They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. But I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth, nor do I live in an ivory tower, so I’d say they’re barking up the wrong tree. I often wait in the wings then pull out all the stops. Seldom have I bitten off more than I can chew. But, once upon a time…I was holding down the fort with my head in the clouds, head over heels in love, when out of the blue I spied a golden opportunity. I knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that I had no time to lose. Never in a million years would this chance come around the corner. There was no time like the present. I was not going to let the grass grow under my feet. Time flies and time is money.
It was raining cats and dogs but I had found my place in the sun. The Universe was rolling out the red carpet for me. Opportunity was knocking on my door. I typically avoid monkey business and rarely put all my eggs in one basket, but drastic times call for drastic measures and, as we all know, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. If I could pull the wool over anyone’s eyes they would later realize it was a blessing in disguise.
I was up against the wall and knew I couldn’t turn back the hands of time. I had to cut to the chase or miss the boat altogether. I realized I was in the right place at the right time—just in the nick of time. With method in my madness I got all my ducks in a row, set a stiff upper lip, and gave myself the green light with this hot potato.
To catch someone red-handed, to tell them out of the blue that their days are numbered and they’re dead in the water, will make most folks blow a fuse, but this buckaroo was raring to go, so I said, “A penny for your thoughts—I wanna hear it straight from the horse’s mouth.”
He got all red-faced and turned the tables on me, “You yellow-bellied white elephant! You’re the one that spilled the beans!”
The cat was out of the bag and it was clear that he wasn’t going to give me the benefit of the doubt. It was useless to try to grease his palm. He’d pushed my panic button and I hit the road lightning fast, like a bolt from the blue. I thought I was a dead duck, but I got away by the skin of my teeth.
Yes, I was the one who had spilled the beans and it had cost me an arm and a leg. I’ve been through the school of hard knocks. I was the one who’d been blackballed and given the cold shoulder. But time heals all wounds—or so they say. I was going to let sleeping dogs lie, but this yahoo still had a bone to pick and he was going to cook my goose.
I made good time in my getaway. He chased my tail for a while, but eventually couldn’t cut the mustard. So, I look on the bright side now. For the time being I’m just going to keep my nose to the grindstone and my shoulder to the wheel. I suppose that only time will tell if I’m actually free as a bird. But every cloud has a silver lining, doesn’t it?
Will I sail through the rest of my life and eventually go scot-free? Your guess is as good as mine. After all is said and done, the answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind.
Elvis has left the building.
(Originally published in Oxford, Mississippi’s The Local Voice.)
Singer-songwriter, columnist, psychotherapist, spiritual advisor. Lives in Oxford, MS, the home of many best-selling authors including, most notably, Nobel Laureate William Faulkner.