Sit Down Comedy … January 17th, 2020

Jonathots Daily Blog

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Sit Down Comedy

There are many ways to win the immediate approval of an audience.

You can:

  • Compliment their city.
  • Tell them how beautiful they look.
  • Inform them you have two children, but parenting seems to “escape you.”
  • Say “God bless America.”
  • Make sure they know you support the troops.
  • Tell them how much you love your wife, and you know that she’s “the boss.”
  • And of course, you can always call them exceptional.

Or you can say “America is exceptional.”

Most of these methods work real well because they feed on a common misconception: We’re happier when someone panders to us. Actually, in the long run we’re happier when someone alerts us to our obvious flaws.

I, for one, have no problem saying that America is exceptional as long as we determine the definition of “exceptional.” At the heart of the word is another word, which is “except.”

Except means to leave something out, to delete or to rid yourself of it—making sure it is not attached to you in any way, shape or form.

Exceptional is when you live around “crazy” but insist on removing that temptation from your mission.

To be exceptional, you have to accept what needs to be excepted.

If you don’t, you just end up being mediocre.

I agree that America has flirted with being exceptional. There have been times when we have made a stand as a nation—against barbarism, fanaticism and bigotry.

Then again, there are times when we stood in line to imitate the insanity of the world around us.

But let us presume that we actually want to be exceptional.

Then we must realize that we can only have freedom of speech when those words do not attack the freedom of another.

We can worship—but we have no right whatsoever to hate people. We must decide that hating people, disincluding people and despising people has no religious profundity.

If we’re going to be exceptional, we have to state loud and clear that it’s okay to be a politician—except you can’t lie.

You can be a parent–except you can’t be a hypocrite.

You can be a man–except you can’t hurt women.

You can be a woman–except you can’t hate men.

You can be in business–except you can’t cheat your customers or fail to take care of your employees.

If we truly want to be an exceptional nation, we must accept what we have to except from our conduct.

You can be a leader, except you must not act like a master.

You can be intelligent, except you must use it and therefore prove it.

Let’s work on being exceptional.

Let’s find out what is causing this world to be so uncertain and filled with tribulation and use our good cheer to overcome that imbalance by being the exception, and therefore becoming exceptional.

Truly, may the exception prove the rule.

Sit Down Comedy … January 10th, 2020

Jonathots Daily Blog

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Sit Down Comedy

About a week ago I woke up grumpy.

I don’t do it often, but every once in a while I set aside the time, just to stay in practice.

Usually during these grumpy mornings I am well out of my mood by the time I enter into the actual work of the day. But on this particular occasion, I languished in my self-pity and remained grumpy well past the noon hour.

When I finally emerged from my dark cloud, a thought came to my mind. I realized that I had luxuriated in my vice of “cranky,” never considering that if my reaction—my temperament—were multiplied by eight billion, we would be in a helluva lot of trouble.

What would happen if the entire world woke up grumpy?

Certainly by nightfall—and I do not exaggerate—we would be involved in a thermonuclear war. We would blow everybody’s ass to Kingdom Come for daring to be grumpy on the morning we had reserved for the privilege.

Think about it.

We’re always so critical of life—and even one another—yet fortunately, we don’t all decide to go nutzoid at the same time.

There’s always someone who, when the idea of bungy jumping comes up, frowns and expresses some negative points that eventually bring the room to sense, which prevents us from jumping off a bridge head-first, at the mercy of an exaggerated rubber band.

Moving on from grumpy…

How about hungry?

If every person in the world woke up hungry—all eight billion of us—we’d have a situation.

Because the truth is, everyone in the world does wake up hungry. But fortunately, most of them don’t complain because all they have for their bagel is unflavored cream cheese. If the whole world woke up hungry and fussy over the choices provided, by nightfall the entire face of this planet would be overrun in terrorism.

How about horny?

Would we be dealing with rape and incest, not to mention a proliferation of babies conceived that we might not be prepared for?

Just simply this: if everybody in the world—all eight billion souls—decided next Tuesday to wake up sleepy (as I oft contend to be) how many airplane crashes would there be?

It is fortunate—even divinely inspired—that the human race does not destroy itself merely by sharing common vices at exactly the same moment.

Can you imagine four hundred people going to the DMV on Magnolia Street on the same day, who all arrive in a murderous rage?

It gives a whole new meaning to the phrase, “Yield to Oncoming Traffic.”

Don’t you find this significant?

Stop—let this change your life.

We are not alone. If we were alone, we would find a way to line up our bad attitudes in agreement, point them at one another and destroy all that we are.

In the midst of every grumpy, hungry, horny and sleepy human gathering, there are some souls who have have chosen to wake up

…kind.

Yay-yay!

Sometimes it’s a choice. There are special occasions when the pillow is exceptionally soft, and the mercy of a good night’s sleep turns us almost angelic.

But every single day, if four billion people wake up nasty, then, in order to balance things out, we are required to have four billion waking up kind.

And these kind people provide three essential gifts:

  1. They water down the hate so it’s not so poisonous.
  2. They spice up the boredom, so it doesn’t cause us to have a cranial meltdown.
  3. And they sweeten the disposition, so we do not aggravate one another.

The world is not without hope.

Every day, it is basically a numbers game.

Sit Down Comedy … January 3rd, 2020

Jonathots Daily Blog

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Sit Down Comedy

“Come on in, Big Jon. We got pizza.”

Big Jon gave immediate heed to the call. He shimmied his way over to the box, lifted the lid, pulled out a piece and started to eat it, crust first.

Then came Scary Gary. When he arrived, the host also welcomed him with the generous offering of pizza. Scary Gary inched his way over and started lifting box lids, asking, “What kind did you get?”

The host, just a wee bit perturbed, replied, “Cheese, pepperoni, sausage and vegematic.”

Scary Gary grabbed a piece of cheese and waltzed into the room.

Then came Fussy Freddie. The host, still cheery, but a bit wary, said, “Come on in! We got pizza for everyone.”

Fussy Freddie paused, then walked very slowly over to the pizza boxes, and without lifting a single lid, demanded, “What flavors?”

The host cautiously replied, “Cheese, pepperoni, sausage and vegematic.”

First, Fussy Freddie did not find ‘vegematic’ humorous. He cited, “May I give you a suggestion? When you hold a party like this you might want to ask your guests what pizza toppings they prefer, so as to honor more tastes than simply your own.”

Fussy Freddie decided to pass on the pizza. He didn’t stay very long—mainly because everybody was afraid to talk to him, knowing that his subject matter was bitching about the party.

Now, let me explain. Over the years I have written about every subject under the sun and now seem to be heading into a new galaxy. But one thing I have stopped doing with my scribblings is presenting too many opinions, or for that matter, trying to be overly informative.

Human beings are simple to understand.

They line up everything they like and then give a name to it.

Whether this is political, religious or secular, their preferences become their faith.

So all I can do is help myself—and everyone I come in contact with—by stating what seems to be permissible for Earth interaction.

You can feel free to pick—in other words, there’s pizza there. Take a piece.

At a certain amount of risk, you can be picky. You can make it obvious that you have a preference of one thing over another.

But my God—don’t be prickly.

Even though we extol the power of our demands as a way of expressing our uniqueness, the human race as a whole considers it bratty to be prickly.

Pick? Yes.

Picky? Be careful.

Prickly? Goodnight, my love, goodnight.

It doesn’t matter what it’s about.

When you hear music, do you pick it up and enjoy it, no matter what style it is? Or do you criticize one style and tell people what you prefer? Or, worst of all, do you insist there’s only one kind of music—the tunes you revere.

Politics.

Pick a candidate. I guess you can be picky. But don’t be prickly. Don’t insist the person you want to vote for is the Second Coming of Charisma.

Religion.

Pick a god. If you’re going to be picky about it, nobody is going to listen to you anyway. And if you get prickly and demand that EVERYONE bow to your God, be prepared to have a large defense budget and find the initiative and end up killing people.

And the greatest notion I can give you on love is, pick someone you know who will probably continue to be thrilled to be with you. Don’t get so picky that you end up hunting out of your jungle and your appeal level. And please, don’t be prickly—unless you want to write a book on the joys of being alone.

  • Pick.
  • Picky.
  • Prickly.

One keeps the door open to humanity, one makes humanity suspicious and the final one just pisses the hell out of everybody.

Sit Down Comedy … December 27th, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

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Sit Down Comedy

There’s that split second right before the reveal.

The last little piece of tape is peeled back, and the gift is in our hands.

Let me be clear—no one under the age of ten actually offers an immediate disappointed reaction to a Christmas present.

We have been taught to be cool.  Detached.

Yes—the cool detachment of the Christmas season.

If the present is to our liking, the reaction usually contains some form of profanity

“Oh, shit!”

“Jesus Christ!”

“Oh, my God!”

When you hear these words, though inappropriate, it’s a great response to your selection.

If the gift is not favored, you may hear one of the following:

“Oh, neat. I was curious about these. So this is what it looks like.”

“What a thoughtful gift—certainly something I would never have gotten for myself.”

“After all the morning activities, you’ll have to sit down and explain this to me so I can enjoy it even more.”

“You sure topped yourself this year!”

“What a unique gift!”

These statements fall off our lips when we are confused or distraught with this year’s offering.

Yet we try to maintain our cool detachment.

Truthfully, as soon as the Thanksgiving turkey is safely put away for making sandwiches, we are already considering to what degree we’ll allow ourselves to become involved in the holiday of newborn kings, elves and magical sleigh-riders.

It’s difficult to overcome the fear.

Like the fear of singing Christmas carols. It seems like a proper idea, and then you get in the middle of the second verse and everybody has a different interpretation of the words, and sometimes it ends up stopping dead while someone Googles the lyrics.

And oh, yes. Part of that cool detachment is the terror over being the person to actually beginning the Christmas carol. Maybe you feel the spirit’s right, or a friend nearby says, “You’re musical. Why don’t you get us started?”

There are so many things that can go wrong. Your voice can crack, or you can pitch the carol too high or too low, leaving all those who joined in trying to change the key in the middle of the chorus.

There is a great consensus with this cool detachment to emphatically insist that “Christmas is for the kids.”

Do we really want to believe that? We may love our children, but why would we sacrifice such an exciting adventure to their often-snotty attitudes—not to mention unwashed hands?

A creepy, cynical false humility can also cause us to cough up the phrase, “I don’t need anything…”

(First and foremost, this response to “What do you want for Christmas?” is unhelpful and annoying. And having watched each and every one of us shop at the store, buying countless items that we do not “need” means that we are open to excess. We’re not fooling anyone.

Next, I know it’s not politically correct to say this, but here I go:

Hanukkah–literally–cannot hold a candle to Christmas.

Jewish people know this.

It’s like going to a National Football League game and talking to the star quarterback about your son beginning Pop Warner Football. There’s no equivalency—therefore, there should be no competition.

Let me see—what’s another part of this cool, adult detachment? Here’s another one. We all must moan about the pressure to “get everything done.”

If America couldn’t bitch about how busy we all think we are, I’m not sure we could even carry on a conversation.

The cool detachment.

The reminder by a sullen friend that we must be careful not to be too rambunctious in our celebration, since “some people find Christmas to be a sad time.”

Or that religious fanatic you know, who insists that “Christmas is too commercial” and want to declare war on the devil.

Or your favorite atheist, who laments the inclusion of religion in our normal commerce.

I just fear that along with our insincerity about the presents we receive, we have developed a grown-up press release, which we offer to limit the joy of Christmas, turning it into a tedious act we perform for the good of family—especially “them young’uns.”

So, hark the herald, angels sing…

Christmas is one month out of the year when “good will toward men” is not a joke, but rather…

A heavenly demand.

 

Sit Down Comedy … December 20th, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

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Sit Down Comedy

Culture Wars

They’re fought among people who know they are pretty much the same as one another but are still kind of pissed off about it.

They arise in this time of Yuletide because nobody can decide if Christmas has earned its wings as being universal, or whether it’s offensive to Jews, Muslims and atheists.

I suppose it makes for good conversation on talk shows, or among the more argumentative.

But for me, it’s never been simpler.

It is so much like God, to have a reverent event promoted through tinsel, red costumes and talking Christmas trees.

How do I know this? Because if you’re God and you made people, you know that folks are much better when they’re given relevant things instead of reverent things.

So I will break it down in my homespun manner:

 

The story of Jesus gives you a manger.

Yet

Santa is the great manager.

 

Jesus provides angels.

But

Santa brings the angles.

 

Jesus embodies the love of God.

Then again

With Santa, you feel the love of God.

 

Oh, come all ye faithful

Yet

Santa reaches the faithless.

 

There were shepherds tending their flocks in the field

But

Elves tending the toys by night.

 

Jesus: “Peace on Earth”

Then again

Santa: “Good will toward men.”

 

Unto us a child was born.

Then

We can be reborn a child.

 

Wise men came bearing gifts.

So

Santa continues the wise tradition.

 

Jesus is our great CEO.

But don’t forget

Santa heads a wham-bang sales force.

 

Joy to the world, the Lord has come,

Let Earth receive her King.

 Jesus and Santa come join the fun

And pray the world can be one.

 

Jesus is the reason for the season

But

Santa brings the dough for the show.

 

 

Sit Down Comedy … December 13th, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

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Sit Down Comedy

The fellow told his buddy that he just saw the fattest guy he had viewed in months.

The lady at the deli remarked that she had met the kindest man.

The woman recalled that forty years earlier she was sexually harassed by a dude who was silly and too flirtatious.

The family on Laurel Street thanked God for the gentleman who helped pay their rent.

The little boys were so excited about meeting the guy at the mall, who they knew must be the real Santa.

The audience gave a standing ovation for the masterful performance.

The mentally ill man lamented the asshole he insisted ruined his life.

The married couple was humbled by the counsel from the man who assisted them in saving their union.

The sister-in-law was bitter because the brother missed his mother’s funeral.

The waitress stared at the huge tip in her hand, which came from the stranger.

The landlord was offended that his tenant skipped out, leaving unpaid rent.

The reader was transformed by the author’s prose.

In all cases, the person lamented and loved…

…is me.

Sit Down Comedy … December 6th, 2019

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Sit Down Comedy

Now and then I come across someone or something that I believe to be inadequately named by the New Oxford Dictionary.

So I make up a word of my own.

This week I’ve been thinking about “hero.” Everyone has an image in mind when they hear the term, but we do not really have a word for people who are not heroes, but thump their chests, proclaiming themselves to be.

So I would like to offer my word for such a person:

HEGO

Just to clarify:

A hero is an individual who rises to the occasion and is adequately surprised and humbled by the positive results.

A hego is a person who fails to deliver, but still insists that he* did the job.

A hero doesn’t promise, but still provides.

A hego fails and claims he never promised.

A hero considers the responsibility before agreeing to try.

A hego assumes there is nothing he can’t do.

A hero searches for others better qualified than himself.

A hego believes he is the most qualified without ever searching.

A hero demands no reward.

A hego needs the reward to confirm his worth.

A hero carries his cross.

A hego places his cross on another.

A hero tells the truth because he must.

A hego exaggerates because he must be perceived as great.

Whether in politics, business, entertainment or religion, each path requires a certain amount of honor. When this is provided, a hero can emerge. When it’s ignored and shortcuts are sought, a hego is hatched.

A hero gives of himself.

A hego uses others.

A hero fears being a coward and ends up brave.

A hego believes himself brave and ends up a coward.

A hero steps back.

A hego pushes forward.

A hero lays down his life for a friend.

A hego asks the friend to perform the sacrifice.

A hero seeks peace.

A hego yearns for war.

Bluntly, we could consider the hego to be an exercise in foolishness except for the fact that when our enemies know that we no longer respect the role of a hero, they are more likely to attack whomever has become our latest hego.

A hero believes in others.

A hego believes in himself.

It is my heart that America needs a hero, or maybe two. For after all, we are well-staffed with the hego.

 


*he or she

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