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Thursday, November 26, 2020
Culture What to Do: Up Against the Wall, the 'Boys and accountants in...

What to Do: Up Against the Wall, the ‘Boys and accountants in capes

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Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

When I graduated from Paschal in 1973, I started off at then-Tarrant County Junior College (now Tarrant County College), but I hung out with a lot of people who lived in dorms at TCU, Texas Wesleyan and even then-North Texas State. In nearly every dorm room I entered, they had a copy of Jerry Jeff Walker’s Viva Terlingula! album and they were usually playing it when I visited them. It was so ubiquitous, you’d a thought they gave copies out when you registered for classes.

So-called Texas “outlaw” country was already a thing popularized by Willie, Waylon and others, but that album sealed the deal with the college crowd. It was a party at 33 1/3 RPM from the opening of Desperados Waiting on a Train to the drunken, “ready-to-fight ‘cos I’m bulletproof” bravado of Up Against the Wall, Redneck Mother to the heartbreaking Wheel, reportedly inspired by Jerry Jeff viewing the tractor accident that killed his grandfather. It was all there in sometimes sloppy glory, capped off with a song that wasn’t even sung by Jerry Jeff, London Homesick Blues, written and sung by Gary P. Nunn, the Lost Gonzo Band’s keyboard player. It has gone on to be the theme song to Austin City Limits.

Walker, of course, is also known as the author of Mr. Bojangles, a song from earlier in his career, inspired by a fellow he met in a jail cell (I mean this is outlaw country we’re talkin’ about). That song has gone on to be recorded by hundreds, if not thousands of others. It’s a favorite of jazz bands, with its descending bass line, a nice propulsive waltz time and some interesting chords. Nina Simone had a hit with it and Sammy Davis Jr. adopted it as his own. Fort Worth’s own King Curtis recorded a jazz version on his Live at the Fillmore West album.

Speaking of Fort Worth, I heard our own Pat Green on the radio a few weeks back and he talked about how much Jerry Jeff and his wife meant to him. So, along with inspiring several hundred college students to pick up a guitar and try to write entertaining songs, he also helped promote young talent like Pat.

Now Jerry Jeff Walker has played his last chord. Battling throat cancer for years, Walker died on Oct 23 in Austin. You sort of hope in heaven he starts a chorus of Up against the Wall Redneck Mother with a heavenly choir giving it their all and shaking those walls of jasper.

If you’re a Dallas Cowboys fan, Sunday was either a terrible day for you or a great one if you’re looking down the road at potential draft picks. That’s optimistic as the Cowboys seem to have the same sort of luck with draft picks as they do with balls bouncing their way. And that hit Andy Dalton took to the helmet was … well, not what the NFL is hoping to achieve with their new rules. Andy seems okay, but man. I would make some Cowboys jokes but not sure anyone would laugh after that.

The campaigns are heating up as voting continues to increase:

And so is COVID-19, particularly in El Paso:

And those poor folks who got all the polls wrong last time around? They’re running scared this go-round:

Monday is National American Beer Day and National Chocolate Day. Hmm, I suspect you know what to do. It’s also National Financial Crime Fighter Day recognizing the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) professionals, so if  you see an accountant wearing a cape today, you’ll know why.

So here are some financial professional jokes.

A woman was told she only had 6 months to live.

“Oh my!” said the woman. “What shall I do?”

“Marry an accountant,” the doctor said.

“Will that make me live longer?”

“No,” replied the doctor. “But it will SEEM longer.”

Here’s one that is pretty good:

An accountant is someone who solves a problem you didn’t know you had in a way you don’t understand.

Here’s a joke to make fun of two professions:

What’s the difference between an accountant and a lawyer? The accountant knows he’s boring.

How does Santa’s accountant value his sleigh?

Net Present Value (I’m sure the accountants out there are doubled over)

Why did the auditor cross the road?

Because that’s what he did last year.

And this one is pretty good for inside baseball:

How many accountants does it take to change a light bulb?

One, but he’ll have 1,500 of them to do on 31st January.


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