February 12, 2011

Yo Momma

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.


Inkling said...

That is hilarious. (as I say this looking around to see if anyone is going to scold me for laughing)

My brother and I would try to come up with "yo momma" jokes when we'd eat at our favorite Mexican fast food joint called Nacho Mama's. It just kind of lent itself to that kind of humor.

Thanks for sharing. You totally made me laugh today.

Mizasiwa said...

I live in SA - Gauteng and we did this growing up. My sisters are 15 years younger than me live in a different area and go to a different school and they do it too. Never heard of the daddy ones though - very interesting.
Glad your blogging again. I really hope that the answer comes soon for you. Its hard living in that kidn of 'limbo' but at least you know there is an end....Im thinking about you and JRex

Lil'Sis said...

We have the "yo momma" app as well, my kids love it and I'm happy hubby and I grew up that way as well...it's the teaching when/when not appropriate that has been the challenge, but I think they're finally getting it..thanks for the laugh this morning!

Anonymous said...

This was a wonderful blog. I laughed all the way through.

From time to time I brag that you three grew up bi-lingual, and this blog proves it.