Tales from Transit: Deputy Dawg, Robert Plant and Uncle Tom

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Interesting train ride home yesterday…I get on a packed car about 5:30 last night, a Zeppelin playlist cranked to 12 on my iPod. I notice a commotion among the other passengers in my immediate surroundings, but I can’t hear what’s going on. Apparently the guy seated near the door across the car from me – an older guy with copper skin and Deputy Dawg features – is yelling at the woman right in front of me, a heavy set young black woman whose face I cannot see.

People, looking amused and a little afraid, kind of clear out all around the two of them, and by extension me. I decide to take one of my earbuds out just to eavesdrop…

“You an Uncle Tom motherfucker!” the woman yells at the man.

“You got me wrong.”

“Uncle Tom-ass bitch!”

“No. You got me wrong, bitch. I ain’t no Uncle Tom. And you just a fat bitch.”

What the hell is this about, I wonder to myself. Was she mad that he didn’t give her his seat, maybe? Why would that make him an Uncle Tom.

“That man don’t give a shit about you,” Deputy Dawg continued.

Uh oh. Meanwhile, “Immigrant Song” started blasting through the one earbud I still had in.

“Matter of fact, ain’t no man alive give a shit about a fat bitch like you,” he continued. “Maybe if you stepped away from the table 15 years ago or something. But you just a fat bitch and that man don’t give a shit about you.”

Who is “that man,” I’m wondering. And Robert Plant was screeching “Aah-aaah-aaa-ah” over Jimmy Page’s growling guitar.

“Yeah he is,” she hollered back. “And he’s possessed by the Devil, I can tell.”

We come from the land of the ice and snow, from the midnight sun where the hot springs blow.

“You the only one possessed by the Devil I see here,” he said.

To fight the horde, singing and crying: Valhalla, I am coming!

This was getting too weird. Actually, Valhalla didn’t sound half-bad right about then, and it is on the train line.

I stuck my other earbud back in and let them fight amongst themselves. I continued watching them though. And then, Deputy Dawg quite clearly pointed and made eye contact with me while he was hollering at the chubby woman. So apparently this whole production somehow involved me. Great.

To my infinite relief, both of them got off at McGowen, and I am still pretty dazed and confused about the whole deal. – John Nova Lomax

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