Guest Blogger: A Not-So-Short List of Rules on Interacting with Short Ninjas

[Admin Note: Today we hand over the carpet to VSB commenter, Dara Mathis. Be nice, and enjoy!]

five_tiny_ninjas_by_ihni-d3hhsirNote: I fully expect PJ or Champ to pepper this with short jokes. I’m ready. (PJ Note: No.)

The first and last time I almost punched a white woman, she had it coming. (I know that 99.9% of black women can beat me up, which is why I specified the race. There would’ve been no punch attempts on a Michelle Obama).

(PJ Note: Okay, I’ve got one comment…that opening line was everything. If this blogging thing doesn’t work out, she should consider writing a book and starting it with that line. It has to be used somewhere; an album cover, a bar mitzvah program, old Civl Rights literature. El fin.)

I was taking my final tour as a grad student through my university’s book store, when the store manager stopped in front of me. I was almost 25 and she was fairly middle aged, dressed in an appropriately old lady suit with a skirt.  She proceeded to lose her mind. Maybe it was the backpack slung over my shoulder or the lack of makeup on my face. Either way, something foolish possessed this woman.

She crouched before me with her hands on her knees, until her face leveled with mine, as if she were my first-grade teacher. A molasses smile spread across her face and she drawled, “Can I help you with something, dear?” (Why yes, ma’am, you can help me with deez nuts!) I had not asked her for assistance or even glanced in her direction.

I told her no. Punching a university employee might put my graduation at risk, so I held back. Most students on campus were adults. She had no reason to think I was a child or treat me like one. But I knew why she insulted me like that; I’m 4’10” and I’ve been shortchanged on respect my entire life.

Ignorant as she was, it is only a drop in the bucket of ridiculous behavior I’ve witnessed. Short people (especially black ones) are supposed to be witty to fend off jokes that are not really jokes. I’m no Kevin Hart. So I have mastered my fake laugh, but still give people the benefit of the doubt. I like to think that folk forget how to treat short adults because they have no home training. My mama gave me plenty, though; consider this my each one teach one. If you’re looking to date, wife, cuff, befriend, or not get shot by chill with a short ninja, here are a few ground rules.

  1. Do not pick up and carry/body slam/tickle a short person. Don’t do it! They don’t care if you can bench press them (yes, someone actually said this to me), and they don’t need a demonstration. Bruh, if you want to show me how strong you are, help me move my living room furniture around, so I know it’s real. It impresses no one when you pick up humans the size of a 9-year-old and strut. And you might get assaulted once you put them down. It’s not safe.
  2. Shorty or Shawty is not the default short girl’s name. Non-negotiable. You are far dumber than you think you are if that double entendre makes you feel clever.
  3. Make no assumptions about their bedroom prowess, like: “Oh, I don’t date short girls because their box can’t take all this,” or, “Short guys can’t handle all this donkey. You need to be 6-feet-and-taller to ride.” First off, whenever someone refers to their body parts as “all this,” it’s seldom “all that” anyway. Second, the horizontal hustle does not come with height requirements. Vag to height correlation is a myth. People of all sizes, can, um, get it in.
  4. “You mad low to the ground” will not work as a pick up line on short women. Nor will any other insult compliment about being short. Conversely, for short men, telling women that you’re long where it counts only makes it sound like you have a Napoleonic penis complex. Approach like you’re not height-conscious and it won’t force others respond in kind.
  5. Stop treating shortness like a disease. It’s cool if you prefer not to date short people. But the sound effect “Ugh!” preceding “I don’t date short ninjas” implies that there is a value deficiency in being short. There isn’t, by the way. Short ninjas deserve respect, too, even if you’re too tall to see them from up there.
  6. If you live with a short ninja, let them keep their dignity and wait until they ask you for help. My husband is 6’2” and has a “three strikes” rule before he reaches over my head and hands me the plate I was jumping for. But he lets me try and I appreciate that.
  7. And finally, never ever, ever, ever crouch down (hands on your knees) and tell a short person “get on my level,” or some other condescending bull better left repeated 50 times on a Trillville song. Trust me.

Following the above instructions may or may not snag you the short ninja of your dreams. But it’ll certainly save you the embarrassment of being coldcocked by someone who is the legal height of a Little Person. Govern yourselves accordingly.

-Dara Mathis

Dara Tafakari Mathis is a freelance editor who secretly counts the dots in your ellipses to make sure there are only three. She writes about life, race & culture, and nerd activities on her blog daratmathis.wordpress.com. You can tweet her @dtafakari.

She Just Needs To Kiss More Frogs

[Admin Note: Today I'm handing the dais off to the home, S. Malik Husser. He wrote here once before and was a host with me on the now defunct Blaqout radio show on Blis.fm. Please welcome the homey to the podium. Be kind. Play nice. - PJ]

kissing-frogsI write this for the guy who wasn’t the star athlete in high school.  Who was class president in college, instead of the popular frat guy.  This is for the very smart brother who isn’t seen as the cool kid, but definitely cool in his own right.  

(PJ Edit: I happen to know Mr. Husser really well. He was both the class president and in a frat. I’m not saying, but I’m saying. I’d also wager that the class president is likely a very popular person. That’s just me speaking though. Malik, I’m looking at you.)

Just an all around great guy who likes a girl, but she’s just not that into you.  Matter of fact, she doesn’t even know you exist.  Why? Because you aren’t the shiny new object in the club, spraying champagne, with the latest (place name brand here) belt or hat, which could potentially be fake, because, well, bootlegging is real out here.  Or because you choose to invest your money into actual assets instead of financial liabilities, like high-end cars, aimless nights partying, or people that you won’t remember next week.

(PJ Edit: I’ve never attempted to spray champagne on anybody in the club. It seems like a great idea for a video but a terrible idea in practice. Ain’t no woman who isn’t being paid to be there who is going to take too well to getting sprayed. Plus, there’s no coming back from that. You’d have a problem on  your hands that even Olivia Pope couldn’t fix.More  plusses, have you seen champagne prices at clubs? Real talk, in DC at this club called Opera, there is a $75,000 methuselah bottle of Ace of Spades on the menu. NOBODY CAN DRINK THAT. But for $75K, we are gonna try like Frank Ocean does.)

Here’s the thing, she’s not into you, because she can’t see you. And the reason she can’t see you is because all she can see is green…frogs that is. (yeah, there was a double meaning there).

However, even though that’s the case, she’s still beautiful.  She’s still sexy…and from afar, she’s inconceivably witty.  She’s always laughing, and it seems like she’s always having a good time with all the cool kids, at the coolest parties.  Crazy thing is, you are there too, at the same events and same places.  But like in high school, her clique doesn’t recognize you, UNLESS you are IN their clique.

(PJ Edit: The best way to counter this is to walk around singing, “ain’t nobody f*cking with my clique, clique, clique, clique, clique…” as this will make people immediately attempt to observe your clique.)

Regardless, she still holds your attention.  No matter how many times you see her out with a different man about town, you still see her as YOUR Elizabeth Taylor.   Unimagined beauty, that’s timeless.  You can’t take your eyes off of her.  You’ve even made eye contact once…well, you thought you did.  

Still you hold on to hope.

(PJ Edit: This is that Obama stuff. Meanwhile, I’m going on three days of being temporarily fired. Hope deez.)

As you should.

Because in truth, this is her journey, and if you really want her to SEE you, she has to have these experiences. However, you too must walk your own road.  So what you don’t fit into her world.  You are building your own universe.  So what she isn’t paying you any attention, now. It’s not until she’s kissed enough frogs that she will ever realize it.

If all she knows are frogs, how are you to expect her to recognize a prince?  You can’t very well walk around wearing a crown and then tell her fix her hair in its reflection.  After all, you aren’t Jay Z (no hyphen).

Let her continue upon her path.  Jumping from lily pad, to lily pad, living the pond life.  After a while, she’ll be exhausted from all of the aimless jumping.  And when she’s looking for a reprieve, she’ll notice that there’s a bridge over her moat that leads to a very immaculate structure. 

It is then when you’ll find out first hand whether she is your princess.  Whether she is actually more than the life of the party….or was she just the party.  Her beauty is still inextricably in tact, but come to think of it, Elizabeth Taylor was married 8 times. (Who was number 8??  Geez..)

So, I say to you my fellow unassuming, charming geek that the prom queen never notices.  Let time take its course.  And allow her frog kissing to commence.  In the meantime, walk your journey and watch your path unfold.  In the end, if it’s time she needs to earn the lenses to see your beauty, than time she should have.  It’s her decision how she ends up. 

(PJ Edit: Let’s keep it 100. We outchea kissing frogs too. Some of us are kissing actual frogs. I see WSHH.)

And based on this theory…..Rihanna still has time to finally SEE me one day.

So what say you? Good advice? Bad advice?

-S. Malik Husser

The Nudie Trinity

Today at VSB, we’re relinquishing the podium to a new name on the street, the blogless wonder and 3q97wvhomey Sasha Elaine. After a spirited debate about nude pics, I told her she should just write a post about them. Lo and behold she did. Heeeeeeeeeere we go. Welcome to the floor, Sasha Elaine!

Every few months there is a Twitter debate about nude photos. Men and women, Deloitte employees and the ratchet alike (although the two aren’t mutually exclusive), discuss what I call the Nudie Trinity:

§  Should women send men naked photos?

§  Do women appreciate unsolicited penis pictures?

§  Are women who send nude photos putting themselves at risk to never becoming FLOTUS?

Honestly, we could settle this all by having a panel sponsored by Dark N Lovely featuring Cornel West and never have this convo again. But right now I still think those folks are talking about the Black women and marriage crisis, so until they’re off that…

Ladies, in most cases*, it makes little to no sensefor you to send someone a photo of yourself entangled in sheets while you’re biting on your index finger, freshly coated in a zebra and glitter design you borrowed from a YouTube tutorial.

One of three things could happen:

1.       You take an AMAZING photo that makes you look like a cross between Stacey Dash and Nicole Behari with a pinch of Gabrielle Union. What does any self-respecting man do with a banging photo of a Dash/Behari/Union mashup? SHOW EVERYONE, DUH! And you know, with GroupMe, Twitter, mass text messaging apps, Google Hangouts, and the NSA (I KNEW Scandal was real life!!), it’s not a good look. There’s nothing awesome about showing up at a happy hour, meeting a man who says “You look familiar… wait do you have a strawberry on your inner left thigh? I knew that was you!” Not like that has happened to me before. (Panama Note: Ain’t nan’ man gon’ show pics of his woman. He may, however, show pics to folks of women he’s just smashing that he doesn’t care about. Chances are, he won’t even share pics of exes. The private stash is real.)

2.       You take a HORRIBLE photo that makes you look like you just returned from Coachella, extremely sleep-deprived with raccoon eyes. What does any self-respecting individual do with a photo of a nude zombie who thinks she’s sexy? MAKE IT A MEME AND SHOW EVERYONE, DUH! The next thing you know, your photo has made its way to BuzzFeed or at the very least the inbox of every Que in the Chi Zeta Lambda Eta chapter. You’re officially known as the “#RememberThatGirlThatReggieWasSmashingWhoseEyesWereCrossedInThatOnePhoto” Girl. (Panama Note: Ladies, I’m not completely sure what a horrible nude photo looks like. If you think you have one, send it on so that I can see what this actually looks like. Ktxbi.)

3.       You take an AVERAGE photo, and well… then you’re the girl who took an average nude photo. Who wants to look average when they’re naked? And wasn’t the purpose to turn him (or her) on? Still a loss. (Panama Note: This is almost never the case. I can’t ever remember a man saying, “awww, shucks…she just sent me an average picture of her boobs…I could have had a V8.” Women always need V8. I’m not even sure men drink that sh*t. We’re just happy we got a boob shot.)

For the fellas… who told you that women enjoyed pics of a lonely, (typically) erect penis? Who was the first man to do this? Who started it? Interestingly enough, most men are under the impression that a penis alone is enough to get a woman’s jets going. For some reason, men rarely send full body naked photos. Just the penis. Here’s my real question: what’s the expected response? “Ooh, I’m on my way over. Keep it up! Literally!” Guys, when you send a naked photo, women are forced to awkwardly reply:

1.       Please don’t send me your genitalia.

2.       Oh… ok. That’s what’s up.

3.       What’s that?

*Note: It’s probably ok to send your husband/wife a naked photo. If word gets out that you sent your hubby a photo, then… your nickname will be “ReggiesAmazingWife”.

So what do you think? Is it ever a good idea to send a naked pic? Is it not that big a deal? Have any fun stories re nudie photos? Where do you stand on the nude selfie?

-Sasha Elaine

Debate Deez: The Five Most Annoying Debating Tactics In The History Of Debate Podiums

[***Y'all will have to forgive us for yesterday. Apparently our host got attacked by terrorists or some such f*ckery and nobody using our host was able to log into their WP accounts until mad late. At which point Panama said, "f*ck it"the-great-debate. Well, today, we're letting VSB legend, Cheekie, come thru and spread love the Brooklyn way. We'd let her do it the Chi-town way, but somebody might get shot then. Shots fired. Triple entendre, don't even ask me how. So without further ado, the floor belongs to the cheeks.***]

So, I be debating in these streets. And I enjoy it, thusly. Seriously, I love to debate for the sake of debating. Not because I want to change my opponent’s opinion (this mission is as futile as me trying to jump into freeze frame in real life as they did in 80s sitcoms, but still, I rise), but because I genuinely enjoy the discourse with someone who doesn’t share my opinion. It’s an adrenaline rush. A long one (heh), too. Apparently, the “gotta have the last word” is a Leo thing and it takes a lot for me to let sleeping dogs lie. #StayWokeDawg

Because of this, I’ve developed a few pet peeves when it comes to debating others. These are the things folks say in rebuttal, but in a “bringing a knife to a gun fight” manner WHILST puffing out their chest as if they brought an AK-47. So, without that ninja Adieu popping up to say anything further, I’m gonna to list ‘em for ya:

1. “I have a right to my opinion.” 

Often said when I disagree with someone. Um, yes, booboo, we know you do. Know what I didn’t do, though, by disagreeing with your opinion? TAKE AWAY your right to yours. For the 50-leventh time folks (especially ya’ll in the back row), if I disagree with you, that is not taking away your right to your opinion, it’s using my own right.  Capiche? Quiche. Also in this same vein: “I have freedom of speech.” You GO BOY/GIRL. But, I ain’t the gubment. Thus, I can sh*t on your speechy freedom as I dayum well please. Because I am doing, what again, class? Class: USING MY OWN RIGHT. *clap clap clap*

2. “Only SOME do this, NOT ALL.” 

Chile. I think Panda-Panama wrote an entire post on this in the past, but in the spirit of being truthful, this IS in my top five of debate tactic pet peeves. So, I gotta speak my piece in order to maintain peace. Wait, what? Anyway. For some reason, generalizations ain’t what’s sizzling on these boulevards. And I get why, I really do. We are not a monolith, blah blah skippy. However, generalizations are necessary sometimes. Yes, necessary. Because what we can’t do is note every single instance in which our claim has occurred. I mean, do I gotta be like, “ONLY the 56,48484.54 men I have encountered have approached me on some street harassment steez” or can I assume readers have common sense and will read “Men engage in street harassment” and — by default — realize it only applies to the specific men who have engaged in such behavior? I be TRYING to achieve the latter, but alas…

3. “Agree to disagree.” 

Now, this is my Lioness roaring again, because I do acknowledge that sometimes this is necessary. However, it’s oft-abused like a mug. So, while the term itself doesn’t particularly annoy me, it’s the manner in which it’s used: to have the last word, which, by default, MUST mean you have won. “Agree to disagree” is the end of the discussion and if you say this right after you have said all you need to say on a matter, you can smugly claim victory. Except not. But, folks do this sooooooo often and I be mad. Q: You mad? A: Yup.

4. “You just a hater./Why you hating?” 

This is usually uttered when discussing a famous entity, even when you have a legit gripe about them. Lemme tell you something. Numero uno, someone has to be in the position to be hated on, in order for me to hate on them. Gotta get that outta the way as folks STAY claiming we’re hating when… girl wut… why???? Further, just because I have one not-so-glowing thing to say about someone doesn’t mean I hate them. It just means I know they ain’t perfect. The problem is… some folks don’t get this. It’s a low down dirty shame. Whew.

5. “You’re comparing apples to oranges.” 

Another actually-necessary phrase that is oft-abused. And to use an example, I’mma bring up old sh*t (but not really, as it’s still an ongoing argument, in general). So, Panama (hey boy hey!) and I had this forever-and-a-day argument about how men are hypocrites for calling women hypocrites for liking “Scandal.” The menfolk (remember: NOT ALL! tee hee) came to a consensus that women are hypocrites for enjoying the drama within “Scandal” while hating cheaters in real life. And I used the example of how men love “The Wire” yet wouldn’t necessarily love the violence that came with it… in real life. I said that both occur for sheer entertainment, and it’s okay. It really is! He said I was comparing “apple to oranges.” NO SIR. Yes, the specific situations may be different in that women are more vocal about cheating, but the concept is exactly the same! Which is what I’m comparing. The concept that just because we are entertained by something in fiction, that doesn’t mean we condone such an act in real life. If we can’t separate the fact that even though it’s entertaining, Olivia Pope is a cheater (and we hate cheaters), then ya’ll can’t separate the fact that even though it’s entertaining, Stringer Bell, Avon Barksdale, an’nem facilitate in killing the community, including the kiddies (and ya’ll surely hate that if you have a heart, Five Heartbeats). Apples and oranges may be different in taste and color, but they still both fruit. (Manager’s Note: Did this motherlover really just come into my motherf*cking establishment and take as hot at me on a guest post I allowed to happen? Oh. Yes. Carry on. – Panama)

Woo, followed by… sahhhhhh.

Aiight, VSB fam, what other debates tactics annoy you? Do any of the above annoy you or do you think they’re valid? Speak (or debate) on it.

(Hey Panama, can I do this alias sign-off thing? It always seemed like fun.)

– Cheekie aka CHEEKS aka BELINDA J. CHEEKINGTON aka DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAWG, SHE GOT CHEEKS

Characters Who Need Spin-Offs

(Today we have a guestposter, Morgan Collins, who I came across via Twitter amid a conversation/debate we were having about Black movies. Please welcome her to the podium with a soul clap.)

tyrone-biggums1Every now and then, a movie or TV show will have a supporting character that keeps our attention as much as the lead does. Here are a few characters I wish we could see more of in their own spin-off or sequel.

Roger from Sister Sister

After Tia and Tamera got boyfriends, went to GA Southern, and turned into some freaks, I still wonder what happened to annoying next-door neighbor Roger Evans? Yes, Marques Houston, the real-life Roger and Jaleel White’s half-brother, if you believe the Internet, went on to work on a solo music career with mild success, but what I still need the type of closure that a singing cameo on the show’s finale episode couldn’t provide. The first revamp of the Roger character that comes to mind is a show in which he helps police catch criminals using the advanced stalking techniques he groomed while living next to the twins, but more lighthearted fare would be better. No, Roger’s show would revolve around his relationship consulting business. Grown-up Roger, after trying to forget has mackless past, now helps other unlucky lovers–with the occasional slip-up. Har-dee-har-har!!!

Gerald from Hey Arnold!

Though Arnold was the coolest 4th grader, Gerald Martin Johansen was a close second, and even the second coolest 4th grader deserves his own show. Why? In addition to being a confidant and wing-man to Arnold, Gerald was the glue to kid culture in his role as the Keeper of the Tale (maybe a tribute to Are You Afraid of the Dark?). Just a little bit of bongo playing and Gerald would recite all of the legends of the hood with a flair deserving of a half-hour show. Imagine a mystery-adventure show in which the legends come to life as crimes. Gerald, the only person who knows the legends like the back of his hand, is forced to solve them and the save the day without messing up his (super) high-top fade.

Tyrone Biggums from Chappelle’s Show

It’s been 10 years since Chappelle’s Show and seven years since the show abruptly ended after host Dave Chappelle’s received a fame reality check. And yet dudes still dress up as Tyrone Biggums for Halloween and sometimes just for an ultra casual Casual Friday. Though Chappelle had many great skits, a few I would argue that are better than the Tyrone series, this loveable crackhead still resonates with us, which is why Tyrone deserves his own feature-length movie. It may seem hard to imagine Tyrone being able to have the desire to do anything that lasts up to 90 minutes other than smoking rock, but as many an episode has shown us, if you give a crackhead the possibility of some rock, he’ll ask you for some hot sauce. Tyrone’s Excellent Adventure would be in the vein of National Treasure, only instead of money, there’s a giant, mythical crack rock hidden in an exotic locale. A repentant fellow crack addict passes on the Legend of the Golden Rock to Tyrone, who sets out on an adventure around the world to find this elusive treasure. Before he can reach it, he has to battle the toughest crackheads in the world and his own inner demons, brought out by his would-be Narcotics Anonymous sponsor played by Andre Royo, AKA Bubbles from The Wire, in an amazing cameo.

Daughter of a Son of a Gunfighter from Django Unchained

Most of the conversation surrounding Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained was about whether it was too racist, too long, or too anachronistic. This thought-provoking dialogue surely made for dozens of well-written pieces of film criticism. But with all this heavy analysis most people skipped over Amber Tamblyn’s brief cameo as the Daughter of a Son of a Gunfighter AKA That Girl In the Bandana. You probably missed this too if you took a quick nap around the time Django was having a good ol’ country shopping spree. Her character’s name is a little long-winded but not the product of a Tarantino cocaine-induced writing binge. Tamblyn’s father, actor Russ Tamblyn, made several westerns for MGM, including Son of a Gunfighter, in which Tamblyn Sr. seeks revenge for his mother’s death. Supposedly intended as an inside joke for Western fans, this was a failed opportunity for an interesting character. It’s not surprising in a movie where all attempts at developing complex female characters were as half-hearted as throwing a tampon into a flood. To make up for this, and to give a job to an actress whose talents are severely underrated, Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants notwithstanding, Tarantino could develop a Daughter of a Son of a Gunfighter TV show. The setup? Think Deadwood meets Xena. The Son of a Gunfighter is on his deathbed, and he needs his daughter to settle some unfinished business, and of course the Daughter will be able to fill his gun holster.

So, what other characters do you think should have a spin-off?

-MORGAN COLLINS

A graduate of The University of Florida, Morgan Collins writes about TV and film at www.nostoryboard.wordpress.com Soon she’ll learn how to write movies and TV shows as a graduate student at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts. She currently lives in Brooklyn. Follow her on Twitter as @mashclash.