Special Collections: The Kenny Rogers Notebooks, 1975 1977.
BY Eric McHenry
“The Sidewalk Caricature Artist”
He said, “Son, I’ve made my life
Out of readin’ people’s faces,
And then drawin’ funny likenesses
With certain features oversized.
And if you don’t mind me sayin’,
I can see you’re wearin’ braces,
And you’d better keep your mouth shut
Unless you want ’em emphasized.”
You got to know when to spot-weld,
Know when to not weld…
“The Court Reporter”
You got to know when to court ’em,
Know when to report ’em…
“The Vending Machine Guy”
You got to know when to stock it,
Know when to lock it,
Know when it’s not plugged in
And when it’s out of order.
If the coin chute is obstructed,
There’s a likely explanation:
Someone thought one of those lady-head
Dollar coins was a quarter.
You got to know when to edit,
Know when to stet it,
Know what’s Chicago style,
Know what’s AP.
You never cut the hyphen
From a compound modifier,
Except when the first word is “very”
Or an adverb ending in “ly”.
You got to know a second language…
“The Campaign Volunteer”
You got to know when to fold ’em…
You got to know how to mate ‘em,
When to separate ’em,
Know when the offspring
Are big enough to touch.
You shouldn’t try to count ‘em
When they’re lyin’ in a pile,
There’ll be time enough for countin’
When you clean the hutch.
You got to go gettle semmem…
“The Delivery Driver”
You got to know the entire city well,
Know the county pretty well…
“The Guy Who’d Been on Jeopardy!”
You got to know the book of Genesis,
Know some Famous Dennises,
Know Potent Potables,
Know New York Mayors.
You shouldn’t make little comments
When you’re running a category.
There’ll be time enough for bullshit
When we meet the players.
And somewhere in the darkness,
The cold-caller, he broke even,
But with my trial subscription came
A clock that I could keep.
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