Wednesday, November 14, 2012


When my dad was sick, I spent an enormous amount of time sitting in a chair next to his recliner watching National Geographic and Fox News, both of which were equally entertaining in so many different ways. Every once in a while my phone would ring. My dad got exceptionally good at knowing who was calling simply by the way I'd answer the phone, depending on the person.

"Hi Mama" -dead give away
"Hey sweetie" -hopefully a dead give away
"Hey, Man" or "Hey Flowage" -Markee
"Hey Matt" -my brother Matthew
"Hey Michael" -my cousin Henry
"Sup" -my brother Bryan
"Yo" -my brother Sherrod

He never made any particular comment on these greetings other than to accurately call out who I was talking to and then beam with pride as I acknowledged his correct guess, with one exception. The "yo".

"Why do you talk to your brother that way?" he'd ask.

I never could quite convince him that "yo" is today's version of, "My good brother, how wonderful to hear your voice! I'm incredibly excited for this conversation that is beginning to ensue!"

I guess it was just too short, and not personal enough. And I'd have to agree with him, it is definitely short, and rather impersonal, but it's the perfect conversation starter for several reasons:

1. If the caller is amongst masculine company within ear-shot of said caller's conversation, overhearing a little female pipsqueak voice saying, "HI BROTHER!" would certainly cause enormous loads of mocking and finger-pointing.

2. If the caller has a short, 1 sentence message to deliver, or worse, a 5 second phone call privilege before his abductors shoot him and leave him for dead, giving a long greeting would not only have the last emotion felt by the caller be anger, it would inevitably leave me forever wondering what the caller would have said as his final words in that 5 seconds that were robbed by a lofty hello.

3. As the receiver of the call it has often been my experience that when giving an enthusiastic greeting which shows my genuine excitement to speak to the caller, if the caller is then in a terribly fowl mood I am often left feeling rather silly and maybe even stupid for having been so happy and rambunctious in my "hello". The 'yo' is a safety net.

So in conclusion, the 'yo' is the perfect way to answer any phone call, be it from a future employer, the old lady down the street, a loved one, or yes, even a brother.

I encourage you all to start using it. And then let me know how it goes.

A video I think of every single time I hear the word "yo" in any Watch @ 2:12
A Yoyo similar to the one I asked for 3 years ago for
The song I listened to after Surfin' USSR to re-boot my