Friday, April 22, 2005

The Story of Tyrell

One of the more gregarious of my halfway housemates was a streetwise, brash and very funny young man, Tyrell.

Soon after my arrival at the house, we struck up a friendship and he gave me a street name, 'cos everybody gots to have a street name. Mine was "P Diddy" or "Puffy." It caught on, and soon everyone was calling me that. I wonder what my callers and visitors must have thought when they asked for me and got a, "you mean Puffy? I'll get him. HEY, P DIDDY!!"

One night I asked Tyrell how he came up with my moniker. The REAL Puffy Combs is black, I'm white. He's rich, I'm broke. He's svelte, I'm, well, "puffy." He's into hip hop, I'm into Brit Pop. He has a stable of foxy little ho's, my first and only wife is the mother of my children. Oh -- and I can't have people killed...

I guess I answered my own question. Tyrell replied, "That's 'cos you be de ANTI P Diddy, Puff!"

Tyrell and I would take evening strolls to get a couple of Dews and some Fiery Hot Deep Fried Pork Rinds at the local convenience store off Selby and Western. It seems out of place in that upscale, gentrified area. It's a little Arab-owned shop, with barely passable aisles stocked from floor to ceiling with what seemed as much variety as a supermarket.

Those hot pork rinds are addictive, but I have no doubt that they are absolutely the epitome of everything that's bad for one's system. Salt, grease, sugar, fat...makes Fritos seem like health food. They seem to have an initial fishy taste that is soon overwhelmed by searing heat. Best eaten one and a time and slowly, with alot of cold Dew at hand!

Tyrell could not pass a soul on our walks without at least a "wassup?" One night we were approaching WA Frost as a couple of well-dressed, attractive professional-looking women were leaving. Tyrell yelled out to the effect of "Hey, where're you foxys goin' so early? Wanna Party?" I believe it was a bit more slangy and street-jivey than that, but I was laughing too hard to hear it properly. They anxiously turned away and almost got hit in their hurry to scurry across Selby. We proceeded to the store. I turned back and saw them re-cross the street to get into their BMW which was parked right back in front of Frosts' entrance. Hee Hee!!!

Tyrell wound up getting kicked out after going postal when reprimanded for taking a couple of slices of ham and some cheese from the Kitchen Staff Only fridge for his Sunday morning omelet. I tried to bring him down to earth, but he was a different person, although I didn't feel threatened. As he left later that morning he told me I was alright for a white guy, but I shouldn't dream of trying to visit him on his South Minneapolis turf. "You safe around here, PD, but on the street they'd chew up yo fat white ass up and spit you out and ain't no way I'd give out that I know you. Take care."



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