Sunday, February 28, 2010

I Love My Sister

It's legendary in our family, and it shows you what an amazing sense of humor my sister, Sarah, has. We were young... I was probably 15, so that would make her maybe 11 or 12. I came to breakfast one morning, only to discover that she had left a note for me on the table:

Yes, I still have the note 25 years later. It's in my "memorabilia box" and that's just the kind of guy I am.

Anyway, I don't know if you can read it or not, but it says:


this is very important
that you read this +
listen to what it


When I opened it up I found, written in painstaking colored-pencil cursive, the words to Ray Stevens's "Mr. Businessman."

Itemize the things you covet
As you squander through your life
Bigger cars, bigger houses
Term insurance for your wife
Tuesday evenings with your harlot
And on Wednesdays it's your charlatan
Analyst, he's high upon your list

You've got air conditioned sinuses
And dark disturbing doubts about religion
And you keep those cards and letters going out
While your secretary's tempting you
Your morals are exempting you from guilt and shame
Heaven knows you're not to blame

You better take care of business
Mr. Businessman, what's your plan?
Get down to business,
Mr. Businessman, if you can
Before it's too late and you throw your life away

Did you see your children growing up today
And did you hear the music of their laughter
As they set about to play?
Did you catch the fragrance of those roses in your garden
Did the morning sunlight warm your soul,
Brighten up your day?
Do you qualify to be alive
Or is the limit of your senses so as only to survive?
Hey yeah.....

Spending counterfeit incentive
Wasting precious time and health
Placing value on the worthless
Disregarding priceless wealth
You can wheel and deal the best of them
And steal it from the rest of them
You know the score, their ethics are a bore

Eighty-six anesthetic crutches prop you to the top
Where the smiles are all synthetic
And the ulcers never stop
When they take that final inventory,
Yours will be the same sad story everywhere
No one will really care, no one more lonely than
This rich important man, let's have your autograph
Endorse your epitaph

You better take care of business
Mr. Businessman, what's your plan?
Get down to business,
Mr. Businessman, if you can

I just remember her knowing little smile... like she's accusing her 15-year-old brother of being this cold, workaholic, pill-popping businessman.

Yesterday I got an email from Sarah. It said:

"Just an essential reminder from your sister to make sure you're still on track in life:"

I had that same feeling I had a quarter century ago when I saw that note... "Oh geez, what have I done now? What do I need to apologize for now?" And then I clicked on the link:

I love you, Sarah...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Love you too! Memory lane....too fun. Maybe I'll make one of my kids learn the lyrics for "special music".

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