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Don't be too quick to judge!
jtatooz's Avatar
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Join Date: August 11, 2004
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Talking Don't be too quick to judge! - April 11, 2006, 01:42 PM

You may have heard this but...

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 the 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 collapsed on 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 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

RIP Greg Walker, I will never forget you

If everybody thought before they spoke, the silence would be deafening
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Posting Nothing Relevant
eck226's Avatar
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April 11, 2006, 01:48 PM

thats oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooold, he used that real life experience as a scene in boomerang. still gives people something to think on.

The East Coast Kid

Originally Posted by Rossi
This is America I can shit where I want. FREEDOM!!!
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i like to make toilet
kxgirlz's Avatar
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April 11, 2006, 01:49 PM

just like the movie crash, this kinda shit happens all the time...
not even about the race of people...
people look at me and wonder how the hell i got into health education...all tatted up bright red hair !!!

never judge a book by it cover
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DT's Avatar
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Location: NYDB
April 11, 2006, 01:49 PM

How the hell is ANYONE scared of Eddie Murphy???

04 600RR - SOLD

"I am a soldier, I fight where I am told, and I win where I fight."
- General George Patton Jr
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April 11, 2006, 01:56 PM

Wow.... great story Jess.

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spud's Avatar
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April 11, 2006, 02:03 PM


Legend: A nervous old lady dives for the elevator floor when a black man gets on and gruffly asks her to 'hit four.' The man turns out to be Eddie Murphy, and as a gallant gesture he pays the lady's hotel bill.
Example: [Collected on the Internet, 1997]

Karen, a Midwestern housewife, took her first trip to Las Vegas last year. She had done very well playing the slot machines, winning a bucket full of quarters. Karen needed a break, and she left the casino heading toward the elevators, taking her bucket with her.
She steps into the elevator and before the doors shut, four beefy, leather-clad African-American men step in. Karen (never having spent much time with African Americans) clutches her bucket close to her body.
One of the men says, "Hit the floor, lady," and she does: quarters fly everywhere. The men bust up laughing and they help Karen collect her winnings. One of the men explains that he meant for her to select her floor. They help her collect her quarters and the elevator arrives at her floor. She leaves embarrassed, and the men are still laughing.
Later that evening, a dozen roses are delivered to Karen's room. There is a one hundred dollar bill attached to each rose. The note attached read:
Thank you for the best laugh I've had in years! Eddie Murphy
  • Black male celebrities this legend has been told about include: Eddie Murphy, Reggie Jackson, Lionel Ritchie, Wilt Chamberlain, Magic Johnson, O.J. Simpson, Mean Joe Greene, Michael Jackson, Jesse Jackson, Lionel Hampton, Jackie Robinson, and Michael Jordan.
  • The action happens in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, or New York City.
  • Sometimes the Black man is alone in the elevator with the frightened woman, but in other tellings he is accompanied by a Black male companion or a couple of bodyguards. In a number of these tales, he shows up with an uncontrollable dog whose name we later find out is Lady.
  • When the doors don't close quickly enough to suit him, the man gruffly commands the woman to "hit four" (his floor, presumably), an instruction she hears as "hit the floor." Or her tells her to "hit the floor," meaning "press the button for the floor you want." Or in the versions where a dog is present, he commands the excited animal to "Sit, Lady!," an instruction the frightened woman immediately complies with.
  • The terrified woman is rewarded by a bouquet of roses delivered to her room the next day. Upon examination of them, she finds a $100 bill wrapped around each stem. Or she finds her hotel bill has been taken care of when she goes to check out.
Origins: Next time your best friend swears this really happened to his aunt, remind him that this story has been around since the 1970s. A version popular on the Internet in 1999 starred both Eddie Murphy and Michael Jordan as a pair of unrecognized celebrities, in a rare double feature version of this legend.
Back in the 1980s the celebrity this canard was most often told of was Reggie Jackson; these days it's Eddie Murphy. You'd think a denial from Murphy himself would put matters to rest, wouldn't you. Ah, but you'd be wrong.
Perhaps most damaging to his reputation was what Murphy calls "The Elevator Story." He explained: "There's a story I was on an elevator with 10 bodyguards. An old lady was there. One bodyguard said, 'Hit the floor,' as in 'press the button.' The old lady got scared and dropped to the floor. And we were so embarrassed, and we helped her up, and sent her flowers and paid her hotel bill, and it never happened! Here's the clincher: Whenever I go, 'No, it never happened,' they always say, 'Yes, it did. My cousin was there.'"

It's possible this particular urban legend grew out of a skit on the Bob Newhart Show (an American sitcom, aired 1972-7. In one 1973 episode, a large Black man is seen in the reception area trying to control his none-too-cooperative dog. The black man shouts "Sit, Whitey!" at his dog and Jerry (the dentist character) quickly but briefly seats himself on a desk.
It's equally possible it happened the other way around and a current urban legend worked its way into the script of a TV show. Or one might not be related to the other at all. In the Newhart skit, there's no elevator, a key element in every extant version of the legend. Also, although "Sit, lady!" and "Hit the floor!" versions abound, no "Sit, Whitey!" versions have surfaced in oral or written form. Had the Newhart skit truly been what sparked this legend, one would expect to find at least a couple of early tellings which feature this line.
The joke concept of the shouted-at dog and the human who thinks the command is meant for him show up in other forums.
[Reader's Digest, 1974]
During a temporary shutdown of operations at a large plant, trained police dogs were hired to protect the building from vandalism. A company executive who was unaware of the new regime arrived at the plant early one morning. As he was walking down the corridor to his office, he came face to face with one of the dogs, accompanied by his trainer. The dog reacted to the presence of the stranger by baring his teeth and uttering a menacing growl. The executive froze to the spot. The trainer shouted in an authoritative tone the command: "Sit!" Whereupon, the unnerved executive promptly sat down on the floor.

[New York Times, 2006] Armed with instructions from the dog trainer, I took my canine grandson, Lucky, a 5-month-old Havanese, for a walk on Amsterdam Avenue. He was forever eating everything on the sidewalk, and the instructor had said to use only one phrase, once, very firmly and loudly. When the dog started to pick up some form of food, I loudly and firmly said, "Drop it." At that moment, a well-dressed man in front of me was bending down to pick up a stray glove, which he immediately dropped and walked briskly away. Lucky proceeded to eat the garbage, but the command certainly worked on a stranger.

The Reader's Digest and New York Times versions aside, this is one racist legend. It's color-driven: no versions have been recorded where the famous person assumed to be a potential attacker is not both male and black. Were race not the heavy-hitting factor it is in this piece, one could hardly imagine someone as innocuous as Lionel Ritchie being mistaken for a lurking menace. Moreover, names of numerous famous non-Blacks known for their scowling and somewhat threatening personas would stud the roster of men this tale is told about. Yet scan as one might, there are no Dick Butkus versions to be found, no Jean-Claude Van Dammes, no David Bowies.
It has become fashionable to recast this legend as a liberal morality tale by claiming we, the tellers, are guffawing at the older lady's inappropriate reaction to finding herself in an enclosed space with a Black man. Yet this flies in the face of what is known about contemporary lore — central figures in urban legends represent us and our fears; they are rarely (if ever) presented as at-arm's-length characters. We are the little old lady who throws her bucket of quarters in the air; we're not an absent third party who observes the action from a distance and finds the whole thing a telling comment on the human condition.
Times are changing, and one of the changes being wrought is the recognition that programmed reactions to Black men that characterize them as lurking menaces are wrong. We're not yet far enough advanced to completely shed ourselves of this association, however, so we continue to guiltily share this apprehension with others under the guise of pointing out someone else's color biases. That we now tell this tale in a more distanced fashion speaks to progress being made on this perception, but by the same token, the underlying perception is still very much with us even as we try to deny it by claiming it's other folks who think this way, not us.
For what it's worth, people generally don't pick up on the inherent racism in this legend the first couple of times they hear it. The focus is too much on it being a windfall legend brought about by a brush with a wealthy celebrity, one of those everyday miracles that someday, God willing, should happen to us.
Barbara "miracle whipped" Mikkelson
Sightings: A version similar to the Reader's Digest joke shows up in the 1986 film Police Academy 3. The recruits mistake a "Sit!" command shouted at the dog as meant for them and promptly sit on the ground. Last updated: 10 January 2006

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rushin' the waves
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April 11, 2006, 02:24 PM

Never judge a book by its cover!


'03 600rr Track and Street (SOLD)
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Repping WPNR is Tennessee
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April 12, 2006, 09:28 AM

Still funny though.....

RIP...Karl Michael "Dragula" Meckenberg WE MISS YOU BUDDY!!!

WulfPakRydaz- Strength in Numbers

Cause thats how we roll......
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