“The first thing you want to do is to add up the total number of CDs sold by Dixie Chicks, Eminem and Norah Jones.”

“Chicks, Em and Norah. Got it.”

“Oh, and don’t forget the CD sales for that guy who starred in The Partridge Family.”

David Cassidy? But why?”

“Control factor.”


“Then you add in the number of photos of Sheryl Crow’s navel that appeared in Rolling Stone over the past 12 months.”

“Hmmm, I better get the calculator.”

“And make sure it has fresh batteries. Now, here’s where it gets tricky. Take that total figure and divide it by Avril Lavigne’s high school grade point average.”

“Whoa! Slow down. You know I always have problems with negative numbers.”

“Sorry. Got it? Good. Now, add in the amount of perspiration that Springsteen sweats off during one performance.”

“Do you want that in liters or gallons?”

“Better keep it metric. Plus, that reminds me, convert all pounds to kilos, then add up the weights of all the major artists, including James Taylor.

“Sweet Baby James? But he’s such a stringbean.”

“I know, but he’s also a legend. People will gripe if you leave him out.”

“Okay, okay. Now what?”

“The rest is child’s play. Pull out your PDA, connect to the Internet and see how many Ashanti songs are being traded on Kazaa. Then, add up the number of lawsuits filed against the song-swappers, divide by the square root of the total number of RIAA lawyers, and multiply that figure by the number of newspaper articles that appeared in the last week proclaiming Clive Davis the greatest man in the history of the recording industry and divide by the total number of artists.”

“Then what?”

“What do you mean, `then what?’ The answer should be right in front of you?”

“Uh? There’s nothing here. Whoops! Stupid me. I forgot to carry the one. Wow! This is amazing!”

“Didn’t I tell you?”

“So that’s how they pick the Grammy Award winners. It sounds complicated but you make it look easy.”

“Picking the winners is easy. Picking the nominees – Now, that’s complicated.”