Sugar Nickels and Fish Grease

One of the reasons I love travelling and talking to other women is because I discover that when it comes to certain issues, we are all pretty much the same – we just come clad in different clothing.  One issue in particular that we show solidarity on his how to chastise a man once he has committed an unforgivable infraction (i.e. cheating on you, beating you and using your money to cheat with other women). The term “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” was not born out of thin air, for sure.

I have always had the suspicion that when it comes to men and revenge, women launch their reprisal in various ways based on temperament yes, but also based on race.

White women for instance are more mental and calculation in their approach. They can spend month, even years plotting the destruction of a man, that destruction often culminating in the loss of everything he owns: Homes, finances, the family yacht, and worse, his reputation, his future.

Above all else, I believe that White men place a premium on having the perception of being a model citizen and a valued member of their community. Sure, he may have his foibles as all men do, but overall he is a ‘good guy.’ A White woman therefore has many layers to break down before she is successful in breaking down such a man.

Black women I have found, regardless of the continent that they reside on, seek more immediate results in their reprisal. An unfortunate reality for Black men is that they are not perceived by the majority as model citizens, and bad behavior is expected of them. Sadly, a sizeable enough portion of Black men of dating and marrying age have bought into this perception. Social inequality and poor education keeps them out of the majority of white collar jobs, so unless he’s a professional athlete or a musician, there is no wealth to siphon from him. (Categorically, these Black men don’t marry Black women en masse anyways.) Despite his relatively lower socio-economic status, there is one thing no one can take away from a Black man – that thing being his good looks.  He knows it, you know it, other women know it.

So what does a wronged woman do to a man who has little money, no reputation worth destroying and no legacy to annihilate? She makes him a meal.

Recipe for sugar nickels:

1 stock pot full of boiling water

1 bag of white sugar

A purse full of coinage

Bring all the items to a boil until the liquid is thick and sticky. When it clings to the back of your spoon, it is ready.

My co-worker’s great grandmother made a pot of Sugar Nickels one afternoon in Little Rock, AR and threw it on her husband in repayment for his offense. When he began to peel the nickels off, circular bits of his skin came off with them.



When I had some ladies over for tea a few weeks ago, we were watching a Nigerian film that followed the same confusing, unrealistic plot that they always do. These films are always entitled something equally absurd (and fitting) as their plots, like Daddy’s Baby Ninja Pt III, or Angelina. There will also be a homemade soundtrack for the film, in which one or two songs repetitively mention the title of the film so that you KNOW for sure that you are watching Daddy’s Ninja 3 or Angelina.

In the film we were watching the male lead had a one night stand with his wife’s sister while they were still engaged, which resulted in her getting pregnant. As fate would have it, his wife was in a car crash and he asked his former lover to come and take care of her sister, not knowing that she was carrying his child. (She told everyone the baby was her current boyfriend’s. Oddly, the current boyfriend knew that said bloke was the father, but took responsibility all the same.)

The reason this is relevant: I was looking at Thandiswa’s face as she was watching this movie and noticed that she was getting angrier and angrier. Her nostrils were flared when she spoke:

“You know me, neh? If my husband did this to me, I’m gonna kill him!” (‘k’ was pronounced ‘qchhh’, denoting the seriousness of the proposed killing.)

“Oh, Thandiswa,” I objected. “You don’t have to kill him…”

“Yes! I have to kill him! And I have to kill my sister too. If my sister did this to me, it means she is not my sister.”

“But she’s still your sister…”

She cut me off again.

“No! In fact, you know what I’m gonna do? I’ll take a kettle, neh? And then pour hot water on the two of them and burn them both!”


She explained that she is very jealous, and that if her husband took the time to come and court her, why then should he go and look for another woman? In a flurry of conversation I came to find out that many Black men in South Africa have elicit affairs, and are capable of sleeping with every woman in the same room. She announced that  it is not uncommon to come out of the tavern to find your husband ‘screwing’ another woman outside. (“In the muddy township?” I asked. “Yes!” she screeched.) She reiterated that if her husband ever did such a thing, she would ‘qchhhill him’ and turned her attention back to the movie, ending her rant by saying:

“My husband knows I don’t take sh*t.”


Charlotte, a quiet woman with honey colored eyes, brought up her husband one afternoon while the kids were at an outing.

“You know, my husband used to trouble me a lot,” she said quietly. “And one day, he was in the kitchen while I was frying fish.”

She motioned towards her second daughter, who is now 3 years old.

“When that one was about one and half, he was in the kitchen with me, disturbing me, hurting me. So I took that fish I was frying and threw it in his face!”


“Charlotte. Are you saying you wish you had thrown it, or you THREW it?” I had to be sure the English was right.

“Hmmm. If you see him now, you can see the mark. The skin is gone here and here.”

She pointed to her cheek and the left side of her neck.

I was speechless. She never said what “trouble” he was giving her, but I’ll wager he doesn’t do it anymore.


Anybody who has ever watched a Tyler Perry movie knows that Madea often advocates physical violence as a resolution to a woman’s myriad of problems: shoot your man, cut his stuff up, cook some hot grits and toss it in his face, etc. I’m by no means proposing any of this. If a man is lucky, he’ll find a woman like me who will allow himself to hang himself:  a la Douche Bag, who is living proof that Darwin wasn’t far off at all, and that the less intelligent species will eventually kill themselves off. (Time will deal with him, so I don’t have to.) But for those of you who are not so fortunate and are messing about, here’s some advice: Stay clear of the kitchen if a Black woman is in it!