On December 11th, 2014, I was at a Chipotle-style Mexican restaurant called Freebirds (which I love and adore) and I saw a gentleman wearing a fantastic sweatshirt. (As a collector of t-shirts, I notice such things.)
I liked it enough to surreptitiously take a photo of him, which I then posted to Instagram with a topical (but a big low hanging fruit-ish) joke.
It was not a particularly popular post, and that was the last time I thought about Big Homie University.
UNTIL LAST NIGHT.
I was having my biannual urge to eat at Baja Fresh, and with my wife off doing whatever it is she does, I decided to go there solo.
And as I ate my decent fish taco, I looked up -- and saw this.
That's a different guy, in a different "Graduate of Big Homie University" shirt, at a different fast-casual Mexican restaurant in Marina del Rey, California.
Which, of course, leads me to one question: Why do I keep bumping into graduates of Big Homie University at fast-casual Mexican restaurants in Marina del Rey, California?
I went to Google and to search for Big Homie University to learn more. Perhaps they have a satellite campus over in this part of town. Maybe even the main campus. Or, at least, maybe info on where you can buy their gear.
No dice. Big Homie University is a ghost.
"Big Homie University" only had nine search results: a mention on a New York nail salon's Facebook page, a few other random New York mentions, a tweet about the sweatshirt from 2009 from a girl who used her MySpace page as the URL in her bio, a few lost-in-translation messages on Japanese message boards and a person's stated location in a Facebook comment on an L.A. Times article from 1992 about the L.A. riots.
In other words -- nothing.
So I widened my search base to "big homie."
According to Urban Dictionary, big homie has two possible definitions: "the n* that put you in yo set or gang" or "slang term used in California, mainly L.A. area to call someone, a friend, dawg, loc, or gang member."
Neither of the guys I saw looked like anything like gang members -- they were both middle-aged, not wearing specific colors and enjoying suburban Mexican food. The guy from Baja Fresh had his kids with him. I think I gotta go with the second definition and assume these guy are "big homies" because they're friends or dawgs.
Beyond that, I couldn't glean much from the Internet. It appears Puff Daddy once did a song called Big Homie, but that ain't it. Two random people on Twitter call themselves Big Homie, but neither appears to be the dean of the corresponding university.
I don't have an answer. I'm stumped. And that burns me.
Off to camp out at the Marina del Rey Chipotle for answers.
This post was originally published on Thursday, May 14, 2015 at 11:00:00 AM under the category Personal.