Skip to content


Old Roy came over to borrow a shovel today. He owns the house across the street, which he’s still repairing from flood damage lo these many months. Roy just turned 90 last week. I don’t know what I’ll be doing in fifty years, but borrowing a shovel at his age is pretty impressive.

What’s not so impressive are the racist jokes that he loves to crack:

Roy: “Do you know what the AFL stand for?”

Me: “I’m afraid to ask.”

Roy: “Why?”

Me: “Because I’m afraid of what the answer might be.”

Roy: “The AFL is the American Football League.”

Me: “Oh. Yeah.”

Roy: “Only now it’s the African Football League.”

Me: “Uh oh.”

Roy: “You know what the NFL stand for?”

And so on…

I’m not gonna disrespect a 90 year-old man. But damn Roy. Even if I could get down with your aggressively racialized worldview, that joke isn’t even funny.

Published inNeighborsNew Orleans


  1. I know exactly what you mean. It leaves you in the uncomfortable position of remaining silent, but guiltily thinking, “won’t it be nice when all these old racist farts are dead?”

  2. J.B. J.B.

    You know Dangerblond, even if I could get down with your aggressively anti-racist-old-fart worldview… ahhhh okay that was pretty funny.

    As much as I wish those kinds of attitudes were generational, I’m afraid it’s more that people just get to a certain age and quit censoring themselves. I happen to have a virulently racist landlord– every encounter with him puts my conscience in an uncomfortable position– and he is a long way from old.

  3. Dave Dave

    I did a little research on this 90 year old man and his “aggressively racialized worldview” as you put it. First, he calls John Payne (who is black as you know) his son and John Payne calls him Dad. Neither of them are joking, they feel that way about each other. When one of his tenants (who is black) was having financial difficulties, Roy allowed them to stay in his property for over a year rent free. The Lion’s Club just recently honored Roy with their Humanitarian of the Year Award for his volunteer work on their behalf. The recipients of his volunteerism where black, white and brown. B.rox, you can criticize his typical New Orleans sense of humor, but you owe him an apology for stating he has an aggressively racialized worldview.

  4. Wow, so Roy is still alive? That’s good to know. I don’t think I’ve seen him for a year or more, and at his age, I feared the worst. Do you know how to get in touch with him? Because we’ve had a problem with people hanging out and drinking on his property (which is still not habitable) at 6:00 AM and I’m wondering if as property owner there’s anything he can do.

    By the way, I am awfully glad to hear he’s a humanitarian. That’s cool and I did not know that. I’m not sure an apology is in order though — those jokes he was telling were pretty awful. I mean, never mind the racial nature. After having those jokes inflicted on me, I deserve an award!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *