Times Are a’Changing

There is a gifted storyteller on Clinton Anderson’s No Worries Club forum (Wally Hendricks – aka Muleman – from eastern Utah), who has given me permission to translate some of his stories into poems. This is my first poetic translation of a Muleman tale.

Times Are a’Changing

Just about the time you think you’ve prob’ly seen it all,
Something comes along in life that makes your brain cells crawl,
Trying to figure out if you’re getting too darned old,
Or is this generation now just getting too darned bold?

A dep’ty sheriff friend of mine shared this tale with me,
of a call he went on the other day to a fighting family.
He found this gal upon the porch starin’ a hole through him,
All she said is “they’re inside” and pointed with her chin.

He asks her if she’s injured some, she says, “I want him out!”
Says he, “What’s going on?” and then she juts her chin way out.
So on he goes inside the house, and here is what he finds:
Two boys are sitting silently; a mute meeting of the minds.

One’s at the kitchen table, the other on the couch.
Both are sitting quietly, neither looks the grouch.
“What is going on in here?” my friend asks both of them.
He sees from Table Boy’s face that Couch Boy ain’t his friend.

There’s been a fight, or so it seems – a cut on Table’s head,
a big glass ashtray next to him, with a streak of red.
T-Boy says when he got home, this dude is with his wife.
He says he wants this guy to leave and get on with his life.

The tale unfolds that Table Boy and Porch Girl’s two months wed.
Couch Boy’s the old boyfriend that Porch Girl loves instead.
So Porch wants Table out the house, Table wants Couch to leave,
My buddy’s jaw is hangin’ slack, no answers up his sleeve.

Then Couch Boy opens up his mouth: “She said that I could stay.
So if I’ve been invited in, you can’t order me away!”
The deputy says “Sit down! Keep quiet!” to give him time to think.
But what he’s really thinkin’ is “They’re driving me to drink!”

Turns out that Porch Girl was the one who struck her husband, so
she’s the one my buddy grabs and says, “You’ve got to go!”
Arrested her right on the spot for assaulting him like that,
Knowing this was not the end of their crazy spat.

As he was leaving, the two of them sat there resolute:
Table Boy and Couch Boy, self-righteous in dispute.
Is it that I’m old-fashioned? Are our morals rearranging?
Please tell me, is it me, or are the times a’changing?