black comedy

Vacation Rules

Just got some pictures and daguerreotypes back from a week away I spent with the fella’s family.

To be fair, there is a lighthouse in all of my vacation photos from where ever I go.

To be fair, I can’t take a vacation photo that doesn’t include a lighthouse. No matter where I am.

This is a branch of the family he doesn’t talk to or see all that often, so it was a great chance to reconnect. Even better, unlike visiting the distant arms of my RBP family where we literally had KFC for dinner (don’t worry, eating fried chicken on someone else’s dime is one of the exceptions that makes it okay to consume. Still, I didn’t like it), his extended family are the waspiest. They pronounce their “r” as “ah”s, they went to boarding schools, they start drinking at 4 p.m and don’t stop until after midnight. Hashtag heaven.

Of course, I did learn some things on my visit and will share them here. Feel free to use these tips on your next trip to New England. And please feel free to add any of your own.

Do try to date someone who’s family owns a house from the early 1900s. It will go nicely with your chalet.

Don’t continue to date them unless said house is at a cape or in the St. Lawrence River. Easy, land-locked vacations are for the weak.

Do remember to pack Dramamine. You don’t want to look like you’ve never been in an antique Chris Craft before.

Don’t get into the water! Even if the boat capsizes, do not go in! You’re bright. Figure it out. You may float on it, hydroplane over it, or drink next to it. But one drop of natural river water without a tonne of conditioner at the ready and your freshly pressed hair will kink right up and leave you looking like a q-tip. No one can unsee that. Especially wasps.

I don't care how many floaties you have to stuff in that hull. Do not let yourself get wet! (source)

I don’t care how many floaties you have to stuff in that hull. Do not let yourself get wet!

Do laugh at their jokes about how you are the only person of non-European descent who has ever visited the house. It is pretty funny when you think about it.

Don’t be surprised when even though your boyfriend has slept in the main, appointed quarters of the house his entire 4-decade life, he suddenly finds himself relegated to the servants quarters because he’s with you. It’s not personal, they’ve just instituted some new rules….this year. House virgins have to sleep in the servants’ quarters with the peeling paint and mold on the walls. That way they “appreciate it more” next time. You’d do the same with your chalet.

Do use the time to catch up on your reading. Proof is still excellent…or maybe it’s Doubt. I get those confused. You know what, bring both. Also, Faust.

Don’t be surprised when the patriarch of the family hands you a book and says he thinks you’ll love it. Spoiler alert, he’s going to give you a spoiler alert and it will sound like this: “It’s really interesting. It’s about sailors who were shipwrecked and became slaves. But here’s the thing. They were white slaves. White. Slaves.”

Do agree that white slavery is definitely the weirder slavery.

Don’t be surprised that two more days pass before the master and mistress of the house talk to you directly and that it only happens after they find out you ride horses.

Do be prepared to show photos of show ribbons or the conversation will be brief.

Don’t take offense to the hundreds of questions everyone has about your hair when you curl it that one time.

Do not let them touch it. No one needs that can of worms.

Don’t forget to drop words like “Main line,” “Colby College,” and “made pony.”

Do go ahead and answer when your boyfriend’s mom continually calls you by the name of his first black girlfriend.

Don’t correct her. Once it happens five times in a row, it’s just going to be awkward to change the pattern.

Do not hug and kiss goodbye at the end of the trip. That kind of showiness is for Southerners.

Don’t forget about to start planning next year’s trip early! And just wait, you might get moved up to the nice rooms.

What was it like the last time you visited your in-law types? Let us know about it in the comments! 


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Diary of a Mad White Black Woman – Comedy Central Betrayal

Dear Diary,

I have been watching TV and movies for a long, long time. And thanks to the mass distribution of shows like these, these, these, these, these, and these, I have been able to recognize the trouble with being an RBP and have spent a lifetime working against my skin’s desire to force me to like rap, be a magical sage with no interests of my own, die first in conflict (good job newest member of the family: season premier of Alcatraz!) and support Tyler Perry (by the by, the TPSD support group meeting for this week has been moved to room 304). I have spent a good chunk of change wiping the ethnicity out of my hair so as few people as possible insist on singing at me whenever Baby’s Got Back comes on (it happens) and I have eschewed spending time with many an eligible non-white bachelor lest someone ever feel they can refer to me as “gurl.”

And the Comedy Central goes and does this.

This week, the network announced that they picked up another season of the sketch comedy show Key and Peele. The show features two black men doing comedy…and not in obese drag!

No, I don't have an Oreo crush on either of these men. Why on earth would you make an assumption like heyguysi'llbeattheequestioncenterthisweekend ifyou'retheretoonobigdeal

DoubleYew. Tee. Eff.

Just look at these sketches! They’re hilarious and don’t rely on trite racial stereotypes to get their points across.

Comedy Central seems to be ignoring decades of programming done by people who clearly  know what they’re doing. If folks of color could actually display a diverse range of talents, make clever social commentary and have a good time while not speaking Ebonics, don’t you think someone would have figured that out by now?

And…fine, let’s just say that the above statement is correct. That you can be an RBP and also be layered, middle class and appreciate Gordon Ramsey…what am I supposed to do now? Enjoy being of color? Stop feeling ashamed every time I stumble past BET? Believe that comments made by presidential hopefuls about how black people just don’t know how to work hard or maintain a family are, what? Misguided/Incorrect/Totally fucking crazy? Sounds like someone’s really asking for a lot!

This country runs on self-loathing and marginalization. That’s why we have advertising and a political system. Just imagine the chaos if more people of color saw themselves “fairly” represented in film and TV. There are entire political structures built around the assumptions that Comedy Central is busy disproving with every high-quality, well-produced, finely performed sketch on that show.

Well, I hope that the network is ready for the inevitable fallout. I’ve got my eye on them. And just so I can totally enjoy a show that accurately portrays what people of color can bring to the table photograph the lightning when it strikes…I’ll be watching.

Oreo Confessions: I Laughed at This….Maybe Too Much

One of the risks you always run as an Oreo is someone giving you an overly ethnic gift that is hard to justify turning down. Such was the case with the CD with which I was gifted before my flight: W. Kamau Bell’s Face Full of Flour.

At first, I was excited, thinking that maybe this was related to The Bell Curve–a book that is essential reading for an Oreo thanks to its assertions about race and intelligence. **

But ’twas not my fortune. Turns out it was a comedy CD by a black guy. Obviously, I proceeded with caution. The last thing I needed anyone in the airport to hear bleeding from my earbuds was a Chris Rock-esque rant. The airport security scanner may not have gone off when my bag went by on the belt, but my Oreo scanner sure did!

Oreo Approved!


I would have kept it in its place in the bag, except that the inflight movies were all things I had seen a million times. Neverwas, Sound of Music, Match Point. I wanted something new to keep me company.

And so I listened. 

And laughed. A lot.


Scary moment, my friends.  And one that I highly recommend. I mean, how could I stop listening when I heard what he had to say about Tyler Perry, what his wife looks like and his justification for looser gun control??

You can find Face Full of Flour on itunes and Amazon. Get it and listen. Not only because it’s super hilarious funny, but also because if enough non-colors check it out, it definitely won’t be seen as an of color collectable and I can continue to enjoy it unafraid. 

**W. gets points actually for having created a show called “The W. Kamau Bell Curve” that you should also check out if you can!

Check out Bell below. Clip is not totally SFW for language.