June 14, 2004

Something to laugh at

(And it's a true story...)

On a recent weekend in Atlantic City, a woman won a bucketful of quarters at
a slot machine. She took a break from the slots for dinner with her husband
in the hotel dining room. But first she wanted to stash the quarters in her

"I'll be right back and we'll go to eat." she told her husband and carried
the coin-laden bucket to the elevator.

As she was about to walk into the elevator she noticed two men already
aboard. Both were black. One of them was tall...very tall...an intimidating
figure. The woman froze. Her first thought was: These two are going to rob
me. Her next thought was: Don't be a bigot, they look like perfectly nice
gentlemen, but racial stereotypes are powerful, and fear immobilized her.

She stood and stared at the two men. She felt anxious, flustered and
ashamed. She hoped they didn't read her mind but, gosh, they had to know
what she was thinking!!! Her hesitation about joining them in the elevator
was all too obvious now.

Her face was flushed. She couldn't just stand there, so with a mighty effort
of will she picked up one foot and stepped forward and followed with the
other foot and was on the elevator.

Avoiding eye contact, she turned around stiffly and faced the elevator doors
as they closed. A second passed, and then another second, and then another.
Her fear increased! The elevator didn't move. Panic consumed her. My God,
she thought, I'm trapped and about to be robbed! Her heart plummeted.
Perspiration poured from every pore.

Then one of the men said, "Hit the floor."

Instinct told her to do what they told her. The bucket of quarters flew
upwards as she threw out her arms and collapsed on the elevator floor. A
shower of coins rained down on her. Take my money and spare me, she prayed.

More seconds passed. She heard one of the men say politely, "Ma'am, if
you'll just tell us what floor you're going to, we'll push the button." The
one who said it had a little trouble getting the words out. He was trying
mightily to hold in a belly laugh.

The woman lifted her head and looked up at the two men. They reached down to
help her up. Confused, she struggled to her feet.

"When I told my friend here to hit the floor," said the average sized one,
"I meant that he should hit the elevator button for our floor. I didn't mean
for you to hit the floor, ma'am." He spoke genially. He bit his lip. It was
obvious he was having a hard time not laughing.

The woman thought: My God, what a spectacle I've made of myself. She was too
humiliated to speak. She wanted to blurt out an apology, but words failed
her. How do you apologize to two perfectly respectable gentlemen for
behaving as though they were going to rob you?

She didn't know what to say. The three of them gathered up the strewn
quarters and refilled her bucket. When the elevator arrived at her floor
they then insisted on walking her to her room. She seemed a little unsteady
on her feet, and they were afraid she might not make it down the corridor.
At her door they bid her a good evening.

As she slipped into her room she could hear them roaring with laughter as
they walked back to the elevator. The woman brushed herself off. She pulled
herself together and went downstairs for dinner with her husband.

The next morning flowers were delivered to her room - a dozen roses.
Attached to EACH rose was a crisp one hundred dollar bill. The card said:
"Thanks for the best laugh we've had in years."

It was signed;
Eddie Murphy
Michael Jordan

Posted by dr at June 14, 2004 07:55 AM | TrackBack
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