prop me up beside the jukebox if I die

Lordy, Lordy.  I think I’ve just seen the green weenie, as my paternal grandmother used to say when she saw something so inexplicable she was at a loss for descriptive words. For example, if the  preacher at the Richards Baptist Church had stood up in the pulpit on a Sunday morning and said the title of his sermon was  Sin Was a Good Thing, my grandmother would say she’d seen the green weenie. Of course, he never would have said that in a million years, but if he had…

Tonight I went to my favorite TexMex restaurant, The Big Sombrero, with my neighbors here on Worsham Street. I rank it very high on my all-time favorite Mexican restaurant list – definitely in the top five. I was one of the first patrons when it opened two years ago and have been a regular customer ever since.

My friend Lisa and I arrived before the rest of our group and stood at the front counter which displayed the pecan pralines and other candies that were potential desserts in the event you weren’t stuffed when you finished your meal and got up to leave. I have yet to buy the first dessert.

While we waited for the servers to set up a table for our party of five adults and three children, I saw something on the wall that I’d never noticed before. It looked like a flat-screen tv that nobody could see because it was in a wall facing the front door. But it wasn’t a tv. Guess what it was?

It was a Do It Yourself touch screen digital jukebox. Are you kidding me?  Apparently not. I walked over to get a closer look and saw that the screen displayed songs and recording artists in an array of categories that boggled my mind. The screen looked like the DIY airline check-in system these days except the result wasn’t a boarding pass.

I remember when the cost of buying five plays on the jukebox in a restaurant or Dairy Queen or honky-tonk of ill repute was 25 cents. Put in a quarter, and pick your five tunes. Uh, oh. The DIY digital jukebox required paper money or accepted plastic cards if you were fresh out of cash. That’s right. Forget about quarters and other coins. I never figured out tonight how much I had to pay to play, but that’s okay because I didn’t recognize any of the tunes anyway.

I’ve always loved a jukebox and wasted many quarters to hear my favorite songs. Mark Chesnutt must be a fan, too, because he’s had two country music hits about them. Brother Jukebox, Sister Wine was one of them and Bubba Shot the Jukebox Last Night was another. Country classics for sure. If you haven’t heard them, I’m certain there’s a YouTube video somewhere in cyberspace that won’t cost you a penny to hear.

But my favorite jukebox theme song is Joe Diffie’s Prop Me Up Beside the Jukebox If I Die, Lord, I wanna go to heaven but I don’t wanna go tonight. Fill my boots up with sand, put a stiff drink in my hand and prop me up beside the jukebox if I die.

As I stood before the DIY digital jukebox tonight, I wondered how in the world anybody could be propped up against this flat wall if they died, and that’s when I realized I’d seen the green weenie. It’s a digital world gone mad.

About Sheila Morris

Sheila Morris is a personal historian, essayist with humorist tendencies, lesbian activist, truth seeker and speaker in the tradition of other female Texas storytellers including her paternal grandmother. In December, 2017, the University of South Carolina Press published her collection of first-person accounts of a few of the people primarily responsible for the development of LGBTQ organizations in South Carolina. Southern Perspectives on the Queer Movement: Committed to Home will resonate with everyone interested in LGBTQ history in the South during the tumultuous times from the AIDS pandemic to marriage equality. She has published five nonfiction books including two memoirs, an essay compilation and two collections of her favorite blogs from I'll Call It Like I See It. Her first book, Deep in the Heart: A Memoir of Love and Longing received a Golden Crown Literary Society Award in 2008. Her writings have been included in various anthologies - most recently the 2017 Saints and Sinners Literary Magazine. Her latest book, Four Ticket Ride, was released in January, 2019. She is a displaced Texan living in South Carolina with her wife Teresa Williams and their dogs Spike, Charly and Carl. She is also Naynay to her two granddaughters Ella and Molly James who light up her life for real. Born in rural Grimes County, Texas in 1946 her Texas roots still run wide and deep.
This entry was posted in Humor, Lesbian Literary, Life, Personal, Random, Reflections, Slice of Life, The Way Life Is and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to prop me up beside the jukebox if I die

  1. Pingback: Prop Me Up Beside the Jukebox If I Die | I'll Call It Like I See It

  2. Dianne says:

    That’s a new jukebox for me, too. I’ve never seen one like that!
    I guess you clearing the place and heading out? Best of luck to you!


    • Hi Dianne – thanks for reading! Yep, we are clearing out – hopefully by the end of the month. Major job. Having sale last weekend of the month – and then will head for South Carolina. My best to you and your family, too – see you at reunion!


  3. The thought of someone unfamiliar with Mark Chesnutt sends me into a chill. His live show is amazing, some timeless music. Great post!


    • You’ve just given me a good chuckle before I go to bed tonight, plgcm…thanks for the compliment, too!! Honestly, can you imagine not knowing Bubba Shot the Jukebox Last Night?? 🙂


  4. Heather says:

    I think it is a requirment to play Patsy Cline on any jukebox anywhere at anytime….I am guessing the flat screen didn’t have that…..


    • Hey Heather, if they had Patsy, I didn’t see it!! I tried to find country classics, but no such luck…I agree that should be mandatory for any jukebox! I’m supposed to have lunch with Anne this week and really looking forward to seeing her…hope all of your family is doing well…thanks for reading.


  5. Long as we are making our last wishes known here is mine. TEXAS WHEN I DIE, BY TANYA TUCKER ” but I don’t know if they let cowgirls in”. I just wanna be where ,my best buddy, Sheila is.


  6. Wow, I’ve never seen one. Now I want to. It’ll be a long time before I forget the green weenie.


    • Yes, please do remember the green weenie, Luanne. You’ll be surprised at how many you might see in a given day…:)
      Evidently the DIY jukebox has been around since 2010, but that was my first to see. Good grief.


  7. Hey Sheila! I’m beginning to think this endless winter is a green weenie! 🙂

    Now I would love to see a jukebox like that. Up north it seems like any kind of jukebox has gone the way of the old fashioned diner. I hope if I find a digital one, it will have every one of Frank Sinatra’s hits on it, starting with: The summer wind came blowin’ in… 😀

    The Big Sombrero… Hmm… I could go for TexMex!!!


    • Yes of course – you have seen the green weenie this winter in Pennsylvania!!! Ye gods…

      If you see the DIY digital jukebox, I have to wish you good luck in locating Frank Sinatra’s hits. It would be a miracle to find one. 🙂

      The Big Sombrero is the Bomb!! You would love it…:)


  8. Do you have pictures of before I was banned by Dianne too? Really I could go on and on couldn’t I?


  9. boblamb says:

    Good piece, Sheila. I see it remains true that you can take the girl out of Texas, but you can’t etc.


  10. reocochran says:

    I definitely think music will be following me into the afterlife! this was funny and fresh! Liked it a lot!


  11. Reblogged this on I'll Call It Like I See It and commented:

    Lordy, Lordy. So hard to believe I wrote this 4 years ago just before we left Worsham Street to return to South Carolina for better or worse. I still love a jukebox.


  12. Susanne says:

    Green weenies! Lordy, I must file that one away and bring it out a staff meeting. I’m working on a green weenie right now that I have to pass my feedback on tomorrow which I was dreading but now I can’t wait.

    Lovely post. Made me hark back to those metal flip books with song selections for the juke box that you found on the wall beside every booth in every diner in every neighbourhood on this continent. The flat screen thing just doesn’t have the same cachet.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Can’t remember when I last saw one — probably an american diner. Loved them when they were the bee’s knees.

    Liked by 1 person

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