a man tells his son a chevy joke

“Yo Mama’s like a used Chevy Truck, ‘cuz her bed’s all banged from random heavy tools.”

Sorry. Just a little something that I’ve been work-shopping the past few days…ever since I had what I consider to be a life-changing experience. During a late lunch break (from General Motors Corporate Headquarters in Detroit, MI) I found myself stopping at a 7-11, grabbing a pack of cigarettes (and admittedly a pack of Swedish Fish which, after saying it, surprised me that I was more embarrassed by the latter). As I left, I was stopped by a boy of about 11-years of age who was standing there, by himself. And with no visible signs of ‘Stranger Danger,’ he walked up to me and said, “Yo mama’s cooking so nasty that the flys got together and fixed the hole in the window screen.”

I have to admit that the young man caught me off-guard. But I found myself more surprised by the fact that he was loitering outside a convenience store, unsupervised, before 3P than I was by the Yo Mama joke. I have, after all, seen three or four episodes of Nick Cannon’s Wild ’n Out on MTV.

But, as an employee of one of the world’s largest automakers it got me thinking: what could we be doing…hell…what SHOULD we be doing to engage the youth in this community, and give this something better to do than tell Yo Mama jokes to strangers in a 7-11 parking lot.

As recently published in the Washington Times, about 14% of children age 12 and younger are latchkey kids, spending a minimum of 47 minutes of each weekday afternoon unsupervised by adults. For many, this probably means sitting along at home, eating junk food and watching age-inappropriate television. But for countless others, it means the freedom to wander aimlessly through unsafe urban environments, at-risk to the advances of strangers and dangerous street influences.

Needless to say, I was inspired to write two emails. First, to Mary Barra the CEO of General Motors, the corporation I am currently employed by. Second, to Nick Cannon since his collection of jeweled foot and headwear implies that he is perfectly willing to ‘put himself out there.’ My goal was to get GM to bankroll a nationwide program designed to keep kids off the streets, and for Nick Cannon to help promote it within urban communities.

While I understand that both are likely to be quite busy, I must admit that I was somewhat disappointed at the lack of response from either. That said, I knew that I needed to take action. As such I decided that I would be willing to self-fund my own program, even if that meant maxing out my own credit cards to do so. But that’s the easy part. Deciding on what that program would consist of is another story. That’s when I remembered that kid at the 7-11 and thought to myself that a mentoring program might be a great idea.

So basically, I just bought a bulk order of ‘Yo Mama” joke books, and now I walk around, handing them out to kids…trying to engage them in spirited rounds of banter. It’s a lot easier ever since I lost my job. Once people started seeing me wandering around, approaching young kids, people started making unfair assumptions and spoke up to Human Resources. I guess GM really doesn’t care about kids.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here