Cracked 5 … November 30th, 2019

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Cracked 5

 Mistakes Often Made on Thanksgiving Day

A. Asking Grandma what she’s thankful for—right before we’re supposed to start eating

 

B. Saying, “The ham is good but nothing ‘trumps’ the turkey.” (Politics begins…)

 

C. Pointing out that the Pilgrims were illegal immigrants.

 

D. Asking what the calorie count is on each dish that comes your way.

 

E. Telling Aunt Minnie you like her Jell-O salad with the carrots—and she keeps passing to you over and over again.

 

 

Sit Down Comedy … November 29th, 2019

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Sit Down Comedy

I thought I would sit down and talk to you dear hearts about the It’s Fits. There are three of them.

It is a trio of common phrases uttered to relieve pressure, take away criticism and often to become overly optimistic.

If we begin to believe that these “it’s” have any capacity whatsoever to bring solution, we will certainly find ourselves in fits.

1. “It’s not fair.”

Whining is never attractive. We are completely repulsed by the fussy, teary and defeated profiles of others.

“It’s not fair” is like twirling around in every direction and pointing a finger at all the culprits who have prevented you from receiving your best.

Could it be your children? Maybe it’s your wife plotting. Your husband is nothing but a barking dog. Your company is insensitive to the needs of its employees. Or there must not be a God, because if there were a God, He would never have allowed this atrocity to occur.

Because we’ve been convinced that nurturing one another is the way to say “I love you,” we have babied all the human “house plants” into environments where they cannot stand to actually live outdoors in the sun.

Endurance

This word is necessary for human life: Without endurance, we give up, begin to blame others and become erratically annoying.

The truth is, it may not be fair, but it is learnable. The Earth has its ways and if you study them, you can change your whiny to win.

2. “It’s needing more time.”

Failure arrives to inform us that our direction is not favorable, but instead of learning from the correction, we decide that if more time were given—using the same plan—things would most certainly improve.

Sometimes the Earth speaks.

That’s why we need this second phrase in our journey:

Common sense

In other words, if it didn’t work, it didn’t work. Pressing harder or selling more doesn’t change anything.

The Earth is good to us by telling us quickly when something is shitty.

3. “It’s not my fault.”

Everyone has been in a meeting where a failure is dissected—all participants slicing at one another to be guilt free, punctuating their summary by saying, “It’s not my fault.”

Actually, the more quickly you take responsibility for your part in the failure, the sooner the pain goes away and the healing begins.

It leads us to a third word:

Responsibility

An irresponsible person is unstable in all his or her ways. Ultimately, such a person can get nothing accomplished.

So I realize you want to nurture your husband, your wife, your children and your closest friends, but the best way to do this is to encourage their endurance instead of accepting their excuses.

It is to praise their common sense instead of standing watch while they continue to hit their heads against the walls.

And finally, it is to demand responsibility instead of allowing people to slither away like snakes in the grass to hide in their holes.

  • It’s not fair.
  • It’s needing more time.
  • It’s not my fault.

These are the “It’s Fits”—which keep each one of us from the endurance, common sense and responsibility that allow the second go-round to be drenched in good cheer and fueled by wisdom.

 

 


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3 Things … November 28th, 2019

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That Gratitude is Thankful For

 

1. Gravy—to make the turkey hot and juicy

 

2. The return of “for granted,” since everyone keeps taking it.

 

3. The thirty-two seconds right after Thanksgiving dinner begins when no one speaks. We all just chomp away until someone moans, “U-m-m-m. This is good.”

And then we all laugh.

 

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Drawing Attention … November 27th, 2019

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(4235)

L’essence (Final Week)

(tap the picture to see the video)

art by Clazzy

 


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Published in: on November 27, 2019 at 8:37 pm  Comments (3)  
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Not Long Tales … November 26th, 2019

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16.

Falling Leaves

Clouds are just water vapor. They have no lining—certainly not a silver one.

This is probably the first thing any villager from Blanchport, Pennsylvania learns growing up near the West Virginia border, where eking out a surviving wage without hating your work is considered heaven.

Murtrand Gillogly was only seventeen years old when she met Benson. He was tall, muscular and worked in the coal mines, so had a little extra money—more than the average boy walking the streets or plowing the fields.

She fell in love. Well, at least enough to give herself over to him in the cab of his Ford pickup truck. They had only consummated their confirmation on three occasions when Murtrand found out that she had missed her time.

Not knowing what to do, she finally decided to go to the town doctor. “Murty,” he said. (That’s what all the locals called her.) “Murty, I want to tell you something real simple. You’re pregnant.” He peered at her. “I imagine that’s not good news for you, so I will grant you the privacy of keeping my mouth shut until you want to yap about it.”

The young girl was terrified but had enough sense to confess to her parents, her preacher and a few close friends. They all did the wrong thing—what often happens in small towns with small minds.

They condemned her.

It became especially problematic when after three-and-a-half months, the hospital, twenty-five miles away, confirmed that she was carrying twins. Benson, her boyfriend and baby-maker, had decided to hang around—until he received this latest news. There was something about two babies popping out that scared the living shit out of him.

He explained that because there was so much expense that needed to be covered, he was going on a “miracle journey.” That’s what he called it–a “miracle journey” to Las Vegas–to win enough money to take care of the family, for now and all time. Murty was suspicious—but still moved that he had the desire to be a breadwinner, even if the crumbs came from the gambling tables. She sweetly kissed him on the lips and promised to remain true.

That was the last time she ever saw him.

Six months later, by the ordination of nature and sheer will and purpose of the human body, Murty gave birth to two boys. Feeling particularly traditional and proud of herself, she decided to name one Clarence and one Cameron.

Concerning the community, no support and no real sense of acceptance came her way throughout the first part of the twins’ growing up time. For in Blanchport, Pennsylvania, once you sin, it’s not forgiven unless God shows up and does it Himself.

And He doesn’t come around very often.

So Murty did a little waitressing, telemarketing and even pumped gas down at the local convenience store, to keep shoes on four small feet and grits in three bellies.

She loved her boys.

She was really proud of Clarence. When he was only seven years old, he walked by the town bank and noticed that somebody had dropped a hundred-dollar bill. His first instinct was a good one. He took it inside and presented it to the bank president (or some fellow wearing a tie) and explained that he had found it just outside the door, so figured it might belong to somebody inside.

The banker patted him on the head, told him he was a good little gent, and said they would advertise, letting people know the money had been discovered.  But he added that if it wasn’t retrieved in the next thirty days, little Clarence could keep it.

He had a terrible time sleeping. He even picked himself up a giveaway calendar from down at the drug store and started marking off the days. The whole town was rooting for him. Matter of fact, he acquired a nickname. Instead of Clarence, they started calling him “C-note.” He liked it, even though he didn’t know what it meant. But when they explained that a hundred-dollar bill was called a C-note, he was flattered and overjoyed.

It was the twenty-ninth day of waiting to find out about the prize money when the banker called Clarence to his office. The little boy sat down, anticipating his hundred dollars—ready to scream just as loud as he could.

The banker smiled, cleared his throat and said, “Young man, I want to tell you how admirable it is that you brought the money in when you found it. Some boys would have run off to the candy store or hid it in a jar in the back yard. Unfortunately, I’m sorry to report that as it turns out, after the books have been budgeted and calculated, that hundred dollars belongs to the bank.”

Clarence cried. He tried not to do so. He tried to keep what the preacher always called a “stiff upper lip,” but even though his lips seemed quite all right, his eyes were pouring.

The banker came from behind his desk, put an arm around the boy and said, “Now, now. Don’t you cry. Because we at the bank have decided to give you five dollars as a finders fee.”

Now, it wasn’t much money. Certainly not a hundred. But it seemed to be enough encouragement to turn off the water faucets in his eyes.

He ran out of the bank with his five-dollar bill and down the street. He bought something for his brother, Cameron, something for his mother and something for himself. They had a wonderful night together, celebrating their sudden wealth and how much they loved each other.

Only one problem arose from the situation: Cameron was pissed off that he didn’t have a nickname, too. After much deliberation and even a little bit of prayer, he decided that from that point on, he wanted to be known as Camo.

It didn’t have any meaning. Yet from that moment, the twins became known as C-note and Camo.

Their eighth year looked similar to their ninth. And the tenth year was marked by a brief visit to some friends in Harrisburg.

They went to school, they wore the clothes provided, they smiled at the right adults and when those grown-ups weren’t looking, they had their fun.

One of their favorite pastimes was climbing an old mulberry tree down by the railroad tracks. It was a huge one—about eight enormous branches going up to the sky. Each boy marked his courage by how high he was willing to go on the branches leading to heaven.

C-note had made it to the third branch. Camo was still sitting on the second one, mustering up the courage to shimmy up the tree.

One day, they foolishly invited their mother out to watch them climb. She was terrified. She almost forbade them to do it anymore, but after much pleading she made a compromise. “You can climb that, but no higher than that third branch,” she said, pointing it out to them. She made them point it out, too, so there wouldn’t be any misunderstanding.

But it is truly amazing how quickly a mother’s advice evaporates in the heat and enthusiasm of a climb.

On the Monday morning before Thanksgiving, C-note decided it was time to go to Level 4. Camo was scared—shaking like a leaf.

C-note mocked him for his cowardice. “If you’re gonna be a big boy, you’ve gotta do big things,” he said.

Having never reached for the fourth branch, knowing nothing about it, C-note was unaware that the fourth branch was broken. And even though he was a young boy, his weight was still enough that when he grabbed on, a big piece of branch broke off in his hands and he fell to the Earth. The fall seemed to last forever, as he stared up into the top of the tree and the world began to spin.

All at once he landed—flat on his back.

He waited for the pain. He was surprised he was still awake. Suddenly his ears opened, and he could hear Camo screaming. And then, the sounds of one, two, five, maybe ten people running in his direction. He was so scared he pooped his pants. Now he was dying and going to stink.

Something odd, though, was that he didn’t feel damaged. He didn’t think he was dead. And when the people began to gather around him, he could make out faces, which meant his brain was still working.

It took about five minutes, but the doctor arrived, and with the assistance of a couple other men and one woman, they moved him gently, and the doctor checked him over for broken bones, cuts, bruises—and found nothing.

Camo explained that C-note had fallen from the fourth branch, which was about twenty feet up in the air. Then one of the observers looked down, pointed, and said, “Look! That’s what saved you.”

C-note, now fully conscious and aware of what was going on, turned around and saw a mashed wild turkey, which had broken his fall—but had also broken its neck. It was lying on the ground, looking like…well, looking like an eighty-five-pound twelve-year-old boy had fallen twenty feet from the sky on top of it. The bird did not fare well.

C-note was pronounced sound of body.

The turkey was dead on arrival.

Everybody laughed, then cried. And then, when it occurred to them that they had experienced a bona fide miracle of supernatural intervention, they sat down under the tree and got real quiet. Here’s what they thought.

“How did a turkey end up at exactly that place at exactly that time, when a little boy was falling from the sky, unless God Himself plucked it from the woods and placed it there, granting it final purpose? And we all know–this is one of the more noble ways a turkey can die.”

C-note was mystified and angered by the whole situation. He shouldn’t have been climbing the tree—not that fourth branch. Why did a turkey have to die because he was disobedient? And why was God going around asking turkeys to help dumb little boys?

It just didn’t make sense.

By this time the city newspaper—even though Blanchport was not a city—had sent a photographer to the scene. As they carefully removed the carcass of the sacrificial fowl, the photographer asked if C-note would be willing to kind of “re-enact” what happened.

He shook his head. “I ain’t climbin’ that dumb tree and falling again just so you can get a picture.”

The photographer patted him on the shoulder. “No, no. I just want you to sprawl out on the ground there and pretend you’ve got a turkey under your back.”

C-note squinted. Mrs. Marlins stepped in and explained what the photographer was trying to communicate in more kid-like language. So C-note spread himself out like he’d just fallen from the tree. The newsman took two shots, which appeared in the newspaper three days later.

In the meantime it was the talk of the town—no, much more than that. It was the only thing anybody could think about.

The preacher down at the Pentecostal Church was certain it was a sign from God that little Clarence was a prophet.

Some of the more sensitive folks who dressed up their dogs in costumes—that type—had a memorial service for the turkey.

And speaking of the turkey, something had to be done with it. It was suggested that it would be wonderful to pluck the bird, dress it and give it to Murty and her little family for Thanksgiving.

The grocer threw in some ‘taters, snap green beans, gravy and miscellaneous sweets to complete the deal. It was so thrilling.

The television station in Pittsburgh contacted the mayor and asked if they could bring in a camera crew to do an interview with C-note about the whole magical turkey event. (Although it never happened because some other more important news came along to delay them, the town felt important, always knowing they had been considered.)

It did nothing to calm the heart and soul-searching of Clarence.

He asked advice from his schoolteacher. Her words were, “Be grateful.”

He asked the oldest lady in the community—who everybody called Aunt Rachel—what she thought he should feel and do about the dead creature. She closed her eyes, looked like she was praying for a moment, and then said to C-note, “I just talked to the turkey in heaven…and he forgives you.”

Unimpressed with her response, C-note went to Deacon Connelly, who did a lot of hunting and had shot a turkey or two in his time. C-note wanted to discuss his feelings, but Deacon Connelly was so impressed with the fact that it was a clean kill and there was no need to remove buckshot from the carcass that he chattered away, unaware of the boy’s turmoil.

On his way home from Deacon Connelly, C-note ran across the drifter referred to as “the town drunk.” C-note was pretty sure his name was Mandrake. Mandrake was a nice enough fellow when he was sober, which was so in infrequent that nobody thought of him as a nice fellow.

But on this day, he’d only had a little bit of the juice. When C-note called to him, he answered, “Boy! I got a new name for you. They oughta call you ‘Fallin’ Leaves.’”

C-note was confused. He wanted to ignore Mandrake, but he kept going. “You see what I mean?” asked Mandrake. “You got yourself a dead turkey. You know why?”

C-note shrugged.

The drunk continued. “You have a dead turkey because that’s what your fallingleaves.”

Mandrake burst into laughter. C-note was not amused, even though he kind of understood the joke. It just seemed improper to be laughing so near the demise of his savior.

His brain popped up the word “savior” without him even thinking about it. It wasn’t like C-note thought the turkey was Jesus Christ. And even though Jesus might be saving his soul from hell, the turkey kept him from getting’ there.

It left him cold, a little frightened and humble.

When he got home and saw that his savior had been plucked, oiled and was heading for the oven, he burst into tears again.

Camo screamed at him. “Godammit, would you stop cryin’? Mama might decide not to cook it.”

His mother tried to comfort Clarence, but he just could not wrap his mind around eating his savior. He didn’t think he could even watch other people devour his protector.

About four hours later, Mama came into the room and found him in a fitful sleep. She gently woke him up, whispering, “Dinner’s ready.”

He just shook his head. He didn’t know what to say.

She hugged him real tight—the way mothers are supposed to do in those situations. He was expecting sympathy, but instead, he got the razor of her truth.

“There’s two things I want you to understand, Clarence.” (She had never gotten used to calling him C-note.) “The first thing I want you to understand is that in five minutes we’re gonna walk out of this room and gorge ourselves on turkey and fixings before it gets cold. I will not hear any more nonsense about trying to preserve a bird that’s already gobbled its way to glory.”

She paused, eyes glittering. “And the second thing is, you can honor this bird by learning from it. As you eat this meal that we did not expect to have, you can speak to the meat provided and say, ‘Thanks for catching me. I’m sorry it cost you your life. No disrespect, but may I say, you sure do taste good.’”

C-note didn’t want to listen to his mother’s counsel, but memories of the yardstick she kept in the closet and occasionally applied to his backside made him more pliable.

For the rest of his life, he never ate a turkey dinner without thinking about the one that rescued his life. The one that kept him going. And whether it was a miracle or not, the intervention was sweet.

For every creature on Earth will eventually experience a falling…

And only time will tell what it leaves.

1 Thing You Can Do That Always Works–Any Day, Any Way and Any Time

Find a Way to Make Fun of Yourself

Yes—in a good-natured, good-hearted and jovial way, point out one of your flaws before it becomes completely evident to the entire room.

And if such a foible is not a foregone conclusion, then surprise people with something they didn’t know about you and demonstrate your fearlessness about being candid concerning your status.

For in a world of touting accomplishments, making promises and trying to one-up the competition, such a piece of farce and revelation will always give you the attention of the room.

I will tell you why.

There are three possible reactions to your self-deprecation and all of them are good. (Can you beat that?)

Reaction One After You Make Fun of Yourself

“That person is really funny—and on top of that, humble.”

It is difficult to fail if you can find the good cheer in life while maintaining your own humility.

Reaction Two After Making Fun of Yourself

“Don’t put yourself down like that. You must have trouble with self-esteem—because you look great!”

They may think they’re rebuking you, but actually, they’re praising you. Also, they’re saying the words out loud that you want them to think.

Final Reaction After You Make Fun of Yourself

“Look at how people are beaming, just because he made a joke on himself. I’m jealous. Maybe I should be more forthcoming.”

Yes, you will discover that poking fun at yourself will lead to a competition of other people to make fun of their weaknesses.

For after all, I don’t know who thought it was a good idea to “blow your own horn.”

But since there’s always a chance you might hit some sour notes, you might be wise to warn the audience that you don’t play all that well.

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The B. S. M. G. Report


Jonathots Daily Blog

(4239)

Humans are the race

Not the color of their face

BAD

Like millions of other Americans, I assumed that we had tracked down Jim Crow, put him on trial, convicted him and imprisoned him forever in a small cell of disgrace.

But lo and behold, it turns out that he was not imprisoned at all. Rather, he was taken into a witness protection program, sent away to be refined, get a little plastic surgery and come back to us in this season.

Shall we call him James Crown?

Mr. James Crown, the grandson of Jim Crow, is not nearly as bigoted, ignorant nor self-righteous. He does not contend that some race is inferior but continues to promote the idea of “separate but equal.” This, of course, was the false premise that began our national trial in the first place.

Black people don’t have to go to their own bathrooms anymore.

But we do signify that whatever they pursue, think, vote, believe and regard needs to have the word “black” in front of it.

  • The African American market
  • A poll taken in “the black community”
  • The black voter
  • The black church
  • The black culture

Here’s where James Crown is much trickier than his grandpa, Jim Crow. He pulls off this separatism by making sure we never refer to “the white market, the white community, the white voter, the white church or the white culture.” If he did so, it would expose James Crown for being the hidden racist he truly is. Instead, he tries to appear educated and open-minded by talking about cultural differences—how wonderful they are.

We don’t have any sniff of the Ku Klux Klan because we never attribute the same promotion to white people. If we did, we would identify it immediately as prejudice.

But today we have people interested in their ancestry.

At first, this was, “What part of Africa did your ancestors come from?”

But now we ask, “Where in Europe did you immigrate from?”

It’s all very unseemly—very bad. It enables a city council in a Mississippi town to name a street “Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard”–while you could never find a library, municipal building, or decent grocery store with an address on that same street.

The James Crown concept is: “Maybe we can make people more comfortable with this separatism, giving the illusion of equality while never offering a heartfelt all men are created equal.”

SAD

Of course, the sad part of this is that it easily slips into our educational system.

We convince our children they are free thinkers when they’re curious about other cultures and their customs.

Simultaneously, as we establish these differences, we don’t adopt any part of them into our own homes, colors and cultures, but instead, admire them from afar.

It is our current derivation of “separate but equal.”

It is an attempt to refuse to accept people as human beings, but instead, categorizing by race, culture and nationality.

The truth of the matter is that no black person in America would last thirty minutes in Africa. Why?

Because they are Americans.

They are accustomed to our style of life.

They enjoy the freedoms.

And likewise, no white person would survive in Europe, picking up where their long-lost relatives were born. Keep in mind, if Europe had been such a great place to live, our families would probably have stayed there.

They came to America for a better chance.

It is sad to see informed, caring people buying into James Crown.

MAD

But what really makes me mad is that the church of Jesus of Nazareth is a huge promoter of this evil game.

There is a white church and a black church in America.

It is heavily segregated and the arrangement hinges on the supposition that “black people like to worship one way” and “white people like to worship another way.”

Jesus said the only way to worship is in spirit and truth.

There is no spirit in being alienated from your brothers and sisters and no truth in believing it has anything to do with the mindset of Jesus.

Whenever anyone tried to separate people in his presence and criticize them for not being just like the disciples, he always replied, “Don’t forbid them. Those who are not against us are for us.”

I am mad to be part of a faith that has a church that is manipulated and has welcomed racism into its operation.

GLAD

Yet not everyone gets hoodwinked, even when there are hoods available for all.

There are folks out there who refuse to be called “African American, German American” or anything other than American.

There are individuals who will not attend a church unless it is integrated and recognizes that any separation is the definition of inequality.

And there is a small awakening in the political arena which contends that a black voter, a white voter, a Hispanic voter and an Asian voter all have one thing in common:

America.

Answer the questions about our country and you answer the need.

James Crown will hang around until we stand up and call him Jim Crow, which is who he really is.

He is not our witness, so we have no intention of protecting him.

 

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