Monthly Archives: April 2011
And now a word on irony…
When I was five, a sixth grader tried to beat my ass. While he was yapping away about what he was about to do…I was Chun-Li’ing his ass. I won. A few years later an eighth grader beat me up the fourth grade version of myself. Unfair fight, but oddly enough he hit like a girl. He threw enough punches for them to add up, but still it didn’t really hurt. Even when I got jumped in the seventh grade by four grown ass men at the bus stop for my Polo coat, I felt very little pain.
It started with a “Come up out that coat, cuz.” I kept walking. They ran up on me, hit me from behind and it was on. Sad part of this story is that I was walking with three other guys. They took off running. One of them actually stuck with me like he was gonna fight too just until the bus pulled up and he hopped on and wished me well from the window. I stood there, took the blows and did the best I could. In the end, they fucked up my coat, ripped the sleeves but I didn’t run. I guess they got tired of hitting me cuz they just said, “Fuck this little nigga” and let me go. Even then, I walked away rather than run.
I’m not trying to sound like a bad ass. I’m no Black Dynamite. Like I said at the beginning…let’s talk about irony.
All of those semi ass whoopings and I truly felt zero pain. Maybe I went to my “special place” or something like Fight Club but there was one fight that hurt like hell. Her name was Renee and she was like twelve or something. I was about nine or ten. We got into an argument outside of my church (of all places) and I don’t remember what sparked it but her little 4 foot six, 90 lb frame was the perfect hiding place for the spirit of Iron Fist Joe Louis.
I said something like, “What you gonna do?” and all I remember seeing was this redbone fist coming my direction and connecting with my jaw. Then I heard a pop. Laila Ali hit me so damn hard that something in my neck snapped and my whole head was locked facing right. Do you have any idea how fucking embarrassing it is to go into Children’s Choir rehearsal with the “stroke” look? It took three days and couple tubes of Ben Gay for the muscles to loosen in my neck so that I could face forward again.
I dropped outta the choir and skipped church for a few weeks. lol It’s funny that you can get jumped by three grown men and not feel a damn thing, but one little girl can kick your ass.
Dear Other Black People,
Every Spring that old underground railroad email starts circulating again about how we as Black people should never use the word “picnic” because it’s racist. According to the email, White people used to have potlucks outside while buying slaves. “Picnic” is supposedly the abbreviated way of saying, “Pick a nigger.” Even though common sense told me that this was the dumbest fucking thing I’d ever heard, I still had to do some investigating to be sure.
I went undercover as a White man. After several months I finally gained their trust and was given access to their secret lair where they keep their “real” dictionary. Inside, I found the answer. Apparently “picnic” dates back to 18th century France. “Piquenique” basically meant “potluck.” People would come together and bring food to eat. By the 19th century, the word had made it’s way to England where it took the connotation of an outdoor eating event. America stole the word from the Europeans, marketed it on baskets and constructed giant grassy enclosures where people would perform the art of picnicking for generations.
Please stop forwarding that email. It just makes us sound stupid.
Well, I just mailed off my taxes and I feel $400 lighter. I know I’m in the minority here but I have no issue with paying taxes. I consider taxes to be my Freedom Payment…kinda like an electric bill or something. Every year something happens to make me happy to pay taxes again. This year it was Egypt and Libya. They shoot people over there. Yeah I know, they shoot people here too, but it’s so much different. If you get caught up in a drive by or the police unload a clip on you, then more than likely the bullet that does you in will be a 9mm. Over there though…AK-47s, grenades, missles, roadside bombs, etc. Who the hell wants to live in a place where preschoolers are playing Call of Duty in real life?
Let’s say you don’t get shot over there. It’s a fucking desert! What the hell do you do for fun–play let’s not die from dehydration? People fight for the craziest shit over there, like food. The last time I fought for a meal was at McDonald’s when the lady swore to me that the 99 cent Filet-o-Fish special had ended even though the commercial clearly said it was extended. That’s the kinda fight I want in my life. I want to be on the verge of divorce because my wife didn’t put enough sugar in my Kool-Aid. I don’t want a civil rights debate. I’m sorry, but we have America exactly the way we want it now. It took a few wars, some marches and such but now it’s just right. It’s not totally negro friendly, but lynching is technically illegal. There’s still poverty but the average person just has to contend with the projects (a tall shelter with running water, electricity and the occasional bullet coming through a window), racial profiling (cops harassing you versus trampling you while riding through the a middle eastern city that looks a lot like Aladdin’s Agraba on horseback a la the dark haired dude from The Mummy) and drugs (things that cause the people who sell and use them to die unlike the car bombs that just kill everyone walking by).
So I paid my Freedom Payment this year and I’ll be damn glad to do it next year.
It’s 11:26 at night and I have a few moments of peace while the baby pretends to go to sleep. Here’s something that you won’t read in the brochure:
Your house becomes DisneyWorld.
Now I’m not just talking about the random toys strewn around the apartment or the chorus of laughter mixed with crying and tantrums. I’m referring to the Disney motto of “we are always open.” It’s a little realized fact but Disney never actually shuts down. It’s open to the public for only a few hours but after the last broke tourist leaves the park, they kick into high gear.
My apartment, like Disney World, needs someone to keep the place clean. All of the DVDs three feet from the ground need to be put back on the shelf in their proper order. The walls have to be magically erased by Mr. Clean, the baby bottles have to be powerwashed and if I’m lucky…I get to eat dinner.
This is the happiest place on Earth. Then the baby wakes back up. All of the toys will find themselves out of the box and onto the floor, food will go either in her mouth or behind the television and the chorus of her laughter will fill the room over the faint sound of my tears.
I’ve been taking a break from blogging lately mainly because I haven’t really had a lot of time to write. My daughter started “cruising” a few weeks ago and there appears to be a direct correlation between her increasing physical/mental development and my physical and mental deterioration. She’s at that point where she pulls up on something and then uses it as a guide to “walk” around the house. I’m certain that this is the first of many milestones that will initially be met with excitement, but later develop into genuine loathing. I spend most of my day saying some iteration of “stop, put that down, come here.” By the time I get to the computer, I don’t have the strength to type.
You aren’t tired until you get to the point where you surf the web solely by mouse clicks. Anything that requires actual typing gets ignored. Thank God for bookmarks.
This weekend was the eleventh anniversary of the death of a really good friend of mine, Iniko Glessie Johnson. She was killed in a car accident April 2, 2000 and I still remember it like it was yesterday. I’m famous for googling people, but sadly I’ve never seen anything about her online except the award that her college, started in honor of her and the other occupants of the vehicle. So, I figured that since I have my own site…why not add something in her memory.
She lived around the corner from me all of her life, but I never actually spoke to her until we ended up at the same high school. She joined the track team for about a week and that’s where we had our first interaction. She said, “You’re that guy who lives around the corner that always walks to the train, right?” He is I and I am him. “You dummy, don’t you know that you can just catch the bus at the corner and it takes you all the way to school. How’d you think I was getting there.”
From that point on, she designated herself as my unwanted older sister. She turned out to be a “braidologist” and cornrowed my hair for me. She could sing, dance and do hair. She was also pretty damn smart. She majored in Math and Dance. Math, as she would say, was her fail safe so that she could get a job. She did her best to teach me to dance, but no one’s perfect. All I learned was how to snap my fingers on beat. Meanwhile she put on one of the best high school dance shows I’ve ever seen, Rhythm and Moves. She and her two friends did a Michael Jackson tribute that was way ahead of its time.
She invited me into her home, her family and her life and she was the bright side to a lot of dark days. I was severely depressed throughout high school for many reasons and unbeknownst to me, she felt obligated to try and get me to see the bright side of life. Knowing how badly I needed money, she convinced our community service administrator to pay me on the side AND give me community service credit so that I could fulfill the high school requirement. Her mother fed me and let me crash at their house pretty much daily and I must say that whatever her goal was with me, I think she achieved it.
At her funeral someone read the poem, “The Dash” that suggests that more important than the birth and death dates on a tombstone is the dash (what was done) in between those dates. The church comfortably sat at least 250 people and not only was it filled to capacity but so was the basement, overflow and the outside lawn in front of the church where people gathered who could not fit inside the building. Apparently she did a lot with just the eighteen years between those two dates.