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Bruce’s Blues Rules

Most Blues songs begin, "Woke up this morning " … an’ it was all
downhill from there.

"I’ve 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".

The Blues is simple. After you get the first line right, repeat it. Then
find something that rhymes… sort of: "I’ve got a good woman/with the
meanest face in town./ I’ve got a good woman/with the meanest face in
town./Got teeth like Margaret Thatcher/an’ she weighs 500 pound."

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

Blues cars: Chevys and Cadillacs and broken-down trucks. Blues don’t
travel in Volvos, BMWs or Sport Utility Vehicles. Most Blues
transportation, ‘f course, is a Greyhound bus or a southbound train. Jet
aircraft ain’t even in the running. Walkin’ (i.e., the Fatman’s "Walkin’
to New Orleans") plays a major part in the Blues lifestyle. So does fixin’
to die.

Teenagers cain’t sing the Blues: they ain’t fixin’ to die just yet. Adults
sing the Blues. In Blues, "adulthood" means being old enough to get the
electric chair if you shoot a man in Memphis.

Blues can take place in New York City, but not in Hawaii–or any place in
Canada. Hard times in St. Paul, Ithaca, or Tucson is just depression.
Chicago, St. Louis and Kansas City are still the best places to have the
Blues. You can’t have the Blues in any place that don’t get rain.
Consequently, you can have the Blues in Bangkok (though locals there got
their own fine name for it) and it’ll be the same old down-home Blues you
always known. No `ceptions to Bruce’s Blues Rules in Bangkok.

A man with male pattern baldness ain’t the Blues, but a woman with male
pattern baldness is.

Breaking "yer leg cuz you been skiing" is not the Blues. Breaking "yer leg
cuz an alligator done chomped on it" is.

You can’t have no Blues in an office or a shopping mall. Ain’t possible.
The lighting is wrong. `Stead, go outside to the parking lot … or squat
yersef down by a dumpster.

Good places for the Blues: highways, jailhouses, empty beds, bottom of a
whisky glasses.

Bad places: wats (Buddhist temples), ashrams, Ivy League institutions,
gallery openings, golf courses.

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

Do you have the right to sing the Blues? Yes, if, for example:

* you’re older than dirt;
* you’re blind;
* you shot a man in Memphis;
* you went broke in Bangkok;
* you can’t be satisfied.

Blues is not a matter of skin color (i.e., black, white, brown, yellow,
red, green, copper-tone tan, et al.). An’ it ain’t a matter of no good
luck/bad luck either. It’s a matter of hard luck… hard luck an’
trouble. Fer’nstance, Tiger Woods cannot sing de Blues. But Gary Coleman
could. An’ ugly white people also got a leg up on the Blues.

If you ask for water and yer Baby give you gasoline, it’s the Blues. Other
acceptable Blues beverages are wine, whisky or bourbon, muddy water, black

The following are not Blues beverages: mixed drinks, kosher wine,
sparkling water, and Snapple (never even heard a such a thang till I come
here to de Finger Lakes).

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
or bamboo mat in a tin hut on the outskirts of Bangkok. But you can’t die
a Blues death if you died during a tennis match or getting liposuction.

Some Blues names for women: Sadie, Big Mama, Bessie, Fat River Dumpling.

Some Blues names for men: Joe, Willie, Little Willie, Big Willie, Blind
Willie, Wet Willie.

Persons with names like Sierra, Sequoia, Auburn, Aurora, Rainbow, and
Bruce can’t sing the Blues no matter how many men they shot in Memphis.
No matter how tragic your life is, if you own a computer and are
proficient in its operations you just can’t sing the Blues. Butcha kin hum
`em a lot.

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