Thursday, January 19, 2017

My visit to the Trump Tower



My dad would take me on trips to New York City in the early 1990's. I didn't like the trip as there wasn't much for me to do as an 11-year-old. Like most boys, I liked spending my time running around with friends and playing war with sticks that we pretended were guns. My dad, on the other hand, loved the trips. He would drink beer and sleep on the train, haggle street vendors over the price of a hot dog, and point out the buildings at NYU where he studied for his Ph.D. in economics.

One time I was grumpy on the train ride, so my dad tried to make the trip more enjoyable by asking me if I wanted to see some "real guns that are very, very big and powerful." Of course I said yes; I would be able to see authentic guns and tell everyone how much better they are than sticks.

I assumed that we would go to a gun store in NYC; instead, my dad brought me into a clothing store in the Trump Tower. My expectations to see guns dropped when we walked by many shelves and saw only stacks of gaudy preppy clothes.

I told my dad I didn't think there were any guns here, but he said there must be. "Alex, the people here are rich, and they buy clothes and guns here and then go on a safari to hunt big game." I had no idea what 'big game' meant, but we kept looking in the store.

Finally, a black man in a suit approached us and asked if he could help find anything.

"Where do you keep the guns?" my dad asked.

"What guns?" the salesman replied.

"The guns you sell to your clients to shoot the elephants."

The guy laughed since he thought it was a joke. When I think now about this memory, I wonder if my dad, who is a huge fan of socialism, was trolling someone he thought was the bourgeoisie.

With all the stories you hear today, you would think that an Indian man with his son, both wearing faded clothes from Goodwill, would have been thrown out of the Trump Tower instead of being served by a black man.  Maybe that's why we miss the 90's.

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