The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #9944   Message #68763
Posted By: bseed(charleskratz)
07-Apr-99 - 03:51 AM
Thread Name: Banjo Jokes, let the dueling begin....
Subject: RE: Banjo Jokes, let the dueling begin....
We stopped for gas in this little town east of Sacramento last year--it was a real old-fashioned station: I had to pump the gas out of the underground tank by hand. My wife was listening to Mozart on the car radio and when I finished working the noisy old pump I became aware of a strange, discordant sound clashing with Eine Kleine Nachtmusick. At first I thought it it was some kind of radio interference, but when I asked my wife to turn down the radio, I realized someone was playing the banjo and sobbing. The banjo seemed to be in a modal tuning, and was making a sound even more mournful than the sobbing. I walked around the corner of the station and there was a skinny kid of about seventeen frailing away, tears streaming down his face. He looked up for a moment then returned his rheumy eyes to the ground and continued playing and sobbing. I asked him what he was so unhappy about, but he just sniffed, shook his head, and went back his whamming and sobbing. When I headed back to the car, the old man running the station had returned with my change. He saw me coming back from the side of the station and noticed my puzzled expression.

"Don't mind the boy," he said. "He'll get over it."

I was still wondering and I guess I showed it, so the man added: "It's his maw."

"Is his mother sick?" I asked, and when he just looked at me funny, I added. "Did she die?"

"Naw," he said, "she's okay."

I wanted to ask him what the boy was crying about, but I din't want to be intrusive. I looked back at the corner of the station, then back and the man.

"She's okay..." he repeated, and after a pause he added, "he's just cryin' cuz she weaned him."