Pretend–October 31, 2011


Dressing up in costumed apparel of a character of our choice, often with frightening possibilities. No, I’m not talking about the US Congress. Of course, I mean Halloween.  Halloween is today, and for me, a time when I enjoy the festivities of those around me, although I don’t participate to any great degree. It’s not that I’m a nudge or have some theological opposition to the holiday–because quite honestly, bizarre outfits are common in our day and age and you don’t have to go any further than organized religion if you want to see the devil at work.

No, it’s not about religious reasons or even not wanting to don myself in ghoulish garments.  It’s just that I don’t like to pretend. It is my great lamentation about our society–that dissatisfaction with our present circumstances causes us to contend that something else would be better than what we have and that we have some sort of God-given birthright to have more than we currently possess.

It’s more or less the “American Idol” philosophy of talent: “I don’t have to be that good; I just have to be able to dress up like someone who is good–look the part.”  All I need is to have a dream, be dissatisfied with my present life, want better circumstances for my family and arrogantly demand that someone make me famous so I can haul in the loot.

We have become a generation of pretenders. There’s nothing wrong with doing that on October 31st.  It’s kind of fun. But when the desire to acquire a position we have not earned permeates the other three-hundred-sixty-four days of the year, it is not only boring, but eventually becomes ridiculous in its unrighteousness.

I ate lunch with a man and woman yesterday who might have every reason in the world to pretend.  He was a graduate of Yale Theological Seminary–and I’m not talking about the people who make the locks.  These are high-falutin’ theologians who just might think they created God. She had a Master’s Degree and every reason to be proud of her status and position. Yet they found themselves in a little town in South Carolina, serving a small church and working in a hospice, respectively. You might think they would be disgruntled, dissatisfied or feel cheated that their education and status had been placed in such miniscule confines.–because after all, that’s what we love to do.  We love to classify jobs and positions in America according to status instead of productivity. Dare I say the average worker at a McDonald’s on the dinner shift actually is much more efficient and energetic than a CEO at a large company? But we don’t honor work; we give respect to position and the trappings of affluence.

We pretend. We pretend that money makes us happy. We pretend that people who make large sums of cash are actually more important than those who don’t. We pretend there’s a color barrier so we don’t have to interact with a racial mixture which just might cause us to expand our thinking. We pretend.

Not so with my two luncheon companions. He extolled the joy of pastoring a congregation filled with emerging people who are growing in their understanding of one another and trying to become more spiritually and culturally diverse. She rejoiced in the opportunity to aid those about to cross over the great divide between this plane of existence and the next, sharing that she felt purpose and value in performing her task.

Yes, America loves to pretend. It is a country that believes that we bring what we dream while disdaining where we are to get help to achieve our goals so that we might truly, in the end, possess more.

It is the opposite of what really makes people happy.  Actually, the way to be happy is found in the lifestyle of my two new friends from South Carolina.  And here it is: bring what you’ve learned to the place where you are to help who you can, to give yourself the purpose you desire.

That’s it.

So please … go! Dress up! Rejoice!  Bob for apples (if people still do that). Drink some punch.  Trick or treat.  Scare yourself and everyone else to death. Have the time of your life.

But get up tomorrow and do yourself a big favor and stoppretending. Life is not what we want. It is wanting the life that is already here.  Who knows?  Maybe that is just another way of pretending. But it is a way of doing so that doesn’t require that you to imitate anyone else … or scare the world around you.


Here comes Christmas! For your listening pleasure, below is Manger Medley, Jonathan’s arrangement of Away in the Manger, which closes with him singing his gorgeous song, Messiah.  Looking forward to the holidays with you!

Jonathan sings “Let”

Jonathan Sings “Spent This Time”

Jonathan and his partner, Janet Clazzy, play “The Call”

Magnificence — October 30, 2011


I can’t live my life knowing I am secretly plotting my own assassination.

I can’t pretend that sheer effort always produces desired results.

I can’t tolerate the intolerant.

I can’t abandon faith to preserve a sense of convenience.

Another day passes …

I won’t continue to propagate notions of seeming sensibility which actually carry no weight of common sense.

I won’t recite ritual to mollify the ritualistic and pious.

I won’t listen to mouths with empty heads.

I won’t agree to avoid discussion—and even conflict—to deter the power of necessary disagreement.

Time trudges on …

I don’t believe in any doctrine or philosophy that fails to include all the aspects of my humanity.

I don’t understand why I am often my own worst adversary, struggling with attitudes which are obviously deadly.

I don’t possess the hope that renders the faith that makes me comfortable that I am divinely inspired.

I don’t care enough to be totally trusted.

I am broken.

Yet it is the way I am truly assured that wholeness is possible.

Human life.


Stick To It, Sticky, Stuck–October 29, 2011


“Just hang in there.” 

 Seemingly pretty good advice–unless you happen to have a rope tied around your neck. The American people have a great admiration for perseverance. We love a good hard-luck story, where someone survives extreme difficulty and comes out the other end victorious. Of course you realize, the reason these stories are special is that they’re rare. Most people have extreme difficulty and DON’T survive it–therefore not providing much impetus for a celebration party.

If the only thing we have to offer people is “stick to it,” most of the time they’ll hit a patch that’s extremely sticky and find themselves stuck with the unfortunate results. So when is perseverance the legitimate muscle of faith and when does it become stubbornness? When are we moving forward at a slow pace and when are we being warned by nature, and even God, that our path is against the flow of good sense? How can we tell?

If I were to describe the national expression on the countenance of the American public, it would exude this sentiment: “I’m stuck–stuck with my wife, stuck with my husband, stuck with my job, stuck with my family, stuck with my church, stuck with my government.”

They DID “stick to it.” And then, because they weren’t where they could have been, life got sticky, and so instead of moving forward they got stuck in a position unfavorable to their dreams.

What can we do to make sure that what we’re pursuing is worth the running, sweat and energy we’re expending?  If we don’t, we’ll find ourselves sticking to a sticky mess with the end result being that we’re just stuck.  Fortunately for us, there is an answer–and it is simpler than many people would guess.

Every successful adventure begins with a season of counting the cost and coming up with a truthful assessment. That’s what the Bible means by “the truth will make you free.” When you’re not afraid to deal with the truth of the matter, your soul has the freedom to pursue something with great zest without fear that it’s a dead-end street.

Why is the truth more difficult than a lie? Here it is:sometimes the truth may make me appear weaker than I want to be. I don’t know why it doesn’t occur to us that the weakness will be played out for all to see anyway.  It isn’t like you can hide your inefficiencies and lack.  All we end up doing is delaying the inevitable.

I never decide to “stick to” something until I have truthfully determined whether I have the ability, I can multiply the talent or I can locate someone who is smarter than me to help.

Truth is the missing ingredient in every endeavor that ends up in failure.

I need to sit down and truthfully look at myself. If I choose not to share my findings with others, that’s fine.  But my discovery should determine whether I am actually going to go after the goal or leave it to folks more qualified than me.

I meet such wonderful people who have introduced misery into their lives by taking on challenges that they are either not interested in or have absolutely no aptitude for accomplishing. To avoid embarrassment, they continue to do the job without joy and without much productivity. Unfortunate.

Truthful is a great replacement for “stick to it.”

Otherwise you’re going to find yourself in a sticky predicament where you’re already committed, everybody is expecting your involvement and you suddenly realize that you hate what you’re doing. So if you want to do it right–after you’ve done a truthful assessment of your abilities–then take a good hard look at what is working and what is not.

For instance, in our economy, here are two things we know for sure: (1) Giving tax breaks to the rich was unsuccessful; and (2) giving billions of dollars to billionaire corporations in a stimulus was equally as doomed. Yet the Republicans and Democrats are intent on “sticking to their plans,” creating this “sticky” situation in our economy. To escape this it will take truthful people admitting what they can and can’t do, finding out what really will work in this situation.  It may not be exactly to their political leanings; it may not be right up their alley. It may demand the involvement of other people they have deemed to be their enemies. But if you cannot truthfully ascertain what the real situation is and you will not study what works and doesn’t work, you will just find yourself sticking to stuff that just creates sticky surroundings.

So what do we have so far?

Truth.  And all truth must be on the inward parts–not ME deciding what is factual for YOU. Truth that is not on the inward parts is either legalism–or lies.

So once I find out what the truth is as it pertains to me, I am ready to study, without fear, what is working and what is not working.

And this leaves me one final mission.  In order to not get stuck in my sticky situation, I make a mature decision to duplicate what I see working around me in my own life … honestly. What do I mean by honestly? I mean without my particular interpretation and also in the sense that when it finally does stop working–which things eventually do–I will go back to the truth of the matter and learn what’s going to work next.

Perseverance is nothing but stubbornness unless it is birthed in truth. Sticky situations happen because we don’t really seek out what is working but instead, take our stubbornness to repeat practices which have proven to be unfulfilling. And the best way to avoid being stuck in a rut is to duplicate honestly what is working in the world around you until it doesn’t work anymore and then start the process all over again by doing a truthful evaluation.

Politics is a failed proposal because it insists that its adherents stick to a platform which may or not possess the truth to actually work. Religion is equally ridiculous because it asks the faithful to stick to teachings which may or may not have truth for our time and are not necessarily bound by the criterion of needing to work.

You can continue to “stick to it” and get into sticky situations where you find yourself stuck, or you can take a few minutes and uncover the truth about yourself and your abilities, find what’s really working and duplicate it honestly until God shows you even a better way. It is the key to happiness.

For I will tell you, my dear friends, happiness is being able to perform what you set out to do because it’s in the ballpark of your ability and it’s proven to be effective.


Jonathan sings “Let”

Jonathan Sings “Spent This Time”

Jonathan and his partner, Janet Clazzy, play “The Call”

Response Ability–October 28, 2011


I think I have found the button. I’m talking about the “turn off switch” for my mouth.

It has taken me many years to finally comprehend the “manual of human life,” revealing the importance of locking the flap on my trap. Bluntly, sometimes we all just need to shut up. Unfortunately, as Americans we feel that a constant flow of opinion is our patriotic duty, so we weigh in on every issue, even though many of our ideas are light in experience and heavy on the side of stupidity.

 I wish I had found that off switch on my mouth earlier.  I have offended some people unnecessarily because I said things I shouldn’t have and then, when they proved to be wrong, I dug my heels in out of pride and defended what I no longer believed to be true so I wouldn’t appear to be the dreaded “flip-flopper.” Maybe I should be the first one in America to say that I am proud to be a “flip-flopper.” Without flipping, I just end up being a flop.

I think what made me first find the of switch on my mouth was the realization that only two types of communication are valuable to those of us who share mortality in the human form. And here they are: to edify or to exhort.

Preaching, criticizing, probing, intervening, judging or even some forms of teaching are nothing more than static on the radar screen of the human spirit. They often are  counter-productive, causing people to continue less-than-favorable behavior just to avoid complying to our demands.  What does it mean to edify? I’m going to give you my trite definition because it’s simple. You may wish to complicate it, and many of you may write me and say, “No, no.  Edification really means this…” 

I’m sure you’re right. But I am concerned about what is about to spew from my mouth. And in that millisecond I need a really quick understanding of what to do. So I ask myself one simple question: “Is it kind?” If it’s NOT kind, then somewhere in my brain I must have some sort of agenda or holier-than-thou attitude I am trying to maintain in order to please a God who is not presently standing in front of me, while hurting a member of His creation who is.

Yes.  Be kind.

I’m not talking about flattery here–that’s why you really need that off switch on your mouth.  But there ARE moments when kind things are impossible–so silence is preferred. For instance, I think it’s hilarious that people in America are all upset about Chaz Bono changing his sex from female to male, while we see absolutely nothing wrong with abusing people on The Biggest Loser to transform them from their fat bodies into slimmer ones, or women in Hollywood cutting up their forms to become more beautiful.  What a total big sack of stinky hypocrisy.

Be kind.

You will NOT edify people by being mean. And even though I have found the off switch on my mouth, there are times I don’t reach for it soon enough. So I end up being nasty and then find the need to justify it with some sort of spiritual mumbo-jumbo.  Hogwash. 

To edify is to be kind. And when you can’t be kind, you’re not edifying. And when you’re not edifying, you probably should find the off switch and go silent. 

Now, the second function of the human tongue is to exhort. Exhortation is a powerful thing because what it does is grant us the ability to remind people of what they wanted to achieve. For example, in my perpetual quest to lose weight, I can certainly use people to edify me by being kind, but I also desperately need people to remind me that sausage and biscuits are not low in calories. Why? Because if I was able to get into the mess of becoming obese, I might not be the best one qualified to get myself out of it. I need some exhortation. It is valuable for my friends to remind me of my original mission.

Reminding is not complaining. Reminding is not criticizing. Reminding is not treating me like a child that needs discipline. Here’s good reminding: “Boy, I bet those two sausage and biscuits right there have about four hundred calories in them.  That’s going to cut into your day’s intake of food.”  This little simple piece of exhortation is often all I need to remind me of my purpose.  Exhortation is powerful. 

Now you may say, “What if people haven’t made a commitment?” But you know they need to. So is seems that some sort of interference from you may be neccessary to save their lives. Very important point. You can’t save anyone. By the way, God can’t save anyone. Salvation is a miraculous enjoining of God and that individual working together.  What you can do is remind people of  their original quest–what they dreamed of when they were in a better frame of mind.

Can you imagine what would happen if our politicians and ministers would zip their lips long enough to find ways to edify–be kind–or exhort–remind us all of the better angels of our nature? Would it be enough? Whether we think it’s enough or not, it’s what is available.  Because without kindness and reminding, we have a tendency to try to sculpt people into stony images–and all we end up doing is turning them into a chunk of rock–forcing them to bury their faults deeper inside themselves, where they become meaner or nastier.

It is time for us all to get a new response ability. Gain the ability to respond with the only two verbal powerhouses that actually impact the human heart.

  • I will edify you by being kind.
  • And I will exhort you by reminding you of how much better you will feel if you follow what you set out to do.

Find the button. Learn when to turn off your mouth and give the true soul of your expression a chance to do “better speak.”


Jonathan sings “Let”

Jonathan Sings “Spent This Time”

Jonathan and his partner, Janet Clazzy, play “The Call”

Road of the King–October 27, 2011


About four or five miles outside of King, North Carolina, is a little United Methodist Church where I’ve spent my past two days sharing with salt-of-the-earth citizens while adding my particular sprinkle of pepper. The experience was rich. People are always a little hesitant to embrace strangers for fear of contracting some sort of social leprosy or actually absorbing a new idea or two. But once you get past the initial shock of physical appearance and survive the great bathing of curiosity, you can get down to the realities of person-to-person.

Unfortunately, two of the greater forces in our society–religion and politics–always fail to deliver us from true evil. They manufacture enemies for us to despise or attack in an attempt to keep our minds off the real problem. And that dilemma would be our inability as a species to deal with our own problems, preferring to pick at the sores and scabs of others.

As I’ve taken a magnifying glass to inspect my innards more frequently, I have discovered that I have much less time to examine yours. It is a good thing. So as I leave my new friends in King (or actually rural King, NC), I impart three different thoughts to them–great barometers to measure whether what they believe and do is really on the right track with the mind of Jesus, or just a bunch of religious rhetoric and political poo-poo.

Let me begin it by saying, “You know you’re on the right path when …”

1.  Children are welcome and encouraged to understand. Somehow or another we forget that children are going to spend most of their lives as adults. If we let them walk around believing they don’t need to understand the truth, they can carry their childish attitudes into the grown-up world and become both obnoxious and useless. Sometimes we think that childhood is only about soccer balls, video games and parties, with a little schoolwork thrown in on the side. Now soccer is great exercise, some video games can be entertaining, everybody loves a party and I certainly have nothing against the pursuit of knowledge. But I think children need to know they’re heading towards a world of responsibility, which they need to both understand and enjoy. Otherwise, you have bratty kids who are going to become frustrated adults. Now, most twelve-year-old children think church is boring, old people are boring, and Jesus is both church AND old, and therefore boring. It is a huge mistake. Every kid should walk out of church with a smile on his face and an idea in his head. Pastor, if they’re doing that, you’ve reached the old ones, too.

2.  Joy should always be established. Joy is a great two-pronged blessing. It is feeling good about what just happened while simultaneously knowing that if it never happens again, you’re still going to be all right. Joy is happiness mingled with the understanding that being giddy is not always possible–but happiness never has to leave. It is the knowledge that we are never forsaken. It is the great information that we matter.  And it is the realization that because we matter, the person sitting next to us does too.

3. And finally, every church service should holler with glee that faith is admired. We need to stop reciting things so much and instead, need to live out a fruitful life, which gives us reason to testify.  Stop expecting people to believe. Belief is a lot harder to achieve than most ministers preach. Faith demands that I walk away from a lot of things I’m seeing towards a bunch of stuff that appears to be invisible at this present moment. That’s tough. But if I’m not walking towards possibility, I’m walking away from opportunity and leaping into disappointment. Faith should be admired. When we see people standing on their own two feet, even though they’re a little wobbly, we should come and put an arm around them and tell them how we admire their bravery. Unfortunately, we’re too busy trying to find all the right answers instead of taking advantage of each and every moment.

Most of the things being debated in our society–that folks are so sure they know the right answers to–I often am not even certain that I comprehend the question. Here’s what I do know.  Faith is necessary for me to get out of my circumstances. My circumstances are often of my own making, but God has granted me grace and forgiven me. And that forgiveness is contingent on me loving people–whether I like them or not.

That’s right. I don’t have to like you to love you.Liking you means I would look forward to an opportunity to share dinner and conversation with you. Loving you means that I’m going to get out of your way and let you have a good life so you can find somebody better than me to eat dinner with and have conversation. So that’s it, King. I love you.  And guess what? I even like you.

But take a  look in the faces of your children to see if your beliefs are working. And make sure you never get together without joy being established. And when you see faith in yourself and other people, step back and applaud and shout hallelujah. Those three things right there will set you apart from the mediocre politicians and the picky religionists.

I hope to see you again. And I know if we pursue these things together, there certainly will be a great meeting place.


Jonathan sings “Let”

Jonathan Sings “Spent This Time”

Jonathan and his partner, Janet Clazzy, play “The Call”

Sure–October 26, 2011


Driving through the beautiful countryside of North Carolina last evening on my way to spend time with some wonderful folks, I received a phone call. It was a friend of mine, just calling to catch up with me–so he asked me what I was up to. I told him I was on my way to present a program at a little Methodist church in North Carolina. He snorted a bit. “North Carolina?” he inquired.  “What’s that like?”

I knew what he was getting at. There seems to be a universal pulse in this country that wants to pump out the heart-felt notion that we’re all so “different” and that one region of the country is ignorant while another region of the country is spewing with intelligence. So people in New York think that people in North Carolina don’t wear shoes or have indoor plumbing, while folks in North Carolina are prone to believe that individuals that live in California go to the beach all day and abort their babies, while eating a lot of tofu.

Of course, the media does little to alleviate this train of thought, because keeping people in tension towards one another is a great way to keep them tuning in and buying cars and hamburgers. Let me be flat and honest with you. It really doesn’t work out that way. I’ve traveled all over the country. The accents are different. Sometimes their ways of greeting strangers–like me–vary. But when you get past the outer skin of cultural reaction, inside is the image of God that was ushered in by His breath.

At that point it basically boils down to two different possibilities. You run across people who are sure that everything they believe should remain intact.  And them there are those folks who will listen carefully and if something is reasonable, they will say, “Sure.”

That’s really the difference.  It’s not a liberal or conservative issue. It’s not even a “religious” or “secular” difference. I find that conservatives, liberals, religious or secular people can be equally as open or closed-minded, depending on how willing they are to conceive that there might just be more.

Last night the people didn’t know me so they took a few minutes to get acquainted. I don’t care. Some people have to confirm that you’ve had your shots before they’ll give you a good hug. It’s immaterial.  What matters is whether they are sure of themselves and therefore impenetrable to the introduction of better ideas, OR if they possess a child-like heart and say, “Sure. Sounds good.”

You may want to ask, “Are there any signs to tell you which group you’re dealing with?”

The answer is no–because truthfully, some of the coldest and frowniest people I’ve ever met have turned, within a thirty-minute period, into some of the most generous souls I have ever left behind. And some individuals I have encountered who seemed to have a lot of enthusiasm, personality and what they would deem to be openness, will just as often dig their heels in and insist that their IQ prohibits them from receiving additional information.

But I will tell you this–there seems to be a little chain of events in human thinking which transcends us from being overly sure about our opinions into having a willingness to hear something fresh and become excited enough to say, “Sure.”  It is a three-step process:

1.  Do we really believe that people have free will? If you don’t understand that free will is sacred above anything else in the universe, you will start getting aggravated because people won’t do what you want them to. The minute you are aggravated with your fellow humans, you start putting them in boxes and categorizing them, which is the beginning of all prejudice. So a belief in free will, to me, is equivalent to a belief in God. And by the way, if God has no intention of crossing the free will of human beings, who am I to question if they have the right to pursue their own paths?

2.  Human beings are God’s top dogs. And I put the word “dog” in there for a reason–people who like animals equally, or even better, than humans, usually end up being quite anti-people. Let me tell you right now, humans are not animals. Now, that does not mean I deny an evolution in the environment.  I just don’t believe humans were a part of it. If God started evolution, He was also completely able to stop it after the chimpanzee. For instance, I have had a dog in my life, but he is not equivalent to my son. There are many reasons. I was able to teach my son not to lick his behind in public. (Most of the time.) Not so with my pooch. And if I got hit by a tree during a storm and was bleeding and dying on the ground, my son would call an ambulance.  My dog would lick the blood off my face. It’s what dogs do. To me, that’s the end of the discussion. It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t care for animals–it just means there is no equivalency between the creatures of the jungle and the forest and the creation that possesses the soul of God.  Thinking of human beings as “just part of the ecosystem” is liberal gobbledygook, which eliminates the precious fact that human beings are God’s favorite workmanship.

3.  And finally, if you’re going to be a person who isn’t sure of everything and is willing to say, “sure,” you also must have an understanding that your family is not JUST those people who look like you, share your name or were birthed through your genetic essence. Human beings are all related to each other, with a common Father called God. If you don’t believe this, you’re going to think that some folks are better than others. Matter of fact, many intellectual bigots in the late 1800’s used Darwin’s Origin of the Species to prove that black men and women were the “missing link” between monkeys and men. Funny, isn’t it, that now the theory of evolution is affiliated with liberalism, when at one time it was the justification for treating a whole race of people as inferior? 

 I guess you can use anything to prove everything that you want to be sure of.

But if you believe that mankind has free will, that man is above animals in importance and that everyone human is linked to a common father–God–you will loosen your grip on your inflexible commandments and allow for the freshness of God-sent ideas.

If, on the other hand, you contend that people should do what you think, or what a black leather-bound book requires, or that animals have the same rights as humans, or that the only people you are responsible to love are those who eat Thanksgiving turkey with you, you just might end up being too sure that you know everything already … and miss a blessing.

So what would I tell my friend about North Carolina? Some people there are like everybody else in the country. They are sure they know everything. There are others who live in the Tar Heel State who are willing to hear anointed ideas from the Spirit and say: “Sure.”

Is that going to change? Not until we realize that life is a journey and not a destination. Being a journey, we will travel, sight-see and learn–until we’re taken to another place.


Jonathan sings “Let”

Jonathan Sings “Spent This Time”

Jonathan and his partner, Janet Clazzy, play “The Call”

Terrified of Tuna–October 25, 2011


It comes in cans. Honestly, I feel that should be the end of the discussion. Fish does not belong in cans. I suppose if you found one rotting in a puddle of water outside your home, you might want to gingerly pick it up with a pair of tongs and stuff it in an empty pork and bean canister and dispose of it in the nearest trash bin. Other than that, I don’t think fish belong in cans—whether it’s tuna, mackerel, salmon, or of course … sardines.

Now, I know it’s good for you. But there are lots of foods that are good for you that don’t taste like tuna or maintain a metallic flavor in your mouth. (I also don’t like canned vegetables, by the way. It seems to me that canned vegetables are the ones that lost the bet in the garden. The fresh ones won and get to go to the market. The frozen ones get to maintain their shape and color. But the canned ones lost—and end up looking like they have some form of anemia.)

But certainly tuna—being a FISH—should not be in a can.  And the problem is—it tastes so much like tuna! It may be the personification of the term “fishy.” Another thing I don’t like is that when you open up a can of tuna, you suddenly have two cats rubbing up against your leg, purring their lungs out. Here’s the weird thing. You don’t even OWN a cat. And then you look down and the cat looks at you and there’s an unspoken moment when you know what that feline is thinking. “Listen, bud—pretend all you want to, but we know what you got there is cat food. So hand it over.”

What can you do with tuna? There’s tuna and noodles, which requires really good noodles, sauce and cheese.  Tuna comes in a distant fourth.  There’s tuna salad. Now, for a long time I thought I liked tuna salad until I realized that what I really liked was eggs, pickle relish, Miracle Whip and a bit of celery. Yes, I got healed of the notion of eating tuna salad one day when I ate egg salad and realized it was better—because there was no tuna in it!

Most people put mayonnaise in tuna salad, too, which is really aggravating.  I like Miracle Whip.  You know what bothers me about mayonnaise? I think it’s a scam. I think some guy forgot to put two or three ingredients into his Miracle Whip, put it in jars and shipped it before he realized his mistake, so he ran to the store and re-named it and re-labeled it, placing the word “creamy” on the front—and there were people out there who were so frightened of taste that they bought it and enjoyed it. That’s my theory.  I think I’m going to stick with it until someone disproves it.

But back to tuna. Some people like to have it grilled—or seared. I never thought searing was a positive thing to do to anything, and of course, grilling makes everything taste great. This summer I ate grilled peaches! Put some black lines on any particular food with a little bit of charcoal taste, and you have a delicacy.

Tuna is not a delicacy. After all, it’s in cans.  And of course, now they put it in pouches. The pouches kind of freak me out too, because they kind of look like Grandpa Ford’s chewin’baccy containers.  Perhaps there’s a new product there—tunabacca.  With this you get bad taste and mouth cancer at the same time.  Pardon me, that wasn’t really funny.

Fish has a public relations problem anyway, especially since people have started eating sushi.  I’m willing to try new things—and I have eaten sushi. But I’ve broken it down to its individual parts: rice, raw fish, and grass clippings. Let me see—what makes this dish work? Even people who are avid sushi eaters might step away from the table if you removed the rice.  Just the raw fish and grass clippings could be a little nasty.

But the main problem—or the ongoing one—is that fish eaters and tuna consumers are very pious. They think because you don’t like tuna that you are an unhealthy person. I love fruits and vegetables.  I love lean meats.  It’s tuna that bothers me.  Or is it tuna in a can? Or is it tuna posing as a real ingredient in a salad?

I think it’s tuna.  Tuna just annoys me. It can ruin a really good sandwich.  And for those who put mustard in their tuna salad—it’s the only time that mustard wins out in a taste test. 

So for me, I am not going to eat tuna. And I’m not going to deceive other people by saying that “fish is ALWAYS delicious.” Because the people who won’t eat fried fish turn around and insist that their grilled fish be covered with butter or tartar sauce.  Does this food have taste, or are we just trying to disguise it behind things with which we really like to tickle our palate?  I’m not so sure it’s better to eat fish when it’s not fried.  And for those folks who insist that THEY just put lemon on their fish, I have to say, that particular taste is dry and makes me think that somebody put a citrus plant too near the wharf.

No tuna for me, please. I’m not usually a picky person, but tuna does tend to terrify me. It reminds me of that joke from the Rocky movie.  Rocky says toAdrian, “Did you know,Adrian, you can tun-a-piano, but you can’t tun-a-fish?”

You can’t tuna fish. Exactly, Mr. Balboa. 



Jonathan sings “Let”

Jonathan Sings “Spent This Time”

Jonathan and his partner, Janet Clazzy, play “The Call”

Published in: on October 24, 2011 at 1:36 pm  Comments (1)  
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