Wednesday, July 13, 2011


detroit.  don't know his real name, so like many of the other people I met, he's just going to be called by the city he's from.  and keep in mind, it's not like I'm going deep here with a bunch of life lessons...just telling the stories!!

so on sunday night, I took my $40 and went to play the slot machines.  and not just any slot machines, but the star wars penny slots!  my friend leanne has schooled me well in the ways of the slot machine!  so I sit down next to these lovely people and I start playing.  and I lose my first $20.  okay, but it's a surround sound machine.  and it's old school star wars with han solo and chewy.  so I put in another twenty.  and then this bonus thing came up.  and then this happened:

I KNOW!!  who would have thought?  so I cashed out and then played another $20, just 'cause at this time I was having fun!!  and then I quit and walked away to get my cash.  so at this point it was 1130pm and I was starving so I went and sat at the bar at johnny rockets and I sat next to a guy and we started chatting.  he's from detroit.  apparently cheers for the red wings and didn't have much to say about my oilers!  {oh and I should mention that old mr. florida was sitting about four chairs over, totally listening to our conversation and butting in whenever possible!}  and detroit is in vegas because his friend's daughter just turned 21.

so somehow we start talking about economics in the us and it leads to a conversation about race {not too sure how it segued!}.  I was telling him how there is just, per capita, way less racial diversity in edmonton than in large american cities.  I joked saying that three out of the ten black people in edmonton live in my house!  so he tells me that he is biracial.  that his mom is white and his dad is black.  what can I say, my curiosity was peeked.  I asked him some questions - not the usual questions you ask strangers - like did he go through some identity issues growing up, which cultural group did most identify with, and what challenges did his parents face as a biracial couple.  you know, easy questions!  and we chatted for quite awhile. and he told me how his mom was the more "soulful" of the two and how his parents were really involved int he civil rights movement.  and he told me how often he gets mistaken for being hispanic!

then he got a phone call and he left.  I paid my bill {and gave the waitress a huge tip, since I think that's what you're suppose to do when you win $300} and sat with my book to read & drink dr pepper.  then two things happened.  the waitress asked me if I was sure about the tip.  I said yes, of course.  and she told me how she uses some of her tips and the food credit she gets at her restaurant to feed a homeless man that she sees every night on her way home.  and that she thinks he's a vietnam vet.  and I was a bit humbled in that moment.

and then old mr. florida got up and asked me if I wanted to check out a band playing at harrods with him, and join him for a nightcap.  'cause just when your guard is down a little bit, a dud comes and messes with you and catches you coming up with a lame excuse why you definitely will NOT have a drink with old mr. florida!!

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