Chatting about jazz here on TB and my upcoming Ficciones gig made me think of this. A friend had sent it by email a few years back and I had lost it. I found it by doing a Google search for "powder blue badge of shame". Tales From the Bottom: The Temptation Of Jaco-Mo (How the Bass player became Perpetually Bored) And it came to pass in the Very Loud Big Band a disgruntlement upon the bassist, Jaco-Mo, which he could no longer abide." I am first to arrive, last to leave and yet receive no more sheckels than the saxophones," he thought unto himself. "I must toil like a galley slave, pulling a very large oar for the horns, only to receive their scorn, and exhortations to "dig in". "This while they "walk the bar" and play all manner of preening blather, chorus after chorus on "Choo-Choo-Cha-Boogie" and the hated "Caledonia". All this began to chafe on Jaco-Mo in such exceeding fashion that he did stray from the written line and blasphemously "take it out". This provoked an outcry amongst the horns and especially the Female Vocalist Who Could Not Count until finally the Leader did chastise Jaco-Mo, " Lo, you have caused the horns great consternation, and led astray the Female Vocalist Who Cannot Count three times on this gig. I have no recourse but to docketh sheckels from your pay." One night after a particularly arduous engagement, Jaco-Mo sat disconsolately at the bar in his tuxedo, the Badge of Shame. Presently, a somewhat seedy character sidled up him."Say man, you want a gig?" He hissed,"It's a trio, man, smoking, play whatever you want, solo on every tune, and we're done at 10 O'clock. C'mon man, lose the monkey suit! Free up, baby! " And Jaco-Mo was sorely tempted, for he sorely wished to free up and shed The Badge of Shame, and solo on every tune. And so he agreed, and subbeth not his gig with the Very Loud Big Band. "I will surely show them, for I shall be sorely missed, " he thought. "Then they will appreciate the toil of Jaco-Mo." The time came for Jaco-Mo to make the trio gig and he followed the directions to the club. "This is a very bad part of town," he said to himself, as he double checked the locks on his conveyance. And the people on the street did look covetously on Jaco-Mo as he made his way up the street with his Bass, perhaps to separate him from it or the brand new turtleneck he had chosen for his raiment. But the gig was all he had wished for. They played at fantastic tempos no human could dance to, they traded 4's, 8's, 2's, and the like and lo, they did "take it out" repeatedly. All three patrons of the establishment were duly impressed and stayed until the end, one even beseeching Jaco-Mo for a ride home. Thence came the time of renumeration, and the leader did hand Jaco-Mo but 11 sheckels ($ 4.37 US). As he did so he said," Swingin' baby, you down for Saturday night?" Jaco-Mo was in a quandary as he walked to his conveyance. He had played what he wished, indeed, "taken it out", but had only enough sheckels for Ramen and perhaps a gallon of gas. As he unlocked his ride he realized his CD Player had been plucked from the dash! Now Jaco-Mo was miserable, and decided to drop by the Wedding Reception to see how the Very Loud Big Band was doing. At least they would be sorry and beg him to come back. As Jaco-Mo mounted the stairs he heard bass! Not real bass though, something not of the bass world, but somehow passing for bass. And as he reached the top of the stairs, there was the keyboard player, doing Jaco-Mo's job with his left hand. Came the intermission, and the players did disperse to the buffet line, some with their Tupperware hidden beneath the Badge of Shame, that they might avail themselves of the repast at a later date, and avoid Ramen. Jaco-Mo threw himself on the mercy of the Leader, " My conveyance broke down, and I got here as soon as I could", he sputtered dishonestly. "I can start the next set." The Leader, having gone through many bass players, fixed his gaze on Jaco-Mo, and spoke unto him," What's up with the turtleneck?" The Leader spoke as thunder now, "If thou dost return, Jaco-Mo, do thee swear to not stray again from the printed page? "Yes!," blurted Jaco-Mo weakly ( rent was due). "And thou shalt not lose the Female Vocalist Who Cannot Count again?" "I promise," he groveled , for he did miss his CD player, and wished to be anointed at the buffet line, that he might avoid Ramen. "All right Jaco-Mo , as your penance , go to the Road Case and don the Powder Blue Badge of Shame for the rest of the gig." And as a final warning he said, "Do not cross me again, son, or I will give your gig back to the keyboard player's left hand." And so Jaco-Mo did once more assume the yoke of duty in the rhythm section, in the Powder Blue Tux. His face became a blank mask of perpetual boredom, whether The Female Singer Who Could Not Count was smiling at him, (for he never lost her again),or the horns scornfully exhorted him to "dig in." Jaco-Mo learned the hard way : It is better to eat than "take it out! Amen?