“I’ll be there in five minutes … five hours later, I’ll be there in five minutes …” ~K. West on “Late” from Late Registration.
Dear CPT Addicts:
Habitual lateness is an ultimate sign of disrespect. You should know that by now.
Funny, I didn’t know about your kind growing up. See, I stayed involved in baseball, choir, theater and journalism. Those activities often meant being on time was showing up an hour early for preparation. I didn’t even hear about “CP time” until college. I begrudgingly acclimated.
For those who remain clueless, CPT is an acronym most often associated with the phrase “colored people time.” So you know, I prefer the racial designation of black over any other, especially African-American. But on the CPT issue, I’ve come to understand that there are plenty of whites, Asians, Native Americans and Hispanics fruitlessly stuck behind schedule. My one true Asian friend is NEVER on time.
Thus, I think the acronym is better associated with this phrase: cotton-picking time. Yes, the hands of blacks have picked the most cotton in this country’s rich history. And that infers that black people are most egregious in this CPT dilemma. But it takes some of the edge off, and besides, everyone needs to share in the CPT blame.
I mean, if slave owners didn’t have slaves picking cotton for most of the 18th and 19th centuries, maybe blacks wouldn’t be two or three generations behind the rest of society (think that one through). Who knows?
I digress. I’m ranting like the black militant I swore I’d never become. Back to the CPT abusers.
I abhor you people. Why can’t you be on time for anything? In college, your kind pushed back the start of every event by an average of an hour and 12 minutes. If a flyer listed a start time as 7 p.m., everyone knew said event inevitably would begin after 8. So people would show up at 8:15.
It snowballed out of control. We event planners started purposely listing early times on flyers so people would show up at the time we wanted to kick things off.
Make no mistake, this problem translates into the real world. For three years, I attended a Monday morning work meeting that NEVER began 45 minutes after the scheduled start time. Of the eight regular attendees, only two of us were black. So I could write 50-page thesis about people who are habitually late to work. But I won’t.
I’ll just tell you who I fault. There are only a few people.
The Wu Tang Clan — all 596 members — heads the list. The Wu never starts a show on time. Then there’s Michael Jackson. How are you two hours late to your own press conference? Comedians are next in line. Even Larry the Cable Guy’s shows start late.
Lastly, I blame President Barack Obama. I’ve attended my share of Obama events in the last year. They’ve all started after schedule. Mr. President’s inauguration even got behind.
I don’t know if he’s trying to authenticate his blackness or just keeping in good standing with the Black Card Express. But Obama is a habitual CPT abuser. If you ever made it to an Obama rally, you know what I’m talking about.
Then again, being a CPT abuser, you probably never saw him. You likely got turned away because the rally or arena filled to capacity before you arrived. Too bad. You missed out on history because of your affinity for tardiness.
Hopefully that will teach you that being on time is change you can (and should) believe in. Even you, Mr. President. Please acquiesce.
Note: This is Monday’s letter. It was posted Sunday to prove it’s OK to be early.