God Creates Sidemen
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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Thu, 24 Feb 100 12:41:26 -0800
Subject: God Creates Sidemen
X-Lib-of-Cong-ISSN: 1098-7649 -=[ Fun_People ]=-
Forwarded-by: email@example.com (Peter Schwimmer)
Forwarded-by: Sandy Reay
[Also see http://www.langston.com/Fun_People/1999/1999AIF.html -psl]
THE BOOK OF JOBBING PART IV GOD CREATES SIDEMEN
And so the great Leader Nebulon did embark upon a search for suitable
Sidemen for his orchestra, and he could find none; for in those days there
were not many, and those that he could find were already working. Some
worked the Ark with the House of Noah, and some had the house gig at The
Walls of Jericho. And many played behind the scat-singing team of
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednago.
So Nebulon did return to the Lord and saith, "Lord, there are many
musicians, but no Sidemen!." And the Lord did say, "Shmuck ! Have you
looked everywhere? Did you call the Union ?" And Nebulon did say, "Lord,
I have looked high and low, especially low, and only one or two could I
find. What shall I do?" And the Lord did afflict Nebulon with boils,
saying, "Leave me to think on this!" And just to buy some time he did
also visit a plague of locusts on Egypt.
And the Lord did summon a league of Angels, and sent them forth over the
land, commanding them to find him some Sidemen. And the Angels did go to
the four corners of the earth, but the only unemployed Sideman they could
find was one holy man in India who did play the Horn With The Slide.
The Angels did return to the Lord with the bad news, and filled with wrath
he was. "How can this be? At one time the world did teem with Sidemen,
as a dead oxen does with maggots!" And the Angels did say, "Lord, many
left the business, some have even become Leaders, and no Leader will work
for another Leader." So the Lord did cause drought for 40 days while he
thought, and the answer came to him.
He did recall that there was a factory, part of his Beasts Of The Field,
Inc., division, that was in disuse. For it had been used to create golems,
for which there had been no great demand, and so He had closed down the
operation. And He thought, We can retool, and start turning out Sidemen.
And so it was done, and the Sidemen started rolling off the assembly line.
But somehow a remnant of the golem program remained, and the Sidemen did
come out acting unpredictably. Some stammered and stuttered, some talked
to themselves under their breath, and some would not bathe. Some refused
to shave their beards or to have their hair shorn, and some refused to wear
the Jobbing Toga. And some wore the Toga, but left them crumpled in their
chariots in between Gigs, or slept in them, or wore Togas from eons past,
with ruffles. And some did not believe in maps, and wandered the land
aimlessly looking for the Gig, and some did not believe in the use of the
hourglass, and arrived at the Gig whenever they chose. And some loved the
fermented nectar of dates, and some the wine of pressed grapes, and some
loved the burning of hemp. And some were created without ears, and some
with knuckles where their eyebrows should be. And some did worship the
gods Trane, Dolphy, Bird, Rashaan, Hodges, Bechet, Mahavishnu and Ornette,
and mocked their Leaders. And some did steal food from the buffet line,
yea, even before the Guests had dined. And some did try to lay with the
Chick Singers, and some with the Guests. And some did not Read, and some
could only Read, and not Blow. And some had no social skills, and some
had no musical skills. And many of them were Dark, not in pigmentation of
the skin, but in the Outlook on Life.
But every once in a while the line did produce a Perfect Sideman: One who
followed orders without question, one who showed up on time, one who wore
the Toga, one whose chariot always ran, one who Knew Tunes. But these
Perfect Sidemen were few and far between, and besides their eyes were
glazed, and they were shunned, for they were Boring, AND- they knew not
how to Hang.
And soon the land teemed with Sidemen milling about, looking for Gigs,
complaining and whining and arguing and occasionally stabbing each other
in the back.
And the Lord looked down upon his work, and said, "It will do. "
© 2000 Peter Langston