Friday, July 09, 2010

The 7 D. E. P. Chronicles: Where's The Beef

*Juke turns the radio, and the sounds of Lloyd Banks's "Beamer Benz or Bentley" comes across the speakers.*

I've never been to jail.  That is something that, at the age of 29, is a good thing to be able to say.  That is not to say that I have never done anything that could have landed me in jail. (Then again, I really haven't, in retrospect.)  But I can say this...I hang with some real killas, and some real criminally minded individuals, so don't test me.

It's always good to have those types of people on your team, and each one should have a niche.  For example, Deep Phreeze is the money give him dirty money, he will clean it for you like brand new.  Ice Tre...he's the enforcer.  He knows how to set plans in motion and trim the dead weight when others aren't pulling their weight.  And Black Ice...well, he's the getaway driver.  His job is simple...make sure that we all get home in one piece. 

Doesn't mean it can't be adventurous while doing it...

The Run-In With Elsie

It was a wonderful fall evening, and the brothers of 7 D.E.P., along with their revered prophytes, decided to make a trip to Macon, GA to hang out with the bruhs from Gamma Zeta (at Fort Valley).  The mission was simple...we were going to kick it with pham, hunch on a few freshman women, and then come back to Albany.  (Seems like hunching on chicks in the club will be a recurring theme, but hey...don't judge.)  The evening, as I remember it, was a crunk one.  Club Money, which has to be the most blatantly coonerific name for a club, was jumping, and the girls were all over ya boys, just as they should be.  It was a night that would be a dream to most people, but for men as suave and debonair as our line, it was another day in the life.

Well, after the party, we kicked it a bit with the bruhs from FVSU.  There was some libations being consumed, a few friendly challenges here and there (and Bear, you still won't admit that I chumped ya, big brother), and some overall good times being shared.  As we saddled up to leave for home, Black Ice and Silent Ice-sassin cranked up the vehicles and prepared for us to head home.


The following sequence of events was not done with the best consideration to safety or common sense, so do not attempt any of these feats at home.


Because we trusted Black Ice with our lives, we all took the liberty of falling asleep with the confidence that BI would get us back home safely.  Somewhere between stage 1 and stage 2 of REM sleep patterns, I heard BI yell...

"Oh shyt!"

I woke up just in time to see the car barreling towards, of all things, a cow in the middle of the road.  Now, granted, the cow was dead, so it was laying on it's side and therefore wasn't as dangerous as if it was standing straight up in the road.  But was a freaking cow.

The key to being a good getaway driver is split second decision making.  Now BI had several choices.  He could have easily swerved left, but that may have put us in a ditch.  He could have swerved right, but we would have hit another car.  He could have simply hit the brakes, but that was too much like right.

His decision...he decided to gun it and jump the a Honda Civic...with passengers in the car...doing 90 mph.

So as we hit the poor bovine, the car goes in the air, somewhat reminiscent of the Dukes of Hazard and the General Lee.  Time stood still during this accidental liftoff, and somewhere in the background, I could hear the narrator taking us to a commercial break.  Once we landed, Black pulled the car over and we sat there in amazement.

"What the *&%! did you just hit?" I said, still dazed and confused.

"I think I just hit a cow."

We looked under the car, and all kinds of hooves and beef meat were dangling from the undercarriage.  To make matters worse, the bottom of the car was burning hot, so for the rest of the ride home, we smelled the delightful smell of dead cowskin cooking on the bottom of the car.

To this day, we still don't know why Black decided to take that option, but as it turns out, he has a penchant for choosing the most exciting (even if the most dangerous) outcomes when he has to make a choice.

One Times Got No Chase

About a year or so later, Black Ice and I were traveling to Columbus, GA for the FVSU/ASU Fountain City Classic.  This game pits Albany State University against its perennial football rival, Fort Valley State University.  The game is usually the centerpiece for a weekend of debauchery and no-goodness, and we are always desirous of being in the belly of that beast.

On the way home, Black and I were reminiscing over the ignorance that the weekend had brought us.  The big chicks and Que pearls who were trying to get at us...the fraternities fighting their own members at the game...and the chicks with matching neon beige hair weaves.  This was before the advent of reliable camera phones, so memories would be all that we could retain from the weekend.

Somewhere during the process of reminscing, Black Ice didn't realize that he was doing 95 miles an hour.  It wasn't until a police officer, traveling on the other side of the median, flashed his lights at BI that he realized that he was speeding.


The following sequence of events was not done with the best consideration to safety or common sense, so do not attempt any of these feats at home.


"Oh shyt!" Black exclaimed.  Turns out that whenever he says this phrase, the next few minutes will be life changing.

Now Black had options.  He could have hit the brakes and taken the hint.  He could have even gradually taken his foot off the gas and coasted to a reasonable speed. But like all of BI's driving decisions, he went to the more exciting option.

Instantly, we are doing 110 mph.  Why this dude thought that gunning it would be the best decision, I WILL NEVER KNOW.  All I know my mind, I saw the police beating us, sodomizing the driver with a night stick, and then dumping us off somewhere on highway 82. (Yeah, I know that was a little much, but you gotta realize...Oz was still on TV at the time, so all of those possibilities run through your head when dealing with police and the justice system.)

"What are you doing?" I yelled, as I saw the police car attempt to turn around in our rearview.

"I got a home boy that lives up here by Turner's furniture.  If we make it to his crib, we straight."

As we reach the subdivision where Black's friend lived, my heart was racing about as fast as the car.  We pulled into the driveway of his friend's home, shut off the lights, and leaned our seats back.  The whole time, I prayed to God to just let us get home safely.  Meanwhile, my driver is thinking...

"You think they spotted us?"

"WTF you think, dude?"

"Well, I just know I can't get anymore speeding tickets, so I had no choice."

This kind of thinking is what usually gets people arrested in all of the movies. Fortunately for us, after waiting for about 30 minutes, we were able to slowly make our way back to Albany.  I spent the next 30 minutes on the side of my bed, giving thanks that the night turned out in our favor.  Clearly, someone upstairs didn't think that this night was the night for us to be victims of police brutality.


Ultimately, Black Ice has never failed at his job.  He always gets us some safely, and he is the best wheelman in the business.  Still, my mind thinks back to some of the mishaps that we have had, and Iam convinced of one thing...

You always need God as your co-pilot, especially if Black Ice is your driver.

*Fade to Black*

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The 7 D.E.P. Chronicles: The Revolution...

*Juke leans back in his chair, with a glass of Welch's Grape juice and the sounds of "Triumph" by Wu-Tang filling the air from the radio.

One of the darker periods of my undergraduate chapter's history was the suspension that was imposed in the Fall of 2003.  Due to some allegations of hazing, the chapter was stripped of activities for two years, which is essentially a death sentence for most chapters in terms of reputation and presence on campus.

Notice I said most.  Delta Delta bruhs are like Bebe's kids...we don't die.

That sets the scene for this installment.  Whenever a chapter is suspended at Albany State University, the custom is to build a black, wooden box over the plot as a symbol of both shame and to let the campus know that the organization is inactive.  It was a sad day when we walked on campus and saw the black box being built over our plot.  It was enough to move us to tears...briefly.

Students came by the plot, and they were all buzzing about the black box.  Some people were sad to see us off the yard.  Some of the students cracked jokes.  But ultimately, we were all the center of negative attention, and this was not the image we felt was true to our efforts and deeds on the campus and in the community. 

What followed would be the type of shenanigans that no one but 7 D.E.P. could display...

Just Because There is a Box...

...doesn't mean you can't use the plot.  In a loophole that was much to the chagrin of the administration on campus, suspended organizations were never told that they couldn't still use their plots, only that the plots would be covered.  HEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHE....<-----DEVIOUS LAUGH

The next week, we all went to the plot.  After a quick minute to breathe and get up the courage, I climbed onto the box over our plot.  As I climbed up, the campus began to take note that something was happening at the Alpha plot.  I began the stepshow that we had performed two years prior, and suddenly, the spirit of the campus began to grow and move in line with our plight.  It was the spirit of defiance...the spirit of uprising...the spirit of pure ignorance and silliness.  Before long, five of us were on the box, performing for the campus and reminding the student body that suspension doesn't have to equal death.  It simply means that officially, you can't function in the stated capacities.

Now this isn't meant to be the funny part, because it was moreso a moment of unity amongst a seemingly defeated brotherhood.  But it did prompt some other shenanigans, such as...

The Stroll Off

Rickie, Brian, and I are called the "Triumvirate."  This three-man team is probably the most known set of the Delta Delta chapter since our founders, primarily because we bothered to put ourselves in the public eye during our undergraduate years.  So when the suspension came over the chapter, this created in us a need to maintain our prominence on campus, even with the current decree against us.

Now at this time, the three of us were fresh off of graduation, which means we, technically, did not have to abide by the rules of suspension for the undergraduates.  So when the Deltas decided to have a stroll off on campus, we decided that we would enter as the representatives for our suspended brethren. 

The "D" in 7 D.E.P. stands for De"phi"ant, by the way.

The battle came down to us and the Sigmas. Now let's list the pro's and cons:

Pros:  We had energy, we had the creativity, and we had the spirit of our undergrad bruhs behind us.
Cons: Them n*ggas had in abdominals.

No HOMO, but clearly, the three of us were going to win the sexiness battle, and since the crowd was mainly women, we had to neutralize this advantage somehow.

The Sigmas went first.  They came with a high energy stroll that got the crowd super crunk.  It was a performance that would surely beat any other stroll team on the yard at that time.  With this in mind, we huddled up.

"Rickie, how's your leg?" I asked.

"Ace, I can make it...what are we gonna do?"

"Sean Paul Stroll, but we will do it to a different song..."

I walked over to the DJ and whispered to him the song we needed him to play.

We stood on stage, nervous yet determined to remain the kings of the stroll.  The sounds of "I Wanna Rock" by Luke came through the speakers, and it was showtime. Adrenaline is a powerful tool in any performance, and we were brimming with it.

As we went through the show, we saw the crowd jumping up and chanting "Delta Delta."  The energy of the crowd let us know that we had their support and that they were behind us all the way. The underdogs...the dudes who seemingly could not win, had won over the support of most of the crowd and had paved the way for a difficult judging decision. After much deliberation, the judges decided it was a tie.

This did not sit well with the Sigmas, and in their determination to beat us, they jumped on stage, took off their shirts, and started dancing for the ladies.  That was the slap in the face that no one should ever have to experience.  There was only one thing left to do...

We lifted our shirts and jumped on stage, dancing for the ladies as well.  I mean, we probably could have just started to fight em, but in the words of Riley Freeman, "These n*ggas was too glistening."

*Sidenote:  We have always had a great bond with the Sigmas at ASU, so no animosity actually existed.  But the spirit of competition will make people do some of the craziest things.*


All in all, the chapter has rebounded quite nicely from the depths of that suspension.  Some of that comes from the dedication of the graduate chapter in rebuilding the undergraduate membership.  Some comes from the quality of the members that were brought in after us.  But a large portion of it comes from the fact that the brothers of 7 D.E.P. refused to let the memory and spirit of the Delta Delta chapter die with the black box.  For that reason, the campus has always had love for the Alphas at ASU, and those historical moments will forever live in the hearts of the students who saw the Triumvirate fight for the love of Alpha.

*Fade to Black*

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The 7 D.E.P. Chronicles: The Rise of the War Pharoah

*Juke turns up the radio as his favorite ol' school classic comes on.  It is the classic Pharcyde hit "Runnin'."  Perfect timing.*

Line names...everyone (more or less) should have one if you crossed into the wonderful world of Greekdom.  It is a rite of passage of sorts, and is meant to symbolize some aspect of your character or some memory of your entry into the brother/sisterhood.  Each line name has a story...and this is the story of a young man from Albany and how he became the War Pharoah.

Our hero: J Will.

Our setting: Albany, GA

The date: October 31, 2001

Seven young warriors were huddled in a small dwelling, awaiting word from the elder pharoahs(or prophytes for those who are completely lost) of their fate for this particular evening.  The warriors had been meeting with the elders in order to facilitate their arduous journey into the realm of "the brotherhood." The tasks were numerous, and the punishment for failing severe, but these seven warriors were determined to succeed at all costs.

As the young men awaited their fates for that evening, they received word that the elder pharoahs were cancelling the meeting for that night.  After waiting for four long hours, the warriors were released and allowed to return home.  This, of course, did not sit well with the warriors, who felt that their progress had been delayed for yet another night.

"This is balderdash," shouted the Dark Warrior.  In a fit of rage, he punched a hole into the wall of their detainment dwelling.

"I grow tired of this poppycock.  The elders respect us not," said the Silent Warrrior (which, incidentally, was the most he had ever said in one sentence.)

In the corner, away from the discussion, sat  J. Will -The Big Headed Warrior...pensive, in deep thought, and developing a plan to make some restitution of this situation. He called the Tallest Warrior over for consultation.

"Listen, I know we are not supposed to cavort with women nor entertain worldly musical debauchery during this process, but I am going to go to the Halloween party on campus.  I need your assistance."

As the other warriors began to depart, the two  warriors began to discuss the new plot.

"I will need you to take me to the campus festival.  You don't have to participate, if you so choose.  I will go in disguise and enjoy the events, and you can retreat back to the dorms, if you so choose."

"This is a dangerous mission, warrior.  Are you sure you want to do this?"

The Big Headed Warrior nodded yes.  He changed his garments and donned the apparel of the ancient spy warriors. (Roughly speaking, he dressed up as a ninja, thinking that would be sufficient.) In an effort to prevent the other warriors from suffering a horrendous fate if the mission failed, he chose to keep this a silent mission to allow for plausible deniability.

As the Tall Warrior dropped J. Will off, Will could feel the beat of his heart racing.  Missions of this sort take precision, skill, and a tad bit of craziness. 

J. Will approached the party with the confidence of a warrior possessed. Little did he know that the elders also had spies sent to watch for them.

"There is one of your neos," said the female spy to the Eldest Pharoah.


For those of you who decide to go on secret missions in which stealth and anonymity is paramount, please wear a mask that does not restrict your breathing.  In the few seconds it took J. Will to remove his mask, breathe, and cover back up, he had been spotted and identified.  Just a tidbit of wisdom from me to you.


J. Will realized he had been spotted, but kept going.  He entered the gates of the event, undetected by the spies at the door.  Once inside, he saw a land of women, engaging in sensual, rhythmic body movements and other warriors from different tribes (other frats) enjoying the display.  This was everything the warrior dreamed it could be.

At that moment, the young warrior's close friend, a young woman who he had known since childhood, approached the warrior. 

"You have been spotted J.  Run, n****!!!!"

Instantly, J. was in the race of his life.  As the Elder Pharoahs moved towards him, J. Will began his escape. The young warrior darted out of the front entrance and began his race to his dorm, convinced that if he could just make it to his dwelling, the other pharoahs would not be able to identify him.

The warrior raced to the bookstore, where he was able to duck into a boiler room.  The Elder Pharoahs lost him, but waited outside of the boiler room as they planned their next move.  The sweat from the brow of the Big Headed Warrior began to accumulate as his nervousness mixed with the heat from the boiler system of the building.  He waited a few minutes after the Elders left before emerging from his crypt.

As he resumed his escape, the police of the campus saw him, clad in all black, and put the spotlight on him as he ran.  The sounds of "Stop right there" could be heard as the warrior continued his trek.  At this point, the campus was in an uproar, with the police and the Elder Pharoahs attempting to catch the young warrior, and the bystanders cheering him on to safety. 

After what seemed like an eternity, the warrior made it to his dorm room, where he disrobed, jumped in the shower.  When the Elder Pharoahs knocked on his door, he emerged in his sleep garments, which confused the Elders.

"Were you at the party?"

"Listen, no disrespect, sir, but we waited four hours for nothing.  After you released us, I went to sleep.  Now may I please get back to bed?"

Convinced that they had made a mistake, the Elder Pharoahs left the scene, and the Big Headed Warrior rested with the "assurance" that he had not been caught.

The next night, the Elder Pharoahs met with the young warriors, but with the anger and disdain that comes with being deceived.

"Big Headed it true that you were at the party last night?"

"No sir," the warrior said nervously.

Though the young warrior had survived the previous night, he did not expect the Eldest Pharoah to trust the word of his female spy.  It is amazing what women can convince men of, and in this case, the convincing led to the trial of J. Will.

The Elder Pharoahs huddled to decide what to do to the young warrior...

J. Will was taken to a containment cell, where he was forced to listen to the punishment of his fellow warriors.  The excruciating pain of hearing his brethren thrashed was too much to bear.

"I was there, I admit it!" the warrior cried out, but to no avail.

After hearing the last of his brethren's punishment, the Elders returned to deliver his fate to him.

"You will not be punished, since your brethren have already received punishment for tonight.  We release you to your fold."

The looks on the other warriors faces...desolate, downtrodden, and mad as hell...was enough to break the heart and spirit of the young warrior. The warriors yelled and cursed at him for his sophomoric antics and for endangering their progress.  However, as these things go, the warriors were able to mend the fences and, shortly thereafter, ascended to the ranks of the brotherhood.

For the reasons above, upon rising to the rank of Pharoah, J. Will was given the dubious, yet painful honor, of being called the War Pharoah.  His cunning, endurance, and craftiness had served him well in many missions, but it was during this particular mission that it earned him this distinction.

Today, the Pharoahs still laugh whenever the night of infamy is brought up. The details of the story, of course, change depending on who is telling it.  But no one will ever forget the day that a young warrior sought greatness, but lost it all in the chase of a lifetime.

*And Scene*

Friday, June 04, 2010

The 7 D.E.P. Chronicles: Liquid Lesbian-The Drink of Champions

*Juke walks up to the jukebox, and presses J17.  The song: My Girl Got a Girlfriend.*

Before I begin this post, let me start by saying that this is not to glorify drinking nor debauchery.  This post is simply a memory of blissful ignorance, fueled by youthful zeal and premium vodka.  Keep this in mind as you reminisce with me.

Who all remembers the Alpha House back in 2002?  If you do, then you probably have some regrets locked up in that building somewhere, as most people did.  Though ignorance was never the intended outcome, it was often unavoidable, and in many cases, the causes of said ignorance was undetectable.

Every frat (and even the sororities) have their signature drink.  You can tell whose drink it is by the name and usually the color.  For the males, the names usually develop from the animal symbol of the fraternity and some bodily fluid.  Prime example: Gorilla Spit, Centaur Piss, etc. (I never understood why people would rush to drink something named as such. SMH)

Well, Gorilla Spit was the Alpha standard.  For our chapter, it was handcrafted by the liquor connoisseur himself, Mr. Black Ice.  As a master chef and expert of fine spirits, Black Ice dedicated his time and talent to making the most delicious, palate-pleasing libations for all who entered.  He channeled the legacy of those prophytes who came before him to producing the finest liquor around, and for that, we salute him.

Interesting thing about the Spit, however, is that Black Ice would never drink his own juice.  For any person who knew this odd fact, it should have given them pause.  But of course, that didn't stop the patrons from rushing for a taste of that golden goodness.

But as we all know, the effects of liquor are wide-ranging, and subsequently, good sources for stories such as the ones to follow.  The names have been changed to protect the guilty.

~Just cause you can't taste it...~

One of the hallmarks of a fine batch of libation is the notion that you can't taste the actual liquor in it.  Many of your fine wines, brews, and spirits boast of this unique quality, but it can have some dire, yet funny,  consequences.

So there was the case of a young lady, who we will dub Silly Rabbit, and her disdain for the "weakness" of the drink. As she tasted the first cup, she yelled at Black Ice, "What kind of weak sh*t is this?  I thought you made something grown."

SIDENOTE:  Prior to the start of the party, the juice was made with as much clear liquor as we could afford.  Simply put, you could probably have lit a match and set the juice on fire if you wanted to.  There was enough alcohol in the juice to crank up a car, but the craftsmanship of Black Ice ensured that the liquor would not be overpowering.  We knew this...she didn't.

After 6 cups of the punch (we tried to stop her at 3) she decided to just party a little and stop drinking.  For the first 10 minutes, she was very lively and talkative, and seemed to be unaffected.

Then the punch hit her in the back of the head.

It isn't funny, but if you have ever seen anyone go from talking in full coherent sentences to slurring speech in the middle of a conversation, you would laugh a bit.  She was dead in the middle of conversation when she drooled for the first time.  Of course, that was simply an accident.  From there it was a slippery slope to the bottom of her drunken state.

We knew things were getting kind of out of hand when she started calling herself by her best friend's name.  Don't quite know how much liquor it takes to confuse yourself with someone else, but she had that much.  It progressed into her doing the skate during the slow jam section of the music set.  Finally, it culminated with her dancing in the living room, by herself, after the party was over and we were cleaning up.  Of course, we didn't let her drive that way, so her friends stayed with her until she sobered up a bit.  They could have just driven her home, but I think they were worried she would throw up in the car, so they just stayed with her at the house until she got it together.

*Damn shame what the punch will do to you.*

~Passing out is never fun~

Now the bruhs were not the type of bruhs to be territorial or isolated from the rest of the population.  We had many friends of other fraternities and even non-Greeks who were welcomed in our house to hang out.  That was how we promoted unity with the campus and the community, and built some tight friendships along the way.

Those same individuals were also welcomed to our parties, and we always enjoyed their presence.  But the problem is that we often had to take care of them as well in the aftermath of the infamous Gorilla spit.

Thus was the case of ADub, who had a life changing experience at the hands of the Gorilla Spit.

ADub came to the house around 8 pm.  Though the party started at 10, if you were cool with us, we welcomed you early so that you could get your drink on and be ready for the crowd.  ADub started drinking around 9 pm.  He drunk consistently til 9:45 pm.  This is never a good idea, but he thought it was this particular evening.

So I am not sure why he thought that the driveway outside was a comfortable place to fall asleep, but around 12 am, as the crowd started getting thick, we realized that he was blocking the entrance for the cars.  He had been passed out for about 20 minutes, and we were scared for his life.  We slapped him a bit, since we all know that slapping someone in the face is the universal and medically tested way to check someone's stability.  He woke up, stumbled to his car, and decided to go back to sleep.  It took three of us to lift him, but we eventually laid him across the trunk of his car, face down, and let him rest.  After a few hours, we noticed he was still sleep, and since the party was over, we didn't want to disturb him.  In all, he slept a good nine hours under the moonlight...a sad, yet hilarious ending to a pretty much forgotten night for poor ADub.

*Damn shame what the punch will do to you.*

~Liquid Lesbian~

So the Gorilla Spit at our house had the unofficial nickname of "Liquid Lesbian."  How did it get that name?  Well, of course Imma tell you...

Fall 2002...we had the biggest party of the year at the frat house.  To give you an idea of how many people we had in the house...we charged only 2 dollars and made 1200 dollars by midnight.  Yep, do the math.

Well, this particular night, the cheerleaders from school decided to come to the house and kick it.  Some of their friends (non-cheerleaders) came with them as well.  They, too, were fooled by the deceptively smooth taste of the concoction, and their consumption of the liquid gold was astounding.  I didn't realize ladies could drink so much.

You know how people say that alcohol simply makes you do what you wanted to do anyway, but lacked the courage?  This night made me a believer.

After about 20 minutes, we saw the cheerleader girls huddled up in the front room of the frat house.  As we got closer, we realized that a good many of the women in that group (and others near them) had started kissing each other.  In the mouth. With spit and tongue.  Initially, it sounds like a dude's dream, but it seems that this was not the best thing for our party.  After about an hour, the fellas were getting a tad bit upset that the women were focused on each other, and that is when it became apparent that "liquid lesbian" could actually have a drawback.  We started limiting (secretly) the amount of liquor that we allowed people to have, in an effort to combat this phenomenon, but it was amazing how these sweet innocent young women turned YouTube worthy in a matter of minutes.

*Damn shame what the punch will do to you.*

In all, the beverage making skills of Black Ice are legendary.  He has since retired from the libation game, but his mlegacy forever lives on in the memories of the Alpha House and the lives that were touched by the infamous Gorilla Spit.  If the walls of the house could speak right now, I know exactly what they'd say...

Damn shame what the punch will do to you!

*End Transmission*

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The 7 D.E.P. Chronicles: Welcome to Miami

*Juke turns to 102.3 on the FM dial.  How fitting...they are playing "I Wanna Rock" by Luke."

You know, the key to fraternal bonding lies deep inside one of the oldest rituals ever known to man.  Since the days of the ancient pharoahs...all the way through Mansa Musa of the Mali Empire...and even up to the barbaric tribes of have bonded through one major rites of passage ceremony.

The Road Trip.

Yes...road trips are the  little diddies in life by which men who are acquainted can become like brothers in a 36 hour time span. Road trips know no fraternal affiliation, and they hold no limits in terms of race, creed, or ignorance.  They simply make returning to real life on Monday that much easier.

Now in order for road trips to be successful, there are rules to the game.  And I wrote a manual to help facilitate the rules for those who need assistance in optimizing the road trip experience.  The rules are straight-forward enough, but as you will see with the examples, the implementation is critical for the benefit of all who participate.

Rule 1: Never leave homies on stuck.

So Pretty Rickie, Big D, and I were on South Beach, and during Memorial Day, traffic on South Beach is about as slow as a Waffle House with one cook. Well, Rickie was driving, and Brian and I were riding like real Gs do. (This was before I found out the benefits of living above the streets...back when I was still in the drug game. Juke did it so that the youth won't have to do it.)  Anyway, the strip was littered with women...short, tall, slim, thick, chunky, curly hurr, straight hurr, Hawaiian Silky no. 5.  Any type of woman you could think of was out on the beach, and all they wanted was for some young, handsome mens to come and spend a little time and conversation. And we were happy to oblige...

Now the following sequence of events are kinda fuzzy, and depending on who you ask, they may or may not have happened in this particular order.  But I am going to tell it as I remember it, and anyone who disagrees can chime in as needed.

Well Big D and I hopped out the truck and started politicking with the ladies that were on the block.  I am sure Pretty Rickie would have jumped out too, but somebody had to drive the vehicle, and at the time, Big D and I weren't thinking about all of that.  We just saw a few Big Booty Judys and was tryin' to get our flirt on.

Karma will always kick you in the ass. 

Pretty Rickie parked 12 blocks away from where we were posted.  Yes, I said 12 blocks away.  Furthermore, he got all of his clothes for the evening ready so that when it was time to hit the club that night, Brian and I were stuck walking back 12 blocks to the car while he went to the club with the other bruhs that we knew from Miami.  Had we just followed rule number 1, things would have been great. 

But that actually turned out to be a blessing in the midst of the curse.

Rule 2: If it sounds too good to be true, do it anyway.

So Brian and I finally made it back to the truck.  Fortunately for us, we always keep a grooming bag and some freshen-up supplies on deck, cause the ladies don't like men who smell like "all-day-long."  After changing clothes, getting back in pimp mode, and hitting the nozzle on the smell good, we were off to hit the club (which, once again, was 12 blocks from where we were.)  As we began the trek to the club, we ran into some of the Florida Memorial bruhs.  They were ready to get the party jumpin too, so at least we had a group to hang with as we made that 12 block walk.

Well, on the way to the club, we saw a bouncer outside of a smaller establishment.  He yelled to us..."You five dudes...come on in right now.  It's free of charge."

Now let me put this in context.  Out of all the clubs I have ever been to in Miami, I have never gotten in free to any of the ones on South Beach.  And if I did, it never happened this easy.  I usually had to call someone I know, flirt with the woman taking the money, and pretend to be someone famous and low-key.  And that shyt only worked once.  So imagine the shock when they were ready to let FIVE DUDES in for the free.

We huddled up.

1) Free entry
2) No Line, no wait
3) We could always leave and hit another one if it isn't poppin.

1) Could be a gay club
2) Could be empty
3) No one had heard of this spot before
4) Sounds too good to be true

With all of that tossed around, we came to a conclusion: F*ck it, let's do it.

We walked into the club, nervous about what may lie on the opposite side of the doorway.  And then it happened...

The club was packed, wall to wall, with women.  And there were literally NO MEN in the club.  (Well the bathroom attendant didn't count.)  200 women, 5 men.  Needless to say, the fraternal gods were smiling down on us that evening.

We tried to be calm as we walked into the den of estrogen, but within 5 minutes of us entering the club, the women jumped on us.  You see, they weren't leaving the club because it was free, but they were upset that no men were there.  So you could just see the mouths watering as they saw us walk into the spot.  The music was humpin' too. I think they were playing "Booty Butt Cheeks" or something similar.

Sidenote:  I don't know why women have a problem being treated like a piece of meat.  Personally, it was one of the more pleasurable experiences of my life. LOL.

After about two hours of being groped and caressed by the supple hands of myriad females, my phone rang. It was Pretty Rickie calling from the other club.  Now I know I was wrong for this, especially since we left him on stuck earlier. But I hit ignore.

And I ended up hitting ignore 8 more times before the night was over. Back then, the old school Nokias only had two basic function buttons, and ignore was my favorite that night.

It was four o clock when we left the spot.  Not because the club died out, but because we literally couldn't take another lap dance. We walked down to the other club, still amazed and in a state of delirium from the encounters we just had.  This is what being young was all about.

Rule 3: If you have fraternal connections, use them.

By the time we made it to the other club, it was going on 5:30 am.  We went to a restaurant to eat food, met up with a soror named Quita who lived in Miami, and the group basically chilled out for the next two hours, dreading the 12 block walk back to the truck (somehow, we had wondered another 12 blocks in the opposite direction, so we had more hiking to do.)  It was literally 7:30 am when we decided it was time to try and get back to bed before doing it all again the next day.

But that 12 blocks seemed so formidable.

As we set out on our trek, the gods saw fit to help us once again.

Out of the corner of his eye, Pretty Rickie saw a car with an AKA tag on it.  Now PR was always "Johnny on the spot" when it came to solving emergency problems. This extended back to our crossing days, which will be discussed in a future blog post. Well, when he saw the car approaching, he devised a nefarious plot to save the day.

"John, you post up on the wall.  Quita, you and Brian go hide around the corner.  Let me do the talking."

PR flagged the soror down, and she and her friend pulled over to chat with frat.  The conversation went something like this.


PR: Hey soror. (To the friend) hey baby girl.  Y'all are out kinda early on the block huh?
Soror: Yeah, we are heading home, cause we are tired.  Why are you out so early?
PR:  We are trying to get to our car.  Do you mind helping your pham out?
Soror: For you, bruh...I got you.  You know how Lyle Love gets down.

At that point, Rickie yells for us to get in.  You should have seen how big her eyes got as she saw four people rush her car to hop in.  Now, let me paint the picture:

1997 Toyota Corolla.

Three dudes weighing a total of 768 pounds and a soror added to the mix.

Four people, almost a thousand pounds, in the backseat of a Toyota Corolla.

*Let that sink in for a second*

So we piled in.  PR and Big D were on the outsides...I was in the middle.  Quita laid across our laps in fetal position, and once we closed the door, you could feel the car drop about 3 inches.  I clare fo lawd I think her shocks gave way on the way to the truck.  The awkward silence in the car let me know that she felt duped, but I am glad that she still gave us a ride.  That is what pham love is for, and if you ever read this soror, we love you for helping us out.

That was the longest ride ever.  No one could move an inch, and we were stuck like that for 20 minutes.  To add insult to injury, a group of Mexicans drove up next to us.  Now, I may be just assuming they were Mexican since they had the Mexican flag painted on their truck...but I know that when they started laughing and pointing at us, the stereotype had just been reversed.

There are many more rules to a good road trip, but ultimately, the idea is to have fun.  And we had tons of it.  So for everyone going to Memorial Day in Miami, I can only pray that you have half the fun that we had that weekend.  Be safe, and hump a little something in honor of your boys 7 D.E.P.

*Fade to Black*

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Where is your Joy?

The purpose of this blog post is simply to share something that I received this past weekend during Mother's day at church.  Now, most people who know me know that I tend to talk about life issues in many ways...sometimes secularly and sometimes in a religious sense.  This post will touch a little of both.

The message Sunday was one in a series of sermons about the Fruits of the Spirit, and this week, Pastor Simmons discussed Joy. It was a follow-up sermon to his discussion on Love the week before, and he tied both concepts together beautifully (and in under 20 minutes.) As he spoke, I felt that mostly everything that was said applied to me, and therefore, I will share with you what I got out of the sermon in hopes that if you need to hear it to, you will at this point.

Joy vs. Happiness

Pastor Simmons spent a major portion of the lecture discussing the difference between joy and happiness. (Paraphrasing) He defined happiness as something that is tied into the tangible...that is, attached and dependent on people, places, possession, and status.  He spoke of how we often feel like we are happy when we obtain the things of this world, but that the things of this world devalue at times, and that our happiness can fluctuate with this process.  People will inherently fail us, we inherently get bored with possessions...ultimately, happiness can change from one moment to the next.

Joy, however, is something that relies not on the external environment (your loved ones, friends, possessions, etc.) but on your internal environment (your spirituality, faith, and divine connection.)  He described how joy will allow you to maintain peace and happiness even when the things of the world fail you.  Ultimately, if joy is sought, it won't fail you because it is tied to the intangible, which rarely fails you.

As I listened to this, I began to think about the things that bring/brought me "happiness" and I realize that it was exactly what had been happening with me in my life.  I would often tie my friendships and relationships to my happiness. (For me, possessions, status, and other superficial things were never really apart of what I valued highly.)  This at times was to a fault, and as he spoke, I could directly tie the darker points of my life and my happiness to an inherent flaw in human nature and how those people who I invested so much of my happiness into were only doing what was bound to happen anyway. Now granted, that doesn't excuse anyone for anything that happened if it was their fault, but it does put into perspective how much power I gave those individuals over my happiness.  This was something that I needed to hear, and it couldn't have come at a better time.

Happiness in Others

Another aspect that hit me as I listened to Pastor Simmons was the notion that it is truly unfair for us to put so much of our happiness and perceived "joy" into other  people. Now, this wasn't part of the sermon, but I began to realize that the pedestal that we place people on in our lives is sometimes undeserved, but in many cases, unwanted.  When you elevate humans to a level above human in your life, you essential place the burden of YOUR happiness on THEIR shoulders.  Granted, people should not try to hurt others in life, and making loved ones happy is something we all should want to do. But if we allow someone else to define so much of our happiness, we are asking them to fulfill a job to which they may not be equipped.

Sidenote: Now before I get jumped on, I am not saying that we shouldn't have expectations, nor should we communicate our desires and wants in relationships with family/friends/mates/etc.  But what I am saying is that we can't let something as personal as our happiness be dictated by whether or not those people are doing what WE want them to do or if they are in the constraints of what WE need for happiness.  Our happiness should be invested into something a bit more foolproof than human nature.

This all hit me like a ton of bricks...a ton of enlightening, insightful bricks.(And all in under 20 minutes. Take that, COGIC church.)

Seeking Joy

From here, my goal is to seek joy...that is, to seek the peace and happiness that comes from understanding myself, my faith, and my spirituality rather than the happiness that comes from the things and people of this world.  How to do that?  Well, that is going to take some soul searching, since it is only Tuesday and the message was given Sunday.  But I do know that from this point on, I will try my best to delve deeper into the things that are of substance in my life and that are meant to provide joy.  It will be a long road, but I am glad that I am finding this out at at the age of 29 instead of 79.

Happiness is fleeting, but joy is long lasting.  I hope that you and I both can find that joy that will provide us the longstanding happiness we all deserve.

Monday, May 03, 2010

The 7 D.E.P. Chronicles: Coming Through in the Clutch

*Juke walks to the jukebox, and selects a classic R&B jam...What's On Tonite by Montell Jordan.*

One of the things that I can truly say about my LBs is that we always supported each other in almost any and every endeavor imaginable...even if it wasn't the most honest endeavor possible.  This brief statement sets up the not-so-innocent encounters that will be discussed below. Once again, aliases will be used to avoid incriminating the guilty. *Awkward silence*

So in undergrad, our chapter had two houses: an official fraternity house where we would have events and brotherly functions...and an unofficial frat house that was for special purposes.  And by special purposes, I mean dates.  As it turned out, around the time that we were moving into the official frat house, Black Ice (my LB) was assisting his older brother (henceforth designated as Chevrolet Jenkins, or CJ) move into a brand spanking new crib of his own, which I often call the Hoodrich Hideaway.  This crib was laid too...big screen TV in the den with 2487 channels (of which 4 of them were porn channels), soft couches, playstations, weight lifting gear, four brands of condoms, a kitchen that was ALWAYS STOCKED with chicken and liquor, and most of all...a surround sound system that would rival any concert hall or venue.  In short, this was the ultimate bachelor pad, and made a great place for those "Let's chill" dates that undergraduates seem to go on nowadays.


Sidenote: At what point did we, as a people, decide that "chilling" was a viable dating activity?  I mean, at the time, I guess it was economically feasible, but I still hear about dudes 30+ still asking girls out on dates to just "chill."   Just curious...


Chevy and I ended up being close like brothers as well, since we often chatted and hung out at the Hoodrich Hideaway. So for a few months in the fall of 2002, he would loan me the key to go to the crib whenever I had a date but lacked the funds to go out to the movies and such.  It was a great set-up, and honestly, since it was free, it really was a benefit to the strengthening of those undergrad dating relationships. (Think about it like, money was never an excuse for not being able to show your lady a good time.)

Well, as Christmas rolled around in 2002, the most miraculous thing happened.  In a ritual that is only rivaled by the Skull and Bones, I was entrusted with the most precious of all very own key to the crib. It was as if the clouds in the sky parted and the heavens had descended on my very flesh. This was a monumental moment, and one that I can remember as if it was yesterday.  To this day, I count that as one of the top three gifts I have ever received on earth, with the gift of life and the love of my parents being numbers 1 and 2.

Over the course of a few relationships, the HH became a mainstay in my repertoire of dating.  Most of the time, it was just to hang out and chill...maybe a little making out of sorts. (Okay, some DNA was left there, but hey, what's done is done...don't judge me.)  But there was one particular day that really stands out for me, and if it wasn't for the help of my LB Black Ice, I would have been left on stuck.

Let me paint a picture:  The young lady was one who commanded respect from all the brothas who knew her.  She was beautiful, smart, and most of all, a woman in every essence of the word.  All of this at the tender age of 21. (At that point, she was young enough to have faith in her standards.  I wonder if she is the same way now at 27. LOL).  So when she showed a little interest in me, I knew that I needed to step my game up a few notches.  But a brotha was short on funds...

This would take a little ingenuity.

So she and I talked on the phone, and she said that she would like to hang out with me.  She wanted to go out to eat so that we could chat and get to know each other.  Of course, financial aid hadn't dropped yet, so that was going to be a squeeze on the finances. My plot began to develop.

Anyone who knows me knows that my mouth often writes checks that my ass has to work double time to cash.  As she talks about the date, I instantly say ,"Why go out to eat when you can let me cook for you at my crib?"  Immediately, you should see two things wrong with this scenario: 1) I don't have my own crib, I just have a key to the HH, and 2) I can't boil water, let alone cook.  But when you are in the heat of the moment, you can't let little things like honesty stand in the way of a good date, right? *Awkward silence*

"So you know how to cook, eh?  I like a man in the kitchen."

"Well then, you are going to love me."

^^^Those words right there sealed my fate.

I set up the date for a day when Chevy would be at work so that I can give the impression that it is my house that we were in. (Now, granted, at 21 she probably should have asked more questions about how I could afford a house as a full time undergraduate student, but you know what?  We aren't going to worry about that right now...she bought it, and I kept it straight.)  I went over ahead of time to try and cook up something, but no one ever told me that you have to do stuff like clean the chicken, or grease the pans, or stir the Kool-aid.  In short, every attempt I made failed and I had only an hour and a half left before she was due to arrive.

Time to lean on the shield.

Black Ice, on the other hand, is a man with exquisite culinary skills.  If you name it, he can probably cook it.  I called up the big homie, and to my rescue he came.  That's what real brothas do...they support you in your recklessness. 

BI whipped up some of the best homemade lasagna that you could have ever imagined.  I mean, this was so good, it coulda been on the menu at Olive Garden.  By the time he finished saving my ass, the house was filled with the aroma of Italian herbs and spices.  But I didn't make him do ALL the work...I made the soda.

Finally, when everything was finished, he gave me a few instructions on how to serve the food, we shook hands, and he departed...five seconds before my date arrived.  Thanks to the help of my LB, the date was phenomenal, we really enjoyed each others company, and she and I had a romantic evening that ended with movies, cuddling, and an innocent sleep on the couch into the morning.

And in a week's time, the relationship was over.

This story is to serve multiple purposes.  First, it is my way of paying tribute to a fine institution, the Hoodrich Hideaway, and the history and legacy contained therein.  If I had my way, it would be on the registry of historical landmarks, but the government keeps denying my requests. (Something about "This nigga is trippin'" or something like that was said, but I can't quite remember.)  Many other stories could be discussed about the place, but this one is the one that sticks out for me.

Secondly, this story is to honor two noble and great gentlemen whose undying service to the community can be seen through the history of the HH.  Chevy Jenkins and Black Ice win the coveted "Come Thru In The Clutch" award for their diligence and promptness in ensuring that my dates went off without a hitch.  I am honored to have them on my team.

Lastly, ladies...if you don't see him cook the meal, then it doesn't count.  Since then, I have learned to cook a few items here and there, and I am upping my husband potential.  But there was a time where I talked a mean game, and Black Ice was there to back it up. 

Brothers...always coming through in the clutch.

*End Scene*