In the neighborhood where we grew up, insults served as forms of affection, greeting, farewell and general interaction. This proved to be problematic for me when I went to a mostly white, liberal (read ‘very earnest and sincere’) college in New England, where insults are viewed as insulting, but that’s another story.
One example of an insult as an expression of deep affection was after our ‘uncle’ Sonny died. When I discussed it with my Mom, worried that Sonny might not have made it to heaven (he dressed up and came to church every Sunday, but he usually sat on the front steps smoking during the service), Mom laughed, “I keep seeing him waiting when we walk into heaven and hearing him say, ‘Aw! Now who let YOU in here!?” (Translation: I’m SO happy to see you, get over here and give me a big hug!)
This brings up ‘capping’ and ‘Yo Momma’ jokes. Capping involves trading insults with one or more people. The goal is to 'cap' the other persons joke with an even better one. One of the classic forms of capping is the ‘Yo Momma’ joke. It’s acceptable to dis (disrespect) on how fat, dark, poor or stupid she is. It sounds terrible in the abstract, but in person it’s an art form.
What brings this up is that yesterday I found a “Yo Momma” app that’s just one “Yo Momma” joke after another. Yup, there’s an app for that. Of course, I called my brother and sister right away. No one else would know to laugh when I said, “Yo Momma so stupid she brought a spoon to the Super Bowl.” I told OTRbro about it and rattled off a couple of the jokes. He came back with, “Yo Momma’s so fat, she got on the Greyhound and popped a wheelie.”
I told Jrex about this over dinner. He’d never heard of the ‘Yo Momma’ joke, but he gets wit and sarcasm, so he found some of them funny, too. Here are a couple that cracked me up last night:
Yo Momma so fat that when I tried to drive around her, I ran out of gas.
Yo Momma so dumb, she thinks socialism means partying!
Yo Momma so ugly Bob the Builder looked at her and said “I CAN’T FIX THAT!”
Yo Momma so fat her BMI is measured in acres.
Yo Momma’s house is so small, the cockroaches are hunchbacked.
Yo Momma so old she owes Jesus 3 bucks.
Yo Momma so fat when she steps on a scale, it says “One at a time please.”
Of course, on a sociological level, it’s interesting that one of the other forms of capping goes the other way with “My Daddy” comments. “My Daddy can beat up your Daddy” is the classic little child taunt. It gets more refined with “My Daddy so tough, he picks his teeth with a nail” or other variants.
Interesting in a neighborhood where very few of the kids had a Daddy at home that they’d pull out a fantasy Dad to one-up each other while insulting each others’ mothers.