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Chance Thoughts
by Sue Chance, M.D.
March 1996

Country Blues

I've often written and spoken about the value of humor to anyone who's interested in getting on with life (a category that fits most of us). A good sense of humor is quite literally a redeeming quality, a saving grace that can pull our fat out of the fire when nothing else will.

Examples abound. We only have to pay a little attention, and our humor ear starts picking them up. For instance, I was driving the six blocks or so between my bank and the library the other day, and I just let the radio play while I motored, and since the last mechanic who serviced my car evidently had a preference for country music, such was the station that came on. I'm not a country aficionado, but must admit that during those times I've been in a radio wasteland (Albuquerque to Amarillo springs to n-find) I've not only listened to it, I've nearly run off the road laughing while listening to a country singer assert that he needed some "TLC ASAP," shortening that articular stretch of road for me.

Anyway, on my trip to the library, another singer intoned all kinds of suspicious circumstances surrounding his wife--a flimsy nightgown unaccountably tom, no answer when he calls the sister she's gone to visit, etc., etc.-- and the wrap-up line, repeated of course, was that while he was bom in the dark, it wasn't last night. The librarian looked at me funny, I had such a grin on my face when I walked through the door.

I have a collection of these little country music nuggets, taken from a calendar my sister sent me a couple of years ago. I'm sure there's one to fit every state of human misery, but I thought these particular ones were most worthy of passing along:

  • I wouldn't take her to a dogfight even if I thought she could win.
  • I gave her the ring she gave me the finger.
  • She got the goldmine, I got the shaft
  • To make a long story short, she's gone.
  • Love goes to hell when it dies.
  • There ain't no queen in my king-sized bed.
  • Next time I fall in love, I won't.
  • Walkin, talkin, cryin, barely beatin' broken heart.
  • It took a lot of drinkin' to get that woman over me.

Not too hard to figure out why country music's popular, is it? Who doesn't know and hear those feelings all the time?

A couple of days later I was puttering around, halfway listening to the news. They were reporting on the flooding caused by all the January snow, and interviewed several businessmen in Alexandria, Virginia. With a wry smile, one said, "First, it was two government shut-downs. Then, the blizzard of '96. What's gonna be next-locusts?"

There you have it, folks. A perfect summation of the human condition--trapped at the mercy of the government, the weather, and the gods. What's to do, except laugh?

Thanks to the following songwriters: Larry Kingston and Troy Snow;  F. W. Markle;  Tim Dubois;  Willie Nelson and Fred Foster;  Wayne Kemp and Sammy Lyons;  Robert J. Borchers;   Ned Mller;    Justin Tubb and Roger Miller;   Byron Gallimore, Blake Merls, and Bill Shore.