• Earl Fowler

Don't Sweat the Small Floss

So it occurs to me that the shades of Elvis and John Lennon both recently crossed the threshold into having been subterranean longer than the men walked the Earth.

(Yoko, if you’re keeping score at home, is 87 and won’t be able to make the same comfortless claim until well into the 22nd century.)

Dylan will turn 79 on May 24. Charlie Watts will join him a week later. Ringo Starr will celebrate (with a jaunty peace sign and a flat Carl Perkins song) his 80th on July 7.

It’s not dark yet, children, but it’s getting there.

I see a line of cars and they’re all painted black.

Last night the wife said, oh boy when you’re dead, you don’t take nothing with you but your soul.

Think!

And so I was I standin’ at the crossroad, trying to flag a ride while knee-deep in the marsh at the intersection of Styx and Lethe, thinking Faulkner might have been right when he wrote in As I Lay Dying: “The reason for living was to get ready to stay dead a long time.”

And then my six-year-old grandson pierced the doleful silence, no word of a lie and à propos of nothing, with: “Papa, when you’re dead, can I have your dental floss?”

And that’s when I knew everything was going to be OK. I’m not wild about the ending, but it’s a pretty sweet setup while it lasts.

Rock and roll can never die. The Beatles are forever. We play the game existence to the end and pass on the dental floss when we’re done.


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