BETTY WHITE JUST MISSED THE CHARMIN BEARS. If there was any toilet paper to be had, they’d had it and were gone. She’d only seen them in passing, but by the time she reached the front of the store they had already passed on down the street. It kept happening again and again.

It had been a month since she wiped her ass.

She was standing on the sidewalk, waving a fist at the sky. A few minutes later, Idris Elba joined her. He was out of breath. He was running out of time and dragging behind. The virus was doing its work in him and she was starting to get worried. Unlike those damn bears, or the rest of the world, she knew all this was probably a bigger deal than just some two-ply.

Idris was bent over, trying to catch his breath.

That’s when the old white man approached them on the sidewalk. Betty turned, and Idris stood, thinking one of them might be signing an autograph. That’s usually what it was. Either one would’ve been cool with that, but that wasn’t what it was. The old man wore a MAGA hat.

“Nothin’ but fake news,” he said, then started going on about how black people couldn’t get it, famous people just said they had it, and there wasn’t really anything to get anyhow. He coughed and said they just needed to drink some tea.

Betty White reached for her bazooka, but Idris stopped her.

“Nah,” he said, and the music started. Right out of the air. Like magic, like a movie scene.

“I guess it’s time to do a direct talk, feels appropriate right now . . . “

Betty started nodding her head to the beat, while Idris rapped, smooth like silk:

“. . . yo, this ain’t a dream, this ain’t a movie or a scene, this ain’t a character I get to play and then I walk away. No, this is the real fucking thing, and every word that I say, ain’t a line, it’s really me . . .”

Betty, nodding her head. The old white man, shaking his.

“. . . the tears ain’t makeup, I couldn’t make this up, I ain’t lying, my leading lady is Betty White, she ain’t a stunt woman but she’s really riskin’ her life . . .”

Betty was moving to the beat. “This motherfucker spittin’,” she said.

So Idris kept spittin’: “Next, don’t send me texts with misinformation, even the doctor don’t know what the fuck’s going on, don’t tell me to drink herb tea and stand in the sun . . . nah, I know you mean well, but right now I’m undone, we’re not doing well . . . I’m only doing facts, I know I’m Black Superman, but button that . . . this could end it all, don’t send me texts with that bullshit . . .”

And he dropped down to his knees.

Just like it usually went, the old man in the hat was gone soon as someone started spitting facts. But Betty didn’t have time for that, she was down by Idris’ side. He wasn’t usually shaken or stirred, but he wasn’t looking good at all. Well, he was, she thought, but he could still die.

“Idris . . . “

That’s when the tires screeched. She looked up to see the van, hurtling right at them. She grabbed Idris and pulled him to the side just in time. It was all flash and screech and bright light. The van was racing past the building and they were still scrambling.

“Son-of-a-bitch,” she said, and they both looked down.

Her longtime friend, Rose the potted plant, was on the ground. The pot had broken and there was soil splattered everywhere. “Oh, Rose . . .”

She was scooping her up, glaring out at the end of the lot. The van was still trying to get out.

“Did you see who it was?” Idris asked.

Of course she did. Betty White was old, but she wasn’t slow. “It was the Bears.”

Idris took Rose from her hands. “I got this,” he said, waving her off, “You go get them.”

So that’s what she did . . .

(Visited 19 times, 1 visits today)