Wednesday, October 25, 2006

My Lazy Day

"Well, I might'a gone fishin'/Got to thinkin' it over/That road to the river/It's a mighty long way...." (My Lazy Day, by Smiley Burnette)
Today was my lazy day. I woke up around 5 am, read some Hilda Doolittle (quiet a writer; everyone should read a little HD before they die), thought about the heavy day I had ahead of me--when one lives in New York City, one must figure out how to make at least 50 bucks a day--every day; nothing gets cheaper here (except the construction materials they're using to build this amazin' gaggle of 50-story luxury apartment buildings popping up like weeds all over this crazy mixed up island), especially the cost of essentials, like food and shelter. New Yorkers just don't get to have lazy days. This morning there was nothing I could do about it. Around 8 when I tried to get out of bed, my body and mind said, "No thanks, Wolfie, we ain't budgin' today." No matter what I did--even promising them some strong black coffee from the Chocked Full O'Nuts stand in Greeley Park-- did no good; my body and mind had decided they were staying in bed whether I did or not.

That song, My Lazy Day, used to amuse me when I was a young, young kid. I loved it. I sang it morning, noon, and night, to the point that one time my mother almost sent me to a shrink. She couldn't get me to quit singing that song. One reason she didn't like the song was because of the man who wrote it, one Smiley Burnette. She hated Smiley because he looked like one of my father's true white trash uncles--Uncle Fatsy--and, yes, Smiley did look and act like Uncle Fatsy, except Smiley didn't live in a converted chicken coop in a place called Donkey Flats.

Smiley Burnette was the goofball sidekick to Gene Autry, the "Singing Cowboy," who really was never a cowboy until he made successful western Grade B movies--he had been a telegrapher with the old St. Louis & Southwestern Railroad back in his early Oklahoma days before he was discovered singing on the radio. Gene had his first hit with "That Silverhaired Daddy of Mine" in like '31, then went up to Chicago and became a radio star with The National Barn Dance. It was on that show that Gene met Smiley Burnette who soon became "Mister Art-er-ree's" (Smiley's way of pronouncing Autry) lifelong sidekick, coming on along with Gene through the movies, the radio shows, right on into teevee with the Gene Autry teevee show that was filmed at Gene's Melody Ranch Studios--a 60-acre ranch outside L.A. that the finally real cowboy turned into a horse farm and movie lot.

Well, I might-a gone fishin' - I been thinkin' it over
the road to the river - is a mighty long way
It must be the season - no rhyme or no reason
Just takin' it easy ... it's my lazy day.

Well, never mind callin' - 'cause I ain't a-comin'
Just pass on by me - stay out of my way
'Cause a little deep thinkin' - might drive me to drinkin'
Just takin' it easy - it's my lazy day.

I'm findin' it easy - to mind my own business
I'm keepin' my nose out - of ev'ryone's way
I'm takin' no orders - ain't hirin' no people
Just takin' it easy - it's my lazy day.

Just takin' it easy - it's my lazy day.

Now I know why I liked that song so much. It's a song of defiance. He ain't really lazy; he's just tired of dealing with people. Leave me alone! at least for this fine day. And that's the way I felt this morning; I just didn't want to deal with people today. Oh, I had to eventually; my lazy day didn't last all day, but it lasted until noon. Then I had to get up and go to the bank; going to the bank is also very important when you live in NYC. You've gotta always have money in that bank, man; no money in the bank, no bank account, no bank account, no place to live in this burg. So I had to get down to 14th Street to the bank but it was no fun trip, that I guarantee you.

Even on the subway rockin' down the line to 14th I was still lazy. My body was not functioning properly in terms of motivations to walk or run or to make any hay while the sun was shining--or to be excited about taking me to the bank where there happened to be for me a nice slug of money ensconced. My mind joined my body in not wanting anything to do with anything motivational. In fact, I think my mind slept the whole way to the bank and almost back. I didn't come straight back home and to bed; I stopped off at my favorite Irish pub--it was nearly 2 in the afternoon and there I tossed back a couple of cold wake-up Heinekens before bumbling home and settling down to some serious laziness.

I don't no really know how the hell I'm making it to write this post. My body is still rebelling; I'm doing huge yawns, of the almost-lockjaw state, that affect my concentration at staying awake and accomplishing something. My body is demanding to be in a reclining position. My mind; Jesus, I don't know where that pile of grey mess is; it doesn't seem to be anywhere near my body--"Hey, mind, where the hell are you?" I hear the lyrics to Smiley Burnette's song coming back over the ethereal toward me: "Well, never mind'a callin', 'cause I ain't a comin'."

It still is my lazy day.

for The Daily Growler

Check Out Smiley Burnette's Website--run by his son:

Smiley also wrote a song entitled, "Minnie the Moocher at the Morgue."

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