GLYNN WASHINGTON, HOST:
OK, so when I started school at the University of Michigan I was a bit intimidated. I told my Grammy that I heard there were some fancy kids there with their trust funds and their dinner jackets. And I was nervous 'cause I didn't know if they were going to like me or not. And she said don't worry about them, baby. You let them worry about you. Well, I moved into this place with three other guys, and actually Granny was right. So what I didn't have a lot of money? No one seemed to mind. I met my new roommate. He says hey, hey - my dad's a new member at the country club and I want you guys to be my first guests - country club? - me? I always thought they feasted on roasted black folk in places like that. But I didn't want to be rude, so I went. And we walked through the mahogany door, we sat down in their cushioned seats, and lots of people came, and they called me sir un-ironically. My roommate told me his father had a bet with some other Richie Rich - right? - that whoever rang up the biggest tab would win some kind of bragging rights.
And my roommate was straight skippy. We've got to win. We have to win. So order whatever you want. Order two of them. So the waiters kept on coming with crab and steak tartare and pork and desserts they set on fire and all kinds of stuff. We ate and ate until we could not eat another pecan-encrusted mouthful. So the next day he invited all of us to go back out there again. Cool. Then again and again, and finally I had to tell him I didn't want any peach compote a la mode for breakfast or whatever. I just wanted some cornflakes, man. And I'm not going to choke down any lobster bisque at two o'clock in the afternoon. I was a pretender anyway. Everyone there knew had tricked some rich kid who was taking advantage.
But my roommate begged me to go. Man, I just want my dad to win this contest. Who cares about a stupid contest? My dad cares. If he wins then he will know that he's arrived. Rich people problems. But my roommate was begging. All right man, let's go polish off a roast quail with some of that balsamic reduction. Now it's only a couple of days later, in Econ class, right in front of me I see a couple of those guys - country club guys. And the tall good-looking guy in the corduroy jacket tells the other tall good-looking guy in the corduroy jacket, he says, dude, at the club it's the most ridiculous thing. Some imbeciles, they're busy inflating their expenses for show dude. They're feeding people off the street man.
We're like a homeless shelter now. And the other one, he says it like it's received wisdom passed down from the land of gentry. He says, dude don't you know it man? New money is always stupid money. I couldn't help it, I laughed. When they look back I pretended there was something funny in the Econ textbook. I go back to my crib. And my roommate is crazy happy. We did it. We did it. My father won his bet. We have arrived. Nobody can say Jack to us now. Moving on up. Right on brother. Congratulations. Let's wash down a juicy lobster with some of that Madara (Ph) 97 to celebrate. And I'm like man come on. I know you think I'm a jerk, he says. Well, yeah kind of I do. But I don't hold it against you.
And he's like please, just come with me. And I think about it and I have to live with this guy so we go to the club. And before we even get out of the car, I see the neckties, the shiny shoes, the cufflinks and I look over and my roommate is breathing heavy like he's preparing for something horrible. And I'm like man, what are we doing? You don't even want to be here. Of course I want to be here. And I tell him, I've got an idea.
Let's road trip to my grandmother's house in Detroit instead. Your grandmother? Really? Is she going to like me? Why are you so worried if someone's going to like you? And I laugh at myself as soon as I say it. But roomies worked himself into a lather. Is she going to like me? And I'm honest - No. She's not going to like you. Then why? Because we're going to eat real food. But - and look - if and when my grandmother does like you, then you'll know you've really arrived.
WASHINGTON: Congratulations, you have subverted the system and made it to the end of the episode. They didn't want it to happen. But what, you miss some? No worries. You can fight the power with full episodes - pictures, stories, stuff - available right now on at snapjudgment.org. Our twitter handle - snapjudgmentorg. Stick it to the man and friend SNAP on Facebook.
WASHINGTON: SNAP was produced by myself and America's most wanted radio outlaws - run and hide from the Jesse James of the airwaves - the uber producer Mark Ristich.
WASHINGTON: If the beats are rockin', don't come knocking for Pat Mesiti-Miller. Stephanie Foo is lactose intolerant, and she absolutely won't stand for any lactose. Anna Sussman turned off the tracking functions on her phone. Nick Van der Kolk rages against the mean. Julia DeWitt believes humans and dinosaurs lived together in harmony. Renzo Gorrio can take a punch like a real man - try him. And Will Urbina personally invented all the modern dance crazes you see on the YouTube there.
WASHINGTON: Now then, one corporation we can vouch for is the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. And again, I apologize for speaking as the representative when I was trying to buy that circus. Much love to CPB, PRX - the public radio exchange has the power. They demand that the public listen to public media, whether they like it or not - prx.org. This is not the news. No way is this the news. In fact, for a laugh you could set up one of those coffee stands that serve $25 shots of espresso. And when the yuppies come running from far and wide to give you all their money, you would still not be as far away from the news as this is. But this is NPR. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.