Here’s Why I Can Relate to Cypress Hill and The Fresh Prince February 8, 2013

I hear you, Cypress Hill.

I feel your pain, Fresh Prince.

Both of you knew people who just didn’t understand.

B-Real and Sen-Dog were frustrated because nobody could understand how they could just kill a man. Well I’ll tell you why: there was some rookie who busted into their house and tried to take their chrome.

And The Fresh Prince…we all know how that turned out. His parents just didn’t understand. I mean sometimes a kid just needs to impress the ladies with his parents’ Porsche, and how are you supposed to do that if you’re wearing Brady Bunch pants, a shirt with a butterfly collar and Zips for God’s sake?

Well, my hip hop brothers…I too have people in my life who just don’t understand.

Let’s start with my stepdaughter. Once a week I will see her scouring the internet, looking for a “current event” for one of her classes. After a few minutes she will excitedly tell me about the article she found. It’s usually something about an abandoned cat with 3 legs, one eye and severe halitosis who is adopted by autistic conjoined twins after he saves them from a fire caused by their faulty iPad. What she clearly does not understand is that although this may be a super groovy story to share with her classmates, it is not – and I repeat it is NOT – a “current event”.

Calling this a current event is like calling Brett Favre a “loyal Green Bay Packer”.

Calling this a current event is like calling Audrina Patridge a “real” actress.

Calling this a current event is like calling Honey Boo Boo’s mom a “proper Southern lady”.

Let’s see…the fact that an angry, revengeful ex-cop is on the loose killing people right now is a wee bit more noteworthy than the feel-good cat story. Before you choose that current event, kids, let’s do a little gut check, shall we? If you can’t picture it showing up as a clue on Jeopardy! someday, then it’s time to find another story.

Another person who doesn’t understand is the hand crème guy at the mall. Don’t let him fool you; the hand crème guy is basically the mall’s resident gypsy. The second you take that sample of hand crème, he will take your hand, give you a flower, tell your fortune, and then accuse you of making him fall and injure himself as his buddy lifts your wallet. This is all done in a confusing Romanian accent of course.

Clearly the hand crème guy does not understand that the average person (i.e. me, who was taking a half day vacation) does not have the time to stop and hear his spiel about this magical crème which supposedly contains ground-up diamonds, gold flecks and skin cell samples cultivated from Kristin Cavalleri. (Because we all know that bitch’s hands are impossibly smooth, having never seen an honest day’s work.)

Most of us need to get on our merry way so we can buy more threadbare sweaters from Forever 21, or so we can check out the raunchy cards and tee shirts at Hot Topic. Hand crème guy needs to take a lesson from Panda Express. Distribute the delectable sample and then move on. If it’s that great, we will come back for the chicken.

The last guy who just doesn’t understand is my company’s Kaizen Event Leader. Now don’t get me wrong. I think Kaizen events are very valuable and actually kind of cool. After all, you find a bunch of stupid, redundant tasks that people have been doing for years, and you show how pointless and wasteful it’s all been. You and your team are then heroes for finding all this waste and saving the company time and money. Not only does management love it, but the entire week you are in these meetings you are fed free soda and snacks. It’s pretty kush.

The only problem I have with this is the clothing requirement. No, I’m not talking about a special dress code. Rather I’m talking about my company’s requirement for each team member to order some article of clothing with the company’s name and logo on it along with the embroidered words “Kaizen Event Team Member”.

My feelings on company apparel are quite simple. They run along a scale ranging from “Oh hell no” on one end to “The only way I’m wearing any company clothing is the day I start working for Prada” on the other.

Of course, the shirt is the first order of business on Day One of the event.

“What kind of shirt do you want?” the Kaizen Event Team Leader asks me.

“Uh…do I really need to order one?” I ask.


“I’d be saving the company money if I didn’t order one.”

A confused look, then silence.

“Well how about I think about it and let you know,” I say, hoping that he will just forget about it.

No such luck. The next day I am approached again. So I try to avoid a decision by using smart-ass humor.

“Okay, get me a tank top,” I say. “Wait, no…a tube top.”

Laughter, then silence. His pen is still poised to take my order.

I really didn’t want to do this, but he leaves me no choice. I am forced to take the direct approach.

“I don’t think you quite understand,” I begin. “I don’t want a shirt. I will not wear the shirt. Not for camping. Not for highway garbage pick-up. And not even if I attended the annual Kaizen-palooza (I’m sure that’s what it’s called) conference, which, by the way, is probably someplace like Vegas…and I need to look cute there. Now this is in no way a reflection on all you fine people or this event. However, the only winner here is going to be the ironic hipster who buys this shirt from the thrift store. Because that is where it’s going once I get it.”

“You can get a sweatshirt or polo or even a long-sleeved shirt…those long-sleeved ones are nice…”


“Fine. Give me a red t-shirt.”




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