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Got the losing my hormones blues

The blues are all about tough breaks, bad luck, misfortune, disappointment and whining, usually the result of someone else doing you wrong. You know the usual themes: your sweetheart took your hunting dog and ran away, rancid grits, your rusty pickup has a flat tire, getting' ugly, hard work, mean boss and feeling lonely. Some of my favorite blues titles are Get Off My Back Women Blues, Heartbreak Blues, Melancholy Blues, Mule Skinner Blues, Working At The Carwash Blues, Ain't Got No Home Blues, Dead Man's Blues, Deep Depression Blues, Rainy Night Blues and Lonesome Road Blues. You probably have one of your own you could name.

If you want to sing the blues, you'll sound more authentic if you've been cheated on, spent a few nights in jail, slept in some boxcars and been up and down some dark alleys. Then to give your melody the proper heartsick languishment, it is best if you are accompanied by a guitar or a harmonica that has gathered months and months of dust in a pawn shop. But there is an old legend about how to be the very best at singing the blues. Down in the deltas of the Mississippi River they say that if an aspiring bluesman waits at the side of a deserted country crossroads on a dark, moonless night, satin himself may come by and tune his guitar, sealing a pact with the bluesman and guaranteeing him a lifetime of easy money, women and fame. The story goes on to tell about Robert Johnson, a blues pioneer whose wife died in 1930 causing him deep grief. In his mourning, Johnson decided to become a bluesman. In a very short time he became a blues guitar master. Thus came about the myth (or was it a myth?) that Johnson had made a deal with the devil. But Johnson never said -- and neither did the devil.

When I was in high school, I went to rodeos and always thought I should be a bronk or steer rider. Now I look back and am thankful that I never took up the sport because all these years later I'd be singing My Aching Bones Blues.

Writers of columns love to read what other writers of columns are writing. I read one a week ago by a talented writer named Kathy Tandberg. She wailed a gloomy blues tune about the sands of time rushing through her body and stealing the hormones that once throbbed in her young figure. She included enough detail for at least six verses -- one about night sweat, one about sleepless nights, one about dry skin, one about thinning hair, one about weak bones and finally one about "that natural time in life." All the necessary blues lines and words were there: "That (biological) clock has run its course and the train has long left the station," "tragic loss," "so I whine," and "it could be worse." Take out that old guitar and sing Losing My Hormones Blues for Kathy.

But take heart Kathy, it could be worse -- some folks lose their hormones, sweetheart and hunting dog all at the same time as they're getting ugly, getting a figure like a flat tire, eating rancid grits and working at the carwash for a mean boss. They have the twelve verse blues and you only have six. You don't need to make a deal with the devil to sing that one with a tremble in your voice and tears in your eyes.