Joe thinks that perhaps you have funky hygiene

Week of September 21, 2006

Sylvia Browne

Hey Joe: Why aren't I married?

Sam Malone, St. Louis

This question brings back memories of a love affair I had at a very young age. My heart had gone all-out for a very attractive young lady in my hometown. Then word came from a buddy of mine that she was fooling around with a fellow from a neighboring township. Upon hearing this, it buckled my knees. I thought to myself that there was no way she could be doing this, as nice as she treated me.

Anyway, each time my buddy and I conversed, he always posed the question as to how my lady and I were doing. After a while, this began sticking in my craw. I became very suspicious of her but could never find anything she was doing wrong. Based upon this, the next time my buddy and I dealt with this subject, I told him not to bring this mumbo-jumbo to me again. He acknowledged my wish but he asked if I would do him a favor.

The favor was if I would go see the aunt of Miles Davis, the nation's greatest trumpeter. She supposedly was a fortune teller. My reply was, "Hell, naw. I don't believe in that kinda junk!"

Strangely, I found myself knocking at her door. I can't recall her last name, but it was Madame Something. After a warm welcome to her home, I found myself in a chair, explaining the reason I was there and all the things my buddy told me about my girl. After listening intently, she said the young lady I'd fallen in love with was the sweetest, most innocent person I would ever meet, and the only person I should worry about was me. I gladly paid her the $3 or $5 she charged and was on my merry way.

So happy was I that I decided to pay my girl a surprise visit. En route to see her, I picked up a love card for her, while waving and speaking to everybody who crossed my path. I finally arrived at her door. After a few knocks, the door opened and a guy came out so fast that he ran over me, knocking the love card one way and me the other. Following this encounter, I could better understand why Madame X told me I only had myself to worry about. From this point on, my buddy never heard about this, because I started ducking him.

Now, every time I see Sylvia Browne — the psychic who appears on The Montel Williams Show — I feel sorry for those people who ask her weird questions about their lives, which she addresses without knowing anything about them.

Getting back to your question: You gave me nothing to work with, just, "Why aren't I married?" Maybe you need Sylvia Browne. Otherwise, there are many reasons you are not married, such as bad breath, funky hygiene or maybe you have something against women. Or it could simply be that nobody wants you. Did you ever have an experience like mine? Check yourself. Nobody can answer your question better than you.

Prince Joe Henry, one of professional baseball's original "clowns," was an all-star infielder for Negro League baseball teams in Memphis, Indianapolis and Detroit throughout the 1950s. But up until the late 1940s, Prince Joe didn't know anything about the Negro Leagues. His knowledge of organized baseball was limited to the Cardinals and Browns games he attended during his preteen years at Sportsman's Park, accompanied by lifelong buddy Eugene "Gene" Crittendon, who could pass for white.

Perhaps Henry's most vivid memory of those games: Upon entry, white ushers would politely escort the boys to a small section of the left-field stands reserved for "Colored." After climbing past several tiers of bleachers, they'd arrive at their stop, rows and rows behind their white counterparts.

Even at a young age, the boys were conscious of the double standard -- and determined to vent their disdain. The opportunity would arise with the urge to urinate. Rather than head for the latrine, the boys would edge their way to the front of the section and let fly. As the liquid foamed its way down the concrete steps toward the white kids, Henry and his pal would ease back and relax, politely rooting for the visiting team to beat the hell out of the Browns or the Cards.

After all, Henry and Crittendon hailed from Brooklyn, Illinois, a small, predominantly black township just east of the Mississippi River. So hospitable were the residents of Brooklyn that they were known to take in a rank stranger, treat him to breakfast, lunch, supper and a night out on the town -- and afterward, if he messed up, treat him to a good ass-whippin'.

Direct questions on any and all topics to [email protected]. If we don't like yours, we'll hit Joe with our own.

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