Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Aunt Mae Makes Cornbread

“Okay, Mom,” Aunt Mae said, “show me how to make cornbread.”


I bit my lip. Muh had been gatherin’ up the fixins for a gumbo, and my job was to catch the chickens and wring their necks. Then we dipped them in a pot of hot water to make pluckin’ ’em easy. After we plucked ’em, we took the guts out, and put the soft eggs in a bowl, for later. Soft eggs is the ones the chicken aint laid yet, and there aint nothin’ better tastin’ than them, trust me. Well, maybe turtle eggs, cuz it got that seafood flavor built in.

Anyhow, we singed the chickens to get rid of the pinfeathers. I had to be careful, cuz Muh didn’t like stains on her new gas stove. Now in the middle of alla this, Aunt Mae had come over, askin’ Muh to show her how to make cornbread. “Alfred been after me all week to get you to show me how,” she said. “Aint nothin’ wrong with my cornbread, I do it just like they say on the box.”

“Box?” Muh asked, “What box?”

“The Wonder Muffin box,” Aunt Mae answered.

Muh sighed, and rubbed her temples. “You mean to tell me,” she said, slow-like, “that you make box cornbread?”

“Yes, ma’am,” she said, “but Alfred don’t like it. He say it don’t taste right. He threw out my last batch, right offa the front po’ch. Hit the cat inna haid with it, flipped po’ Fluffy twice.”

“Well hoo-ray for Alfred,” Muh muttered. She looked at Aunt Mae. “Baby, I tell you what. I’m right in the middle o’ fixin’ some gumbo. Once we get it to cookin’, I’ll show you how to make cornbread.” She looked over her glasses. “The right way.”


“But, hol’ yo hosses,” Muh told her. I still had two chickens left to cut, and Muh had sat down to drink some coffee while she waited. The big iron kettle was on the stove, sizzlin’ the onions, pars’ly, garlic, an’ bell pepper, real slow, so it didn’t scorch. “Stir that, Mae, whilst I sip my coffee,” she said. 

I stopped, an’ looked at Muh. “You feelin’ okay?” I asked.

“I’m feelin’ fine, son,” she answered, “You cut the chickin’, and Mae stir my seasonin’.” She chuckled. “I got me two hosses to pull my wagon.”

I wanted to tell her that one of her hosses had a bum leg, but I kept my mouth shut.


You see, Aunt Mae caint cook. Aint no nice way to put it, other than that. Aunt Mae aint had no bitness near nobody’s stove. One time, she tried to make baked chicken with rice dressin’, and for some reason, don’t ask me why, she thought it was a good idea to pack the rice in the chicken.

Raw rice.

I aint lyin’, raw rice!

Uncle Alfred told us later, “I kept hearin’ her open the oven do’r, and sayin’, ‘What’s takin’ this rice so long?’ Afterwhile, I was gettin’ ready to pass out, so’s I went to see what’s keepin’ dinner. I op’ de oven, an’ all I see is half-cook rice an’ burnt chickin! I holler, ‘Mae! What the hell you doin’?’ She come runnin’ from the back room, whoopin’ an’ hollerin’, ‘Get outta my stove! Get outta my stove!’ I was nice about it, Nephew, the cops had already been to the house day befo’ yestiddy, so I didn’t want ta start nothin’ fresh, y’know? I grabs my hat, an’ tells Mae, ‘I be back, I’m goin’ for a paper.’ You know she had the nerve to tell me to get back inna half an hour, so my dinner won’t get cold? Shee-it, if I’da had time to pack some drawers, I’d still be gone!”

I asked him, ‘Well, how did it taste?”

He just looked at me for a minute, and he says, ‘It’s still in the icebox, if ya wants some.”

I says, “But Unc, that was about a year ago, wasn’t it?”

He says, “And?”


Well, Mae commence to stirrin, an’ I gets to cuttin’, but I kept my eye on Mae. Muh did, too, but she wasn’t too obvious about it. She wasn’t foolin’ me none, though. Company was comin’, and gumbo was gumbo, and Muh wasn’t about to let some triflin’ woman like Aunt Mae ruin her reputation for cookin’, no sir.

Mae stirrin’ an’ stirrin’ like she really doin’ something, but it’s just onions and garlic, nothing special. Then she gets to humming while she stirring, and I knew that wouldn’t last too long, cuz Mae like them rotgut blues, fellas like Sugar Shank and Lowdown Sam, you know, them nasty niggas. She start humming, and then, sure enough, she start singing, under her breath, on the first. Them bell pepper fumes must’a rized in her head, cuz the song started to get good to her, and she started dippin’ and swayin’ like she was in the club. She sang:


“I’m comin’ like a freight train, can you hear my whistle blow?

I’m comin’ like a freight train, baby, can you hear my whistle blow?”

Red light mean stop! (chank, chank, changggg!) Green light mean go, baby go!”


I didn’t say nothin, but I snuck a look at Muh. She opened her mouth to say something, but then she press her lips tight, and she hang on, I guess she want to see if Mae realize where she was. She didn’t, of course, just kept on singing:


“Wear yo’ black drawers, baby…yo’ daddy comin’ to call..(hey!)

Wear yo’ black drawers, baby…yo’ daddy comin’ to call…

Black drawers is all-right! (chank, chank, changggg!) Soon be none a-tall…”


“MAE!”  Muh hollered. “What is wrong wit’ you? Singin’ the blues all under the people’s clothes! In front of the chile, at dat! Loose here, devil! Satan, the Lawd rebuke ya! Gimmie my spoon, gal, have my gumbo all full of the debbil! Move, gal! Can’t even drink a cuppa coffee in peace, without ol’ slewfoot! Move, I say!”

Mae looked at me under-eyed, like she was tryin’ to figger a way of makin’ it my fault. I was doing my best not to laugh, cuz I saw that one comin’ a mile off, just like that train. I put my eyes on my chicken, cuz if I was to look at either Muh or Mae right now, the jig was up. Mae slouched down in the chair and folded her arms like she was mad, but she kept quiet. Muh was still grumbling about the devil, and Mae knew if somebody flipped Muh a nickel, she’d a’noint Mae with some oil inna Name of Jesus, and then the fur would fly. Besides, she still didn’t know how to make cornbread, and between Alfred and Fluffy, she wouldn’t have no peace in her house until she did.


“The very i-dea,” Muh muttered, as I handed her the last of the chicken. “Get me the skillet,” she commanded, and as I bent over into the cabinet to retrieve it, I could see Aunt Mae’s bony fingers digging in her purse, kinda sly-like. I knew what it was. Mae was a cigarette fiend.

Pall Mall, unfiltered. Yep, them’s the one.

I began to grin. If Aunt Mae thought Muh was gonna let her cook AND smoke in her kitchen, she had another thought coming.

“Where’s that skillet, chile? What’s takin’ you–” she stopped in mid-sentence. I straightened up. Muh was staring at Mae, who had stuck that Pall Mall in the corner of her mouth. She had a habit of dangling it while she talked, and I always wanted to ask he just how did she do that, but not today. Not now, anyway.


“Mae,” Muh said quietly, “you kin learn how to make cornbread here, or you kin smoke at yo’ house. Which one you want?” 

Mae plucked the cigarette out of her mouth, and stuck it behind her ear. Muh sighed, a real deep one. “Hand me the greeze, baby, so we kin get this chicken browned and in the pot. You payin’ ‘tention, Mae?”

All of a sudden, the phone rang, and Muh picked it up.

“Hello? Oh, hi, Abie. I’m fine, I suppose…yo’ sister-in-law in here, and I’m showin’ her how to make cornbread…what ‘cha mean, ‘who’? How many sister-in laws you got? Yes, Mae! Huh? No, I will not wait ’til you gits here… What? You’ll be here in five minutes? Uh-huh…all right, then, bye.” She looked at me. “Yo’ momma on her way,” she said.

 I got to thinkin, then. Momma was comin’ over to watch the show, and I didn’t blame her. I could’a sold tickets to this ‘un, but there was a problem. Aunt Mae needed a cigarette, and a way to smoke one, otherwise she was gonna get all jittery and snappish, and that wouldn’t do, not a-tall. Between Muh and Momma, Aunt Mae didn’t stand a chance without a smoke in the next few minutes. I looked outta the window, and bless my soul, Uncle Alfred was sittin’ on his front porch, readin’ a newspaper. I said, “You might want to go see what Uncle Alfred wants.”

She answered me, real short-like, “I ain’t studyin’ bout Alfred. He want somethin’ he get it for hisself.”

I looked at her. I had half a mind to keep quiet and let the monkey swing, but I felt kinda sorry for Aunt Mae. I says, real slow this time, “Aunt Mae, you might want to go outside, and see what Uncle Alfred want, and then come back and make yo’ cornbread.”

She opened her mouth to answer me, smart-like, then the light bulb came on. She gathered up her purse and got up quick and headed toward the door. “I’ll be back inna minute, Mom!” Didn’t even say thank you, but I didn’t ‘spect her to. She done figgered it was her idea by now, that’s just how she was.

I watched out of the window as she clattered across the street towards her house, a cloud of smoke billowing around her head. Muh said, “Baby, Alfred married that gal whilst he was livin’ in Texas. Time I met her, it was too late to warn ‘im.” She pointed her finger at me. “Boy, you know Grandmomma love you. But if you evah bring home a triflin’ woman like dat one…” she paused, “I’ll beat ya so bad, there be nothin’ left to ya but the greeze spot, y’hear?”



“Okay, Mom,” Aunt Mae said, “Show me how to make cornbread.” I was leaning on the cabinet by the kitchen sink. Momma had done made her way in, and made her perch in the rockin’ chair near the door, and tryin’ her best to keep a straight face. Muh was sittin’ next to the table, right by the stove, and Aunt Mae was standin’ up at the table.

Muh said, “First thing you gonna need is some flour and cornmeal.”

Mae looked at me, and do you know that old sow had the nerve to say, “You heard her, boy, you need some flour and cornmeal.”

I opened my mouth to answer her, but Momma beat me to the punch. “Mae,” she said, “He aint the one Muh was talkin’ to.”

Mae answered, “Mebbe not, but he need to learn dis, too.”

Momma replied, “He already know how, Mae.”

Good. Mae had a bad habit of tryin’ to order people around, but she was pickin’ figs offa the wrong tree today, trust me…


Well, bless my soul, twenny minutes later, we was all sweatin’ bricks. Aunt Mae had poked a hole in the sifter, broke three wood spoons, and spilled a half-pan of cornbread batter in the bottom of the oven.

Yes, ma’am, Muh’s brand-new gas oven.

Good thing Muh had put some tinfoil on the bottom, or she’d be facin’ a murder rap.  As it was, Muh had to take a dose of her pressure medicine, yellin’ at Mae and Momma at the same time: “Go outside and smoke! Go!, I said! Go smoke a cig’rette! Go-smoke-a-cig’rette! And Abie, if you don’t stop laughin’, I’m gonna sen’ you out with her! Raise the window, let the smoke outta here! Tomorra’s Sunday, y’all all goin’ on the altar!”

Finally, Aunt Mae came back in, Momma stopped laughin’, and the pan of batter was in the oven, with a new sheet of tinfoil, of course. Muh glared at us. “Who’s idea was this, anyway?” she asked. Aunt Mae look up at the ceiling, like she didn’t know, then the lid on the gumbo pot clattered a bit, and Mae popped up, like she was gonna fiddle with it. Muh picked up the flyswatter. “I dare ya,” she said.

Supper was good that night. The gumbo was rich and thick, and fulla yardbird, homemade sausage, shrimp and oysters. ‘Round about my third bowl, Uncle Alfred and Aunt Mae came in. “Hidy, folks,” Uncle Alfred said, “I could smell it outside. Pass me a bowl.”

“Go wash yo’ hands, Alfred.” Muh hadn’t quite cooled off. 

“Yas, ma’am,” he answered, and he had a glint in his eye that usually meant he was gonna start some mess. “Boy,” he said to me, “I hear there was some cookin’ goin’ on ‘round these parts. That so?”

“Yes, sir,” I said.

“Yeah, I heard ‘bout it, ‘deed I did,” he said with a wink at me. “Mom, I hear you had a lil’ mis-hap with yo’ new stove. Mae tried to stop ya, but you went and spilt the co’nbread daid in de fire. Messin’ up yo’ new stove like dat, Mom, don’t make no sense. Just don’t make no sense. Good thing Mae was here, could’a been a lot worse. ” He began to chuckle. “Yas-suh, could’a been a whole lot worse!”

Muh got up, real slow-like, and went to stirrin’ in the trash can. “What’cha doin’, Mom?” Alfred asked, still laughing.

Muh came back to the table and sat, holding the broken forks in her hand. She arranged ‘em in a straight line, then sat back, a grim look on her face. “I’m givin’ you somethin’ to think about, when you layin’ in yo’ coffin,” she said. The table grew quiet. Muh got up, a look of satisfaction on her face. “I’m goin’ to bed,” she said, “But befo’ I go, let me tell you sump’tin. Next time you sen’ dat simple-minded heifer back to my house for a cookin’ lesson, I’m gonna break both yo’ necks, y’heah?”

She walked off, and Momma began to giggle. Alfred looked at Mae. “Now, Alfred,” she began, “You know—“

“Hush!” he said, reaching for his pipe, “You done yo’ share of lyin’ for today.” He looked at Momma, who had tears comin’ out of her eyes, she was laughin’ so hard. “Aint no need’a askin’ you, take you five hours to tell the story,” he said. Then he turned to me. “Nephew, I saw you killin’ the chickens, so I knows you were here,” he said, “Now tell me what happened, an’ don’t pull no punches,” he said, with a look at Aunt Mae, who had done started diggin’ in her purse.

“You sure?” I asked.

He sighed, and lit his pipe. “I never ast a question I’se skeert to hear the answer to,” he replied, “And she done already lied to me, so nothin’ you say gonna make it worse,” he said, glaring at Mae, “so tell me.”

I started to tell him, but Momma kept bustin’ out laughin’, so it took awhile. When I told him about how Aunt Mae stuck the fork through the sifter, he held up a hand. “Stop,” he said, “Just stop for a minute. Abie, will you please be quiet? Why in the hell would somebody stick a fork in a sifter? And why did Mom let her do that?”

“Muh was in the bathroom,” I answered, “and Aunt Mae was workin’ the sifter, an’ all of a sudden, she say, ‘These holes too doggone small,’ and ‘fo I could stop her, she grab the fork, and stuck ‘er in.”

“Them holes was too dam small,” Aunt Mae grumbled, “Take all dam day to sift two cuppa flour. An’ why the hell you gotta sif’ it to begin wit’? Don’t the bag say pre-sifted? You think I’ma set here with all yo’ people and let ‘em run me down, and I ain’t gonna defen’ myself?”

Uncle Alfred answer her, he says, “Aint no need-a you defendin’ yoself in here, aint nobody fightin’ with ya.” He puffed on his pipe. “Nope, aint no fightin’ goin’ on in here. Cross the street, now, thassa different story. We goin’ to Mad’son Square Garden inna few minutes, act like Sonny Liston an’ Floyd Patterson, yessir, Sonny an’ Floyd, Floyd an’ Sonny, bang, bang, boom, boom!” He puffed on his pipe, calm as could be.

“Mae, you gonna take that?” Aunt Leese said. Aunt Leese was my momma’s oldest sister. She had been married the longest, got married when she was fourteen, don’t ask me why. Back then, courthouse didn’t ask for birth certif’cates or nothin’, if you looked kinda’ young, they made yo’ momma or daddy sign, an’ that was that. She was kinda like one of them pioneer wimmen, she raise chickens and ducks, plant big garden, vegatables an’ such, did wimmens hair with a flat iron an’ hot comb, an’ between that and her husband drivin’ a cab, they did pretty good.

Anyways, she was pushin’ the fire, mostly to get Aunt Mae stirred up. We all knew Uncle Alfred wouldn’t actually hit Aunt Mae, not ‘less she hit him first, an’ even then he’d just slap her to get her offa him. “I wouldn’t let no man tell me I couldn’t go to my house,” she said, foldin’ her arms. “I’d buss him one in the chops, see how he like dat.”

“Don’t tell him nothin’,” Aunt Mae said, slouchin’ in her seat. I was a bit puzzled, cuz Aunt Leese wasn’t talkin’ to him, she was talkin’ to her, but you know how that is. “Don’t tell him schit. He talkin’ bout Sonny and Floyd, he gonna need Sonny and Floyd to pull me offa him. Nigga thank I’ma let him beat me up behind some cornbread, he done loss his mind!”

“Mae, you aint gonna do nothin’,” Aunt Lezlie said. Yes, Leese and Lezlie, two different people. Don’t ask me how they kept it straight growin’ up, I wasn’t there. “You gonna sit there while Alfred cuss you out fo’ lyin’, and all you gonna do is bust out cryin’. That’s it.”

Aunt Do was chewin’ on a piece of sausage. She was the youngest of Muh’s children, and at the time, she was single. Later on, she married a preacher, but that’s a whole ‘nother story. She stop chewin’ for a minute, and says, “Leese and Lezlie, y’all both need to stop that. Pushin’ a husban’ and wife to fightin’ aint right, an’ you both know it.”

“Aint nobody ask you,” Aunt Lezlie said, “Aint nobody ask you nothin’. When dollar roll, penny stay flat. So set there, an’ eat yo’ gumbo. Now, where was we?” Aunt Do looked at Lezlie, then flicked her sausage offa her spoon, and hit her in the ear.

“Hey!” Aunt Lezlie hollered, “What’s wrong with you?”

“Nothin’, now,” Do answered.

Uncle Alfred looked around and made a rude noise. “If I aint surrounded by the craziest wimmen God ever made,” he said, “I’m a man inna moon.”

“You too black to be in the moon,” Aunt Leese said, “They don’t ‘low niggas on the moon, you knows that. They barely ‘low yo’ black azz in ‘Cadia Parish, they aint bout to fly yo’ azz to the moon.” We all laughed.

“I wish they would fly me to the moon,” he countered, “Den mebbe I find me a woman can cook me some cornbread.” He looked at Mae, and shook his head. “All I want me is a little cornbread, e’ry now and den.”

“I cooks cornbred, Alfred!” she hollered, “I cooks, but yo azz ain’ never satisfied! Never!” She banged the table with her fist, then got up. “I’m goin’ to my house,” she yelled, “an’ I dare you to come home an’ start somethin’! I—jest—dare—you!” She snatched her purse, and walked out, her high heels clickin’ a mile a minute. She always had high heels on, I don’t know why.

Well, we just sat there for a minute, waitin’ to see which way the frog was gonna jump. Finally, Aunt Leese says, “Alfred, what you gonna do?”

Alfred smile a bit, then said, “Aint no need ‘a me goin’ over there, aint nothin’ there but a trip to the jailhouse. Besides, I done et. Now, I’se thirsty. Comin’, Nephew?”

“Yes, sir!” I answered, jumpin’ up quick. 

Momma said, “Boy, sit down. Any place you kin get into done been closed. Alfred, what you got press in that pipe of yours?”

Alfred stood up and stretched. “Yeah, mebbe she right, Neph. I aint gonna be back ‘fo sunrise, mebbe noon. I’se gonna have to fight ol’ Sonny anyhow, might as well tank up befo’ Round One.” He ambled out, slow as usual.

“Y’all know where he goin’, don’t y’all?” Momma asked.

“Yep,” they said in unison. “Straight to the Blue Diamond!”

Aunt Lezlie said, “Let’s give him a half-hour, then drop Mae off in there see what happen.” She began to giggle.

Aunt Do reached for the toothpicks, and pulled a few out, then broke one. “Short stick get to drive,” she said.

They looked at her. “Oh, really, peacemaker?” Aunt Leese asked.

“Yep,” Do answered, “Aint no need ‘a us fightin’ over it.”

“Can I come?” I asked. They just looked at me.

“Dollars ‘bout to roll,” Momma said, pointing at me. Penny, stay flat!”




Proper Behavior Around White Folks

Guess what? 

White people didn’t know we had an Official Handbook. 

I aint lyin’!

 I think I’ve found the source of our problem between the races.


 White people don’t know that we have Standard Operating Procedure.


How they missed it, I have no idea. But, you know White people, unless we’re singing, dancing or otherwise acting the fool, they don’t pay any attention to us.


Why do you think they were so shocked when Obama won? Both times?

Remember, back in ’07, when Hillary was prancing around like she was Queen For A Day, smiling and grinning for the cameras like a chimp on crack? She just knew she had the nomination sewed up. Then here comes this big-eared junior Senator from Chicago, just one state away from Dan Quayle…


By the way, where is that sumbit, anyway? Probably in a library somewhere, looking up just who in the hell was John Kennedy!




But, as is the case so often in these pages, I digress. What was I talking about, anyway, Autumn?




That’s right, Standard Operating Procedure. Just checking to see if you’re paying attention. White girls have trouble focusing, y’know. And, BTW, why is it that all the romance novels have pictures of White guys on the cover? Y’all know doggone good and well when you’re sitting at home, looking all misty-eyed, you got a brother on your mind.


Love’s Tender Fury, yeah right.


Brother’s Outta Kool-Aid, Get to Steppin’ is more like it…



Standard Operating Procedure.

We call it “sop” for short.


One of the beautiful things about BlackSpeak is that we shorten everything.

I don’t understand how in the world White people didn’t know about sop. We are always asking for and aware of any updates and changes to Standing Operating Procedure.


Let me explain: When two White people greet each other, they say, “How do you do?”


Not us.


When two Black people greet each other, the first thing we want to know is “Has there been any major changes in Standing Operating Procedure?’ But, that’s way too many syllables, so we just say, “Whassop?”

And, the usual response is, “Nothin’”, or any of the (at last count) 1,345 derivatives, such as, “Aint nothin’, man”, or, “You got it, Bro.,” or, one of the Old School responses, “Everythang is everythang,” all of which simply means, “Standard Operating Procedure is unchanged as of this moment, but be alert.”


You see, White people, Standard Operating Procedures are taught to Black children at an early age. While you were teaching your kids which fork to use, and how to separate the paper from the plastic, we were teaching them what was “sop”. For example, after church @ Sunday dinner, we’d say: “That Reverend Kimble, he think he slick! Nigga done raised the main offering, now he trying to raise one ‘for the po’ chirren in Haiti.’ Humph! Po’ chirren in Haiti, my foot! He done started foolin’ around wit’ Sister Brown’s gal, you know, the one with the watermelon azz! She be swishin’ ’round chu’ch in that too-tight usher uniform with the print of her drawers showin’, azz so big, she be swattin’ flies with it! Then, then, she always got to hand him some note, or a fan, or somethin’, bendin’ that big ass over right in the deacons’ face! Deacon Bellard, po’ thing, his wife died last year, he be watchin’ her, head be bobbin’ like a bulldog on a dashboard, then he caint stand up straight to pray! Well, anyway, Rev. just bought hisself a new car, and somebody gotta pay the note, but I be damn if it’s us! Chirren, when they pass that basket the second time, keep yo’ money in yo’ pocket, y’ hear? Haiti chirren that hungry, they can come over here to eat!”


Like I said, we teach our children “whassop.”



Uncle Hime, Part 3


See, I had known him all my life, as a T&T drinkin’, walk-around-town drunk. Never seen him with no woman, and I aint heard of no woman tryin’ to be with him. So for him to tell me about a wife, well, that was somethin’ I aint never heard of. I wiped my chin while he just looked at me.

He said, “What’s wrong with you? You don’t think I had no wife? Didn’t y-y-you hear me t-tell you ‘bout all them wimmen I knowed?”

Well, he had a point.

I said, “I’m sorry, Unc, just nobody never told me you was married, that’s all. Tell me ‘bout it, was she good-lookin’? Was she fine?”

He leaned back, meal finished, and started with his pipe again.

“One last smoke, then I’m gonna send you to the sto’.”

He puffed, and he says, “Pretty? Fine? Boy, lemme tell you, d-d-dat woman had the biggest set of titties you ever wanna see! You know ol’ man Bradford wife? Think her titties big?”

He spat on the ground, an’ say, “Sheee-it, boy, Bradford wife packin’ p-p-peanuts. Peanuts! My wife had big ol’ titties! Man, my wife’s titties so big, she sent ‘em out on errands! One at a time! She named ‘em, y’know. The left one was, le’ssee, Sally, yeah, that’s it, an’ the right one was, uh, Betty! She talk to ‘em too, just like chirren. ‘Betty, move out the way, you pinchin’ Sally!’ Boy, boy, boy….I used to love it when she strap ‘em up, y’know, make ‘em stand up like so’jers, yes, indeed! She had that little tee-tiny li’l waistline….I used to wonder how her food pass down. But then—“ he started movin’ his hands out—“she had them hips….man, them what they called breedin’ hips, them good shakin’ hips. And don’t talk about her azz! What!?! Her azz so big, it cast its own shadow! When I put her on the Greyhoun’ bus, I had to buy two tickets! Big ol’ marshmeller azz!

He look at me e’ry now an’ then, just to see how I was takin’ it. I know he addin’ on some, but that’s just how storytellin’ go. I mean, I knowed aint no wimmen titties bigger than ol’ man Bradford wife. Lessen she work for the circus.

You wimmen gets mad when we men talk about the way y’all is made. I don’t know why, it’s the way God made you.

Read yo’ Bible, in the book of Genesees, God had made all the animals with a mate. Fido, he had Fee-Fee;  Elmo the bull, he had El-see the cow; Billygoat, he had Nannygoat; y’know, e’rybody had somebody, well, e’rybody but po’ Adam. Adam sittin’ there with all the fruit trees around him, apple, pear, banana, persimmon, mango, I mean he got it made! He lookin’ ‘round, e’rybody got somebody to play with but him. E’rybody all coupled up, an’ Adam, he sittin’ there like a fifth wheel. God look down at him, an’ He shook His head, cuz that aint right. Adam sit there too long, he get to singin’ the blues. Caint be singin’ the blues if you in Paradise.

So God, He fix a big glass o’ wine, handed it to Adam.


What you mean, the Bible don’t say that?
It say God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam. It didn’t say how He done it!

Okay, let’s see…okay, God slip him a Mickey, an’ knock him plum cold…

You happy now?

Where you come from?

Yeah? Well, you need to go back. Go on, let grown folks talk.

Anyhow, God put him to sleep, cut his rib out, and took it to his studio, started moldin’ an’ craftin’, stuffin’ here and there, you know, puttin’ the cushion where it go. So when God finish, He take what He made down to Paradise, see how Adam like it. Adam wake up, rub the sleep outta his eyes, and he notice what God got standin’ there nekkid in front of him.

A big ol’ fine, sexy thang, 38-24-36, nekkid, with a bowl o’ fruit in her hand! Brown-skinned, long, curly black hair, with a big ole smile on her face.

Well, Adam got so excited, he started preachin’! He say, “For this cause…uh-huh….. shall a man leave…….well, well….. his daddy and his momma, yessir…..and the two…….shall become one…can I get a witness?”

That’s preachin’, cuz what Adam know about a momma and daddy? Adam aint had no momma nor daddy!
So he took a good look at that fine Black woman, sprung out a good foot or so, and he say “the two shall become one.” Shee-it, Adam was ready to do his thang!

So don’t get mad when we talk about the way you made. Use what God give you. Be proud of yo so’jers, make ‘em stand up. Walk like yo’ caboose is loose.

We men likes that.

Where was I?

Oh, yeah, Hime look at me, to see how I was takin’ it. I’m noddin’ my head, goin’ with the story. I know good an’ well her titties aint that big, she fall over when she walk if they was.

He says, “And boy, was she pretty! She had that look, you know, like she know she was the p-prettiest woman in the room, but she warn’t payin’ it n-n-no mind. She smile, an’ the room j-j-just light up. I fell in love with her, dint take long, neither.”

He puffed on his pipe, and I wonder how much tobacco left inside. If he send me to the store, I was gonna tie him to the step, don’t ask me how. But I was gonna hear the end of this.

“Now, Neph, this was the time when I was drivin’ trucks, hustlin’, makin’ good money. Y’know, when you haulin’ cross-country, not e’rything in yo’ rig belong to the m-m-man on yo’ paper. I’m runnin’ to Miami with a load, my return load might have a coupl’a pound of smoke an’ powder, y’know? Oh, boy, back in dem days, I made mo’ money mulin’ than truckin’. Never got stopped, neither.” He nodded his head, thinkin’ about it. “But, you gotta remember, boy, that was back when it was okay, long as you dint try to stiff nobody, just haul an’ hand off to the man, an’ he pay you, give you a little taste fo’ yoself.

So, I’m makin’ good money, got a fine, pretty woman, life be good. I sets her up, buy her a nice little house, buys it, paid cash money fo ’it, put it in her name, cuz I’m on the road alla time, somethin’ happen to me, it be hers already.”

He stopped, an’ pointed his pipe at me. He says, “Boy, don’t ever do that. Always have you a place to lay yo’ head where nobody kin put you out. Stay with yo’ momma, momma get mad wit’ ya, she kin put you out. See? Buy yo’ house, make sho’ yo’ name on it somewhere.” He clench his jaw aroun’ his pipe, and for a second I thought he would snap it plum through. I could tell he was getting’ mad, just thinkin’ about it.

He says, “We livin’ good, bill paid on time, I mean we doin’ fine! An’ me, I’m happy, got this pretty, fine woman, shoot, when I’m home, I drop it on her twice a day, I’m happy, she happy…or so I thought.”

He looked up, and I followed his look. I had been listenin’ so hard, I hadn’t heard the sound of the engine. Momma had done drove up. Oh, doggone! Now I wouldn’t get to hear the rest of it, f’shure.

Momma slam her car door, come out with a paper bag in her hand. She walk down toward the porch, then, lo an’ behold, she peep our way, and start walkin’ towards the barn!

Hime snorted, then he say, “Now what in the worl’ she huntin’? Aint nothin’ but Zora done give her a call, cuz she don’ know w-w-what we talkin’ about. Well, let’s send this chicken to the n-n-nest.”

Momma came up quick, but the sight of a sober Hime kinda slowed her up. Took her tongue, too.  She stood there for a second, then she says, “Aint nobody gonna speak?”

Uncle Hime say, “We sittin’ here. Y-y-you the one come up. How you doin’?”

Momma look at me, and says, “Boy, what you doin’ here?”

I says, real respectable, “Talkin’ with my uncle. Got somethin’ good in the bag?”

She answer, “Just a thimble and coupl’a spools o’ thread.” She hesitated, then she ask, “What y’all talkin’ bout?”

Hime look at her, then he kinda growl at her,”What you say?”

Well, she look like she would druther eat soap, but she was stuck with it. She say, “W-what ya’ll talkin’ bout?” She try to stick her chin out when she say it, but she wouldn’a skeered a puppy.

Hime pointed his pipe at her, an’ say, “I-I’ma tell you like I tole yer Ma. Go inna house, the boy be ‘long directly. Go!”

Momma look at me quick, but I just shrug. She knowed better than that, anyway.

Hime spat, then stuck his pipe back in. “Wimmen. Now she goin’ in there, an’ her an’ Zora gonna cluck their tongue, prolly call Mary to try an’ shake ya loose. Anyway, one day, I’m in N-n-new Orlin, haulin’ dry ice from M-m-m-memphis. I thought I was gonna turnaround to Mobile, but the company c-cancel. I had told the ol’ girl,  Charlene her name, I was gonna be home Monday, but since my t-turnaround c-c-ancel, I figger I supp-rize her.

Well, Neph, the supp-rize was on me. It was about one o’clock inna mornin’, I never forget. I walk in, tippy-toe, gonna flip the light, jump in, y’know. Good thing I flip the light, cuz if fin I wouldn’t, I’da landed on two people! Yep, she all wrapped up wit’ a nigger, I dint know who he was! I could tell the way she was clownin’ dat he warn’t forcin’ hisself on her, naw, if anythin’ she was killin’ him! I says, I says…naw, never mind what I says, it’s what I done! I reach in my pocket, an’ pull out my pistol. She scream, but it don’t matter none, she can scream all she want, scream don’t stop no .38. I was always good with a pistol, shootin’ rabbits an’ s-s-such. I put two in her, swung it on him, dropped one daid in the nuts. ‘Now,’ I tole him, ‘that’ll learn ya.”

He tapped the pipe, then dropped it on the step. “Law came, they put me inna jug. But one o’ those jailhouse lawyers tole me to plea not guilty, lessee how he said it, heat o’ passion. He warn’t lyin, there was plenny heat. Went befo’ the jedge, jedge lissen to the po-lice man tell what he saw, jedge tap his gavel, an’ off I go.”

He laugh, kinda bitter this time.

“Nigger woman daid, don’ make him no never mind. Be a Whi’ woman, come All Saint’s Day, you be buyin’ whitewash.”

He handed me a dollar. “I try to forget, e’ry whichaway I kin. No matter what I do, I caint get Charlene outta my mind. All t-t-t-that blood…..”

He put his head in his hands and start to cry. He raise up, an’ he say, “I pray, an’ I pray, ast the Good Lawd to f’give me. An, y’know what? I b’leve He done did it.”

He stopped, tears just runnin’ down his face.

Mine, too.


“But, me….I jes’ caint f’give myself…”

I left the dollar there.

Man ought’a get a free bag o’ tobbacca once in his life, don’t’cha think?