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Monday, December 21, 2009

How To Sing the Blues


1. Most Blues begin, "Woke up this morning."

2. "I got a good woman" is a bad way to begin the Blues,
'less you stick something nasty in the next line, like "I
got a good woman,with the meanest face in town."

3. The Blues is simple. After you get the first line right,
repeat it. Then find something that rhymes ... sort of: "Got a
good woman - with the meanest face in town. Got teeth like
Margaret Thatcher - and she weigh 500 pound."

4. The Blues are not about choice. You stuck in a ditch, you
stuck in ditch; ain't no way out.

5. Blues cars: Chevys and Cadillacs and broken-down trucks.
Blues don't travel in Volvos, BMWs, or Sport Utility Vehicles.
Most Blues transportation is a Greyhound bus or a southbound
train. Jet aircraft an' state-sponsored motor pools ain't even
in the running. Walkin' plays a major part in the blues
lifestyle. So does fixin' to die.

6. Teenagers can't sing the Blues. They ain't fixin' to die
yet. Adults sing the Blues. In Blues, " adulthood" means being
old enough to get the electric chair if you shoot a man in

7. Blues can take place in New York City but not in Hawaii or
any place in Canada. Hard times in St. Paul or Tucson is just
depression. Chicago, St. Louis, and Kansas City still the best
places to have the Blues. You cannot have the blues in any
place that don't get rain.

8. A man with male pattern baldness ain't the blues. A woman
with male pattern baldness is. Breaking your leg cuz you
skiing is not the blues. Breaking your leg cuz an alligator
be chomping on it is.

9. You can't have no Blues in an office or a shopping mall.
The lighting is wrong. Go outside to the parking lot or sit
by the dumpster.

10. Good places for the Blues:
a. highway
b. jailhouse
c. empty bed
d. bottom of a whiskey glass

Bad places:
a. Ashrams
b. gallery openings
c. Ivy League institutions
d. golf courses

11. No one will believe it's the Blues if you wear a suit,
'less you happen to be an old ethnic person, and you slept
in it.

12. Do you have the right to sing the Blues? Yes, if:
a. you're older than dirt
b. you're blind
c. you shot a man in Memphis
d. you can't be satisfied

No, if:
a. you have all your teeth
b. you were once blind but now can see
c. the man in Memphis lived.
d. you have a retirement plan or trust fund.

13. Blues is not a matter of color. It's a matter of bad
luck. Tiger Woods cannot sing the blues. Gary Coleman could.
Ugly white people also got a leg up on the blues.

14. If you ask for water and Baby give you gasoline, it's
the Blues. Other acceptable Blues beverages are:
a. wine
b. whiskey or bourbon
c. muddy water
d. black coffee

The following are NOT Blues beverages:
a. mixed drinks
b. kosher wine
c. Snapple
d. sparkling water

15. If it occurs in a cheap motel or a shotgun shack, it's a
Blues death. Stabbed in the back by a jealous lover is another
Blues way to die. So is the electric chair, substance abuse,
and dying lonely on a broken down cot. You can't have a Blues
death if you die during a tennis match or getting liposuction.

16. Some Blues names for women:
a. Sadie
b. Big Mama
c. Bessie
d. Fat River Dumpling

17. Some Blues names for men:
a. Joe
b. Willie
c. Little Willie
d. Big Willie

18. Persons with names like Sierra, Sequoia, Auburn, and Rainbow can't sing the Blues no matter how many men they shoot in Memphis.

19. Make your own Blues name (starter kit):
a. name of physical infirmity (Blind, Cripple, Lame, etc.)
b. first name (see above) plus name of fruit (Lemon, Lime,
c. last name of President (Jefferson, Johnson, Fillmore, etc.)
For example, Blind Lime Jefferson, or Cripple Kiwi Fillmore,
etc. (Well, maybe not "Kiwi.")

20. I don't care how tragic your life: you own a computer,
you cannot sing the blues. You best destroy it. Fire, a spilled
bottle of Mad Dog, or get out a shotgun. Maybe your big woman
just done sat on it. I don't care.

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