Sit Down Comedy … June 5th, 2020

Jonathots Daily Blog

(4431)

Sit Down Comedy

Mary of Moncrief, Michigan.

A triple threat in alliteration.

She is forty-six years old, the mother of three children who range in age from twenty-one down to a precocious ten.

She is the assistant manager at the local Nordstroms, where she has been employed for twenty years, ascending in the ranks, and well-respected.

The date is November 8th, 2016.

Mary was awake early that morning. She had lost her battle with insomnia hours earlier, trying to remain still as a mouse, hoping that sleep would be merciful to her fatigue. Giving up, she rose, made coffee and cinnamon toast—one of her favorites—and prepared for the day in the quiet of a very chilly pre-dawn kitchen.

She had one thought on her mind: should she go vote before work, or wait until afterwards and possibly face long lines?

Actually, that wasn’t the primary question. What had been haunting her mind for weeks was whether she could cast a vote in good conscience either way.

Politically, Mary was a moderate.

At least, moderate for Michigan.

She had voted for her share of Democrats and a similar array of Republicans. She felt she was informed and believed herself to be open-minded to opportunities offered by both parties. But the past few months had left her in a whirl, dizzy from disjointed facts and accusations.

Donald Trump seemed unqualified to be President, but his journey as a mature man of business seemed respectable.

Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, seemed more prepared for the position, but less sure-footed in the midst of entanglements.

But still, that wasn’t the real problem.

Deep in her heart, Mary of Moncrief, Michigan, felt that everything was just moving too fast.

She wasn’t against progress–she was upset about the speed being used to achieve it.

So many issues.

Abortion, for instance.

Mary believed a woman should have the right to choose the conclusions of her life, but she was uncomfortable about how the subject of abortion—the termination of a fetus—had become so cavalier. She especially hated the phrase, “abortion on demand.”

Wasn’t a little more humility in order?

Mary also knew she didn’t hate gay people. She was one of the first ones in her local church to rally behind the idea of civil unions.

But lickety-split, she was expected to not only honor gay marriage, but to be supportive of it whenever it was brought up, so she wouldn’t come across as a homophobe.

It felt unfair.

After all, the world of psychology and psychiatry had, for decades if not centuries, contended that homosexuality was aberrant behavior which required treatment.

Now, since that diagnosis had been recently abandoned, they expected Mary and all the American people to quickly shed several generation’s worth of comprehension and join the parade.

It was fast.

Mary wanted equal pay for women in the workplace, but when she rallied with those struggling to achieve this worthy goal, she found herself in the midst of some who decried motherhood and made fun of the simpler values Mary held dear.

Mary was especially troubled by the spiritual indifference, which seemed to reject any soul who believed in God, deeming such a person irrational or uneducated.

Everything was so quick.

Marijuana becoming legal. If marijuana was so safe, why did the people who smoked it always portray it in their movies as a brain-staller—and a pathway leading to no motivation?

And then—the candidates themselves.

Mary of Moncrief, Michigan, was very worried about a man who mocked women, weaker folks and other nationalities with a sneer. But on the other hand, how could she support a woman like Hillary Clinton, who defended her husband’s mistreatment of a twenty-one-year-old intern in the White House, and even to this day, joined into the attacks against poor Monica?

As Mary sipped her coffee in the kitchen, she heard rumblings from the bedrooms above.

Soon her family would join her. Her thoughts would be blended with their desires.

Realizing how important her decision was, she scurried around, deciding to leave for work, going to the polls early to beat the rush.

She called out her good-byes and best wishes for the day, jogged to her car, got in and drove off.

She was nearly to the polling station when she veered off at a graveyard. She sat, staring at the frosty granite stones. Still they were—and at peace.

In a moment of deep reflection, she asked herself what all these people who had once lived would want her to do.

Who would they want her to vote for?

Mary just wished that one of those who wanted to be President of the United States would acknowledge that affairs, nations, wars and social revisions were happening at such a rapid pace that we all needed a deep breath—just to appreciate where we are, who we are and what we’re about to undertake.

Was there an order in it?

Did civil rights come before women’s rights or abortion rights?

It all seemed to be happening at the same time.

Was she supposed to feel some beckoning or even a requirement to vote for a woman since she was a woman herself? Maybe she would have felt differently if Hillary had even visited Michigan—instead of assuming that the unions and the black vote “had it in the bag.”

The Democrats took too much for granted, and the Republicans granted so very little.

Time was passing.

She had a tiny window—about twenty minutes—to go vote and still get to Nordstroms for her shift.

But after weeks—perhaps months—of deliberation, she was no further along.

So she made a very quick decision in her troubled mind.

That night, as Mary of Moncrief, Michigan, watched the election returns, she was so troubled that she felt a chill go down her spine.

Donald Trump was winning. Would he rise to the occasion and be a great President?

Should Hillary have been the one?

Even though the campaign had drug on for more than a year-and-a-half, now it all seemed to be too quick. Too speedy.

Mary was not a bigot.

Mary was not conservative.

Mary was certainly not liberal either—not by present standards.

Mary didn’t hate anyone.

But Mary also didn’t favor people just because they were of a certain color or even just because they were victimized.

As the night wore on, it gradually became more obvious and then official.

Donald J. Trump would be the President of the United States.

Mary didn’t know what to feel.

Maybe she was a little relieved that there wouldn’t be any more Clintons in Washington, but also a bit frightened that a real estate developer would be leading the greatest nation on Earth.

But most of all, she was in turmoil about herself.

For she had gone to work—and didn’t vote.

Sit Down Comedy … April 19th, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

(4020)


It happened two weeks ago.

I yelled at somebody when I should have chatted. I judged instead of questioned him. I attacked instead of approached.

I Could Spin It

I can tell you a thousand reasons why I did. I could even spin it so you would be on my side. Yet at the end of that exertion, you would be deceived, and I would still be wrong. I was overwrought.

I didn’t need a hammer when a toothpick would have been just as effective. It wasn’t necessary to scorch the Earth when no fire was required.

I did it because I could.

I was offended and I wanted to make sure the person who offended me felt as small and insignificant as possible.

Following this indiscretion, I was briefly tempted to be self-righteous. But there is a seed inside me which has grown into a full, blooming Tree of Life, which will not allow me to hide my motivations or make excuses for my iniquity.

Understand, there’s nothing special about me.

I’m an average person—not particularly a great guy. Just a dude.

Yet I found it intolerable to live with my bratty behavior. It bugged the hell out of me and the heaven into me. I had to make it right.

I didn’t want to.

My position, my prowess and my pride screamed that this one little breach of propriety was nothing, and I had a large enough resume that I should be forgiven no matter what.

This is the bullshit that shows up right after the bull does its dance—and the dancing bull always believes he’s right because he’s powerful. So he figures that where he shits shouldn’t matter. Everybody knows he’s a bull anyway.

Where is the Bonfire of Sanity?

I don’t want to live that way. I’ve never wanted to live that way. And since I’m just a “God-loves-me-anyway-piece-of-shit,” it tears at my soul that we live in a nation in which we can’t find two decent people to rub together to ignite the bonfire of sanity.

Our Attorney General has been thrust into an impossible situation—but still squeaks like a mouse.

The Democratic Party seems to be disappointed that there isn’t more filth to parade in front of the American people.

And our President is proud that his lame-brain ideas were not enacted by his staff and is taking a bow for being protected from his pending bloopers.

Is there anyone who could be just as contrite, torn-apart and upset as I am? I, who am the “me”—who am not much of anything?

On a normal day I would say that I am the chief of sinners, but I keep getting voted out of the position as the Tribal Council brings worse candidates forward for consideration.

Is there anyone who will join me in saying that there will be no justice until we finally confess the injustice in all of us?

Is the search for power so intoxicating that our consciences are rendered powerless?

I am tired of watching people who should be more intelligent, more forward-thinking, and more qualified than me act worse than I do. How could anybody find a lower position of character than I often portray?

Yet they do.

America Needs to be Cleansed from All Unrighteousness

But according to tradition, God is only faithful and just to do that once we’re willing to confess our sins.

 


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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … June 13th, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3702)

To Truly Be

by Jonathan Ric

Three boys sit at my table

Too young to consider much

The world swirls around them

They need to develop some trust

What shall I suggest to them?

What truths are unscathed from the warfare of compromise?

Shall I tell them not to lie when lying is a national pastime?

Will they believe that being kind is possible for our race?

Or will they watch the atrocities committed in the name of God and country?

Will they honor women as equals and make amends

Or leer and jeer at the lasses, declaring them stupid with their careless friends?

Is the Golden Rule for saints

As gold, ruling the world, is touted as worth?

Can I teach them not to cheat when it seems that cheaters prosper?

Can I speak to them of God when others deny He lives?

Can they learn the power of humility and all the true grace it gives?

Do I have the courage to differ from the passive horde of sheep?

Or is my soul slowly dying and my conscience falling asleep?

I pass the food around the table ​and look at the young men before me

It’s time to shine

It’s a season of reason

Dear God, grant to me

The willingness to truly be

Our reader today is Jasson. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with three sons and his wife, Deahna

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … March 1st, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3233)

pohymn-where-did-we-go-wrong

Take What You Can Get

How you treat me

I can’t predict

How I treat you

Is in my power

Waiting for your appreciation

Stalls my progress

Giving forth your portion

Cleans my conscience

Do I want to be powerful

Or find solace in generosity?

Is there any victory in your defeat

Or just a hollow chest thump?

Where did we go wrong?

How does winning become joy

If losing destroys my warmth

Leaving me cold and vacant?

We don’t need to be friends

To cease the gnawing strife

Agreement may escape our grasp

But sweet Spirit grants space

Everything doesn’t need to be right

To chase the wrong away

Just a respect for one another

Manifested each and every day

 

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G-Poppers … November 20th, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Jon close up

If A equals B and B equals C, then A equals C.

It is the only part of geometry that G-Pop seems to have retained.

It is called a syllogism. It is deemed to be valid–a valid syllogism.

It’s the kind of reasoning which allows us to make the necessary comparisons between things on earth which invite the pursuit of common sense.

G-Pop has spent the last week observing the raging tides of conflict which seem to tug at humanity from different spectrums, while simultaneously offering very little solace.

For we are given the option of religion, which often turns us into regulated bigots, with no compassion for those aroud us; or we are tempted with atheism, which insists there is no need for a God when we have the function of our conscience and intellect.

G-Pop just wants his children to understand that neither one of these hovering haunts offer any true sense of what it really means to be human. So please consider:

A. All human beings share a common planet.

Unless you plan to dominate the entire world, forcing it to submit to your will, you will find yourself situated in a compartment with other travelers, needing to share baggage space and conversation.

B. We do not naturally care for each other.

I suppose atheism would be a tantalizing possibility if human beings actually did have the will power to follow through on their whims. But since we don’t seem to be able to avoid eating the cake we renounced a few seconds earlier, it is safe to say that we won’t give enough attention to those around us who are screaming for space.

A life without God appears to be bold until you realize the limitations within yourself.

C. Human beings need a steadfast encouragement for participating and including one another.

G-Pop will not argue the point that religion does not grant the oil of understanding to generate the engine of mercy. But neither does atheism give us the impetus to continue to forgive the erratic behavior of others without becoming cynical and jaded.

So since A equals B: in other words, we share a planet, but don’t naturally care for those who share it with us

And B equals C: not caring for those around us means that we need some sort of special mentoring,

Then A equals C: human beings who are sharing a planet are benefited by believing there is something larger than themselves, which lovingly encourages them to co-exist.

G-Pop wants his children to understand that religion, like atheism, is just a different way to reject a loving Father and a path to mutual understanding with our fellow-humans.

Be careful–the greatest danger is believing that an extreme can ever turn into a legitimate compromise.

 

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Confessing… May 30th, 2015

   Jonathots Daily Blog

(2597)

I confess so I can heal.

If I deny, I remain sick.

It was the rage.

Many years ago in a galaxy not far away–matter of fact, right here–folks started trying to do presumptuous things in an attempt to prove they had great faith.

I was just a young man, and susceptible to suggestion, since I already had a bit of the seed of naughtiness sown in my heart.

So when I heard these people of faith proclaiming different ways to achieve success by believing that God “was going to take care of everything,” I leaped in with both feet–my wallet open.

I was particularly drawn to the story of one man who said he wrote a check on Friday from his back account where he had no funds, believing that by Monday, when the check would normally come in and bounce merrily, God would provide the money.

Of course, in his story there was a super-fabulous intervention of finance, which protected him from a bank error “not in his favor.”

So I decided to try it. Coming up short on my rent and groceries, I wrote a check for cash on Friday at the local IGA, bought my groceries and pleased my landlord, and then sat back, waiting for intervention from my “Investor which art in heaven.”

It never came.

So fearing I was going to have a check arrive in my bank with non-sufficient funds, I went out and wrote another check for cash to deposit in my account, to buy me two or three days, and to avoid embarrassment.

Needless to say, that check was not covered either, so I launched on a calamity of financial danger, which eventually led me to open up another bank account so that I could more easily cover my checks, which were now flying wildly through the air.

Of course, each time I wrote a check, I had a little bit more need, so the amount grew and grew.

Actually, I was rather self-satisfied with the solution I had arrived at to handle my personal indebtedness. But when I privately shared it with a friend, he explained that what I was doing was illegal. He told me it was called “kiting.”

I was frightened by the word “illegal,” but that didn’t stop me for another two or three weeks.

Finally, breathlessly, my conscience caught up with my ego, and I realized I needed to stop this craziness.

So I ceased, which immediately caused seven checks to bounce–all of them at the doorstep of my local, kind IGA manager.

The total was $3,453.

He was not nearly as angry as he was terrified about what he was going to do with this deficit. It was completely within his rights to call the police and have me arrested.

He didn’t.

I told him I would pay it off. It took six months of concentration, hard work and the kindness of friends to get me out of the pickle caused by my false faith.

Now that 40 years have passed, I wonder if any of that presumption is still left in my soul.  Am I still looking for God to take care of all my problems, instead of allowing Him to provide the wisdom and strength to help me through them?

I hope I learned from that lesson.

I hope I realize that the best way to prove my faith is not by exaggerating my need, but by simplifying my life, becoming more generous and using the talents God has given me… to acquire a wage.

 

 

bouncing ball

 

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Confessing… May 16th, 2015

   Jonathots Daily Blog

(2582)

II.

I confess so I can heal.

If I deny, I remain sick.

832 miles.

It was the entire round trip from our home to a tiny village in Tennessee, which had opened a coffee-house and kindly invited our fledgling music group to come and share.

They promised to give us dinner and to pass the hat for whatever audience might make its way to the 500-square-foot enclosure.

We jumped at the chance.

We were tired of rehearsing, and considered ourselves quite prepared for public consumption. We scraped together the money to get gasoline, a bag full of snacks and we took off.

It was exhausting, exhilarating, haphazard, crazy, silly, inspiring and probably dangerous.

We didn’t care about the peril. I was just 20 years old and had not yet received my shipment of good sense.

The drive down wore us out and after we finished our little show, the 18 souls who had gathered to hear us collected an offering of $31.22. We thought we had discovered Solomon’s gold.

So when we hopped back in the car to head toward home–with no plan whatsoever on how to actually get there–the first 100 miles zoomed by, as we buzzed with tales of our escapade.

But then, as if struck by a “sleep angel,” we all grew suddenly weary and were in grave danger of running off the road. So we decided to do something none of us had ever done before.

We stopped and took out a motel.

The young lady from our troupe who purchased the accommodations came out and explained that she bought the room for just one person, because if she had included all four of us, there wouldn’t have been enough money.

I had the opportunity at that point to object–or at least feign a concern–but I didn’t.

I felt if we got by with it, it must have been “God’s will.”

So half an hour later, when we were lounging around, getting ready to doze off, there was a sharp knock at the door. It was the innkeeper.

Three of us leaped up and hid in the shower stall behind the curtain while our single, legal member answered the door.

The innkeeper pushed his way in, walked into the bathroom, pulled back the disguise and there we were. He was infuriated.

He demanded that we immediately leave, refunding a fair portion of our money, pushing us out the door and into our car–where we departed, cursing him for what we considered to be his evil spirit.

Somehow or another we made it home.

Candidly, it never occurred to any of us that we were wrong. And if there was a bit of guilty conscience, it was swept away by what we considered to be the owner’s volatile personality.

I thought about that incident today.

I wondered if there was any of that 20-year-old boy still left in me, who thought that “the ends justified the means.”

I do know this–whenever we look for an easier or cheaper way, we open the door to a cheater’s path.

Is there any of that in me?

Is there any part of the grown man I am who would trust my own deceptive tongue instead of risking doing it the right way?

motel we count heads

 

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