Things I Learned from R. B. … August 16th, 2020

Jonathots Daily Blog

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Episode 28

It seems that driving on the wrong side of the road is illegal, even in Hendersonville, Tennessee.

Sitting at home on a quiet Sunday afternoon, I received a phone call from the local police. I was informed that R. B. was in their custody and that he had given them my phone number—and headquarters was wondering if I would meet the officers down in front of the shopping center near the middle of town.

I wanted to ask questions, but my instinct was that this would be met with resistance—especially since the lady calling would probably not know the specifics anyway.

So I drove down to the parking lot. As I cruised along, I saw R. B. sitting on a bench in front of Jersey Mike’s Subs, with a constable on either side. When he saw me, he waved and cheered.  I parked, got out of my car, walked up and R. B. started blabbering out a story.  When it became obvious that he was not making sense, the kind officers interrupted.

The police had been notified that a red car was driving down the wrong side of the street at about fifteen miles per hour, scattering traffic.

When they arrived on the scene, R. B. had already traveled almost a mile-and-a-half down the main thoroughfare. Yet the officers were able to corral his car and he finally came to a stop, bumping into a fire hydrant.

When they saw him and did a preliminary interview, they found that he was not malicious—nor a drug lord.

He gave them my telephone number and address, so they decided to transfer him into my care. As I gazed at him sitting on the bench, he was so thin that he looked like a marionette between the two puppeteers.

I must tell you—my first instinct was to run. I don’t know what kept me there. Maybe it was propriety. Perhaps I was afraid to object in front of the lawmen.

I agreed.

Somehow, I was able to gather him together, get him into my car, and drove the two-and-a-half miles to my house. He was so exhausted from the experience that he lay down on my upstairs couch and fell fast asleep.

This was the day I had known was coming. Barring an all-out Holy Ghost miracle, R. B. was going to get sicker and sicker.

I knew I couldn’t take him back home. He would just try to drive again—but this time, somebody might get hurt. I made a couple of phone calls to agencies and was blessed by assistance from some angels of mercy, who quickly and efficiently located a hospice for R. B., so he could be under constant care. I was astounded at the mercy extended. How wonderful to live in a country that provides such fail-safes.

When R. B. woke up, I explained that I was going to take him someplace—that he wouldn’t have to worry about cooking, cleaning up, or complaints from the family living below him.

He seemed to be fine with it and settled in. Then it was time for me to leave. It dawned on him that I was departing without him. He was so angry. He swore at me, and with weak and feeble arms, he took a swing—trying to strike me. He was unable to complete his blows, but tears streamed down his face as he gritted his teeth, feeling betrayed.

Maybe he was.

They sedated him. After fifteen minutes, I was able to leave, telling them to let R. B. know that I would return tomorrow.

I went home, realizing it was time to involve his family from Rhode Island—whether they wished to be disturbed or not.

 

Ask Jonathots … May 26th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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ask jonathots bigger

I have a buddy at work who just separated from his wife and is filing for divorce. He’s going to fight for full custody of his two daughters. He says his wife is not fit to be a mother because she’s mentally unstable. I met her once at a party, and she openly talked about how her daughters had “betrayed” her. They were five and six years old at the time. Here’s my question: how do you know when someone is just flat-out crazy? Is there anything I can do for my friend?

You are actually posing three questions:

1. How can you tell if somebody’s crazy?

2. How can you get involved in a situation without interfering?

3. What is the basic criteria for being a parent?

So I will attempt to address each inquiry individually and let you sew them together as an answer.

I don’t believe there is an actual condition called “crazy,” but when we deny reality, we certainly teeter on the brink of mental instability.

There are many ways to deny reality: you can lie about it, pretend it’s not your fault, insist it’s not your business but instead, God’s affair, you can blame the devil, or as in the case of your subject, you can believe that your children are trying to sabotage you.

Insanity is the idea that ignoring reality can change your circumstances.

Now let’s look at the second question. Unless somebody asks your opinion, giving it is interfering.

I have learned that my opinion is not really needed, wanted or valued unless there is a question pending. In other words, without someone asking me for my input, I am being obnoxious.

Now, shall we go to the third question? There is actually one criterion for being a good parent. Are your children safe?

Because as they grow, sometimes they may perceive the parent as a comforter, friend, warden, enemy, Satan, Santa Claus or boring. So you can’t evaluate good parenting on how happy the children are to actually have a parent.

Are they safe? And by safe, I mean that they have a sense that they will be taken care of, and they are not threatened by those who have authority over them.

So let’s see if we can put the three answers together.

Since children do not dictate the policies of the household, it is difficult for them to be betrayers. Therefore believing children are betrayers is certainly an imbalanced and unhealthy profile. It opens the door for the parent to retaliate instead of express affection.

But since your opinion has not been sought and you are not in a power position to change things, what you need to do is express your joy, concern and hopes by being supportive of the kids–through little notes, maybe some gifts, and a loving, open door.

You should avoid taking sides, but instead, pass on to both the mother and father that you feel the most important thing is the well-being of these children. In doing this, you will establish that you are the champion of the daughters instead of the crusader for either Mom or Dad.

This is the advice I give you–but also be fully aware that any time you leave reality (for instance, thinking you’re the savior of this other family) you can become just as “crazy” as the next person.

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … March 23rd, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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PoHymn Judas

The Unusual Suspect

Did you know the man?

Please tell us what you can.

Did he live alone?

Ever use your phone?

Was he the kind to smile?

We need this for our file.

Would a woman make his day

Or was he openly gay?

Believe in the divine?

Seeking for a sign?

Search your memory.

What did you watch and see?

Would you trust him with your kid?

Did he ever flip his lid?

When did he come for dinner?

A loser or a winner?

Silver seemed to be his preference.

Do you know of any particular reference?

Go by Judas or Jude?

Was he ever rude?

What about the number thirty?

Would you describe him as timid or flirty?

Did you see any of this coming?

We hear he was often heard humming.

What was his favorite tune?

He moved here back in June.

Anything weird that comes to mind

Will give us the motive we need to find.

Was he on the level?

Did he worship the devil?

What would be your vote?

Did he leave a suicide note?

‘Cause he’s dead, you know

By a rope.

Went completely nuts.

Couldn’t cope.

Search your memory

Nothing’s too small

We’ll leave you our card

Give us a call.

For we need to close

This stupid case

Of this careless sumbitch

Who betrayed our race.

Sorry to bother you.

Thanks for your time.

Sometimes there is just

No reason or rhyme.

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Jesonian: Can You Do What You Do With the Do? … November 29th, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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empty bucket

Yes, can you do what you do with the do?

For after all, ideal circumstances are impossible, good ones rare, and inadequate situations are common fare.

Never is this more evident than in the life of Jesus of Nazareth:

Being born in a barn is more likely a precursor to a life of poverty and crime than becoming the Savior of the world.

Being chased from your homeland by a despot and ending up a refugee in Egypt would normally be a sad biographical sketch of a loser and bitter soul, not the Prince of Peace.

Certainly being rejected by a town which pigeon-holed you as the “son of a Carpenter” would not inspire you to go out and heal the sick and raise the dead.

Likewise, having the misfortune to arrive at a wedding feast which did not order enough wine, and being asked to “do something with water” might make someone grouchy.

We must never forget that finding yourself in a garden where you’re surrounded by sleepy friends and betrayed by one of your close companions would normally be the closing scene of a Shakespearian tragedy, not the door to salvation.

And being convicted of a capital crime and sentenced to death hardly seems the best position to find oneself in while preparing for a resurrection.

Jesus worked on what he could do instead of complaining about the “do” that was going on around him.

I will go so far as to say that your level of success in life will be determined by how well you do what you do in the “do” that is available … instead of waiting for better times. 

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