One Saturday night, Nitram and I were watching old movies on TBS. One movie was In the Heat of the Night, and I was riveted to the screen. What a truly great film! I couldn’t even get up to pee, it was so good.
Later that night we were talking about old movies and Nitram said something about the movie A Raisin in the Sun. Not having seen it (yet), I asked what it was about. He said, “It had to do with prejudice, I think, and took place in the Great Depression, in the Dustbowl, in the South,” which I thought was kind of a weird description. Immediately Morgan Freeman’s face popped into my mind, and I said, quite sincerely, yet worded quite wrongly (and leaving out one very important word), “So who played the raisin, a black man?”
Nitram lost it. Completely. After a couple minutes I started laughing too just because he was laughing so hard. Then I sort of played it over in my mind and really started laughing. I tried to gasp out an explanation: “You said Dustbowl… deep south… prejudice — I meant, I meant — not who played the raisin, but—” and since I’d repeated the phrase he was good for another few minutes of crying and choking and gasping, and so was I.
Finally I managed, “Well I thought maybe it was an old black man, you know — dried up and wrinkled… like a raisin…” “Old” being the word I’d left out the first time, a distinction I felt was very important. But there was to be no distinction no matter how important, the cause was lost. We were staggering around the kitchen for a good ten minutes, then out onto the porch for more staggering and sputtering. I guess I really capped it off when I tried just once more: “Well, you said the South, the Depression — there was a lot of racism going on back then!”
It’s not often he gets one over on me, but this one should be good for years of abuse in his mind.