Sit Down Comedy … March 27th, 2020

Jonathots Daily Blog

(4362)

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.

Not Long Tales … January 14th, 2020

Jonathots Daily Blog

(4489)

23.

Gerzie and Roach Boy

(Warning: Adult Stuff

No Children or Mosquitos)

by Jonathan Richard Cring

Gerzie sat quietly in her room. She was surrounded by two hundred and forty-eight square feet of monotony.

Three months earlier, she had moved to New York from Eugene, Oregon, to pursue a career in theater. She was shocked to discover that not only were living spaces limited but priced at a rate that deserved a giggle—as if the real estate agent was kidding.

It was all catching up with her.

The lack of space. The dismal surroundings. The repetition of food.

Matter of fact, the only unique thing she had come up with to eat was adding vegetables she found discarded in the trash can from the People’s Market to her ramen noodles. She didn’t do that very often—but whenever she did, she referred to it as her “healthy night.”

The cattle calls for the plays would not be nearly as depressing if she didn’t have to come back to such a tiny space and eat from a dumpster like a racoon.

She was trying to learn.

Growing up in Oregon, she had no comprehension whatsoever what it was like to live in an international city like New York. She was born Geraldine Collier Shemansky. She’d always hated the name Geraldine, so when she was in the fifth grade and did a book report on cows and mentioned the Jersey variety, her friends started calling her by that name—Jersey. This delighted her and eventually evolved into Gerzie.

However, it was impossible to think she would become famous with a name like Gerzie Shemansky. So she changed her last name to Stills.

Gerzie Stills.

It wasn’t great, but it was better.

Matter of fact, that’s the way she felt all the time. Nothing was great, but it was better than sitting around Eugene, Oregon, waiting for some boy to decide to pick her to impregnate.

This week had been particularly depressing.

She was up for a part in an off-Broadway play which offered little to no finance but was going to be performed at a theater the stars often frequented out of curiosity.

The play was about Abraham Lincoln—but not from 1865. More or less the story of what would happen if Abe Lincoln was born today. She wanted the role of Mary Todd, his wife, who ends up stripping because Abe keeps flunking the bar exam.

Gerzie was down to final call—just her and another girl. She lost the part because the other girl was sleeping with the assistant director. (At least, that’s what Gerzie believed. She saw them necking behind the building, and the next thing she knew she was back out on the street with the other cattle, waiting for the call.)

All at once there was a scratching sound. It wasn’t loud. It wasn’t even persistent. It happened just once and then stopped. It was like someone took a set of car keys and ran it across a kitchen counter.

Even though the interruption did not continue, Gerzie was spooked. She was pretty sure it had come from her bathroom (which, by the way, her landlord referred to as a latrine).

Gerzie had to make a decision. She hated decisions. After all, she had decided to come to New York. How could she be trusted?

Unnerved but unwilling to sit without knowing what was going on, she slowly rose to her feet and inched the three steps to her bathroom. She peeked around the corner and jumped back, screaming.

Sitting in her miniature tub was a young man—one of the small varieties—with mounds of curly hair threatening to bush. He was dressed all in black, and peered at her sheepishly, seemingly terrified that he had been discovered.

Gerzie turned to grab her phone and call the police, then realized she had left her cell at the coffee shop down the street. (Another chore she needed to take care of today.)

She glanced at the window, wondering if she could raise it and scream for help. But she had heard such screams in the middle of the night, and not given them a second thought.

“What in the fuck are you doing in my room?” she asked loudly and slowly, emphasizing each word.

The young man—probably in his mid-twenties—replied with widened eyes, “I was investigating.”

Having no idea what he meant by that, Gerzie grabbed a hanger lying on the sink and hit him on the shoulder. He grabbed his arm, moaning. “Why’d you do that?” he asked.

Gerzie heaved a huge sigh. “Because you’re in my bathroom and I don’t know who you are. How’d you get here?”

She glanced over at the front door. Still shut.

All at once the man leaned up on his knees in the bathtub, excited. “You see, I crawled through the wall space that runs through this whole building, and I ended up here—at your vent.”

He pointed behind him. “I pushed ever so slightly on it, and it opened up and lifted out. So I just…” He paused. “I just came in.”

As the fellow talked, Gerzie felt that he was not volatile, and maybe not dangerous, so she put down her weapon—her hanger of choice—and said flatly, “Okay. Well, now you need to leave. You may use my front door.”

He held up one finger. “Before I go,” he said, “would you mind if I explain to you why I am investigating behind this wall space, and why I ended up here with you today?”

Gerzie was unnerved. His soft manner was unnatural. She was accustomed to young men his age being aggressive, silly and overbearing. A soft-spoken gent was not really human.

She shook her head, but he continued. “My name is Richard,” he began slowly. “I am a Huco.”

Gerzie frowned. Noticing her confusion, he elaborated. “I will tell you what a Huco is in a second, but first I want you to understand that I’m not crazy—just inventive. I’m not mentally ill—just mentally expanded. Do you know what I mean?”

Gerzie shook her head again and replied, “Those all sound like the things a crazy person would say to prove they’re not nuts.”

“I don’t want to go into all of my story,” Richard cited, ignoring her comment. “It would be rude to take up so much of your time. But let me just say that I am part of a very important experiment that was begun by my mother, Maxillena, who, for twenty-five years has been a belly dancer down at the Arabian restaurant—the Middle Feast.”

Gerzie almost smiled. It was the first thing she had understood. “I know that place,” she commented. “I’ve eaten there a couple of times. They have a soup night or something—where you can eat for two dollars.”

“Tuesday nights,” said the young man. “What’s your favorite?”

Gerzie shook her head. “I’m not going to have a conversation with you about soup.”

Persistent, the young man continued. “As I said, my name is Richard, and even though I may appear to you to be part of the species Homo sapiens, just like yourself, I am actually a mixed breed.”

Gerzie was worried again. The soft, easy tone of his voice could quickly change to a maddening roar as he reached up to slit her throat. “Listen,” she said, “I know you probably have an interesting story. Maybe you should write it down. Slip it under the door. I’ll read it. I’ll even edit it. I’m in theater, you know.”

“If you’ll let me continue for just five minutes,” Richard said, ignoring her, “I need someone to talk to. I grow weary of discussing my future with only my mother—and when she returns from work, she’s so exhausted… And besides, I’m really uncomfortable watching her dance at the restaurant.”

“I was born unusual,” he said.

“And remain so,” poked Gerzie.

Richard smiled. Good. Maybe she could talk him down from his ledge.

He continued. “My mother was of the belief that she wanted to have a child who was indestructible and would live—well, if not immortal, a lot longer than other humans do.”

“Isn’t that what every mother hopes?” said Gerzie.

Richard ignored her. “Here’s the heart of it. And I ask you to give a chance to get all the details before you reject.” His face darkened. “I hate it when people reject! How would they feel if I rejected them?”

His tone became increasingly hostile with each statement. Gerzie held out a hand. “Relax. No one’s gonna reject you. Have I kicked you out of my bathroom yet? No. So be cool.”

Richard sucked in a deep breath and replied dramatically, “Thank you. You are one of the good ones.”

He looked around the room. “Did you know,” he said, “that cockroaches have been on Earth for two hundred and fifty million years?”

Spooked, Gerzie also glanced about the room, wondering if some of Richard’s brothers and sisters were listening.

He asked, “Did you know a cockroach can live for three days without a head? It actually dies of thirst.”

Gerzie was speechless.

“And did you know,” Richard went on, “that cockroaches can survive under water for thirty minutes?”

Gerzie carefully reached over and patted him on the shoulder. “Richard,” she said, “why are we talking about cockroaches?”

He straightened his shoulders, lifted his head and proudly declared, “Because I am one. At least half of me is.”

Gerzie looked at the window again. Even if she couldn’t yell out it, maybe she could crawl out of it.

“There!” Richard punctuated. “I said it. You see, many years ago, my mother wanted that child of promise and power. Having studied the cockroach for herself, she decided to mingle human semen with cockroach semen, and then shoot it into her body with a turkey baster.”

Gerzie was devoid of both thought and words. But for some reason, Richard decided to pause, waiting for her to reply.

Finally, Gerzie said, “Industrious…”

Pleased, Richard continued. “She wanted to find a scientist, a genius, a musical star to provide the seed for the human part, but none were available. So for the human sperm, she had sex with Mickey, who played at the piano bar. He was very talented and wrote songs. And not really knowing how to extract the semen from a cockroach, my mother advertised on Craig’s List, requesting a sample of cockroach semen. Strangely enough, she immediately got eight calls. It cost her three hundred and twenty dollars, but she got the stuff necessary to mix together semen from the cockroach and the piano man. She put it in the turkey baster, inserted—and squirted.”

Gerzie began to imagine what condition her body would be in when the police found it. She hoped she would still be clothed. It would be very embarrassing to have strange, New York cops staring at her tits and her v-space.

Fortunately, Richard seemed comforted by telling his story, so she decided it would be best to listen—careful not to appear cynical.

“It took three times,” he said gently, “but on the third time, it worked. She was pregnant with me. She was going to have the world’s first Huco—a human and a cockroach.”

Gerzie silently weighed her choices. She didn’t want to die—but she couldn’t stand for this fellow to be so ignorant. “Richard,” she said sweetly.

He interrupted. “Most people call me Roach Boy.”

“Would it be alright if I stayed with Richard?” she returned.

He nodded.

“Richard,” Gerzie purred, “I need to tell you something. Interspecies mating is not possible, even if by some reason you were able to get your hands on cockroach semen.”

Richard frowned. “But I am a cockroach.”

Gerzie nodded her head, and then asked, “How do you know you’re a cockroach?”

Richard pulled up the legs of his pants. “I’m very, very, very hairy,” he offered, showing her his limbs. “My arms are very long, and I have a strong inclination to crawl into small spaces. And…Oh, oh!” he stuttered. “Also—people scare me when they come into the room.”

Gerzie began to speak but Richard interrupted. “And did I mention? I will eat anything.”

Gerzie changed the subject. “So,” she said, “Roach Boy, is there a reason you crawled into my life today?”

“I’ve been watching you,” he replied.

“I was afraid of that,” moaned Gerzie.

“No, I have been,” said Richard, the Roach Boy. “And I wanted to give you the honor of being the mother of the second generation Huco.”

Gerzie squinted. “What is it you’re suggesting?”

Richard became very excited. “We need to continue to improve. Evolve!”

Gerzie held up her hands to stop him. “Richard, suddenly the word ‘we’ has come into the conversation. Roach Boy, there is no we. Just you, your mother and your hairy legs.”

Richard was undeterred. “I was just wondering if you would like to mate with me, and together we could make a more human example than I am, but still possess the attributes of the Huco inside my double-helix,” he proffered.

Gerzie was tired of it. “Listen,” she said wearily. “I’m very happy for your double helix. It’s always good to have a second one, just in case. But I’m not going to mate with anyone. I’m an actor. It’s difficult enough for me to mate with enough money to pay my bills. I don’t want to be the Mama of a Huco. I know that sounds strange to you. You think you’re offering the chance of a lifetime. But honestly, it’s a chance I will never take in my entire lifetime.”

Richard sat for a moment in the bathtub. He was disappointed. He breathed deeply, gathering strength. “Would you at least like to meet my mother?”

“No,” said Gerzie. “Bellies have always scared me. Even if they’re dancing.”

He followed up. “Would you like to go out to dinner at the Middle Feast with me?”

“No,” said Gerzie, “I think, Richard, that this is going to be just a single affair.”

Richard nodded his head, leaned forward and gave her a hug. Gerzie couldn’t help but think that it felt very much like a cockroach.

He climbed out of the tub, waddled the four steps to the front door and then spoke dramatically, as if offering a proclamation:

“One day, my dear, Hucos will rule the world for the next two hundred million years. I hope you won’t be sad because you were left out.”

Maneuvering toward the door, Gerzie replied, “I don’t think so—because I’ll be dead.”

Richard stuck his head out the door, looking right and left, and then gradually exited, first with his shoulders, then the trunk of his body, his waist and finally bringing out his legs. He scurried down the hallway, certainly resembling his filthy vermin kin.

Gerzie quickly shut the door.

An unbelievable experience. She wondered if he would return. But part of her knew that he would have to be out and about, seeking his mate.

She sat down to continue her musings when it occurred to her, “This would make a great movie. Or a play. I mean, what happened here might be very entertaining if you didn’t have to live through it yourself.”

She could even use her own name. Just think: Gerzie and Roach Boy.

It would draw people like flies. She laughed at her own cleverness.

She absolutely needed to write up a treatment—something she could pitch. Maybe she could play the part of the girl.

Yet…

She would certainly have to lose some weight, get a collagen injection in her lips, and practice the accent.

Dear Man/Dear Woman: A Noteworthy Conversation … August 6th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3025)

Dear Man Dear Woman

Dear Man: People are making tons of money by promoting the gender wars–books, seminars, movies and television programs accumulate a huge haul of cash by continuing to foster the irreconcilable differences between men and women.

 

Dear Woman: I suppose that’s true, but what do you plan on doing about it?

 

Dear Man: I’m just explaining that as long as there’s money to be made, there won’t be a willingness to come to the truth of the matter.

 

Dear Woman: And what is the truth?

 

Dear Man: The truth is, we will continue to think that women are the weaker sex and that they are irrational, until we sit down and have a great dialogue and risk losing this dishonest money in favor of seminars and shows that illustrate the two genders working together.

 

Dear Woman: That’s not gonna happen.

 

Dear Man: I don’t know whether it’s gonna work in the end, but we could make a beginning. Let’s start with the fact that you are taught that I am irrational, and I am taught that because you feel that way, you are irrelevant.

 

Dear Woman: Interesting. So what you’re saying is, if you find me irrelevant, I more than likely will naturally conclude that you’re irrational for feeling that way.

 

Dear Man: And if you’re constantly hounding me about being irrational, I will find you irrelevant.

 

Dear Woman: It seems like there’s no solution.

 

Dear Man: Every solution begins with a door, and I think I know where to go in.

 

Dear Woman: I’m all ears.

 

Dear Man: The toilet seat.

 

Dear Woman: Oh, no. No way. That old battle has been fought to a bloody end.

 

Dear Man: That’s because we think it’s impossible to handle. Here’s the truth–a man lifts the toilet seat to piss because he doesn’t want to pee on the seat. That’s already considerate. To lift the toilet seat he has to reach down and bring it up. At the end of his business, he reaches over to flush the pot. At that point his hand is mere inches away from tapping the seat and letting it fall back down.

 

Dear Woman: I understand that. But it doesn’t happen. So if you keep complaining about it, you’re spitting in the wind.

 

Dear Man: It doesn’t happen because we fail to realize that lifting the toilet seat in the first place is a consideration. It requires some effort. It actually takes less effort to knock it back down than it does to lift it.

 

Dear Woman: It may make sense to you, but just mentioning the problem puts men on edge–defensive–and makes women look like self-righteous complainers.

 

Dear Man: Are you telling me that if you were at boot camp and the drill sergeant got in your face and ordered you to put down the toilet seat, you would be unable to learn it?

 

Dear Woman: No. I would do it because I was threatened.

 

Dear Man: So why aren’t you threatened by appearing to be calloused, uncaring and unwilling to change?

 

Dear Woman: I suppose because it’s my way, as a man, of saying that this particular thing will be done my way. Is that what you want to hear?

 

Dear Man: Is it the truth?

 

Dear Woman: The truth is, I don’t think I can remember it every time. So I don’t want to try.

 

Dear Man: You wouldn’t have to remember it every time. If I saw you do it occasionally, it would open my heart–to realize when I finish the toilet I could lift the lid for you. Nobody’s going to die by lifting or dropping a toilet seat. But if we would just show one another that we’re aware, even half the time, it would go miles on the journey to understanding.

 

Dear Woman: It’s not easy.

 

Dear Man: But it is simple. It can be done. And even if it’s done infrequently, the fact that I cross your mind is meaningful to me, and the fact that you think about a woman being in your life when it comes to the bathroom, is powerful for you. We have to get along in every room of the house–not just the bedroom.

 

Dear Woman: So you want me to do this?

 

Dear Man: Do you want to try?

 

Dear Woman: No. But you make so much damn sense that I’d rather try than argue about it.

 

Dear Man: Isn’t that a step?

 

Dear Woman: Yeah. I suppose so. But it feels like a step into a big pile of poop.

 

Donate Button

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity


Jonathan’s Latest Book Release!

PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant

Click here to get your copy now!

PoHymn cover jon

 

Stepping Away… October 19, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2041)

church popscicleElder Ralph was working on a crossword puzzle he had hidden in his Bible.

Deacon Dan was dozing on the third row.

Martha, the church piano player, was thumbing through a Life magazine.

The teenagers sitting around me were passing notes, giggling and trying to time their levity with the jokes infrequently being offered from the pulpit, as Pastor Norm continued to preach on a subject matter which no one seemed to care about.

Suddenly in the midst of this ongoing Sunday night antipathy, it struck me. It was so phony, so contrived and so meaningless to my sixteen-year-old mind.

I quietly rose to my feet, moved past a few of my friends and headed toward the back of the church. Everyone thought I was going to the bathroom. Some people probably thought I was headed to the fellowship hall to see if there were any treats to eat after the service. But actually, I passed on both of those opportunities, headed out the door and walked home. Even though I still believed in God, I had lost confidence in the system that was arranged to represent Him.

For three months, I stepped away.

  • I didn’t go to church.
  • I didn’t stay in contact with the people.
  • I also didn’t go out, get drunk, smoke grass and curse the heavens because of my disillusioned condition.

Various emissaries from the conclave of the righteous were sent to me during the ninety days to tell me how I was missed or what I was missing or how it was absolutely necessary for me to be there–otherwise I would fall into iniquity.

I joyously ignored them.Up the Down Staircase

Instead I took my stepping away hiatus to accept a role in a play at the high school, as Joe Ferrone in Up the Down Staircase. I also worked on my piano playing, which had become as rusty as my Grandpa Ford’s barn door latches, and I practiced singing. (I had convinced myself I was a bass, but actually had enough range to be a tenor. Why not both?)

During my stepping away period I discovered I could do things–yet realized they were more fun when I was tapping the mind and spirit of God to achieve them.

Eventually one of my friends from the youth group came to see me and said, “Jonathan, you may not need us, but we need you.”

Those were the magic words.

It wasn’t an issue of ego–it was the fact that I could no longer attend church because I was afraid not to. I couldn’t go to church because it “made me a better person.” And I didn’t want to go to church to fake it, in order to get heavenly tickets.

I took my newfound drama talent, my expanded singing and my better piano playing back to the “house of people”–to simply enjoy my heavenly Father.

I stopped looking around the room to see what Elder Ralph, Deacon Dan, pianist Martha and all the other kids were doing.

When I disagreed, I chose to simply live differently. And if it got boring, I challenged the ideas.

That three months of stepping away sowed the seed of the man I have become. It was a season of time when I realized that I don’t need to be in church to find God.

But the church needs me ,,, to make sure we don’t lose Him.

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about personal appearances or scheduling an event

The Ashford Reality… April 1, 2013

(1,838)

AshfordOnce again, I cheated my alarm clock out of the privilege of awakening me. Ever since I was in my early twenties, I have always been able to think about the time I wanted to arise right before dozing off, and literally like clockwork, wake up  near the exact hour. I doubt this gift, so I always set an alarm clock, which usually ends up going off when I’m in the bathroom, unable to reach it.

Thus I began my day early.

I am taking a road trip today back over to Houston, Texas, to share tonight in Ashford. After all these years–nearly forty–I am still an excited little boy at the prospect of journeying somewhere to share my talents to fine human souls. Over the years, pieces of my ego have been trimmed and discarded, and lessons have been learned about better approaches to achieve more satisfying results–but the enthusiasm remains.

I guess I’m kind of an odd bird. I have never been comfortable being a miserable anything. When I hear my fellow-believers talk about the pain and suffering of Christianity, I am bewildered. My understanding of the message is one of abundant life, in which our joy is full and we are given the responsibility of being the salt of the earth and the light of the world, as God’s grace affords us the opportunity of being a city placed on a hill.

So it was in that spirit that I set my goals for my journey to Ashford.

First of all, I just want to tell those delightful friends, “I love you.” It’s not that I want to be mushy or silly–rather, life is about finding a reason to love others. If we don’t, we start acting like we are abandoned on a desert island called earth, and our entire mission is to hoard coconuts, because there is no chance of ever being saved. I refuse to feel that way. Saying “I love you” is just as much or more for me than it is for the hearer. The absence of love is always the introduction of ignorance.

The second thing I want to impart to the fine folks of Ashford is, “You are loved.” Not just by me, but also by the last group of folks I just left, who have opened up their hearts and sent along a sensation of inclusion.  I also want them to know that God loves them. Even though we have made the mistake of attempting to turn God into a person, and therefore cursing Him with virtues ranging from cranky and cantankerous to being a hippie and free love advocate, God is actually a spirit. He is a spirit of light and He is a spirit of love, and whenever you find those two at work, He is there in the midst.

I guess in constructing my Ashford reality for today, I will tell the folks that love is needed for change. Change without love is like a car trying to run without oil, as the gears grind, heat up and smoke, destroying the engine. Love is the oil of change. If it doesn’t motivate the change, then we resort to things like intimidation, anger, frustration and guilt. Nasty stuff. Love gives us a reason to change because we know that even if we falter in the process of revising ourselves, love persists.

And finally, tonight in Ashford I will tell them that change is coming. We can no longer preach a God who is disgusted with human beings. We can no longer have two political parties which are locked in a Hatfield-and-McCoy feud. We can no longer feel superior to one another and think that we can achieve equality and justice. We can no longer have men and women fighting each other in situation comedies and think that one of the genders can solve the problems of earth without the other. We can no longer insist that who we are is sufficient without a little bit of repentance and a whole lot of God’s bolstering.

So there you go. You can see why I’m excited. I get to go on a road trip to bring a blessing to people I do not yet know. I get to say:

  • I love you
  • You are loved
  • love is needed for change
  • and change is coming.

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

Motelin Just What … May 29, 2012

(1,529)

Somewhere between $35.95 cents and $169.99 is the average cost of a motel room in this country for one night. Of course, there are places where you can pay much more for a room based upon locale, special events or some little extra accommodation advertised. But generally speaking, most motels will blush with embarrassment once they go above that top dollar.

It is probably one of the most diversely priced items in this country. For instance, if I told you that a gallon of milk ranged between $1.23 and $18.55, you would be up in arms and ready to lynch some dairy farmer in Wisconsin. Yet the motel industry seems to get by with it by maintaining some dubious rationale in its advertising.

I will tell you right now, after having traveled nearly forty years staying in these establishments, which the top fifty dollars of every price is paying for the name, the location, or the privilege of eyeballing staff wearing coats and ties rather than t-shirts and jeans. If that is relatively important to you, then you should pull out that money and spend it heartily.

Thirty dollars of the price of a motel room in the higher range is for the privilege of being with clientele of your particular social ilk. Yes, I am saying it out loud—cheaper motels tend to draw people who don’t have as much money and unfortunately, in this country we contend that those souls are the source of our crime and violence. (Obviously, not so.)

Motels that charge you a lot of money for the rooms refer to these cheaper establishments as “flea bags–infested with bugs, or dens of drugs and prostitution. Of course, once again, very little truth in the matter (although I would not recommend taking out a motel room adjacent to an adult bookstore.)

If you will allow me to put it into perspective for you, a motel room is a simulation of a master bedroom.  Bed, dresser, closet, television set and adjoining bathroom. And nowadays, most of them have microwaves and refrigerators for convenience, which is a consideration we all might have in the future for our own home unit.

There are really three questions you must ask yourself about your motel room for the night that are essential for a good stay:

1. How much room in the room? Unless you have become very familiar with your traveling companion or don’t mind cramped quarters, being able to walk around your room without running into walls or furniture is a plus.

2. Can I park in front of the door or near to my room? One of the biggest misconceptions is that motel rooms that are enclosed, with a parking lost adjoining are safer than those where you can pull up to your door with your car. Honestly, if I were a criminal, I would not want to rob from cars that are right next to the windows of the owner. I would find a nice, large parking lot far from the front desk–and take my pick.

3. Now, this may surprise you. Staying in a motel room is all about the bathroom. You should be careful of those establishments that miniaturize everything in the toilet area so as to condense space so the room can look larger—because all of the plumbing may look Snow White, but it is best suited for the seven dwarves. Especially beware of toilet seats that are round instead of oblong. They tend to be very uncomfortable and are usually encased by a wall on either side, giving you the feeling that you are being wedged into your experience. The bathroom is the key to a motel room. Good lighting, double sinks a plus–or even a sink in the bathroom and one outside the bathroom is really handy. The shower should be easy to get in and out of and have good pressure.

Once you discover these pieces of information, you understand that the most you should probably pay for a motel room is about $75 a night. Everything above that is advertising name, location, staff or a hot breakfast which is offered to you, including eggs, bacon and sausage (which, by the way, is completely unnecessary unless you’re a lumberjack felling trees in the Yukon.)

As you find with everything else in life, there are ways to save money without losing quality. That seems to stymie a lot of folks, including the U.S. government and Congress–because at least half of what people refer to as quality is name-brand assurance that you will be taken care of if something goes wrong.

So the Holiday Inn wants you to pay extra money for their good name over “Bob and Mary’s Motel” down the street–because in the case of some unforeseen difficulty, they want you to believe they would handle it better than Bob and Mary. But since we don’t know what that unforeseen difficulty would be, and no one knows what anyone would do, you end up spending a lot of money for absolutely nothing–similar to buying extra insurance coverage on a car rental.

So I pulled into Denver yesterday and went to my motel, and as always, it ends up being a mixed bag. The room is small but has a lovely bathroom with an accessible shower AND throne. The air conditioning unit needs some work, but we’ve already met the maintenance man and he seems congenial and willing to try. The television set is too big for the room, but that hardly seems like something one should complain about after simply noting it. And the furniture is not made of oak or covered with leather, but instead, looks like your Uncle Charlie made it out in the garage because he’s hoping to someday leave his job at the factory and start a business.

I feel very good every week upon discovering a diamond in the rough and saving money that people have given me so that I can travel—to use it wisely to buy quality instead of merely a name or false assurance. If we could teach the financiers of our nation the same concept and we would begin to barter once again for better pricing on items instead of signing lifelong contracts with companies based on their previous reputations, we could begin to emerge from this dark cloud of indebtedness and arrogant spending with some dignity–and even have a little fun in the process.

Fortunately for me, I have a traveling companion who enjoys cutting a corner here and there as long as she doesn’t lose and arm or a leg. If we could just find people to elect to be our representatives who had similar mindsets, we would be all set.

So those are my discoveries about moteling. To sum it up, if you need a name, or if you are afraid of being next door to someone who makes less than 50K a year, then you will probably end up paying for the higher priced institutions, for the powdered eggs in the morning, convincing yourself it was worth it. But if you realize that buying a name doesn’t mean guaranteeing quality, or sharing the neighborhood with people who don’t have late-model cars but do have contemporary standards and morals–then you can shop around and save yourself upwards to fifty or sixty dollars a night.

Last week I met some of the most interesting people at the swimming pool where we were staying in Grand Junction, Colorado. They were young enough to be my children or grandchildren, and I befriended them, loved them and enjoyed them, discovering many twists and turns in their ever-evolving lives. It was fascinating.

So “motelin’ just what you’re looking for,” as you stay overnight somewhere, realize that money can be easily spent pursuing a security–that is never pre-ordained.

 

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

Posted … December 6, 2011

(1,352)

Live from Fernandina Beach

Having just finished the setup of our sound system in a church in Georgia recently, I trekked off to our green room, where I have fifty glorious minutes to dress, relax, eat a little bit of fruit, drink some water and prepare to meet the audience du jour. The time is normally ample and without constraints…except on those occasions when nature calls.  Oh, shoot, let me not be coy.  In other words, when I’ve got to go to the bathroom.

This involves finding the restroom in a church, which normally, like salvation, can be a five-step process, still ending with a bit of uncertainty. I don’t like to use the bathroom in churches because I don’t want my first encounter with someone coming into the restroom to be my particular fragrance as I sheepishly walk out of the stall and mumble something about how I wish there was room spray.

But as I said–there was a beckoning.

So I found the enclosure, it was fortunately unoccupied and I slid into the stall and sat down and began my business. (I know it’s not good to talk about what we do in that room in those private moments, but we all know it’s very important–perhaps even essential to our emotions, spirituality, mental health and certainly our physical lucidity. So I rather enjoy the private time and–pardon the expression–cheer on the results.)

As I was sitting there, I looked to my right and there was a poster on the wall, seemingly purposefully set at eye level for those involved in the procedure. It was a beautiful poster with a scripture from Galatians inscribed upon it, emblazoned in gorgeous calligraphy. It read, “Do not grow tired in doing well, for very soon you will bear fruit if you do not give up.”

I was a bit startled. I did not know whether it was an attempt at humor (which, by the way, I found out later from meeting the people that such was probably impossible) or if somebody had discovered this poster and did not deem it worthy of either bulletin board or vestibule, but rather than throwing it away, wanted to give it some position of recognition. I found it extremely funny, because even though I had no intentions of throwing in the towel (or the toilet paper, for that matter) on this particular excursion, just knowing that God was behind me, so to speak, and was fully aware that I might lose heart helped me complete my task with much more fervor.

They say if you travel enough, you eventually see everything. Scriptural devotions in toilet rooms is new to me. But as I was finishing up, I thought that even though the Galatians passage encouraging us not to give up was very good, I think I would have opted for one from the book of Revelation. 

“Surely come quickly, Lord Jesus.”

***************

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

%d bloggers like this: