h&f 0011 God Bless Grease, but ain’t nuthin’ like that ‘tussin.

You have to marvel at the ingenuity of folk under pressure.  I hope this foreclosure crisis, for all the ills its bringing to people, will summon the silver lining.

On to the topic: ‘tussin

I thought cocoa butter was the national remedy of blak folk (not a typo, that… blak. don’t worry: it’s not militant, just blak.).  We were not a cocoa butter negro family in my youth.  Back then, blak folk fell in two camps: grease or cocoa butter.  May have been a Texas thing, but the universal salve in my household was grease, known by external camps as petroleum jelly or the trade name Vaseline.

I don’t remember when the bourgeoise supplanting, lotion, happened, but I think it was in college.  Before then, we would always put grease on our faces (my three brothers and I) and in our hair.  Hypoallergenic, in hindsight proved to be a much overrated characteristic of dermatological moisture retention methods.  Grease was not only “the word,” but also “The Answer,” long before Allen Iverson rightfully assumed and shared the mantle.

Other blak families used cocoa butter.  Gotta burn? Cocoa butter.  Flour-kickin’ ash issues? Cocoa Butter.  Rainin’ outside? Still… cocoa butter.  Just look at the jar and the clouds would dissipate.

Grease did that for us.

I wondered in college how in the world kids could use this stuff, lotion.  It wasn’t thick.  It evaporated during the course of a day.   My feet being shiny dust magnets as they were covered in grease paled in comparison to the intrinsic flaws of “lotion??????”.

God Bless Grease. (good for cheap shoe shines, too:  Even though you still had that dust problem, you could at least get through Church service with a shiny pair of baptist kicks.)

Now, we weren’t a ‘tussin family either.  But when I first heard Chris Rock deliver this piece, I fell out of my Apollo seat, identifying with this, another universal blak folk cure…

Be well: Rub that grease in. Put some cocoa butter on that thang.  And spill some ‘tussin for my dead homies.

small pic, but the flyest leather suit of all time.  and I thought it couldn't be done...

Thanks, kind brother Rock.

Much peace,




~ by ericjhenderson on June 20, 2008.

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