Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Man Dingo

I'm an amateur comedian, or, as I like to call myself, One Funny Ass Negro. I don't actually write jokes or perform in clubs. That's for professionals. Instead, I recite the jokes of other professional Negro comedians at opportune times. (There are moments in everyone's life that call for a good Chris Rock joke.) My timing may be a little off or my punch line a little delayed, but I'll make you chuckle, if only out of pity. And that definitely counts for something.

Last night, as I was brushing my teeth, I watched a syndicated episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. The show is a classic example of what my father and Spike Lee would call buffoonery--a stain on the reputation of upstanding Negroes such as myself--but it nonetheless served as my comedic inspiration for the night.

In the episode, Will boasted about his sexual prowess, as he often did: "I'm the Man [comedic pause] Dingo!," he said. "Nah meeean?" I laughed at the cleverness of his pun. There was a small eruption of toothpaste from my mouth, which left little minty blue specks on my yellow couch and my favorite threadbare T-shirt. Mandingo. Good one, Will! Think I'll use that myself.

When My Lady entered from the the bedroom, O.F.A (pronounced o-FAY) Negro jumped on the ever-so-fleeting opportunity to recycle a corny joke. With my head tilted back to prevent drippage of the Colgate Total (Plus Whitening) froth, I gargled, "I'm the Man. Dingo." She looked at me quizzically. I repeated, "I'm the Man,"--drip drip slurp--"Dingo!" No response. My Lady retreated to the bedroom. Either O.F.A Negro was having an off night (which seldom, seldom occurs), or he needed to spit out the four fluid ounces of blue liquid from his mouth in order to better e-nun-ci-ate the punch line.

After a good rinse with tasty Houston tap water, I joined My Lady in the bedroom and said, with perfect diction, "I'm the Man. Dingo. Mandingo! Get it? Will said he was the Man and the Mandingo."

"Huh," she said. "What's a Mandingo?"

Dictionary.com defines Mandingo as a member of the peoples inhabiting the area of the upper Niger River valley of Western Africa. Your Average Negro, on the other hand, defines Mandingo as an African spear-chucker with a dick so long it drags in the sand, or perhaps more aptly, the Quintessential African (whose blog is coming soon).

Our miscommunication was due to the fact that My Lady was not raised by Negroes. She and I are what was once commonly referred to as an "interracial couple." I'm a Negro. She is of an ambiguous background--appearing Puerto Rican, Dominican, Asian or Octoroon depending on the light. In many ways she is more Negro than I, but every once in a while I have to break down the Negro lingo. In those rare instances, Etymologist Negro explains the socio-cultural roots of language so that, should she hear the joke again, she'll be ready to laugh until she makes that crackling sound at the back of her throat. O.F.A Negro is convinced that that's what love is all about. If he's wrong, at least My Lady can call him Mandingo when he comes to bed at night.

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