Lyric of the Month: January 2012 – If you’re gonna be dumb, you gotta be tough.

by Nic Olson

The day before I broke my ankle at the Heritage Building at Regina’s Exhibition Grounds, I wrote a testimonial as to why I believed the indoor park should receive extra funding.

Six days before I broke my ankle at the Heritage Building at Regina’s Exhibition Grounds, I broke my skateboard deck. Because I still can’t ollie properly, with my feet on both trucks as I land, the centre of the deck broke like so many of Jeremy’s growing up. Liam went in the back room and pulled out an old skateboard. He didn’t know from where it came. I was fairly confident I had seen the board before: Enjoi deck, orange Tensor trucks with blue wheels. I believed it to be my brother’s. Kris later confirmed. He also confirmed that it was the same board on which he broke his ankle when he was about 23 years old.

If coincidence existed, this would be a rather wild instance of it. But I prefer to see things as signs. That either I am not supposed to skateboard ever again, or that I was living life a bit too fast, or that I am not supposed to drink for another month, or that this particular deck was cursed by the skateboard gods, or that I need to finish writing a book that is actually good. I have yet to decide which of these I feel is correct.

They hailed me for taking it well, as if I had broken my leg before, or as if they expected me to be crying and screaming as if I was giving birth to the artificially inseminated child of Dr. Danny Devito (I plan to watch Junior in the next few days). Maybe it was nothing more than a sign of my absolute manliness. We’ll take it as that.

If your gonna be dumb, you gotta be tough

When you get knocked down you gotta get back up,
I ain’t the sharpest knife in the drawer but I know enough, to know,
If your gonna be dumb, you gotta be tough

I lit my brain with Rot-Gut whiskey
‘Till all my pain was chicken fried
And I had dudes with badges frisk me
Teach me how to swallow pride

I took advice no fool would take
I got some habits I can’t shake
I ain’t the sharpest knife in the drawer, but I know enough to know
If you’re gonna be dumb, you gotta be tough

If you’re gonna be dumb, you gotta be tough
When you get knocked down, you gotta get back up
That’s the way it is in life and love
If you’re gonna be dumb, you gotta be tough

I’ve been up and down and down and out
I’ve been left and right and wrong
Well I’ve walked the walk and I’ve run my mouth
I’ve been on the short end for too long

But if they gave medals for honky tonk wars
Hell, I’d keep mine in my chest of drawers
With my IRS bills and divorce papers and all that stuff
If you’re gonna be dumb, you gotta be tough

If you’re gonna be dumb, you gotta be tough
When you get knocked down, you gotta get back up
I ain’t the sharpest knife in the drawer, but I know enough to know
If you’re gonna be dumb, you gotta be tough

If you’re gonna be dumb you gotta be tough

-Roger Alan Wade, If You’re Gonna Be Dumb

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