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.

1 Comments:

Blogger stacy said...

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

7:33 PM  

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