Well, I’ve decided to take some advice and in between my much vaunted life crises in the form of heart attacks and other assorted mishaps I think I’ve finally come to see the light. Shit, when you combine that with my penchant for noding crappy 70’s tunes, well, it’s enough to bring a tear to my eye and almost make me tumble right off my barstool taking a host of other patrons with me in an avalanche of assholes and elbows and laying face down in a puddle of stale spilled beer, cigarette butts and peanut shells.

It’s true ya know? I pictured myself in just such a position and just before they hauled my drunken ass out the door and tossed me into the street next to the dumpster that smelled of rotting lettuce and urine was when I had myself one of them there what you might call “revelations”.

Yes indeedy, there I was, contemplating my disappointment and disgust with myself for trying to find the finer more meaningful things in life when all of sudden a burst of inspiration was right there in front of me. Only this time, it weren’t no Jesus comin’ down from the cross to preach all that “turn the other cheek” and “love thy neighbor” nonsense. No, no. no my friends, this time it was a vision of my good buddy, Mr. John Prine and he said,:
“Boy, you been wastin’ your time tryin’ to find meaning in them old lyrics of mine and while I can ‘preciate that, this is the year 2006 and you best get with the program son. Shit, cain;t you see what’s happenin’ all around you.”

I blinked my eyes a couple times to clear my head thinkin’ this was all an illusion but good ol’ Johnny was still standin’ there right in front of me grinnin’ to beat the band. . He took his guitar (he pronounced it “geetar”) out of his case, tuned and strummed it for a little ways and then he started in on a song from his latest album called “Fair and Square”

Well I once knew a man
who was going insane
He let love chase him
right up a tree
It took the police
and a fire truck
Just to bring him back down
Oh, I hate it
when that happens to me

Well right there amongst the smell of week old garbage was when I found myself dumbstruck and speechless. My jaw just kinda hung there and my eyes wouldn’t blink. The words I wanted to say wouldn’t come up outta my throat but somehow they got stuck somewhere between my brain and my vocal chords. My mouth felt as dry as the desert itself and I started shakin’ and sweatin’.

I mean, here was my favorite website in the whole wide world and all they could do for the past few days was talk about hate and how it affected them. I mean, every time I refreshed the catbox or took a look at some of the new write ups for the most part all I could see was the word “hate” being used over and over and over again and now here was my one of my favorite artists in the world talkin’ about how he’d hate it when something happened to him

Man, it was almost enough to make me believe that karma is the most wild, untamable and precocious little thing that I’d ever seen.

It made the front page
of the paper
The gossip tongues wagged
Why they even showed it
all on TV
Now if he should live forever
He won't live it down
Oh, I hate it
when that happens to me

Why, even noders we thought was gone came out from their hiding places and decided it was time to let bygones be bygones and they put in their two cents worth. Other noders who hadn’t written stuff in a long while decided it was time to dust off their pens and pencils and maybe give this writing thing another whirl and they had the good sense to remind us how things were in the “good old days” before we got all grown up and started acting like adults instead of the carefree children we all wanted to stay.

Yep, and there was old John Prine himself, still standin’ there right in front of me grinnin’ that goofy grin and singin’:

Dogs bites Man
Man loses girl
Oh what did he ever do
Wrong in this world?

Now, I’m no philosophy student and if the truth were to be told I’ve often heard whispers that I’m not even the brightest light in the socket. My life has been likened to a “nine mile skid on a ten mile ride” and I’ve made more than enough of my mistakes along the way. Someday, they’ll probably even wind up killin’ me somehow but then again, that’s the price one pays to travel down the road I chose to wander.

Maybe that’s what my man John is tryin’ to tell me.

There once was a big buzz
all over town
About a movie where
the killer goes free
Now, he's got
every one's sympathy
Oh, I hate it when
that happens to me
Yes, I hate it when
that happens to me

Oh, I’m sure the topic of hate will continue to make a lot of us smile and laugh over the next coupe of days but I guess I should have learned something about myself a long, long time ago.

I just gotta stop dwellin' on things, 'taint good for the mind or the soul.

Yep, maybe we all should start doin' that.

Lyrics to “I Hate It When It Happens To Me” copyright John Prine and released on the album “Fair and Square in 2005

CST Approved

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