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 42) Head Hunter… April 1st, 2018

Jonathots Daily Blog

(3629)

Moving stealthily across the room, Matthew eased his way into a large, brown, shiny leather chair with golden buttons. Crossing his legs, he wiggled his nose as if dispelling a fly and inquired, “You are an atheist, aren’t you?”

She replied, “I am a psychiatrist and a graduate of the University of…”

He interrupted her. “I know all about your degrees and all your studies. I’m a professional. I check things out. What struck me was that you advertised that your therapy was non-religious.”

She paused. “Yes. That particular line from my promotion is a hold-over from my days of working in Gadsden, Alabama, where they still believe that peters can walk on the water.”

Matthew laughed. “That’s very good. I just wanted to make sure that you’ll be able to listen to me with an objective mind, neither judging me critically because you’re faith-based, or over-evaluating me intellectually from some throne of godless superiority.”

She shifted in her chair and said, “Why don’t we just order in sushi and forget about the whole thing?”

Matthew liked her. Her name was Dr. Sherry Lynn Montgomery. He had carefully sought out her services because Matthew was convinced that another week of being the sole proprietor of his own brain might end him up in a sanitarium.

He needed to talk. He was tired of listening. So many opinions, so much rhetoric, so much danger, so much assurance. He just wanted to say “one, two, three” with the hope that someone would counter with “four, five.”

The doctor jumped in to fill a quiet space. “I grew up in Alabama,” she said. “My father was an evangelist for the Church of God. He was the kind of man who believed everything that came his way was true as long as it could be confirmed that a prophet, savior or apostle said it. He was not a horrible human being, but there were folks he hated. To use his colorful language, he explained to me many times that he despised ‘sinners and niggers’ and not necessarily in that order. He would jokingly tell me that ‘the niggers should be glad he made the distinction.’ I use the language for your ears, not to be flamboyant or cavalier, but to let you know that there was a cave I had to climb out of before I could reach even ground. I am familiar with that process. I have led many other religious spelunkers from their darkness to an understanding of the simplicity of this life.”

Matthew shook his head. “Damn, you talk pretty. I bet you’ve used that speech before.”

Dr. Sherry smiled. “I have. It’s a good speech–mainly because it’s true.”

“All right,” said Matthew. “Let me tell you a little bit about myself.”

This time, Dr. Sherry interrupted. “You are the young man who owns his own advertising agency, and decided to take on the task of making Jesus popular again. I also investigate my possible patients.”

Matthew scrunched up his face. “Well, not exactly. I’m not personally trying to do it. I just could not figure out how in the hell to turn down two hundred and fifty million dollars…”

“So what you’re saying,” continued the doctor, “is that you are not a religious fanatic–just willing to become one for the right price.”

Matthew stood to his feet and clapped his hands. “You got it! You really do know your stuff. Excuse me, Doctor Piety. Would you turn down two hundred and fifty million dollars if they offered it to you, to make Jesus popular again?”

“It seems to me that Jesus’ popularity has already cost the human race much more than two hundred and fifty million dollars,” she said tersely.

“Oh, I see,” said Matthew slowly. “We’re going to be serious.”

Dr. Sherry Lynn Montgomery leaned forward and pointed her finger at him. “Since you’ve taken over this little enterprise, there have been rumors of miracles, healings and even some fellow raised from the dead.”

Matthew inserted, “That one was temporary. He croaked, you know.”

She shook her head. “We don’t need more religion in this world. We need more reasonable people who will take the time to use their common sense and available knowledge to access real solutions.”

“Hell, you got no complaint from me on that one,” responded Matthew. “Except the parts of what you’re looking for don’t seem to be available. Are there such people in the world? Isn’t everybody waiting for the magic lamp they can rub so they can get the three wishes? I have to be honest–there’s a part of me that wants some sort of God, to take all the shit out of my life and leave behind promises. I don’t even care if He breaks the promises. I just can’t believe that my life is limited to what I know or even to what I can learn.”

“Why?” asked the doctor. “You’re not a stupid man.”

Matthew interrupted. “You can call me Matthew.”

“Actually, I won’t call you anything,” she said, “until I can determine if we’re going to have some sort of ongoing conversation.”

Matthew held his hand up to stop her. “What I want to know is, why do Christians always seem so sure about God and atheists always seem so mad?”

“I’m not mad,” said Dr. Montgomery. “I am just not titillated by fairy tales about eternal life, and I refuse to waste the one life I’ve got trying to measure up for the one that does not exist.”

“Are you sure it doesn’t exist?” asked Matthew. “Damn–if someone would just guarantee me that there’s nothing else but here and now, I think I could make it work. And if I couldn’t, at least I would know I was just another miserable son-of-a-bitch, waiting to expire. But I’m not sure. I’m not sure there is a God. I’m not sure there isn’t. Which means I’m not sure I know what the hell I’m doing.”

“I’m sure,” she replied. “Take my word for it. Listen to a young girl who said her prayers every night until she was eighteen years old and was able to sneak out at the end of the revival meeting, escaping into the darkness to start a new life.”

“You mean you ran away?” asked Matthew.

“Yes. And that was twenty-five years ago. And no one tried to follow me. I was told they declared it was God’s will–that my flesh had to be turned over to Satan for purification.”

Matthew just stared at her. “I know you don’t believe in any of this. At least that’s what you say. But I’ve been there for the meetings. I’ve listened to my friend, Jubal, talk about the joy of the Lord. I sat and spoke with a man who was electrocuted and was alive again. I saw my friends from college, with dismal outlooks on life, who now are coming to some kind of awareness. Pink returning to their cheeks and peace to their minds.”

“Fine,” the doctor said curtly. “Why don’t you just join them?”

“That’s easy,” said Matthew. “There’s too many of them. I’ve never been a soul who followed the mob mentality. I wore my leisure suits a full three years longer than the fashion snobs permitted. I still occasionally look in the Farmer’s Almanac for weather information. And I’ve never ordered anything but a pepperoni pizza any time in my life. I like things steady. I like the taste of my own efforts on my tongue. I don’t want a God to take control of my life. But I don’t want a devil to haunt my efforts.”

Dr. Sherry Lynn Montgomery just shook her head. “You’re very confused, Matthew. You neither have the bliss of ignorance nor the refreshment of enlightenment. What is it you think you have?”

“Jack and Coke,” Matthew said quickly. “I have Jack and Coke. It is the cocktail of rock stars. It’s what the Beatles drank, and it is what the next rock and roll band who offends some fearful mother in America will be guzzling down.”

He grinned. “Do you know why the rock bands started drinking Jack and Coke? When rock and roll began, the cities where the bands performed would not allow alcohol backstage. Many of the tours were sponsored by Coca-Cola, so there would be tons and tons of cans of Coke backstage. So the bands found it very simple to smuggle in bottles of Jack Daniels in their road cases, and even when the liquor was added to the cola, at first sight to any innocent producer, it just looked like a soft drink. Isn’t that amazing? It’s another example of humans adapting and evolving to meet the need.”

“Are you an alcoholic?” asked the doctor.

“No, no,” said Matthew. “That would be much too easy. I can go five days without drinking, and then follow it up with three days of doing nothing else. I never feel the need to drink, I usually just feel compelled to waste some time so I don’t have to think about this shit I’m talking to you about today.”

Matthew held up a finger. “Here’s what I know. If God doesn’t leave me the hell alone, He’d better be prepared to pay for my rehab. And I’m not talkin’ about some little state-sponsored place in the woods. I’m talkin’ about Malibu–with lobster for breakfast.”

“So it’s God’s fault?” questioned the doctor.

Matthew stood up and ambled toward the door. He turned the knob, opened it and was about to walk out, but then decided to conclude his speech.

“No, actually, good doc… Now it’s your fault. I occasionally like to include new people in my life so I can have someone fresh to blame.”

 

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Catchy (Sitting 39) And On the Third Day… March 11th, 2018

Jonathots Daily Blog

(3608)

Cassidy Templeton was a lineman for the electric company in Logan County, Oklahoma, which served the little town of Guthrie, population 11,000. Overnight, Guthrie went from being a quiet village of contented Sooners to a disaster area, as a tornado passed through, leaving behind a swath of destruction one mile wide and four miles long.

Cassidy was called in the middle of the night, and by the time he arrived and gathered his gear, the sun was peeking through, beginning to show the aftermath of a Mother Nature temper tantrum.

He was driving his truck on a county thoroughfare when he noticed a car stopped in the middle of the road. What was more disconcerting was the huge tree that was uprooted, sprawled across the electrical lines, pulling them down, closer and closer to the car below, as a heavy branch continued its descent.

Cassidy didn’t understand why the person in the vehicle didn’t back up to get away. He leaped out of his truck and ran up to the car, discovering a woman in her thirties, frozen in her ten o’clock/ two o’clock position, hands on the wheel.

He screamed but she didn’t respond. He looked in the back seat and saw three children buckled into position. He could hear the tree crackling above him, putting more and more weight on the lines, which were looming nearer and nearer to the car.

He just reacted. Instinctively–and stupidly–he ran and grabbed the wires to keep them from touching the car. He was struck down in the middle of the road with the full impact–electrocuted.

The woman regained her senses, backed her car up, put it in park, got out and dialed 911. Within three minutes there were firefighters and EMTs at the scene. But it was fruitless. Cassidy Templeton was dead.

They took him to the hospital, where after an hour of noble effort, he was officially declared DOA. His body was rolled into the morgue, his clothes were removed and a toe tag was attached so he could be autopsied later by the coroner.

That normally would have been the end of the story–except six hours later, a very dazed and confused Cassidy sat straight up.

Before he could realize his vulnerable position of nakedness, he got down from the table and strolled into the hallway, to the horror of the nursing staff. Fortunately, one of them noticed that he had a toe tag, and had emerged from the morgue.

He was gingerly led to a treatment room, where doctors examined him for four hours, only to discover that reports of his death were greatly exaggerated.

Cassidy was alive.

His hair was completely burned off his body and his hands were toasted, but all the other systems of his human anatomy seemed to be functioning at a high level. When friends and family arrived, frantically and joyfully, to see their loved one, they were all astounded at how mentally alert he was.

Cassidy had never been ignorant, but had eschewed most of the attributes of learning in favor of hunting. Now he sat in a chair and spoke with the articulation of a politician, without the accompanying lies. He explained to his family that something had changed. It wasn’t that he felt smarter–just that everything he had ever experienced seemed like fresh visions in his mind. He even remembered algebra.

In the midst of a horrific toll from the tornado, Cassidy’s story line was immediately picked up as a “feel good” closer for the nightly news.

Meanwhile, back at headquarters, Jubal Carlos decided to fly the whole troop into Guthrie for a noontime rally on the third day after the tornado. Matter of fact, it was the lunchtime of the morning that Cassidy was released from the hospital. The forty-six-year-old lineman went straight from his examination room to a stage in the middle of town, surrounded by about three thousand folks and the national press.

Jubal Carlos had no idea what Mr. Templeton was going to say at the rally. He had no time to prep him. Matter of fact, Cassidy arrived in a pick-up truck driven by his wife and accompanied by his son, got out, climbed up on stage, comically pounded on the congas for a few moments and then stepped toward the microphone.

Jubal spoke. “Well, I guess you know who this fella is. Around the team, we’ve started calling him “Lazman.” You remember–Lazarus, who Jesus raised from the dead?”

The crowd cheered and Cassidy giggled. There was a sweet, childlike quality to him that nearly startled Jubal, but he went on. “I have asked Mr. Templeton–can I call you Cassidy?”

Cassidy lit up a huge smile and nodded his head.

Jubal continued. “Anyway, I’ve asked Cassidy to come and speak to you all today, and he has literally just driven up from the hospital to be with us.”

Carlos glanced over at Cassidy, giving him a once up-and-down. “Damn, that’s the best-lookin’ dead man I’ve ever seen.”

Cassidy clapped his hands and the crowd roared with laughter and cheers. Jubal didn’t say anything else, just held out his hand, offering the platform.

Cassidy paused, glancing out at the crowd, exhibiting a few nervous twitches, and then slowly moved forward, stopped, and then spoke into the microphone, a bit surprised at how loud it was.

“It is amazing that you have to die to find out how dead you were. At least, that’s the way it worked for me. I loved my wife, I loved my town. I thought I loved God. I loved to hunt and I loved the shotgun my Grandpa gave me. I loved sweet corn with lots of butter…”

Each time Cassidy mentioned an earthly delight, the crowd murmured approval. He continued.

“But that morning, when I saw the woman and her children in the car, about ready to be pressure-cooked–yes, I guess that’s a good way of puttin’ it–I realized in a breath of time that to do nothing was to be a coward. Oh, my God, I did not want to be a coward. I didn’t want to wait and then later tell people I was following protocol. I didn’t want to see them pull four dead bodies from the scene when one would be better.”

He chuckled. “Unfortunately, that was gonna be mine.”

The audience responded with nervous laughter.

“So everything I had ever been taught, seen, believed, experienced and hoped entered my legs and pushed me forward. My hands decided to give up my life. I’d like to tell you that I thought about it. I’d like to say I was trying to do the right thing, but actually, in that split second, my something-or-other believed it was the only thing.”

Some “amens” chorused from the audience.

“They tell me I was dead. I don’t know much about that. I suppose I could tell you I saw God, Jesus or maybe Elvis. I didn’t. The next thing I remember after grabbing for that wire was looking down at myself in the hallway, standing upright, without my boxer briefs. It almost killed me again.”

The audience roared.

Cassidy concluded. “So I’m not gonna take much more of your time. But I would encourage you to go out some place by yourself, sit for a spell–and check if you’re dead, so you don’t have to die.”

He finished, then slowly walked away from the microphone as a stillness fell over the crowd.

Jubal left the tender moment alone. Everybody stood in silence for a good solid minute.

Cassidy had time to walk off the stage–a makeshift-flatbed-trailer–and start ambling toward his truck. Suddenly the gathered erupted in applause and he was surrounded by people who just wanted to touch “the Lazman.”

That night, every network led with the story. Every newspaper in America carried the picture, an insight or an editorial, and nearly all the souls in America stole a moment to take their own pulse.

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Catchy (Sitting 38) Tulips (Two Lips)… March 4th, 2018

Jonathots Daily Blog

(3601)

Matthew awoke with a pounding headache, sore throat, a mushy brain and a hangover that seemed to have hung on for weeks. He was lying in a fancy circular bed covered with satin sheets, in a bedroom which looked like a tribute to the color red.

He tried to focus on where he was. After about thirty seconds of trimming away frustration, he uncovered the fact that he was in Amsterdam.

Suddenly it all came back to him. He had spent the night before sharing a bong with a young female Chinese capitalist–an oil speculator from the United Arab Emirates, and a Lutheran minister from Southern California. He vaguely remembered their discussion as one punctuated with verbosity, absent much profundity.

Then, leaving the gathering of the “three wise ones,” he headed into the street and found himself at the De Wallen–often referred to as the “Windows” street of Amsterdam, because in window after window, prostitutes posed, availble for purchase–a Christmas display of female flesh.

As he remembered more, he recalled coming upon a window with a tall blond girl with spiked hair and deep-set, dark eyes. For some reason, he had decided he had to have her. So he stepped into her room. She pulled the curtains for privacy and he made arrangements with her–with one stipulation. He wanted her to be with him all night.

It was an expensive necessity, for the last thing in the world Matthew wanted was to be kicked out of his bed of pleasure because his time was up.

And it was pleasurable. Perhaps a little predictable and unemotional, but the woman he chose was certainly adept at the craft of love, if not the feeling.

Still lying in his bed, he turned his head and saw her sleeping next to him. What was her name? He knew she told him, because he commented on it. All at once, he remembered his own joke.

“Did you say girdle?”

She didn’t find it funny, but since she was a hired employee, she choked out a giggle. Her real name was Gerta.

As he gazed at her, he wanted to wake her up. He wanted to talk to her. Actually, he wanted her to give a damn about him. He felt a bit feminine–like a young girl who gives away her cherry, hoping that her lover would want to hang around for the rest of the “Sunday.”

All at once she stirred. “Are you awake?” she asked in the most crackly, sexy voice he had ever heard.

“I am,” he whispered, trying to be equally as appealing. Unfortunately, his voice sounded more like he had bronchitis.

“Did you sleep well?” she asked with her thick German accent.

“I did,” Matthew replied. He realized the conversation would go nowhere unless he inserted greater input. “Gerta, can I ask you a question?”

“Sure,” she said, turning over and exposing her perfect breasts and beautifully bronzed skin.

Matthew gasped. Gerta laughed. She pulled the sheet up so as to take away the temptation to stall conversation.

Matthew took a deep breath and inquired, “Am I a good lover? And please–tell me the truth.”

Gerta burst into laughter. “This is always what the men want to know. Usually they want me to score them in comparison–sometimes even by nationalities.”

Matthew was quite offended. “Well, I don’t want anything like that. I’m just horribly insecure at this point in my life, and I would like to know, deep in my heart, that my penis is doing well.”

Gerta sat up with her arms dangling in front of her and asked, “Do you want the truth or do you want me to make you feel extra, extra, extra good?”

“Wow,” said Matthew. “That’s scary shit.”

Gerta frowned. “I’m not familiar with ‘scary shit.’ Would that be an unexpected bowel movement, or a discoloration?”

She was dead serious. Matthew had his own fit of laughter. “I’m sorry. I didn’t realize it was so American. Scary shit just means it’s really, really, really scary.”

“I see,” said Gerta, as if cataloguing the phrase into her brain trust. “So, which is it, big boy? Do you want the truth, or do you want me to make it more padded and less, as you say, scary shit?”

She said it so cutely that he wanted to kiss her.

“I guess I want the truth,” said Matthew.

“The truth is, you’re average. Average looks. Average penis size. Average length of time it takes you to reach the top of your mountain. And average minutes for you to fall asleep afterwards.”

Matthew pretended to wipe sweat from his brown. “Phew… And here I thought I was a loser.”

There was a pause while both of them stared at a small shaft of light that had figured out how to wiggle through the dark curtains.

At length, Matthew said, “Thank you for staying all night.”

“Thank you for the money,” said Gerta.

“Why are you a prostitute?” he suddenly asked.

“Why do you ask foolish questions?” she countered, slinging her legs over the side of the bed, standing to her feet and scurrying into the bathroom for a quick pee.

“I’m sorry,” said Matthew, speaking through the wall. “I think being a prostitute is…unusual.”

She emerged, having donned panties, and slipping on his ragged t-shirt. She still looked beautiful.

“Listen, sir,” she said, sitting on the side of the bed. “Being a whore is unusual. Being a prostitute is a job. But that’s neither here nor there. I’m in my last two months.”

Matthew sat up, shocked. “Your last two months of what?”

She reached over, grabbed a cup of water and took a sip. “I am a contracted prostitute. You see, here in the Netherlands, everything is done by law, to keep things proper. So my contract is up in two months, and even though I’ve renewed three or four times, this is my last.”

“What will you do?” asked Matthew. “I’m not trying to be nosy, but since we’ve exchanged bodily fluids, I thought a little questioning might be permitted.”

She didn’t smile. It was obvious she did not find her work to be a matter of silliness. Her eyes suddenly lit up. It was like they began to dance across her face in jubilation.

“A month ago I went to Paris and participated in the Carlos Movement.”

Matthew nearly fainted. Never in his mind’s eye could he have envisioned laying in the bed of a prostitute in Amsterdam, trying to recover from a night of excessive marijuana, and hearing the name “Jubal Carlos.”

She proceeded on. “I went there on a lark. I was sure that since it was a religious movement, that once they found out I was a prostitute from Amsterdam, from the De Wallen, they would be condemning of me. So I walked up to one of the workers who appeared she might be the most prickly one, and I said, what do you think your Jesus feels about me? I’m a prostitute from Amsterdam.

“This worker took my hands and said, ‘Well, I know what he thinks. You’re the one he’s been waiting for.'”

Matthew closed his eyes. Had to be Sister Rolinda. No doubt about it. When he reopened his eyes, he saw that Gerta was crying.

“I don’t know why it struck me so,” she said, “and why it still moves my heart this morning, but the idea of Jesus waiting for me just overcame all my barriers. I danced, I ate, I embraced, I drank some wine and I listened to the message of Father Carlos. At the end I came back to the woman who said those words to me, and I told her, ‘I’m glad Jesus was waiting for me, because I have been waiting for him for a long time.’ She hugged me until I nearly broke and led me into a deeper understanding of a new beginning. So I came back here, gave my…notice? Is that what they say in America? Anyway, now I’m waiting.”

Matthew frowned. “You still didn’t answer my question. What will you do?”

“Oh,” she said. “I’m sorry. They asked me to join the team. They want me to fly around and share my story. I can’t think of anything more exciting.”

Matthew tried to lighten the moment. “So… Now you’ve been with Jesus. How would you rate him?”

Gerta stared at Matthew as if looking through his backbone all the way to his soul. It made him uncomfortable, so he tumbled out of the bed, searching unsuccessfully for his underwear. He slid on his pants and shoes, requested his shirt, plopped it on, and headed to the door.

He paused and turned back to Gerta, who was cradling her breasts. “What if telling your story is not as exciting as being a prostitute?”

Once again, she gave him that deep, all-knowing glance. “What if it’s not as painful?” she responded.

Matthew nodded his head, opened the door and entered the streets of Amsterdam, immediately hailing a cab. While waiting for his transportation to come to the curb, he was thinking.

How did this simple idea get all the way to De Wallen Street in Amsterdam?

The taxi rolled up, Matthew climbed in, and the young man sporting a big smile, who spoke in broken English, said, “Good morning, my brother.”

Matthew replied, “Take me to the airport.”

Seated in the back, Matthew looked up on the dashboard, where there would normally be a picture of the driver along with his license. In its place was a handbill with a photo of Jubal Carlos, and, in what appeared to be German, the words: “Live from Berlin.”

He glanced into the rearview mirror and saw the eyes of the cabbie.They were those eyes–bright, hopeful and mysteriously enlightened.

Matthew shook his head and whispered to himself, “Jesus Christ. He is everywhere.

 

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Catchy (Sitting 37) Wishes… February 25th, 2018

Jonathots Daily Blog

(3594)

Turns out the Iowa State Fair is held in Iowa–Des Moines, to be exact.

Matthew was anxious to connect with Soos and find out what was going on with all of the articles sprouting up about movements and changes in the church.

He discovered the team was heading to Iowa, and decided to fly out and catch up with her. She suggested they make a day of it and walk around the Iowa State Fair, enjoying the visual treats and “all the yummy eats.”

Soos said she would meet Matthew at the food truck that advertised red, white and blue cotton candy. This made him grumpy–it wasn’t exactly GPS.

But upon arrival he quickly recognized that this particular truck was right in the middle of everything and very easy to spot. He looked around for a moment and then saw her, walking toward him with a huge funnel of something-or-other.

Like a twelve-year-old girl, she ran up, hugged him and handed over the concoction.

“It’s called a cheesy-fried-enchilada funnel cake,” she explained. She thrust it into his face, and Matthew found himself eyeballing instant cullinary death, but bit into it anyway.  As with most foods geared to kill the human race, it was absolutely scrumptious.

Soos had found a picnic table nearby where they could sit and talk–a stone’s throw from the hog pens. They sat down, and by the twelfth bite of the funnel cake, Matthew felt a bit queasy at the mixture of Mexicali and pig stink.

Begging off the rest of the treat, he said, “I traced all of these reports and stories about the churches back to you.”

She looked up, a little surprised but with a twinkle in her eye.

He continued. “I just had to come here and find out what’s going on.”

Soos stuck a huge bite of red, white and blue cotton candy in her mouth, and told her story.

It turned out that right after Morgan’s death, Jubal decided it was time to step out–be bold and not just repetitive. He explained that “good things stop being good if they don’t get better.” So one day after a rally, the team, which had now grown to eighteen travelers, was asked a question. “What do you think a Jesus wish list would be?”

Soos continued to explain that this stimulated a five-hour discussion. About halfway through, somebody started typing up the ideas, and the gathered accumulated twenty possibilities. After much discussion, they honed it down to a holy seven, which they called “The Seven Wishes.”

  1. Jesus would wish to bless children.
  2. Equality for women.
  3. Expose what’s fake.
  4. Heal the sick.
  5. Bring good news.
  6. Reward the truth.
  7. No one is better than anyone else.

Matthew sat and listened quietly as Soos shared her story.

“After they finished the list,” Soos explained, “Jubal said that if we want to address this effort, we need a little army, not just their soul patrol. I thought it was time for me to speak up, so I suggested that ‘good news stories’ should be planted on the Internet and other publications, discussing eye-opening, ground-breaking ideas that reinforce these seven wishes.

“Here was my thought. If people believed the churches were thinking about Jesus’ wishes, maybe the masses would be more likely to consider the churches.”

Matthew interrupted. “Well, how many did you do?”

“Let me see,” said Soos. “A story was released that the Catholic Church, along with considering women for the priesthood, would announce all the names of the priests who were pedophiles, promising to remove them from the ministry, and set in motion a deep healing for the victims.”

She went on. “Another story was that the Mormons, who for years quietly maintained a doctrine of the inferiority of the black race, were now developing a new slogan for the Latter Day Saints: ‘no one is better than anyone else.'”

Soos clapped her hands. “Here was one of my favorites. The Southern Baptist Church of America was offering an apology to the descendants of the slaves.”

“And,” she added, “the Unitarians, who historically did not believe in miracles, were commencing a new program for laying hands on the sick, to see them healed.”

Unfreakingbelievable,” said Matthew, shaking his head.

Soos continued. “Each story was carefully worded, cushioned with an opening statement such as, ‘rumor has it…’ or ‘sources say…’ or ‘notables within the denomination report…’ while never actually claiming that the information was solidly grounded in fact. The stories were so filled with goodness…”

Matthew jumped in. “You can’t tell me that Jubal went for this.”

Soos shook her head. “No, he didn’t like it at first. Matter of fact, he was standing strongly against it. Then I explained that as long as we were presenting the purity of what these churches say they believe, challenging them to follow their own doctrines, we were merely beckoning them to their own spirit.”

Matthew roared. “What bullshit double-talk.”

Soos was offended. “I don’t need your cynicism. I would like you to consider what’s happened. These churches found themselves in a position to deny the reports, but if they did, they were forced to explain why they were against the concepts. Or they had to make a claim that such movements were under advisement–and in so doing, open the door for their congregants to discuss freely.”

She reached over and touched his hand. “Do you get it, Matthew? People are discussing. People are questioning now because they care. Nobody cared before. Now it’s actually a topic–able to be discussed instead of the forbidden religion which should never be brought up during table talk.”

Matthew listened, unconvinced. What was the possibility of law suits? What if the plan were exposed, called them out for being the charlatans they supposedly were fighting?

Then all at once, Soos changed the subject. “I want you to try something before you leave the fair. It’s just around the corner, over next to the pig barn.”

Matthew was a little taken aback with the transition but played along. “Okay. What’s this special thing next to the oinkers?”

“It’s a huge roast pig leg on a stick,” said Soos.

Matthew winced. “Let me get this straight. So while I’m sitting, staring at living pigs, you want me to munch on a roast pig leg that’s been cooked?”

“Barbecued,” corrected Soos.

“Oh–barbecued,” said Matthew. “That’s different. I’m just curious, Soos. Would you be comfortable sitting in front of a daycare filled with children, chewing on a barbecued leg from a little girl?”

“How good does it taste?” she said, smirking.

Even though Matthew never partook of the pig leg, they talked on for another couple of hours, just catching up.

Soos had changed. She had probably hoped Matthew had changed also.

He hadn’t. The whole project was just a gig to him. He wasn’t ashamed. Somebody had to keep his feet on the ground while the others floated to heaven. That was his job–to be the grownup in La-La Land.

But there was something contagious about Soos’ spirit. As she told stories of city after city, where human beings joined together to escape the dusty sameness, she grew more and more excited.

It was nearly erotic. Of course, Matthew viewed everything through the sunglasses of sexuality.

He realized how much he had missed her. He had never found her especially romantically attractive, but on this day, the gleam of her skin, the sweet smell of her sweat, and the mustiness of her breath left him curious.

After the lengthy conversation, filled with laughs and thoughtfulness, Soos excused herself to leave. Matthew was waiting. He knew that if there was a connection with her–if she was interested in him, or if there was a possibility for a sweet fling–she would inquire as to when she would see him again.

It’s just what women do. At least, that’s what Matthew assumed.

Soos hugged him, kissed him on the cheek, whispered a verse of scripture in his ear, grabbed the rest of her huge Slurpee and jogged down the Midway, in a hurry to get back to what was her real love.

He watched her run away as the growing distance between them fostered a deep sense of loneliness. He had never considered Soos to be beautiful, but all at once, he could easily envision himself ravaging her in bed.

There was no doubt about it–she was going to make some man a wonderful companion, and one hell of a lover.

 

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Catchy (Sitting 34) Three Fronts … February 4th, 2018

Jonathots Daily Blog

(3573)

It didn’t take long.

Twenty-four hours after the announcement of Morgan’s murder, the country was ablaze with controversy, assumptions, conspiracy theories and accusations.

There were enough questions about the circumstances (and since it was well-known that Prophet had betrayed Jubal Carlos by holding interviews) it was determined that Jubal was to be brought to headquarters to answer some questions.

Unfortunately, Jubal and the band had hopped the jet, along with their merry patrons, flying to Europe for a five-city tour–which he had dubbed “The New Jesus.” London, Paris, Madrid, Berlin and Rome were about to get a healthy dose of “the gospel according to Carlos.”

It was a ten-day tour, so the authorities in Clark Country agreed to wait until Jubal’s return to hold the session.

At the same time, in Washington, Congressman Michael Hinston stepped out of the shadows, where he had been disguising his plot, and stirred up the House of Representatives and many in the Senate to demand that the Justice Department conduct a thorough investigation of the murder.

Normally such a request was ignored, but the Catholic Church and the Southern Baptists added their “yeas and amens” to the demand. Since these two institutions were not known to agree on much of anything, the investigation was sanctioned and set in motion.

With Prophet Morgan dead and Jubal in Europe, the work in America was left in the hands of Sister Rolinda. She had been taken out of the spotlight and placed, as Jubal called it, “backstage” ever since she had ruffled the robes of the Pope in Rome. But now, since there was no one to take over the work in Las Vegas, she was called forth and put in authority, with the assumption, “What harm could she do?”

Matthew checked out.

He refused to take calls, only allowing his two old friends, Jack Daniels and Jim Beam, into his sanctuary. It was all so crazy. All he had ever wanted in his life was to make money without hurting anyone, with his name in the paper every once in a while. Now he wasn’t making money, it seemed like people were getting hurt (if you counted a murder) and his name was in the paper with slanderous overtones.

He also received an accounting from his financial advisors on how much money had been spent of the 250 million dollars. $31,285,652.38. It was a staggering sum. Yet truthfully, in the world of advertising, the amount of publicity that had been received was worth ten times that much. Still, what did they have to show for it? Matthew mulled as he communed with Jack and Jim.

The press arrived for the first night after the announcement of the murder at the Las Vegas “warehouse-turned-church,” to see what would transpire. There was a large crowd, and since the band was overseas, Sister Rolinda had decided to invite a black choir from Los Angeles. They sang the place happy, they chorused the room sad.

At length, as the entire gathering fell silent, Sister Rolinda took the stage, wearing a little nun hat, a gingham dress and an apron.

She clumsily grabbed the microphone and began to speak. “I’ve lost my friend, Morgan. I hurt so badly I can’t breathe. He was not perfect. I suppose some of you wouldn’t even think he was good. He was arrogant–in a humble way. He was loving–with a spiteful streak. And he was a human, searching for his humanity.

“I saw him literally give the coat on his back to a stranger. I was with him when white supremacists beat him up because he condemned their ignorant bigotry. Did you know he was abused himself? But considering that, he tried very hard not to be an abuser.

“I loved him. Did you? Or did you find yourself judging something about him? Maybe it was his funny, overstated hair. Maybe it was because he was so young, he still had pimples. Maybe it was because he dressed like a 1950s backwoods evangelist.

“We feel very powerful when we can criticize. We think voicing our opinion is our God-given right. We have only one God-given right: ‘love your neighbor as yourself.'”

Suddenly Rolinda raised her voice to a scream. “Did you hear me? Love your goddamn neighbor as yourself!”

The building fell more silent than the silence it already possessed. Rolinda continued, softly.

“I am not a speaker. I am not glib. I am not full of wisdom. When I became a nun, I asked God to fill me with only one thing–compassion. That’s it.

“Tonight we need to rid ourselves of revenge, attitude, discussions of foul play and just general stupidity. We don’t need to celebrate Prophet Morgan. He would tear his shirt off in horror if he knew we were doing that. We need to acknowledge the Jesus who Prophet loved, and the best way to do that is to love one another.

“So since the press has shown up tonight, I am going to take this time to answer any questions they may have, to the best of my ability.”

Sister Rolinda paused, lifting a finger, ready to point in the direction of anyone who might want to pose an inquiry. But perhaps for the first time in the history of press conferences, no one had anything to say. There was nothing to ask.

Rolinda took a deep breath, and suddenly tears began to stream down her face. More and more she cried, until she was squalling. Buckling at the knees, she nearly fell on her face, catching herself with her hands, until members of the audience rushed forward to lift her and comfort her.

As if on cue, everyone else who remained turned to each other and embraced, then quietly moved toward the exit.

Meanwhile … Jubal and the band performed in front of ten thousand screaming, hollering Germans, sharing bratwurst and beer.

Meanwhile … Michael Hinston perused a private email from the CLO which applauded his efforts to instigate an investigation.

Meanwhile … the decomposing, chopped-up body of Prophet Morgan lay very dead in the morgue.

And meanwhile … Matthew just drank.

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Catchy (Sitting 32) The Prophet Has No Honor…January 21st, 2018

Jonathots Daily Blog

(3559)

It was a starry night in Las Vegas. The weather was perfect–just warm enough that you wanted to be out and about, but not so hot that you would avoid getting close to someone you loved.

It had been such a refreshing day that Jubal decided to take the evening’s meeting and put it out in an abandoned Little League ball field, offering hot dogs, corn on the cob and great rock and roll.

The word spread like creamy peanut butter. By 6:30 P.M., for a 7:30 starting time, there were nearly three thousand people gathered. Jubal had expected a good crowd, but nothing of that magnitude.

Hot dogs were soon gone, and there were only “cornless” cobs. People didn’t care. Those who brought food shared, and those who didn’t were careful not to over-stuff themselves. About halfway through the musical portion of the show, Jubal ceased in mid-drumming and walked to the microphone.

After about ten seconds, as the band stopped and the audience grew silent, Jubal spoke.

“I just have never understood it,” he said. “If you go to the church down the road, they’ll hand you some bread and wine and tell you it’s what Jesus did at the Last Supper and what he wants us to do to remember him. They seem to completely forget that he did something else that fateful night. He took off all of his clothes, wrapped a towel around his waist, and got down on his hands and knees and washed the feet of his disciples.

“It blew their small-town minds. They viewed him as the Messiah.They thought he was better than them. They believed he was God–and it was beyond their comprehension that God could kneel down and do such a menial task.

“Jesus told his disciples to do it in the future. Wash feet, that is. And in so doing, communicate our commonality as people, and the gentleness of our spirit.

“But don’t get freaked out. I’m not going to take my clothes off…”

A boo and then a groan went through the crowd.

“Oh, stop it,” said Jubal, looking officially red-faced. “I brought along water, I’ve got these basins and wash cloths, and I’m also gonna wear my swimsuit.”

He held it up, displaying it for the audience. “I don’t swim much, so I just picked this up at Dollar General on the way over. How’s it look?”

There were some whistles and catcalls.

Jubal giggled. “Again–stop it!”

Everyone laughed.

“As I’ve told you before many times, I don’t know what I’m doing. I’m just feeling my way. And I feel like taking this water and washing some feet. If you want to, help yourself.”

Jubal jumped off the stage to the ground, filled a basin with water and headed out into the crowd. People backed away like the wind had blown them to the side.There was a deep respect for Jubal’s words, but apprehension over such intimacy.

Finally a little girl came up, plopped down and sat cross-legged on the ground. Jubal pulled out her feet and started washing them as the people stared in amazement.Then he did another, and another.

Having waited for one of the policemen who had been sent to watch over the gathering to remove his shoes and socks, Jubal sponged his feet, and many in the audience burst into tears. Nowhere on earth was there a more beautiful sight.

A few people here and there began picking up basins, filling them with water and heading out into the crowd. Soon there was a new practice–one soul would wash the feet of another, and they, in turn, washed the feet of the person who had blessed them.

It was very quiet in a noisy sort of way.There was a sweet hum and mumble of conversation, and the sound of weeping, and some laughter. It went on for thirty minutes. Forty minutes. Then an hour. No one was growing weary. No one was looking at a clock. No one was concerned about a lack of hot dogs and corn.

Everyone seemed to realize they would never in their lives be any closer to other human beings than they were in this moment. The most amazing part of the whole experience was that most people completely lost sight of Jubal–they didn’t even pursue having him wash their feet. They became intensely focused on one another.

Jubal found himself standing next to Matthew, who was watching, shaking his head in disbelief.

“Did you get your feet washed, Matt?” asked Jubal.

“Had two offers,” said Matthew. “But I’m holding out for the free manicure.”

Jubal laughed. He didn’t push it. He knew very well that the scene was beyond Matthew’s comprehension. He just allowed his buddy to receive it in the moment.

In the midst of this explosion of human contact, there was a sudden interruption. Standing on the stage was Prophet Morgan.

He grabbed the microphone and screamed, “Matthew 23! 23! Matthew 23–23!”

He kept repeating it over and over again.

Matthew turned to Jubal and asked, “Is he talking about me?”

“No,” said Jubal. “It’s the scripture where Jesus said if they tell you the Christ is over here, don’t go.”

“Well, that’s kind of shitty advertisement,” said Matthew. “What are you gonna do?”

Jubal walked over to the sound man and whispered in his ear. Suddenly it appeared that Prophet Morgan was still screaming but no one could hear him.

“What’s going on?” Matthew asked.

“I didn’t want to hurt his feelings,” explained Jubal. “So I kept the monitors on so he could hear himself, but turned the house speakers off so the people could still enjoy their experience.”

Matthew didn’t know exactly what that meant, but the problem was solved. Prophet continued to rant from the stage, but nobody else was able to make out his words. After about two minutes of hate and rage, Morgan left the stage, climbed into his sports car and took off.

Matthew turned to Jubal. “What are you gonna do about that, my brother?”

“I don’t know,” said Jubal. “I want to give him space, but not enough to destroy himself.”

“He hasn’t been the same since he did those interviews,” Matthew noted.

Jubal shook his head. “Nope. He feels like a traitor. I keep telling him that nobody’s upset–but he sees disapproval where there is none.

“Well he really went crazy,” Matthew inserted, “and they started calling him Profit Margin.”

“That was screwed up,” Jubal replied.

Matthew nodded in agreement. “You know–he’s just a young fellow but he’s had a helluva life.”

“Yeah,” Jubal acknowledged. “But we all have. You see, here’s the key, Matt. When you get a free tour of hell, it’s a good idea to come out of the experience, find heaven somewhere and make sure you never return to the fire.”

Matthew smiled, looking around the ball field. “How do you plan on stopping this foot thing?”

Jubal laughed. “I don’t know–but I’m thinkin’ if we had some more hot dogs and corn on the cob, we could certainly steer their interest.”

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

The next morning, a Nevada highway patrolman found a sports car sitting by a huge rock near the edge of a cliff. The ignition was still engaged, but the car had run out of gas.

Inside was one man, his body leaning against the steering wheel–quite dead.

It was Prophet Morgan.

The preliminary diagnosis by the Nevada crime scene investigator was death by carbon monoxide poisoning. Apparently, Prophet sat in his car, unaware that he was being killed.

Yet taped to his windshield was a note. It read:

“I’m sick of being sorry. Or is it that I’m sorry I’m sick? Sometimes I want to be dead. Sometimes I am dead. Since I was a child, I’ve been abused by religious fanatics who said they loved God–but really hated people. I am a mess. It’s a mess I don’t want to deal with anymore. Father, into your hands I commit my mess.”

 

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