Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Too Hard To Swallow



The best thing about writing on the internet (for me), is that it has allowed me to express my beliefs more clearly with people who I interact with everyday. And in turn, those who are new or curious about the faith seem to be comfortable asking me questions that they feel reluctant to ask 'holy rollers'.



The people who know me, know I get down with my pen.





Everyone in my inner circle knows about Servinemup Ink.





They might not have read everything I’ve published, but they’ve read SOMEthing.





I first jumped on the blogsphere, thanks to the urging of Okokon B. Okon III and implementation help from Trader Mike, two fellow Stanford alums, who were both Electrical Engineering majors (like me..go EE!!). At the time I wasn’t exactly sure how public I wanted to be with my writing, but I bit the nail and rolled servinemup.com out on the block.





The very first post was a welcome and a prayer.





Dear Reader,

It is my pleasure to welcome you to servinemup.com. Whether you're here by personal invitation or just happened to browse across this listing...thank you for coming. I hope that you enjoy the content & material.
- David Earl Washington, II

"Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer." - Psalms 19:14





Since then, a lot of people have had issues with the manner in which I ‘got down’ on the pen. Just like some Christians don’t like how this brother ‘got down’ with these Mormons. (Doo-Rag Brother vs Mormons) http://thecomforter.info/main/index.php?option=com_xevgfx&func=detail&id=2





I used to spend a lot of time ‘defending’ myself and my methods. Via email, phone calls and face to face confrontations.





I’ve had to sit down behind closed doors with preachers and elders and some have given me grave warnings against publishing material such as contained in Intent to Distribute.





On the other end of the coin are potential investors who dig my prose, they just prefer ‘Jesus-free’ material. The wild part about that, is that a lot of em actually GO to a regular church service.





So like all big decisions in my life, I prayed on it.





I pray daily on it. That Psalms 19:14 is one of my daily staples.





All jokes and fun aside, I NEVER want to be the dude that’s spreading lies and false rumors.





So, I have a higher level of responsibility, because I know there’s a lot of dudes around me who look up to me as a spiritual ‘big brother’. They respect my faith and my walk and the way I get down on paper.





More so than anything, I know my challenge is to stay real.





Don’t front and try to act like something I’m not.





Be D.





It hasn’t all been grim and negative. God has also sent some encouragers in my life, supporters. People that’s ready to ‘get down’ with me. Some preachers and pastors have actually been very supporting of Servinemup Ink. A lot of family members and childhood friends have supported me and passed along the link to their distribution list, I get a LOT of love.





But the intended audience has always been the street world and my distribution manager Curvey has made sure that the brand is known on the street level. Barber shops, beauty shops, car detail shops, hustlers in the hood know what we’re serving.





These past 4 years have availed some things in our mission of serving up ink, that has had both of us tripping at times.





But despite it all, the testimony remains the same.





The great I AM manifested on earth in Jesus Christ.





Jesus IS God, there is no other person, path that you can go through and get to the Promised Land.





He was born of a virgin, He lived about 33 years in the Middle East, he preached, he taught, he healed, he delivered, he commissioned, he was tried, crucified and resurrected.



He hung out with selected disciples in his resurrected body for a few weeks, then he broke back (ascended) to heaven to prepare a place for all Believers once we die our mortal deaths.





People trip on a lot of different things, but THAT’s the gospel message.







A lot of Believers put it out there in different ways, but the main charge is that it’s gotta get out there. Everybody gotta hear it before it’s all over. Where there is no law, there is no sin.





"I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;" - I Timothy 2:1-5







That’s the fervency that you see in a lot of Christians eyes when they testify to non-Believers.





If you knew a judgement was coming and your brother was ignorant to the laws, would you want him to stay ignorant or would you put him up on the game so he can have a chance to win too?





Real Game…for so many, it’s too hard to swallow.





Rest in peace Chad Butler known on the Southside as Pimp C.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

I Made It by Marvin Sapp


Marvin Sapp is the name of the dude who sings that song I referenced in Tripping.

It’s from his album called Thirsty and the name of the song is I Made It.

I’m stronger. I’m wiser. I’m better. I’m SOO much better. I made it.

I never could have made it..without you.”


I heard this song for the first time at a funeral that I went to last week.

It was the kind of funeral where they ‘got down’ and praised the Lord.

You know a funeral is live when the ushers have to carry people out who ‘catch the Spirit’ and start falling out, hollering and screaming all over the place.

A REAL homecoming celebration.

Of course, my wife already knew this song. She stays up on the latest gospel music because she’s into praise dance choreography ministry and she just loves the Lord like that.

I tend to focus more on the Word and hardcore gospel preaching/teaching. It was my first time hearing that song at the funeral. I liked it though. I could feel it..cuz I know I’m stronger, I’m wiser and I’m SOO much better.

I made it mane.

It feels REAL good too, as all blessings do.

I just pray that everyone in the reach of these words are grinding toward your God given purpose. God’s purpose is a safe haven that God grants a promise through His Word.

"For we know that all things work together for good for those who love God. For those who are called according to his purpose" - Romans 8:28

It’s a cold cruel world out there full of wild animals seeking to devour.

I have NO IDEA how people function who don’t have the security of working towards God’s purpose in their lives.

All I know, is that that didn’t work for me.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Tripping

I know a lot of people who visit servinemup.com for the first time get ‘thrown off’ a bit.

My delivery and content can come across as shocking to some, others just think I’m crazy as hell.

The real funny part, is that in my family’s perspective, I’m one of the nicest, sweetest, most mild-mannered dudes in the whole family...

Got a good education. Got a beautiful Christian wife, he didn’t run off and marry one of them white girls like a lot of black men do when they start making some money, beautiful kids that he take care of, know how to keep a good paying job, he don’t have a whole bunch of children spread out all over the place, all his children live up under the same roof with him and his wife and they’re all serving in the church and happy in the Lord, my nephew/cousin/grandson/brother/uncle D is a good strong Christian man.

At least, I used to be the clean cut one. But now a lot more of them know how I really get down. You get a whole different label when you’re found to be consorting with the inner family clique that’s most likely to do hard drugs.

I can’t BELIEVE he was down there in that hotel room with all those smokers!!

Somebody had said he was down there smoking crack too!!!

(laughing) ‘smoking crack’?? It’s funny when the stories start involving crack cocaine. Cuz I already told ya’ll, I only smoked crack ONCE, and that was on accident. And to even further my point, each occasion I was somewhere and somebody pulled out the crack to smoke, I always threw my hands up and said, ‘Ya’ll ngz trippin’ and left.

Actually, being a public writer has allowed me to be closer with my family.

They’ve learned some things about me from my writing that they didn’t know before. The intimacy of the written word reveals a lot more of a person’s character than can be expressed in 3 days at a bi-annual family reunion.

I even had one cousin come up to me shocked, “I didn’t even know you drank alcohol??”

Uhh..well..yeah, I do. But I don’t drink that much though.

I’m through with my days of kneeling on the bathroom floor and throwing up in the toilet bowl.

Getting so drunk that when you wake up the next morning, you don’t even remember how you got home or why you’re butt naked.

Like Luther Vandross used to sing, “It’s over now.”, some things you just know are in your past and not a part of your future. And it can be a tearful moment.

Letting go.

(smiling) Back in the day I used to love to go to this bar on South Main called Carrington’s on Monday nights.

It was crunk Monday nights because they had Monday Night Football on the big screen and $2 ‘You-call-it’ all night long.

Watchu want? Triple shot of Hennessey and 2 Heineken? That’s what I’m go get too. Keep the change. One of them girls that came looking dressed to impress and smelling good may stand next to you while you’re ordering. That’s when you put on your gorilla mack game and look at em like they should already know that you’re that dude they need to get with.

(you gotta know how to give them that cool sexy look) Wazzup?

(I’ve always loved confident women) I’m thirsty..what’s up with you?

You call it. (motioning to the bartender) Tell him what you want to drink, I got you.

I mean $2 you call it can’t hit you TOO bad? Right? I pulled that one time and this girl tried to order drinks for her whole table. I had to put some brakes on her.

Whoooaa. I’m not TRICKING that hard and you don’t look THAT good. You trippin.

People be tripping a lot in Houston, but I’m beginning to understand that people trip everywhere. I ain’t tripping tho.

The great thing about it for me, is that I trust what the Bible says.

The marriage bed is undefiled.

“Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled; but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.” – Hebrews 13:4

Whoop..there it is!! "Getcho freak on!!" righ there in the Bible!!

I can shake up some Don Julio Margaritas topped off with some Grand Marnier in my kitchen and me and my wife can sip on em together and listen to some music and have some fun. Give the kids a shot of that cough medicine so that they sleep soundly, we might want to get loud or something. It’s all good, I’m not tripping.

I’m just glad I made it out without any communicable diseases, felony convictions or multiple paternity suits. (My wife said, "Amen! Praise God!")

It’s one thing to know that God has protected you from the valley of the shadow of death.

It’s a whole different thing altogether when you make it out, then turn right around and go right back in there. Testing God’s patience.

Kinda like children who test the limits with their parents.

Trying to see how far they can go before an execution of judgement is rendered.

On the Southside we call em ‘jailhouse chances’.

Felonies and misdemeanors.

I really think that’s why a lot of dudes don’t want to study their Bible. Because somewhere in their mind, they think God will not hold them accountable for their actions if they ‘didn’t know’.

Ignorance is bliss, as some call it.

There’s a lot of drug dealers who ride around with a carload of dope and an open Bible on their dashboard. In case they get stopped by the police, maybe the cop will be more willing to give them the benefit of not having to get searched. Tripping.

I’ve turned all my past felonies over to the Lord. Criminal and spiritual.

I don't have to front about it. Just because I don't have any convictions on my record doesn't mean I never committed any. Ya feel me?

But good thing for me I do believe that Jesus is the eternal judge of us all.

Because if I thought that we could do whatever we wanted to, as long as we don't get caught by the police or our wives? Then I'd be a different kinda dude. TRIPPING fo real.


There is a level of righteousness to which all Believers in Christ are required

to strive toward. The kicker is that none of us will reach our ‘complete’ state until the day of the Lord.

Once I submitted my life to Christ, I had to be real about my actions.

We are saved by faith, but if we truly believe, we will also strive to obey.

God still loves the sinner, He just hates the sin.

And if you KNOW you’re a child of God, you know He chastens those that He loves.

“Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth; therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty:” – Job 5:17

“M y son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction: For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.” – Proverbs 3:11-12

Believers won’t just wallow in, ‘This is just me. I’m not go ever give this up.”

Cuz pretty soon, you’re going to get tired of taking that beating, unless of course you're 'so throwed' that you enjoy the lashes.

Instead the true Believer will ask God for strength and deliverance from whatever sin is shackling them up.

Alcholism. Fornication. Drug Abuse. Shopping addiction. Gaming Addiction. Lying.

There’s a lot of false idols which take our time and effort away from God.

So the problem I had to face was finding that right balance.

I mean, who wants to be one of those Christians who never do anything outside of church??

No parties. No clubs. No movies. No drinking. No theatre..nothing but 100% Jesus.

That’s kinda like those creepy Jehovah Witness kids we used to play with, who didn’t even have a television in their house.

I know there are some people reading this right now who are struggling with addictions of their own. Those who don’t want to be hypocrites, so they don’t go to church and ‘front’. They stay away from the church house, because they don’t want to go in the church until they get ‘right’. Keeping it real. 100. Tripping.

I know because this used to be the obstacle holding me back. I was doing some things that made me wonder if I would burst into flames if I even just touched the door knob to step into a church. Tripping.

My dad was the one that really brought me back to myself.

He was talking to me about getting back in the church and I just knew I was doing some things in my life that didn’t line up to God’s Word.

My dad told me that I would never be able to change by myself. I needed God to help

me.

“Don’t think you can change before you come, just come. God will work with you

r heart, just come.”

It was even worse before then, cuz before then I knew I was ‘throwed’ but I didn’t want to change. I was doing me. I know some folks are just like that now, they don’t WANT to change. Tripping.


But for me, God just took the taste of felonies out of my mouth.

I got to the point where I was no longer at peace with myself about how I was living.

God chastens those He loves.

I got tired of taking that whupping and I bowed down and submitted to Christ. I made it.

But I’m still dealing with occasional misdemeanors tho.

Speeding tickets. Eating too much. Drinking til a get a lil bit dizzy (at the house). Swearing. I still be tripping a little bit sometimes.

God is still working on my heart.

But like that song goes, I’m better, I’m stronger, I’m wiser…I made it.

I ain’t tripping.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Duffle Bag Boys

One of the objectives I set out for myself when I ventured into writing publicly via the www.servinemup.com forum, was to at all costs avoid being boring.

I considered the opportunity to not only educate and entertain (i.e. Prices at the Pump, Hittin Licks), but to also delve into the spiritual realm of thought and meditation (i.e. Soldiers in the Hood, Convictions, Dope and Jesus the Christ, Ride Wit Me.) I really do try my best, but I was worried that I was so far 'out there', that nobody would be able to really feel me. So I decided to put some material out to a sample audience, just to see how it goes.

Unlike most relatively 'obscure' writers, I was blessed to have a large preset ‘te

st’ audience.

My mother’s side of the family, the infamous Scott family of El Dorado Arkansas pulls a triple digit audience in itself, when you consider all the aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, in-laws, out-laws, cousins, distant cousins and friends of the family who are close enough to be considered related. Being down with the Scott’s comes with a lot of supportive energy and prayers.

My big daddy, the late Bishop Sam Scott of Triumph the Church, left us all with a grip for an inheritance. Because of him and Big Mama, we have a large family. They had 12 children and the family has multiplied enormously. It’s even wilder when you consider that both Big Daddy and Big Mamma grew up as orphans.

My Aunt C, the youngest daughter of the Scott 12, is a jazz singer in New York. She has performed on pretty much every continent in the world. She’s not only a jazz singer; she’s also a student of jazz music. She studies it intently. I’ve watched her perform onstage on numerous occasions and I’m always amazed by how she owns the crowd. I even asked her, ‘How do you handle going onstage and baring yourself for all to see??”

“You’ve got to feed off the energy nephew.”

It’s one thing to write engaging prose. The realer you keep it, the better. But the challenging part is when you turn that camera inward, and meditate on how you REALLY feel about things.

“I can’t teach a (bleep) how to fly a plane,

If I ain’t never been up in the cockpit, ya feeling me mane?” – Z-RO

When you start studying and meditating on the Word of God, you’re likely to catch a ‘possession’ case.


Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God


When you meditate on the Bible daily, like God ALWAYS meant us to do, there is a strengthening of your conviction that can not be substituted by any physical conditioning or weekly TV preacher.

Joshua 1:8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.

There is NOTHING like studying the Bible for yourself.

And the more you study it, the more serious your possession case becomes. And then when you accept Christ as your Lord and Savior, that’s when you catch a full blown felony case. You’re IN the game for Christ.

Satan doesn’t like it when you get saved. And he gets really busy around you when you start making those steps toward the Lord. Playing smothering defense against you and your quest to grow stronger in the Lord.

Reading the Bible makes me sleepy!!

I’m too tired to go to Bible study.

I don’t go to church because organized religion is JANKY.

Trust me, the devil does not want anyone to be happy in the Lord. He wants you to remain in uncertainty and unbelief.

Because when you believe the report that Isaiah and all of the other Old Testament prophets spoke of, you will know God’s plan of the virgin who conceived and bore the Savior of the world, Immanuel which means ‘God is with us.’

Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

Felony cases are some serious charges that the world will bring against you. And on the whole different level of possession is when you catch one of those possession with Intent to Distribute charges.

"If I don't do nuthin imma ball
I'm countin all day like a clock on the wall
Now go and get your money little duffle bag boy" - Duffle Bag Boy, Playaz Circle feat. Lil Wayne


In the Christian realm, foot soldiers are sent to the frontline of the battle. Hitting the wilderness with the mission to spread the Word.

Battling against un-belief.

Serving the ‘gospel of Christ’..that real money.

One of the elder deacons at my church says ALL the time, ‘Only the things we do for Christ are going to last.”

Of course, the Christian faith has literally thousands of different denominations and ‘movements’. From progressives, to Catholics, to Baptists, to Full Gospel, there are a lot of titles and nomenclatures that people assume in the name of Jesus.

I really try not to get into all the division, I just focus on the Bible and being true to God’s Word. A lot of church folks and Christians have shown disapproval of the way I get down with the pen, but that’s all good too. I never mean to offend anyone. We all must serve in the manner in which we are called.

I believe that once you’re enlisted in God’s army, we all have the same command to serve God. Go ye therefore and teach all nations (Matthew 28:19)

But just like there’s the unity of serving one God, one faith and one baptism (Ephesians 4:5); I also know we all have our own individual missions that God prepares us for.

Some soldiers get sent to Jerusalem, some get sent to Nineveh, some get sent to the Southside of Houston, some get sent to Calion, Arkansas.

We can not control where/when/what God will call us to do. Instead, our charge is to be willing to be led by the Spirit of the Lord.

Now, go and get your ‘money’ little duffle bag boys.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Stronger

“N- n- now th- that don't kill me
Can only make me stronger
I need you to hurry up now
cause I can't wait much longer
I know I got to be right now
Cause I can't get much wronger
Man I've been waitin' all night now
That's how long I've been on ya” – Stronger by Kanye West

I have one of those old school radios in my car with the plastic knob to change the channels.

One of those decks where you have to literally PUSH the individual preset button to make the orange bar behind the clear glass with numbers move. And once you find the channel you want, you have to PULL it out to set it.

Younger folks might not even know what the hell I’m talking about because all they know is digital, but old school folks know about analog radios.

Awhile ago, something got jammed in the middle, because now the orange bar can only access the far right side of the spectrum 104 MHz and up.

So when it comes to listening to a radio station clearly in my car, I only have 3 choices.

The Mexicans Hip Hop show in the morning, an all Spanish speaking station and a praise the Lord Jesus station.

There’s a couple of preachers that I like to catch on the Jesus channel when I can, but as I was driving home this particular evening, I had it on the Mexicans Hip Hop radio station.

I’m not playing either, if you listen to them in the morning around 630, they actually say, ‘Good morning, we’re the MEXICANS! Getcho az out of la cama!!!”

So I’m listening to the station, and this song comes on and I found myself bobbing my head to the beat, and it was JAMMING, so I turned the volume up to see if I could understand the lyrics. (I can’t always understand what rappers are saying)



You know how long I've been on ya?
Since Prince was on Apollonia
Since OJ had Isotoners
Don't act like I never told ya”


I’m old school hip-hop; I still listen to the lyrics, cuz I like to know what they’re talking about. But as I was pulling up into my driveway that verse, ‘Since OJ had isotoners’ caught my ear and I smiled.

Since I’m a person who’s old enough to vividly remember the OJ Simpson Case, all the way from the white Bronco chase broadcast during the Houston Rocket’s first Championship run, to Johnny’s closing, “If the glove don’t fit, you must acquit”, it occurred to me that my iPod wearing, video watching, PSP playing children probably listen to this song and have no idea what, ‘Since OJ had isotoners’ is referring to.

So I decided to put them to the test.

My son is the musical lyricist of the family, he can recite Jay Z, TI, Young Joc lyrics like most young teenage boys in the hood. But he also has another ‘Kanye’ style level that a lot of hood youngsters can't get on.

Black Eyed Peas. Creed. Ty Tibbet. Sade. Lauryn Hill. Anthony Hamilton. Stevie Wonder. Baby Face. Cynthia Scott.


We keep a variety in the CD changer for him to listen to.

Rap is cool, but I like my kids to be well rounded musically. Open your mind mane.

ALL you listen to is screwed up rap music??? Wow. Stuck in the hooood!!

So I walked into my son’s room..

Is that Kanye West who sings that song that goes, “Don’t act like I ain’t never told ya”??

(smiling, cuz he thought I was too old to be that hip to know the song) Yes sir.

What’s the name of the song?

Stronger.

Stronger? Hmm..I like it, it’s jamming.

I like it too.

Do you know that part that goes, ‘Since OJ had isotoners’?

Yeah, I know that part.

Do you know what that means?

Uhh..huh?

Do you know who OJ Simpson is??

Isn’t he that dude who killed his wife?

What makes you think he killed his wife??

Because that’s what they say all the time on the radio.

(Hmmm…media is a powerful mind controlling tool for the masses. Note to self.)

Actually, OJ Simpson was found not guilty in a criminal court of law of murdering his wife and Ronald Goldman.

Well, why do they say he killed her?

I think it makes a lot of people feel better to say that.

Do you think he killed her?

I don’t know for sure, I wasn’t there. But it’s actually an eerie transversal of what happened to the black guy in To Kill A Mockingbird. You remember that book right?

Yeah, that’s the one you gave me with the girl named Scout and her father was a lawyer, umm..I can’t remember the father’s name?

Atticus. Atticus Finch.

Right! Atticus Finch defended the black guy for raping the white woman?

That’s it. When Harper Lee published that book in the early 60's, it was revolutionary because it lit a lot of social fires. Although it was a work of fiction, what happened was very reflective of the real racial disparities in the judicial system in the rural South. A black man literally didn’t have a chance when being accused of committing a crime on a white woman. OJ was a black man that was acquitted in a criminal court of murdering two white folks, it’s a rarity here in America, even today.

Papa says that black folks can’t get away with the same stuff that white folks get away with.

In a lot of cases that’s true, the main thing you need to know, is that wrong is wrong, no matter what color you are. Johnny Cochrane (a black guy from Shreveport) was the lawyer that got OJ acquitted, and the legendary quote in his closing statement had to do with a glove that was found during the investigation. The prosecutors speculated that the killer had left the glove after committing the murder. So Johnny Cochrane had OJ try the glove on for the court, judge and jury to see, and when OJ tried to put the glove on, it was obvious that it was too small for his hands. “If the glove don’t fit, you must acquit.”

But what does isotoner mean?

That’s just a type of glove that’s closefitting. Isotoner gloves.

Oh.

So OJ was found not guilty in the criminal court, but later in the civil court they found him guilty.

What does that mean?

It means, that all the money OJ was making from endorsements and acting in movies stopped completely and all the assets he owned (except his primary residence) had to be turned over. Just like what happened to Mike Vick this year, OJ’s money making days were over. He was a Hall of Fame football player too. He still has a lot of records that stand in the NFL today.

But at least OJ lived. The black guy in To Kill a Mockingbird was found guilty and he died.

Death can be a relative term son. Just because a man is still breathing, doesn’t always means that he’s alive. There’s a physical death, but there’s also a spiritual death. We all have to go through one, but we don’t have to die twice..it’s a choice we all have to make on our own. You know what choice I’m talking about right?

You mean how we all have to choose to make good decisions?

And what’s the most important decision a man will make in his life?

Whether or not he accepts Jesus as Lord and Savior?

(smiling) Don’t act like I never told ya!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Legend of Super Dave

I don’t know if there’s such a thing as a ‘super-hero’ complex, but if there is, I’m sure I have it.

Some superheroes are born with superpowers; some acquire them via some weird happenstance, like being catapulted onto the earth from another planet in outer space.

I think I have a combination of both, because I’ve always been Naturally Crunk.

But during my childhood, I also experienced many episodes of blunt trauma to the head.

I was very clumsy and my peripheral vision took awhile to develop, I had an extreme case of tunnel vision. Zero in on what I wanted and pay no attention to anything else that was in the way.

BOOM!!! (Loud crying)

What happened???

D ran into the glass table and bust his head wide open!!!

Again???!!!

I kept a various array of knots, bumps and bruises on my forehead. And after my last trip to the emergency room to get x-rays to see if my ankle was broken (I had jumped off the top of my bunk bed in another episode of ULTRA-MAAAN!!), I had to talk to a couple of Child Protective Service agents.

Did your father hurt you?

Huh? I fell.

I know, but does your father ever hurt you?

Yeah, he gives me whuppings all the time.

Does he hit you in the face?

No, he hits me on the butt with belts and switches.

What about your mother? Does she hurt you?

Yeah, she whups me more than my daddy do.

All the time, they had my father in another room interrogating him. My father isn’t the type of person who has a lot of patience with white people trying to get in his business.

Hell yeah I whup his butt when he gets out of line, he’s MY son!! If ya’ll got a problem with it, then ya’ll take him and clothe him and feed him everyday!!

When we were leaving the hospital going back to the car (no broken bones, just a bad sprain) I knew we weren’t going to be coming back there unless I was near death. Especially when my daddy looked at me and asked me, ‘What the hell were you telling them white folks??”

Fortunately, I made it through childhood healthy and alive.

I was having some problems in grade school and paying attention at home. Every time somebody said something to me they had to repeat it, because I would give them this confused look and be like, ‘Huh??”

It got so bad, that my mother thought I was having some sort of inner ear disturbance or something. My dad just looked at me and shook his head, “Something just ain’t right with that boy, he acts like he retarded.”

I had to go to one of those doctors where they test your hearing and cognitive thinking skills. By the time the examination was over, the doctor, flipped off his stethoscope and said, “His hearing is perfectly fine Ms. Washington. So are his motor skills. He hears you, he’s just ignoring you.”

Once that doctor said that, and my momma paid him his fee, she zeroed in on me like a Patriot missile 0n a Scud missile. Zero tolerance was in effect.

Mess up and do something you know you’re not supposed to? Butt whupping and go sit in your room with no TV, radio or toys. All I could do was sleep, stare at the wall or read a book. And thus, my penchant for the written word was born. I spent a LOT of time in isolation.

My dad tells folks all the time that I normally had to get 3 whuppings a day, all before lunchtime. And by the time I got that 3rd whupping, I was okay for the rest of the day. Hard head boys are different from ‘normal’ children.

Some people don’t think corporal punishment is a ‘humane’ thing to do to a child.

I’m on the other end of the spectrum. If it wasn’t for those butt whuppings that my mother, father, grandparents, aunts and uncles put on my behind, I’d be a different person. The village definitely raised me.

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. - Proverbs 22:6 KJV

Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. - Ephesians 6:4 NASB

Hard heads make soft butts and pretty soon, you’ll get tired of being punished all the time and you learn to obey. Once a child understands stop and sit down? Let the discipline begin.

Fast forward to the teenage years. My senior year in high school, at the renowned Booker T. Washington and the High School for Engineering Professions in Studewood, Texas.

Booker T. was the first public school in Houston that allowed black students to attend at the turn of the century.. Back then it was called ‘Colored High’ before it moved to its current location on Yale and East 39th.


Principal F.D. Wesley walked those halls of Booker T. for 50 years and molded thousands of young black minds. Although he passed away this past summer, he will always be my principal along with all the rest of the students whose diploma he signed.

I'm so glad, Jesus set me free.

Sing glory, halleluia, Jesus set me free!

I was at a high school Houston Area Model United Nations (HAMUN) conference at the University of Houston when I got the call.

Hello?

Hey son.

Wazzup Dad?

A letter came in the mail today from Stanford and since it had my name on it, I opened it.

(My heart skipped a beat..this was the week that college acceptance/rejection letters were sent out) You opened my mail???

It had MY name on it!!

(I had to let the invasion of privacy issue go, my dad could get belligerent when he wanted to)

What does it say?

You got in. Congratulations.

I could barely remembering hanging up the phone, because you just get kinda numb when something you REALLY want comes to fruition. My grades, test scores and essay were good enough, I was accepted to Stanford University!! Yeah!

Unfortunately, a couple of my classmates at Booker T. had already received their rejection letters from Stanford, so I didn’t want to just gloat and rub it in their face. So instead I took a ride to my podna LaGette Kemp’s house in Hillwood, because I knew he would be happy for me.

He was having another one of his famous house parties and it was CRUNK by the time I got there, and as soon as he opened the door, I started smiling.

Wazzup D??

He could tell by the look on my face that something was up.

I got in to Stanford.

It was the first time I had said it out loud and it made my whole body smile.

NO SH’T!!??!!! SAY MANE!! Ya’ll turn the music down!! My boy D.Wash is going to STANFORD mane!!!

I was greeted with shoulder slaps, hugs from all the honeys, high fives and of course all the beer and liquor I could drink. Southside love. A lot of hard heads never make it out of the hood. God had a different plan for me.

Stanford has a week in the spring that all prospective freshmen (ProFro’s) can come and visit the campus and get acclimated to what Stanford life is like.

More specifically, the black community at Stanford has a Black Recruitment Orientation Committee which targets the incoming black freshman.

When I arrived at the airport in San Francisco, the first person I met was this other ProFro from Charlotte, North Carolina named Zerrick Bynum. We rode on the same shuttle together over to the dormitory we would be staying in for the weekend, Ujamaa.

The African American Theme House is called Ujamaa, a Swahili word that means Cooperative Economics. Ujamaa is also one of the 7 principles of Kwanzaa. A holiday created by this guy named Dr. Maulana Karenga, to focus more on the African tradition of celebrating. Not necessarily Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, but just geared toward a celebration of the black family and community.

Ujamaa is an L-shaped 2 –story dorm that’s separated into two wings, A-wing and B-Wing. It was during BROC weekend that I had my first experience with the infamous ‘B-Wing’. You might hear some Public Enemy or see a biggo Red, Black and Green flag hanging on a door when you walk through B-Wing.

1st floor was all women. 2nd floor Men. Community bathrooms in the middle of the hall.

We were hanging out in B-Wing in the lounge. Watching Cosby Show and A Different World. Laughing. Talking. You might catch a REALLY deep conversation concerning the African Diaspora’s Effect on Dance in the West Indies. Or you might catch a completely MEANINGLESS heated debate on which was better, Cocoa Puffs or Dig’em Smacks.

I ended up spending most of my time hanging out with this guy named Mike from Cincinnati, (the nasty NATI!!). Mike had muscles bulging everywhere. Since I really didn’t have any family or friends within thousands of miles, I figured “If a fight breaks out, I want HIM on my side!!” So we became friends. Running buddies. Podna’s. We were cocky, brash and arrogant. We were both young men finding our paths of maturity.

We were both going to attempt to jump from the 1st landing area of stairs on B-Wing and grab and hold on to the ledge on the 2nd floor. Leading from the lounge is a staircase to the second floor. It’s one of those wide staircases that you could bring a grand piano up on it if you wanted. It had 2 sets of steps, once you reached the landing area, the 2nd set turned back the other direction, but still going up. I don’t know WHAT made us decide to try this crazy stunt, but we had an audience, we were excited to be in a new environment, and we wanted to show out for the ‘honeys’. In case you forgot, this is how 17 year old boys get attention from women. they ‘show out’. So I went first.

When I jumped, I had a moment’s hesitation as I took off. “You know…you MIGHT not make it to the ledge” but I brushed this off and tried anyway. I made it to the ledge, with my right hand, but my left didn’t quite make it. Instead of giving up immediately and balancing myself for the fall, I tried to shift my weight and THROW my left hand up on the ledge…mistake. I lost my grip with my right hand and fell down a flight of stars. horizontally.

When I landed on the floor of 1st Floor B-wing I was thankful that the architects of that building had saw fit to build the hallways elevated off of the concrete foundation. Because when I hit the floor, I literally bounced. A couple of times. Wood and concrete are both hard to fall on but if I had my druthers, I’d take the wood. Once the loud thud resonated throughout the hallway, lounge, campus, there was an eerie silence.

What was THAT???

Oooooooh!!! Are you alright??

Is he moving???

Is he breathing???

What happened, did he fall?

I lay motionless. Trying to wait until the tingling sensation down my right side subsided. Hmm..can I move my fingers? Can I move my toes? Is my back broke??

Slowly but surely the numbness wore off…good, nothing broken. They slowly helped me to my feet.

Are you ok?

Do you need to go to the doctor?

Yes, I’m ok. No, no doctor. Damn this is embarrassing.

Everybody was staring at me to see if I was going to collapse, cry or smile.

Being the showman that I am, I gave a weak smile and joked, “now let’s see YOU do it Mike.”

Everybody laughed. Some even howled.

He’s ok!! He’s alright! Now it’s ok to laugh at his crazy az!!! Who IS that?? That’s that crazy brother from Houston. What’s his name? David I think..We SHOULD call him Super Dave!!! (like the tv stuntman, Super Dave Osborne.)

The really wild part, is that even after I almost broke my back, Mike tried the same stunt and pulled it off!!! I can’t stand show-offs. Shoot. Anyway.

The rest is history.

Super Dave and his sidekick Mike Pick.

And here it is almost 20 years later and I’m STILL pulling stunts (see Hittin Licks) just on a less physical level. Most of the stunts I pull now are with the pen. And my podna Mike is still as determined as ever, as evidenced by his rise to the position of Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Black Entertainment Television Networks, which I think is a pretty cool deal.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Biting the Nail

I'm at the point now, that whenever I sit down with my pen to write, I always say a prayer first.

I used to just write indiscriminately, no matter what mood I was in, whether I was angry or drunk, happy or hurt, I'd just let it flow and stamp it as 'all the way real' and go on.

But something happened to me one day and I just kinda..grew up.

Or rather I should say, I'm continuing to grow.

Whenever I put things in a spiritual perspective, I find that my path is always more lucid and clear.

So once I acknowledged the Lord I serve, then the task became, channeling a writers work with an engineering mind.

I could see where majoring in English Literature or one of those 'fuzzy' courses as all liberal arts courses are commonly called at my alma mater Stanford University (our football team whupped USC AZ this week!! GO CARDINAL!) , would have helped me a lot in my writing world.

But instead of lamenting what could have been, I always like to enjoy the reality of what God had already planned for me and the path that I have taken.

It is what it is.

People always ask me, 'Well what do engineers do??" and my common answer is 'We engineer things. We make it work."

And one of the most common engineering principles is, if it ain't broke, see if you can make it better.

The basic design of the wheel hasn't been improved upon in centuries.

If it's round, it will roll.

So when I looked at the common formula for writers, and what those who have broken through and published fantastic literary works have done, I ran across this marvelous book called, On Being a Writer, edited by Bill Strickland.

It has interviews and quotes from famous and prolific writers such as Norman Mailer, John Steinbeck, William Faulkner, Truman Capote, Kurt Vonnegut, Nikki Giovanni, to name a few.

I always like getting real accounts from real people.

And there's a chapter in there with an interview of Ernest Hemingway at his home in Havana by Edward P. Stafford written in 1958 that really illuminated the writer's task to me and my engineering mind.

Here are a few excerpts:

My wife needled him. "Is it true," she asked, "that you take a pitcher of martinis up into the tower every morning when you go up to writer?"

"Jeezus Christ!" Papa was incredulous. "Have you ever heard of anyone who drank while he worked? You're thinking of Faulkner. He does sometimes, and I can tell right in the middle of a page when he had his first one. Besides, " he added, "who in hell would mix more than one martini at a time anyway?"

"What about hours?" I asked. "How long can you actually be productive on a daily basis? How do you know when to stop?"

"That's something you have to learn about yourself. The important thing is to work every day. I work from about seven until noon. Then I go fishing or swimming, whatever I want. the best way is to always stop when you are going good. If you do that you'll never be stuck. And don't think or worry about it until you start to write again the next day. That way your subconscious will be working on it all the time, but if you worry about it, your brain will get tired before you start again. But work every day. No matter what happened the day or night before, get up and bite on the nail."

********

"How do you ever learn to convey every sensation, sight and feeling to the reader? Just keep working at it for 40 odd years the way you have? Are there any tricks?

"No, the hardest trade in the world is the writing of straight, honest, prose about human beings. But there are ways you can train yourself."

"How?"

"When you walk into a room and you get a certain feeling or emotion, remember back until you see exactly what it was that gave you the emotion, remember back until you see exactly what it was that gave you the emotion. Remember what the noises and smells were and what was said. Then write it down, making it clear so the reader will see it too, and have the same feeling you had. And watch people, observe, try to put yourself in somebody else's head. It two men argue, don't just think who is right and who is wrong. think what both their sides are. As a man, you know who is right and who is wrong; you have to judge. As a writer, you should not judge, you should understand."

*********

"Is it a good thing to talk over your work with other people, other writers? is that a way to learn? It has often seemed to me that most of the great talents of the century were living in Paris in the twenties when you were, and you all knew each other. You must have talked about writing - and it must have helped?"

"Good conversation with good people is always stimulating, especially after work. You can talk about writing generally, about words and when you are learning and trust or respect another writer, he can help you with the blue pencil and in other ways- but never talk about a story you are working on. If you tell it, you never write it. You spoil the freshness, you mouth it up and get rid of it to the telling instead of the writing. Writers should work alone, then talk."

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Maintaining

How's that saying go?

"An ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure?"

I believe that.

I got a chance to see that mantra up close and in person after working over 10 years in the manufacturing industry.

I've seen people spend over a $100,000 on a piece of equipment and never maintain it.

They just ignore it until there's a problem and usually, the problem could have been solved a lot easier if it had been detected earlier.

That oil leak you see in your driveway isn't going to 'magically' disappear.

That's why it's very important to go through regularly scheduled maintenance procedures.

To make sure all your fluid levels are adequate, all your belts are tightened, all your filters are clean.

It's not just about machinery either. This same mantra applies to dental and medical issues.

If you get your teeth cleaned twice a year, you're a LOT less likely to need a root canal down the road.

It's not always an easy thing, staying properly 'maintained'.

Especially if you're like me, I have an aversion to needles and doctors who want to probe their finger into my anal cavity or even worse, the ol Q-tip through the urethra.

Just the thought gives me the creeps and makes me want to shudder. Yech!!

People have different levels that they take their spiritual faith onto the medical realm.

I ain't go waste my time going to no doctor!! When God is ready to call me home, I'm going home!!

It sounds like a 'righteous' response, but yet I've never seen anyone just literally get sick one day and die immediately.

There's usually a process of warning signs that happens. Symptoms that appear that let a person know, 'Something ain't right with me."

I spent the first 2 years of my marriage as a non-church attender.

I knew enough of the Bible to be dangerous.

"I don't have to go to nobody's church to go to heaven!!"

Which is true. Church attendance is not a Biblical requirement of salvation as is displayed by Jesus' response to the non-church going thief on the cross next to Him:

"And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise." - Luke 23:42-43

I used that thief on the cross many times when my mom or dad or one of my grandmothers tried to chide me for not attending regular praise & worship services.

But then one day, I started leaking oil.

As most leaks, it started kinda small. Like a drop or two in the driveway.

Eventually, it grew into a full blown oil puddle.

But I ignored it, somehow hoping it would just magically stop and go away, because I just didn't want to deal with it at the time.

The check oil light in the car was never meant to be a maintenance reminder. It's actually a functional ALERT for something that you shoulda already taken care of.

A $20 oil change is a lot cheaper than having to buy a new motor.

So often, people wait until they have a major crisis going on, divorce, sickness, unemployment before they take their heart in to get worked on by God.

It is often in these times of desperation that you end up going before the church, crying and slanging snot everywhere, asking for forgiveness, asking for the church to help you from getting your house foreclosed on.

Not to say that church attendance or faith will keep you from foreclosure.

But the thing I do know, is that your faith will keep you from going crazy or having a complete meltdown when you do go through life's trials and obstacles.

I do attend regular church services now. Good ol Baptist folks..YES-SUH!!

But when my time came to shake my pastor's hand, as he extended me that right hand of fellowship, it wasn't about money or job or sickness at the time, it was just about me and my commitment to God.

Since that day, I've grown to NEED church services. I need corporate prayer, praise, preaching and teaching.

From Devotion to the Benediction, I feel blessed to be in the house of the Lord.

I know God's church is not a physical one confined by walls.

God's Church is the body of Christ. The Believers who stand up on faith are the Church.

So, if you have breath in your body, and the strength to stand up and walk, and gas in your gas tank..why can't you give the Lord some of your time?

There are 168 hour in a week and people can't find the time, love or energy to give God 1 hour? (2 in a Baptist morning service)

I dunno, people are strange.

It's almost as if they think God is a damn fool.

Of course, I'm not talking about those who don't believe in God and His Word, that's a whole different scenario altogether.

But those who believe, need to stay properly maintained.

Give Him some time mane. Fo real.


"Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching." - Heb 10:23-25

I learned that once you accept Christ, you can no longer limit yourself by the thief on the cross or any other mortal.

Salvation is not a static position for the Believer, we have to strive toward Christ in our walk.

On the Southside, we just call it, 'maintaining'.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

You Know What It Is


So, I have been requested (by several different people in several different manners) to be a more frequent presence on the scene.

"You need to post more stuff D..I be ready to read everytime you drop." - Southside Hustler

"I ordered all my grandsons a copy of your book for Christmas, they need Jesus anyway they can get Him!" - Northside Grandma

"All I know, if my husband don't make a change in his life, I'm not going to be able to stay with him. If he read some D.E. Washington and don't start loving me more like I deserve, I'll be like Juanita Bynum. She said she loved her husband (Bishop Weeks) so much that she'd marry him TWICE!! Hmph..but this first marriage was over!! Praise Jesus!" - Southside Desperate Working Wife

Okay, I just made myself laugh, 'Southside Desperate Working Wife'..that's funny.

The wild part is, that I'm actually a reclusive person in disguise.

My wife pointed this out to one of our friends who was over at the house visiting one day.

"Girll, you know D had us cracking up at work on that last email he sent out. He's so outgoing and always ready to be the life of the party."

"You know..my husband has his moments, but most of the time he's really quiet and off to himself. He'll talk to people, but he does have his modes of minimal interacting. (smiling) He just crazy."

That's my baby doll! She knows I'm crazy as hell, but loves me anyway!

Sigh. How sweet. Real Love mane.

I don't know what ya'll marriage vows that you made before God said, but ours had this part in there 'Til death do us part'. And I take vows very seriously.

"When thou shalt vow a vow unto the LORD thy God, thou shalt not slack to pay it: for the LORD thy God will surely require it of thee; and it would be sin in thee. " - Duetoronomy 23:21

It is what it is.

Even though I'm silent sometimes, I'm always striving to keep it real. I'm staying on my course. Writing everyday, studying the Bible, reading, praying,attending praise and worship services, loving. I know that there is always more room for me to grow in Christ.



So this next month or so, I'm making a concerted effort to be more visible, posting more frequently, like back when I first started Hittin Licks on the blogosphere over 4 years ago. And in case you haven't noticed, I'm a lot stronger with the pen than I was then.