published Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

Dalton Roberts: Going the extra (crazy) mile


by Dalton Roberts

For years I have wanted to share some stories about the extent to which some people will go to get their opinion or request for some political favor before you.

Knowing you will not believe them (because I wouldn't if you told them to me) l still must venture forth. In the first case, when I was Hamilton County executive (now known as county mayor), a Chattanooga businessman followed me to the men's room and into a single-seat stall. I told him we should talk later, but by this time he had already untied his tongue and he beseeched me to help him get a radio station license.

I'll be honest with you friends, I did not want a man who would barge into a bathroom stall to be disseminating news and information to the people of Chattanooga. Frankly, I had a strange feeling his judgment was impaired.

I have no idea why I am so vulnerable to gourd-pounders in restroom stalls but another case also happened in a men's room. I was the happy occupant of a stall when this jaybird climbed up on the lavatory then swung over the partition into my stall. He was so intoxicated that I thought I could whip him even if Chuck Norris or Jim Hammond didn't come in to help me.

I flogged him real good for so brazenly interrupting my reverie. He said, "I just wanted to ask you to give me a job." I said, "I make it a personal policy to never hire a man when either of us has been drinking."

You can imagine how much damage a man like him could do if he ever got drunk on the job and had a crew of 40 men. He could start an insurrection that would make Harper's Ferry look like a tiff on the playground.

If you've ever had a hit song, I would urge you to never let it be known. I had a tiny bit of success in Nashville -- not enough to make enough money to pay my gas up there and back and just barely enough for word to leak out that I was a songwriter. It's like putting a little glob of honey on your head and telling the bees to leave you alone.

Here's some of the material that's been brought my way: "When I Look at You I Get Plumb Down," "I'd Leave You If You'd Quit Standing on My Britches' Leg," "I'm Not Saying You're Fat But You Do Tilt the House When You Walk Through It" and "You'll Never Be the Man Your Mama Was."

One that I really liked was titled "Apple Cores." It went something like this:

"Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden

And the Lord came walkin' in,

He said, 'Adam have you sinned?'

Adam said, 'No Lord, I've been real good,'

But the Lord started looking around and found apple cores laying on the ground all around,

Apple cores laying on the ground."

I'm sure he never protected his song with a copyright, but if this column brings him forth, I will gladly pay his fee to protect it because it has brought me so much pleasure.

Contact Dalton Roberts at Downhomep@aol.com.

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