|An early album cover from Chuck's band.|
It's funny that when I decide to lay off the blog awhile, tons of ideas come to me. I've had to resist the urge to write them for you. The book, Just Drive -- Life in the Bus Lane" is my primary focus at the moment. Also, I thought you needed a break from my negative attitude, so I have been looking inward for the fun stuff. I think I found some, so here's a brief departure from my self-imposed hiatus.
Growing up in the Desert Southwest, we enjoyed a wide variety of country rock artists. Perhaps my favorite was a group headlined by Chuck Maultsby, a witty, irreverent and fun-loving guy. His band gave us the wonderful "Disco Sucks" tune that was a favorite on the Dr. Demento radio show in the 70s. There were others, such as How Can I Love You if You Won't Lie Down, Asshole from El Paso (Chuck's take on the Marty Robbins tune), and other such ribald songs.
As I rolled through the downtown transit mall, I noticed American Idol was at the square holding auditions for yet another sordid run through wannabe stars. This gave me an idea for entertaining (or torturing, as some might describe it) my next group of passengers.
After the last stop on the mall during my next run, I queued up the microphone.
"Good evening Portland!" I said enthusiastically, and a bit louder than normal. It startled several people who were already staring at their phones and settling in for another of Deke's smooth rides. (Forgive the bragging folks, but I do give people a smooth ride. I've worked hard learning how to do this, so I'm kind of proud that many people are lulled to sleep on my bus.)
I waited for the shock to subside before continuing. Affecting a practiced and pronounced southern drawl, it was time to hone in for the kill.
"I noticed American Idol's in town again, so I figured I'd give it a shot. Here's a sample of my upcoming audition, and I'd appreciate your honest critiques."
Clearing my throat, I sang a few lines from one of Chuck's masterpieces.
"My girl passed out in her dinner
Now she's got more of it on her
Than in her.
She don't live very far
And I don't trust her in my car
What to do?
I don't know, I guess we'll see."
Utter. Complete. Deafening. Silence. A glance in the mirror showed a myriad of confused faces staring back at me. At least I raised them out of cellphone hypnosis. Thankfully, a guy in the back guffawed laughter, as did a few of my regulars. They know I can be unpredictably weird. I sighed in relief as a few others chuckled, but then looked back at their phones. Others playfully cursed, still staring at me. But I had my audience captive. They couldn't escape. It was time to go for broke.
"And this here one I'm gonna dedicate to my first wife. Luckily, she's a good 1,500 miles away.
"You shot the TV
But you were aimin' at me
I dodged and you missed by a mile.
Our love failed the test,
Now you're under arrest
And I won't have to see you
For a while."
This one brought an audible groan, a few muttered oaths, and a plea that I "just drive, please." It was all in jest. I think.
Maybe I'll forego the audition and keep to my writing. I think it has a better chance getting favorable reviews than my warbling tenor. We'll see how many complaints come in next week.
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