November 25, 2006



A father and his 11-year-old son are returning home from an afternoon of holiday shopping to briefly let their golden and Labrador retrievers relieve themselves in public of accumulated canine fluids.

Father and son are riding in a red pickup truck along an oak-lined road that abuts nicely appointed neighborhoods surrounded by ivy-strewn concrete security walls. The boy begins to note spray-painted symbols along the roadway, defacing walls and street signs.

SON: (pointing) Vandalism...

[A few seconds pass as the truck continues down the road.]

SON: (pointing) Vandalism...

[A few more seconds pass. The father says nothing.]

SON: (pointing a third time) Vandalism...


SON: Vandalism. Spray paint.


[Twenty or so seconds pass.]

SON: We live in the 'hood.


SON: Yep. We live in the 'hood.

FATHER: This is not "the 'hood."

SON: Yes, it is.

FATHER: It is a 'hood. It's not "the 'hood."

SON: Did you see that vandalism?


SON: I told you that we have gangs here.

FATHER: No, we have kids who think they know what gangs are.

SON: I told you, we have Crips.

FATHER: No, we don't.

SON: Dad, yes we do.

FATHER: No, we don't.

SON: Then what are Crips?

FATHER: A gang in L.A. There are Crips and Bloods. They take turns snuffing each other out.

SON: See?

FATHER: A gang in L.A. is not the same as a gang in Bloomingdale.

SON: Do you know what "Crip" stands for?

FATHER: Truth, justice and the American Way?

SON: Dad. No, what the word stands for?

FATHER: Tell me what the word stands for.

SON: It stands for Criminal... Republic...

[long pause]

FATHER: Go on.

[long pause]

SON: In the Park...

FATHER: What park?

SON: The park by our house.

FATHER: So, you're saying that the Crips in L.A. named themselves after the park at the end of our road?

SON: Yes.

FATHER: Okay. Whatever you say.

SON: Dad!

FATHER: You're telling me that Doughboy and his crew are rolling through here bussin' caps?

SON: What?

FATHER: You heard me.

SON: Yes. Yes they are.



SON: What is that, bussin' caps? My friend Victor at school always says, "Boy, I'm-a take you down to 40th Street and buss' a cap in yo' ass."

FATHER: Does he.

SON: Yes. We all fall down laughing.

FATHER: I can see why.

SON: What does buss' a cap mean?

FATHER: It means to shoot someone with a gun. To fire a bullet.

SON: In anger?

FATHER: Do they ever get fired in friendship?

SON: Guess not.

[Extended pause. Several minutes go by. Father and son contemplate previous exchange.]

FATHER: You know what would probably make them angry?

SON: Who?

FATHER: The Crips.

SON: What?

FATHER: If you took the same color spray paint and painted a dash and a Y at the end of all the "Crips" on the walls.

SON: [laughs violently]

FATHER: Then add the word "strips" after that. You know. Like KFC crispy strips?

SON: [talks between giggles] You mean add a dash and a Y at the end of Crip? And then "strip."

FATHER: Exactly!

SON: Crippy Strips!

FATHER: Crippy Strips!

SON: [laughing uncontrollably] Oh, dad. You kill me.


Watching TV with Andre.

Breakfast with Andre.

Posted by Jeff at November 25, 2006 12:21 AM | TrackBack
Post a comment

Remember personal info?