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Standing At The Crossroads

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Last week's startling announcement of a new potential buyer for the Charlotte Hornets had musicians, music fans and historians, as well as Hornets fans, doing double-takes and shouting for joy. When word got out that the interested buyer is none other than legendary blues pioneer Robert Johnson, music enthusiasts nationwide felt their jaws drop to the floor, since Johnson was previously believed to have died in 1938. The resurfacing of the blues legend, who is rumored to have made over a billion dollars on some sort of TV show or something, drew immediate reaction from music aficionados.

"I'm flabbergasted," said noted blues historian Robert Palmer. "All these years his legend has grown, and now we find out he's been alive the whole time. In a way it's like we've been deceived, you know, like all our love's in vain. And who knew he gave a damn about hoops?"

"I have mixed emotions," said Peter Guralnick, a music historian who wrote the book Searching For Robert Johnson. "I hope this means we'll hear some unreleased blues masterpieces one day, but I tell ya, once his old record company finds out he's still alive, the dude's definitely gonna have hellhounds on his trail. Plus, in his youth Johnson was a serious skirt chaser, I mean he was one steady-rollin' man, and my real fear is that there are some geezers out there who'd love to put stones in the passway of the guy who came into their wives' kitchens."

Charlotte Mayor Fratboy was vibrating rapidly and smiling when the announcement was made. "This is just so great for Shol-lut! This'll impress those assholes at the NBA enough for them to tell the Hornets to get ramblin' off their minds. Plus, what a bonus: now we'll get to hear Mr. Johnson sing some of the Carolinas' favorite shaggin' tunes. . . .What are y'all laughing about? Didn't he do 'Carolina Girls'?"

We were able to contact Johnson just before deadline. The blues pioneer said he's confident about purchasing the Hornets.

"I'm driving to Charlotte next week in my Terraplane to lay that money down. I'm looking to make some dough on this, but mostly, I just feel good about helping out one of my favorite cities. I mean, Charlotte's standing at a crossroad, and without me, I believe you'll be sinkin' down. I think I'll get to buy the Hornets, but you know how it is -- as soon as things start going your way, up jumps the devil and messes things up. You know, that reminds me of a song. . . ."

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