EVERY BODY GOT A THANG, speculative fiction by Greg Tate



That last lil snicker they let through the screens was forgetful, disrespectful, stunted, retarded, limited. All  in all, quite typical of his kind and all  quite to my consternation, disappointment, chagrin, dismay.

What were these  ET’s thinking? 

Like the rest of his kind that lil snicker would have to Re-Vamped.

    On the other hand the last true black nigga broad they pushed through the screens was quite atypical of her kind.

Meaning: Not bossy Not belligerent Not easily incensed by the slightest reproach or critique.

She too would have to be revamped (damn the luck).

Up here what’s good for the goose is truly bad for the Up here an angry black man  is always a problem but a  black woman who can’t–or worse won’t –access her anger, is a problem

    I had told these space cadets  not to let too many of the wrong kinda snickers through the screens at the same time. Had begged them in fact to filter the dem snickers more but  you know these thangs got  as little respect for a begging snicker as they do for a  bucking snicker.  Might as well be a bucking snick as a begging one.

Even after I told ’em the real deal How all that free time on our hands  aint a good look for My People. No way no how.Told dem ETs we’re not a sit down inward looking race.We’re an action race. Easily entertained but easily bored. No good entertainment, good sex, good food, drank, drugs or good gossip.   there wasn’t even enough bad gossip to go around because we were all so isolated so much of the time, all locked up, like we had to be for the good of the project, all locked in with Our  Things. Lookahere Boss– they even less civilized and sensible than even my kind of snicker is, which  as you know is already next to none.

    Roughass ghetto style  snickers they wanna let up in here are the kind I been tryna to get way from my whole life. Who the fuck wants to have the same old grimy ‘hood experience in space? IfI d known this is where it was going I never would’ve agreed to come out here in the first place.

       once I realized they were going to just pack them in, let any kinda snickers in, I suggested we decrease the life expectancy, of all these random sniggers.  i still  considered em My People.  But  these random snickers were not personal friends like our first group to arrive had been. So I recommended we  decrease their life expectancy, perhaps by even by as much as 75 percent I said. Because these  snickers you letting in here now are wild and unpredictable, they wont know how to act after about a week and putting a cap on their mortality will be  a great motivator for dem wild bunch. And  I told them all this but did anybody listen? But did any of you snickers gathered here today back me up?. No, of course not. And look what happened just like i predicted. Before I was the bad guy,  sorting out all the malcontents and treat  them  the proper re-adjustments and revamping. Got to be there was plenty of unhappily re-adjusted snickers around there soon enough, but don’t you dare still blame me. I told you snickers to stand behind me before they let these wild snickers up in here and you wouldnt. You coulda spared a whole lotta grief. You snickers knew I’d take the weight. Do what  needed to be done. You snickers know better than to try anything. Better not do a damn thing to stop me finishing what I started. That new group is getting put on The Ticker while they sleep and thats that.


I’ve aged in ways I could have scarcely imagined before my butt got booted out here.I wish i felt all the wiser but all I really feel is the weight of years. Years  I’ve accumulated but not lived or experienced in my bones. My memory has suffered losses and deficits that you should only feel after a long and storied life  My life has been neither long nor storied so why do I now i feel like some 80 year old matriarch of  a slave family trying to survive Birmingham in Grapes of Wrath Depression-era 1930s America?


They promised us all kinds of shit to get us out here. I wasn’t buying none of it. Didnt want none of it either. I can’t say I wasn’t  curious though. Curious about what a bunch of regular snickers would  do when set loose . Partying on the Mothership indeed. I knew this wasn’t going to be no StarTrek. i knew these snickers would get out here, take shit way further out than anybody expected because thats how we do. Aint no way it wasn’t going to get uglier. Because whatever line separates the alien from the  ugly– well lets just say we crossed  that line way back at Alberquerque. By the time we got out here to Alpha Centauri–forget about it. Shit was on.


The sex just kept getting better between me and My Thing.  I’d had j every kind of sex you could imagine on earth– even simulated plant and insect sex. So  what the big deal about sex with a 12 foot tubular bell with skin like a potato? no big deal. Once My Thing let me know  it liked smoking dope  much as i did, we were home free.  getting high together means free about sharing fantasies and  role playing.  Role play has always been one of my bedroom specialties. Once I know what   turns my partner on I have no problem  assuming the position. Other broads go a little batty.  Some broads  I knowwon’t even masturbate in the same room as their Thing. Repulsed by the idea. Thats why their Love-Things just withered and died. Not a good look when you’ve spend eternity in a room with  a dead Thing. 

   Aint like they hadnt seen the footage. Aint like they didnt know what they were getting into. What was contractually expected –nobody put a gun to their head and said ‘Come on out to space and fuck an animal-mineral-vegetable a few times a week for research.

I  didnt get these tired bitches. 

Why come all  he way out here to be contrary. 

To be all proud alone? Why come this freaking far just to end up another lonely Black spinster tale. Back on earth just giving up the pussy for porkchops but out here they want to be picky?

C’mon girls get your freak on: If you won’t love your Thing ain’t nobody gonna love your Thing for you. Get with the program for Christ’s sake.


If you danced sculpted wrote poems and novels, painted pictures made music, any of that…If you did any of those creative expressive type things around your Thing  then sometimes that meant as much or more to a Thing as  the more physically interactive stuff of your engagement. They could be muses and lovers too. You could get all kinds of new inspiration from them–new feelings new colors new techniques. If you had been feeling in between and subhuman  and alienated and Other your whole life then bonding with Things who were subject to not feeling human and loved themselves  could, or shoulda come pretty naturally. Wasnt true for everybody like Charlotte just said though–they were like certain German Jews I’d once read about who stayed too long after the Nazis took over. Jews who believed as long as they acted like good Germans they wouldn’t be penalized for having bad Jew blood. But  motherfuckers who think your blood is too impure to be mingled with theirs could give a fuck about your law abiding behavior. And if  motherfuckers are giving you and your kind an ultimatum to get off the planet now or die later, you need to wake the fuck up and go, dont look back, and stop thinking they gonna see you aint like those other sniggras,, that you’re human too, and willmake an exception. Anytime they abolish prison so that all spiggots, good spiggots, bad spiggots and even all spiggots who dont know they spiggots can all get off the planet… Well just read between the motherfucking lines spiggots and Go. Because if there’s one thing the ‘stem is quite efficient at its killing many of a certain  motherfucker they dont like, with the quickness. Remember Hiroshima. Remember Rosewood. Remember Bombingham.


Charlotte and I came to  disagree on a whole lot during our experience out there with Our Things but on this one point we couldn’t have been more in agreement: there was way more room for self definition in Other than there’d ever been in human. Once human became just another form of Other why hold on to human as your core identity? Why stay confined to human psychology or human philosophy about the meaning of human life after we’d come out here to become freely Other with the Other?. I mean I i like my mind fine but i could certainly do without my subconscious for a while. And as for my unconscious, well, hell my dreams been telling I aint human for as long as I’v been alive. To paraphrase Malcolm X, we dont catch hell because we’re human we catch hell because if we were really human we wouldn’t catch any hell.


Race Memory (as in the dope made from the lysergic brain secretions caused by the biochip software i’m talking about and not the concept) is some potent shit. So potent  that  you dont even need to be fucking with it if youre not some kind of pure blood African.  And we weren’t pure blood nothing except maybe mongrel but we kept fucking with Race Memory out there because the shit was so potent, and we needed something to remind us who we really were because the idea was to make us identify so much with these alien beasts we forgot we were ever human let alone that we were still Africans,  Once you took it just that first time, once you went there, all you could think about was how soon youd be able to snort some and go Black there again. Like, youd be  high as fuck, regurgitating the blood  and bile and brains of ancestors by the second and you’d already be wondering, how soon is now, how soon after I come out of this high can i get back to being high again? Fucking a Thing was okay after that, after you threw some Race Memory in there because it made you feel invincible, like a warrior with a hard-on and you wanted to fuck that Thing silly four ways to Sunday– a mindbender in and of itself. But nothing compared to Race Memory when it came to getting you all kinds fucked up and overstimulated. Once my Thing caught on it decided to get all kinds of high with me. As a consequence, mine got really soulful in a quicker amount of time than most. Got so it could pull the Holy Ghost right up out of its guts as good as I could when we took to singing the gospel of Christ together.


I dont know what they were thinking really. What they expected different to happen from what turned out to be. Because you know how comeptitive some snigglers are. How they think love aint nothing but a battlefield for real. Not in no metaphoric sense but like for real. Like everything is a blood sport or a battelground to them kinda snigglers.  So even carving notches on they belts over how many Things they’d bagged wasn’t out of the question. Seeing how many Things they can get all strung out by they tongue or they clit or they dix, that wasn’t  out of the question either. Talk about your frigging masters of the universe. Sneaking up into peoples rooms and bagging other peoples Things like they was raiders of the lost ark. You want to teach an alien race what it feels like to possess base human emotions? Just put a pile of horny snigglers up in their midst. Which I suppose was always the point.

Author: Enter My Cipher

Author/musician/cultural provocateur who thrives in Harlem, Howard U Bison Nation rep-at-large, co-founder of the Black Rock Coalition, leader of the Conducted Improv big band Burnt Sugar The Arkestra Chamber since 1999, Rivers On Mars collaborator, That Dude whose books include Flyboy In The Buttermilk, Flyboy 2 The Greg Tate Reader, Midnight Lightning:Jimi Hendrix and The Black Experience, Everything But The Burden--What White People Are Taking From Black Culture and the forthcoming Beast Mode:Iconic Gods and Monsters of the Black Atlantic (FS&G,2020)

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