The Hook-up & You: A black obsession

The other day I walked into the break room at work to fill up my water bottle. Immediately, I notice a dude standing in front of the vending machine, with the door wide open, filling it up with all kinds of good and terrible snacks. He saw me also, so we naturally exchanged the customary black man head nod that all black men somehow understand. Before any other pleasantries were exchanged, he grabs one of the snacks and tries to hand it to me.

Vending machine guy: “Want some Zingers?”

Me: “Nah, I’m good. Thanks, though.”

Then I filled up my water bottle in the awkward silence and shot him a “Have a good day” as I walked out. End of the story.

For better or for worse, my people seem to love the hook up. If we know somebody who works at The Finish Line, you better believe that family and friends are going to come out of the woodwork to get a deep discount on some shoes. That’s just how it works.

Hook ups seem to always happen in one of two ways: Either the hook-upee is looking for a quick come up and doesn’t mind being a potential thorn in someone’s side to get it, or the hook-uper feels that he/she is in a position of power and just want to flex a little for family and friends. I’m not here to argue that either is bad, per se. I am here to say that we should all be wary of hook ups.

It may be true that you really want that newest old pair of Jordans (I could go into this, but I won’t today. I’ve seriously never understood the obsession over J’s), and you are more than willing to bug the entire crap out of the homie in order to get them. It may be that you just got a new job working security at some establishment, and you really want to get some friends in for free. That’s all well and good, but let’s not be out here losing jobs over the hook up. That, in essence, is why I didn’t want the Zingers. I appreciated the gesture, but I’m really not trying to see anybody potentially lose his job because he gave me a pack of Zingers on the sneak. Nah, man.

That’s it for now. I’ll catch you next time…

-Erik (@WalkSays)

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Erik Walker

Erik is black.

1 Comment

    • Ruthie
      March 2, 2014

      I’ve had the “hook-up” in my time. I hope no-one got in trouble, at the time I thought it was a good gesture. Next time, I’ll “think about it.”


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