by Vince Vanguard Vainglorious

This little show in Savannah was just what me and Tiffany needed, a little getaway before we really get into this wedding planning shit. Besides we were both getting pretty sick of all the groupies and homies following me around back at home. My new album just went platinum so I can’t go nowhere in the “H” right now without somebody sweatin’ me. I ain’t as big in Georgia yet, like back in Houston. Savannah ain’t Atlanta either so at least I figure we can kick back a little bit here. We finally set a date for the wedding, September 14th so we got about two months to do the damn thang right.

“Baby ain’t you got family down this way or somethin’?” I ask her, trying to see if she’s still awake

“Yeah baby, Charleston – that’s in South Carolina though” I can tell I caught her right before she was about knocked out.

“Charleston, is that in South Carolina now?? Wit’ yo edumacated ass, half sleep and still getting’ smart as hell.”

“Boy stop. Where we at anyway?”

“I thank we in some lil town called Pooler, Georgia the sign said.” Sound like some real country shit don’t it?” Maybe you can put some of that smart ass to work and see where we at on the map?”

“You ain’t lyin’. Let me find it.”

She’s in law school at Rice now. I really can’t believe she fuckin’ wit a thug ass nigga like me. Well ex-thug I should say, I owe all that to her though. Me and Tiff went to high school together, but didn’t start dating until a few years after we graduated. I was straight thugged out from the Fifth Ward. Still is really – gotta be in this business. She was one of them bougie broads whose daddy had a “good job” cuttin’ grass for the city or some shit. Our paths never really crossed back then since I’m from the other side of the tracks as they say. I met her at our homecoming football game when I came back to show off all the “Bling” I bought from the first album. That platinum around my neck was everything I had in the world, but nobody else knew that. I came at her wit’ that thug shit at first, but she wasn’t hearing none of it and I could tell she was gone check any disrespect that came out of my mouth real quick.. I knew right off though, that she could see it was mo’ to me than some rhymes and a gold grill.

“Baby if we in Pooler that ain’t that far from Savannah, if we goin’ the right way. We goin’ the right way, right?”

“Shit if we is lost it’s yo’ fault. How the navigator gone fall asleep?”

“Stop playing” she says as she punches me in the shoulder.

As she lands her little love blow to my arm, my other hand slips off the wheel as we hit a bump. I run off the road and the passenger side mirror hits a mile per hour sign. As I look over to make sure it didn’t fly off and hit Tiff I roll into a ditch. We look at each other in disbelief and I can tell she is scared because of what just happened and because she made me wreck this Beamer I just bought last week. I ain’t trippin on that though since finally I can afford not to be “ridin’ dirty.” What I am trippin’ on though is I ain’t got the number for AAA on me.

“Damn girl, you hit harder than when yo’ Mama used to box.” I say which makes her crack a little nervous smile. “You allright Boo?”

“I’m sorry Baby” she says as she unclips her seatbelt and opens the door. “Yeah, I’m fine.”

“Its cool, anyway – I’ve got great news. I just saved a bunch of money on my car insurance by switching to Geico.” I say as I whip out the card like I’m doing a commercial.

This gets a full laugh out of her. We have a little inside joke about me doing an insurance commercial after all my years of riding around without it. Besides after everything she had done for me I was more concerned about her than I was my whip. When me and Tiff got together she opened up a whole new world to me. She was my eyes and ears in this “Rap Game” and she made sure I got what was mine and that I always knew what I was getting myself into. So no matter what I might spit on one of these records or do on the stage, I’m gone always take care of my baby first.

She unclips my seatbelt as I open my door. She gets out and comes around to look at me to see if I’m allright. As we lean against the driver’s side door and try to figure out what we’re gonna do next, I reach under the seat and pull out a pack of Newports I had been hiding. I reach back into the car to get the lighter.

“I thought you was gone quit” She says scolding, but in the tone of somebody who just wrecked a nigga’s new car.

“I was shawty, but this some “scressful” shit I say with the smile of somebody still trying to avoid a fight about quittin’ smokin’.

“Anyway where the fuck are we?” she asks.

“Pooler, Georgia, ain’t that what you said?”

Now when you are a young Black couple ridin’ in a BMW 750 crashed on the side of the road after Ten o’clock at night in the South, the question Where are we? can have many meanings. The obvious answer though right now is that we definitely ain’t in a major city, since not one car has passed by since this shit happened. Now other possible meanings of the question are Is this the White side or the Black side of town? Are there any Black people in this town at all? Is it a Black town full of thugged out gangsters who gone rob us? Is it a honky tonk town full of rednecks who gone lynch us? Do they have a Klan chapter in this town? Do they have an NAACP chapter in this town? Basically, a rich and famous “Dirty South” rapper wit a pretty girl, broke down on the side of the road, in a big body Beamer, in the middle of the country still can’t be sure whether you gone have to sign autographs or get yo’ ass whupped.

“Gimme a cigarette.” She says. I just turn my head and look at her like she’s crazy.

Over the horizon, we see a heavy Chevy with a red candy chrome paint job coming our way. It looks like we must be in the hood. Thank you. As the car gets closer we start to feel even better as we can hear Field Mob boomin’ out of the Alpines. We’re both so happy we almost giggle. As the car gets closer, we see two big White boys gettin’ “Crunk” in the front seat and a lil Black girl wearing a Shannon Sharpe, Savannah State University throwback jersey sittin’ in the middle of the back seat. They fly buy us and don’t stop. As the car “hauls ass”, I can see the girl still looking at us through the back window. About two minutes later, another car is approaching from the same direction.

“Maybe you oughta do some of that old movie shit and stick yo’ leg out in the road”

“You shittin’ me. Maybe you oughta call one of them groupies from home to come up here and have her do it.” She responds

Now half of that was irritation about the situation and the other half was finishing an earlier conversation about a particular hoochie ass stripper who she’s seen hangin around the group more than usual lately. I told her that girl was comin’ around to see my DJ Nate, but she just brought it up again to see what I’d say. I used to have a lil problem saying no to them hoes in the early days, but now it really don’t fade me. Since me and Tiff been engaged, I done turned down mo’ ass than a used donkey sales man.

“Girl stop playin’. Anyway I don’t care if it’s the Grand Puba of the Klan or yo’ cripple ass Auntee who dance at Foxxy’s we need to get this ride. “

I stand at the edge of the road and start waving my arms. Another girl dressed like the girl in the back of the other car pulls over in an old beat up Honda Prelude. I only got a glimpse of the other girl, but I can see this girl has on the same jersey on top but is only wearing a bikini bottom.

“Y’all allright” she asks.

Now her voice is a little different than even what I’m used to back in Houston – this girl is country. I can smell the scent of not quite completely aired out Bubba Kush coming out the window, mixed with all of the stale Newport butts in the ashtray and a little bit of Tommy Bahama perfume. Even in the shadows of the dark inside of her car I can also see that she’s got an ass on her like a Georgia mule. The craziest shit though is, as I’m leaning into the car to talk to her, I can faintly hear the commercial for my show on the radio that she turned down to here me talk. Just as I was about to start talking, Tiff stepped in to start the negotiations for a ride.

“Excuse me Miss, My name is Tiffany….” she says as she nudges in next to me and sticks her hand in lil shawty’s dank smelling car”….and this is my fiancé Bernard. We had a little accident and we were wondering if you could give us a ride to town”

“My name Tiffani too, but I spell it wit’ two I’s. What town yall goin’ to?” she asks in a Southern drawl like her tongue had been dipped in Alaga syrup “Y’all goin’ ta Brunswick?

“N’all shawty….” I speak up out of habit and because I can tell I speak her language”….we tryin’ to get to Savannah.”

“Ya’ll done passed Savannah. This Hinesville. I can give y’all a ride back to Savannah, but I gotta go handle some business first if that’s a’ight? Uh, is that yo’ car? I wouldn’t leave it out here too long Boo.” So y’all ridin’ wit me?”

There was no way to tell if or when somebody else was gonna come along so we decided to ride with her. So Tiffany sat up front with her and I got in the back after I moved all the baby toys, teddy bears and empty Happy Meal boxes out of the way. The only question though was what the fuck kinda business was she going to handle dressed like that. It didn’t take long to get the answer though.

“I dance.” She said with the pride little girls have when they tell their Mama they got picked for pep squad. “I gotta go up to Fort Stewart and do a lil “Special” for the groom at this lil country ass bachelor party these white boys havin’” “Can y’all smell that?” she asks.

I’m not sure if she means the Newports, the Kush, the Tommy or the hint of spoiled baby formula, but I answer anyway.

“N’all you “scrate” Shawty, what smell?” I could see Tiff cocked her head a little so I could see her smile.

“Oh nuttin’ nuttin’. Jus a lil sum sum.” Tiffani spelled with two I‘s says.

“You good “Shawty”. Do yo thang.” I say.

“So what y’all doin all the way out here?? You play for the Falcons or somethin’?”

“N’all just on a lil trip that’s all.”

I’m not sure how much farther we have to go, but I know I don’t want to answer all these damn questions all the way there. As I’m about to ask her to turn up the radio though, Tiff decides to reverse the twenty questions game.

“So how long you been dancing?” she asks like a cool ghetto high school guidance counselor.

“Bout two years comin’ up. I go to school too though for paralegal, but a Bitch gotta do what she gotta do. You know?”

After the “B” word got threw out there, I could tell Tiff was a little tripped out and wanted to get into some deep respect yourself shit or get all I am woman hear me roar on her ass. She was smart enough though to know that we didn’t know where the fuck we were and we were in her funky ass car, that she was sweet enough to give us a ride in. Personally, I thought the shit was kinda funny. You got two females named Tiffany/Tiffani one is a stripper and one hate strippers but they both in school trying to d o the best they can. Right now the one wit’ everything going for her, need a ride from a country, would-be paralegal stripper, a lot more than we need a future lawyer.

Sometime I thank its good for Tiffany to see that everybody else ain’t had it easy like she did. The fact of the matter was that my Tiff really didn’t know about “What a “Bitch gotta do.” Her folks paid for college and she never went without when we was in high school either. If you wanna be real about it, I love my girl but I know a lot more girls like the other Tif and I do understand what she goin’ though. I hope she make it too. It’s fucked up she gotta dance and shit and some nigga probably left her wi t them babies, but that’s just part of the struggle. Anyway though I still gotta make sure my girl don’t try to get all Oprah on her ass 'cus we still don’t know where the fuck we at and I ain’t tryin’ to be walkin’ around out in this Mississippi Burning lookin motherfucker. That’s why I make sure nobody say nothing too stupid.

“My girl she in law school too.” I say trying to keep everybody mellow.

“I’m in paralegal school, that ain’t the same thang honey.” Ghetto Tiffani with an I on the end says to me.

“Anyway girl, where y’all from?”

“Houston, that’s in Texas.” Tiffany with a Y on the end says trying not to laugh at how “lil Shawty” just busted me out.

After that Tiffani with an I doesn’t say anything but turns up the radio for her own behavior modification. I guess she had her fair share of people thinking she was stupid so she knew when to let shit die, before some shit got started. I guess she didn’t want us to keep her from doing something nice for somebody either.

“….K-K-K- Krunkfest 2006 featuring all the way from the “H” 5th Ward Burner...” blared from the Kenwood door speakers.

I’m pretty sure shawty put two and two together, but she didn’t say another word. We start to pass a whole bunch of military looking shit so I guess this was Fort Stewart. I think my uncle kicked it down here for a minute when he was in the service. There still aren’t many cars on the road, but we pull up to a little beige house with about twenty cars in the driveway and parked out front. There are a couple guys hanging outside drinking beer but most everybody else is inside. It seems like they all have the same haircut and they're all “Diesel Swole”, so I guess they’re all Marines or some shit. I’m thinking maybe we made a mistake since we have no idea how long she was gonna be in there.

“Y’all comin’ in or y’all gone stay in the car. I just do my lil show and make sure “My Girls” okay then I get the fuck on.” She says.

I believe Tiff wanted to stay in the car, but I wasn’t going to be able to smell them Newport butts much longer without wanting to smoke one myself. I knew Tiffany just figured I wanted to go in and see them hoes dance.

To my surprise, my Tiff says. “We’ll be right in.”

As we got out of the car, she turned to me and reminded me that I better just sit my ass down and wait for our ride. Like I said, I used to have a little problem with this stripper attention when I first got a lil change in my pocket. Being with Tiff made me realize how fucked up it was to want somebody to want you or to want somebody just for the money. I know dudes like to call women “Gold Diggas” and shit, but a lot of niggas get a rush out of women wanting them for their money. Besides the way I figured, if all I wanted from them was some ass, it whatn’t nothing wrong with them just wanting my money. Besides I didn’t have shit comin’ up, so I wanted to let people know I had it and didn’t mind watching folks treat me good to try to get it. After I finally met a woman who let me know she cared about me and not the money, it made me a whole different person. Don’t get it twisted though, Tiff knew her fair share of thugs comin’ up too but she didn’t give them none. She wouldn’t have looked at me twice if I was broke either. It was the fact that I made something out of myself that she liked though, not just the money.

As we walked in the door of the little house, we could see that they were definitely all military and all White except a few dudes that looked Pilipino or Mexican or somethin’. There were three girls already dancing and the guys were either watching, standing around talking shit, or watching the “Fuck Flick” that was on the big screen. I could see that off in the corner the lil cute girl who was riding with the two White boys was off in the cut dancin’ for them, plus two other big White boys. As soon as our driver walked through the door though, the crowd let out a roar that was a smaller version of what I was used to hearing.”

“Tif!!!!” “Tif!!!!” “Tif!!!!’ “Tif!!!!”

“Hey y’all” she replied. “Everybody having a good time?” She turns to us and says “Y’all make yourself comfortable. I’m gone get this little money then we can leave.”

I look around and decide we should sit on an empty couch that had been pushed over in the corner in case there was a need for a makeshift private dance VIP room, in this lil off-base government soldier’s quarters. Tiff sits on the end and I sit in the middle. These boys must have been headed to or just got back from Iraq or somewhere ‘cus they was partying like their lives depended on it. To be honest with you they must have watched a bunch of Lil Jon videos or something ‘cus it looked and sounded like we w as inside the Body Tap down in the ATL. After about 15 minutes Tif (not my Tiff) announced she was bout to do her thing. They had already collected the money for her to do whatever this “Special” shit was she does. Everybody got in position to watch the much anticipated show. I felt a big body plunk down on the other cushion of the sofa and I looked to my left and saw one of the biggest of all the big “Bout it, Bout it Rambos” sit next to me. As she made her entrance out of one of the bedrooms, she pointed to the DJ and “Kushin for the Pushin” the new song by 5th Ward Burner came blasting out of the JBLs.

“We be smokin’ that ‘dro pushin' up on these hoes….” Then all in unison thirty three of the biggest, most clean cut, White boys I had ever seen shouted at the top of their lungs.

“….Nigger what my Nigger, I got the Kushin for the Pushin for these Stankin’ Ass Hoes!!!!!!!!!!!!”

I ain’t gone lie to you, at the same time I was amazed these white boys knew my music, I had never thought about hearing and seeing the shit like this. I made the shit, I put it out there, but it never occurred to me that a bunch of white boys would be screamin’ Nigger at the top of their lungs, while a sister was butt ass naked on the ground trying to earn some money to go to school and feed her babies. Was it like old girl said earlier was I just doing “What I had to do?” As I grabbed my girl by the ha nd to step outside, I could see that some of the boys were taking the lil girl into one of the bedrooms and Tiffani was about to do the trick everybody was waiting for her to do all night with a 40 ounce beer bottle and a big ass bong.

“Let's wait outside.” I say as I lift Tiff off the couch by her hand and walk out the door.

Tiff gets back into the passenger seat while I lean against the car and smoke a Newport. Those two guys are still outside drinking and I can hear a little bit of their conversation.

“….Shiiiitt you wouldn’t catch me dead ‘round them Motherfuckers at that show. Them Motherfuckers is stupid….”

We really need to go now. I tell Tiff to stay put while I go back in to see how long old girl is gonna be. As I walk inside I see her all up in this big dudes chest screaming and hollerin’ about her money.

“I ain’t going for this shit!!!! Now where the rest of my money!!!!” She screams.

“Hold up Bitch who you screamin’ at? You know me.” One of the big White boys from the car says to her.

“Wait a minute podner,” I say as I rush over and step in between them. “You got one mo’ time to call this woman a Bitch and I’ll be damn if I’m gone let you get buck.” I was dead ass serious, but I couldn’t help thinking about how many times I had called this same girl a bitch on and off my records. Matter of fact, that was the reason these dudes thought it was okay to do it too.”

The dude chimes back at me in a different kind of Southern drawl that definitely ain’t Houston either, “Who the fuck is you Brother? You her pimp or somethin'?

“N’all podner I ain’t no Pimp and y’all ain’t gotta disrespect this female no mo’either.”

“Still though, who is ya? I know you ain’t invited.”

“My name is …..”

Before I could answer, I hear a voice out of one of the corners say “That’s 5th Ward Burner, Yo. I got his new CD out in the car.”

Big boy responds. “No shit. My bad my nigga, I didn’t know. My bad.”

Just as I’m about to beat the brakes off of this fool for calling me a nigga, I hear the front door slam and Tiffany yells “Bernard I don’t give a damn if we gotta walk, we need to raise the fuck up out of here!!!!”

I rush over to see what the problem is and she tells me the two drunk soldiers outside came over to the car thinking she was one of the other strippers and was offering her a bunch of money to do a bunch of foul shit. I turn to the other Tiffani to beg her to take us back to Savannah. “Look nigga, I ain’t going no where until these motherfuckers give me my money.” After everything she had done down on that dirty floor she added without missing a beat “These motherfuckers gone respect me!!!!” As the white boy peeled off a bunch of “Ben Franks” and handed them to her, I couldn’t decide if I was still going to whup ole boy’s ass after ole girl had just called me a nigga too or what. I didn’t have long to think about it though.

“You still want a piece of me homie? I paid yo girl and I ain’t got no beef wit’chu” he said.

Tiffany’s still standing by the door though and she yell’s at us both “Can we please get the fuck out of here?? Ain’t none of this gone change shit!!!!”

As we leave out of the house and get in the car, for some reason I thought about the other girls still in there. I couldn’t help but wonder if they were gonna be allright after everything that went down. Tiffani lit a Newport and asked me if I wanted one. I said yes and reached over the seat to take it from her hand. I took a puff as she put the car in reverse.

“Yo homegirls gone be allright?” I ask.

“They’ll be allright” she says “They know how to handle their’s. Anyway we dance for them niggas all the time and they always pullin’ that same ole shit.”

As we head back toward Savannah, I’m having a hard time wit’ all this shit and Tiffany with a Y on the end ain’t saying a damn thang.

I can see my car just over the hill still sitting in the ditch but a wrecker is approaching over the hill and a Chatham County deputy’s cruiser is already parked on the side of the road. Tiffani pulls over on the other side of the road and I get out to talk to the deputy. The deputy is older than the soldier boys back at the party, but he looks just like one of them.

“Is this your car sir? He asks as he surveys the situation. “Larry there’ll getcha outta that ditch, but it’s gonna cost you this time of night. You got AAA? He asks. “Y’all ain’t from around here are you? I see you got Texas plates.”

I’m still waiting for him to start some stupid shit too, but apparently his hood is in the cleaners tonight. “No were just passing through.” I respond.

“Well sir, if you’re okay here, I’m gone head on down the road. My son’s having a bachelor party down in Hinesville and I’m gone stop down there and make sure they ain’t raising too much hell. Anyway, you and your friends enjoy the rest of your evening.” He says as he gets back into the cruiser.

After Larry the wrecker guy finished hooking up the car, I still couldn’t help but wonder if those other girls back at the party were okay.

I walk over to the wrecker to find out from Larry what we need to do now.

“Now y’all can either ride with me or you can follow me in your friend’s car.” He says. “If you ride with me though, I got a lil stop I need to make. It won’t take me no time though. No time at all.”

Causeway by Vince Vanguard Vainglorious

© Copyright 2006. All rights reserved. No portion of this work may be duplicated or copied without the expressed written consent of the author.

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