Sharting All Over Your Fairytale

To shart: the phenomenon through which when farting, a little bit of dookie ends up in your pants.

The more I think about marriage, the more I realize that it’s really one of the hardest things a person could ever do successfully. It’s easy to fail at marriage – I mean, all you have to do is never change the person you were when you first got married, and *poof!* Six years later you’re in divorce court, cutting your eyes at the man/woman you previously stood before God and friends saying you would love ‘til you were both parted by death.

I don’t generally speak to my male friends about their marriages. Over all, I wager men spend less time thinking about their marriage than women do. After all, what does a man sacrifice when he gets married? Other than drunken weekends out partying until 3 am with his boys and a few hookers, not much. Women have to give up their identity, their ambitions, their bodies through child birth, and sometimes their carefully crafted relationships when that marriage results in a family relocation (<–insert my doubts about moving to South Africa here).

Take this one lady from my church. Her husband was a mega basketball star in college, and they got married just before or soon after graduation. He was being considered for the NBA, but he sustained an injury, ending his pro career before it even began. She, being very young at the time, was clearly concerned about their future.

“I had my life all planned out,” she said to a group of us. “He was going to be an NBA player and I was going to be his wife.”

She didn’t say it, but I could ever so briefly see the disappointment she felt 20 years before flash across her face. Fortunately for him, she loved him more than their potential glitzy professional basketball lifestyle, and they’ve remained committedly married since.

This speaks to my earlier point about change. So many people get married hoping their spouse will never change. Had she stuck to her scripted “I am only going to be the cute wife of a pro ball player” part and chosen NOT to change, their marriage would have ended as quickly as his basketball career.

That’s when a fairytale has been sharted on.   

I’ve never harbored fairytale ambitions for my own marriage, primarily because my own parents were so miserable together that I envisioned marriage as something I HAD to do to fulfill a cultural obligtion, rather than something I was looking forward to.When I was a little girl, I never envisioned my future husband and I seated around the table, while our perfect children employed impeccable etiquette as they consumed their meals before retiring to bed.

My family was horribly dysfunctional. My parents’ relationship was blatantly ascorbic, and it took a toll on all of us kids. The day they announced they were divorced was one of the most joyous events of my young life. I can’t imagine that either of them willingly entered into their union thinking that they’d spend two decades abhorring the other person with whom they shared a home and children. I’m willing to bet that they assumed they’d grow old together and entertain their (presumed) perfect grandchildren for holidays and birthdays. Clearly that will never be.

Now THAT’S a fairytale that’s been sharted on.

So what’s my point? Marriage, like life, is not a fairytale. It’s a grueling, painful growing process. Unless the vows you said pledge something other than the standard, you have sworn to become “one flesh” with that other grinning idiot across the aisle from you.

Do you know how hard that is? Let me paint a picture for you:


Getting married instantly transforms you from a pair of individuals into a pair of Siamese twins. The only way it’s going to work is if you both agree on what direction the two of you are going to take together. And if you can’t agree, one must submit to the direction of the person who is at least moderately more learned on a disputed matter. Someone is going to have to take the lead until you both instinctually know what’s going to work for the pair of you – and that takes lots (and lots) of time.

Perhaps then is it possible to have your “happily ever after” and avoid a sharting.

Stupid Office Acronyms

Stop whatever it is you’re doing…right now! If you work in an office, strain your ears and listen closely. Someone is using, or about to use, an office acronym right now.

And don’t they sound retarded. (That’s a statement, not a question.)

We used to use certain acronyms in HR that didn’t translate well into real life. Take this conversation I had with a friend a few years ago when I was discussing time off after I was having a baby:

“Yeah…so since I’ve only been with the company a few months, I haven’t earned vacation time or maternity leave. I’ll have to go out on STD.”

“On what?” they asked with bewilderment.

“S.T.D.,” I repeated.

My friend broke out into unforgiving laughter. It was only at that point that I realized in the HR world, “STD” stood for “Short Term Disability” and in the streets it meant “Sexually Transmitted Disease”, either of which was applicable to my person since I was with child.

How about this bizarre chat I had with some of my co-workers while we were having a brain storming session. See if you can follow along (I barely could):

“We’re going to have to get the DOS’s involved so that the SME’s can give their input for the project.”

“Is that only for WIC, or global?”

“I dunno. I might have to ask the DOM what he thinks when we finally hire one.”

WTF? Finally I had to raise my hand.

“What are we talking about here?” I asked. I was clearly puzzled and obviously lost. One of the girls broke it down. DOS = Director of Sales. DOM = Director of Marketing. SME = Subject Matter Experts. Would have it been so hard to just say these words flat out? Would it really hurt your throat or over work your lip muscles to utter four additional syllables?

I would LOVE to hear what acronyms you use in your office/job/at home.  Do share!!

In the meantime, I’ll keep working on these TPS reports that I have to submit to the DAMFIM at the end of the day.

Last Saturday was SUCH a Drag

Actually, it was anything but; I just like the play on words, hence the title.

Caroline celebrated her birthday this Saturday, and I was invited to her shindig by her friend Napoleon (yes, that’s his real name – and yes, he’s Black). I thought it was going to be a nice, somewhat quiet evening spent amongst friends. Perhaps there would be some wine, perhaps there might be a little bit of dancing. My first indication that I had perceived the whole affair wrongly should have come from the moment I received the e-vite:

Don’t be a DRAG! Come and celebrate the “Queen” C!

The words virtually yelled from the cobalt blue background. I should have made the connection between drag and queen, but I gave it no other thought, helped my husband tuck the children in bed and drove off to Tijuana Garage at 9 pm.

That should have been my second indication that this whole evening was not going to go the way I had imagined. Any place with the adjectives “Tijuana” and “Garage” hardly denote “quite”, “classy” and “peaceful”. Placed together, they only denote margaritas, tequila and regret. Tequila always leads to regret.

I met up with Caroline and her merry band of revelers, who were already in great spirits (literally and liquidly) when I arrived at the bar. Napoleon ousted a few patrons with his series of screams of “whoooooooooooooooooo!!!!” when the hostess finally seated us at our table. Our waitress was a sweet mousy girl named Kristin/Christine/Kris who dropped any number of plates and glasses on the ground in the time we were there. I’m sure the manager would like to fire her, or at least dock her pay for all the server ware that she’s undoubtedly shattered over her tenure, but she’s so mousy and cute that you can’t help but forgive her, tweak her nose and tell her to be more careful in the future.

A lot happened between the pitchers of margaritas and shots of Patron that kept coming to our table that I hardly recall. I do remember Caroline looking at me and reiterating with a grin that she could not believe I came to her birthday. (There’s that pesky being a Christian thing to contend with, you understand.)

“Of course I did!” I screamed over the music. I love my friend, and was happy to be around her band of her very inebriated, very gay friends if that made her happy.

Suddenly, the lights got redder, the music got lower and a twenty something brown skinned man with glasses and a lisp introduced himself as the host of the evening’s festivities. Between the stream of “b*tches”, “mutha f-kers” and “f-kers”, I translated that there was to be a drag show. He introduced the prostitutes (as he called them) by name.


The first one that came out was a queen, and I mean a true QUEEN. I am 99.99% certain that underneath that skin tight dress, he had a body shaper to give him the appearance of an hour glass physique. Her (and from now own we will refer to the performers in the feminine – it’s just easier that way) hair was HUGE. Her eyelashes were HUGER. Her lips were HUGEST! Like I said, I was not ready, so I can’t recall what song she was miming to. We clapped enthusiastically when her performance was done. We were all meant to tip the performers by putting dollar bills in their bosoms. Hey, when was the next time I was going to get to see a man in drag up close? I’d play along. Napoleon (or Napo-Leon as he referred to himself) got us change for our large bills so that we could reward the prostitutes for their work.

After the buxom one left the stage, the host introduced Brent Star a.k.a Grey Skull. Mr. Star (he was a man in a dress, not in drag) came rushing out to the ‘stage’ with a velvet cape over his head, performing the 1995 pop culture smash No More I Love Yous. I tried SO hard not to lose it, but when the first snicker erupted from our table amongst the stunned silence from the entire audience, I cackled until I was hoarse. Suddenly, Brent Star took off in “flight” flapping his cape like a giant brown condor, his white face paint shimmering in the red restaurant lights. A few people gave him a couple of dollars. I held tightly to mine.

Next, the host excitedly informed us that this next act was the headliner! She was a star! She had performed at Whatever Really Impressive Drag Extravaganza and won top prize! He directed us to show our love for Nyesha!

Heavenly mercy.

 Nyesha  intro’d to At night I think of you and was wearing a red wig, a black unitard and 6 inch heels (no platform). There was so-much-make up! I was waiting to see what was so extraordinary about her, when my thoughts were interrupted by her whizzing at top speed across the stage and ending that run in a full split. The audience erupted into frenzied, manic applause. With another rapid fire round of dance tricks, her set ended, leaving us mesmerized…until the dude that looked like Twisted Sister came out in black shredded leather leotards and hip high boots and confused us all. The show came in waves and ebbs of the bizzare, the impressive and the confusing. For a first timer like me, it was a little bit much to take.

There was an audience participation portion of the show, which involved dancing and all men having to take off their shirts while dancing, and declaring their sexuality and availability. Nyesha was playing “Vanna White” and you could easily see the disappointment in her eyes when every male participant was either “gay and taken” or just plain ol’ “straight”.

The show ended when each performer had done 2 or 3 numbers each, with Brent Star leaving his final imprint with a rousing version of Supaman Dat Ho. And yes…yes he was wearing a belly baring Superman shirt and red booty shorts.

I spoke to Nyesha after the show was over, who implored us to come see her at The Jungle on Cheshire Bridge this Friday to cheer for her.

“All the tips will be going towards a good cause,” she drawled, a single tear sliding down her cheek. I saw him again (now that he was in street clothes and sneakers) making the rounds with the patrons.

“Dude!” I screeched incredulously. “Like, what are you by day? An account manager? Inside sales??”

“No,” he replied. “I work at UPS during the week and at Lowes on the weekend.”

“You’re so handsome!” Caroline interjected.

And then I looked around. All these guys, both the performers and the attendees, were very handsome men – just regular men. They work construction and courier jobs. The one with the huge lipstick stain on his bald head who was lecherously running his tongue against his teeth at Twisted Sister looked like he could have been a foreman at a power plant. I was amazed.

You just never know.  Your mail carrier could be delivering your packages by day, and tucking away his package into a dress later that night.

Defying the Odds: A Tribute to Giovanni

Douche Bag is an amazing human being – and I don’t mean that in a complimentary way. How someone has managed to bungle their way this far through life with such stunted mental capacity and have achieved any modicum of success gives credence to the story of Forrest Gump. However, unlike Forrest who at his core had a heart of gold, Douche Bag has the soul of a satanic imp. I shouldn’t call him a devil…that’s not nice, and it’s not fair to the legions that dwell in Hell either.

What makes Douche Bag so amazing is his ability to draw certain types of people to himself – which are mainly other idiots. One of the laws of physics is that opposite poles attract. However, Douche Bag and his cronies are all like poles. How does one defy the laws of physics?!? Intriguing.

Let’s take Giovanni, Douche Bag’s ‘hairdresser’, for example.  This is the same champion who wrote a 3-5 paragraph statement concerning the alleged deplorable condition of Nadjah’s hair for the benefit of the courts. This statement was supposed to serve as proof that I am a negligent mother. Let’s fast forward 6 months later. This mental dwarf informed Douche Bag, who eagerly informed ME, that Nadjah’s roots were damaged, probably from being over pressed, and that she was going to treat it with shampoo the next time she saw her. Douche Bag emphatically made washing gestures on his bald scalp to demonstrate the planned procedure.

“So…does she mean she has bald spots?” I asked.

“No!” he cried.

“Ok…so is her hair falling out?” I was confused. Everything that I had ever read or been told about root damage was that the proof lay in the loss of hair. Her ends could use some work, but as far as I could see, her roots were (and are) fine.

“No! She just wants to treat it,” he reiterated. I drove away with my daugther in the back seat of my car, still confused by the conversation I’d just endured.

My sister had a field day when I relayed this story.

“Ah. Shampoo. So she’s going to wash the hair?”

“Yes, I guess so,” I said.

“So what is one washing supposed to do to her hair? Unless it’s a leave-in shampoo…in which case it really would damage her hair,” she thought aloud.   

“I don’t know what Douche Bag and his idiot friends have planned,” I conceded. “I asked him to find out what this ‘treatment’ is, and I haven’t heard back from him.”

“God, what an idiot!”

“Oh, it gets worse,” I continued. “My car has been making a squeaking sound for the last 3 years. The mechanic hasn’t had anything to say about it, and my car has passed emissions every year. Douche Bag has never said a word about it either…until this weekend –the weekend I’m supposed to see Prince. ‘Baby! Your belt sounds like it needs some lubing. That squeaking sound means your belt is dry and is about to snap. Want me to show you?’ So he gets out and shows me and then says ‘Well, your belt is brand new, but it definitely needs lubing. If it breaks, that’s going to cost you a couple hundred dollars.’”

“Ok, I don’t know much about cars, but I thought the purpose of a belt was to cause friction,” Adj quipped. “If you lube the belt, there will be no friction…therefore the car cannot move.”


“What a frikkin’ idiot!!!! How does he make it through the day?”

It’s true what they say: God looks after babies and fools.

Sometimes I feel like I’m staring in a cartoon, and this idiot thinks he’s the hero, albeit a bumbling one. It’s like this is a never ending episode of Scooby Doo – he’s Scooby, I’m Shaggy, and he wants to be rewarded with accolades before he does what he’s supposed to do.  

 Scooby Douche, will you pay your child support?


Not even for a Scooby snack?

Roooo…rokay. Mehber rater! (maybe later)

Do you know this brain dead barbarian actually had the gall to call me, while I was at my job, to tell me that since he is now working consistently, I could call him to ask him to buy Nadjah shoes or clothes or to pay to get her hair done if she needed it?

“I don’t mind at all,” he smirked. “And I know you. You won’t ask me for anything.”

He doesn’t mind? Is this not the same Neanderthal who informed me that I was not to interfere with he and his daughter’s relationship? She’s a GIRL. She’s always going to need shoes, clothes, and to get her hair done.  Furthermore, at the exact moment he called me, he was 2 months behind in child support! Why would I think to ask “Father of the Century” for anything when he’s spent 5 of the 6 years of Na’s life doing and paying nothing? Do I look like I was born alongside him in the Dumb Ass tree?

No, no I was not. I don’t call to ask him if I should give her breakfast/lunch/dinner; maybe he should get a clue and do what comes naturally as a parent? Perhaps that’s too much to ask of someone who shares the mental fire power of a mushrom. 

I’m dismayed that he has managed to locate and congregate with so many others  (Giovanni the ‘hairdresser’ and Diamond the hairdressing stripper) who share the same DAGs {Dumb Ass Genes} this far from Demopolis, AL. But what am I to expect? Idiocy is a virus that is difficult to contain.



Prince: Sojourn to the Sublime

Getting there: You leave Atlanta on I-20, merge onto I-95N, pass some cotton fields, take a deep breath and inhale a few lung fulls of horse manure and cow dung, blink and then you’re in Fayetteville. It’s a small military town with lush hills and where I rendezvousing with The Fabulous Bessie Afeku, my fellow Prince fanatic.

We spent the early part of the day before the concert running errands. I had to procure a pair of “statement shoes” (which I’m wearing now) from DSW, and had the fortune of sampling some (gratis) purple eye shadow from ULTA next door.  We had the monumental task of nourishing ourselves before the event. For that, we went to Cheesecake Factory.

“I’m so full,” Bessie said.

“Heh. You better eat all your food. We’re in for a long night,” I replied, shoveling spoon-fulls of rice and chicken into my mouth. She followed suit, even though her stomach was straining under the unnatural burden.  I nodded my approval when I saw that her massive plate was nearly empty.

It was time to go.

The Fabulous and I thought it would be good idea to blast some Prince tunes to limber ourselves up before we went to see the Purple One. In mid jam, she turned down the radio.

“No, no!” she cried. “We have to save our strength! We don’t want to be too tired when he comes on.”

“Yes…it’s true.”

Our conversation from then on came in spurts, as we reflected on what was to be in just 2 more short hours. The doors of the RBC Center in Raleigh where the concert was being held opened at 6:30 pm, and we were going to be there when they opened!

…Or so we thought.

Raped by RBC: Those focking people at the RBC Center, eh? They don’t know how to treat customers and guests kraaa!!! When we got to the venue, we were amazed at how much purple there was milling around the premises. People had on purple any and everything. Purple boots, purple dresses, purple t-shirts…purple, purple, purple! I had chosen to go minimalist and was wearing a white “wedding dress” with a purple flower in my hair. This was going to be my first union with Prince, and every item I was wearing meticulously chosen. I quick scan of the crowd revealed that we were all of like mind.

“Malaka, these are our people,” Bessie breathed. “Look at them!”

“Yes,” I breathed back. “I know!!”

There were women who looked like they spent the last hour before their arrival taping themselves back together before their evening out with the Purple Ones. The evidence of years of alcohol, drug abuse and sex with strangers in seedy clubs or back alleys was written all over their faces and bodies. More than twelve gay guys sashayed past me in the hour we waited outside. An elderly white man in Dockers and a purple Polo milled around with his wife in tow. They looked like they were both in their late 50’s. Odder than that, there were a number of dreadlocked, baggy jean wearing, gold tooth sporting hood rats who kept high-fiving each other and engaging in dap. They were accompanied by 2 girls, one in a leopard skinned dress whose micro braids had begun to fall out of her hair. In this diverse crowd, they seemed oddly out of place. But they had come to see Prince, so that made them part of our clan. Even the handicapped had come out to play. In fact, a woman with a cane and a measured  gait came and asked if she might share our stoop where we were crowd watching. She inserted herself into our conversation, somewhat unnaturally, forcing us to flee to another location. That and the plumes of cigarette smoke were beginning to make both of us ill.

It didn’t matter. It was time to line up anyway. At 6:15, we approached the doors. My statement shoes were beginning to hurt my feet, but I was consoled by the knowledge that in 25 more minutes, I would at least me seated. It was not to be so. At 6:30, a short women with a mullet crudely yelled that due to “circumstances beyond their control” to doors would not open until 7:00. There was no apology and no further explanation. 7:00 came and went, until finally at 7:15 they began scanning tickets. The staff at the RBC center was unhelpful and rude, save for 2 ushers that we encountered. Let me tell you what it was like:

It was as though this was my wedding night, the night I had dreamed of my entire life. As my husband (Prince) readied himself in his dressing room for our first meeting, a thief stole into our chamber and raped me violently. But before he violated me, he fumbled around, sticking his phallus in unnatural places like my elbow and ear canal, leaving me battered, weeping and confused.

I hated those RBC workers with the passion that a woman who has been debased hates her attacker. But for Prince, I endured the abuse.

Welcome to the a$$ show: The Fabulous was eager to inform me, to my extreme delight, that we had procured floor seating. She was online AT 10 o’clock when the ticket sales had begun. As the usher walked us to our seats, I could feel my excitement mounting. The Symbol shaped stage was just within walking distance. I could see the very groves of the wood, we were so close. We walked and walked – but further and further away from the stage. We ended up 50 yards BEHIND the drummer and back-up singers. WTF?? I felt my heart sink and felt violated all over again.

The opening act was Chaka Khan, who although prolific, is not one of my favorite artists. I would never drive to see her. I have never bought her CDs. In fact, if someone had a spare ticket to go to her show, I probably wouldn’t go. So when she got on stage (an hour and a half after the show was supposed to begin), I sat my weeping feet down to preserve my energy for the object of my affection. I probably would have been more welcoming to this icon, had the RBC Center staff not put me in such a foul mood. I was not alone. Half of the stadium was seated with their arms folded. I was even more vexed when I realized that not only could I NOT see Chaka Khan on the stage, I couldn’t see her on the screen hovering above me either. The angle we were at hurt my neck to look up. In fact, all I COULD see were the very ample a**es of her back-up singers and their weaves. I had not paid a day’s wages to see booty. I could see that at home for free. I was pissed, and so was out whole section. After her set was over, we went to guest services, where the operator wordlessly handed us tickets to another section. A BETTER section.

All Hail The Prince: Seeing as how the event manager/planner had FUBARed the whole show, Prince had to come out hard. The lights went off and his voice claimed the speakers.

North Carolina, he called. We rose to our feet in rapt attention, screaming wildly. He was here! He was coming!!!


His mic was cutting in and out. Seriously RBC? For real?

The lights came back on, and to fill the unexpected gap, RBC thought it would be a good idea to play a series of 80s music videos from long forgotten artists. The smoke that was supposed to signal Prince’s arrival still floated in the air, its presence premature as he was clearly not on stage. Finally, the lights went back off again.

North Carolina, he called again. You know how many hits I got? We go’n be here all night!

Bessie and I screamed and jumped as though our very lives depended on it. There was no one there to judge us, and no one else cared because they were doing the same. The woman to the right of us, who had told me before the show started that seeing Prince was on her bucket list, began to moan peculiarly. I couldn’t hear her, but Bessie said her moans and half empty, sloshing cup of beer was making her very uncomfortable.

Where do I even begin? Well, he came out dressed in a black suit with a red shirt and red boots. He did a medley of several of his hits. We screamed the words at him, each of us trying to get his individual attention. We each his ultimate fan. The seats that we had just garnered put us at eye level with him, but because of the lecherous brunette to our right, he could not bring himself to make eye contact with me. The NPG was just – amazing. There was a bald girl called Shelby J who was my friend by the end of the night. She winked at me as I waived my white hankie at her and I grinned foolishly back. As he infamously does, he sent a band member to call several people to the stage. One woman hand picked himself to come up. She was wearing all brown, and looked very unassuming. HOWEVER, once she got on stage, she smacked Prince on his bottom and danced like she was auditioning for the alpha female role on Flava of Love. He masterfully wiggled his way out of her barricade, after which she throw up the Delta pyramid. I couldn’t hear the ooo ooops over the hollering crowd.

We sang (or screamed) song after song until the show “ended” with all however-many-hundred of us swaying and crooning to Purple Rain. Prince and the NPG left the stage amidst a torrent of screams and ululation. We stood there for 15 more minutes in the darkness, refusing to budge, pleading with him to come back and give us more.

Which he did.

Another wardrobe change (he had one previous to this to all white – like he was going to Jerusalem) and he was back on the stage in silver/gold high heeled sneakers and a silk black suit with no shirt underneath. As he sang Kiss, he briefly flipped the sleeve of his left shoulder to reveal ripped abs underneath. Incredible. The women (and I’m sure a few dudes too) went wild. I surveyed the crowd, and two couples in particular were clinging to each other as he crooned the verses to Adore and Insatiable, but not before warning that someone was probably was going to get pregnant.

After the encore, he left the stage yet again. The drummer tossed his sticks into the crowd, the lights came on, and the show was over. All this while, my feet were soaked in fetid water, as a pipe had burst underneath my seat at the (focking) RBC Center. I’m sure that my feet will eventually blister and break out as the result of some ungodly disease, having spent 3 hours immersed in a mixture of beer, liquor, pizza crust and piss. The RBC Center’s futile attempts at mopping up the stagnant water with their already soaked mops only added more bacteria to the mix.

When 80% of the crowd has left, Bessie and I sat patiently waiting. I had already blogged that I was not leaving until the security guards themselves sacked me, and my feet were throbbing in agony. I needed to sit and digest all that had just happened. Suddenly, there was a flurry of movement! We saw that band return to the stage and a little man in black whiz by. It was him! He was back!

Bessie and I sprinted down the stairs and hurtled ourselves over the backs of two chairs. We were front row…front row!! We couldn’t believe it! If we had leaned forward just a tad, we could have touched him! Those who had begun to exit the building scurried back in, like starving Somali school children rushing for Halloween candy. I mean women in spiked heels and men in slacks running like there was a tsunami coming – a tsunami called Prince.

He belted out Noooooorth Caroliiiiina! A few times, held his nose and declared us all too funky and finally left for real. My near altercation with the (focking) RBC staff solidified that the show was over as they not so politely asked us to leave.

It all seems like a distant memory…like it never happened. Now I’m moving to South Africa and I will probably never see Prince again. All the same, after the customer service rape and torture at the hands of the RBC Center, I got to see the only musical genius left on earth.

It was well worth it. – nuthin’ a little salve won’t solve.

Evolution: Nikki Hunter’s E! True Hollywood Story

Nikki Hunter is the lead vocalist in the band Trials of Evolution – or TOE, as I like to call them. She is my little cousin, and was once the apple of my eye. I have spent many a hard week’s wages on McDonald’s, Target gear and outings for our “niece and aunt” days in the late ‘90s when she was a wee tyke and had an affinity for Goosebumbs chapter books. I’ve therefore earned the right to parody this future rock goddess.

A stray ray of sunlight crept through the curtains and slowly made its way to rest on Nikki’s closed eye lids. She blinked in aggravation, grunting her disapproval at being so subtly roused from her sleep. Trials of Evolution had just rocked Madison Square Garden the night before, and she was exhausted from crowd surfing and signing autographs for celebrities in the green room.

“I’ll just your music,” Shaq had gushed just hours before. “I’ve been a fan since…well since forever!”

“Thank you, Shaq,” Nikki said graciously. She waved to her assistant, Mona. “Mona? Please make sure Shaq gets a complimentary fanny pack from my line of handbags, will you?”

Shaq squealed in delight, his massive frame convulsing and shivering as though the news was more than his massive 7 foot frame could handle. Nikki placed her slim hand on his belly to steady him.

“I know, Shaq, I know. It’s overwhelming. Take the fanny pack and go in peace and joy.”

Shaq lumbered out of the room, pressing his new gift to his  chest like a thirsty man presses his first sip of water to the roof of his mouth with his tongue.

Things had been going well for the band in the last 2 years, and for Nikki in particular. She was one of the most sought after singers in the world, touring Tokyo, Cairo, and Sydney on a regular basis. As a celebrity, she had launched the requisite fashion/handbag/fragrance/shoes and accessory lines following her success on stage. All the elements of his business were doing well. Being the only female in a band of 4, it was only to be expected that her trajectory would outpace her male mates. It was just the nature of the business. The music industry loves to create queens that would otherwise languish in utter obscurity in groups of 3 or more.

This morning, weary and still wearing the make-up from the show last night, she rolled onto the floor and lay there, cursing her assistant inwardly. She could not believe that Mona had scheduled an interview with OK! Magazine, E! online, and Essence all on the same day – at the same time. She wouldn’t go Naomi Campbell on her and throw a cell phone at her head, but she would certainly punish Mona for this misstep…perhaps by hiding her eye drops. Mona had incredibly dry eyes.

Chris, her adoring and very hot husband, interrupted her menacing thoughts. His ice blue eyes peered at her with concern.

“Nik? What are you doing on the floor?”

“Getting ready for my interview,” she mumbled into the carpet.

“Oh. Well, all the journalists are here. They’ve been waiting for fifteen minutes,” he said, his voice trailing off.

Nikki rolled over and stared at him, her eyes blood shot red and blackened by a smoky mix of mascara, eyeliner and gray eye shadow. Her bronze hair was disheveled and matted.  She looked absolutely rabid.

“Pass me the silk robe from Sumatra; the one with the pink lotus flowers,” she commanded. “I’m doing this interview raw.”

The pack of journalists was all assembled in the parlor of her Columbus home. They rose to greet her, each enthusiastically shaking her hand in. She smiled wildly at them, her perfect teeth smudged with MAC lipstick.

“Ladies, please sit.”

They sat.

“Ladies, please join me in the kitchen.”

Bewildered, they gathered their recording devices and note books and followed her to the kitchen.  Nikki was already slinging pots around, preparing to cook breakfast.

“You’ll want to take pictures,” she advised them. “I’m making eggs for you all today. These eggs are $8 apiece. They are a free range quail egg, imported from Scotland.”

The journalists scribbled ferociously. The one from Essence spoke up first.

“Is there anything wrong with American eggs?”

Nikki slammed down her skillet, and then smiled benevolently.

“There is nothing wrong with American eggs – for the average American,” she replied. “However, I have special dietary needs. You don’t get Gwen Stefani abs by eating American eggs. You have to eat foreign eggs.”

“But the Scottish aren’t particularly trim,” quipped the journalist from OK!

“Nor are they particularly fit,” added the one from E!

Nikki was getting irritated. It was 2 o’clock in the afternoon and by all accounts she should have still been sleeping. She tried to remain gracious, but her hands were trembling in fury over all this argument concerning the source and validity of her choice and source of protein.

“Eat these eggs,” she seethed. “They are optimal just above room temperature. Do not let them get cold.”

Being the second most powerful woman in the world after Oprah, the journalists did as they were told. Suddenly, understanding sparked in their eyes, one by one.

“Do you see what I mean?” asked Nikki.

They grunted in unison.

“Now, I will permit you one picture, and one picture only. You will all have to share this picture for your print publications. You will photoshop this picture, and I will have white eyes, white teeth and hair billowing by an artificial wind; understood?”


The Essence journalist spoke next, timidly.

“But what about our interviews?”

“Write about the eggs,” Nikki said solemnly. “The eggs have the answers you need.”

She gazed intensely into each of their eyes. They gazed back in bewilderment.

“The eggs,” she whispered gruffly. Just then, a trap door opened up in the floor beneath them, removing them from her home. Their screams of surprise were silenced by the floor resealing itself. She chuckled to herself and munched contentedly on her $8.00 eggs.

Did this story make any sense to you? Nope. Not to me either. I love fiction.

The Remarkable Mrs. Garner

I was going to title this “Of Brides and Hoodlums”, but I like the former Ms. Shears far too much to dwell on the hood-rattiness of Cory Garner, whom she married just this weekend. (I KNOW you’re reading this Cory, you lawn jockey.) That, and she planned every detail of an amazing event all by herself.

As implied, I went to a wedding this weekend; and what a wedding. Have you ever been to an event, and in particular a wedding, that had all the elements that it should have? This was one such event. This, being a Black wedding, comprised of all the usual characters and a few surprising ones. There was the bevy of single black women, all over age 30, dressed to the nines in satin form fitting dresses and hitherto hidden cleavage pushed up to greet the spring weather. 4 out 5 had some sort of tattoo of an ankh or generic Chinese symbol. There was the 50+ year old man, who undoubtedly considered himself very suave in his white Steve Harvey hat. There was the frosty 40 something female business tycoon, whose successful career had most likely kept her firmly in the guest seat at such an event and firmer still from the altar. My favorite character of the evening had to be the imposing, bald police officer with an intense love for America. He never smiled once when he spoke…which was okay – his wife smiled enough for the pair of them. #balance

“If someone invades your home, and you have a gun, you shoot to kill them, you hear?” he instructed.

“I could never shoot someone to kill!” I protested. “At best I could shoot them in the shoulder or the knee caps…but never KILL someone.”

“A’ight. Then he’s going to kill you.”

His other piece of advice that I found useful: “If you’re in your car, and an officer asks you to step out and take a breathalyzer, you can refuse.”


“This is AMERICA! You can do anything you want!”

Well! God bless America.  

The wedding started an hour late, which surprised me. Black weddings always start late. Black anything always starts late. However, Rasheeda was raised with more bourgeois principles, which was why I made it a point that we got there AT 6 p.m. sharp. Even greater than my surprise was my amusement at the reaction of all the White guests, who had gotten there 10 minutes prior to starting time. One of them was an old co-worker of mine.

“Are all Black weddings like this,” he whispered to me. “Do they all start late?” Marshall answered for me.

“Oh yeah,” he said. “ALL of them.”  (Ours started half an hour late, as I recall.)

But it was well worth the wait. I had never seen Cory look so put together. He strode down the aisle like he was on a Sean Jean photo shoot and adjusted his jacket with a firm tug. He thought he was the epitome of cool, until his bride made her entrance on her father’s arm. Rasheeda looked absolutely stunning. Her hair was late 1940s/50s pin-up girl glam, with make-up to match. Her gown was impeccable – a masterfully sewn mix cream material with diamondique embellishments on the bust and a crisp white petticoat. The details were carefully chosen, down to the metallic blue shoes and the diamond cuff that graced her wrist. I couldn’t see her face from where I sat, but he broke out into something between an inaudible giggle and a sheepish grin. He literally looked like a kid in a candy store – or like a linebacker in beef jerky factory. He looked as though he might devour her, which is what he about did when the pastor announced he could now kiss his bride. She never stood a chance. It was like watching a pit bull consume a Chihuahua. And why wouldn’t he? In their personally written vows, she promised him fidelity and friendship, and thanked him for not making her compromise who she was so that they could be who they are.

There were several surprises at the wedding, the most immediate being the choice of venue. It was at the Odd Fellows Building on Auburn Ave in the heart of Atlanta. When we pulled up, I was sure we were at the wrong place. The venue was surrounded by vacant lots and abandoned buildings with graffiti scrawled all over their sides. Random homeless people muttered to themselves as they walked by. There were two city missions within walking distance. But when you entered the Odd Fellows Building, it was very (very) classy. Hardwood floors, heavy drapery and modern fixtures where the things that stood out immediately. I don’t know if it was meant to be a metaphor for their personalities, but it was a successful one. Though Rasheeda (and Cory in particular) may seem hard and gritty on the outside, they are both very classy at their core.

And what wedding is complete without the drunken brother – in this case, Rasheeda’s twin – who made quite the spectacle of himself as he gave his toast from the balcony to an unexpecting crowd below. As he slurred his words of encouragement and apparent joy at this union, Rasheeda kept her eyes firmly fixed on the floor and was cackled our delight. Not to be outdone, Cory’s younger brother took the microphone and said a series of phrases that made no sense what-so-ever. Rasheeda’s older sister brought some sophistication back to the event by giving her toast. Her brother tried to reclaim the mic (I assume because he had an epiphany that he just HAD to share),  but Rahseeda intercepted him and through snarling plum-red lips instructed him to give her the f*ckin’ mic.


And what better way to invite a group of urban southerners to the dance floor after dinner than to make said invitation by way of a medley of crunk ballads? I’m not too familiar with crunk, but I know it when I hear it, and I certainly know it when enormous 30 something Sigmas start stepping and skinny girls in heels start throwing ‘bows (elbows).

Marshall and I had to leave soon after, but not before I got the most awesome wedding memento to date.


And they all lived happily ever after

Does Prince Tire of the Adulation?

I wonder what it must feel like, to have people scream and throw under things at you as you’re sorting through the produce at the farmer’s market. After 40 years, does it ever get tiresome? I imagine it would take its toll on you – which explains why Prince is so reclusive when he’s not on stage. What is life like when your mere presence reduces otherwise very dignified folk to a frenzied amalgamation of screeching lunatics?

It must be a heavy burden, being so bloody brilliant. And when that brilliance translates into millions of women (and a few hundred thousand men) clamoring for your attention, however brief – even if it’s a momentary glance – it can transform a person; sometimes into something very ugly. Fortunately, Prince has the type of inner fortitude that prevents his tremendous fame from mutating him into a tremendous douche wad.

Of course, this is all speculation, because whatever documented sins he’s committed (outside of his very public visceral ones) have been more tightly sealed in court documents than a reformed stripper’s undies. But to the point, let’s imagine what a typical day for Mr. Nelson Rogers is like. I’ll play the rabid, adoring fan, tracking him closely as he exits Paisley Park on his white unicorn, Prometheus.


As he hits Rodeo Drive, Prometheus halts his full gallop and Prince alights from his shimmering, mythical steed. He has reached his destination: The Pancake Shop on Rodeo. Suddenly, he stops just in front of the door. The sound of my labored, panting breath is heavy in the air. Even the sounds of the whizzing luxury cars can’t drown it out.

“Hello, Malaka,” he says without turning around. “I’ve been expecting you.”

“Oh muh gawd! How did you…”

“I knew you were coming here before you came,” he said, cutting me off. “I know everything about my fans.”

“How can that be?”

“The crystal ball. The crystal at Paisely Park tells me everything I need to know. That and Prometheus whispered that someone was trailing us.”


“How can I help you Malaka?” he presses. “What can the Purple one do for you?”

“Well, I was wondering if – I mean that is – if you don’t mind I’d…”

“Would you like some pancakes?”

A crowd has been amassing as we’ve been conversing. A man in plaid booty shorts faints from the intensity of it all.

“I’d like some pancakes!” a 42 year old woman screeches suddenly.

“Pancakes, pancakes!”

The cry for Prince to provide pancakes to the people is almost deafening. A  throng forms around him. For the safety of his hungry fans, he leaps onto his noble steed, the unicorn, and nudges the masses out of harm’s way with his blue leather heeled boot.

“Come Prometheus, we must away!” he calls melodically.

“Prince, wait!” I wail mournfully.

 “No Malaka. We must have our pancakes another day. Wait patiently for it…and until then, purify yourself in preparation for a grand pancake party in the waters of Lake Minnetonka.”

As people scream and faint all around me, I watch Prince gallop away. The last image I’ll have will be Prometheus’ enormous bum bidding me farewell as he whisks my heart’s love away.

The Magic of the 14th Row

I can’t even wrap my mind around what words to write. Where do I even begin? Well, let’s begin the middle!

The Fabulous Dogooder, Bessie (my Prince compatriot) bought our tickets and guess where we’re sitting? The FORTEENTH ROW! Floor level baby! I’m going to see Prince for the first time in concert and I won’t be up in the balcony…I’ll be on the 14th row!


OK. So many things are possible on the 14th row. In a moment of inspiration, Prince could call me up on stage to join him in a sultry dance and he ministers on his symbolistic guitar. And unlike that simpleton twerp, Kim Kardashian, I would not stand there frozen in fear and then tweet that I was just pulled on stage, and then sacked from the stage by the Purple One.


No!! I would dance until the body guards forcibly removed me from the stage or until I fell out from utter, undeniable and complete exhaustion.

That’s if I make it to the stage at all.

You see, I’ve been in pursuit of a new shape – and that shape seems to be closer and closer to ‘round’. Being so rotund, it may be difficult for me to get to the stage in time. So I’ve devised an ingenious plan.

Prince will search the crowd with his munificent hazel eyes. He’ll spot me, a round mass of ecstasy and jublilation swathed in white waving like a lunatic at him. He’ll smile benevolently and shyly at ME.

“I need one fat girl on stage please,” he’ll moan and squeal. “That one right there.”

WHEN Prince summons me to the stage to come and dance with him, I’ll block all the other fanatics with my very large, rotund body a tell Bessie (who is very athletic and spritely) to “go, go, go!!!” She must go in my place. She must rush to the stage and bask in the glittering glory of this musical messiah in my stead. I’d never make it ahead of the other fat girls who foolishly assumed Prince was talking to them.  She in turn will dance, faint and the die (in that exact sequence) while I beam in sweaty euphoria from the crowd below.

After apologizing to the people I’ve tackled and crushed in an effort to prevent their progress to the stage, I will return to my seat. Prince fans, being the very civil people that they are, will forgive me.

“It’s all love,” one person would mutter between freshly injured lips. “If I had a good fat friend such as yourself, I’d expect them to do the same for me.”

We would then lock arms and sway hypnotically in peace to a 2 minute guitar rift on the song Purple Rain.

After gorging myself on the feast of music (I hear he has a new song called Gingerbread Man; how fitting. A gingerbread man – tiny and sweet, like he is!) I will wander aimlessly through the aisles of the RBC center, in search of more musical morsels. That is, again, until the bodyguards forcibly remove me.

No sir, after the 14th Row, life will never be the same again!

Unemployable: Your Accent Makes You Unwelcome Here

A few weeks ago I blogged about a girl who came in to interview with my company who didn’t get the job because she didn’t have the right “personality”, when what my manager really meant was she sounded too “Black”. It’s an unfortunate event that happens every day to Black folk – the immediate disqualification from a job opportunity because you sound, well, Black.

But what about when your accent keeps you from ascending to the highest job in the land – say, I dunno, the president of the United States?

I was listening to NPR this morning, and there is a dude I’ve never heard of in the Republican circles who’s posturing himself as though he’s running for president. His name is Haley Barbour. He’s from Mississippi. The deep, Deep South: where some black folk are still share croppin’ and who have some of the lowest literacy rates and highest obesity rates in the nation.

Oooo…not good.

In the short snippet I  heard on the radio, I knew immediately this was NOT a guy I would vote for, or whom I wanted to be my president. And it’s not because I’m Black or because he’s a republican. I voted for George Bush twice. It’s just because he sounds like a card carrying member of the Ku Klux Klan. These are the exact words he used on the program:

“We have to rein in all this government spending before it bankrupts the country!”

My translation:

“What he means is: We have to cut down on all this spending and stop giving niggers and beaners free federal dollars!”

Now, consider if Barack Obama said the exact same phrase in his elite Harvard accent:

“Folks, we have to rein in all this government spending before it bankrupts the country!”

My, and everyone else’s translation:

“Wow! What a fiscally responsible president we have! He’s thinking of the long term consequences of spending what we don’t have. C’mon guys, lets tighten our belts, put our hands to the plow and get America back on track!”

It’s something I’ve always known, but in my older age is becoming more and more apparent – that what you say is sometimes not as important as how you say it. Sometimes, who is saying it makes all the difference. Whether the messenger gets shot or not sometimes highly depends on who that messenger is.

Let’s not mince words. If a gay guy walked up to you in the kitchen and said “Ooh, we need to spice things up around here, don’t we?”, you’d assume he was referring to the color and hue of your wallpaper. Perhaps it is too dull…But if a Mexican guy standing in the kitchen said the same thing, you’d inform him, very politely, that your nacho dip does not in fact require more jalapeños.

Am I wrong?