For my third installment of Oh Snap! I'd like to do something a little different. Instead of recounting some heated argument from long ago and then writing down a major burn that I just thought of as I sat at my computer several months or years later, I will recount a total burn that I blurted out in public just yesterday as a man attempted to steal my wallet from my purse.
Today's Snap finds our hero (me) uncomfortably shuffling towards the center of a sardine tin bus on her way to the Upper Haight district of the city of San Francisco. Her left arm is raised to grasp the bar well above her head for support. Her right is extended along the front of a medium-sized black satchel that has been left open, due to the fact that a large San Francisco magazine with Barack Obama on the cover is jutting out. She looks over towards the purse, thinking of checking the time on her phone, when she notices a heavy-set man of African American descent with a black Raider's jacket. He is holding his jacket over his hand which is slowly hovering above her purse, disabling her from looking inside.
Amity: Are you trying to steal something from my purse?
Pickpocket: (In authoritave tone of indignation) EXCUSE ME?!
Amity: You're trying to get into my purse. GEEE-SUS!
She moves further back in the bus, away from him, covering the top of her bag. A few stops down, her eyes move hawkish and she carefully studies the hands of the pickpocket as he walks towards the back of the bus as well. She is cushioned by a few men of medium height, but can still see the pickpocket's every move.
She notices that the pickpocket is now dangerously close to a short girl of college age who is carrying a messenger bag. As the bus pushes forward from its last stop, the pickpocket suddenly adjusts himself and moves away from her, putting his sports jacket on. The girl zips the side pocket of her bag, and scowls up at the pickpocket.
Girl: Hey, come on.
Amity: (yelling so that her voice carries across entire bus) IS HE TRYING TO STEAL FROM YOU TOO?
Everyone stares at our hero as if she were certifiable.
Girl nods. A soft-spoken Asian man to our hero's right asks who stole from her.
Amity: (pointing) THAT MAN! BLACK...JACKET! BLACK JACKET!
Random black man from the back of the bus: SURE, BLAME THE BLACK MAN!
Amity: BLACK JACKET I SAID BLACK JACKET! DON'T BE A RACIST!
Random: You know our president's a black man!
Amity: DON'T BE A RACIST!
The pickpocket is now hurriedly moving out the door of the bus, with the random man trailing him. Our hero looks down at her magazine, saddened that our president's name has been used in vain.
Linda J. Bilmes of Harvard University is a former assistant secretary of commerce, and co-author with Joseph Stiglitz of *"**The Three Trillion Dollar Wa...
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