midnight freebie: my own take on something you’ve no doubt seen before, or, “more southern black people secrets…”

1. We will completely bastardize your ethnic food. Always.

This weekend I had to explain to a room full of people what “yok” was. Haven’t heard of it? Let me blow your mind, right quick, with the recipe.

–Take one old Chinese food restaurant carton. Rinse.
–In a separate bowl, mix copious amounts of ketchup, hot sauce, soy sauce and vinegar. Stir.
–Boil noodles. If you’re feeling particularly cultural, get lo mein noodles. But note, any noodle
will do. Only have spaghetti noodles? Spaghetti noodles it is.
–Dice one onion.
–Mix noodles, “sauce” and onion together and pour into rinsed out carton. Add one fried or
baked chicken wing, and one whole boiled egg.
–Feeds 1-2 palette-challenged persons of color.
Impromptu Q&A:
Q: “But, Fooler, do southern black people really eat that?”
A: “Yes. But recent studies have localized the popularity of this dish to my 757 roots.”
Q: “Why is it called ‘yok.’”
A: “Cause “yok” sounds Chinese to our southern black ears. Our ears are pretty fucking racist.”

2. As a people, we’re only recently coming round to the idea of having animals as companions.

And by “companion” I mean, mutt of no known origins that someone gave us who eats table scraps, and maintains an active residence outside, tethered to a tree. When we are so advanced to actually permit the animal into our home, he is not allowed on the furniture, or on the bed, or in the kitchen, or near the front door (cause we know he’s plottin’ his escape), or really anywhere outside of a 2 by 5 foot space out of the way, where he is allowed to lay quietly. And he doesn’t have toys. He has a roof over his head. And for that, he should be thankful.

3. We call the Bible “The Word.”

4. We reserve the right to quote, misquote, or attribute any notion that should strike us, but need
validation of some kind, to “The Word.”

For example, my grandmother once got into an extremely heated argument with one of my older cousins. Retelling the story to me, my grandmother advised, “The Word says, ‘If a man comes into your home and disrespects your home, take your hand and strike the other cheek. That’s what The Word says.’”

That was the first time I ever had to give my grandmother what would become my signature *blank stare*.

5. We do not understand your position of authority. Period.

A lot of people mistakenly confuse this for black people being “disrespectful” or “having an attitude.” No, no. We sincerely don’t understand why you—irrespective of who the particular “you” is: teacher, judge, cop, meter maid, etc—get to tell us what to do. So, don’t take offense if one of us angrily shouts, “Who in the fuck are you?” That, right there, is a genuine query. We really have no idea who you are, and by what vested authority you are now seeking to impose your rules or constraints. So, if it seems like we’re “talking back” in court, or, at the police station, don’t be upset. We’re just doing a cursory background check; authenticating the source, if you will. As a people, we have found, that it pays to be thorough; to ask the proper questions. We hardly want another Middle Passage on our hands, do we? That shit was a complete fiasco.

6. Our hands become an impenetrable/soundproof shield the moment we use them to cover our
mouths while telling a secret.

This is true no matter how loud we are. If you see that cupped hand go up to a black woman’s mouth, that means, it’s secret time, and even if you hear what is said, you’d better not hear what is said. And if you should slip, and question or repeat what you heard while you weren’t supposed to be hearing, you will immediately be called out for the nosey-ass eavesdropper that you are. Even if I do it right next to you. Even if I loud-speak your name. Whatever I said is none of your business. I’m not talking to you. Hence the impenetrable/soundproof shield hand-cup.

7. Last night’s dinner + grits = breakfast.

This rule is absolute and unwavering. If we had Papa John’s for dinner last night, we’re having Papa John’s and grits for breakfast this morning. Also, any person who doesn’t eat grits, is, by default, an asshole. And for good reason. Why in the fuck wouldn’t you eat grits? You have the ability to make them taste like whatever you want them to taste like. They’re pretty much the most inoffensive food ever. If you don’t like grits, I can only conclude that it is through no fault of the grits, but rather is directly attributable to your own saditty-ness. And I can’t have any saditty bitches eating in my house.

8. Nobody likes a saditty bitch.

Saditty—adj. Black in origin. Suh-did-dee. Sometimes, “ha’saditty” or “high’saditty.” : Any woman (read as “bitch”) who is stuck up or thinks she’s too good (feel free to remove the “s” from “thinks” and “she’s” to use them colloquially in the singular for more effect. e.g. “She think she too good”). Now, men, too, can be saditty. But, odds are, if a man has gotten to that point of description, he is acting like a bitch, anyway, and is therefore more accurately characterized by one of the black people “bitch” derivatives (e.g. “bitchassmotherfucker,” “bitchassbitch,” “bitchmademotherfucker”).

9. At age 65, all black women, without warning, will become holy-rolling church women.

They will attend church 2-3 times per week, and busy themselves with the beautification ministry, the usher board, the deaconess board, and choir. They will promptly forget any and all references to any time prior when they were dirty ass tramp ass hoes like the rest of us. Any attempt to remind them will get you a speedy and inaccurate reference to “The Word,” that will, in all likelihood, make no sense at all. Black people do that, you see. We throw bible verses at you to throw you off our scent. For instance, Q: “Sister Maybelle, did you make sure to give your five dollars to the youth fund?” A: “The Word says, ‘If you give a man a fish, he’ll only eat for a day. So we all gotta start teaching these children how to fish.’ That’s what The Word says.”

10. We pretty much hate Mexicans. For no reason in particular.

Look. While this sounds racist (cause it is), it’s best to just take this one and go with it. Cause if you ask a southern black person why he hates Mexicans, it’s gonna get really ugly, really quickly. Trust me. David Duke would be beside himself with all the generalizations we’re gonna give to you as justification for why we do. So, please, for everyone’s sake, take my word on this, and simply charge it to the game. We pretty much hate Mexicans.

But we reserve the right to make quesadillas. And put hot sausage in them.

11. The more crazy-sounding our vernacular is, the more “current” or “now” it is, and by proxy, cool.

Seriously. Your inability to understand it is less a result of its stupidity and more a function of your own ignorance to all things cool. I mean, sure, you could inquire as to the actual definition of the word used; you could try to discern its etymological origins, but that wouldn’t be cool, now would it? I’ve known a guy for 10 years who continues to use the same word in multiple capacities one thousand times a day. To date, I have no fuckin’ clue what this word means. I don’t know if it’s a noun or a verb or an adjective. I just know that he uses it all of the time. And he’s pretty cool. So my not knowing the word quite naturally means that I’m not as cool as him. But one of these years I’m gonna finally get it. And then, whooooaaa buddy.

Seriously. Not knowing a word or a phrase, and then bringing attention to your not knowing can cost you in southernblackpeopleland. I once learned this lesson the hard way. When I was 15, and of questionable aesthetic worth, a boy who I really liked took an interest in me, and one day, while sitting on the church bus (I don’t have time to explain the “church bus” phenomenon at this juncture), said to me: “Aye. Come ‘ere shawty and lemme put a bug in ya ear right quick.” Before I even knew what was happening, the saditty bitch inside of me rose up, made my face perform horrific contortions, and compelled my mouth to speak, “What?!! Huh? What are you even saying?” My then-soulmate just shook his head, woefully, and uttered a dismissive, “Nevermind,” before he returned to the back of the bus with the other boys. I heard he’s on drugs now.

12. We think everybody is “on drugs.”

Sudden weight loss? She’s on drugs. Acting kind of skittish? All hopped up on drugs. Inexplicable and perpetual state of brokeness? Using them drugs. Also, the older we get, the less inclined we are to quibble over details like what kind of drugs are being used. Heroin, Marijuana, Cocaine—all “drugs” or “dope” to us. Sometimes we’ll switch it up and say, “On that stuff.”

Oh, and something else. All these people on A&E who are always all, “I just want Joey to stop smoking crack. I don’t want Joey to die,” don’t speak for my people. Lookit. I don’t know about anybody else, but black people don’t die from smoking crack. Crackheads have proven themselves to be virtually indestructible members of our community. I have an uncle who has had every internal problem known to man, in addition to colon cancer. Do you think they do courses of chemo in the backwoods of the country? Hell no. They smoke crack. And you know what? That man has a clean bill of health to this day. My grandma says it’s a miracle. And I agree. It’s the miracle of crack.

13. “The Color Purple” isn’t a movie. It’s a rite of passage.

All black women and black gay men aged 24 and above should be able to quote 4-5 scenes from “The Color Purple” verbatim, and perform them with emphasis if so required. They should be able to do this on the spot. It’s our Invictus. Personally, I don’t trust any black woman that doesn’t know at least 3 direct quotes from the movie. And let me be clear. While I can certainly appreciate your having read the book, I think we can all agree that even Alice Walker couldn’t have envisioned the magnitude of Oprah saying in terse, brusque tones, “All my life, I had ta’ fight.”

See what I did there, just now? I just gave you a quote from a scene. See how I did that? I got at least 25 more where that came from.


3 Responses to “midnight freebie: my own take on something you’ve no doubt seen before, or, “more southern black people secrets…””

  1. 1 DM
    April 5, 2010 at 4:21 pm

    This unfortunately has become my guilty pleasure. I want so much not to laugh, to have a bit of decency, respect and sympathy for some of the people and some of the topics you eviscerate on a regular basis. But I can’t, it’s too funny. I think I’ll call you Nina Brown, in honor of Nino Brown from New Jack City. Peddling that literary crack/cocaine through the streets on the web.

  2. 2 Donn
    November 5, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    “palette?” Did you mean “palate?”

    Sorry, but surely you know here is one blog where the distinction is important.

  3. 3 Naija
    August 6, 2012 at 12:27 am

    lol. I guess there’ll never be any trust between us, my Canadianness aside. Despite the insane number of times BET subjected me to that movie, I can’t recall a single quote. I mean, I recognized “All my life, I had ta’ fight,” but only because you’d provided the context.

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a history of my meanderings….


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