Thursday, January 17, 2013

"Horse Walks Into A Bar..."

Horse walks into a bar. Bartender says, “ Hey buddy, why the long face? “

This was one of the first jokes I remember being told when I was a kid. I was probably 9 or 10 years old, and I thought it was hilarious. A simple play on words. I must have told that joke a hundred times to my 10 year old buddies but to my great dismay, hardly any of them thought it was funny. Then I would try to explain to them why it was such a great joke, about the role of the bartender as a confident, someone who people tell their troubles to, someone who’s job it is to cheer you up, and about the shape of a horse’s face. They still didn’t get it, and even when they did they would usually say something like, “ Dunnevant, you’re weird. That joke blows.” The lesson I learned at age ten was that humor was in the eye of the beholder.

A few years later, when all my friends were into rock and roll, my brother taught me to play three chords on a beat up guitar with only five strings. Although I was a huge fan of rock and roll myself, one day when I was 14 I rode home from a baseball game with a friend. His Mom was listening to one of those horrible classical music stations on the radio when I heard the most amazing guitar playing I had ever heard. Some guy was going to town playing some 200 year old song and I was transfixed. I heard the announcer say, “That was Christopher Parkening playing Bach’s Cello Suite # 1 in G Major”. Within a week I had joined Columbia House record club and in my welcome package of 8 free records, there was Christopher Parkening introducing me to classical music. I wore out that record, scratched it up to within an inch of it’s life over the next few years teaching myself how to play classical guitar. None of my buddies got it. “ Dunnevant, you’re weird. That music blows.” Age 14 taught me that musical taste was in the ear of the beholder.

Later on, I became enthralled with baseball at about the time that it began to fall from favor. The whole country was going bananas over football and I was busy memorizing the starting lineup of the 1983 Atlanta Braves. It got so bad, I would call the hot line at the Times-Dispatch at 6:30 in the morning to get the west coast scores. Pathetic.

54 years in, I can say with complete confidence that my interests and sensibilities have never been aligned with the world around me. I can never manage to get on the same page with the dominate culture in which I live. Square peg, round hole.

“ Dunnevant, you’re a businessman. How come you hate Donald Trump? You’re an investment advisor, how come you detest Wall Street? You own your own business, how come you can’t stand Republicans? You’re a World War Two loving patriot, how come you want us to cut the defense budget and bring all of our troops home? You’re a serious Christian, how come you

 don’t like church?”

I have no answer to any of these questions.

“Dunnevant, you’re weird and this blog-post blows!”