Fri., May 11, 42 A.B.

Country & Eastern Music

My wife and I spent last night learning and singing some Vietnamese folk songs.

(Does that sound odd?  Just wait - you'll be amazed at what you'll
be doing to pass the time after you've been in a relationship for over 20 years.)

Now I confess - I've never much cared for Country & Western music.
But this Country & Eastern stuff sure had its moments.


Three years at this outpost
Guarding by day, nights spent
On public works.
Slashing bamboo and chopping wood,
The bad food, who do I complain to?
Complain to the ju-jube and apricots.
Complain to the truc bamboo and ironwood.
In the clear water of the well, a fish splashes free.

After about 15 rounds of that, I swear I could smell that fish as it splashed free.  And the diet Coke I was sipping by mistake only intensified the sensation.

Things got a tad spooky, however, as we moved on to singing this:

When March comes, a frog will bite a snake in the neck,
And drag its corpse into the rice paddy.
A tiger will lie down so a pig can lick its fur.
A ball of rice will swallow a ten-year-old child.
An eighty-year-old man will be eaten by a dozen persimmons.
A chicken and a jug of wine will swallow a drunk.
A trap will crawl inside an eel.
A band of grasshoppers will pursue the carp.
The seedlings will jump up and eat the cows.
The grass will lie in wait for the water buffaloes.
The chicks will harass the hawk.
A munia will chase and crack the pelican's head.

NOTE: I have NO idea what a munia is, but tonight I'm buying new locks
for my doors.

Last night, we simply closed our eyes tight and moved on.

In despair, I blame you, Sky!
Sad, I laugh; happy, I cry.
In my next life, please don't
Let me come back as a man.
I'd rather be a pine on a ridge,
Silhouetted against the sky.
If you don't mind the cold,
Then hang with the pines.

Kinda like Simon and Garfunkel by way of a Johnny Cash prison
concert, isn't it?

Looking to lift our spirits a bit, we turned to this traditional Vietnamese
love song:

I married at fifteen.  My husband complained
That I was too small, and would not lie with me.
Then I was eighteen, then I was twenty.
I was sleeping on the floor with the pigs when he
Yanked me into bed.
Love me once, then love me twice,
There's only three legs left to the bed.
You who are going to my parents' village,
Please let them know that he and I are reconciled.

"Guess she was too tired to mail a postcard," Amy commented.

"Maybe her fear of pigs rendered her unable to set foot out of that bed," I provided my dear wife with an alternative explanation.

"Let's just think good thoughts and move on," Amy recommended.

"Cooking the rice longer does not always keep it from swallowing the ten-year-old child," I pointed out, delicately.

"Just turn the goddamn page," Amy suggested.  "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire is going to be on in ten minutes."

I sagely turned the goddamn page, secretly vowing to run like crazy if a persimmon leaped out at me.

Man oh man!
Wake up in the middle of the night,
Plants a stake inside a woman.
Woman oh woman!
Wake up in the middle of the night,
Yanks the man's intestines out.

"Oooooo!  Let's sing this one again!" Amy opined.

"Regis is coming," I reminded her, grabbing the book out of her hands
and turning the page before she could sing it again more than a dozen times.

Woman: If King, father, mother, husband, and wife
Are all sitting on a boat which is sinking
During a storm, who would you save?

Man: Standing under the vast sky, I won't lie.
The King, I'll carry on my head;
Father and mother, on my shoulders;
And you, sweet wife, swim to me
While with my two hands I save the boat.

"HA!  I hope the bastard drowned!" Amy exclaimed.

"Now wait a second.  Maybe the boat had a better prow?" I suggested.

"Say WHAT?!" Amy pointed out.

I quickly turned the goddamn page.

There is a lime tree in my garden
Without branches, yet with flowers.
There is an elderly mother in my house
Who can neither cook nor sweep.
At the banquet, she has the place of honor
In front of fine china on a red-lacquered tray.
After she eats, she shits on the floor.
Children, grandchildren, come quick!
It is time to put grandmother in the hole.

Stunned.  Silence.

"I bet the young Elvis could have made that sound much better than it reads," I finally suggested.

"I was thinking more of B-B-B-Bing Crosby."

We considered the matter quietly for some time.

"Kinda makes you wonder what they would have done had she shat on the red-lacquered tray, doesn't it?"

"You're sick."

"No, a tiger lying down so a pig can lick its fur is sick."

"No, that's merely perverted."

"Maybe it's just situational perversion - did you ever think of that?  Maybe the tiger was driven to it by unusual circumstances."

"Like me forcing you to watch Regis?"

"Just don't stick me in the hole."

"Well, just don't shit on the TV when he comes on again."


So that's pretty much how our Thursday night went.

Hope yours was at least as magical!

                                Back            Home            Next

                           (©In The Now Moment by DJ Birtcher
                 despite his sudden hankering for an origami pizza)