My old buddy from waaaay back in my Air Force days is African American. I mention this only because it is 100% relevant to the story. Rick and I share the same off-the-wall sense of humor that leads people to think we are constantly sharing some private joke. They’re not actually private jokes, we very often just “get it” before the words are spoken. That’s our relationship.
When I first got out of the military, I went to stay with my sister and her daughter in Iowa. Leigh was always a chatty, quirky little girl with a ton of energy. It was around the time of Rick’s first visit to Iowa when Leigh became obsessed with the word naked. She said “naken”, and the word found its way into each and every conversation one would have with the gregarious child. “Do you eat naken? Do you wash dishes naken? Do you kiss naken?” Naken, naken, naken! It was such a strange fixation!
When Rick was about to arrive, I gave Leigh a little briefing on how to act like a lady when we have house guests, and she promised to be on her absolute best behavior during his visit.
She and Rick hit it off instantly and she quickly found her comfort zone. We decided to go for a drive one day and as she was becoming more and more squirrely in the car, I unquestionably knew what was coming next, and so did she! I gave her that sideways look and simply said, “Leighhhhhhhhh......”
She looked at me with her big brown eyes and said, “Don’t worry, Becca, I won’t say The N Word!”
Fearing Rick would think all of Iowa a pack of wild racists, I literally shrieked, “NAKEN!!! NAKEN IS THE N WORD!!!!!”
oh the horror.........