How do I know that the human race has officially reached its full potential? The internet’s ability to answer the one question that no one asked but that demands resolution before any of us can die in peace: “What if your grandma bumped into Jay-Z on the subway?”
I mean, I thought I’d entertained every possible scenario [about this thing that never occurred to me a possibility happened, after the fact]:
- They’d rap about knitting and good circulation. ”I got 99 problems, a dropped stitch ain’t one.” ”Move your plasma, get yo’ damn hands up.”
- He’d say, “I’m Jay-Z.” She’d respond, “What a small world, I’m Maisy.” and we’d all have a good chuckle.
- You’d have to listen to, “What on Earth is a ewe nightie? And why would you slaughter it?” ”No, ma’am. ‘My daughter’s name is Blue Ivy.” approximately 25 times. And then you’d throw yourself under the train.
- He’d show her his Rolex. She’d tell you about the nice soldier with the crazy eyes who returned her father’s watch to her after the war.
- Your grandmother’s racist, ancient brother would ask Jay-Z to check his coat and direct him to the dining car.
The life-affirming clip cropped up online yesterday (Dec. 4). It’s a brief glimpse of the mini-documentary Life+Times, which follows Jay-Z as he helps build and open the Barclays Arena in Brooklyn. And even if this is the only 51-second-period in the doc appropriate for or relevant to your kid/neighbor/niece/free-range toddler wandering into your backyard, it’s 51 seconds well spent.
Explain to your kid that this man is worth $460 million and takes the subway to work. That this man, recognized almost everywhere he goes, is friendly–and visibly pleased–when someone doesn’t know who he is (as opposed to being offended or condescending). That this man is polite, makes eye contact, and validates the worth of a stranger who is, presumably, not worth $460 million. That this man is deferential to someone who has seen, maybe, twice the years he has.
Then explain to your kid that this man may only be this kind and humble when people are watching but that you hope not. That you like to believe the best of people. That isn’t it nice to think that we can all be kind to and interested in the people we encounter only briefly, even when no one is there to endorse our behavior on the internet.
Tell your wee one that if they do as Jay-Z did in this video, you will follow Ellen’s lead and say, “I’m proud of you.”
Can I get a woop woop?