Long, Long Stories

HOW TO SING THE BLUES

by Lame Mango Washington (Attributed to Memphis Earlene Gray with help from Uncle Plunky, revisions by Little Blind Patti D. and Dr. Stevie Franklin)

  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 is not about choice. “You stuck in a ditch, you stuck in a 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 Memphis.

  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 are still the best places to have the Blues. You cannot have the blues in any place that don’t get no 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 a junk yard dog 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:

    • highway
    • jailhouse
    • empty bed
    • bottom of a whiskey glass

    Bad places:

    • Ashrams
    • gallery openings
    • Ivy League institutions
    • golf courses
  11. No one will believe it’s the Blues if you wear a suit, less you happen to be an old black person, and you slept in it.

  12. Do you have the right to sing the Blues? Yes, if:

    • you’re older than dirt
    • you’re blind
    • you shot a man in Memphis
    • you can’t be satisfied

    No, if:

    • you have all your teeth
    • you were once blind but now can see
    • the man in Memphis lived
    • 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:

    • wine
    • whiskey or bourbon
    • muddy water
    • black coffee

    The following are NOT Blues beverages:

    • mixed drinks
    • kosher wine
    • Snapple
    • 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:

    • Sadie
    • Big Mama
    • Bessie
    • Fat River Dumpling
  17. Some Blues names for men:

    • Joe
    • Willie
    • Little Willie
    • Big Willie
  18. Persons with names like Sierra, Astrid, Buffy, and Rainbow can’t sing the Blues no matter how many men they shoot in Memphis.

  19. Make your own Blues name (starter kit):

    • name of physical infirmity (Blind, Cripple, Lame, etc.)
    • first name (see above) plus name of fruit (Lemon, Lime, Kiwi,etc.)
    • 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 is. If you own a computer, you cannot sing the Blues. You best destroy it by fire, a spilled bottle of Mad Dog, or get out a shotgun.

Holiday Party Planning

FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO:   All Employees
RE:   Christmas Party
DATE: December 1

I'm happy to inform you that the company Christmas
Party will take place on December 23, starting at noon
in the banquet room at Luigi's Open Pit Barbecue.
No-host bar, but plenty of eggnog!

We'll have a small band playing traditional carols ...
feel free to sing along. And don't be surprised if our
CEO shows up dressed as Santa Claus!  A Christmas
tree will be lit at 1:00 P.M. Exchange of gifts among
employees can be done at that time, however, no gift
should be over $10.00 to make the giving of gifts easy
for everyone's pockets. This gathering is only for
employees! Our CEO will make a special announcement at
that time!

Merry Christmas to you and your family.
Patty

FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO:   All Employees
DATE: December 2
RE:   Holiday Party

In no way was yesterday's memo intended to exclude
our Jewish employees. We recognize that Chanukah is an
important holiday that often coincides with Christmas,
though unfortunately not this year.  However, from now
on we're calling it our "Holiday Party." The same
policy applies to employees who are celebrating Kwanza
at this time. There will be no Christmas tree. No,
Christmas carols sung. We will have another type of
music for your enjoyment. Happy now?

Happy Holidays to you and your family.
Patty

FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO:   All Employees
DATE: December 3
RE:   Holiday Party

Regarding the note I received from a member of
Alcoholics Anonymous requesting a non-drinking table,
you didn't sign your name. I'm happy to accommodate
this request, but if I put a sign on a table that
reads, "AA Only," you wouldn't be anonymous anymore.
How am I supposed to handle this?

Somebody?

Forget about the gift exchange; no gifts are allowed
since the union members feel that $10.00 is too much
money and executives believe $10.00 is very little for
a gift. NO GIFT EXCHANGE WILL BE ALLOWED.

Patty

FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO:   All Employees
DATE: December 7
RE:   Holiday Party

What a diverse group we are! I had no idea that
December 20 begins the Muslim holy month of Ramadan,
which forbids eating and drinking during daylight
hours. There goes the party! Seriously, we can
appreciate how a luncheon this time of year does not
accommodate our Muslim employees' beliefs. Perhaps
Luigi's can hold off on serving your meal until the
end of the party -- the days are so short this time of
year -- or else package everything for take-home in
little foil swans. Will that work?

Meanwhile, I've arranged for members of Overeaters
Anonymous to sit farthest from the dessert buffet and
pregnant women will get the table closest to the
restrooms. Gays are allowed to sit with each other.
Lesbians do not have to sit with Gay men. Each will
have their own table. Yes, there will be flower
arrangement for the Gay men's table. To the person
asking permission to cross dress, no cross-dressing is
allowed. We will have booster seats for short people.
Low-fat food will be available for those on a diet.
We cannot control the salt used in the food we suggest
for those people with high blood problems to taste
first. There will be fresh fruits as dessert for
Diabetics, the restaurant cannot supply "No Sugar"
desserts. Sorry! Did I miss anything?

Patty

FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO:   All Employees
DATE: December 8
RE:   Holiday Party

So December 22 marks the Winter Solstice ... what do
you expect me to do, a tap-dance on your heads? Fire
regulations at Luigi's prohibit the burning of sage by
our "earth-based Goddess-worshipping" employees, but
we'll try to accommodate your shamanic drumming circle
during the band's breaks.
Okay???

Patty

FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director
To:   All Employees
Date: December 9
RE:   Holiday Party

People, people, nothing sinister was intended by
having our CEO dress up like Santa Claus! Even if the
anagram of "Santa" does happen to be "Satan," there is
no evil connotation to our own "little man in a red
suit." It's a tradition, folks, like sugar shock at
Halloween, or family feuds over the Thanksgiving
turkey, or broken hearts on Valentine's Day. Could we
lighten up? Please????????? Also the company has
changed their mind about making a special announcement
at the gathering. You will get a notification in the
mail sent to your home.

Patty

FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO:   All #%&$**@ Employees
DATE: December 10
RE:   The %#*&^%@*%^ Holiday Party

I have no #%&*@*^ idea what the announcement is all
about. What the %#&^!@ do I care? I KNOW WHAT I AM
GOING TO GET!!!!!!!!!!!! You change your address now
and your are dead!!!!!!!!!!!! No more changes of
address will be allowed in my office! Try to come in
and change your address. I will have you hung from the
ceiling in the office!!!!!!!!!!! Vegetarians!?!?!?
I've had it with you people!!! We're going to keep
this party at Luigi's Open Pit Barbecue whether you like
it or not, so you can sit quietly at the table furthest
from the "grill of death," as you so quaintly put it,
and you'll get your #$%^&*! salad bar, including
hydroponic tomatoes. But you know they have feelings,
too. Tomatoes scream when you slice them. I've heard
them scream. I'm hearing them scream right now! HA!
I hope you all have a rotten holiday!
Drive drunk and die, you hear me!!!!!!!!??

The Bitch from HELL!!!!!!!!

FROM: Terri Bishop, Acting Human Resources Director
TO:   All Employees
DATE: December 14
RE:   Patty Lewis and the Holiday Party

I'm sure I speak for all of us in wishing Patty Lewis
a speedy recovery from her stress-related illness, and
I'll continue to forward your cards to her at the
sanitarium. In the meantime, management has decided
to cancel our Holiday Party and give everyone the afternoon
of the 23rd off with full pay.

Happy Holidays
Thanks,
Judy

Judy N. Flora
Building Receptionist
Grass Valley Group

Sports

  1. The sport of choice for the urban poor is BASKETBALL.
  2. The sport of choice for maintenance level employees is BOWLING.
  3. The sport of choice for front-line workers is FOOTBALL.
  4. The sport of choice for supervisors is BASEBALL.
  5. The sport of choice for middle management is TENNIS.
  6. The sport of choice for corporate officers is GOLF.

AMAZING CONCLUSION: The higher you are in the corporate structure, the smaller your balls become.

Some Idiots

Idiot #1

I am a medical student currently doing a rotation in toxicology at the poison control center. Today, a woman called in very upset because she caught her little two year old daughter eating ants. I quickly reassured her that the ants are not harmful there was not a need to bring her daughter into the hospital. She calmed down, and at the end of the conversation happened to say that she gave her daughter some ant poison to eat in order to kill the ants. I told her that now she should bring her daughter into the Emergency room right away.

Idiot #2

Seems that a year ago, some Boeing employees on the airfield decided to steal a life raft from one of the 747s. They were successful in getting it out of the plane and home. When they took it for a float on the river, they were surprised by a Coast Guard helicopter coming towards them. It turned out that the chopper was homing in on the emergency locator that is activated when the raft is inflated.

They are no longer employed at Boeing.

Idiot #3

A true story out of San Francisco: A man, wanting to rob a downtown Bank of America, walked into the branch and wrote “this iz a stikkup. Put all your muny in this bag.” While standing in line, waiting to give his note to the teller, he began to worry that someone had seen him write the note and would call the police before he reached the tellers window. So he left the Bank of America and crossed the street to Wells Fargo.

After waiting a few minutes in line, he handed his note to the Wells Fargo teller. She read it and, surmising from his spelling errors that he wasn’t the brightest light in the harbor, told him that she could not accept his stickup note that it was written on a Bank of America deposit slip and that he would either have to fill out a Wells Fargo deposit slip or go back to Bank of America.

Looking somewhat defeated, the man said “OK” and left.

He was arrested a few minutes later, as he was waiting in line back at Bank of America.

Idiot #4

A motorist was unknowingly caught in an automated speed zone, it not only measured his speed using radar it also photographed his car. He later received in the mail a ticket for $40.00 and a photo of his car. Instead of payment, he sent the police department a photograph of $40.00. Several days later, he received another letter from the police dept. that contained a picture of handcuffs. He paid the $40.00.

Idiot #5

Guy walked into a little corner store with a shotgun and demanded all the cash from the cash drawer. After the cashier put the cash in a bag, the robber saw a bottle of scotch that he wanted behind the counter on the shelf. So he told the cashier to put it in the bag as well, but he refused and said, ” I don’t believe you are over 21.”

The robber said he was, but the clerk still refused to give it to him because he didn’t believe him. At this point the robber took his driver’s license out of his wallet and gave it to the clerk. The clerk looked it over, agreed that the man was in fact over 21 he put the scotch in the bag. The robber then ran from the store with his loot. The cashier promptly called the police and gave them the name and address of the robber that he got off the license.

They arrested the robber two hours later.

Idiot #6

A pair of Michigan robbers entered a record shop nervously waving revolvers. The first one shouted, “Nobody move!”

When his partner moved, the startled first bandit shot him.

Idiot #7

Arkansas: Seems this guy wanted some beer pretty badly. He decided that he’d just throw a cinder block through a liquor store window, grab some booze, and run. So he lifted the cinder block and heaved it over his head at the window.

The cinder block bounced back and hit the would-be thief on the head, knocking him unconscious. The liquor store window was made of Plexiglas. The whole event was caught on videotape.

Idiot #8

Ann Arbor: The Ann Arbor News crime column reported that a man walked into a Burger King in Ypsilanti, Michigan at 12:50 am flashed a gun and demanded cash.

The clerk turned him down because he said he couldn’t open the cash register without a food order. When the man ordered onion rings, the clerk said they weren’t available for breakfast. The man, frustrated, walked away.

version:2
date:2/37/02

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Spring 2001