Feburary 27, 1998
"The world is insane!" I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard this, but I’ve recently come to the conclusion that it’s not true. My forthcoming study based on years of observation and research of sane people proves conclusively that the more sane a person is, the more prone that person is to develop the kind of babbling lunacy that results in the shooting of coworkers, passers by, and fast food restaurant customers. Insanity is something in all of us, and, without an occasional release, it backs up and poisons the entire system. Things like anthrax bombs, random highway shootings, and the success of the Spice Girls are not symptoms of a world gone insane. They are indications that the world is TOO sane, and is in desparate need of a global release. Some countries, such as France, are already planning small-scale releases using the millenium as an excuse, but it may be too little too late. Worldwide sanity has been a problem for too long. History is full of acts that are so sane they boggle the imagination. That’s why, while talking to a friend the other day, I looked over at an empty parking lot and yelled, "Hey you kids, get away from that donkey!" My friend said, "What was that all about?" I replied, "Just doing my part to make the world a better place."
Enjoy this week’s offerings.
HOW TO SING THE BLUES
(attrib. to Memphis Earlene Gray
with help from Uncle Plunky)
Most blues begin "woke up this morning."
"I got a good woman" is a bad way to begin the blues, unless you stick something nasty in the next line:
I got a good woman-
with the meanest dog in town.
Blues are simple. After you have the first line right, repeat it. Then find something that rhymes. Sort of.
Got a good woman
with the meanest dog in town.
He got teeth like Margaret Thatcher
and he weighs about 500 pounds.
The blues are not about limitless choice.
Blues cars are Chevies and Cadillacs. Other acceptable blues transportation is Greyhound bus or a southbound train. Walkin’ plays a major part in the blues lifestyle. So does fixin’ to die.
Teenagers can’t sing the blues. Adults sing the blues. Blues adulthood means old enough to get the electric chair if you shoot a man in Memphis.
You can have the blues in New York City, but not in Brooklyn or Queens. Hard times in Vermont or North Dakota are just a depression. Chicago, St. Louis and Kansas City are still the best places to have the blues.
The following colors do not belong in the blues:
You can’t have the blues in an office or a shopping mall, the lighting is wrong.
Good places for the Blues:
a. the highway
b. the jailhouse
c. the empty bed
b. Gallery openings
c. weekend in the Hamptons
No one will believe it’s the blues if you wear a suit, unless you happen to be an old black man.
Do you have the right to sing the blues? Yes, if:
a. your first name is a southern state-like Georgia
b. you’re blind
c. you shot a man in Memphis.
d. you can’t be satisfied.
a. you were once blind but now can see.
b. you’re deaf
c. you have a trust fund.
Neither Julio Iglesias nor Barbra Streisand can sing the blues
If you ask for water and baby gives you gasoline, it’s the blues. Other blues beverages are:
b. Irish whiskey
c. muddy water
Blues beverages are NOT:
a. Any mixed drink
b. Any wine kosher for Passover
c. Yoo Hoo (all flavors)
If it occurs in a cheap motel or a shotgun shack, it’s blues death. Stabbed in the back by a jealous lover is a blues way to die. So is the electric chair, substance abuse, or being denied treatment in an emergency room. It is not a blues death, if you die during a liposuction treatment.
Some Blues names for Women
b. Big Mama
Some Blues Names for Men
c. Little Willie
Persons with names like Sierra or Sequoia will not be permitted to sing the blues no matter how many men they shoot in Memphis.
Other Blues Names (Starter Kit)
a. Name of Physical infirmity (Blind, Cripple, Asthmatic)
b. First name (see above) or name of fruit (Lemon, Lime, Kiwi)
c. Last Name of President (Jefferson, Johnson, Fillmore, etc.) Mix and Match