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Border Ghetto 3: J.T. goes on a real date and it's a bust

Border Ghetto, Episode 3: Copyright © 2017
J.T. goes on a real date

J.T. and Way-Pac are friends in El Paso, Texas, a border city opposite Juarez, Mexico. African-Americans make up only about 3 percent of El Paso's population; nevertheless, these two young men who are oblivious to the socio-demographics of the border are leaving their own indelible marks on the community.

[J.T. is waiting to meet Way-Pac to get some tips on where to take his new date, a bank executive he met while conducting an inspection of her home for his fake Acme Security Services business. The two friends rendezvous at the parking lot of a local shopping center. They start off with a greeting and latest elaborate handshake.]

J.T.: About time you showed up, fool. I've got three hours before this hot date with Rhonda.
Way-Pac: Who's Rhonda? I've never seen you worry about a date.
J.T.: She's this fancy bank official. She agreed to go on a date with me, almost didn't. She kept wondering what kind of inspection I was doing of her place for the security system installation. I need to be a hit on this date. You know, blow her mind.
Way-Pac: Yeah, I know what it's like man. I took Sonya, my ex, to a place that everyone kept telling me I should try ...
J.T.: Where? What was it?
Way-Pac: Chico's Tacos. It was on Dyer near the Army post.
J.T.: Did she dig it?
Way-Pac: I had me eight orders of Chico's Tacos and french fries ...
J.T.: What did Sonya think?
Way-Pac: She wouldn't order anything. She had a Coke. She didn't speak to me for two weeks after that. I wouldn't take your bank lady there.
J.T.: F*k, man. What other places do you know?
Way-Pac: Let me call my uncle. He went to some fancy place for his anniversary ...

[Five minutes later, Way-Pac is off the phone and tells J.T. about a place in the city that specializes in steaks. Both agree to drive by the place and take a look.]

Way-Pac: Look at how them people going in are dressed. Men in suits and the women looking fine.
J.T.: I don't have a suit. Rented a tux in L.A. for my cousin's wedding. [He looks at his watch.] I've got two hours to get ready ...
Way-Pac: Any rental is closed by now, it's the weekend. Wait a minute. There's a Walmart nearby. They have some suit jackets.

[The two friends hit the gas pedal in Way-Pac's BMW and set out for Walmart. They hurry to the men's clothing section, where J.T. tries on some jackets and dress pants.]

Way-Pac: Here's a shirt to match. You're in luck. What about shoes? They're not 'designer' shoes but the store has your basic black footwear and socks.
J.T.: Ok, hand me a pair to try on while I check out the pants again. My size is 12.5.

[The two friends stop by the cash register with the merchandise and leave the store. J.T. glances at his watch again nervously.]

J.T.: We need to go some place where I can put on this sh*t. I don't have time to go home and change and meet her there.
Way-Pac:  What happened with Leia? Did you break up? I thought you were really into her.
J.T.: Don't breathe a word! She and I are cool. I want to marry her, but she doesn't know that. She went to Chicago to visit relatives for a family reunion. She'll be back. Meanwhile, J.T. has this O-P-O-R-T-U-NITY ...
[The two friends laugh and high-five each other.]
Way-Pac: That's right. They call it equal opportunity ....

[The two friends stop at a convenience store restroom where J.T. changes from t-shirt, shorts and sneakers into his dressier clothes.]

J.T.: How do I look man?
Way-Pac: Like they say, if looks could kill, you'd be knocking them ladies dead. Here's some cologne spray from the counter I bought you so you can smell nice, too.
J.T.: Thanks man.

[Way-Pac drops off J.T. , who is in the back seat, at the restaurant entrance at 8:15 p.m. Rhonda is waiting for him in the waiting area. Way-Pac sticks around look enough to glance at J.T.'s date through the glass door.]

Way-Pac: Wow - she's hot! No wonder my man wants to impress her.

[J.T. greets Rhonda and kisses her right hand. A waiter is ready to lead them to their table.]

J.T.: That was my chauffeur dropping me off. You look mighty fine today, Miss Rhonda ... you looked fine the other day, too.
Rhonda: Thank you.
J.T.: What would you like?
Rhonda: The prime rib here is very good, and so are their red and white house wines.
J.T.: I'll have the same thing you're having.
Rhonda: Do you prefer the red or white wine?
J.T.: Don't matter.

[After the wine is served, J.T. begins to step up his game.]

J.T.: I didn't finish the safety inspection the other day ...
Rhonda: Oh, what is there left to do?
J.T.: We specialize in the 'personal touch.' The inspection includes a body scan ...
Rhonda: You mean, like with implants in case of kidnapping - I've read about that.
J.T.: The scan is visual to make sure your body is in the same condition as we found it before you hired our services - like a warranty, liability and that kind of sh*t ... stuff, I mean.
Rhonda: [smiling to herself] I see. OK, I think I will have the prime rib.
J.T.: How come a fine woman like you doesn't have a man at home waiting for her ...
Rhonda: How do you know I'm not divorced or a widow or something like that? Maybe success scares some men away?
J.T.: Shoot, I wouldn't divorce you if they paid me, and I wouldn't die on you ...
Rhonda: How about you? When was the last time you were romantically involved with someone?
J.T.: I had a fiancee once. She died in a shooting ... I mean a car accident ... in L.A. two years ago. I've been in grief since then.
Rhonda: I'm sorry to hear that.
J.T.: If we can finish the 'body scan' tonight, maybe at your place, my company can add a discount to the service contract.
Rhonda: You're dreaming, right?
J.T.: No, I'm offering you the opportunity of a lifetime.
Rhonda: What do you think of the prime rib?
J.T.: It's fine, but not as good as you probably taste ...
Rhonda: They have some interesting desserts, if you have a sweet tooth. I like the creme brulee myself.
J.T.: Dessert? I'm looking at her!
Rhonda: All right ... Tell me about yourself J.T. Where do your parents live? 
J.T.: I prefer to concentrate on you. You tell me about yourself ...
Rhonda: Well, I was born in Baltimore, and I went to the Wharton School on a full scholarship. I got my master's in finance, and I also teach part time at the university.
J.T.: I can tell you're smart ... you're enough fine looking that you don't need all them college degrees.
Rhonda: I can't tell if you're paying me a compliment ...
J.T.: Oh, I am. What do you say we finish off the evening by going to your place tonight for a night cap?
Rhonda: I need to go to the ladies room ... I'll be back shortly.

[J.T. texts Way-Pac while Rhonda is away. 'I think I've hit a home run. Get back to you later.' Way-Pac responds with a smiley face emoji. After what seemed like 15 minutes, Rhonda returns to the table.]

Rhonda: J.T., I was really looking forward to getting to know more about you. At first, you seemed like a nice man. I liked that you had a nice smile and seemed very friendly...
J.T.: Well ...
Rhonda: Let me finish. You've done nothing but hit on me since we arrived, and I can tell you we are not going to my place or any other place. I called Uber, and my ride should be out front by now. I can pay for my own meal ... 
J.T.: No, I got it. A man pays for the lady ...
Rhonda: Don't come by to install the security system either. If you show up, I will report you to the Better Business Bureau .... And by the way, I hate your cologne!
J.T.: No, No. Don't do that. We're cool.

[Rhonda gets up from the table, plucks down $200 and heads out the door. A dejected J.T. calls Way-Pac to come by for him.]

Way-Pac: Hey man, I thought you had this in the bag ... Do you want to return the clothes and get your money back? I still have the receipts.
J.T.: Nah, I'll keep them. At least I have something to wear for when I propose to Leia, and I also know where to take her for the big question, with prime rib and wine and all. Take me to Chico's Tacos, I want to try them F*ing tacos you raved about.
Way-Pac: Vamos amigo ... see I'm learning me some Spanish. I'm gonna be like the Cisco Kid.

[End of Episode 3]