“You are a yellow dog, yes that is what you are…A Yellow Dog!”
The term “yellow dog” was used to signify that someone was a coward. I have been called a yellow dog many times. Of course it really has nothing to do with music, after all someone who plays the xylophone, an instrument that went out of style in 1932 and practices five hours a day for fifty years is a coward?! Maybe? Yellow? Dog?
Okay so I was recently called a yellow dog by an elderly lady who I actually admired. We won’t go into that. Use your imagination as they say. But it did get me thinking about yellow and dogs. My father hates yellow; he says its bad luck, especially in the theater and recently went wild when he got as a gift a pair of yellow socks. My brother and I lied to him by saying, “My oh my what a beautiful shade of gold!”
Gold = Good Yellow = Bad
I don’t think yellow or any color for that matter is bad in the theater. It’s not like saying Macbeth. My guess is that my dad wore a yellow dressing gown in a show a million years ago that closed in one night. He blamed the gown. Maybe the watery script, moronic direction, silly scenery, over use of makeup, seventy-eight year olds playing teenagers (more on Yiddish theater some other time) and shitty music might have contributed to the closing of the show as well as the fact that the air cooling system broke down in July. The critics vomited and reached into their jacket pockets for cyanide pills but to my dad the actor, it was still the yellow gown.
Okay, okay but…but…just sayin’ yellow mustard sucks! It’s yellow, not much taste and everyone knows yellow is bad luck.
Many years ago I was eating a hot dog and I put yellow mustard on it. That night I got a phone call from the Beatles. They desperately wanted to add me on the xylophone but I turned them down because I had already accepted a tour with James Brown. After I hung up, James called and cancelled. So I went back to $35 club dates…Damn that yellow mustard!
Now I want the real stuff to go on my hot dog. That watery-yellow crap doesn’t make it… Amateur night! Why there must be dozens of good mustards on the market. If I go anywhere that might sell franks, like a ball park for instance, I have a jar of the real stuff in my coat pocket and liberally shmear it on. I also have a cell phone with me in case I get a call from Robin Thicke. Look, I just do not like yellow mustard. It reminds me of the show my father did. My dad also told me that there was a thing called a “Yellow Dog Contract.” In order to get the job you had to agree not to join a union. Yikes! Mercifully in 1932 it was outlawed.
All dogs are good. We’ve had them for years and I personally loved each and every one. And I just loved walking the dog. The last one I had would sit whenever she heard the “Yellow Dog Blues” by W.C. Handy. I could just hum or whistle the tune and she would sit. If my dog heard a recording of it she would fix herself a nice cup of espresso and light me up a fine cigar. Bessie Smith was her favorite. A lot of people walking their dogs in the neighborhood would stop and chat with me commenting on that they used to think I was a bad person but felt that since I had a dog I am worth getting to know. After my dear pet passed on, they naturally stopped talking to me.
I was told NEVER TO DO my routine on TV, stage, etc. about dogs. “You can say anything generally but never something against dogs. Americans especially love them…more than people…and if you say a bad thing about a pup, you’ll wind up unemployed forever. In a recent film the space people attacked and killed billions of humans but the audience cheered when the dog survived.” And all this was from an old-time Vaudevillian who owns six cats. Well!
Oh! So that’s why so many television commercials have to have a dog in them, especially a Golden Retriever (I know that beautiful dog is popular). It doesn’t matter what the product is, a headache remedy, an auto dealership, etc. etc. You name it, there always seems to be a dog in the ad. Do the folks that make those commercials think that if there is a dog in it we’ll definitely buy the product?! Are they the same people, that use semi-clad women in commercials thinking that I’ll buy the trip, go to that corny resort and score? If there is a dog in a commercial and it has nothing to do with the product, I AM NOT BUYING IT.
And I am definitely not buying that silly yellow mustard. You know what I am buying? Another dog… And I am going to call it Ol’ Yeller. And then get him or her a gig in a commercial for toothpaste.
Heaven goes by favor; if it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in. Mark Twain
I told my dentist my teeth are going yellow. He told me to wear a brown tie. Rodney Dangerfield
I can’t wait to die so I can be a skeleton and play my chest like a xylophone. Thom Yorke
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