Monday, July 13, 2009

Tapping My Inner Johnson

Robert Johnson, that is.

The other night, at dinner, I uttered something that caught me unawares. Usually your brain is one step ahead of your mouth and you know what you're going to say.  But this time something weird happened.  I said something that, as far as I can tell, was totally spontaneous.  I was discussing obstacles set by others and complained that certain people were putting "stones in my pathway."  I had never used that phrase before.  I immediately realized that I was quoting a blues by Robert Johnson, though his song was called "Stones in My Passway."  Merriam-Webster doesn't have an entry for passway, so I'm assuming a passway is a pathway.  It rattled me a bit.  I said to my friends, "I think that's the first time I've quoted Robert Johnson."

As I thought about the incident I started to worry.  Perhaps I was developing a rare form of Tourette's Syndrome that causes one to blurt out blues lyrics without self-control.  If this were to develop it could become a source of great embarrassment.  I imagined a few possible scenarios.

I eat out a lot.  What if one day I falsely accused a waitress of trying to poison me by complaining to the manager, "I asked her for water but she brought me gasoline"?  I travel a lot.  What if one day, as I was taking a walk in a foreign land, I just froze up and screamed out, "Ain't goin' down that big road by myself"?

And what if one evening, in a bar, upon seeing an attractive woman, my Big Joe Turner cortex was stimulated and I blurted out, "Baby you so beautiful but you gonna die someday; all I want's a little lovin' before you pass away"?  It could cause untold embarrassment for the both of us.

On the other hand, it just might work.


Blogger stacy said...

If she's cool, she'll know what the hell you're quoting.

7:33 PM  

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