Saturday, December 13, 2008

Bandism for Dummies

Flip is recording today.

"I have an idea for the vocals," he said.

"Hiring me?" I squealed.


"Well, you can try out," he said.

"But, but, I know the leader. I'm with the band. Won't that get me in?"

"I'm sorry, Miss, you'll have to audition like everyone else."

"What 'everyone else' are you talking about?" I asked.

"They will come," he said. "You will see."

"And YOU will see that I am the best of all. Plus, I live here. Doesn't geography count?"

Long pause.

"What are you going to call your band?' I asked.

"How about Flip and the Flipettes?"

"Ewwww." Extending crossed fingers to ward off vampires. "I will not be a Flipette. In case you hadn't noticed, we're way past the 50's."

"Flip and the Flipette?" Hopefully.


Longer pause.

"It sucks, ok?"

Even longer pause.

"You could call it 'Susan, back-ups by Flip.'"

He looked at me in disgust, and maybe a wee bit of admiration for my chutzpah.

"Or just 'SUSAN' like Cher and Charo. And Madonna." I was on a roll.

Flip shook his head in disbelief, eyes turned upward just like my mother used to do. Great. He's channeling my mother who was born with a silver cross in her back.

Bless her heart.

I lived in the South for years. My favorite Southernism is "all y'all" used as a possessive pronoun as in "Do these be all y'all's horses?"

But I am also especially fond of "Bless her heart" as piously employed by Southern ladies immediately after trashing other Southern ladies, as in "Mah neighbor is a no-good ho' slut who lacks the brains of a head o' cabbage, bless her heart."

You can say anything about anyone as long as you follow it with "bless her heart." Like crossing yourself at the door to a church. Or warding off vampires with garlic. Those three little words are your insurance policy, your hall pass, your get-out-of-jail-free card.

Without them you could appear mean, and nobody wants that.

So I need to prepare my audition number and a great outfit. Yes, I know it's a recording session, but a great outfit would be a terrific morale booster.

First I need to lay down some rules:

'Less he be hirin' me, he be singin' the Blues all by his lonesome. In the rain. Uh huh. Uh huh. Ain't no way in. Ain't no way in. Ain't NO WAY in.


the walking man said...

Shouldn't the lyric be "No Way in" as in "Flip if you don't hire me, there's no way back in to the apartment."

If the singing gig doesn't work out you two can do remakes of I Love Lucy.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


I was actually thinking of Lucy trying desperately to sneak into Desi's act but chose a picture of Billie Holiday because I adore her.

I meant there is no way out of some extremely dire consequences if I don't get the gig. Since we're married, I can make his life a living hell if I want to. You're a man -- you know how that works. :)

But "No way in" is a great double entendre. I'm going to change it, and you just got the editor gig, like it or not. And the kudos. Thanks, Mark.

furiousBall said...

my favorite southernism was, "y'all come see us"

which meant call us next time so we can make plans

WNG said...

all y'all and bless her heart are two of my favorite things about living in the south, along with sweet iced tea and cheese grits.

Here's my question: why wouldn't Flip be begging you to sing for him? Doesn't he know who you ARE? Clearly we need to talk...

seventh sister said...

Since you know 'Bless her heart' you probably also know "that's nice". hehe

franki said...

From the urban dictionary, "She's as ugly as a mud-fence, bless her heart."


Flippette is ridiculous but Flipper has a certain ring to it.

Pam said...

Didn't know my future husband's family liked a cup of tea so strong you could stand the spoon up in it. "Nice girl, but can't make a decent cup of tea, bless her heart" said his Grandmother. Thirty years on Grannie is dead and my tea-making has improved a lot.Loved this post. Hope you get the gig.

heart in san francisco said...


Things got even worse. I am responding to these comments on Flip's computer because my hard drive went to Hard Drive Hell or wherever. After three hours at the Apple store, they gave me the name of someone who might could (another Southernism)retrieve my stuff which includes both blogs and all my other writing, none of which I have backed up.

Big lesson here, people. Now this is the Blues. I bet if I worked for the CIA, they could save my work. Right before they took me to Guantanamo.


Yeah, sadly, the singing gig is now the least of my troubles.

And I hate grits. They taste exactly like Cream of Wheat cereal which I was forced to eat as a child because my brother liked them. I wonder if my brother likes grits.


"That's nice" means "get your ass outa my face and don't never bother me 'gain, hear?"



That sounds a lot like a Blues song.

"I got a woman crazy for me,
She ugly as a mud fence but
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

And Flipper is a porpoise.


That's not tea. That's crank-case fluid. I bet Granny lost her teeth long before she died.

franki said...

Flipper is also a really cute dress style right?

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

How about "Flippin' Susan"? Bless her heart.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Um, flApper?


Better than Flippin' Birds, I guess.

Actually, that would be perfect for a rock band.

LittlePea said...

Oh. I've posted in the past how I've often wished I could be a back up singer. They get to wear a hooker type outfit and carry a tambourine and no one blames it on them if the whole show sucks. Too bad I can't sing....

All ya'll can also be used as plural for ya'll. As in, "ya'll are comin' with me, Susan." And "not all ya'll can come because I have only enough room for Suzan."

franki said...

dammit. i bet you can tell i'm not very fashionable huh?

Warty Mammal said...

I say Flip should go for it.

Amusingly enough, my husband was also mentioning the "bless her heart" phenomenon the other day. It's a turn of phrase I intend to use as much as possible during the coming year.

The CEO said...

I have elected to stay far out of trouble, if possible. The band should be called SUSAN.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Sweet Pea,

All y'all come, heah?

My first musical instrument was the triangle in my kindergarten rhythm band. I felt really special because it was clearly the best one of all, but I guess I would do just about anything to carry a tambourine.


Who cares about clothes when you're that gorgeous?


Just remember that you have to say horrible things about other people first, or it's pointless.

Sounds like a plan.


I really love it when you suck up like that.

franki said...

Whew! You're still here.

Pant. Pant.

Ian Lidster said...

First off, thank you for Lady Day. How nice.

Now, how about Flip and the Fliptones? Has a nice ring to it. But, it would mean you'd have to be a Fliptone. Can you live with that?

Finally, bless her heart is, for me, on a par with God Love him/her.
'OJ, God love him, is finally where he should have been all along.'

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Awww, I didn't know you cared.

Ok, I knew.


"Fliptones" sounds like a product from Ma Bell.

"God love him" is exactly like "Bless her heart." Only Irish, not Southern. (At least in NY.)

Anonymous said...

I like the combo of two of my faorite Southern phrases - Bless his heart, he ain't right.

jameil1922 said...

lol. Bless her heart is THE BEST! i try to use it regularly. even out of context. "that is some DELICIOUS egg nog. bless her heart."

heartinsanfrancisco said...


I LOVE "he ain't right," too. Boy howdy.


Y'all ain't from around here, are ya?

On a limb with Claudia said...

I'd buy your CD.

I'd even brag about knowing you.

Oh wait. I already do....

heartinsanfrancisco said...


After you brag about knowing me, do you follow it with "bless her heart?"

Cardozo said...

Speaking of the South and "performing," I recently had the odd experience - while working on the Obama campaign in Virginia - of being unable to prevent myself from adopting the smooth pleasing drawl exhibited by those around me.

After a few months I could understand, but I was only there for eight days!

heartinsanfrancisco said...


I pick up accents quickly, too, but oddly, I've never had a New York accent although I grew up there.

When I was a kid, I could tell exactly which Southern state someone was from because they all sounded different. People move around so much now that I don't think that is any longer the case.

Good work on the campaign!

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

I know better than to read your posts and *especially* the comments after said posts, when I am work.

But I continue to defy the mortal danger I place myself in by doing so. I could burst some necessary inner organ by trying to hold in the eruption of laughter that simmers ever so dangerously near the corner of my almost stoic smile... I'll probably get weird wrinkles from holding it all in.

You're killin me sister.

Regional colloquialisms of the South. Oh the fun that can be had for the taking...

My sister moved to Arkansas and I've teased her about it mercilessly, ever since.
We were visiting one day and she couldn't think of the word she wanted to use, so I helped her out. It was a long word.

She said, "You know, we have long words down here, too... like - widja-didja; as in, you didn' bring yer truck widja, didja? And, mayonnaise; as in, mayonnaise a lotta folks in hee-ah.

Bless her heart.

Scarlett & Viaggiatore

heartinsanfrancisco said...


It's hard to imagine you with Bill Clinton for a sister.

I really love "might could" as in "Ah might could do thayet fer y'all."

I actually like the softness of some Southern drawls, but not the really twangy shit so much.

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

You are speaking my language, lady.

I have been known to pull off a sultry smart ass southern drawl when the mood strikes me (think Steel Magnolias), but it's rare, and it *never* has a twang.


Scarlett & Viaggiatore

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Oh, good. We don't want no stupid twangin' 'round here, now do we?