I was sitting outside of one of the 4 Starbucks that I frequent, when an elderly gentlemen rolls up on his bike next to me. He had this big smile, and it was obvious that he wanted to say something to me, so I spoke first and said, “Hello.”
“Do I know you from somewhere?” he shouted jovially.
“I don’t think so. I don’t think I ever met you.” I replied, hoping and praying that this guy doesn’t go to my church, because our church is rather small and not recognizing someone would be greatly embarrassing.
“Do I look familiar?”
Then he smiled, that big kid-like grin and said this:
“Yea. I could’ve sworn I saw you in China the other day!”
I didn’t know what to say or do but laugh.
So I started laughing, he started laughing, which made me laugh harder. Then he started telling me kid jokes like “why did the turtle cross the street? To go to the shell station” and then “why did the golfer have two pants? because there was a hole in one.”
And he said, “I’ll see you around” and biked off.
I kept thinking, was that racist? Should I be offended? Should I have corrected him and said that was insensitive?
But, the truth was, it was funny. And it made me laugh, so I didn’t really care.
And besides, people his age, I feel, they’ve earned the right to say anything that’s on their mind.