Saturday, April 30, 2011

What Would You Do? (ABC & Me)

There is a program on ABC called “What Would You Do?” John Quinones will set up a camera in a public place and watch people’s reactions to actors performing some outlandish or egregious scenario. In one episode, they set up a camera at a fast food restaurant. They had a young actress dressed in Middle Eastern garb trying to make an order while another actor depicting the cashier insulted her with comments to the like of “How do I know you’re not a terrorist?” The responses were striking. Half the patrons ignored the situation completely, about 1/6 made rude anti-Islamic comments themselves, and about a third told the cashier exactly where to get off. I found it quite touching that one middle-aged gentleman read the cashier the riot act informing him he had a son fighting in Iraq and he simply couldn’t treat people like that in America. The young actress playing the customer was quite touched as well. As a lawyer, my reaction would be slightly different from any of those listed. I would be handing her my business card, telling her we were both going to be very rich, because under the civil rights act of 1994 that sort of behavior is grounds for a lawsuit. So if anyone reading out there sees this kind of situation, call me immediately.

The second scenario I found quite dramatic was an actor and an actress sitting at a bar. When the young woman excused herself to use the restroom, the actor put a powdered substance in her drink. Reactions were striking. There were two yahoos who did everything but congratulate the pretend perpetrator on his cleverness, while one gentleman who was with his wife had a complete conniption fit. Ironically enough, the man’s wife was saying, in effect, dear let’s not get involved, while the man proclaimed: “I seen what I seen!” The actress playing the would-be victim was quite touched at the concern some bystanders showed. She even mentioned she had had a bad experience sometime before. If I were in that situation, I’d like to think I would immediately tell the bartender to call the police, I would inform the young lady, I might even offer to buy the drink from her for $100 so as to build a criminal case against the guy. All else fails, I’d be looking for a ketchup bottle or a chair to break over his head.

I don’t expect to see such a scenario in real life, however just to do my good deed I’ll share some good advice I hope parents will pass along to their daughters: WATCH YOUR DRINK, WATCH YOUR DRINK, WATCH YOUR DRINK.

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