Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Da Art of Storytelling Part '94

"You better go and get, the hump, up out your back now
It's about four, or five, cats off in my 'Llac now
We just, shoot, game in the form of story rap now
It's like that now, it's like that now" - Outkast

The Honest Man went to school in Atlanta. That school was the Mighty MIGHTY Morehouse College, home of the pimps, playas, mackdaddies (EAST POINT), which meant our school was the joint. That's right we everywhere. Martin Luther King. Samuel L Jackson. Spike Lee. David Satcher. Edwin Moses. And of course yours truly (cue applause) ;-). Ok that's my school pride rant for the decade...Enjoy it

I brought up the above as the intro to the following story. Before I officially started at Morehouse, I attended two summer pre-freshmen programs to get credits (yea I was an egghead). During the 2nd program, I hooked up with my one and only girlfriend in college (we lasted a year), and made history with the Infamous Voltron Clique (Rev. Dr Page, Big Mike, Ice Cold, Gangsta D). Anyway, coming from South Cack, I would find out shortly how much different ATL was than my hometown.

1994. Freshman week. During the day, we had to wear long sleeve shirts with ties during the day. Our dorms had NO air condition. To put it in perspective, it's August in Hotlanta, which means it's averaging mid 90s every day. It was so hot, I swore the devil was constantly in my room laughing at me when I get in the for the evening. But I, along with my bruhs, got through it, and the end of the week, it turns out there was going to be a party at the downtown Radisson.

That party was a lot of first for me. First time I took a shuttle bus to a party. First time I ever had security search me for weapons before entering a party. First time I attended a party without parental supervision. First time I paid for a party ($5). First time I seen a chick hit a dude upside the head with Heinenken bottle. First time I seen a dude get smashed over the head with a chair. And most importantly, the first time I would party with my college friends.

The party scene inside the hotel was thick. Even though I had a shortie, I'm not Stevie Wonder, I can see there are shorties galore in the house. And I don't mean just average looking chicks either. You had Outkast (pre ATliens and other albums) in the building and they actually performed a few cuts off their first album. Sans the above mentioned incidents, there was a lot of love in the room with a lot of us starry eyed and geeked being in da ATL. Little did we know there was a MAJOR reason for us getting searched outside.

Around 1:30am or so, my entourage decides they want to leave and beat the rush for the shuttle bus back home. We get outside and see other folks had the same idea. So we start walking slowly over the bus line to get our spot. In the distance, I faintly hear a sound like firecrackers going off but it seemed like whomever had them, had a gang of them. The sound starts getting closer, and I start to realize those ain't no muthafuckin firecrackers, those are gunshots ringing out. It was confirmed seconds later by someone screaming "DRIVE BY" at the top of their lungs. Neither me nor my crew knew what to do but fucking run like crazy. Gangsta D is 6'4, 200lbs. That 'bama ran like a damn gazelle running away from a lion to find cover. Shit, he was outrunning me. Fortunately, he, myself, my girl, and others found refuge around the corner.

Minutes later, the shots stopped, and everyone outside noticed the bus was still there but no more line. We all dashed like crazy to get on the bus and get the hell out of dodge. I remember holding my girl's hand, telling her "don't let go" as we ran to the bus. By the time we got to the bus, that joint was packed like sardines. Literally as I'm on the steps, the bus driver closes the door, but with one problem. My girl's arm is stuck there. I plead to the bus driver to let her on but he's like look in the back. yea that bus is full and there is one seat left. So I quickly took a seat, he cracked the door just enough for her to pull her arm back, closed it quickly, and took off for campus. My boy Blahzay was like "Yo man, you just gon' leave your girl back there like that." I was like "Shit ain't no point in both of us getting shot."

Today's Lesson

I told you last time I needed Jesus but in that case, I needed him, the Father, and the Holy Spirit LOL. Now, I did wait for her back at campus, did my best TLC imitation (Baby, Baby, Baby) and we were all good soon after (The art of pimping comes in a separate blog).

On a grander scale, that historical party would set the tone for my ATLien experience. Just fabolous times. Shit I need a tissue, I think I got something in my eye.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I need Jesus

The Honest Man is semi-back from baby hiatus. I haven't hit the Internet full-time yet but when I have those moments where sleep is not available AND I'm not delirious (and truss sleep is definitely for losers in this house right now...I see you Puff), then I will jot down thoughts. But one came to me during a night of changing poopy diapers for like forever....

The Honest Man actually has a funny story for you. As I mentioned, my second child was born last week. During our hospital day, we repeatedly had nurses coming in and out of the room for all sorts of things. One of the times, the lactation consultant (yea it's a real title) was in the room, was rambling on and on, and got on the subject of women and pregnancy. She looked at me and said "You men don't understand how difficult pregnancy is. I wonder why God did this to women".I retorted "Do you want me to find the Bible verse for you?" ;-)

Today's Lesson

One, the Honest Man is an ass when he doesn't get his sleep. Two, don't ask questions if you don't want the truth. Three, I truly need Jesus.

At least the people in the room, including the Honest Woman, were laughing their asses off :-)

Monday, March 16, 2009


The Honest Man will be going on hiatus as he prepares for the pending arrival of his new child. Yep it was a tough decision. Keep giving you loyal readers the honesty that you crave or be at the Honest Woman's side. Disobeying the latter would have grave consequences. So with that, the Honest Man leaves you this video to enjoy

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Reader's Choice - Bathroom Whuppins

Good day readers! The Honest Man got a request from his lawyer, Ryan Berkowitz, to talk about the following story.

"In 2006, Cathleen Schandelmeier-Bartels was working as a cultural program coordinator at the South Shore Cultural Center, a Chicago Park District facility. Schandelmeier-Bartels alleged in the lawsuit that she was fired because she reported to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Service and the police that the 6-year-old's aunt beat him in the park district bathroom."

Let me get this right....a white lady reports a whupping because she does not believe spankings are necessary. She gets fired because she believes she reported the ass whupping, which her superior told her was a black thing. She sues the center and wins because the jury sides with her on whuppings and thinks race played a factor. Where do I even start :-)?

My Thoughts - I'm from the old school where if you acted a fool in public, then not only did your parents get in your ass but so did the neighborhood. Also in school, teachers were allowed to hand out whuppings if yo' ass got out of line. But somewhere along the trendy 90s, it became taboo to hit children. People crying "It's not right to hit kids", "No hitting", or some other bullshit like that. Then when that same child, whose only form of punishment as a youth was time-out or no TV, turns into a good for nothing-bad grades getting-parent back-talking, couch-sleeping, lazy muthafucka, who's to blame? Why the parents of course.....

The writing on the wall was there for the kid in this article. Written up six times in ONE summer for bad behavior. If the boy's mother is sending backup to handle this, you know it's a wrap for him. The aunt did what I would do with my own son (which I have), which is take him somewhere supposedly private, and get "handle business."

As for the race thing, I hate the center played that card. It's not so much a race thing because I know plenty of black parents that do not believe in spankings and plenty of white parents that do believe in spankings. It's more how one person was raised versus the other. Like Chris Rock, I'm not saying you should put a belt to a child's behind but if he/she is out of control then "I understand."

The fact that this lady copped 200K for this is unfuckingbelievable. But then again, about 20 years ago, a lady won a suit against McDonald's for spilling hot coffee on herself because she said the coffee was too hot. And the jury believed her....Go Figure.

Today's Lesson

There are some ignorant people in this world. I would say that this lady is one but considering she bagged 200K for snitching on her peers, the only ignorant ones are the people running the center for allowing this to happen. Next time, have evidence ready!

Secretly I hope that 6 yr old turns into a hoodlum and robs this lady at gunpoint, screaming "Remember when you said don't spank me muthafucka, well what about now? Gimme the Loot". Betcha she'll wish that aunt would have continued LOL.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Dear Honest Man

Ok, I've been getting requests to speak on certain topics and the Honest Man is about keeping his readers happy. So starting today, the Honest Man welcomes you to send all topic requests and questions to the following addy:


From time to time, I will do a reader's choice post and post a topic that has been requested by you. If you have comments yourself, also add them and I will include it. And obviously I will give my take on the situation ;-).

I can't promise you fame. I can't promise you money. But I can promise you the Honest Man will answer your questions as the honestly as the only way the Honest Man can. Now CAN YOU DIG IT....SUCCKKKAAA

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Songs in the Key of the Honest Man's Life - Rubberband Man

I'm from the South. Growing up, the only way I knew about artists like Big Daddy Kane, Eric B. & Rakim, Tribe, etc was through TV. On the local radio, you were always going to hear stuff like Poison Clan, 12 Gauge, 69 Boyz, and of course Uncle Luke. But as the new millenium kicked off, Southern rap was getting more mainstream play, no longer treated like a red headed stepchild (whatever that means).

When TI dropped this gem earlier this decade, I was like OMG. It took me back to rolling out with my high school patnas, just hearing that real straight Southern I'm on my grind, I don't give a shit about you, I'm getting mines type music. I literally wore rubberbands at work the next day to purposedly drawn attention to myself. And they asked why the Rubberbands, I promptly replied "they representing the struggle Mane." Get yo' mind right!

TI - Rubberband Man

Honest Man Heartbreak

"Called up my girl and said
Meet me on the tour
I got a suite cold chillin' on the 50th floor
And i'll leave your ticket at the door
And baby... don't forget the pumps

She lost her backstage pass and the room key
Then got stopped by hotel security
And i spent the whole night lonely
And it was a hotel heartbreak (ahhhhh)" - Michael Bivins off "NE Heartbreak"

Do you recognize that verse above? It's the title song from the classic New Edition album "N.E. Heartbreak". For you young people out there, no New Edition isn't a new group that used the same album title as Jagged Edge. It's the other way around jabronis. Anyway, hearing this song makes me reminisce on my own Honest Man Heartbreak. And as you'll soon learn, my chick didn't get stopped by security but I definitely spent the whole night lonely.

Houston. 2000. Just got paid, Friday night, party hunters, I'm feeling right (ok I'm getting too much R&B nostalgia). Anyway, me and my mentor/rolling partner are plotting how to spend our evening. Since we both worked downtown, we decided we were going to hit a few bars up first to see what was cracking. The eventual goal was getting to this live music spot called Harlon's to see if we could make a difference in some young tenderoni's life (there I go again).

The best way to describe Harlon's is it's a bar/restaurant/live music stage/club. It can be any one of those things at any time, which can make it complex for folks. At the time, it was one of the spots where you find a mix of corporate negros and Silky Johnson's of the world. We decided to go that night because the NBA players were having a mini-function next door and we figured the odds were in our favor that we could pick up some of the crumbs the players didn't want. At least that was the plan.

When we get to Harlon's, the scene is thick. It's brought out all the dimes in Houston. Expected because some of them are golddiggers waiting to give some ballplayer their Lucky Charms and hopefully get the ultimate goal of getting that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Me and my boy walk in confident, head to the bar, cop some more drinks, and observe the room. I spot a few shorties in the corner and I don't know if the liquor was talking but damn they were looking like En Vogue. We decide to make our move but as we're walking towards them, they immediately get up and go the other direction. I'm like damn, I hope my breath doesn't smell like old bus seats, and pop some Trident in. We continue towards the females and see they are gathered around someone. That someone was Magic Johnson.

Magic's sitting there signing a lot of female autographs and the girls are just salivating over him. When I tapped one of the girls, she just gave me the look, and flipped back around. I heard one of the girls say that 'Ooh Magic is soo fine.' In hater form, I say within earshot, "This don't make no muthafuckin sense. This dude has got the friggin disease and these broads are willing to give up the drawers to him still. I'm clean as a whistle and I can't get no play. Oh Helll naww...." I mean think about that. I'm in my early 20s, my sexual prime, my clothes match, I got a job, I don't live with my mama, I don't have kids BUT I can't beat out an overweight, retired, HIV carrying NBA player. Humble pie, thy is my master.

Side note: The Honest Man also later in the evening was beaten out for another shortie by the past his prime, the new overweight lover in the house, the artist formerly known as the Reignman, but now was known as the ThunderMan (because of the weight) aka Shawn Kemp. That just added more hater heat to the fire.

So how did this movie end? Do you really need me to spell out? Let's just say I took a very angry cold shower when I got home. It was indeed a Honest man heartbreak (ahhhhh).

Today's Lesson

It doesn't matter how tight your game is. If you go up against a very famous celebrity or athlete for a shortie, you losing. Now let me go continue to sip on my haterade. HIV my ass......

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Maybe it's just me.....

"Maybe it's just me" - Chris Rock

Did you ever see the Chris Rock special Bring the Pain? One of the segments, he talks about people willing to place on everyone but themselves. He focuses on one celebrity in particular, mentioning how he blamed everyone for his troubles. After a while, Rock says this hilarious line "At some point, you have to look in the mirror and say maybe it's just me." You're wondering where I'm going with this and I have a story that fits this line.

One day at work, I was sitting and chatting with two co-workers. The background is that one is a black female, mid-40s, has 3 kids, and her oldest is a junior in high school. The other is a white female, early 50s, has 2 kids, and youngest daughter is the same age as me. Anyway, we were talking about the black female's oldest daughter and her post high school career. She mentioned her daughter was looking at colleges but her choices (Stanford, NYU) were pretty expensive. She didn't know how her and her husband were going to be able to afford school.

The white female chimes in about her daughter's experience, mentioning they went through the same thing. She made a point about the black kids in her daughter's class raking in like over a 100K in scholarship money. She continued saying that although they got the money, in reality they only needed about 70K of it. She threw in that since she and her husband made so much money, it priced their daughter out of getting scholarships. She said it was unfair that all the black kids got this money, don't need the entire amount while the white kids have to scrap for a few coins.

My first thought was to say "What the fuck are you talking about?" But you know being a corporate Negro, I gotta play the game, and channel my inner Puffy. I should also point out that the black female agreed with this lady's logic, which further had me going apeshit mentally. But I say all this to say, the white lady was blaming everyone instead of saying "maybe it's just me."

Calm, cool, and collected, I gathered myself to explain to both these ignoramuses what's really poppin in the (academic) streets. I told them what my mother made me do. She sat me down at 15, said straight up, I cannot afford to send you to a private college. So unless you are happy with attending a state school, I strongly advise you to start looking for scholarships. She dropped me off at the library one day and I found this thick ass book on scholarships. It had scholarships for everything. Left footed and right handed. CHECK. Black and Catholic. CHECK. Played soccer and maintained a 3.5 GPA. CHECK. Think Bojangles is the greatest chicken on earth. DOUBLE CHECK. Ok I made that last one up :-).

I spent my high school junior year applying to scholarships. Obviously I did not win every single one. But let's put it this way. My college tuition was 14K a year at the time. My scholarships totaled 18K. Do the Math and wonder where my money went. And the award for Greatest Hustla of all time goes to............

I simply asked the white female did her daughter research scholarships in high school. And of course, this dumb expression comes on her face, like I didn't know those existed back then. And like I said her daughter was the same age as me and had more access to better resources because she lived in a large city. So don't give me that bullshit that black kids are taking away money from these white kids. Because if I really want to pull cards, we can talk about a certain 400 years of strife that these white kids' descendants enjoyed ;-).

Today's Lesson

So what did we learn today kids? I like to use a good phrase from a very wise man. Winners win, Losers lose. Stop making excuses about what you can't do. And start making moves from what you can do.

Man I'm feeling myself on that above paragraph ;-). But like a rhinoceros, my speed is prosperous, and pure knowledge expands from my esophagus. Oh I did it again LOL

Friday, March 6, 2009

Beware of a Hungry Girl

Are you familiar with the term freshman 15? It's what they tell incoming college students about how much weight they should expect to add during their freshman year. Well that rule applies actually throughout college and post college as you see plenty of folks, including yourself putting on extra luggage. Well today, I'm going to discuss another term called Hungry Girl. The term is pretty self explanatory and it was coined by one of my boys. Sadly, the term came about from me dating a female that turned into this phrase and I'm going to share my story today.

Back in college I was dating this girl and apparently she had been putting on some pounds. I say apparently because I was not aware of it but my homeboys were. My roommate was like man, your girl is turning into a Hungry Girl. Of course, I'm angry and sensitive to those words so I'm like you do not know what you are talking about trick. you just a hater. He tried to break it down to me, saying all 'I'm saying is everytime she come over here now, our food supply be going down like crazy.' He was like 'look at those donuts you bought. Them joints is almost full of crumbs.' Still unconvinced and trying to save face, I'm like 'Man she doesn't like what they serving in the cafeteria.' His eyes got real big, this devious smile comes across his face and he's like 'Alright let's put it to the test. Let's see if she is hungry.' He was going to test and prove his theory.

So this was the plan. My roommate and I would order a pizza, eat the whole thing between ourselves, and leave the empty box on the bed. I also would call ole girl to come over later to kick it, and like a mouse to cheese, we were going to see if this mouse would take this cheese. Keep in mind, I specifically asked her if she had eaten already before she came over and she said yes, just finished eating and is full. That was approx. 5:45pm. She comes over around 6:15pm, with both my roommate and I there. She sees the box and for the first 15-30 mins she was cool. But out of nowhere "Do you guys mind if I have some pizza?" If you could have saw the expression on my roommate's face, it was priceless. This mofo seriously was trying to hold himself together from dying of laughter. And me, I'm just in a state of shock, like this chick really is indeed a Hungry Girl. And what it worse when she opened the box and saw it was empty. It was like her dog had died. Maaannn how could it be, some food took my girl from me, now that she is gone, I'm so alllll alone, man my girl is Hun-gry (UHHHHHHH)

Today's Lesson

I know I am going to Hell for this and I plead with God to have mercy on me LOL.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Songs in the Key of the Honest Man's Life - Through The Wire

The self-proclaimed Louis Vitton Don has cranked out hit after hit since he hit the scene in '02. Back then he was cocky, confident, Rocafella member that loved his mama. Now's he's a cocky, confident, Rocafella member that loves his mama and has a horrible hairdo (the shag was retired with New Edition and should stay that way).

Anyway, back when this song dropped, I was working in an on-call role and working on my master's degree. One particular semester, I was taking Financial Management II and we had this big Final that involved me calculating like crazy. I popped this Kanyeezy joint in the deck on my way to class and got super crunk in the car. During the exam, I just kept playing this song in my head and got crunk, tapping my feet on the ground. Yeezy, I cant hate on you for 808s because if you hadn't drank that boost for breakfast, I wouldn't have gotten that A. God Bless You!

Kanye West - Through the Wire

Monday, March 2, 2009

Blame it on the al-al-al-al-alcohol

"Blame it on the Goose, got you feeling loose (loose) Blame it on Petron, Got you in the zone Blame it on the a-a-a-a-a-a-a-alcohol Blame it on the a-a-a-a-a-a-a-alcohol Blame it on the Vodka, blame it on the Henny Blame it on the Blue Tap, gotcha feeling dizzy Blame it on the a-a-a-a-a-a-alcohol Blame it on the alcohol" - Jamie Foxx

I was torn between entitling this Post the aforementioned name or Another Songs in the Key of the Honest Man's Life. The reason was a complex one. Right now Jamie Foxx's new joint "Blame it on the Alcohol" is my new music crack. I wake up rushing to turn on MTV Jams, hoping they will play the video. I actually do a Honest Man no no and listen to the radio (another time, another rant), hoping to catch it playing. Doesn't that scream Tyrone Biggums?? What makes this bananas is that I have not been a fan of his music. But that hearing that song, just makes me think about how I used to be once I had the devil's nectar in me. And I definitely blame some of my past behavior on the al-al-al-al-alcohol.

1999. New Year's Eve. Atlanta, GA aka Hotlanta. Me and my boys decide we are going to ring in the new millennium at Club Esso's. Now my details of that entire evening are fuzzy for obvious reasons. But I do remember a few things. I remember beforehand, the club promoter charged us $35 at 9:30pm to get in. I remember him saying there was going to be a food buffet around 3:30am. I remember Jodeci's "Come and Talk to me (remix)" playing as we walked in. And I remember making a b-line to the bar to get crunked up. After that, that's when things get interesting.

I do not remember any song playing after that Jodeci song. I do not remember talking to any folks while I was there. I do remember being on the dance floor for what seemed an eternity, dancing with all kinds of shorties. But what I also remembered would haunt me for years.

Around 11:50pm, the DJ starts letting folks know that 2000 is almost here. Me and my boys are on the dance floor, doing our usual cut a rug number. At approximately 11:57, the following happened: they started playing Prince's "1999", two of my boys partnered up with two dope shorties (or at least they were in my drunken state) and I was temporarily by myself. Jealous, I also cop a female to get my dance on because I didn't want to feel left out. I remember one of my boys just completely fucking up the countdown (he shouted 10, 8, 1, 4, 7, 3, etc). When the DJ screamed HAPPY NEW YEAR, I saw my boys starting kissing their dance partners on the floor. Again, feeling left out, I did the same thing to my partner. However, I thought something was afoul and not my breath from drinking so much. This chick's breath smelled like bad Spaghetti O's and when I pulled back, I got a good look at her. I'll be damned if she didn't look like Grimace from Ronald McDonald, gap teeth for days! I quickly halfway sobered up and started doing my best moonwalk outta there. She was like "Where you going" and I'm like "umm, I need to find my ride" or some shit like that.

Man you would have thought that drunken encounter was like an alcoholic's version of Scared Straight. I just know for the next hr or so, I tried hard to get that horrible scenario out of my head. Thank goodness I didn't pull a Best Man ala Q and Shelby. But at least Shelby was a looker. This chick was a boogabear. And no, I am not apologizing for that. Indeed Blame it on the al-al-al-al-alcohol.

Today's Lesson

There will be times in your life, where you will blame it on the rain, the alcohol, whatever. That night, I definitely blamed it on the Henny that got me feeling dizzy.