Cracked 5 … November 14th, 2017


Jonathots Daily Blog

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Last Confessions of a Turkey Before Thanksgiving

A. I tried to plump up my wife so they’d take her instead of me.

 

B. I acted really, really paranoid so the farmer would think I was “a chicken”

 

C. I made close friends with the butcher’s children

 

D. I pulled out all my feathers so they’d think I was diseased

 

E. I stopped using “fowl language”

 

 

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

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Dear Man Dear Woman

Dear Woman: So what did you think?

 

Dear Man: About what?

 

Dear Woman: Dinner.

 

Dear Man: It was good.

 

Dear Woman: What did you eat?

 

Dear Man: What do you mean?

 

Dear Woman: I mean, what did you eat? What was it?

 

Dear Man: Chicken. Am I right?

 

Dear Woman: You see, this is my problem. Yes, it was chicken, but I made a special sauce to go with it, added some cheese. I spent a little time.

 

Dear Man: And so do I. You know our routine. Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I work on dinner when I get home. Tuesday and Thursday you do it. Saturday is pizza day and Sunday is clean out the refrigerator.

 

Dear Woman: I know. But you see, my point is, because you don’t have any part in my dinner-making tonight, we don’t have any connection.

 

Dear Man: We have conversation over dinner.

 

Dear Woman: Somewhat. But conversation about your day and conversation about my day is not conversation about our day.

 

Dear Man: What do you mean?

 

Dear Woman: What I mean is, you spent most of your day at work with people putting together projects, getting close to them in a mutual effort, and then we come here and we’re married, but the only thing we ever really do together is pay bills.

 

Dear Man: That’s ridiculous. We do lots of things together. We watch movies, we go to the mall, we shop, we go to the park…

 

Dear Woman: You see, that’s the problem We go to places but we’re not a place. I know you don’t necessarily believe all the Adam and Eve stuff from the Bible…

 

Dear Man: I believe in the Bible, just not everything…

 

Dear Woman: Well, I don’t believe in everything, either. But even the things I don’t think are possible, I still try to learn the lessons they have to offer…

 

Dear Man: So what am I missing?

 

Dear Woman: Adam and Eve not only had a life together–sex, romance–but they also worked together. They had a Garden to take care of. It made them get up every morning and notice each other. Kind of like, “Thank God you’re here. Otherwise, I’d have to do the Garden by myself.”

 

Dear Man: I’m glad you’re here…

 

Dear Woman: Let me finish. And then they became involved. How do we take care of the Garden? How do we produce this together? A statement of, “There’s much to do and I need you.” They weren’t just roommates. They were work-mates.

 

Dear Man: So how would we work together?

 

Dear Woman: I don’t know. But it created appreciation. They got to see each other doing their stuff at their best, so they could turn to each other and say, “You did great. We did great.” I just feel like I do my best work on the job and you never get to see it.

 

Dear Man: Well, you don’t get to see my best work, either.

 

Dear Woman: Exactly.

 

Dear Man: So what you’re saying is that maybe rather than doing dinner separately, we do it together, and in the process throw in ideas, laugh at ourselves, and come up with a concoction we both are invested in, and therefore will be more interesting to us.

 

Dear Woman: Brilliantly said! I just feel like the more we do together, the more we’ll enjoy what we do, and the more we’ll notice each other, get involved with each other and appreciate each other.

 

Dear Man: Well, it seems like an idea we can do.

 

Dear Woman: I think so, too. I think if we just take the chores of the house, the cooking and the everyday stuff and try to do some of it together so we can watch each other at work, instead of trying to explain our day over dinner, when the thrill of the moment is long gone…well, I just think it’ll draw us closer.

 

Dear Man: We can still keep pizza night, right?

 

Dear Woman: Yeah. Maybe sometimes we’ll make our own pizzas, though.

 

Dear Man: I think we just crossed a line…

 

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … July 22nd, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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PoHymn July 22

At Least (A Saga)

He said he was hungry

I thought he might be lazy

But I can’t make him work

I can help him eat

I can

The little boy was dripping with sweat

His tongue hanging out as he panted

Hot day–he should hydrate

He knows that

Not my problem

I could give him one of my cold bottles of water

But if he’s thirsty, why doesn’t he drink?

Maybe too tired

I can offer

I can

 

The family looks lost

I don’t know them

Don’t want to be pushy

God forbid I should interfere

But seems they could use a friendly word

I’m embarrassed, a chicken

A timid hen

They appear rejected

I might say something

Awkward

Still, I can be nice

I can

 

How did I end up here?

The guys from work wanted to go to a strip joint

Pardon–Gentlemen’s Club

Look at her

She is so naked

I mean, disrobed of her identity

Men poking, leering and groping

Let me outta here

Buy her a drink?

Offer her my coat and a chance to talk?

Too weird

Too naked

I can be a man instead of a boy

I can

 

Sick people make me sick

I get sick looking at them

Germs

Got to stay healthy

But being sick is so sickly

Feeling bad makes you think bad

I can visit

I can

 

Law breakers

Get what they deserve

Jail birds, but we clip their wings

Maybe they want more

A second chance

How lonely is prison?

I could come to see someone

Especially since my nephew is in there

What would I say?

Maybe nothing

I can sit and listen

I can

 

I can do much more

Than stand outside the door

And wonder what’s within

Hope, joy, faith or sin

Will I risk being odd

To find the touch of God?

Yes, my soul deserves a feast

So I can go…

At least.

 

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A Nice Price for Mice … November 16, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

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dead miceIt was a rather odd dream–not really spooky, just bizarre.

I found myself in a Wendy’s fast-food restaurant, chomping on a chicken sandwich, chatting with friends, when a young tyke about seven years old came walking up to me. He had chubby cheeks and wore a winter hat, similar to the ones you would see in the 1950s on kids who were forced to don them by their parents. In his hand he was holding an old-fashioned bird cage, and as I peeked inside, I discovered it was filled with little dead white mice.

I was taken aback. Then the youngster pointed to a sign pinned to his coat. It read, “A nice price for mice.”

I realized the kid was trying to sell these deceased little rodents–peddling from table to table.

Before I could express my horror, he ambled over to another patron, where a lovely older lady purchased one of the mice from the determined seller. He made his way all around the restaurant, with each person buying one of the dead boogers and patting the young man on the head.

I observed that none of the customers knew what to do with their purchase. As I mentioned, this was not a spooky dream. No one ate one or put it between their sesame seed buns. One lady wrapped the dead mouse delicately in a napkin and placed it in her purse; another man stuffed it in his pocket.

Why was the little boy selling dead mice? And why were people purchasing them?

Suddenly I awoke.

So you see, my friends, I don’t like to ignore my dreams. It may actually be one of the few occasions when my harried soul is still enough for God and my conscience to speak to me. In the process of analyzing the dream, I realized it was a parable of our American culture.

If Madison Avenue is able to find the right “little boy” to send our way to appeal to us, we are more than willing, at a nice price, to buy mice.

We really don’t know what we’re going to do with them. We don’t particularly favor them. But we find it difficult to say no to the attractive offer–especially when those around us are purchasing.

So we end up stuck with something we may not even believe in, and certainly do not treasure, as we pretend that it is our choice. Here’s the truth: mice aren’t nice–at any price.

Especially dead ones.

So I will tell you–there are some mice which have entered our society, promoted by Madison Avenue and large corporations. I would like to point them out and call them nasty, instead of wrapping them up in a napkin and tucking them away.

Here are three that immediately come to my mind:

1. Killing.

I am against it. I don’t like war. I don’t agree with capital punishment. I don’t like abortion. I don’t particularly like it when a guy shoots a woman through a screen door. It’s a dirty little mouse being peddled to the public as realistic and entertaining.

2. Drug abuse.

I don’t understand why we need them. What I mean is, I don’t understand why we would want to take drugs for recreational purposes when we’re reluctant to use them for treatment. I think we should be in the business of becoming a drug-free society because we’re working on being happier people. I will not purchase that little wall-dweller and call it a pet.

3.  Pornography.

It isn’t cute. It isn’t pretty. It doesn’t create equality between the sexes. It is another form of slavery for women. It is notorious. It is a dead “stinky” being sold by pretty people who want to portray themselves as open-minded–unless you are talking about the rights and dignity of the female of our species.

There you go.

I realize we live in a society that wants to peddle a nice price for mice, but I will tell you, things like killing, drug abuse and pornography are dirty rats.

And they are not a deal for me … at any price.

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Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

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Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about scheduling SpiriTed in 2014.

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Take a Chance… November 11, 2012

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My failures don’t languish and decay in the garbage dump of effort, but rather, putrefy and stink up the joint in the residue of my own indecision.

In other words, eagles fly, chickens get plucked.

I have a diagnoses for our country. After traveling this great land of ours for decades and putting a stethoscope on the heart of America, I can tell you with a great amount of certainty where we ail. For you see, Republicans think that people are too dependent on government. The Democrats feel that the populace is waiting for God to solve everything. Actually, they are both right–our nation is infected with the disease of “destiny-itis.”

All good souls are waiting for something to come along, clarifying needs to be done. It’s in our art, it’s in our politics, it’s in our theology and it’s in our educational system, which is keen on math and English but often fails to intone the warnings of history.

A great king once said, “Time and chance happens to all,”but we spend most of our hours trying to extend our time on earth and miss the chances that do come our way.  therefore our aging process makes us more grumpy and dissatisfied instead of ecstatic and fulfilled.

How did destiny and the belief in life being out of our hands ever gain such a stranglehold? It’s a great question. The answer will determine whether you’re a victim or a victor.

To escape the trap of destiny, you have to reject two widely accepted ideas, which are blatantly flawed.

1. Everyone was born to do something.

2. God has a wonderful plan for your life.

Let me give you a quick example.

Although the liberals in the United States would insist that America is gun crazy and that placing some sort of control on firearms is the best way to stop the violence that surrounds us, you only have to go north of our border to Canada to discover that the fine folks in the provinces have a record for the least violence in the world, but own more guns per capita than the United States. Were they “born” with an ability to possess weapons without killing each other? Is it God’s will that they be a peaceful sort of nation, and His determination that the American culture be vicious and mean-spirited? Of course not. Canadians grow up around guns and learn from birth not to point them at people. Americans desire guns and are not given the same instruction concerning where to aim their calibre. It’s that simple.

In the great debate over “nature” and “nurture,” we should just stop the conversation, because it’s all about nurture. We all have been nurtured to be in our present condition–so if you are raised to believe that you are “born to do something” or that God is pulling the strings, you will more than likely pass over chances to be fruitful because you’re confused over whether they have come from your birthright or from your divine Creator.

I think in the religious world, this belief is propagated because we contend that Jesus of Nazareth, the son of God, was “born” to do the will of his Father by dying on a cross for the sins of mankind even though, before his death, he proclaimed in the Garden of Gethsemane, that he had completed his work.

In the secular world, the inclination is to pursue “destiny” because we have so many unexplained predispositions in the general population that it seems to us that these inklings must have been ingrained in the DNA.

I’m sorry–it’s just not true. We are either given a life to live or we have been given a life which can be snatched away from us when we fail to follow the unknown rules that hatched us.

I often tell people in churches that God has a wonderful life for your plan. My heavenly Father does not tell me what to do. The Bible says He’s a good Father. A good father does not force his child into a plan of his making and then withhold blessing when the offspring fails to fulfill. Why would we think God would do that? By the same token, why would we believe that God, who is the founder of the concept of free will, would birth us in a certain direction without us being able to choose a detour?

  • I was not born to write.
  • I was not born to sing.
  • I was not born to be fat.
  • I was not born to be funny.

The chance to do these things came my way and I leapt on board and have survived the bumpy ride. I do not know why we think that something is more plausible if we are “born” to do it and therefore it’s out of our control. Do we think that frees us of responsibility? Is it our way of apologizing for our choice? Do we really want to worship a God who has pre-booked our flight and will punish us or at least levy a penalty for any changes on the itinerary? So foolish.

But it is why the American people are always two steps through the doorway of pissed off. For the truth is, if you have forfeited your rights, liberty and choice on where your life is headed, no matter whether you’ve done it in a secular way–by believing you are pre-determined at birth to do a particular thing–or if you’ve done it in a religious way–by pretending that God is pulling the strings–the helplessness that follows the decision does not inspire effort, but rather, welcomes anger and apathy.

Take a chance. Time is passing. Chances are racing by. Grab one.

The worst thing that can happen is you fail. But the truth of the matter is, failure is guaranteed if you do nothing–because your birthright will not make you free, and God has no intention of rallying an army of robots.

Watch out for destiny. It is contagious. It is deep in the bloodstream of all the rebirth of interest in fairy tales, mysticism, fantasy, soul mates and even musings over the end of the world. Keep three important things in mind:

1. The future is not decided until you decide it.

2. You were not “born” to do anything, but were given an opportunity to be born again–to do everything.

3. If you wait on the Lord with no plans on running a race of your own, you will end your life at the starting gate.

Take a chance. Free yourself of “detiny-itis” and soar with the eagles instead of remaining earth-bound with all the chickens. It is the law of the sky.

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Missing Ingredient … July 24, 2012

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It was named Chicken Groovy.

Many years ago, Ben and Josey invited Dollie and me over to partake in a new delicacy they had come up with from their own imaginations.  Chicken Groovy.(For those of you born after the invasion of the bell bottom, groovy means something really fine or absolutely sublime.) Continuing my story, Ben and Josey

English: Logo of the Groovy project

English: Logo of the Groovy project (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

requested that we bring three pounds of fresh boneless and skinless chicken breasts to the party–and they would do the rest. So I went to the store, picked up the meat and we headed over to their house with our recently deceased, disassembled birds.The evening started out terrific. Music was playing, giddiness was in the air, conversation was rich … when suddenly Ben came out of the kitchen, horror written all over his face, asking Josey where… Well, I forget what was missing. Some sort of spice. It could have been parsley, sage, rosemary or thyme. It became obvious that Josey had forgotten to pick up this particular ingredient at the store. Ben was devastated and informed everyone that the evening was ruined because the meal couldn’t be completed due to the absence of this mystery spice from the East.

That in itself would have been enough “over-wrought” for me, but the failure to acquire the purchase from the grocery store led Ben and Josey into a deep discussion–in front of us–about many of their internal problems. I was fine when they were discussing the poor choice of a couch in the living room. I remained silent when she expressed her displeasure over him leaving the toilet seat up. But when the conversation moved into frustrations about bedroom technique, I decided it was time for me to get to my feet and do something.

So I grabbed the chicken, a salt shaker and headed off to the kitchen, acquired a frying pan and started to make my own evolution of Chicken Groovy. (By this time, honestly, any chicken or food whatsoever would have been groovy.) Ben and Josey were a bit shocked by my presumption but didn’t sense that they would be able to stop my progress, so I cooked up the chicken and we ate it. They were a bit disgruntled because it wasn’t REALLY Chicken Groovy, but we finished the food and left.

I never forgot that night. It amazed me how quickly we went from being contented individuals to completely enraged and argumentative, simply because there was a missing ingredient. There wasn’t even a discussion on how we could improvise with something else. After all, catsup covers a multitude of inadequacies.

The trouble is, when people want things to be perfect, they convince themselves that the key to that perfection is in surrounding themselves with the elements. Big mistake.

In like manner, I was born a twelve-and-a-half pound glob of pink, hairless “homely.” Since then, I have only added poundage to that perplexity. Somewhere along the way, though, I received a calling in my heart to use my talent to try to enrich my own life and touch the borders of the human beings around me. Honestly, I wasn’t visually suited for that, for human beings are notorious for looking on the outward appearance instead of the heart. I had a missing ingredient. But I chose to ignore it. I placed myself in the vulnerable position of being criticized initially for the possibility of being a blessing later.

About ten years ago, my knees and legs started wishing to retire. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it) my mind, heart and spirit were not ready to play shuffleboard. So I find myself touring around the country, daily convincing my lower extremities to participate as they reluctantly joined the quest like a grumpy old man complaining about the available choices at a Tex-Mex restaurant.

I have a missing ingredient to being a traveler–my legs don’t work very well. I suppose there are folks who would use that as an excuse, or even as a sign from God, to cease peddaling. I just find it a humorous diversion to a necessary mission. This is why I am of a firm belief that life really boils down to one of two choices:

1. Am I going to wait for all the ingredients to arrive so I can pursue the recipe of my desire and complete it to my own satisfaction?

2. Am I going to ignore the lack of possibilities available to me and try to piece together something that resembles my desires with what has been provided?

Isn’t that it? The first group spends most of their time explaining why they don’t do things; the second group never offers an explanation, even though you might wonder how they have achieved as much as they have, considering the lack.

I guess the question I should have asked Ben and Josey that fateful night was, Which came first–the chicken or the groovy?” Is the chicken made groovy because you have found a particular gravy to make chicken palatable? Or is the groovy made possible because the chicken, itself, is hard to screw up?

It’s a big question, folks–one we all must answer. Otherwise, we will spend most of our lives on the sidelines with a very good discourse to share about why we never did what we really wanted to do. We can cite family responsibility, minimal funding, health issues, a dearth of breaks, and even insist that perhaps it was never the will of God. But the truth of the matter is, there was some missing ingredient we thought was necessary in order to make our particular goal a reality, and we chose to sit out the contest instead of using what was available.

Here’s my philosophy–I’m going to go ahead and plant, hoping that somebody else comes along and waters, believing in my heart that God will actually get off of His throne and give us some increase.

I will continue to pursue my vision out of stubbornness, willingness, humility and a bit of silliness, if you don’t mind. You more mature folks may wish to wait for the next bus, the next opportunity, the next splitting of the sky or Halley’s Comet, for that matter. But no one lies on his death-bed and says, “Gee whiz, I shouldn’t have tried that …”

Do yourself a favor–once you resolve who you are and who God is and how the two of you are going to get along, go ahead and solve two other questions:

1. What am I going to do today that resembles my dream?

2. How much good cheer am I willing to use when things just refuse to work out the way I planned?

This is the key. It is the way to keep things groovy. Otherwise, you end up just being chicken.

   

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