Thursday, September 23, 2010

Strange encounter

I was in the Walden Galleria today, sitting on one of the benches and sipping a drink so that I could finish it and enter a store. In other words, I was minding my own business.

Then a man walked up toward me and pointed at my t-shirt, which was a souvenir of the "Buffalo's Smartest Company" fund-raising competition, sponsored by a credit union. "What's that?" he asked, pointing to the top of my shirt.

"It was from a contest," I replied nervously.

"Buffalo ... that whole place is a ghetto," he said. "Everything's boarded up."

"I live in Buffalo, and it's not a ghetto."

"Where do you live?"

"Near the Zoo."


"Near the Zoo."

I was drinking faster at this point.

After a pause, he said, "Look at that woman with the big butt. Did you know that 75 percent of all Americans are obese?"

"I think that's a little high," I said.

After hearing about how much he liked the food court at the Galleria ("I eat something and read the paper for an hour," he said), out of the blue came: "There's nothing made in America. Everything is made in China."

"I don't think it's everything."

"Yup, that's why Buffalo is a ghetto."

Gulp, gulp, gulp, gulp.

"Have a nice day."

You just don't expect street people in a mall. Wonder if he votes?

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