALE – I DOOOOO!” But then I thought I would come off like a goody-two-shoes at school, a teacher’s pet, you know? And anyway, it’s not like he could have heard me amongst all the ensuing crowd madness.

Wale GIF

When the show was over, everyone was grinning from ear to ear – it had been a fantastic night after all. I realised that in the hustle, and bustle I had lost the cap I was wearing..,probably during the whole Waka Flocka man hug dance situation, or whatever you want to call it. I’m not mad or anything, but if he wants to send me a new one, that would be fine with me.

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