A Traveller’s Tale – The Racist Old Lady (Part Two)

Here’s a quick summary of what happened in Part One:

(Read this part really quickly, like the fast-talking recap voiceover before part two of a TV mini-series)

In 2007, my good friend Paul and I went to the USA. During a Greyhound Bus trip from Hollywood to Las Vegas, we begin talking to a young black guy called Caesar. Caeser unsheathes his cellphone and starts playing some badly distorted rap music. Nobody on the bus really minds, but…

Part Two

It is at this point that the senile old white lady at the front of the bus (remember how I mentioned her?) decides to make herself known. On a crowded bus, in the United States of America, this woman yells out, with no irony or remorse “Turn off yer damn nigger music!” This, as you can most definitely imagine, is met with a stunned silence from the rest of the passengers, immediately followed by an enraged, but completely justified, uproar.

All hell breaks loose. Words are exchanged heatedly. Threats are made. The atmosphere of the bus grows almost painfully tense. Nobody quite knows what the fuck just happened or what will result.

What the old woman had done, whether she knew it or not, was deeply offend all of the black people on the bus, by referring to them using a slur most commonly used when their families had been owned and mistreated by rich white men.

I have to say, I really admire the way the black people on the bus handled this situation. Because, after several minutes of fearing a full-scale disaster (a feeling I hope was not exclusive to me), they came to an unspoken agreement that the old woman was insane, and we should all move on. Very mature. Well played, folks.

Things begin to quiet down and become a little more tolerable. The air was still tense, but we all just quietly and akwardly continued along down the highway.

An hour or so passes, and the old woman gets up out of her seat, presumably to use the bathroom at the back of the bus. This frail, ghoul of a woman makes her extremely awkward and troubled way down the aisle of the bus, struggling to right herself against the movements of the highway. It would be difficult to watch this, and one would feel sympathy for her, had she not just displayed an hour before, that she was an ignorant hateful old wretch. I don’t know if this makes me a bad person, but I was laughing at her, quite heartily, on the inside.

The old lady pauses when she gets next to us. We have no idea why. This is when she chooses to make her surprise attack upon my person. The determination she must have held was impressive, because in order to inflict any pain on me, she had to first get past Paul (who is sitting in the aisle seat).

The creature leans over Paul, drooping her nasty five-thousand-year-old tits in front of him (I can only imagine they’re like wrinkly chest-penises, swaying back and forth with the motions of the bus), and WHACK she slaps me across the face with her leathery right hand.

It’s a surprisingly big hit. I bet her hand suffered quite a punishment from it. Two passengers from the other side of the bus hurl themselves up out of their seats to wrestle the crazed woman off of us. They pull her away, and guide her (or maybe ‘escorted’ is a better word) back to her seat at the front. The passengers are all just as stunned as they were at her earlier actions.

The ride continues, with not another peep from the old racist lady or any of the passengers. It’s quite surreal. A whole bus, every seat filled, riding in complete stunned silence, save for the sounds of the engine.

We arrive in Las Vegas not long after, with no further incidents. We get off the bus, all the passengers look around and share with one another a “Holy crap I can’t believe we made it through that” kind of look, nod, and smile. We all gather our luggage from the bus’ undercarriage, and proceed through the “gate” into the bus terminal.

Paul and I walk out the front of the bus terminal, and onto the bustling pavement of a typical central Las Vegas street. This is where we see the old lady once again (and for the final time), being gently ushered into a taxi by a group of people I assume to be her family. She looks over at us, gets a sudden look of horror on her face, like she just looked into the eyes of the devil, and starts nervously pointing at me. Her family whip their heads in my direction, glare at me with the coldest, most disgusted glares I have ever received, and then look back to the taxi to get on with their lives and brood over how much they hate the evil man who upset their grandmother.

And that’s the end of that.

I witnessed a horrendous racial verbal assault, and its tension-riddled outcome.

I received a physical assault from a surprisingly agile old crone.

And now there’s a family in Las Vegas who thinks I did something unspeakable to their racist, violent grandmother.

Fin.

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2 comments

  1. Jez · July 20, 2012

    Do you think she was a nasty evil bitch her whole life? Or maybe something just happened to her when she hit old age?

    • bradleyzimmer · July 20, 2012

      Maybe she was possessed by some sort of demon, and then the demon left her and hovered near me. That’s why she tried to attack me, and why her family (who can also see demons) scowled in my direction. Seems the most likely scenario…

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