Salient … May 7th, 2018


 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3666)

I’ve never been involved in politics. (I did have a passing interest in the candidate, Abraham Lincoln, but it turns out I was WAY too young to vote.)

I now stand back quietly and watch as the Republicans jab the Democrats, and they, the Democrats, wrestle with their more conservative opponents.

Honestly, it bores me.

Since I don’t believe political solutions bring about lasting change, it’s rather doubtful that I’d want to invest my limited lifespan into band aids for gaping wounds.

Yet today I must be honest and share a salient concept that has absolutely nothing to do with politics–although it may refer to those who are politically involved.

There seems to be some sort of bumbling campaign to make the American public accept more and more bizarre circumstances, and deem them “normal.”

For instance, a man who allegedly has a romantic tryst with a porn star actress during the time when his wife is preparing to give birth to their son, and once again, allegedly arranges for a financial payoff to this woman, using his lawyer to be the “bag man,” granting her finance so she will remain quiet about the circumstances.

These are the facts as evenly distributed as I can present them.

Now, here’s what I did today: I took that story and I considered what I would feel and think if it were alleged about five members of my community: my plumber, my banker, my minister, my son’s teacher and the local handyman.

What would I think if there were rumblings that my plumber had sexual intercourse with a porn actress and paid her off to secure her silence? Well, I suppose I would still keep him as my plumber as long as he didn’t come in the house and talk about the details or flaunt it in front of the community.

But if it were my banker, I would have to consider that anyone involved in a financial institution who would put together gag money might be a little suspect in other monetary matters. I might have to change banks.

My minister? Well, candidly, I do think there’s a difference between judging someone and condoning unsuitable behavior. No, I don’t have a problem with a minister saving the lost, but I am a little squeamish on him screwing the lost.

How about my son’s teacher? That’s a toughy. Can a person be a good teacher and still be accused of immorality and cover-up? Is it just an issue of whether the teacher shares with his class? Or is it tainted too much by the fact that the students become cognizant of the discrepancy?

And then there’s the handyman. That’s the guy who comes to your house to do the chores that you might be able to do yourself, but not without swearing at the heavens. Does he have to maintain a certain moral code and integrity for me to allow him to trim the hedges?

As you can see, it differs with the distinctions among jobs. Where trust, honesty and fiscal responsibility come into play, considering the allegations becomes more pertinent.

So of the five people I mentioned, in order for me to maintain peace of mind, I would probably have to find a new banker, a fresh minister and request that my son have a different teacher.

It’s not because I am judgmental or inflexible–it’s just that certain occupations require quality or they diminish in value.

What, if instead of plumber or banker, I insert President of the United States?

So here is your salient moment:

Don’t accept what is unacceptable simply because everybody around you decides to accept it, so what they do will be considered more acceptable.

 

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Catchy (Sitting 45) Preyor … April 22nd, 2018


Jonathots Daily Blog

(3650)

Matthew was pissed off, even more than his normal level of perpetual pissed.

He loved Las Vegas, but more the seedy side than the commercial side. So every once in a while, one of the large casinos would bring in some new pop star who was breaking records on the charts, out-doing the last new pop star who had outdone her predecessor.

The latest one was named “Loozeal.” She was all of seventeen years old, with more attitude than talent, but the young humans loved her–especially the girls.

Las Vegas was infested with females who had women’s bodies and child’s minds. It was annoying on so many fronts that Matthew tried to avoid the strip, hanging out in his room, drinking and experimenting with delicacies yet untried from the well-traveled room service menu.

But on Saturday night, he had a meeting at one of the casinos, so he was forced to drive into the middle of the melee known as the “Loozeal Appeal.”

Kids were everywhere.

Matthew hated children. Even though most grownups were childish, at least they occasionally made the effort to think about something other than their cell phone and own desires. He planned his meeting to get into town and out of town before the crazed hordes of little girls headed for the concert.

There was the smell of youth in the air. He despised it–a blending of cheap perfume, bubble-gum and just a hint of halitosis. Yuk. Gone was the true sniff of Las Vegas–fishy-smelling buffets with that whiff of urine and whiskey in the aroma.

He decided to take a short-cut. It was twilight, and he turned down an alley which was familiar to him–a way he escaped the strip without encountering so many tourists. He pressed on the gas pedal to zoom to safety.

About halfway down the narrow thoroughfare, he saw a huge garbage dumpster, and just as he was upon it–about to pass it–a young girl stepped out from behind it. He smacked her with his car, throwing her into the air. She landed on the hood, cracking his windshield.

Every kind of horror he’d ever experienced in his life descended on his soul as he realized what he had done. She lay bleeding, her face pressed onto his windshield.

For a brief second he thought about trying to escape. After all, that’s what he did best. When things became too difficult or uncomfortable, Matthew always became an emotional Houdini, disappearing at will.

His thoughts were brief, but long enough that he was ashamed of himself as he grabbed his phone and dialed 911. It took about four minutes for help to arrive, but it seemed like an hour. The girl was motionless. He was afraid to reach across the windshield to take her pulse, assist in any way, or even to move her. So he just stared at her face, which was gashed and bloody.

The EMT’s arrived and carefully removed her from the hood as the police began to take his statement. Matthew was so incoherent that they decided to take a breathalyzer, and even though he had taken one drink at his meeting, he was still well beneath the intoxicated number.

Matthew answered questions for what seemed like a solid hour as the girl was hurried away to the local hospital. His car was impounded as evidence, and Matthew was checked over by the EMT’s, to make sure he was sound.

The police reassured him that it seemed to be an accident, but told him to stay close in case they required additional input.

It was surreal.

All of a sudden he was standing alone in the alley, staring down at a tiny puddle of blood which had not yet congealed.

He walked back up to the strip, hailed a taxi and asked the driver what hospital was nearest to them. He asked him to take him there.

Arriving at the emergency parking lot, Matthew got out, paid the man and then stepped inside. He knew nothing at all about the girl, so he questioned the lady at the emergency room desk. She recalled the young lady coming through, but refused to give Matthew any information since he was not related to the patient.

Glancing down at her computer, Matthew saw that the young woman had been taken to surgery on the fourth floor. He made his way there–to the surgical waiting room, and charmed the nurse at the desk. He said he had witnessed the accident, and wanted to make sure the girl was going to be fine and would she keep him updated on the details?

Matthew sat for hours. Every once in a while he dozed off, then shook himself back to attention, ashamed that sleep would try to relieve his guilt.

What in the hell was she doing in that alley?

What in the hell was he doing in that alley?

Why was he driving so fast?

He realized he would never be able to say he was driving fast again, lest he be charged with reckless endangerment.

He looked at his watch and saw that three hours had elapsed. Simultaneously, a doctor came out of the operating room and whispered to the nurse. She motioned to Matthew to come over. The doctor apparently assumed that Matthew was a member of the family, and spoke to him.

“How are you related to Carrissa?”

Matthew paused for just a moment, then said, “I’m her uncle.”

The surgeon nodded his head. “So are you Mr. Jones?”

Matthew wasn’t sure if the surgeon was testing him or tricking him, but quickly responded, “Yes. Matthew Jones.”

The surgeon awkwardly shook his hand and said, “Well, Mr. Jones, here’s the situation. Carrissa has numerous broken bones, but that is secondary to the fact that being tossed in the air and landing on the windshield has given her severe brain trauma. We’ve drilled a hole in her skull to relieve the pressure, but she’s presently in a coma. And before you ask, I don’t know how long she’ll be in that state, or if she’ll ever recover. But I can tell you that the next 48 hours will speak volumes. If you have any other questions, my name is Dr. Zendquist.”

Matthew nodded his head and patted the surgeon on the shoulder. “Thank you for all you’ve done,” he said, his voice choking with tears.

Matthew got the room number for Carrissa, and headed down the hall, arriving at the door of 313. The room was still. Encircled by a curtain was a hospital bed. Matthew looked right and left, then pulled back the curtain. Lying on the bed was a damaged young girl, who looked even smaller than she had appeared sprawled on his windshield. She was covered in gauze and bandages, tubes coming out of her arms, legs and nose, and a ventilator nearby was noisily inhaling and exhaling her life. It was so ugly.

Realizing he was still alone, with no one anywhere in earshot, Matthew did something he had not done since he was a boy.

He prayed.

Not a polite prayer. Not a memorized one from a book of religious order. No.

One from his heart.

“God. The God of Jubal, Soos, Jo-Jay and Jesus. This is just screwed. I need your help. This girl needs your help. Please do something.”

Matthew left the room, stopping off at the nurses station to establish his “uncle” routine, and discovered that Carrissa Jones was from Iowa, and that her parents had been contacted, but wouldn’t be there until the next day.

Out of the clear blue sky, Matthew asked if he could stay in the room with Carrissa until they arrived.

“All night?” asked the nurse.

“If you wouldn’t mind,” Matthew replied.

She provided a small cot, blankets and a pillow. Matthew settled himself in for a vigil, waiting to see what his prayer would summon.

He stayed awake for a long time, taking the opportunity to examine life. What had brought him to this silent room, watching over a very damaged little girl?

He realized he wasn’t technically at fault. At the scene the police had surmised that Carrissa had come to the trash dumpster behind the casino where her pop idol had performed, hoping to find cups, discarded posters or anything that she could take as a souvenir of her time in Vegas, seeing Loozeal. It was a bizarre series of events ending in a tragedy.

About four o’clock in the morning, Matthew, having dozed off, was awakened by the arrival of nurses and a doctor. He was sent out of the room as these agents of mercy tried to revive Carrissa, who had gone into heart failure.

After ten or fifteen minutes, they came out of the room, a couple of them in tears. The doctor took Matthew’s hands and said, “She’s gone.”

He patted Matthew on the shoulder and said, “I know this is hard to understand, but maybe it’s better this way.”

As they walked away, he stared at the lifeless body of a little girl who just wanted a souvenir.

Maybe it’s better this way?

He turned and ran down the hallway, startling the staff, jumped into the open elevator, down to the main lobby and out the door, not stopping for a second to speak to anyone. He ran into the street and hailed a cab.

He took the cab back to his lodging, raced to his room, slammed the door, turned out the lights and whispered across the dark room, “Fucking shit. My prayer killed her.”

He turned on the light next to his bed, grabbed a bottle of Jack Daniels he kept nearby, and guzzled until he passed out.

The next morning, he awoke to a knock at his door. He thought he was dreaming, still under the influence of his old friend, Jack. The knocking persisted, so he struggled to his feet, stumbled to the door and opened it.

Standing before him was a well-dressed man in his early forties, his face exuding neither joy nor displeasure. He reached out to stabilize Matthew, who was wobbling.

“You must be Matthew Ransley,” he said matter-of-factly.

Matthew suddenly was engulfed by the memories of the previous day’s horror.

“I would give anything not to be,” he replied.

The gentleman helped Matthew walk back into the room and find a seat on the bed.

“My name is Carlin Canaby,” he said. “And you are in trouble.”

“What do you mean?” asked Matthew.

Carlin sat down on the bed next to him, put his arm around his shoulder and said, “You killed a girl with your car. And even though it wasn’t your fault, your life is so screwed up that it wouldn’t take an attorney much effort at all to prove that you’re responsible.”

“I am responsible,” said Matthew.

“Hush,” said Carlin. “Don’t be talking that way. You do your confessing to God. But you and I need to work on your story.”

Matthew leaned back and took another look at the stranger, disconcerted. “Who are you again?”

“I’m Carlin Canaby. I’m head of an organization called ‘Liary.’”

Liary?” questioned Matthew.

“Yes,” said Carlin. “Let’s take it one step at a time.”

“Are you an attorney?” inquired Matthew.

“Hell, no,” said Carlin. “I’m a consultant.”

Matthew struggled to his feet and walked to the other side of the room. “A consultant? I don’t think I need a consultant. I need an attorney.”

Carlin stood up and came over to Matthew’s side. “You will require an attorney, but you need to consult with someone before you ever go to one.”

“Do I know you?” asked Matthew.

“No,” answered Carlin. “I was sent here by a friend. And before you ask, I’ll tell you about the friend later. What I want to know is what you think about the accident.”

Matthew sank to his knees and said, “I killed a young girl. Twice. Once with my car, and the second time, with my prayer.”

 

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Catchy (Sitting 43) Unorthodox… April 8th, 2018


Jonathots Daily Blog

(3636)

Jo-Jay hearkened back to a little piece of wisdom her late husband, “The Duke,” had once imparted to her. He was a kind, wealthy man, but was also notorious for being shrewd, and sometimes considered unscrupulous.

He told Jo-Jay that when you run out of legal means to achieve your goals, “just make up new laws.” Therefore, when Jo-Jay discovered she had depleted options in the American legal system, to prosecute Michael Hinston, Thomas Underwood and Bishop Merrill Handerling for the wrongful death of Prophet Morgan and her kidnapping, she decided to start her own jurisprudence.

Years before she had taken the bar exam but had never courted the profession. So Jo-Jay, with the help of a few friends, put together an elaborate ruse. They crafted, paragraphed and printed off legal documents that would pass muster at the Supreme Court, and sent them off to the three suspects, compelling their presence at a deposition.

She found an abandoned office complex, located between Dover and Felton in Delaware near the Bay. It had been built several decades back by the Meteoric Insurance Company when they were speculating on becoming highly successful, and needed a top-notch facility. But shortly thereafter, the company went bankrupt and left the property to the courts, which found no interested purchaser. There were two reasons: number one, it was too far for the general flow of commerce, and number two, there was a rumor that it was haunted by the spirit of a 41-year-old woman who mysteriously died in the ladies bathroom from an onslaught of dysentery. The property had gone to seed. Grass was growing up through the sidewalks, and there seemed to be a huge gourd blocking the front glass doors.

It was perfect for Jo-Jay’s purposes.

She rented it for four hours, to the bewilderment of the bank. She offered them so much money that they just didn’t have any desire to question her. Her plan was simple–she would set up her team in the front lobby (having “de-gourded” the door) and question the three people she felt were responsible for her tribulations in the Amazon, and also the death of the young prophet.

When the day arrived for the deposition, Jo-Jay and her cohorts arrived early. To keep the opposition bewildered, they had opted to dress up in costumes. They had wanted to use the style of the old Broadway hit, “My Fair Lady,” but the only costumes available were varieties of characters from the “Rocky Horror Picture Show.”

Jo-Jay laughed and grabbed a leather jumper, as rest of the members selected their favorites.

So when Hinston, Underwood and Handerling arrived, each with an attorney in tow, their looks of bewilderment were well worth the price of the staging.

They sat down carefully on chairs which had been arranged in a small circle, so that all parties faced one another. They had barely settled in when Jo-Jay began.

“I’m going to do this deposition a little differently than what you may be used to,” she commenced. “Rather than boring everyone in the room, or forcing some of you to leave while others are questioned, I’m going to fire the questions, and if any of you have answers that are suitable to my desires, I will give you fifty points. The first one of you to reach five hundred points will be able to leave.”

Jo-Jay paused and looked around the room. Good. Baffled as far as the eye could see.

She quelled a wry smile and continued. “So basically what we have here is the need for cooperation, and the sooner you become agreeable, the sooner you’ll be able to get out of here.”

At this point, as if on cue, all three attorneys raised their hands. Jo-Jay chuckled, unable to hold back her glee. “I thought you barristers would have some questions. But here’s the good news–I’m not going to answer them. You see this fellow here?”

She pointed to a very large man covered in tattoos. He was about six-foot-six and weighed at least 350 pounds. His face looked like someone had replaced his countenance with sandpaper and his arms were the size of Vermont maple saplings.

Jo-Jay continued. “This is Helio Reece. There are two things you need to know about Helio. Number one, he knows more about this case than anyone else so he will know when you’re lying. And the second thing is that Helio becomes very violent when people lie to him.”

Once again, the attorneys moved to object. Helio took one step forward and the raised arms retired.

Michael Hinston couldn’t help himself. “What’s with the costumes?” he asked as he gazed on frills, leather boots and boas.

Jo-Jay looked down at herself and replied, “What costumes?”

She then pointed to the stenographer, who prepared to take notes. There were two other people in the room. They were not wearing costumes, but instead, were dressed in the military garb of the Green Berets. They, too, were large, intimidating, and stood to the right and left of Jo-Jay as if guarding Fort Knox.

Jo-Jay looked down at her papers as if scanning them, and said, “Well, I think that does it for the preliminaries. Let me begin. Question one–for anyone who wants to gain the points. Do you personally know anything about the death of Prophet Morgan in the deserts of Nevada?”

She leaned back and put a pencil to her mouth, as if waiting for a confession. Michael Hinston, Thomas Underwood and Bishop Handerling looked at one another. No one answered, so Underwood decided to speak up.

“I hope you know that I am the director and founder of the CLO–the Christian Liberty Operation. It is not our position nor our history to be acquainted with crimes, or for that matter, threatened with punishment.”

Jo-Jay leaned forward. “So I’m taking from your response that you’re either saying you know nothing, or that killing Prophet Morgan was a new enterprise for your organization.”

Michael Hinston jumped in. “What he’s saying is that none of us–at least I don’t think so–know anything about the unfortunate demise of this young fellow.”

“How about you, Bishop?” asked Jo-Jay, swirling in her chair and pointing at him.

The Bishop craned his neck, looked around the room and replied, “I never liked the young man. He was a false prophet. A false teacher. There was nothing but false about him. But I learned a long time ago not to take my personal opinions and turn them into action. I have found God to be the best avenger against those I consider to be evil.”

Jo-Jay frowned. “Bishop, don’t you ever get impatient? For you see, the problem with waiting for God to hurt people is that He has developed a reputation for love and mercy, and He just might overlook some damnable sort that you felt needed to be obliterated.”

“This is ridiculous,” said the Bishop. “I don’t see how this could be legal.”

He turned to his attorney, who glanced over at Helio and just quietly shook his head with a nervous twitch.

Jo-Jay pointed at Michael. “How about you, Michael?” She glanced around the group. “I should make it clear to all present that Michael and I had a previous history. Matter of fact, I think when we were back in college we got drunk one night and he fingered me. Or was it that I jerked you off? I forget. Could you answer that question?”

Michael stared straight ahead, refusing to speak.

“Ouch,” said Jo-Jay. “I guess he forgot. But Michael, could you tell me if you know anything about the death of Prophet Morgan?”

Michael stared at her and replied, “I’ve already answered that question.”

Jo-Jay lifed her pen with a flourish and scribbled on her tablet. “Well, I would say there are no points for that one. Seems like it could be a long day.”

One of the attorneys gained speech. “May I see the pending indictment, and also the document demanding that we come for this deposition?”

“I sent it to all of you,” said Jo-Jay, offended.

“I know,” he replied. “But…well, it’s been a while since I looked at it, and this is highly unorthodox.”

Jo-Jay leaped to her feet and pointed at the attorney. “Yes. Let’s talk about unorthodox. Let’s talk about a young man named Jubal Carlos, who was arrested in Las Vegas for no reason whatsoever except to silence his voice and keep him from sharing a message. May I insert myself, and say that I was abducted and dumped in the middle of the Amazon jungle because I was getting too close to discovering the identity of an operative named Joshua, who at least one of you probably knows intimately. And then we can certainly all agree that the tragic death of Prophet Morgan was at the hands of someone who wanted to stop his efforts–and also discredit the new “Jesus Awakening.” I call that unorthodox. I call it unorthodox when people feel the need to hurt other people just because they don’t like the way they believe.”

The Bishop rose to his feet. “I will answer your question, Madam, but you won’t like it. In my job, my position, there is more than preaching, teaching and loving little children. That’s a luxury Jesus had when he was on Earth because he was not trying to sustain a kingdom. Each one of us here has a kingdom. You are threatening them. Not only are you personally attacking us, but you’re asking us to use whatever means we can find to defend our faith. Yes–we are defenders of the faith. Like the Knights of the Round Table, who found the need to pick up the sword to protect King Arthur and the glory of the Church. We not only preach a Gospel, but we keep it from being destroyed by secularists and heretics. I don’t expect you to understand this. Apparently you summarize life down into tiny teacups that fit your thinking, but there are barrels and barrels of problems in this world which sometimes require drastic action.”

Jo-Jay replied with her own fire. “So are you saying, Bishop, that you took some drastic action?”

Thomas Underwood also stood to his feet and countered back at Jo-Jay. “No, ma’am. He is saying that even though the death of a human being is a nasty bit of news for the family, for the good of mankind and the cause of righteousness, it can be a blessing–a gift, if you will–ordained from the heavens.”

Jo-Jay sat back in her chair, aghast at such arrogance.

Michael Hinston spoke up again. “I’m not saying I agree with these two, but I will say that people who step too far out of the box often find that there’s only oblivion beneath their feet.”

Helio looked over at Jo-Jay and asked, “Do you want me to hurt them?”

Jo-Jay waved her hand, dismissing the notion. “No. Much as I hate to admit it, these three ignorant and arrogant sacks of shit really don’t know anything.”

“So are we free to go?” demanded the Bishop.

Jo-Jay replied. “Yes, but I will leave first, with Helio and my staff. The two armed guards will then take you to your limousine, where you may depart at your leisure.”

As quickly as it had begun, it ended. Jo-Jay slipped out the door and climbed into a large black van, and they zoomed away. After about five minutes, the guards received notification from Jo-Jay that they could release the suspects.

Michael Hinston, Bishop Handerling and Thomas Underwood stomped out of the lobby in anger and frustration, followed by their helpless attorneys. As they departed, they noticed there were construction workers everywhere, and police cars. It was alarming.They quickly made their way to their vehicle.

“What time is it?” Handerling asked his attorney.

“11:58,” said his mouthpiece.

They got into their car and started down the long lane toward the road. They were just about to turn onto the county road taking them to the highway when they heard a rumble that shook the earth around them. Looking out their back window, they viewed the office building imploding in a huge cloud of dust which gradually made its way across the meadow and surrounded their car. Coughing a bit from the intrusion, one of the attorneys spoke.
“They blew up the goddamn building.”

Hinston corrected. “No. I think they imploded it.”

Bishop cited, “It’s 12:02. Well, whatever–it’s gone.”

Thomas Underwood rubbed his chin and said, “Gentlemen, I think we’ve been hoodwinked. I don’t think anything legal went on back there whatsoever.”

The third attorney chuckled and said, “You could be right. But we’ll never know. They destroyed the evidence.”

 

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Catchy (Sitting 17) Come and See … October 8th, 2017


Jonathots Daily Blog

(3454)

 

Matthew stared at his computer screen which had a heading of “International Federated Mercantile Institution”–a fancy name for “bank.” He had been peering at the same page for nearly a half an hour. Actually, the same number. It read, “Balance: $248,798,565.38.

It was hard to fathom. He had mixed feelings. There was joy over having that much capital to play with, but also a responsibility to turn it into somewhat of a completed vision for what Old Man Harts had desired.

What was originally 250 million had been eaten away by legal fees, surveys, transportation and just the transactions that happen when legal and business minds collide. It was still a hell of a lot of money. A hell of a lot of money for a heavenly purpose.

Matthew remained uncertain about why he had decided to take on the project. Even a week ago his inclinations had been negative. But something happened in Vegas that didn’t stay in Vegas.

He’d had an awakening. Not so much a religious eruption, but rather, a clarity of thought. When he met Jubal Carlos, who was working frantically to assist the homeless, Matthew asked himself what was he doing to make the world just a little less crazy?

He didn’t want to be overly analytical. He was certainly basically a good person. He tried not to purposely do harm to anyone and on occasion his generosity was worthy of note.

But was it possible to do more? Especially if you were granted hundreds of millions of dollars to try?

So after the awkwardness with Jo-Jay and Soos in the suite at the casino, he decided to meet with Tomlinson, and see if he could change the attorney’s mood into a positive direction instead of the grumpiness that had ensued.

He stopped off at headquarters and picked up Sister Rolinda and Prophet Morgan, realizing that the uptight attorney with the bow tie, Tomlinson, would have no counter for such creatures.

Sure enough, when Prophet began to preach salvation to Tomlinson and Sister Rolinda recited promises and possibilities for inner healing, the barrister couldn’t wait to transfer the money and get the crazies out of the room.

It seemed strange to Matthew that in a world of emotional agnosticism, Prophet Morgan and Sister Rolinda carried the day with their passion.

But what finally sealed the deal, causing Tomlinson to loose the purse strings, was the plan. Matthew was going to get Jubal Carlos to travel the country, playing the part of Jesus–in character, in appearance, in wisdom, in knowledge and in pungency.

Jubal already had the look. He had the intensity. And he certainly had the inclination to be a helper of mankind. Keeping him out of churches and just in public arenas–colleges and even rock festivals–would create the adequate controversy that could simulate the upheaval which occurred two thousand years before in Israel, when the real guy walked the earth.

It was a plan that needed tuning, clever applications, great press releases, You Tubes and even maybe a short movie. But once again people could come and see Jesus–even though it wasn’t the actual one, but another human being, carefully crafting an image that was sensitive and faithful to the original.

The slogan for the campaign would be “Come and See.”

Prophet Morgan was ecstatic.

Sister Rolinda thought it had potential, but she wanted to meet Jubal to see if he had the goods.

All systems seemed an outrageously wonderful “go.” There was only one problem:

Jubal Carlos didn’t know anything about it.Donate ButtonThe producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

 

 

 

Catchy (Sitting 13) Can Bad Come Out of Good? … September 3rd, 2017


Jonathots Daily Blog

(3419)

In a fit of weary and dreary delusion, Soos stumbled her way through the parking lot en route to her Hertz Rent-a-car, fumbling with her keys. Opening the door, plopping her exhausted backside into the bucket seat and slamming her bag beside her, she gently hammered her head on the steering wheel and unleashed a poetic proclamation of prayer.

“Dammit!”

Having just sat through four-and-a-half hours of meeting–no, not just meeting, mindless meeting. No, more than that–mindless, menacing meeting–with seven or eight folks which could have been nine, her brain had turned inside out, dumping both its knowledge and its will to live, exposing the insanity that had always lurked within.

She ran the words through her mind.

“Soos, I was wondering if you could type up some notes to summarize today’s meeting with the attorney, Marcus Tomlinson.”

She had stared at Matthew, who made the request, as if he had possibly had a stroke. How was anyone supposed to sum up four-and-a-half hours of lethargy in motion? For after all, it was a meeting to prove that a meeting had occurred, to discuss why a meeting was necessary, to conclude that a future meeting would be required. It was like paint drying while staying wet.

It began painfully slow, but Soos knew she was in real trouble when Tomlinson arrived with a guest–a tall, elegant man of color in his late forties, garishly dressed in expensive clothing which shouted its value. His name was Bishop Merrill Handerling. He was the director of the Believers International Fellowship (B.I.F.)

She remembered thinking to herself that Bif was the villain in “Back to the Future.” Quickly regaining her maturity, she attempted to listen as Matthew, Randall, Jo-Jay, Marcus Tomlinson and Bishop Merrill discussed the potential, but mostly the dangers, of the project of making Jesus popular again.

Although Attorney Tomlinson was careful to be respectful of Arthur Harts, who had been dead for less than three months, he also made it completely clear, in his litigious way, that the old fart was crazy.

The Bishop objected to any criticism toward the billionaire–but also wanted to establish that he felt there was a sinister element in commercializing Jesus and turning him into the new “flavor of the day.” (At this point, the dignified black gentleman actually held for laughter. Jo-Jay was generous and giggled a little.)

How was Soos supposed to immortalize the collision of imaginary trains of thought? No one actually knew what they were talking about. To some degree, no one actually cared.

But things really stalled when Prophet Morgan stepped into the room, arriving late, and the Bishop and the Prophet came face-to-face. Soos remembered thinking to herself that it sounded like great stage direction for a Shakespearean play. It became quickly obvious that everything Bishop disliked Prophet approved of, and likewise, everything that profited the Prophet baffled the Bishop.

They just didn’t like each other.

Meanwhile, Matthew sat over in the corner trying to shrink and disappear, looking like he wished he was a cube of ice that could simply melt.

Soos was shocked. After all the discussions and back-and-forth agreements, it seemed that Attorney Tomlinson was trying to find a way to euthanize the whole “popular Jesus” idea, hoping he could use this overstated Bishop to be the hit man.

After hours of exhausting listening, Soos spoke up for herself. She remembered the moment well because it was so contrary to her normal personality that it seemed to be coming from a different person who had temporarily taken occupation of her soul.

“I don’t think anything bad can come of doing something good.”

That’s what she said. It was not terribly intellectual, but in this room full of disconnected thoughts, it sounded almost Biblical.

Matthew sat up in his chair as if suddenly aware that life was still going on. The Bishop accidentally spoke a quick “amen” before realizing that Soos was disagreeing with him. And Prophet? Well, Prophet leaned over and kissed Soos on the mouth.

Immediately after that simple statement, the meeting was adjourned to a future time which would be determined in the future if such a future was necessary.

It was also shortly after that statement that Soos received the instruction to “type up a summary” of the meeting–her punishment for profundity.

She now sat in her car and just tried to decompress. She needed a diversion. If she were a drinker, this would require a martini. If she were an exercise freak, she would need to go run. If she were religious, prayer would be demanded.

But Soos was a carboholic.

On her way back to the Holiday Inn Express, she picked up a dozen doughnuts.

 

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Catchy (Sitting 12) A Collision of Colossal … August 27th, 2017


Jonathots Daily Blog

(3412)

Susannah Lacey, known as “Soos” during her infamous days of cavorting around the campus with the “Leaven of Seven,” was waiting at the headquarters when Matthew arrived on Wednesday morning. She looked exactly the same, except age had etched a little worry and miles onto the terrain of her frame.

She gave a big smile as Matthew came into the door, raced up and gave him a hug. taking his breath away.

They had never been terribly close. It was an awkward situation. Matthew always suspected that Soos had a crush on him, and she believed it was the other way around. So not so certain that any crush existed, no romance ever came to fruition.

But Matthew had a great respect for Soos. She was a “reasoner.” When it seemed like all problems were surrounding the “Leaven of Seven,” threatening to destroy their idealism, she came through like Joan of Arc, rescuing their innocence. (Usually it consisted of buying a pizza or finding some marijuana, which made them all feel nasty-cool.)

She explained to Matthew that she had gotten his message and was heeding the call as if he were Commissioner Gordon turning on the Batman beam to summon the crusader. Matthew was not terribly familiar with the reference but giggled anyway.

While the greeting was still in full swing, in walked Prophet Morgan. He hadn’t left the offices since his arrival. Prophet was a pleasant enough sort, though he had the sniff of the brimstone which accompanied the fire of his faith. Matthew thought he seemed sneaky. Having heard his full story, Matthew thought it was a miracle that Prophet Morgan wasn’t in either an insane asylum or jail upstate.

At age five, his drunken father, who was an evangelist with a tent revival, decided to bring his little boy up onstage to pray for people, and lo and behold, the tiny Prophet Morgan laid his hands on a woman and spoke in an unknown language. The next morning she awoke completely healed.

No one took the time to wonder if she would have been healed anyway, or if she was really that sick in the first place. The word spread like a grease fire–a five-year-old prophet with the gift of healing, sent by God to the backwoods of Arkansas to transform His people.

In no time at all, huge crowds were showing up at the tent revival meetings and Prophet’s father was getting rich on the proceeds of his sprout.

About a year into the process, at age six, Prophet had a nervous breakdown. Matthew guessed that’s what you’d call it. The six-year-old started running around the room, only stopping to bang his head against the wall. He was placed in a mental institution, where he stayed until he was twelve.

Prophet explained that no one ever told him why he was there or how he would ever get out. One bright, sunny day, someone left the back door open to the asylum while spray-washing some chairs. The twelve-year-old detainee simply strolled out, started running, and never stopped.

That was the story thus far. Obviously there were many more tales to be told. But Prophet Morgan was a young man burdened by old demons.

He took an immediate liking to Soos, who found Prophet to be a bit bizarre in appearance but just ethereal enough to grease her wheels.

While the two of them were making friends, the phone rang. It was a call from Michael Hinston, from Washington, D. C. Matthew was surprised to discover that Michael had a change of heart and was now interested in the “make Jesus popular” project.

Matthew hung up the phone scratching his head, trying to figure out why, all of a sudden, all these elements were falling together. Well, if not together–at least colliding with one another.

Another phone call came in. It was Marcus Tomlinson, who had originally asked Matthew to consider the 250 million dollar project. He explained that he would be flying in the next day to talk about the future of the idea.

As Matthew hung up the phone, he felt there was a gloominess emanating from Tomlinson–coming with some bad news. Or maybe it was good news.

Maybe the burden of making the decision about this bizarre errand would be taken off Matthew’s shoulders.

He wasn’t sure.

Prophet Morgan stepped over and slapped him on the back, awakening him from his thoughts of deep escape.

“Quite a day, huh?” said the prophet.

“Yes. A lot going on,” Matthew answered, preoccupied.

Prophet looked off in the distance. “I remember an old Creole woman in Louisiana I once met, who said about this kind of day–the one we’re living in right now–she called it a ‘collision of the colossal.’ Lots of things happening, but no way to be sure if any of them smell of God.”

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Catchy (Sitting 11) Just One More Thing … August 20th, 2017


Jonathots Daily Blog

(3405)

Meanwhile, Michael Hinston was adapting to Washington like a hippopotamus training for a marathon.

He had hoped to be a duck in water, but nothing seemed to be floating. He surmised that Washington, D.C. was like a job fair, where people milled around trying to convince one another about their ingenious inventions.

Michael was either too pushy or not pushy enough. He often found himself not invited because he was a freshman congressman. It was assumed he was stupid because he was a first-timer and also because he was from the state of Ohio. It was also concluded that he was corrupt because he came from the twelfth district of Ohio.

This brought him back to the $50,000 check from Caine Industrial. He was simultaneously tantalized and horrified by possessing the piece of paper, so paranoid that he went out and bought a steel strong box with a lock and placed the check within, hiding the container up in his attic.

He had managed to lease a respectable three-bedroom condo in Alexandria for his family. (First-term congressmen never buy houses, since the job has to be reclaimed every two years.)

So feeling despondent, disrespected, immature and inadequate, he was sitting in his tiny office on Capitol Hill when there was a knock at the door. He opened it to eyeball a small man–no more than five feet, seven inches tall and weighing not an ounce over 150 pounds. The gentleman had a handlebar mustache and auburn hair streaked with gray. He introduced himself.

“My name is Milford Hayes and I am the chief attorney for the internal affairs of Denison Caine of Caine Industrial.

Michael flinched. The name “Caine Industrial” matched the logo on the forbidden check.

Awkwardly, Michael invited him in. Mr. Milford Hayes sat down in a chair, rising once or twice as he tried to find a comfortable spot.

He began to speak. A well-rehearsed sililoquoy.

“Let me not waste your time. I know you are busy acclimating to your surroundings. From this point on as I speak, do not respond. If you respond, since I am not your attorney, I could be summoned to testify against you. Now, don’t let that scare you. There’s no reason to think there would be an investigation, but it is my job to be careful.

“You know of Mr. Denison Caine, but you may not be aware that he is a great patriot, and his love for this country is beyond all bounds. As a lover of this country, he has felt the need to locate men of vision–sometimes even a little lady–who will see what needs to be done and take the authority they find themselves in, to become–how shall I phrase it?–‘doers of the Word and not hearers only.'”

Michael tried to interrupt and Milford lifted a hand to stop him, continuing. “I know, I know. You have much to say–many questions. Perhaps many thoughts. Please remain silent. Silence is your best profile for this meeting, because if I don’t hear it from your mouth it was never said. Anything coming from my mouth does not incriminate you. Perhaps I should not use the word ‘incriminate.’ I can see fear on your face. It’s just, Congressman, that these are desperate times, and it is a season in our country when industrious souls need to snatch the power from those who would use it to run us into the ground. That is Mr. Caine and we believe that to be you.

“The fifty thousand dollars you received in the mail is a gift. A housewarming, if you will–warming you to your home in Alexandria at 444 Apollo Street…”

The Congressman shifted in his chair nervously.

“…and also a warming to your House seat here in Congress. Take it. Use it. Find a better school for your children. Think about a boat. Don’t spend it too quickly, drawing attention to yourself, and don’t run it through your personal bank account. Trickle it off-shore, invest in a dummy company. Well, you can talk to your personal attorney about such matters. It is a good-faith statement from Mr. Caine, that he believes you have a heart for this nation and that you will join him in returning our Union to its proper standards.

“So in the future, little packages will arrive. Oh–may I add, in pairs. In the first package will be a letter from Mr. Caine, as from an average citizen, making a suggestion on a piece of legislation. About a week later, a second package will arrive, with cash. I know your instincts are to believe this is illegal, bribery or undue influence. Nothing could be further from the truth. Mr. Caine just has ideas that are forward thinking, which he wishes to see implemented, and he knows it is impossible in today’s society, to progress a movement from a position of poverty.

“All we ask of you is to consider the idea, and if it suddenly appears as legislation in the House, to vote for it. That’s it. Then you simply take your cash and put it in your special hideaway. Enjoy your family and help us bless this country.”

There was finally a pause, yet Michael still felt compelled to request permission to speak, intimidated by Hayes’ mannerisms. Milford was a soft-spoken man with a little Dixie in his lip-service–a gentle touch, similar to a baker carefully removing a cookie from its display, fearing it might crumble.

Congressman Hinston took a deep breath and asked, “Do I have a choice? I mean, I’ve listened to your speech and it seems extremely contradictory to my standards and to what I understand to be the moral and ethical way to handle the responsibility of a seat in Congress.”

Milford interrupted. “Interesting question. First and foremost, let us understand, we all have a choice. Why, just this morning I was down at my hotel to order breakfast and they gave me a menu. So many choices. May I say, too many choices. Since I was not familiar with the establishment and did not know what was good to eat, I pulled a ten dollar bill out of my wallet and handed it to my server. I said to him, ‘Young fellow, since I don’t have time to make a mistake, I need you to tell me what’s the best thing on this menu to order.’ Well, well, Michael Hinston, he was not only grateful for his reward, but also deeply flattered that a gentleman of my, shall we say, bearing, was seeking his counsel on culinary matters. Oh, by the way, he said the Eggs Benedict were absolutely terrific, but to make sure they gave me the Hollandaise sauce and not the cheaper cheese blend they often offer.”

Michael just shook his head. The attorney was certainly having fun. Milford continued.

“So we do have choices. But we should realize that when we make them, it always eliminates possibilities. Do you see what I mean? Opening a door discloses a room but to become part of that room, we must close the door to our previous place of occupancy. Perhaps my speech is too flowery. Let me be more concise. You get the money if you do what Mr. Caine believes to be righteous. If you don’t want the money, Mr. Caine will make sure that your stay in the capitol is brief.”

Michael wanted to object. For years and years he had been angry about being pushed around. People had always told him what to do. He often found himself intimidated into following the crowd, only to regret that the choice had not been his, and yet the failure was shared.

He wanted tobe strong. He wanted to be principled. He wanted to know that if his wife, children, Abraham Lincoln and God were standing in the room they would all nod their approval over his decision.

But Michael Hinston was not strong. He was scared. So he did what all frightened men do when confronted by evil. He remained silent.

Milford, sensing he had captured his prey, had a closing thought.

“Oh, just one more thing. Mr. Denison Caine always hated Arthur Harts. You know, billionaire fussiness and all. We noticed through our study of your history that you are friends with a gentleman named…”

Milford reached into his jacket, took out a pad and flipped pages, pointing a long, bony finger at some writing on the sheet.

“…Matthew Ransley. Old college buddy, I think.”

Michael was shocked. “Yeah, I know Matthew. What’s he got to do with any of this?”

“Well,” Milford continued, “Mr. Caine knows you are familiar with Matthew, and it seems that he’s taking on this ridiculous project Harts left in his will, about making Jesus popular. And making a long story short, Mr. Caine wants it to fail.”

Michael spoke up with uncharacteristic boldness. “Does he hate Jesus?”

Milford smiled. “No. He seems to be at peace with Jesus. He hates Arthur Harts, and he wants to make sure that Harts fails even after death. Since you know Matthew, we thought you might agree to assist while simultaneously keeping us updated on the doings, and ultimately…how do they phrase this? Ah. Throw a wrench into the gears. But more about that later. Right now, you just enjoy your family, maybe that new boat, and settle into town, realizing that this could become a wonderful, life-long work. Word has it a Senate seat might even come up for grabs in the next six to twelve years. Wouldn’t you be good at that? We’ll be in touch.”

Milford stood to his feet to leave. “Oh, by the way, do you like my new suit? I just purchased it. I’ve never been a great fan of tweed, but the combination of colors intrigued me. It has a hint of the orange-brownish of fall, but that ever-so-light green of springtime. It makes me feel like a man for all seasons.”

Milford smiled and walked to the door, speaking over his shoulder. “I can find my way out.”

He turned one final time, saying in his molasses tone, “Such a pleasure to meet you, Congressman Hinston.”

He stepped out the door, leaving Michael alone.

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