The Blues : A Primer
1. Begin the Blues with: "Woke up this mornin'."
2. "I got a good woman" is a bad way to begin the Blues, unless you stick something nasty in the next line like, "I got a good woman, with the meanest face in town."
3. 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. Yes, I got a good woman with the meanest face in town. Got teeth like Margaret Thatcher, and she weigh 500 pound."
4. Blues is not about choices. "You stuck in a ditch, you stuck in a ditch. Ain't no way out".
5. Blues cars: Chevys, Fords, Cadillacs and broken-down trucks. Blues don't travel in Porsches, Volvos, BMWs, or Sport Utility Vehicles. Preferred transportation : Greyhound bus [the long silver dog], down that lonesome highway, or a southbound train [preferably the Midnight Special]. Commercial aircraft and state-sponsored motor pools do not qaulify. "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 Minneapolis or Seattle is only clinical depression. Chicago, St. Louis, Kansas City and New Orleans are the best places to have the Blues. You cannot have the Blues in no place that don't get no rain.
8. A man with a pot belly ain't the Blues. A woman with male pattern baldness is. Breaking your leg 'cause you were skiin' is not the Blues. Breaking your leg 'cause a alligator be chomping on it is.
9. You can't have no Blues in no office or no shopping mall. The lighting be 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 for the Blues: a. Nordstrom's b. gallery openings c. Columbia, Cornell, Smith or Vassar. d. golf courses
11. No one will believe it's the Blues if you wear a suit, un'less'n you happen to be an old ethnic person, and you done slept in it.
12. Do you have the right to sing the Blues? Yes, if: a. you older than dirt b. you 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 401K or trust fund
13. Blues is not a matter of color. It's a matter of bad luck. Tiger Woods cannot sing the Blues. Sonny Liston could. Ugly white people also got a leg up on the Blues.
14. If you ask for water and your darlin' done give you gasoline, it's the Blues. Other acceptable Blues beverages are: a. cheap wine b. whiskey or bourbon c. muddy water d. nasty black coffee
The following are NOT Blues beverages: a. Perrier b. Chardonnay c. Snapple d. Slim Fast e. Diet Coke
15. If death 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 are 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 doubles match or while getting liposuction.
16. Some Blues names for women: a. Sadie b. Big Momma c. Bessie d. Fat River Dumpling e. Caledonia
17. Some Blues names for men: a. Joe b. Willie c. Little Willie d. Big Willie e. Leroy
18. If you got a name like Michelle, Brian, Amber, Nigel, Jennifer, Kevin, Tiffany, Nunzio, Lawton, Brooke, Craig, Brittany, Clifford, Heather, Geoffrey, Janelle or Irving, you can't sing no Blues. No matter how many folks you done shot in Memphis.
19. Make your own Blues name Starter Kit: a. name of physical infirmity (Blind, Deaf, Cripple, Lame, etc.) b. first name (see above) plus name of fruit (Lemon, Lime, Kiwi, etc.) c. last name of President (Jefferson, Johnson, Fillmore, etc.)
20. No matter how tragic your life is, if you own a cell phone, laptop or have wireless broadband Internet access, you cannot sing the Blues.