Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Road to Peace is Paved With Banjos



Here is another offering from my friend, Tracy Farr. This was first published in WinnsboroToday.com over a year ago, but is funny enough to get a new audience. Enjoy....


A while back, Hillary Clinton suggested that every baby born in America be given a $5,000 savings bond to be used when they turn 18. That's hogwash. I'll tell you exactly what every baby needs to make it through life -- a blanket to keep them warm, a pacifier to make them think before they speak, and diapers so they won't step in their own poop. But most importantly, so they grow up never taking themselves too seriously, every baby born on this beautiful planet needs a banjo.

And if everybody knew how to play a banjo, peace would spread across the world like cheese on nachos.

Banjos are the perfect thing to keep people well grounded. Have you ever seen a banjo player in a psychiatrist's office? I say not! Have you ever seen an angry banjo player? Heaven forbid! Have you ever heard of a banjo player going to rehab, getting out, shaving their head, and then going back to rehab? I shudder at the thought!

Why would a banjo player use drugs in the first place? They're happy enough as it is.
You can't sing sad songs when you're playing a banjo. It's impossible. I've tried. Sad songs sung to a banjo come out quirky and quirky songs make people smile.

If you play guitar, you have to dig deep into your soul and pull out heart-ripping angst-filled songs that make people believe you are a profound thinker. Either that or you have to turn up the volume on your amp and sing songs about drugs, cars, women, and booze in a voice so bad that nobody can tell you're singing about drugs, cars, women and booze.

On the other hand, banjo players don't dig deep into their souls because they are mostly singing about frogs, fat men, singing truck drivers, or banana splits. Also, banjo players don't have amps and the only drugs that enter their bodies are those that help fight off indigestion after a night of eating too much greasy food.

Speaking of food -- the only downfall to playing a banjo is you might be a bit overweight. Banjo players don't have time to count calories or measure portions. They eat what they like, when they like, and as much as they like. And if they die tomorrow from clogged arteries, at least they died happy with the knowledge that their last meal consisted of a dozen hotlinks smothered in chili and not baked chicken breast on top of a small portion of fat free wheat rice.

If I were in charge of this country, I would make the following suggestions:
• I believe the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution should be re-written to say "every American has the right to bear a banjo." If we give our kids banjos instead of guns, nobody would be crazy enough to rob a liquor store. What would they say? Stick 'em up? Give me all your money or I'll play Dueling Banjos? That wouldn't get them anywhere. The manager would probably say, "Let's get after it. I've been dying to play that song all night!"

• Instead of bombs, I think we should be dropping banjos to all our enemies. If they knew how to play the banjo, they would no longer be our enemies -- they'd be our banjo-playing buddies and we'd all get together on Saturday nights and have a hoedown in the desert.

• I believe every American president should be required to learn how to play the banjo. If our presidents knew how to play the banjo, we'd believe every word they say because banjo-playing presidents would never lie to us.Yes, they may tell a tall tale or two, but that would just endear them to us even more.

Yes, friends and neighbors, a banjo in every household is the key to happiness. Imagine no more prima donnas; imagine no more divas; imagine all our politicians too busy changing strings to accept money from special interest groups; imagine all the people living a life in peace; imagine that if John Lennon had played the banjo he'd probably still be alive today.

You may think that I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one. I hope someday you'll play the banjo, and the world will live as one.

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Tracy Farr is a teacher living in East Texas and drives a school bus for the fun of it. In his spare time he plays the banjo, but never on Thursdays. You can read more of his stories at www.stinkycreektexas.com.

5 comments:

Helen Ginger said...

I know nothing about the banjo...but my daughter does. She played clarinet in middle school, no instrument in high school or college, but now she's learning the clawhammer banjo (whatever that is). She loves playing old-timey banjo. She came home last Christmas and brought her banjo. It was the first time I got to hear her play. I could have listened to her play forever.

Helen
Straight From Hel

Maryann Miller said...

How great that you were able to hear your daughter play, Helen. There is something special about listening to good music when it comes from our kids. I have several who are really talented musically, and I loved it when we all were together to jam. Doesn't happen much anymore, unfortunately.

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

We have a banjo but no one ever learned to play it. Had a little violin and two grandkids started out playing it and moved on to the bigger variety.

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Wonderful advice! I'm going to have to bring this up the next time someone starts talking about solutions to the problems facing our country. "All we need is a banjo..."

Elizabeth
Mystery Writing is Murder

Maryann Miller said...

LOL, Elizabeth. Considering some of the wacky ideas that have floated out of Washington, the banjo approach doesn't seem so silly.