All right, I am ready to get rich and get rich fast. And now it seems there are numerous ways to do so. For one thing, you can be a state senator like John Ford and just work whenever you want to, as witnessed by the general public when, with television crews on hand, Senator Ford began screaming at his colleagues, telling them that he would not be working with them over the Fourth of July holiday no matter what, even though the state government had partially shut down, partly because he was not there to cast a vote to keep that from happening. He said he had to come home to Memphis for a "family emergency," but the media reported that he was reportedly seen at P.F. Chang's with a group of businessmen. My question is: Which family? He seems to have them everywhere -- except P.F. Chang's, as far as anyone knows. BUT it's anyone's guess. At any rate, seems like a peachy job to me. Then I read that obesity treatment is tax-deductible. I have been on a diet since the age of 6, and that was more than 30 years ago, and I do believe that for all of my past efforts to lose weight, I should be compensated. Obesity, they say, is now considered a disease, as is alcoholism and excessive smoking. I can feel the breeze coming off the ocean at my Palm Beach mansion now. I thought maybe if I could prove I was crazy, I might start getting a big fat check. And I really did think I was going crazy because of some kind of thing that now causes me to become very dizzy and almost faint while in traffic. And now that the medical tests are over and I know that, while I still might be crazy, I am otherwise as healthy as a horse, I must tell you about the battery of tests I had to undergo to determine all this. One was a brain-scan kind of thing (I guess to make sure I have one). One of the first things you have to do is hyperventilate by means of a breathing exercise in order to achieve a state of sleep-like calm. Right. It was the kind of breathing you might see a dog doing after running eight miles chasing a cat. Then, while you are about to pass out from the breathing, they ask you some basic questions. I was fine answering the first two: What is your name? What is the date? But then they haaaaad to go and ask me, Who is the president of the United States? At that point, I stopped dead in my EEG tracks. I really and truly found it hard to utter his name, which, when I finally did, included the word "unfortunately" as part of it. Sure that that would send the old scanner off the track and the test would come back telling me something was terribly wrong, I forged ahead. They then put some kind of strobe light in front of my eyes and made me scan a laminated magazine page from left to right while the light blinked on and off, nearly blinding me temporarily. Well, as it turns out, the page was from some celebrity rag, and it was just a page of photos. So as I began to scan the page, the second image my eyes landed on was one of, yes, Matt Lauer with his new haircut. So much for the scanning. I just stopped and stared, trying to make up my mind about the new 'do. This took a long time, and I didn't really scan the page as requested. Again, I assumed the test would show brain damage or something really wrong and I would begin to receive very large amounts of money from the government or some agency that helps out crazy people. But it all worked out fine and their little test tricks didn't work on me. So here I am. No payola from being a state senator who works whenever he likes. No payola from all the years of the many diets. No payola from having brain damage or being crazy. I guess I'll just have to wait until someone finally just pays me to shut up. Any takers? In the meantime, here's a brief look at what's going on around town this week. Tonight, there's a screening at the Malco Majestic Theater of the new hip-hop documentary Hip Hop: The New World Order, a film by Muhammida El Muhajir, which delves into hip hop's influence on global youth and popular culture. The Memphis Redbirds are playing Nashville tonight at AutoZone Park. The Teresa Pate Jazz Trio is in the M Bar at Melange. And if you have friends in town or just haven't been down to hear him lately yourself,James Govan & The Boogie Blues Band are playing at Rum Boogie tonight.