Friday, February 22, 2013

Whinin 'Till I Lose My Mind

I liked Conway Twitty for several reasons. For one, we come from the same hometown in Arkansas. For another, he chose his last name after a town in Texas, my adopted home state. But what I liked most about him was that he saw his songs as ways for suitors to express their feelings. If a guy wanted to say something romantic (or even a tad risqué), but could not quite find the words, all he had to do was let Conway do the talking—buy her the record, or even better, have some deejay dedicate it to her.

That’s something else CT and I have in common. I too speak for a group that has something to say, but has the devil’s own time trying to articulate it. Conway spoke for the lovers; the Lorax speaks for the trees; but these, these bellyaching blamers have come to rely on me as their spokes-moaner.

You know the ones: they have it all figured out in their heads that their sorry situation cannot possibly be due to anything that they have done or left undone. They try to pin their pathetic plight on the politicians, big business, the fates, the flukes, the flakes, or the phantom. But they can’t quite string the words together in any coherent fashion. These folks stand ready, willing, and able to throw their hands up in resignation and have another beer.

My mission is to help these people give voice to their frustrations, so I have offered my services, free of charge, to write a country song especially for them. Now when a fellow is feelin frustrated and needs to lament his lack of character, all he has to do—if you’ll loan him a quarter—is press a few buttons on the jukebox. And it comes out somethin like this here (reach on down to about the key of C sharp, boys): 2-3-4

Honey, have I told you lately
How horribly I’ve been screwed?
Everyone I run into
Is low-down, mean, and rude.
I cain’t get a break to save
My worthless, rotten life.
That’s how come I lost my job,
My address, and my wife.

When I was only five years old,
I fell and skinned my knee.
But the government won’t let me
Draw my disability.
All my luck and bright ideas
Came to a screechin halt;
I’m just amazed how it’s always
Somebody else’s fault. 

Whinin ‘till I lose my mind,
Complainin just to keep from cryin,
Draggin my sad behind
Across the credibility line.
Belly full of cheap moonshine,
Misery’s my Valentine.
Honey, that’s the reason I’m
Whinin ‘till I lose my mind.

Everybody else has got a
Big, new house and car;
They prob’ly lied and cheated
To git to where they are.
They’re all out to gitcha,
It’s a gross conspiracy.
If you don’t won’t to miss the boat,
You’d best listen to me.

Everybody hates me,
That’s why I cain’t git ahead.
I’ve been singled out to lose;
They all wish I was dead.
All that I can think about
Is gittin my revenge.
I’ll teach them fools a lesson:
I’ll go on a drunken binge.

Whinin ‘till I lose my mind,
Complain just to keep from cryin,
Draggin my sad behind
Across the credibility line.
I’ll keep drinkin ‘till I’m blind.
Fodder for the daily grind.
How can life be so unkind?
Whinin ‘till I lose my mind.

Them educated idjits
Think that they is such big shots.
I may not have nothin,
But I worked for what I got.
You’d understand real good
If you’d of had the life I had.
You’ve heard of poor but honest?
Well, one out of two ain’t bad.

I cain’t concentrate good
‘Cause I worry about stuff.
When’s the gittin gonna git good?
I cain’t git enough.
Got collectors and the IRS
And lawyers after me,
And lots of them diseases
Like they show on the TV.

(Poor me, I’m)

Whinin ‘till I lose my mind
Complainin just to keep from cryin
Draggin my sad behind
Across the credibility line.
So mistreated and maligned!
Dwellin where the sun don’t shine.
Wish I could afford strychnine.
Whinin ‘till I lose my mind.

(Yodel the big finish):

Whi-EE-inin ‘till I loo-OO-ose my mi-Hind.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Big Fun on the Bio

What is a lifetime? Well, it was as long as she could remember; the actual numbers don’t really matter; it’s all relative. It was a long time to her...all her life. What mattered was that it was time to move on to the next stage of...what? What’s it going to be like over there? Obviously, she didn’t know anyone who knew. No one had ever gone there and come back to give her any news or any clues. All she had to cling to was the conviction—okay, more of a wish than a conviction—that Mother Nature knows what she’s doing.
It was definitely time to move on, no doubt. All the signs were lining up. She wondered if her experiences amounted to anything. It seemed as if it was just one day following another, each one filled with pretty much the same activities. Now and then some novelty came along and she enjoyed it, but did it mean anything? The changes were gradual, and then one day she noticed that she was drastically different and that she was older…and that it was time to go. Could she have learned more if she’d tried? Could she have perhaps interpreted things differently and grown more as a person? Pointless questions at this stage of the game.
She tried to keep her thoughts positive but they kept ricocheting off a wall of trepidation. Okay, I’m ready. This is a logical and necessary next step. There’s nothing to fret about. No! Wait! I’m not ready! Changed my mind. Don’t want to go. Not yet.
She was reluctant to leave her familiar surroundings. She was safe. She never went hungry. Her little home was sometimes cramped and uncomfortable; sometimes the plumbing made weird noises, but so what? It was home. For all she knew, the next place would be even better, but that was the problem: She didn’t know for sure. 
She was assisted by a salubrious seraph (“Call me Sally”). She didn’t recall Sally ever being a stranger, didn’t remember their first meeting. It was like Sally had somehow always been there. Sally professed great confidence in Mother Nature, but Sally was sort of silly sometimes, too relaxed, didn’t take things seriously enough. Even so, you’d think that having a really cool magical helper would ease, if not erase, the anxiety. We can get used to anything, can’t we? Never underestimate a human’s capacity to take anything for granted.
She’d outgrown this place. It was time. She felt herself traveling down a tunnel. Sally called out, “Go to the light, Little One!”
Like I have a choice!
Damn, that was a bright light!
She heard Sally calling after her: “In about eight decades we’ll have this conversation again. Meanwhile, I’ll be standing by. Holler if you need anything!”
Do what? Oh, right...sure will.
Then she heard another voice, a strange and loud voice: “It’s a girl!”
I’m no longer there, but I’m still here.

This is one of The Lonesome Wizard Boys’ Campfire Tales. You can find the others here