Pubdate: Sun, 04 Jun 2006
Source: New York Times (NY)
Column: Inside the List
Copyright: 2006 The New York Times Company
Author: Dwight Garner


One of the best things about Willie Nelson's books -- his very
agreeable new one, "The Tao of Willie" (Gotham) enters the extended
hardcover advice list this week at No. 10 -- are the jokes. ("What do
a record exec and a sperm have in common?" Nelson asks. "They both
have a one-in-a-million chance of becoming a human being.")

"The Tao of Willie" has its lazy Zen moments -- "I believe we are all
here for a reason" is a typical hiccup -- but mostly the book is a
wily tour through Nelson's obsessions, pot-smoking among them. "I
figure God must have made those stems and seeds for a reason," he
writes, noting that marijuana use lowers stress and "agrees with me
when alcohol and a lot of prescription drugs do not." ("If you're not
interested in hearing what I have to say" about pot, he continues, "no
problem; there's a nice chapter on golf right after this one.")
Elsewhere, Nelson takes on topics from the war in Iraq ("This all
started when 19 men from Saudi Arabia attacked us. Our response was to
invade Iraq. Sorry, but I still don't get it") to songwriting ("I'd
sooner have 3 great verses than 30 mediocre ones") to sex ("It's not
premarital sex until you actually get married"). And of course the
amusements keep coming. He tells us that when the singer Roger Miller
was pulled over for erratic driving, the cop said, "Can I see your
license?" Miller's response: "Can I shoot your gun?"
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