Old School Flava: 7/23/2008

Yeah – it’s Wednesday and here I am keeping to a schedule with this Old School Flava.  Don’t get used to it, because it probably won’t last.  As I may have mentioned before – Freedom doesn’t take too kindly to deadlines and schedules.  But, alas, here we are.  Speaking of the dadblaned devil, I failed in my first attempt at thirty (30) straight days of postings.  This post should rightly be entitled “Day One . . . Again”.  I got a bit frazzled over a thing or two, percolated on ’em, then just digressed myself into total anger.  Over.  It’s over now, and we are moving right along.


I was listening to Ramsey Lewis earlier this a.m. and he and his cohort, Karen Williams, began to speak of “playin’ the dozens”.  She proclaimed that she had never heard the term before.  OK, sure.  Ramsey went on to explain that it was originally a game played by Black folks that pitted one against the other in a match of spewing out insults about each other’s family.  Eventually, it became more than just a game, and evolved into an intentional dissing of one’s family, usually leading up to fisticuffs.  The ultimate insult?  “Yo, mama!!” Back then, that might have gotten you a black eye, or worse,a real beatdown.  What about today?  Do you guys still used that phrase?


When my brother, sister and I were young, real young, we would complain about having to eat those yukky vegetables.  The complaining came with every dinnertime meal, as there were always vegetables on the menu.  Of course, the complaints were neither here nor there, since the vegetables were always eaten before anyone arose from the table to go their separate ways.  As we grew a bit, and aged a bit, we all either became more appreciative of the vegetables, or decided that it was useless to continue to try getting out of eating them – whatever the transformation was that took place, we simply ate the veggies and moved along.  As we ventured into our adolescent years, we became familiar with a newer phrase, and I say “newer” meaning newer to us.  It’s a phrase that’s been around for a long time, so says my mom – “You can either eat it or lay your head down beside it!” That was mom’s retort to the complaints of “meatloaf, again?” or, “tuna casserole????”  In recent years, and only recent years, I have heard a few variations on that phrase but the general intent and words remained very close to the way that my mom spit it out.  My kids hear it and crack up.  That phrase, for the uninitiated, translates to “take it or leave it”, but, to this day, I still don’t know its origin.  You think I should ask mom, don’t you?  You think that would be a good idea, I bet.  Yeah, me too.

That’s gonna do it for today.  I’m going to give this thirty-day thingy another try.  It’s really no big deal.  I’ve always believed that any blogger worth his/her “html” and “publish button” should be able to post ad infinitum without very much effort.  After all, it’s what we do, right?  I know for a fact that I bleed html.  Peace.

copyright  ©  2008  freedom


Flava of the Day is “Right Direction” by En Vogue from EV3

11 Responses to “Old School Flava: 7/23/2008”

  1. Talking about someone’s mother will always start a fight. That is the ultimate insult and it ain’t going no where.

    It the food or die . . .(I was raised by my father and those were his words in the clean version)lol. . .comes from being poor and slaving to make your kids a good meal then they turn their nose up at what you provide.
    Hey I have gone on strike and not cooked a a home cooked meal because of ungratefulness until they begged for one. Then they eat everything.

  2. freedom Says:

    Ain’t it the truth! Another one that mom used to said goes along with that: You’ll eat it before it eats you!” Peace.

  3. Goin’ there with the moms was a sure way to lose a tooth. But I’m not so sure that the insult has as much potency now. I mean, even MTV has (or had) a TV show designed to toss out Yo Momma jokes.

    Can’t say I’m too familiar with the food quip.

    Off topic (to an extent) good luck with your thirty day goal. Being prolific on a blog is not always easy. Time is always an issue. Content is not always readily available. Even the angle of thinking necessary to write so much is not always there. So if you fall off the wagon by missing a few days, I don’t think your readers will line up behind your door with torches and pitchforks.

  4. Andre-

    I’m a Philly boy, but, I was born in S.C. and they quips that I could come up with will probably blow your mind. I am trying my darndest to write down all those sayings that my mom has said through the years. It makes for good heritage. My kids soak it up like sun rays.

    I’m a writer, with tons of poetry and working on several screenplays, so, writing “cold” comes easily for me. My biggest problem is that old father time. My PC time is limited right now, with my young’uns home for the summer, sharing one DSL modem. With the kind of encouragement that you and others give, I think I just might make it. Thanks for dropping in. Peace.

  5. I grew up with people saying they played “the dozens” but we called it “crackin'” as in “why you crackin’ on my mama? or “ooh she’s crackin'” on your sister…” Ugh. It sounds so ghetto now. LMAO

  6. freedom Says:

    Yeah, most of what we did or said long ago, now seems strange. You know what I just absolutely hate to hear (now)? “You go, girl!” I think that sounds so “I’m no longer with it”, to me. My sister! If I had buck for every time she’s said in just this year alone . . .Peace.

  7. LOL Hmm… I may have said it once or twice this year. I’ll make a mental note to knock it off. Next time I’ll just say git-git-git it!!! LOL

  8. freedom Says:

    I’m sure that it’s not as weird-sounding as my sister. Peace.

  9. the dozens will never die

  10. The yo mama insults kinda of lost its flare, well unless what the person is saying about your mama is the truth, then their could possibly be a situation that is about to occur.LOL

  11. Yes – the dozens will be around until time immemorial, as it were. When amongst friends, it certainly is a bit of “free fun”. Although “Yo Mama” quips have dissipated, it’s still dangerous ground around my way. Why is it that truth is always more dangerous than fiction? Peace.

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