I heard there's a lot of rumors floating around down here about whether or not I'm really dead, so I decided to leave this for those of you with SUSPICIOUS MINDS. I ain't mad, but some of these stories are getting out of hand. ANY DAY NOW I expect to pick up a copy of the National Enquirer and read about how I was spotted cruising out of a Burger King in Peoria driving a pink Cadillac with Bigfoot and Bruce Lee.

When I was just a boy I never thought anyone would care if I made it big or spent the rest of my life IN THE GHETTO. We were so poor I thought I'd never be able to buy a jar of hair grease, much less a pair of BLUE SUEDE SHOES. But when I hit it big I had more of them than Imelda Marcos has high heels. Then I got drafted. Man did I have the G.I. BLUES. But that's where I met my Priscilla. The first time I laid eyes on her I walked up and told her, "I CAN'T HELP FALLING IN LOVE WITH YOU." At first her dad was ALL SHOOK UP because of our age difference. But I told him if it was good enough for Jerry Lee Lewis (remember, he married his 13 year-old cousin), then it's good enough for me. Even so, the day we got hitched he was CRYING IN THE CHAPEL, and the tears he shed were definitely not tears of joy.

At first things were great. We had little Lisa Marie and life was prettier than the movie set of BLUE HAWAII. But after a while she got mad because she said I always had to have things MY WAY. I told her "Priscilla, DON'T BE CRUEL. You said you would always LOVE ME TENDER." But she didn't want to hear it. She told me "YOU AIN'T NOTHING BUT A HOUND DOG," and split with my karate instructor.

Speaking of Lisa Marie, I hear tell that she got married to some guy who calls himself the Prince of Pop. But from what I've heard I'd like to pop him one. He's lucky he ain't doing the JAILHOUSE ROCK.

When Priscilla left I really went downhill for a while. I ate so much chocolate donuts and pizza that I looked like a TEDDY BEAR. So I dusted myself off and decided to make my comeback. I said VIVA LAS VEGAS and headed west. I was busier than a one-legged man in a butt kicking contest and the fans loved me. But the fast life was too much and I got called upstairs for a permanent engagement. Yes. My body gave out on me. Like anyone I made mistakes. Regrets? Yeah, I've had a few. But then again too few to mention.

I want to thank y'all for remembering me. But It's time for me to put this stack of wax on my back and make tracks. I'm late for band practice. Man, let me tell you, it ain't easy trying to swivel your hips and play a harp at the same time. Not only that, but sneaking out of those pearly gates is rougher than getting past the security at Graceland. Thank you Ladies and Gentlemen. You've been a wonderful audience.

(copyright 1996/ c. castillo)


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