To commemorate the one year anniversary of The Group News Blog, celebrating me and Steve's birthplace—Harlem—and a great Uptown get together last month with Sara, Evan and Jen, (and a paean to the loss of a great national resource—our great stand-up comedians) I give you this track from the “lost” Richard Pryor album “I Got Yo' Damn Iced Tea Right Here, Mother-f*cker!”
SIDE ONE—BAND ONE:
MUDBONE, THE GASTRONOME—8:11
(AUDIENCE STARTS TO CHEER AND LAUGH AS PRYOR RECOGNIZABLY STOOPS A BIT AND SLOWLY MOVES TOWARDS THE MIC. ONE PATRON CALLS OUT:)
“Aw yeah! That's what I came here for!...”
MUDBONE (TO PATRON): Well sit the fuck down an' let a man introduce himself! Sheeeeeeee-t! This ain't no reality show featurin' you! Fuck Big Brother, you the star of “Big, Stupid-Ass Mother Fucker”! I'm the God-damn star a' this show! (CLEARS THROAT) And m' name...is Mud-bone, of the Tupelo Mississippi Mudbones, thankyaverymuch!
(THE AUDIENCE CHEERS WILDLY)
MUDBONE: Now, now...I lknow I been away fo' awhile. You see, I been busy the las' year or so, workin' on sumpin' you prob'ly heard about—that big “Hope an' Change” thang! Basically, I been hopin'...that with all that money Mr. O-Alabama been rakin' in...that he might fuck up and drop some change so I could pick it up. (BEAT) Fuckin' people give him millions of dollars a month. Make Jerry Lewis Telethon look like Goddamn Food Stamps! “Hope n' Change.” Hope I get me some a' that change. Mmmm-hmm.
So, like I says... I been away, but I come back to...resume...my lucrative career in the Cable News industry. See, I woik behind the scenes and shit. I'm a mover and a shaker. I move that push-broom like a Goddamn champion, and I..shake the dus' off the dust-pan like no-boty's bidness. Now I must confess, it's a hard-ass job...'cause...I woik over there at Fox News.
(AUDIENCE BOOS A LITTLE BIT)
MUDBONE: You can boo me if you wanna, but I seen many a n*gger in a neck brace from fallin' offa high horses. Like all that laundry yo' mamas took in ain't never had no robes an' pointy-ass hoods up in it! Ain't but so many Magic Johnson Starbucks to work in, you know. Bills gotta git paid. (Under his breath) Criticize me, know got-damn well your cell phone been turned off two months. Now, before I was so rudely interrupted—I was sayin, the work at Fox is hard. I use a special mop, just to handle Sean Hannity's spit. It's a extra-absorbent mop, 'cause his ass spit like a clam whose mama been insulted. Motherfucker spits everywhere. On the flo', on his desk...on the camera lens—and that shit is fifteen-fucking-feet away. He spit on Alan Colmes so bad one night, I thought it were Pat Riley sittin' in with Sean 'cause his hair was all slicked back.
I said to im', “Mr. Riley. I appreciate your work...and...fuck Phil Jackson with a rusty chainsaw.”
Colmes said, “Goddamn Mudbone, it's me! Alan B. Colmes! You've bein' bamboozled by all this here spit!”
So of course, I apologized to the man. Toweled his hair off. Give him a spine massage—which were hard, 'cause I couldn't locate one on 'im...
But like I said, the job is hard.
However, it's honest-ass woik. Now, I got the position there, through my friend Juan Williams who owed me a favor, 'cause I saved his life in Florida 25 years ago. See, he were messin' roun' with this gal...Latin gal she were. Fine as the day is long! Sweat taste like flán! An' he got caught in a compromisin' position with her—I think it was the reverse cowboy or sumpin'—by her brothers, who was a bunch a' Cuban gangsters. An' Cuban gangsters don' play. I saw bunch of 'em beat a motherfucker so bad in Miami, his ass swam back to Cuba to escape. No raft. Jus' arms an' legs paddlin' like a Goddamn riverboat. So...so, I knew Juan was in trouble. 'Specially since his name wasn't even Juan. N*gger's real name was Stanley. Stanley Williams from 47th Street. But when them Cuban gangsters caught his ass, I was there outside the window, not peekin' in—I ain't no freak or nothin'. However, I was attracted by the Marvin Gaye records playin'. And I could see they was gonna chop his ass up like a fried pla-ta-no, an' Lord knows I don' like to see a brother get chopped up over no punanny or nothing, so I caught his eye an' called out—“Juan! It's time-o, for you to go-o, you'll be late for yo gig-o at the Buena Vista Social Club-o!”
An' I winked t' give him the high sign—an' for kicks, at that fine-ass Cuban gal, you know? (LAUGHS) But the brothers, bein' Cuban an whatnot, automatically respected him, 'cause they thought he were one a' them artistes from the island...stead 'a what he was, which was a Miami cock-hound runnin' a pimp game. So, he managed to get up outta there—after two shitty sets at the Pie-ano an' a encore, and he was eternally grateful for my savin' his Black ass...an' for givin' him fitty dollars to get his ass outta town when the gal come to give birth an' fucked up namin' the chil' after him with his real name—Stanley.
So, when he got his job at Fox, I dropped him a line, remindin' him a' my good deed on his behalf—an' that I knew where he were, and where them Cuban Gangsters were...an' pity should the twain ever meet. That's how I got my job at Fox!
Now, workin' up there, I sees all kinda famous peoples ever' day. Like that crazy-ass Ferrarro woman. I saw her ass in the green room last week. Said “Hi” to her, I shook her hand...spit in her latte when she wasn't lookin'...
But the most famous person I seen up there was Mr. Bill O'Reilly, from that “O'Reilly Factor” and whatnot. Sellin' all them mugs an' shit. Now, he's hard as hell to work for, 'cause he got what you call...anger management issues. Like to yell at every-bo-ty all the damn time. In fact, I heard, that when he were born, the doctors didn't have to slap his ass or nothin', to get him yellin—an' that he came out cussin' his Mama's ass out for for not pushin' hard enough! Said 'Bitch I got places to be! Shit to make! Titty to suck! You holdin' up the Goddamn process!'
Oh yeah, he love to cuss. Motherfucker say fuck almost as fuckin' often as I say fuck. An' my ass say 'fuck' all the damn time.
So, one day...I'm there cleanin' up the place, sweepin' an' whatnot, when I'm outside O'Reilly's office...an' I hears all this cussin, an' heavy breathin' an' shit...an' I'm thinkin' 'Maybe this motherfucker's bein' born a second time' or somethin'. But then...I hear this loud-ass buzzin' sound—swear to God it sound like somebody, gettin' the Goddamn electric chair in there! So, I bust down th' door, an' Holy Jesus, HOLY JESUS—there is Mr. O'Reilly sittin'...well kind squattin' actually, over his office chair, with a woman's “personal massages” stickin' outta someplace it clearly don' be-long! An' it's buzzin' like a bee stuck in a knot-hole or somethin', while his ass is on the phone talkin' nasty to somebody.
Now, now...I don't know what I stumbled onto right then an' there...although my Black ass knows now!, so I were shocked as shit! So, I said “Mr. O'Reilly...is there a problem I can he'p you with, that don't involve me touchin' that women's personal massager?” An' he were surprised by me bustin' in there—I know he were, 'cause he took care a' the massager issue lickety-split, when he musta' flexed or somethin' an' fired that son-of-a-bitch cross the room like a motherfuckin' Atlas rocket! PYOW! Shit ricocheted off his Peabody...Polk...some kinda award...fuck if I can remember what it was—mighta been a Goddamn softball trophy—but it bounced off that thang and stuck in the wall like a motherfuckin' spear from a Tarzan movie!
An' then he dropped the phone all of a sudden—his hands was all greased up, so I guess it musta' slipped, an' he said “Thank God you've come...you've just saved me from a nefarious plot by Media Matters. They snuck that woman's personal massager onto my chair like a thumbtack, and were preparing to embarrass me when word got out that I sat down on it unwittingly”
So...(MUDBONE LAUGHS) So...I ask him—'cause you know I'm like Joe Louis, I don't pull no punches—I ask him, “Did they also set up that bucket of K-Y Jelly on your desk, and how...did they get your pants down around your motherfuckin' ankles, sir?”
Well, he get next to blubberin' an stutterin' an whatnot, talkin' 'bout “Don't be a pin-head!”, which was kind of funny seein' how I was the one fully dressed and decent, an' he were the one I caught playin' with the do-it-yourself, home proctology kit, an then...he tried to take my mind offa what was goin' on by offering me some food he had on his desk—which was kinda nasty sittin next t' that bucket of K-Y, but he wanted to be all hospitable an' shit, so he say “You look hungry, would you like some of this here falafel?”
I said, “Fa-what?”
He say “Falafel! Here, tuck in.” An' he push th' plate at me, and I said it again...“Fa-what?”
'Cause , that stuff didn't look too appetizin'. Looked like some undercooked “mountain chestnuts” wrapped in a Pamper™, with some questionable-ass “sauce” all over it, and considerin' what I had just walked in on, I wasn't about to go near that shit! Sauce looked a little too fresh for th' kid—know what I mean? So, I shook my head and said, “No, no Mr. O'Reilly, you can keep your Fa-whatever.” And he lost his motherfuckin' mind! Started yellin' at my ass all kuh-rayzy, “It's falafel, motherfucker! Falafel! Falafel! Falafel! Soun' like he was coughin' an' shit.
To which I naturally said, “God bless you, motherfucker.”
So...so he simmer down after a minute. Seem like he wanna be a nice fella now. Got his pants pulled up, pried that massager out the wall, and he said, “To show you my undyin' gratitude for saving my life from Media Matters, here is five-hunded dollars for your trouble—“trouble” meanin' you don't say a got-damn thing to nobody about what happened here—and...would you allow me to treat you to a fine dinner somewhere in town?”
Well I took that money before he could finish sayin' the “-ble” in “trouble”, an' I knew I had me a fish on the line, plus...I done seen the shit this motherfucker like to eat, so I wasn't even gonna let him make the choice a' where we was gonna grub. So I proposed we go “Uptown” for some soul food. Said it sound alright to him, and “Where do want to go exactly?” So, I hatched my plan and of course said “Sylvia's on Lenox Avenue”.
(AUDIENCE STARTS LAUGHING HARD)
MUDBONE: Well, I knew he wouldn't be too keen on that, cause I could hear his body make that nasty sound it made just before he fired that personal massager 'cross the room, an' this were while his pants were pulled up while we was ridin' in the cab, so I knew he was up-set. An' then, his skin went white. Or, whi-ter dependin' on your perspective of shit, but then he said somethin funny, He said, “I'm afraid I can't go up there to Sylvia's, as rumor has it there's a buncha' militant Black Panthers waitin' there to kill my ass should I ever show my face there a-gain.” (WAITS A LONG BEAT FOR LAUGHTER)
Now you know, I don't want no God-damn murder on my hands, least of all one of somebody payin' for my dinner, so I got crafty and suggested a different spot—Viola's, up on 135th Street where my man Tood'lum woik in th' kitchen. So O'Reilly said “That's fine”, and we drove on up. Which were gonna work out sweet for me, 'cause Tood'lum an me, we had an agreement. I never paid for nothin' when I ate there, and I never tol' nobody 'bout that n*gger he cut up down by the Chattahoochie over that Geechie gal what had his nose all opened up. An' seein' as how O'Reilly was payin', I was gonna have Tood'lum kick back the difference on my meal, while I was gonna make damn sure Mr. O'Reilly made up the difference on th' drinks an' the tip. See, don't think my ass bein' from Tupelo mean I don't know how the business world works.
That's what entrepreneur motherfuckers call a “re-allocation of funds”. An' I was gonna re-allocate as much a that bitch-ass's money as possible so I could have me lots of “funs” with it, too.
So, we get up there to Viola's, O'Reilly paid for th' ride, an' the cabbie like t' dig clear down to the “2” Train tracks peelin' out t' get back downtown. Swear t' God! But, we was there, and' as we was walkin' in O'Reilly stopped an' said, “Good grief—I just realized! Do you have a reservation?” An' I said “Well, now that you mention it, yes. I wish today were Saturday, 'cause then the Peach Cobbler'd be on the menu. But besides that, no suh! No reservations.”
Then, we stroll on in, an' I can see Tood'lum wavin' at me from the kitchen and I'm like “Awwww shit, don't advertise that I got an 'in' at this place! Hang back an' let this motherfucker spen' his money—some of which will soon be my money.” So, I wave his ass off and th' greeter seats us...up under a big-ass picture of the owner Viola, shakin' hands with Louis Farrakhan. Well, O'Reilly like t' pitch a bitch right then and there an' started back to his yellin' all crazy an' shit, “This is an outrage! I'm offended you would seat me under such a vile human being!” (MUDBONE SIGHS) You know how it go...“Cracker-ass angry shit, cracker-ass angry shit, cracker-ass angry shit!” So, Viola re-seated his ass elsewhere in the joint, but this time under a picture of her...and Al Sharpton. Here we go again...with “Cracker-ass angry shit, Part Deux.” (BEAT) That's french for “the sequel”. (LAUGHS) So, they moved us again an' again, an' O'Reilly's clumsy ass is bumpin' into people's tables an' shit, knockin' over their hot sauce an' grape soda...got their cornbread fallin' all on the floor...it's a Goddamn, soul food calamity up in there! An' now, the peoples is mad, 'cause he done fucked up their dinin' experience, so they start shootin' him evil eyes, an' then his ass got all paranoid. An' I can see his wheels turnin', 'cause he thinkin' (MUTTERED UNDER BREATH IN [WHITE GUY” VOICE) “Aw shit. Who up in here done called the Panthers. I know they comin'. I done fucked up a-gain.”
But, they finally seat us under a picture his ass can tolerate—it were the kid from “Family Matters” in the suspenders...”
(AUDIENCE MEMBER CALLS OUT) “Steve Urkel!”
MUDBONE: Thass his name. (BEAT) And you need to get your ass out more. Know that n*gger's name like he was your kin. Shit. So, we seated under this four-eyed fool, waitin' for our cornbread, when O'Reilly starts goin' off about the picture on the wall, one table down. it's a picture of Bill Clinton smilin' through a mouthful of greens, at a table with Viola. An' O'Reilly starts his yellin' an shit all over again about how “this man sullied the presidency and trashed the office”...and it's all I can do not to laugh in his motherfuckin' face. 'Cause I'm picturin' his ass...and I do mean his ass shootin' rockets 'cross the office while squattin' like a Goddamn baboon. But, seein' as how we'd already come to a settlement and whatnot, a brother had to bite his tongue.
But, the peoples in the restaurant hear him, an' now they really hot with his ass, 'cause all he got is bad shit to say about everybody they seem to like. So, he checkin' over his shoulder every five seconds like...(MIMES A NERVOUS MAN LOOKING FROM SIDE TO SIDE REPEATEDLY AND THEN SUDDENLY BEHIND HIM SEVERAL TIMES) “You ain't gonna catch me nappin'!”
I were hopin' somebody'd get up an' say “Get your hands outta my pocket” just to see that motherfucker shit on himself, but...nobody did.
So, the waitress come by with our cornbread, an' she hot now, 'cause all the tables is complainin' to her about his ass, an' she throw down the plate a' cornbread down and say, “Your entrees'll be here in a few minutes, Bon Apetit!”, an' walked away. Now, I know me some french from my time in WW2 in Pah-ree, so I know “Bon Apetit” means “Enjoy this good-ass food”. But I also know “Pissed-Off N*gger From Uptown French”, and that Bon Apetit meant, “You need to tell yo' friend to watch his self up here across 110th Street, 'cause it might take him a while to make it back downtown...if we float his ass down the Hudson in little pieces”.
Wasn't the most subtle warnin' in the world, but I got it. Bill's ass however, missed that shit entirely, 'cause now the motherfucker started goin' off about the cornbread, which were just fine, really—'cept he ain't never had no cornbread, cept for that bullshit they sell at Boston Market. “Why ain't it in little loaves?” “This is corn slices, not corn bread!” Triflin' shit like that.
Well, that were the las' straw, 'cause the people got t' buzzin' and talkin' bout' his actin' the fool, and word made it's way back to the kitchen. And you know, you don't be insultin' Black folks cookin' when you up in their restaurant an' shit. So now, I hear pans an' whatnot smashin' around, like they tryin' to restrain some-boty what done lost they mind, and all of a sudden...I remember who back there, and I'm like, “Oh shit...this motherfucker gonna end up in nex' weeks pot pies for sure”...'cause now, here come Tood'lum from the back, with his meat cleaver, and I know his ass was on cornbread detail tonight. So now, Bill O'Reilly done fucked up and insulted a crazy motherfucker who I know for a fact carved “Tood'lum were here, and YOU BETTER BELIEVE THAT SHIT!” in a n*gger's face in MIssissippi for kicks. What's more, seein' as how when Tood'lum git mad, he forget everything you tol' him, I also know I ain't gettin' nothin' else on top o' my $500 settlement, which made me mad...but right about then, all I see is six-foot-nine, 322 pounds of man, in a bloody apron an' a hatchet comin' my way...so I brace m'self, an' put my napkin up like a bib, so the blood don't spatter all over the front of m' new overalls.
An. Tood'lum said come up and say, just as calm as fuck, “Mr. O'Reilly, it's a pleasure to have you in the restaurant tonight, would you like to come to the kitchen for a private tour and maybe sample some of our off-the-menu specials?”
So now...I know his ass is in trouble, 'cause I ain't seen Tood'lum that calm since he passed out drinkin' a gallon a' corn liquor on a dare on Juneteenth Day in nineteen-fifty-five. That's a high-strung mother-fucker there, so I know this little kitchen visit ain't gonna turn out well for O'Reilly, and fuck next week—his ass just might make it to the gumbo on Saturday. But, Bill accepts the offer, and while we walkin', I'm beggin Tood'lum to please don't kill this motherfucker, 'cause I'll be the last n*gger seen with his ass, an' jail and me is like motherfuckin' Paula Abdul an' a bottle a' pills—a bad-ass mix. I'm pleadin' with his ass, “Tood'lum, if you could just let me be seen leavin' with him, let him get his ass home, and then you can do your “Marcellus Wallace” shit on his ass anytime after that, I would very much appreciate it.” But Tood'lum just said, “I'd like the man to see how we handle things back here, if you don't mind.”, an' I knew it wasn't gonna be no episode a' Rachael Ray up in there. So, I hung back an' let the chips fall where they may.
Then, Tood'lum walk us over to this here pan a' raw meat that stink like all that be damned and said, Mister O'Reilly, I understand our regular cuisine isn't your cup a' tea, so we keep certain items on standby in case a dignitary like you arrives.” Now, I was shocked for two reasons. One, I ain't never heard Tood'lum use a word like “dignitary” in the sixty years I done knowed his ass. Upwards a' two syllables an' his ass is as lost as Amelia Earhart, so I'm as shocked as shit. And the second reason I'm shocked is 'cause I know God-damn well what's in that pan and and I'm lookin' for Joe Rogan, 'cause it's 'bout to be a very special, live, motherfuckin' episode of “Fear Factor” in this place.
These is raw, just of the hoof chit-lins, which for you uninformed motherfuckers is the part of the pig opposite the snout, which is the “rooter”. This part in the pan is what you call...“the tooter”—about twenty-five motherfuckin' miles of it...an' it ain't been cleaned yet. So, Tood'lum point at the pan and says, “Mr. O'Reilly, would you like to try our special down-home cannolis?”
And God as my witness, this dumb motherfucker—who obviously ain't got no sense a' smell left to speak of, what with his freaky-ass shenanigans—said “okay” to that shit—literally to that shit! So, Tood'lum cut a piece loose—almost threw up on m'self man—and put it on a plate for O'Reilly's monkey-ass to eat...
An' just then, our waitress walked by with a platter a' food an' whispered “Bon Apetit!” again and she laughed. But this time she literally meant “Enjoy that shit”, motherfucker.”
So, he lift the plate up to his mouth, an' he said “Bottoms up!”, which made me start laughin' my ass off, an' he—(MAKES A LOUD SLURPING NOISE) sucks out “the cheese” just like that.
Well, it were about one second later, and that motherfucker's smile...turnt upside-the-fuck-on down an' he come to realize...that that wasn't no got-damn cheese he were eatin', and what he sucked on for damn sure wasn't no cannoli!
And then, he los' his fuckin' mind, runnin' all around the kitchen, flippin' over big-ass pans a' fried chicken an' cornbread, goin' “Mmmmmmf-mmmmmmmmmf-mmmmmmmmmf” an' dry heavin' an shit, and now, that extra seventy-five dollars I was gonna get is the farthest thing from my Black-ass mind, 'cause this here floor show is worth every God-damn penny! Smothered chicken flyin' ever' which 'a way...He fucked up and kicked over the pan a' chit'lins, so they was spread all over the floor like comatose, stinkin-ass snakes, an' that's when that crazy-ass Tood'lum said, “Mr. O'Reilly, would you like something to drink to get the taste outta your mouth?”, and Bill's eyes got all big, an he started noddin' “Yes!” all kuh-ray-zy, like a low-rider chihuahua on crack—head bouncin' up an' down an' shit!
But Tood'lum had made up his mind he was gonna really torture this motherfucker...so he started lookin' for the beverage all slow and whatnot. He walkin' roun' the kitchen like that ol' motherfucker Tim Conway used to do on Carol Burnett. Goin' “Naw...this ain't it...and naw...this ain't it either...”. Meanwhile, O'Reilly's turnin' baby-shit yellow, 'cause he done mainilned e.coli concentrate, an' his eyes are rollin' all up in his head an' shit...
An' then, our waitress come through again with a tray a' empty glasses, an' O'Reilly snapped and grabbed her ass up in the collar and an' screamed—sount' like the got-damn Exorcist—growling, “Where's my iced tea, motherfucker?”.
Well...that were all she wrote for his ass, then. 'Cause it got realllllll quiet back there all of a sudden, an' Tood'lum figured “Oh well, I guess this here motherfucker can't find a tall buildin' to jump off or nothin'”—guess I'll fulfill his death wish for him.” So he reached over by the stove for a metal pitcher, and handed it to O'Reilly 'an said, “Here it is right here, sir.” He snatched that shit away, and started guzzlin' it down like it were ice-cold lemonade in August—'cept it wasn't. And it wasn't no God-damn ice tea neither!
It were a pitcher...of recycled,hot, fried chicken grease!
An' after two or three swallows, O'Reilly realized it too, 'cause he dropped down to his knees, and this time he turn't beet red! He broke out in motherfuckin' spots—swear t' God I thought he were gonna melt like that crazy bitch from “The Wizard Of Oz”! I heard them funny-ass noises he made again before he launched that massager rocket—(STARTS MAKING LOUD AND LONG, FART NOISES WITH HIS MOUTH)—but these sounded all wet and shit, and then...he got down on all fours an growled real loud, and run out the back door—BAM!—like a motherfuckin' dog!
An' that the last I seen 'a his ass since. Now, now...I know you see him on “The Factor” every night, and you sayin', “Oh, there he is!” Well, that ain't him. That's a' one them leftover Disneyland president robots they re-furbished an' propped up behind the desk. I should know, 'cause it's my job to dust that motherfucker off every night after the show.
The real Bill O'Reilly's still up in Harlem. 'Cause see, them Black Panthers caught his ass over on West 127th Street, eatin' grass out the ground at the park, but—they decided not t' kill 'im. Instead, they use im' t' make money for new leather jackets, by rentin' his ass out as a garbage disposal to the restaurants up there. And you can find him...at Sylvia's on Friday and Saturday nights in the back alley...chompin' on chicken bones and empty soda cans.
An' when he get thirsty, he don't ask for no iced tea no more. Uh-uhhhhh! That motherfucker goes (IN THAT EXORCIST GROWL AGAIN) “Where the hell is my fried chicken grease, motherfucker?”.