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The Legend of Ratchetbelle

Shakespeare  once said, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”

Aretha Franklin once said, “A rose is still a rose…Baby Girl, you’re still a flower.”

I bring you these wise words, not only to demonstrate how overused roses and floral imagery are in literary and artistic works, but to set  myself up for the story of how I love my friends, Class and Trash.

Sass here, reporting  for duty.

A little over a week ago, I returned from a much needed trip to see my boys. My favorite duo, Class and Trash. Well, really I went to see Trash, but Class can’t turn down a good time, and just happened to be in the area at the same time, accompanied by my newest boo thang Dash. We spent an entire weekend laughing, laughing until we cried, eating, cackling, guffawing and just fellowshipping in a way that most people will never experience in a lifetime. At a stressful and transitional time in all of our lives, I have to admit that this was well needed and much deserved.

The weekend began when I was picked up by a car of black men, one wearing a du-rag, as if I were some kind of Instagram honey, getting flown out to be tip drilled by the squad. You don’t know me well, but I don’t do those things anymore. This was hours after my plane was originally scheduled to arrive, so I arrived under the guise of night, with plans to turn alllllllllll the way up firmly implanted in my brain. Just as an FYI, we went to Trash’s beautiful apartment where an unfortunate bottle of Fireball dared to challenge us. Don’t worry – we handled that within a number of minutes.

We went to a bar, which didn’t give two shits or a damn about my vagina, if you catch my drift. The bartender there, though, God bless him. I’m positive that he hasn’t yet met a liver that he hasn’t destroyed, with his $3 drinks that were composed of 95% alcohol with a splash of mixer. This is not an exaggeration.  I have a healthy appetite for alcohol, and even I had to ask the bartender for an extra cup of the mixer so that my liver wouldn’t commit suicide on the first night. If there’s one thing that I know, it’s that a weekend with Class and Trash will have your liver praying to King Jesus to bring it home. I needed to pace myself so as to not lose on night one. No one likes that person.

I took my first praise break of the weekend during a 1:30 trip to Zaxby’s. If you’ve never been to Zaxby’s, you have 99 problems, and that is most definitely one.

On Saturday, we prospered and flourished, while sitting on the couch watching Orange is the New Black until about 5 PM. I mean, Class went for a run, because he’s the only one who is apparently serious about his position during the upcoming cuffing season. The rest of us got Chik-Fil-A. Agree or disagree with their policies, but that chicken is scrumptious. “When Jesus says ‘YES,’ nobody can say ‘NO'”

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That night, two groups went out. Me and my new lifelong best friend Asian Sensation went to a club where Trey Songz was “performing,” while Class, Trash and Dash went to another bar. I’m not one to gossip, so you didn’t hear this from me, but only four people went back to Trash’s house that evening *sips tea and lowers spectacles.*

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Since there were only a few of us going back to the apartment, we got CookOut and I had my second praise break of the weekend. Again, if you’ve never had CookOut, please call a friend because you’re not living right.

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So remember how I said only four people returned to Trash’s casa on Saturday night? Let me tell you how said person sauntered into the house on Sunday morning just as chipper as can be. The rest of us didn’t let said person CUM into the house without us all coming for their NECK. We made sure to GET IN THAT ASS with all the jokes that a good HAND JOB could muster (okay, that one was a stretch, but I heard said person needed to stretch after their night out, too). There’s nothing to do after an amazingly fun night out besides go to brunch. And continue to drink. Excessively. For hours. It would have been rude not to. We spent the rest of the day clowning at the pool, because drunk swimming is awesome. Another friend, ATRIPP, took us out around her hood, and we had a blast at a private party, like Trash didn’t need to be at work bright and early at 8 AM.

Now let’s come back full circle, friends. Remember how I gave you those inspiring and riveting quotes about roses at the beginning? And the title is, “The Legend of Ratchetbelle?” Let’s go back there, shall we?

I live across the country from ALL of my friends. Where I live, I have friends, but it is the East Coast that knows me, loves me and allows me to be unapologetically me. When I come back to this side of the world, my friends show up, show out and get down. Which has somehow earned me a nickname…they call me Ratchetbelle. Similar to Tinkerbelle, I fly in, sprinkle you with Ratchet Dust and everyone seems to fly high and leave their manners, good sense and panties at home.

Ladies and gentlemen, I am the victim of a slander campaign. Don’t let Class, Trash, Dash, Asian Sensation or ATRIPP fool you into thinking that any of the good times mentioned this weekend are because of me. Whether you call me a rose, Sass or Ratchetbelle, I can’t take credit for the gut busting that laughter caused this weekend. These good times are because of US. A group of friends who wholeheartedly love each other, and enjoy the good things that each person bring to our lives. I could have visited these people in South Africa during Apartheid, and we probably would have made each other laugh, love and live as freely as we did.

The value of a genuine friend is something that everyone should know. I am honored to have spent my time with these people, and I truly cannot wait until all of our paths cross again. With or without my Ratchet Dust.

So to Class, Trash, Dash, Asian Sensation, ATRIPP and everyone else I saw that didn’t get a shout out because this entry is too long already: Thank you for being a friend. Traveled round the world and back again. Your heart is true; you’re a pal and a confidant. *DUN DUN DUNNNNN* And if you threw a party…invited everyone you knew….you would see the biggest gift would be from me, and the card attached would say (all together now) THANK YOU FOR BEING A FRIEND.

xxoo, Sass.

How to Not Be An Asshole at the Airport

Happy  Monday!  I hope that you all are as pumped as I am for this season of Drag Race to start.  Class and Trash will be following the season here cheering on our favorites and shading those who need to sashay away.

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But I’m flying back home today. We’ve all been there.  You’re trying to get to your gate, check your social media platforms, clear a stage of Candy Crush when some trick slows down your progress and pisses off everyone.

I thought I’d share some tips for all you travelers so that you don’t make everyone (Read: Me) hate you!  I’ve used handy cat gifs because this is the internet.

1) Do: Use your smartphone to check-in, if possible.

Now if you still have your Moto Razr, obviously, you can’t do this.  But seriously, do this even if you don’t fly often.  Download your airlines’ App and check in.  This saves you a step when you arrive at the airport, keeps you out of the full service line, and makes the process that much faster.  It also allows you to track your flight status, so you’re not berating the agent when your flight is delayed.

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2) Do: Weigh your checked bag before leaving home.

Yes, your personal scale will work here.  DO NOT YELL AT THE AGENT IF YOUR BAG IS OVERWEIGHT.  It is not their fault, you tried to check a set of dumbbells.  It’s your bag and it is your responsibility to ensure that you fall within the restrictions.

Yes, 51 pounds is greater than 50 and now I have to wait longer to sit down because you have to remove something from your bag in a huff.

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3) Do: Pack your watch, belt, and jewelry in your carry-on.

Listen.  Just save yourself and everyone else the trouble.  When you arrive, place these items in an accessible pocket in your carry on bag.  This gets you through security faster and reduces the amount of bins you have to wait on at the end of the security checkpoint.

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4) Do: Place your wallet & boarding pass into your carry-on after checking with TSA.

You won’t need them again until you board the plane.

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5) Do: Move from the end of the X-Ray belt.

It’s easy to think, I can put myself together quickly at the end of the belt.  YOU CAN NOT.  You are slowing down everyone and being selfish.

Use the Golden Rule here.  If you were in a rush to get to your flight, you’d hate it if someone stood in your way while you wanted to get your bag.  So don’t do it.
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6) Don’t: Travel with your favorite toiletries.

I can not reiterate that all of the rules about what can fly are available way before you watch the TSA agent throw away for $100 condor egg hand cream.  If you are not checking a bag to avoid fees, bring only items that meet the size restrictions or that you would be comfortable throwing away.

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7) Do: Buy Travel Sized Toiletries when you arrive at your destination.

Don’t pack them for the trip down and save yourself the headache of dealing with the restrictions.  Stop when you land and get what you need.

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8) Don’t: Get in line to board until your area/zone/row is called.

YOU ARE IN THE WAY.  MOVE!

Like they announce this every time.  And here you’re stupid ass is standing at the gate while people sitting in the appropriate rows have to move around you.

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9) Don’t: Lean your seat all the way back.

This is SUCH AN ASSHOLE MOVE.  There is approximately enough room for my big toe in front of my seat and here you are putting your headrest in my chin.  BYE ASHY!

But seriously, if you have to recline, only go halfway back.  It’s super obnoxious either way, but at least maybe I can use my laptop to get some work done this way.

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10) Don’t: Stand up as soon as the plane lands if you are anywhere after row 2.

SIT YO ASS BACK DOWN!

Seriously, you are in row 32.  You are not getting off the plane before me.  You are not getting off the plane before anyone.

And when you do happen to get ahead a row, now you’re just in the way of the people who were sitting there and are now trying to retrieve their items.

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11: Do: Pre-board if you are traveling with nuggets.

Listen up and listen good. If you have a child who you wouldn’t leave at home alone, board the plane when they announce preboarding.

I know it says 2 years old or younger.  IGNORE THEM.

Get seated.  Be prepared.  No one will stop you.  It gives you a chance to find your seat and put away the bags.  It gives your child a chance to adjust to their surroundings.  It saves times for the rest of us when we board.

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What are you biggest travel pet peeves?  Am I the only one who is ready to start a new Purge when they are in the airport?  Let us know in the comments or on Twitter at @ClassNTrashShow.