The ‘hood is such a place that has been parodied, ridiculed and scapegoated by a few yet always called home by many.
Whether you want to face it or not, ‘hood life is as a legitimate way of life as any even though it may not be the first choice as a desired area code to call home, but it undergirds high society in many ways that are virtually unseen and underappreciated.
With these low paying jobs that seem to be the norm in this financial landscape, the ‘hood offers a subpar place for those on a limited income to live and have a fighting chance to survive until things get better.
(ATTENTION READERS: Allow me to say that this is a blog that I am writing for entertainment purposes only. I’m doing this for a laugh and by NO means am I stereotyping, putting down, making fun of or trying to generalize about anyone who lives in an area that is referred to as the ‘hood. I happen to love everyone and know many wonderful, intelligent, hard working and God fearing people there. What you will read here in this blog are the kind of things that even my dear folks IN the ‘hood will laugh about! Let’s have some fun with this!)
Where do you think all of those hotel room cleaners come from? They live in the ‘hood! They have to get up early in the morning to take that damn slow ass city bus that never seems to arrive on time to be packed up like sardines until they arrive to their slave driving job JUST to bring home that minimum wage stipend of a check to execute their brilliance in stretching it to cover so many expenses more effectively than any Wall Street Executive EVER had!
Where do all of these Black housekeepers and nannies come from? The same place…….the ‘Hood! Within a mere few hours in their day they have to endure the swift change of living in near poverty as the heads of their household to the highest of all affluence in a subservient manner while some will happily bring home the discarded leftovers of those expensive meals or take home that expensive computer tossed away in the garbage merely because the new styled gadget has hit the market even though it is still in perfect working order.
We in the ‘hood understand the meaning of thrift and the value of knowing how to cut corners so we play the servant-like roles that boost the egos of our employers so that they can grace us with their still expensive hand me downs that would have cost us a few paychecks to say the least. I must also say officially that the residents of the ‘hood are NOT the chief recipients of welfare in the United States, farm workers are but the only reason feel that the people who call the ‘hood their home are is because they are concentrated in such a small area to appear to be a large segment of the population who does. It’s easy to twist the perception to think that they are getting free handouts more so than any other people in this country.
Most that I know are hard working people who may cut a corner here and there in the “gray area” to take the brunt of living with next to nothing away from their collective psyches.
But it’s not everyone who can “play the game” of subservience as many of us in the ‘hood have big egos too!
Here is where you will find the hustles and the alternative ways of mirroring all things found on the wealthy side of town on a shoestring budget with a few glitches or two. Hey, I didn’t say it would be perfect but it damn sure beats not having anything at all! The bootleg movies come out even BEFORE that big hit has invaded the cinemas relieving us of having to spend big money for the popcorn and soda as well as the bus fare to get there in the first place!
What about the bootleg liquor stores that are run right out of a persons living room that has been in operation for decades right up under the nose of the authorities with absolutely NO LICENSE whatsoever! And WHO said that Black folks in the ‘hood can’t keep a secret? Heck! Nobody says a word about the liquor spot maybe because if they snitch they know that every liquor-head in the ‘hood will be gunning for their NECK!
But for those people just starting out in life, facing massive child support payments or after just getting kicked out from where you lived and have a half-ass paying job that couldn’t support you living anywhere else, the ‘hood will welcome you with OPEN arms…….
But do understand one thing, that when you live in the so called ‘hood, you will not get the automatic respect that others receive in other less bruised communities because it will be assumed that you will fail the official “human worth test” of degrees, schooling, money and a clean record. The powers that be will automatically assume until proven otherwise that you are in possession of none of the above.
So the respects automatically given will never happen for you when you live in the ‘hood, it will be something that will continue to remain elusive until your ascension from that environment but in the meantime make sure that the respect earned in the ‘hood is much more important while you live there and probably something that your affluent naysayers could never achieve no matter how hard they tried so make some satisfaction from knowing this little known truth.
But I must say that the transition to life in the ‘hood may not be that easy for everyone, I mean, there are a few advantages to living there as opposed to a more affluent area code, but the pitfalls can be a very deep valley to come up out of if you aren’t street smart. So being the kind and giving gentleman that I am, I put together a list of things that you need to know to make life in the ‘hood the jump start that you need and want for it to be.
Number 1) Dress Code: If you live in the ‘hood you MUST dress the part! Don’t go there to live and reveal how dope your wardrobe is which in essence will make those who happened to be unemployed with all of the time in the world to wonder and then eventually scheme on what ELSE might be inside of that small apartment of yours when you are gone! Leave your spiffy work clothes AT WORK and change from your purposely ragged looking ‘hoodwear there but NEVER leave your house looking like a million bucks because some will THINK that you have a million and you will come back home to an empty place! DUH!
Number 2) Act As Though You Are Unemployed With Bad Credit: It’s also a wise thing to not even let anyone know by the way you dress or the timing of your regular departures and arrivals that you even have a job.
Take your time (While sporting your ‘hoodwear!) coming home and sometimes leave your home much earlier than needed, what we want to accomplish here is that no one figures out your schedule.
When you are that new person on the block many questions will be thrown out there about you and inquiring ‘hood minds want to know and will share bits and pieces of what you are all about down to the food that you had in your basket at the checkout line.
Don’t forget, that friendly cashier at the supermarket just might be the granddaughter of that nosy old lady next door to you and will tell her of all of the credit cards that she saw in your wallet when you paid for your items.
So the word will be out there that you have good credit and everybody knows that NO ONE in the ‘hood has good credit until they are about 55 years old. But you were clueless WHO the supermarket cashier was so from now on assume that everyone knows everyone and move accordingly.
Number 3) Stay Away From The ‘Hood Chicks: Now whether you know it or not, many women in the ‘hood have an advantage over the men who have no other choice but to live there and that is the fact that they have something very valuable to them that can generate that cold hard cash. What is it you might ask?
It’s their various orifices and their ability to work it to drive a man (Or woman) crazy enough to reach for his wallet and become another Sugar-Daddy in the long line of willing victims who have paid for her services with their mortgage money.
Stay away from these types because they have a sixth sense of your pedigree and will find you to make you part way with your money through the hypnotic power of their orgasm inducing abilities. Now this isn’t how all ‘hood chicks operate, there
They can be really cool and very informative when you need to know something about what goes on around the neighborhood, but understand that she is not your friend and is there on a mission to make HER reality better than it is.
These women will latch onto you for dear life if they feel as though you are going places in this life. Many men who were destined for success but at a low point in their life actually let a ‘hood chick in the life and into their inner circle only to find that he is the proud father of a beautiful child who has a crazy bi-polar ghetto ass ‘hood chick as their Mother!
By then it will be too late because now you are successful in your chosen field of excellence but you have to deal with this chick who has no class, loud, money hungry and stuck to you for the next eighteen years! Stay away from those ‘hood chicks!
Number 4) Become Friends With That Nosy Old Lady (With the gray braids that peek from that Black wig) Who Knows Everything: This is mandatory for anyone who wants to survive a drama free time in the ‘hood.
That old lady will watch your place for you when you’re gone to work and will let all of the ‘hood boys who rob and steal know that you are her nephew or grandson and your apartment is off limits. But there is a price to be paid for such built in loyalty from someone that you haven’t known for long, to secure the vast ‘hood knowledge of this veteran survivor.
When she comes up short on her rent, you better be the first to volunteer to help her! When she needs something done in her home that only a man can do strength-wise, you better start doing it and never force her to ask you! If you want “Grandson” or “Nephew” you better start acting like one because the benefits are definitely great and can mean the difference between living good in the ‘hood or living a hell of a nightmare everyday of your life there.
Number 5) Know How To Cut Corners To Save Your Cash! – This is one of the greatest attributes gained from living life in the ‘hood. People who live here already know that they could not survive if they walked the straight and narrow and they will not be denied the most basic of amenities just because they are broke! Understand that the information that I am about to share does not mean that I am advocating any indulge into illegal activity, I merely reporting on the things that I have learned over the years in my proximity to the ‘hood and am simply reporting on them for informational purposes ONLY! Translation: DON’T come knocking on my door asking about anyone else’s hustle because I don’t know SHIT! Thank you.
The ‘hood mentality always finds a way to cut corners to makes ends meet, some of their methods are downright comical all the way down to the downright criminal. Where you fall on the scale of righteousness once you decide to indulge yourself in the many ways of cutting corners in the ‘hood is up to you. Know that many times you will have no choice BUT to pay the price for your decisions so choose how deep you get into this game and know the risks involved.
Here are a few ‘hood hustles that will act as “Hamburger Helper” for that already lean salary earned that has you living paycheck to paycheck. Learn them well and live like a KING!
Find out who has an available E.B.T. Card and work a food deal:
It goes like this for example: The one who possesses an E.B.T. Card has a crack habit or some strong need to get their hands on some cold hard cash. You on the other hand don’t have enough money to make it through the week with the amount of food to keep you strong, well, you both are a match made in Heaven because the way that this hustle goes is that you are to give the cardholder “X” amount of cash and they will allow you to use their card for twice the amount in purchases! Bingo! Double the food for half the price! And the great part about it for many is that the government takes care of it all!
Learn who “The Cable Guy” is who will you the “Hook-Up!”:
Everyone loves a great night of entertainment even if they are broke, so why should you suffer when for a fraction of the price you can have every single premium channel that your cable provider has to offer? Isn’t living in the ‘hood tough enough? Heck! Turn your television into the ultimate entertainment tool and slip “The cable Guy” a few extra bucks to keep you watching the best games and movies that your hard earned bucks has to offer. Just remember to keep your BASIC cable bill paid so that no one gets wise to the hustle! Pass the remote PLEASE…….
Keep A Crackhead On Retainer:
Why would anyone want to have a Crackhead on retainer like the drug dealers do by having a lawyer on retainer? Why? Because this is where you can get some of your BEST deals at 3 a.m. in the morning.
It can be very annoying at times because half of the stuff that they want to sell to you has absolutely no value to you whatsoever but it’s a good ‘hood business practice to deal with one because you will get that steal of a deal every now and again!
Now this is a moral issue in dealing with a Crackhead because I don’t want to hear anyone say to me that they didn’t know that the stuff that they sold was stolen, because you ALL know and as far as I’m concerned that is Bad Karma.
But for those who wouldn’t think anything of it, then go right ahead and search through the wide array of unique deals that range from the offer to buy a dashboard of an old Dodge pickup even though you don’t own a vehicle right up to the previously stain and still somewhat moist Victoria’s Secret fancy laced thong collection that your Crackhead business constituent insists is a great deal “for your girl” even though you don’t have a girlfriend at the time!
…….things like this kind of makes you wonder where did your old Crackhead buddy get these thongs from and WHAT’S on them making them moist and feeling like the warm Blueberry compote that they pour over your pancakes at I.H.O.P.?
…….some things you just DON’T want to hear an answer on. EWWWWW!
Now I must say that this article is the first in a series of written parodies that I will do regularly because if the truth be told, one article could never encompass that unique place that has forced many into extremely creative ways of survival. It goes to show you how necessity and poverty can make geniuses out of us all when pushed down in live as many of us have been.
This was just a taste and soon there will be more to come! Leave your comments below and share with the world some of your experiences dealing with ‘hood life pro and con. This should get VERY interesting indeed!
Peace & Righteous Love Always,
Your Street Smart Brother,