Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Woke Up This Morning

Flip is wearing sunglasses to do the dishes.

I said, "Do we have a blind musician thing going on here?" Blues musicians nearly always sport a disability as part of their names, and sometimes a piece of fruit, too: Blind Flip Parker, Lame Melon Parker, Crippled Lemon Parker, Blind Little Crippled Lame Lime Flip Parker...

"No, it's a cool thing," he said. "For someone who lived in Greenwich Village in its heyday, you are not cool."

"Why am I not cool? Because I don't wear sunglasses indoors?"

"You just don't understand," he said. "I understand. And I'm not even from New York. Such a waste."

He poured some more Ivory liquid into the sink.

I resisted the urge to tell him he looked very cool washing dishes. Like the Grand Opening of a 99 Cent Store. Or a Rolls Royce hood ornament hanging over the bed like a statue of Jesus on the cross.

I understand cool, too. I do. It's just a matter of interpretation, and dishpan hands.


the walking man said...

It's obvious Mississippi Flip Parker intended to make those bubbles sing the blues...he was protecting himself with SPFC 75 safety lenses.

"these bubbles got them ol' Chitown blues they is goin' ta burst all over the place"

RED MOJO said...

Wow, that cool blind lame lime flip guy sure has soft hands! heehee.

comfortandjoy said...

Once there was a little boy named Flip. He wasn't much to look at, one leg was shorter than the other, and he had a lazy eye. But Flip had two gifts, a rough low voice and a blue soul.

His family was poor, and he was forced to work. Every day he would set off down the dirt road, hobbling on his mismatched legs, to the soul food restaurant where he worked as a dish washer.

And the blues welled up in his blue soul and poured out of his mouth, and he sang them, always, in that fine sandpaper voice.

One day, as he was washing the endless pile of dishes at the restaurant, he began to sing. He became so involved in his song, that he was careless with the dishes and splashed lye soap in his eye. He was immediately and permanently blind.

So bitter that he was now blind, and poor, and gimpy, his blue soul turned brown, and he never sang again.

They say you can still find him somewhere in San Francisco, languishing, sunglasses on to hide his blind lazy eyes, up to his elbows in dishwater...

Anonymous said...

Lame Melon Parker is just perfect. I would buy the complete collection of his CDs on name alone.

I can only suspect that cool never takes a holiday -- once you are cool, you are cool -- even when washing dishes. The man can't just turn it off.

jameil1922 said...

hahahaha. i love "Blind Little Crippled Lame Lime Flip Parker." there's really nothing like a good all-encompassing name to get you through life. cuts through all the foolishness... much like good dish soap.

Say It said...

I've worked with sunglasses on because they are prescription and I left my indoor glasses at home. I'm sure my cool status was not raised that day. But Flip had it right, dishes with sunglasses, why not?

Ian Lidster said...

And of course I was put in mind of Al Hibbler, Ray Charles, George Shearing, Stevie Wonder,Jose Feliciano etc. etc. Didn't put 'blind' in their names, but the effects were still grand.
So tell me, dear Susan, would Blind Lemon Jefferson now be 'Visually Challenged Lemon Jefferson?' Just wondering.

On a limb with Claudia said...

My husband actually loaded AND unloaded the dishwasher this week for the first and only time in the 17 years we've been together. I think I'd just fall on the ground if he was actually WASHING a dish. I'd miss the whole cool sunglass thing.

Nick said...

Does Flip only wear sunglasses to do the dishes or does he wear them for other household tasks? And does he also apply sunscreen? Just filling in some missing details here....

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Delta Flip sure knows how to tickle them ivories (Ivory liquids, that is.)


Yeah, well let's not tell HIM that, ok?


Yikes. Sometimes I think the ravens feed you.


It's true. I will never attain his level of coolth no matter how many dishes I wash.


Maybe I should add "Willie,"too. It's almost a given that blues men are named Willie.

Blind Little Crippled Lame Lime Flip Willie Parker. Is that better? I'm sure he'd love to be known as Robert Johnson, but HE wasn't blind. I can only do so much.

Say it,

Flip's sunglasses ARE prescription, and there is a window over the kitchen sink.


Blind Lemon Jefferson would most certainly be renamed Visually Challenged, and I'm not sure about Lemon either. It can have derogatory implications, especially if you're a car. But you can't very well call him "Unspecified Fruit" without creating additional problems.

Oh, dear. Why can't they all have simple, classic, Biblical names like Dizzy Gillespie or Theloneous Monk?


After only 17 years...? How did you finally get lucky? Imagine what he'll do given another 17. It boggles the mind.


Flip refuses to wear sunscreen but he's passive-aggressive about it. I nag him and he promises to use it but never does.

And no, he does not wear his shades to wash floors or make the bed, or even to take out the garbage.

He is arbitrary (but never wrong.)

WNG said...

OK, Flip just cracks me up. How did you manage to keep a straight face during that conversation?
Flip 'Smooth Hand' Parker...
Does he cross genres and wear his sunglasses at night too?

Anonymous said...

You gotta love it that he was having a cool moment whil ewashing the dishes. You both win.

Los Angelista said...

I can only think of that "I wear my sunglasses at night" song now. It's going to be stuck in my head all day.

seventh sister said...

What? You don't think that Flip is a cool enough name? I don't think any of those colorfully named blues dudes were from California.

stephen t said...

Blind Lame Mellow Lemon Jellyroll Parker.

His friends just called him Cool.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


How did I keep a straight face? Years of acting training. Actually, we are each other's straight man, depending on which of us is a little off that day. It balances out.


You have such a positive outlook on life. I really admire that about you.


Surely you can overcome it with something by Depeche Mode.


You can't have Blues in California. It's just depression. And that goes double for Hawaii. Chicago, St. Louis, Kansas City and Mississippi are still the best places to have the Blues.


I can't believe I forgot Jellyroll.

Mr. Parker has some cool friends, too.

Molly said...

What I want to know is what was ole blind lame flip parker singin'?

heartinsanfrancisco said...


"Come On In My Kitchen," of course, by Robert Johnson.

ProudMary said...

That's pretty funny, mom.

Angela said...

LOL! Very funny! I want to be cool, too. Hmmmm. Where to start, where to start. A name change. That's it!

heartinsanfrancisco said...


It runs in the family.


Sadie, Bessie, and Big Momma River Dumpling are Blues names.

Like a person named Susan would know.

meggie said...

I don't know much about the Blues.
I just know what I like, heh!

velvet said...

I think that my husband looks cool washing the dishes, but I think that he'd look even cooler if he were vacuuming.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


I just saw this. Blogger isn't sending me emails about comments anymore.

That's what counts - that you know what you like. :)


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