A Vegas Story
For anyone who didn't see David Letterman's take on this:
(And it's a true story...)
On a recent weekend in Atlantic City, a woman won a
bucketful of quarters at a slot machine. She took a
break from the slots for dinner with her husband in the
hotel dining room. But first she wanted to stash the
quarters in her room. "I'll be right back and we'll go
to eat," she told her husband and carried the coin-laden
bucket to the elevator.
As she was about to walk into the elevator she noticed
two men already aboard. Both were black. One of them was
tall...very tall...an intimidating figure. The woman
froze. Her first thought was: These two are going to rob
me. Her next thought was: Don't be a bigot; they look
like perfectly nice gentlemen. But racial stereotypes
are powerful and fear immobilized her.
She stood and stared at the two men. She felt anxious,
flustered and ashamed. She hoped they didn't read her
mind but Gosh; they had to know what she was thinking!!!
Her hesitation about joining them in the elevator was
all too obvious now. Her face was flushed. She couldn't
just stand there, so with a mighty effort of will she
picked up one foot and stepped forward and followed with
the other foot and was on the elevator. Avoiding eye
contact, she turned around stiffly and faced the
elevator doors as they closed. A second passed, and then
another second, and then another. Her fear increased!
The elevator didn't move. Panic consumed her. My God,
she thought, I'm trapped and about to be robbed!
Her heart plummeted. Perspiration poured from every
pore. Then one of the men said, "Hit the floor."
Instinct told her to do what they told her. The bucket
of quarters flew upwards as she threw out her arms and
dove to the elevator floor. A shower of coins
rained down on her. Take my money and spare me, she prayed.
More seconds passed. She heard one of the men say
politely, "Ma'am, if you'll just tell us what floor
you're going to, we'll push the button." The one who
said it had a little trouble getting the words out. He
was trying mightily to hold in a belly laugh. The woman
lifted her head and looked up at the two men. They
reached down to help her up. Confused, she struggled to
her feet. "When I told my friend here to hit the
floor," said the average sized one, "I meant that he
should hit the elevator button for our floor. I didn't
mean for you to actually hit the floor, ma'am."
He spoke genially. He bit his lip. It was obvious he was
having a hard time not laughing. The woman thought: My
God, what a spectacle I've made of myself. She was
humiliated to speak. She wanted to blurt out an apology,
but words failed her. How do you apologize to two
perfectly respectable gentlemen for behaving as though
they were going to rob you? She didn't know what to say.
The three of them gathered up the strewn quarters and
refilled her bucket.
When the elevator arrived at her floor they then
insisted on walking her to her room. She seemed a little
unsteady on her feet, and they were afraid she might not
make it down the corridor.
At her door they bid her a good evening. As she slipped
into her room she could hear them roaring with laughter
as they walked back to the elevator. The woman brushed
herself off. She pulled herself together and went
downstairs for dinner with her husband.
The next morning flowers were delivered to her room
- a dozen roses.
Attached to EACH rose was a crisp one hundred dollar
bill. The card said: "Thanks for the best laugh we've
had in years." It was signed;
Eddie Murphy, Michael Jordan