Theory & Essay

Choices (No Three 6 Mafia)

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Today, let’s share.

Listen up, I got a story to tell.

A couple of years ago, I was faced with a conundrum of epic proportions. The quagmire of race, pride, ethics, morality, justice, and perception came into play. Allow me to re-introduce myself.

One day some years ago, it was raining like one dollar bills in a strip club. Now, had I watched the news, I’d have known this but I’m a straight G. Real G’s don’t watch the news. We create news. Word.Life.

Anyway, it began raining with the force of 20 Christians in a mosque, and I realized that because I’m a G, not only don’t I watch the news, I ALSO don’t roll with an umbrella…ella…ella…aye…aye…aye.


Now, much like any coldblooded mofo that rolls with a basketball, some basketball shorts, and basketball shoes in his trunk is wont to do, I figured that I might have a spare umbrella in my car. I mean, you never know what lies beneath, ya dig? So I rummaged. And I rummaged – all without leaving my actual car. I mean it was raining and I was on my way to work. Heading into the office with some soggy Dockers and a Brooks Brothers original just isn’t the business. It’s straight Yung Berg.

Well, I lifted some papers and moved some weight and lo and behold…an umbrella. Except…

…it was an AKA umbrella.


A few weeks prior, I’d dropped off my AKA homegirl at her home and she’d apparently left her umbrella in my car. Why? No clue. But it was there in its pink and green glory. All waiting to be used for its utilitarian purpose in life. I mean, if you have an umbrella that never actually shields you from rain, is it an umbrella? It’s a philosophical question of sorts.

So, my conundrum. It’s raining typhoon-like outside and I REALLY don’t like get typhooned upon. It’s like getting grey poupon’d on except you will eventually dry at some point. But hell, nobody likes soggy loafers and clothes. And  you can’t do proper business soaked. But it was an AKA umbrella. I, a non-AKA, could not in good conscience go off into the world holding up this AKA umbrella using it to shield me from the rains of the Rain Gods. Could I?

I wavered on this for a solid 20 minutes; so long that I was late to work because I couldn’t decide if I should forego my common sense and Greek-letter knowledge pool and feign ignorance that I just didn’t know better. I mean, a case could be made…it was raining like sh*t.

But I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. I went to an HBCU and I know AKAs. I am not an AKA.

I am sexxy. I am Malcolm X. And I am legend.

But I am not able to use an AKA umbrella sans AKA.

So what did I do? I called in sick and said I’d be in later on drove my happy self to a mall that had a covered parking lot and went to purchase an umbrella.

Straight up now tell me are you really going to love me forever?

Anyway, what would you have done in that situation. Actually, I don’t care that much but I love you like Swizz loves Alicia.

Have you ever been in a situation where your pride forced you to make a decision you didn’t want to make? Have you been in a fight with a midget? (That’s got pride written all over it.)

Let’s talk about pride today people. What situation (no Jersey Shore) has your  pride (and prejudice) put you in?

Let’s share people. Talk to me.

I’ll listen and I’ll love.

And yes Penelope, I did reference Scuttle from The Little Mermaid.


Filed Under:
Damon Young

Panama Jackson is pretty fly for a light guy. He used to ship his frito to Tito in the District, but shipping prices increased so he moved there to save money. When he's not saving humanity with his words or making music with his mouth, you can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking her fine liquors. Most importantly, he believes the children are our future.

  • SimplisElegance

    Oh boy Pride is def my downfall and I can think of sooo many stories…

    However, I’m still trying to decide which one I’m willing to tell and possibly thereby embarrass myself with so I shall be back

    But as always, great post Panama

  • caramel eclair

    LMMFAO at this entire post!!!!! ole farnsworth bentley carrying an AKA umbrella faced azz!!!!! Real Talk I am an AKA shout out to all sorors…and would’ve thought it freakn hilarious but i feel ya…the extreme rain would have shielded you that and you being a non gay dude…lmmfao!
    other choices when out of toilet paper at sum1 elses house do u walk out with pants around ur ankles to retrieve toilet paper from known extra toilet paper space and hope no one sees you, or pull up ur drawers and go get said toilet paper thus gettn BM in ur drawers or bang on door and hope sum1 hears…. Note: i learned to always check for toilet paper before sitting…and note this is a close friends house not some random persons house u taking a dunk at…

  • KaNisa

    Also an AKA so I would have carried that in like whoa…huzzah!

    Honestly though, I still would have carried it in, but only if it was a frat umbrella…could be your sig other’s umbrella…and they could be nearby…

    • Pretty Primadonna

      @KaNisa, Hey Soror! ~waves~

      I agree. Because it was a sorority umbrella and you are a man, you could have played it off like it was your girl’s, a female relative’s, someone. I know I certainly would have used a fraternity umbrella if I had been in that sitch.

      • Lynnette

        @Pretty Primadonna,
        Hey Sorors!! Skee-Wee

  • legitimate_soul

    I’d believe you loved us more if you said how Alicia love’s Swizz, cause any dude that will leave his wife and infant son needs more people. Who says if he produces for Kerri Hilson he won’t do the same thang?……Anywho…

    I understand the dilemma. As a Delta, I understand. Part of my mind says use the daggone umbrella, but I totally get it. I understand that the same way I know anyone who is not a Delta can’t use any Delta cups in my house. I know, it sounds awful. But seriously, get another glass, homie. No, not THAT one.

    Pride will have you broke. Pride has me showing up to my Sand’s children’s birthday parties with a gift even though Auntie Legitimate_Soul might be broker than the Ten Commandements at the time. My family instilled the not coming to anybody’s event or home empty-handed and I still do it. I understand.

    • numbah 5

      @legitimate_soul, man, those little knucklehead’s birthdays, graduations and what not has left me many a day, running to R.ite Aid for a quick card and a $dub!

    • Reecie

      @legitimate_soul, I dig it about the Delta cups. no that or get under my afghan. *serious face*

      This blog reminds me of a story. My mom drove my car to a funeral once and I have a HUGE Delta umbrella in the trunk. Well apparently she used it–and one of my distant cousins rolled up on my moms expressing interest and asking all kinds of questions about Delta! LMAO. my mom was like oh this is Reecie’s umbrella. smh. She made sure she called me to give me the scoop though! I was like mama…but what can you really say to your mama? I laughed because I thought it was pretty funny she got rolled up on real stealth like.

      if I was a guy in Panama’s case I probably wouldve used the org umbrella. I’d use a fraternity umbrella if for no other reason than to keep my behind dry! but another sorority, no sah. LOL

    • Ash


      Also a Delta. Wouldn’t be caught dead walking in with an AKA umbrella (not hating, but…no.) I mean, I will change if I have on pink panties and a green shirt. For real. That’s not really a pride thing, it’s more of a respect thing. I’d be ticked if I saw an AKA carrying something with my letters on it.

      My bff from high school and I went to the same college. I crossed in 04 and was fresh off the sands. We went to the movies together and came out to a torrential downpour. No one had umbrellas, I just had my new, crisp red line jacket. She asked if she could use my jacket to put over her head as she got the car. o__O

      “Naw playa.” I felt bad, but I had just worked so hard for that jacket, I couldn’t let her mangle it! I went and got the car so she didn’t get soaked but she was mad at me for a minute about that. I don’t think she truly understood until a year later when SHE crossed and dared anybody to be all willy-nilly with HER nalia.

      But, pride can be a beast. In my personal life, I can have a hard time admitting when I’m wrong, but I’m trying to get better at it. I see that friends and loved ones (and even co-workers) appreciate it when you own up to your shortcomings. They actually let it go more quickly than if you were to stubbornly assert your correctness.

      • legitimate_soul


        ^Right. I never would use the umbrella either, but I was talking about Panama using the umbrella. It totally agree that it is a respect thing on both ends. Ditto on never wearing pink and green together. I totally feel you on bringing the car to her. I also feel Soror Reecie on not letting anyone other than a Delta use the afgan.

        • Sadé


          OO-OOP Sorors!

  • GinaMarie

    LMAO!!! Man pride is something else! I won’t lie I suffer from it from time to time.

  • Mo

    Yeah, I’m an AKA so that would have been no problem for me. I would have laughed had I saw you with it though.

    Pride comes into play a lot in my office life. You know, everyday decisions like “do I say excuse me and own up to that horrid smell I just let off, or do I walk away and let the dude who uses Tom’s deodorant take one for the team?” Ha! Not that I’m lighting up my office on a regular. I’m just saying…

    • Muze


      okay, this is HILARIOUS. i would say why but i’ve forgotten how many people i’ve told about this site and i don’t want to get in trouble. lol.

      but, thanks for making me laugh.

    • Humble_One

      @Mo & Muze,

      Back in the day me and boys would to this in the club. Walk into a crowded area of the club drop a bomb and then walk away and look at the reaction on everyones faces. LMAO. priceless.

      • SimplisElegance (Formally lh)

        Just horrible

  • Monk

    Not greek…not female…not AKA, but yeah, fugg the shullbit. If in that position, I’d use the portable shelter to get where I was going and could give a fugg less about what any smartass homie wit’ jokes or non-dues payin’ AKA would have to say about it. Especially if it’s one of those big, golf joints that will ensure/insure my dryness. Oh yeah…I’ll use that.

  • Penscribe

    You should have used the umbrella.

    Two questions: How many black people do you work with? On the real, we all tend to be one of few blacks at our jobs. And, as is the case, you don’t have to worry about running into anyone that really knows the significance.

    What’s the likelihood that while walking inside you’ll actually bump into anyone in a monsoon? Zero to none. And, few will take the time to look at your umbrella if it’s raining that hard.

    If you were a woman, I’d understand the dilemma. But, since you’re a dude, most people would just think you’re carrying your girl’s umbrella if you actually ran into. And, since it’s endearing if you’re carrying her purse, holding the umbrella for whatever unknown reason presents no problem.

    This is only a significant issue if you’re not an AK and you’re a black woman.

    • Dee

      @Penscribe, “And, as is the case, you don’t have to worry about running into anyone that really knows the significance.” could tell ‘em some BS and they wouldn’t know any better .

  • Brando

    Karaoke Night.

    Asian club.

    Vanessa Carlton’s “A Thousand Miles”.

    There have been plenty moments where my pride has shut me out of doing something random and completely embarrassing but this night? F*ck it. I Terry Crewes’d the sh*t out of that song. Went word for word and scared everyone in my party about it.

    • StrawberryPoptarts


      *DEAD* … not the Terry Crews reference.

  • lulu

    Man I love Fridays.

    As for pride, let me present exhibit A:

    In my current state of poverty (post-college brokedom), I practice a weird money-saving system by going to the bank and taking out exactly the amount I need to buy the items I need. Using my card is out of the question. Despite knowing my balances at all times to the nearest dime, I still find dumb things to buy— like chocolate. You know, for the feel-good qualities. And I hate to use the ATM because it only dispenses $20s. What if all I wanted was worth $5? You get the idea.

    Anyway, because I’m so embarrassed by my small account balance, I will wait until I get in the hood to go to my bank. Why? Because I figure they’re used to patrons with low bank accounts anyway and mine will not seem so startling.

    I know, I know.. This is crazy to the x power but I have too much pride to visit my bank branch in say Times Square if I’m in the city and need cash. I will go to the Bronx or Brooklyn and if I can’t get there, then I don’t need whatever it was I was trying to buy.

    *hangs head in shame*

    I miss my steady cash flow days.

    • Made In Hawaii

      “…embarrassed by my small account balance, I will wait until I get in the hood to go to my bank. Why? Because I figure they’re used to patrons with low bank accounts anyway and mine will not seem so startling.”

      :) When I was out on my own for the first time, I use to do this same exact thing for exactly the same reason.

    • Muze


      yep, as a former bank employee who worked in one of the nicer areas, i will def say that we do notice when someone comes to withdraw $18 of the $20 dollars in their account.

      …we mostly only talked about the men that simultaneously tried to holla or the extra ghetto people though. lol.

      next time just say, “oh how much is in this account? i only use it for petty spending, so i don’t keep up with it much. i’ll just take $___, not buying much today.” …or some variation.

      this has got to be the #1 statement said by someone juuuust before you pull their $100.30 account balance up. lol. but 2520s believe it because well, that’s what they do. you’re welcome. lol.

      • Yeah…SO!?!

        @Muze, wait… $100.30 is low? I gotta get my isht together!

        • SimplisElegance (Formally lh)

          Haha Ditto

      • lulu


        I already have excuses. Trust me. Lol. I usually make some nonsensical hullabaloo about Chase not being my primary account (if I happen to be in B of A, that is) and vice versa. Then I wave around the appropriate card from the rival institution, make some noise about how I’ll have to close this account since I keep such small amounts in there and then make a quick exit.


        • lulu


          about Chase being my primary bank/account*

    • HUPirate in NY

      And I hate to use the ATM because it only dispenses $20s. What if all I wanted was worth $5?

      I concur. Been outta college for a while and i’m more than likely not on your level of brokedom, but i totally understand this principle of not taking out funds you dont need. Along with some of the other solutions provided, you can always go use your card at like a RiteAid, CVS, pathmark etc. buy some $0.50 gum or BS and get $6(or whatever amount you need) cashback. I hate having to goto ATM’s that arent my bank or taking out way more than I need. Cash back is always a good solution.

    • QueenToBe

      @lulu, I feel you on the “post-college brokedom”. Damn it stings so much. I just opened another savings acct. (because college brokedom forced me to liquidate my last one) with $10. Ten damn dollars, but 0 credit card debt so I guess it can’t be that bad.