Sit Down Comedy … April 3rd, 2020

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Sit Down Comedy

Eunice Buell was a Sunday School teacher for the junior high class at my church. Somewhere deep in her heart, I think Mrs. Buell liked me very much—maybe even found me entertaining.

But every once in a while, I sent her into a near-saintly tirade over some of my comments. She called them crude, unwarranted, hurtful, offending—and once even went so far as to say “vulgar.”

When I said something she did not approve of, she often turned to me (while simultaneously gesturing to the whole class) and said:

“Think before you speak. That’s what separates us from the animals.”

I didn’t have the heart to correct her and say, “Animals don’t speak.”

She expected us all to understand.

We did.

And we still do. There is no place you can go where “think before you speak” would not be considered a holy axiom, possibly even found somewhere in the Bible.

Because of this, we now have politicians who polish their lingo, scrubbing it of all possibility of controversy, while inserting enough lying to make sure the proclamation has some heft.

Our religionists require blind devotion from all followers, lest someone stand up and suggest that there are contradictions, or at least confusions, dwelling in the Holy of Holies.

Our corporations and businesses hire lawyers to develop statements placed at the bottom of the product in small print to protect the stockholders and investors against all liability.

And relationships—oh, dear God—relationships are riddled with a series of phrases used to manipulate one party into performing “your will”–without ever noticing that they’re sacrificing their individuality.

It spawns from the notion that humans are capable of perfecting themselves.

We aren’t.

The theory is permitted to exist so we can maintain our arrogance. But it is the emotions in our lives that need to be spoken, even though they are often raw and uneducated.

They are the real we feel.

Certainly, these thoughts fester with frustration and can frequently be proven wrong.  But when we are the only ones correcting the language in our brains, we close the door to greater revelation being afforded us through discussion.

So without trying to cast myself in the role of renegade, I challenge each and every one of us to:

Speak before we think.

And since we know it comes out as raw ore—not gold—after we speak, we should be quiet.

Listen. Register the reactions. Ponder the possible contradictions.

Then we must do something that makes the human race truly unique:

Change our minds.

As a species, we are worthless to one another and an enemy of the Earth when we are incapable of recanting our initial feelings and replacing them with common sense.

Because once we change our minds, we can speak again.

And those who know us realize that we are not only sharing the truth with them as we feel it in the moment, but we have also alerted ourselves to gain new insight—and then verbalize our fresh discovery.

Thinking before you speak turns you into a self-editor.

No good writer should ever trust himself to be the sole editor.

Speaking before you think presents the emotion and heart which very well may be overwrought or even wrong.

Yet it provides the opportunity to inform those around you that you are fully aware of your imperfection—and prepared to be a student of the planet we share.

 

Sit Down Comedy … March 27th, 2020

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Sit Down Comedy

 

Reveille

1. Eyes pop open, allowing the “sleepies” to crunch, break and fall into the crevices at the side of the socket.

2. Pause. Don’t judge how you feel. It will usually get better.

3. Find your toes and wiggle them slowly, then faster and faster, like you’re five years old on Christmas morning.

4. Pull one foot from under the covers. Give it a full ten seconds to look around.

5. Breathe the air deeply three times. Thank God, you still have oxygen.

6. Allow the leg attached to that foot acting as a scout to slide off the mattress and matriculate to the floor, coaxing the other leg to follow.

7. Immediately say, “I am not dead,” and then try to be glad about it.

8. Two feet down, rub them on the floor like they are learning choreography and this is the first rehearsal.

9. Think something funny.

10. Say it out loud in a funny way.

11. Think of someone who’s mad at you.

12. Grab your phone and text them to forgive, forget or apologize.

13. Stand and reach for the ceiling (ignore all creaking).

14. Go to the bathroom and enjoy Royal Pee (the piss of the gods).

15. Complete your bathroom ritual, known only to you and sacred through your birthright.

16. Emerge and put on the clothes you selected the night before. Never wait ‘til morning to choose your duds. Too much pressure from ignored footwear.

17. Pause. Think up your morning greeting. What will it be? Make it different every day. For instance, “The canary died, but I escaped the mine.” Or “I smell like a living person.”

18. Come to kitchen. Hydrate—drink. See what is available to eat. Choose two.

19. Converse in reverse. Don’t ask people how they are. Tell them how you are, with hopes they will join in.

20. Ask the family pet three humorous questions, but don’t pause for answers.

21. Text someone you love and confirm it.

22. Leave with friendly thoughts.

23. Start your car. Let it idle for one minute.

24. Take that minute to pronounce aloud two things you are grateful for and two things you desire to achieve.

25. Drive off, making sure you are the first one to let someone into traffic in front of you.

Sit Down Comedy … March 13th, 2020

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Sit Down Comedy

 

Sometimes, snarky, stupie, smart-ass boy shows up just about the time I’ve convinced myself that I smothered the little bastard during his last attack. Yet he is a persistent little prick–stomping and bitching his way into the room, verbally pooping on the carpet set before me, simply because it isn’t red enough.

It happened this morn.

We had decided to get up early since family was passing through and could only stop in for a little while for a visit. So as we retired for the night, we set the alarm clock to awaken us.

I had not set an alarm clock for nearly three years.

I do not like them.

I’m not alone in this—just look at the name:

Alarm:  As in, to frighten and force attention in an unwanted direction.

Clock: “Tick-tock. Get your ass moving. The day has begun, whether you wish to believe it or not.”

This morning when it rang its off-tune proclamation, I cursed it—not with profanity, but clever repartee.

“Your mother was jilted by Big Ben.”

“You have very small hands.”

“You always run a little behind the times.”

“I don’t like your face.”

It didn’t make any difference.

The alarm continued and the clock pressed on, warning me that in no time at all, I would be the sluggard who failed to heed the call.

You see, I don’t like snarky, stupie, smart-ass boy—but you also must note that I am already defending him. He is that part of me that still believes Hershey bars are as healthy as vegetables; all girls should say yes when you ask them on a date, and swimming trunks, when placed on your body, should turn you into a muscle-man.

Because snarky, stupie, smart-ass boy believes life is not fair, he spends all of his time lamenting injustice instead of pursuing betterment.

I did not want to get up.

Let me rephrase that. If I had I been battling insomnia, I might have wanted to get up as long as it was my idea.

My snarky, stupie, smart-ass boy doesn’t want anything to be your idea, life’s idea, nature’s suggestion or even God’s will.

He honors one opinion, and that is the one seeping out of his present mood.

I am not alone. Most of the people who want to be President of the United States have their own little snarky, stupie, smart-ass boys and girls, standing ready in the wings to be brats at a moment’s notice.

I don’t know whether it is possible to eliminate this sinister child, since the twenty-first birthday party failed to do the trick.

But at the very least, this dick-head, who is not suitable for contact with other human life, needs to be identified quickly and hustled out the door before he can insult one of the innocent souls who still hangs around, insisting on their loving attention.

 

Sit Down Comedy … March 6th, 2020

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Sit Down Comedy

What statement would best typify the attitude of the average American citizen?

“Freedom and justice for all?”

“Land of the free and home of the brave?”

“All men are created equal?”

These are terrific thoughts. Can I offer a fourth possibility?

“Don’t tell me what to do!”

Yes—this one seems to have universal appeal.

The adult American maintains fragments of adolescent rebellion through most of his or her life.

I focus on Americans because other countries are so embroiled in wars, survival, calamities and tyrants that expressing “don’t tell me what to do” could quickly put you in the position of having the muzzle of a gun thrust in your face.

It’s a luxury we Americans enjoy—to object at will.

After all, a speed limit of seventy-miles-per-hour is not a rule. In our minds, it’s more like a recitation of suggested daily specials offered by a waiter when we arrive at a restaurant.

A “no parking” sign is the only sure way to guarantee that all the parking spots will be filled.

And if you put a button on a wall beneath a sign which reads, “Do Not Touch,” statistics show that at least seventy-two percent of people will look to their right and to their left, and sheepishly walk over and push it.

This in itself would be a great subject for an article—but let us add an additional question.

Do we feel any different about being told what to do when it’s a woman instead of a man?

An amazing thing happens to the male of the species with the arrival of testosterone in his early teens. He begins to play team sports or joins the military—settings in which he is often ridiculed, yelled at or even kicked around by coaches or drill sergeants.

A woman, on the other hand, often has little opportunity for team sports, and unless she purposely tries to find a combat position, will usually never experience such radical treatment.

Because of this, none of us are accustomed to being challenged, questioned or ordered around by a female.

And if a woman does gain authority, the characterization is quite different:

  • Men are assertive. Women are bitchy.
  • Men are resolute. Women are stubborn.
  • Men know how to command a situation. Women are bossy.

Just consider the three people presently running for President of the United States.

What if Donald Trump was Donna Trump? She would be dismissed as a dirty old lady.

What if Bernie Sanders was Beatrice Sanders? She would be a nasty-tongued wench.

And how about Joe Biden as June Biden? A little bit slow—perhaps senile.

But because they’re men, they are assigned integrity for their positions and are taken seriously—simply because they have prostates.

Does this mean that all Americans are misogynistic or anti-female?

No, but the average American has little experience with women being in control—not since they were little kids listening to their mothers nag about the laundry and dirty shoes next to the door.

Harken to this:

We had a whole caravan of females running for President this year. What we need to ask ourselves is, if any one of them had been male, based upon her credentials, her platform, her debate skills, her energy and her patriotism, would she still be alive in the contest?

I believe certainly one of them would have survived.

But each one was eliminated because eventually a tear came into her voice at the wrong time, which made her sound weak, even though when Joe Biden does it, it’s called empathy.

Or in the midst of making a point, her speech became more of a shout than a proclamation—although Bernie Sanders makes his living ranting at everybody.

Or she was a little too off-the-cuff or maybe not quite lady-like—although we refer to Donald Trump’s comments as “spontaneous” and “just his way.”

You will never know if you are free of misogyny until you can listen to a woman disagree with you, or even be your superior, without thinking you are back at home being criticized by “Mommy Dearest.”

Sit Down Comedy … February 28th, 2020

Jonathots Daily Blog

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Sit Down Comedy

A wake-up call.

When I traveled on the road, I frequently requested one from the front desk clerk at the motel. He or she punched a few buttons, and sure enough, the next morning at the specified time, my phone rang.

It was startling—so loud that I decided to purchase a small traveler’s alarm clock, which could still awaken me but without a heart attack.

The only problem with this new apparatus was that it was gentle and had a snooze button, which permitted me to rob ten more minutes of sleep. Sometimes I just didn’t get out of bed on the right schedule.

A wake-up call should be alarming.

It should sound the cry: “WAKE UP!”

So what happens when you don’t permit a wake-up call, or you’ve deafened your ears to such an extent that you no longer find the sound alarming?

I don’t know which one has happened. But there are certainly things going on in this great country—things we all share—which would have alarmed us at one time, and now have been relegated to the status of background noise or surrounding scenery.

I, for one, think we once thought it alarming for people to treat one another without civility. We were cordial, even to people we didn’t like. We chose our words carefully.

Perhaps there was more gossip because true feelings were being uttered behind the backs of our enemies, but “a hospitality of congeniality” kept us from being openly hostile, on the verge of rage.

I am alarmed that we’ve lost our civility.

Likewise, it stands to reason that a faulted people should be served by a faulted leader. So what happens when the leader of the nation no longer believes that he or she has any faults? Won’t all the citizens want to imitate such an arrogant profile?

“If it’s good enough for the top dog, why don’t the little puppies get to bark at will?”

It is alarming to me that we seem to have lost the awareness of our own fragility and consciousness concerning our weaknesses.

Killing used to bother us. It really did.

Many years ago, when four students were murdered at Kent State University during a Viet Nam War protest, the country was stunned. Now I’m not so sure that four victims destroyed during a shooting would even make it into the second news cycle before disappearing into the past.

Once killing gains acceptability, it no longer matters who, and unfortunately may someday not matter how many.

I am extremely alarmed that the term “socialism” is being bandied around like a cultural volleyball by those with little awareness of the horrors suffered by souls in the Eastern Bloc of the European continent, or the stunted status thrust upon the good folk of Cuba.

Especially alarming is tying the word “socialist” to the adjective “democratic,” or harkening back to FDR and the New Deal.

Socialism has no place in our country’s governing.

And concerning programs to help the aging and poor, we must realize that as a nation, we have historically been able to come up with such plans and opportunities without ever having to wave the banner of socialism.

Then finally, I am alarmed with bias.

Whether it’s the religious right continuing to hold women in subjection to men or the liberals celebrating culture, only to further focus on our differences instead of our similarities, or just trying to keep all colors, mindsets and religions seemingly revered, but banished to a distance—it is alarming.

We’ve lost our way.

Our nation is sleepy.

We’re waking up intoxicated by our own foolishness, yearning to snooze, ignoring the need to rise up and make a difference.

How loud would the alarms have to be to awaken us from:

  • following a leader who thinks he makes no mistakes
  • supporting a Presidential candidate who dubs himself a socialist
  • joining into a general national nastiness that puts us at continual odds with each other
  • permitting a bloodbath of treachery and murder that leaves us baffled but unmoved
  • or supporting an ongoing bias against gender, race and religion?

It is time to wake up.

It is time to sound the alarm, hear the alarm and be alarmed.

Sit Down Comedy … February 21st, 2020

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Sit Down Comedy

Counting Sheepish

I took a stroll

Through my soul

A worthy quest indeed

I do declare

‘Twas quite a scare

To stumble upon such greed

“Goddamn the Earth”

Of my natural birth

I am often heard to say

God forgive my weakness

Without the meekness

Of those who truly pray

For you are wrong

And don’t belong

In my tiny vision

But I can lie

And often cry

In the throes of indecision

My life is right

Yours a fright

I eat up all the grace

You must be contrite

And bring forth light

Or I’ll be in your face

Yet I made a start

In my heart

To be a kinder being

But my patience is thin

Exposes my sin

A blind man, never seeing

Able to be true

Through the Golden Rule

And escape the nasty scheme

A good report

For time is short

Living out a childlike dream

Sit Down Comedy … February 14th, 2020

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Sit Down Comedy

 

Donald John Trump is our President.

It is a position we are compelled to honor due to the tenacity of our struggle as a nation and the grace extended to us as a people.

In the fury of opinions and the peril of hurling insults, it is good every once in a while, to stop and acknowledge what is true and what is honest.

This gentleman won the election to be our leader in 2016.

With this in mind, and my heart full of compassion and dutiful propriety, let me offer the following observations:

Mr. President:

1. Dictators have no redeeming values.

To focus on their might pilfers our great arsenal of what is right.

2. They that live by the military shall die by the military.

Every nation, kingdom and territory over the centuries that tried to maintain its integrity through the use of force has eventually been cruelly overtaken.

3. The measure you measure out to others will be measured back to you.

There are some souls who have learned the value of being gracious, and other human beings who are barely out of the jungle—with blood in their teeth. It is good for each of us to remember that we increase our possibilities for survival and mercy by offering them first.

4. And speaking of mercy, the grace that we all often need to survive the tribulation and chaos of Planet Earth is only granted to the humble.

The whole system of Mother Nature is geared to resist the proud.

5. Not everyone who cries “Lord, Lord” shall enter the Kingdom.

With the profession of being a Christian comes the responsibility of following the lifestyle of the Master—Jesus himself.

6. Pussies don’t like to be grabbed.

If an invitation is not extended, it is an assault.

7. “Suffer the children to come unto me.”

This does not mean to make the children suffer, as they are separated.

 8. Alienating nations, races and people of the Earth is rejecting their Creator’s craftsmanship.

Building walls creates nothing more than anger—and saying that there are “no good Samaritans” may leave you by the side of the road, without aid.

9. It is truth that makes us free.

Therefore it stands to reason that lying steals our freedom.

10. It is out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks.

And when the mouth speaks, the hearts that receive the words begin to accumulate an abundance.

Thank you, President Trump. Thank you for listening to these observations.

You are our President. We offer you place.

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