‘Sweet potatoes aint shit’


“That doesn’t make any sense.  They’re not the same thing.”  Tho Erastus was right, he always popped retorts in as jabs. This time was no different.
The fuck you mean, they aint the same?” Hedgebeard was ticked anytime someone questioned him, but especially after finishing a joke. He felt that even if you didn’t like the joke; just shut the fuck up so others could laugh.
The sun was steady, standing, staring from just over the rooftops, a bit to the north, after a long, hot, dry as dirt, afternoon. It was late June but felt like July.  The group of jobless gents were stationed in the back, each in shorts and shades, by the shed, casually passing a spliff.  The economy had freed up everyones days, yet many of them still preoccupied their time with thinking about and even looking for jobs that were just not there.
Erastus was aware of Hedgebeards stark defensive ways, but given the content and context, he was game for an argument.
“They’re not. Look it up.”
“Yo, I live by the Yam. My moms cooks a bang-up Turkey stuffed dinner every year, peoples all over this country do too and we call sweet potatoes, yams.” He was already tired of the discussion but wasn’t gonna let Erastus ruin his joke.
“Dude, let it go. Everyones wrong. Your joke is cute but it only works because people are culturally naïve and insensitive.” Erastus was letting his arrogance shine through.
Hedge and the other guys standing around listening busted up into laughter. “Ok mr. college dropout, lay it on me…”
“Sweet potatoes aint shit, and yams are a giant part of some African cultures.”
The laughter erupted once again. “You gotta be fucking kidding me.” Hedgebeard was speaking for everyone at this point.
Erastus decides to yuck it up. “Sweet potatoes are the size of your fist; Yams are the size of your leg. Yams are an important part of African culture and history. Yam means ‘to eat’ and is celebrated in numerous places.  People even speak of a ‘Yam civilization’ and it’s used in magic rites. In Tonga, the calendar months names are derived from the yam. So, yeah, theres’ a fucking difference and you’re turkey basting joke only makes sense because people don’t know. “
“Jesus-fucking-pedia…you just finish watching a documentary?” Even if his joke was ruined, Hedgebeard could always keep em laughing. “Pass that shit here…I need to kill off a brain cell or two.”
Even funny people have the random blahzay moments. Hedgebeard nodded to Jase, “you buying any of this shit…?”
The sun finally gave out, scaling back slowly to reflect off of a few dwindling surfaces. Warm gusts of air swept through like stale ghost whispers, encouraging each person to wonder if it felt good.
Jase had a much more collected demeanor and could usually be counted on as a point of reference with any given situation. Typically quite, with a chilled smile and crescent eyes shielded behind female locs,’ his smile stretched and he cracked open, chuckling, “I don’t know man, yams, sweet potatoes, who fucking knows..?”
Erastus had lost his patience like he often did.
“You gotta be fucking kidding me, I do! and I’m telling you guys… if you would like to be in the fucking know, listen up, Yams are not sweet potatoes!” At times he felt cursed to know and care about things. Such a tragedy, he thought. Shaking his head as he over-exaggerated rolling his eyes, he dramatically turns, and walks away.
“You’re a fucking turkey!” Hedgebeard had em laughing again as he clowned Erastus from a reference to his original joke.
He called back, participating, “I am what I Yam!”

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