1. The Blues is simple. Most Blues songs begin with "Woke up this mornin'..."
2. "I got a good woman" is a bad way to begin the Blues, unless you slip in something nasty in the next line, like "I got a good woman, with the meanest face in town."
3. After you nail down the first line, repeat it. Then find something that rhymes, like, "Got a good woman with the meanest face in town. Yes, I got a got a good woman with the meanest face in town. Got teeth like Margaret Thatcher and she weigh 500 poun'."
4. The Blues is not about choice. A Blues singer accepts his fate: You stuck in a ditch, you stuck in a ditch -- ain't no way out.
5. Blues cars include Cadillacs, Chevys, Fords and broken-down trucks. Blues don't travel in BMWs, PT Cruisers, Volvos, Volkswagens or SUVs. Preferred Blues transportation is a Greyhound bus or a southbound train. Jet aircraft, state-sponsored motor pools and mountain bikes ain't even in the running. Walkin', however, does play a major part in the Blues lifestyle, as does fixin' to die.
6. Teenagers can't sing the Blues. (They ain't fixin' to die yet.) Adults sing the Blues because "adulthood" really means being old enough to get the electric chair if you shot a man in Memphis.
7. Blues can be experienced in New York City, but not in Hawaii, Bozeman, any place in Canada or a place that doesn't get rain. Hard times in Minneapolis or Seattle is probably just clinical depression. Chicago, St. Louis and Kansas City are the best place to have the Blues.
8. A man with male-pattern baldness ain't the Blues. A woman with male-pattern baldness is. Breaking your leg 'cause you were skiing is not the Blues. Breakin' your leg 'cause a gator be chompin' on it is.
9. You can't have no Blues in an office or a shopping mall. (The lighting is wrong.) Go outside to the parking lot or sit by the dumpster.
10. Good places for the Blues include a highway, jailhouse, empty bed and bottom of a whiskey glass. Among the bad places are Nordstrom's, gallery openings, Ivy League institutions and golf courses.
11. No one will believe it's the Blues if you wear a suit, 'less you be an old ethnic person, and you slept in it.
12. Do you have the "right" to sing the Blues? Yes, if you older than dirt, you blind, can't be satisfied and/or you shot a man in Memphis. No, if you have all your teeth, you once were blind but now can see, you're concerned about a 401K or trust fund, or the man in Memphis lived.
13. Blues is not a matter of color; it's a matter of bad luck. Tiger Woods cannot sing the blues, but Sonny Liston could. Ugly white folks also got a leg up on the Blues.
14. You asked for water and your darlin' gave you gasoline? You got the Blues. Other acceptable Blues beverages are cheap wine, whiskey, bourbon, muddy water, or nasty black coffee. But the following are not Blues beverages -- Perrier, Chardonnay, Snapple or Slim Fast.
15. If death occurs in a cheap motel, trailer or a shotgun shack, it's a Blues death. Stabbed in the back by a jealous lover is another Blues way to die. So are the electric chair, substance abuse, or dying lonely on a broken-down cot. You can't have a Blues death if you die during a tennis match or while undergoing liposuction.
16. Some Blues names for women are Sadie, Big Mama, Bessie and Fat River Dumpling.
17. Among permissible Blues names for men are Joe, Willie, Little Willie and Big Willie.
8. Persons with names like Sean, Michelle, Amber, Cody, Jennifer, Brittany, Forbes and Strobe can't sing the Blues no matter how many men they shoot in Memphis.
19. To create your own Blues name, take the name of a physical infirmity (Blind, Cripple, Lame, etc.); follow with a name such as Lemon, Lime or Kiwi; and finish with the last name of a president (Jefferson, Johnson, Fillmore, Bush, etc.). For example: Blind Lime Jefferson, Jakeleg Lemon Johnson or Cripple Kiwi Fillmore (well, maybe not "Kiwi").
20. Finally, no matter how tragic your life, if you surf the net, you cannot sing the Blues.