Po’kchop Sammich

Many of the homes in South Raleigh are composed of duplex apartments, so when my husband (hereafter “Hubby”) parked his work truck on the street in front of one them, the tenants didn’t necessarily know which apartment he had come to service. On this day, Hubby had received an order to cut the electrical service to the apartment whose occupants were away from home, but when the neighbor recognized the little white utility truck parked in front of her duplex, she came outside to assess the situation.
“You here to cut off my lights?” she asked Hubby as he got out of his truck.
“No ma’am,” he answered. “I’m here for your neighbor.”
“Well, they not home right now.”
“Yes ma’am, I’ll leave them a note to contact the power company about reconnecting service.”
Satisfied with Hubby’s answer, she changed the topic to something of more interest to her. “You know what? You sho is cute, for a white boy.”
I think he’s right cute myself, but it’s not such an awkward thing when he hears it from me. When such a compliment came unexpectedly from a nearly three hundred pound black woman who smelled distinctly like Wild Irish Rose, Hubby didn’t know whether to blush or tuck tail and run.
“Uhh,” he said– probably an inadequate response in hindsight.
On hot days such as this one, Hubby kept the long sleeves of his work shirt rolled up past his elbows, and before he realized her intentions, the woman had reached out to stroke his bare forearm. “Those sho is some nice tattoos you got there.”
In his youth, Hubby made a few choices he sometimes looks back on with regret. Most of those choices you wouldn’t know about unless he told you, but the tattoos are hard to miss. I think he never regretted them more than he did at that moment.
“Uhh,” he said again. “Thanks?”
“I gots a tattoo, too,” she said. “You wanna see?”
Although the words, Oh God, please no, were forming in his mind, Hubby’s forthright acquaintance moved far to quickly for him to get the words past his lips in time to stop her from raising the hem of her t-shirt to reveal a precious red rose permanently inscribed on the ample flesh of her bosom; a bosom which so happened to be completely free from the constraints of a bra.
“That’s, uh,” cough cough, “That’s real nice.” By now, obligation to duty and work ethic had disappeared from Hubby’s thoughts and escape had become his primary concern. “I gotta get on with my work ma’am. You have real nice day, now, okay?”
Acting as if she hadn’t heard a word, she lowered her shirt and said, “You sho is cute for a white boy.”
“Yes ma’am, you already mentioned that.”
She licked her lips and gave him a hungry smile. “If you wanna come inside with me, I’d be happy to make you a po’kchop sammich.”
He had been slow on the draw for most of the conversation, but Hubby had learned his lesson and spoke up quickly. “No ma’am, but I appreciate the offer.”
Even though he had already formed his suspicions, Hubby had sense enough to hightail it back to his truck before he found out for sure which one of them was supposed to be the “po’kchop”, and which one of them was supposed to be the “sammich.”


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