Originally published in Arthur No. 2 (January, 2003)
ASK T-MODEL FORD
[Note: ARTHUR has traded our former advice columnist, Neil Hamburger, to another publication for a comedian to be named later.]
This issue’s advice columnist is Fat Possum recording artist T-Model Ford, the self-styled “Boss of the Blues” from Greenville, Mississippi. T-Model, who’s been 78 years old for the last four years, has promised to tell ARTHUR’s readers nothing but plain wisdom.
“I know a whole lot,” he says. “What I tell you, I ain’t gonna tell you nothin’ wrong. If I can’t please you, I ain’t gonna hate you. I’m gonna make you feel all happy. You WILL get happy. If you shake my tree, I’m gonna shake your orchard. That’s the truth. I’m hangin’ like a apple on a tree. That’s why I ain’t fell. Cuz I’m HANGIN’!”
Email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: I’m 18, my boyfriend is 19. We’ve been together a year. We see each other on weekends. My boyfriend is so loving, but I just lie there. We’ve tried going out to dinner, massages, lots of kissing. Nothing works. I like having a cuddle, but I don’t want to have sex with my boyfriend. What should I do?
T-Model Ford: Uh oh. Well, it’s like this: you know, you go out, you kiss, and you hug, well now, that don’t get it. When you kiss, that‘s some dessert to you. If he ain’t interested in, he’ll ask what else to do. He ain’t interested in what she want to do. But now, if he interested in it, and she ain’t interested in it, she can’t change him. But now if he in it and sexy, he already ready, he waiting on her to tempt to do. Now if she don’t tempt to do, and she don’t want to, he can forget her, try to find him somebody else that wants sex. He gonna leave her! Age ain’t got nothin’ to do with it. I looked at bugs and antses. They do it! You take a hog, when she lay a pig, and three days after she lay a pig, the little male pig tryin’ to ride somethin’. That’s what sex is! Sex is ruler of the world. That’s for old–and the young. If you’ve got an old woman and she ain’t sexy, you ain’t got nothin’! You got an old man, and he ain’t sexy, you ain’t got nothin’! If he don’t feel on you, don’t rub on it, he might as well be DEAD. You take an old woman, you feel her, she close her legs up, don’t let you feel what’s down there, you LEAVE her. She ain’t sexy! I’m an old man, myself. I’m 80 years old, I mean, uh, 78 years old now, and right now, I’m sexier than a young man. You hear me!? I’m sexier than a youngun. I’m gonna tell you somethin’. In this week since I’ve been home…I’m gonna tell the truth. I done had sex three times since I been home. Now, can you beat that? I know you can’t. You know why? Cuz this lady woman, she opened her legs and let me feel down there, and rub on it, and I’ll suck on her tittie, but I won’t suck on that other thing. I got somethin’ to put in that other thing! Now, that’s an OLDER woman! Older as I am,… Now how come’n your woman can’t be that sexy? Huh? If a young woman ain’t sexy for you, you don’t need her! You hear me?
Q: I’m 22. I have a cousin, she’s 21. We’ve known each other for most of our lives. She’s a fantastic person. She’s become really beautiful as she’s grown up. Well, one night three months ago she came round. We decided to stay in, watch a videotape, have a couple bottles of wine. I’m not sure how it happened, but we ended up showing each other what we like our partners to do, and this of course lead us to having sex. Now it was really good. I think I’m falling for her.
I know you is. You need to go your way, and let her go her way. Don’t try it with cousins. Dogs don’t know any better. He wouldn’t have his sister and he wouldn’t have his mama, but if he don’t know better, he’d have the mama and have the sister. You don’t want your name out like that, do you? Put her down, get you somebody who ain’t kin to you. It’s not trouble if you go with your cousin, it’s DOG. It’s dog do that. No human being don’t do that. If he’s a dog, he’ll do that. But if he’s not a dog, he ain’t gonna do that!
Q: My hair is falling out, and I’m only 23. My hair was perfect up until about four months ago. Now when I wash it, it comes off in my hands. Nobody in my family is bald. I can’t understand why this is happening to me. Is this normal?
In one way it is, and in one way it ain’t. You got a worry, and you gets mad and angry, you reach up and get a handful of hair and pull it, break it loose from the roots and leave it there, then when you comb through it, it all comes out! It don’t hurt you. You see what I’m talkin about? Alright. See, I done that myself. I used to get angry with my girlfriend cos she lookin’ at somebody else. Just reach up there and get a handful of hair and pull it, break it loose, and when I comb it, all of it come out! That’s what do that. Or, either you’re sleeping at the foot or the head of the bed, and it’s rubbin’ it so, you can’t get off it, then when you do get off it, it done broke the root of it. And it wear your head bald-headed. He’s worrying, getting angry, he breaking his hair loose hisself. I know it is. You just watch him and see don’t he do that.
Q: One day I’m happy and my future looks bright and hopeful. Then something unexpected happens, and I’m suddenly depressed and negative. Everybody I know seems to go through the same kind of thing. I feel like I’m on an emotional rollercoaster, up and down, up and down. I mean, is this why we’re alive? To experience this, to be up and down, up and down, is this the way it’s supposed to be?
Not exactly. You worrying about something. You thinking about something you done done, and you worrying about you can’t get to that no more. And it’s worrying your mind. You out by yourself, you wishin‘, if you ever done it, you’re worrying about it now, it’s on your mind, you wants to do it and you ain’t got nobody to do it with. And that’s what it’s doin’. You lay in the bed and think about it, or go out walkin’, sit by yourself, or… Ain’t happy with it? You need to leave it alone. If you can’t live happy, go on by yourself. Don’t let it run your brains up, your pressures up, and have you doin’ somethin’ you don’t wanna do. You feel like you wanna suicide yourself? Get out of that! Quit that! Get round a big bunch and enjoy yourself, that’s what you got to do. Get out with a big bunch and enjoy yourself. Don’t let that cross your mind. If you don’t want ’em, get you somebody that you can have sex with, and get with them. That’ll help it. I know: I’ve been through all up and down that line. See, I had a woman when I was in my young days, and she had me where I couldn’t eat, and I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t work by myself, coz all my mind was on her. And she had another man. Her husband. I took her away from her husband, and he come back into town where I went, and they poisoned me. For him, could get her then. I don’t know who she with, I ain’t seen her since that day. So I’m livin’ happy, and I feel good. Don’t NEVER let a woman get into your brains. When you got a woman and she go to worrying and getting close to your brains… If you ain’t gonna live with ‘em, you better cut out! Catch the first thing smoking going north, and don’t come back.
Q: In my relationship, I am the gift-giver. During the year and a half that I’ve been together with my boyfriend, I’ve given him many presents. I’ve been very generous. It’s my way of showing that I like him. Yet he hardly gives my anything. That’s important, isn’t it?
It’s important, and otherwise… he USIN’ her. He done like her flesh and he don’t care about her a bit. She givin’ all of her good times to him, she makin’ him happy, but he not makin’ her happy. If he can’t change it, or she don’t want to change it, or if she like it like thataway, he gotta take off hisself and go into some other town. Or some other state. Stay away from her. When she go to writing him, and calling him, she done send a bad mistake. And she wanna call him back, and try to make up for it. But it’s too late! If her buggie don’t like mine, or like his, don’t get mad with him. Let it go. Go on into another town and make you a new life. That’s the way I do. When things don’t work like I want ‘em, and I can’t make ‘em work, I leave town and find me another town. And let the town furnish they own woman and you will do better. Don’t you carry a woman to another town for you to make up. LEAVE that one where you found her, and go to another town and try. You might get lucky. I know all about that stuff! I don’t let one woman stop my buggy from rolling! Let somebody else do it! I won’t wait. But if you don’t, it’ll hurt. It’ll get your mind all messed up. That’s what I’m talkin’ about.
T-Model Ford’s latest album, Bad Man, was produced live by the genuinely legendary Jim Dickinson and released by Fat Possum this past September. It’s your own damn fault if you haven’t heard it yet. More info at www.fatpossum.com