Silliness Recalled – “Hit and Run Night Stand”

As any of you who are regular readers of this blog must realize, I am a great believer in silliness.  Not the silliness of anger that won’t back down, or pride that won’t unclasp, but antic, self-mocking, ego-abandoning, silliness.  (The best example may be the many posts about Robert Pattinson, who, by the way, is (i) apparently not truly attached to Kristen Stewart, (ii) once chipped a tooth while flossing, and (iii) didn’t shave while staying with his family over Christmas.)

I like being silly, in part, because it is simply exhilarating.  Being silly makes you feel like the word and action “frolic,” like the word and action “skinny-dip,” like you yourself are the first bite of a cupcake, the sidestep in an impromptu tapdance, the profiled Egyptian hand in a Monty Pythonesque walk.

Being silly, if done wholeheartedly, makes you feel young and carefree and as if you really do have choices in life, or, at least, in the moments right in front of you.

I have been extremely lucky to have known others who, though not perhaps as independently silly, were willing to be silly alongside of me.  One of these was a roommate in, of all places, law school.  Although a serious student—she already had a Ph.D., beginning law school—she was perhaps one of my greatest compatriots in silliness.

How does this silliness manifest itself when you are both blonde, reasonably attractive (she was actually beautiful), weighed down by the travails of law school (more interested, that is,  in the plaintive than the plaintiff)? What form does it take when one of you has an electric organ left in storage by a brother who had once studied at the same University, and the other a guitar?  When one likes to sing, and the other, from Mississippi, has long been infatuated with George Jones and Tammy Wynette?

Write country music, of course.  Adopt country music names.  Go down to Nashville to make a demo tape.  Stay in the Country Music Hall of Fame Motor Inn.  And because you are both budding lawyers, but too busy to do full copyright registrations, mail lyrics to yourself via never-opened envelopes sent by certified mail.  (The idea was to document the date of composition.)

My dear friend and compatriot in silliness died a couple of years ago from cancer.  But I received today from her very kind husband a package holding a stack of unopened certified envelopes addressed (both sender and recipient) with our long-unused country music names (Gussie and Cindy Fay.)

Of course, receiving a package like this in the mail can knock the silliness right out of you.  I miss my friend more than I can articulate.   But, after absorbing what the package contained, I made myself open up all those old certified envelopes, and, reading the lyrics, well, it was pretty hard not to laugh.  There’s nothing like silliness, especially past silliness, silliness recalled.

We had many more titles that I remembered—”Romantic Fever,” “Bed and Bored,” “I always Let My Fingers Do the Talking (But You’re Already Walking Away), “The Paycheck Song” (written in the hopes of being picked up by Johnny Paycheck—we waited outside his dressing room at a show at the Lone Star Café),  “The Social Drinker,” “Dream House,” etc.  (All our songs, true to country music style and rebelling legal precision, relied heavily on puns.)

My favorite was always, “Hit and Run Night Stand.”  The first stanza:

“I’m a victim of a hit and run night stand,
I’ve been laid low by a truckdriving man,
His trucking is so good, I wish he’d make his truck stop here,
But that man is only happy, when he’s shifting gears.”

You’ve got the gist of it.

Silly silly silly.  Fun.

(All rights reserved.  Gussie Gustafson, Cynthia Fay Barnett.)

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4 Comments on “Silliness Recalled – “Hit and Run Night Stand””

  1. David Feldman Says:

    Modesty doubtless prevents her from believing it, or perhaps at the very least merely from saying it, but by a truly quite independent assessment, let it be it noted (totally in earnest but with reckless abandon, so still in the spirit of certain variety of silliness) that the author herself must also be counted as “actually beautiful.” Again, to say the least.

  2. Theo Martin Says:

    For all intents and purposes, sillines is whatever makes a person actually enjoy the small things and details in life that free the puckish side of their nature.
    In this case what most people feel is a sad case of wry amusement is now to become a good memory that is wrapped around a time that could be a part of another dimension of that person’s puckish side.
    I myself have always been a fan of several types of puckish behavior, having grown up in a household of punsters whose sole purpose was to keep serious life from becoming too much a struggle, that in moments of stress, silliness was an outlet.
    In this case I feel that silliness was and still is justified even though the two people involved, are no longer connected physically, but with such wonderful memories to keep their souls and spirits together I hope that the silliness remembered will carry on with the spirit of the person left behind.


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