Race ‘n’ age. Age ‘n’ race. Can’t touch this!!

A few minutes ago I was walking into the local convenience store. A “Brotha” somewhere in his 20s to 30s was about to walk into the store. I intended to open the door for him, my being closest to that door. Now, I was raised to open doors for no matter who it might be. I don’t think it is a traditional custom across our country because you don’t see someone opening doors for others, or at least I haven’t, very often in places outside of the South. I’ve seen people delighted by the custom while others were perplexed.

Brotha Man beat me to it though. He said: “Let me get that door for you, pops!”

I have to admit that I have never heard anyone call me “pops.” I used to call my Dad, “Pops.” I don’t believe any of my siblings ever called him that. I guess it was because I was in my late teens and early 20s, I wanted to be cool. Calling him “Daddy” was, I don’t know, just a bit on the little children side. I didn’t call him Pops out of disrespect. I am sure if it had offended my Father he would have let me know.

Back to the neighborhood sociodrama. I was laughing and muttered: “Pops.” The black guy said: “You never heard that?” I said that I didn’t. He went to the ATM and I picked up what I needed and headed to the cashier, who was herself black and in her early 20s.

“Did you see that?” the girl asked me. I asked her what she had seen

“That guy came in the door and grabbed his junk,” motioning about her mid-thigh. “I’ve seen guys do like … ” as she was raised her hand to a much more believable level for a crotch grab. Whatever length that may be.

I didn’t want to entertain her with more of the stereotypes I’m sure she always heard concerning, uh, size. The truth was that I have seen young black men, not all of course, grab themselves and wondered just what the Sam Hell that was all about? This is not some recent fad. I have seen this phenomenon going on as long as I can remember. Race always being the sensitive issue, I never even though to ask about it.

Thinking of something quick, I remembered about a comedy routine I heard Richard Pryor do one time. Pryor said that black guys hold on to it because the whites took “everything else we had.” I didn’t know what kind of reaction I’d get as a “Pops” telling that to a young, black girl. She laughed. A little embarrassed but a good laugh all the same.

I decided to look for some learned explanation for the crotch grab. Apparently it has been adopted as of late by the young white boys, the likes of Justin Bieber. And even some of the young princesses are doing it. “Crotch grabbing is the new twerking,” says Cosmopolitan.

The new twerking thing leaves me more puzzled. What ARE those young ladies doing?

About the only scientific explanation, not specifically related to the subject, comes from the self-testing for an inguinal hernia. It sounds torturous, the hernia, much like my fear of developing shingles. I have got to take that vaccination and make it prompt!

In less than three weeks I will turn 59. Yes, almost 60 years old and still so many questions. Faced with a situation such as the one I faced today, I left the store doing the only thing that came to mind.

The brother again opened the door for me.

I said:  “Hey thanks Junior. Be cool now.”