Wednesday, May 16, 2007

♪ "I'm a Hustler Baby" ♪

Notice the (deliberate lack of) punctuation in the title.

African-American Dad's recent post about his young son's ebaY interest, reminded me of my days as west3boy.

I was still a first-grader, if I remember correctly, so I guess I would've been around seven- or eight-years-old. One school-day evening, I was hanging off of the couch, upside-down, as little kids tend to do, when gravity reached up and grabbed some change out of my pockets. It fell on the floor with a "ching-a-ling" sound.

My mother, who was sitting in the dining room at the time, looked to see what caused the sound. When she saw the money, she reacted in a way that surprised (and intimidated) me.

"Where'd you get that money?!" It was an accusatory tone, but I was too shocked and shitless to be offended.

"F-f-f-from schooooooool," I sang in traditional youngster fashion.

"How?"

I told her the truth. "I tore pages out of my color book and then sold them to the other kids."

". . ."

I'd like to tell you that my mom was as amused by my entrepreneurial spirit as most folks are when they hear this story, but the truth is that I was so scared that don't really remember how she reacted at the time. I think she may have prompted me for more beans, which my sense of self-preservation made me more than happy to spill.


In the years since then, she cracks up as she proudly retells the story to others, but I'm pretty sure she omits the part where she thought her kid was thievin' lil bastard.

I wonder if I should tell her that I also used to sell my milk, at lunch (since I couldn't drink it, anyway).

4 comments:

Clarence said...

That's a classic story, bruh! I think we all got our hustle on as youngbloods.

I remember tradin' my duplicate Star Wars figures for some new shiny Transformers when they dropped (I believe I had traded something else to actually copy dupes of my SW figures to begin with!)

I think Ma and Pop Dukes thought I was getting my theivin' on, forreal. Youngbloods live by that barter system and are greedy to the point of simple. Hence the get-over. Two points for this story, bruh. Thanks for the memories!

B. Good said...

LOL @ sellin' pages in your coloring book. How cute is that! You musta had the BOMB coloring book back in the day if kids were hittin you up just for a page to color on. I don't know if I understood "money" and the art of "buying" or "selling" goods in the first grade.

I now have a visual of lil west3boy lookin' scurred while his mother interrogated him, lol.

Angie said...

West, I filled my grandmother's old perfume bottles with water and sold them to her next door neighbor. She and the neighbor did not get along so she was highly pissed when she found out about my perfumery endeavor. She didn't want the neighbor to think we didn't have money, and she was giving us charity. So, she made me give the money back! But I escaped the whipping by saying I was going to use the money to buy her something. I was really going to buy a sno-cone from the same neighbor I sold the perfume to. LOL : )

Keith said...

Has your mother forgotten how she reacted after you told her about your salesmanship? You have to ask her. Even if she makes something up it'll still be a good!