Iz and Pal (Bedouin Buddies)


Iz and Pal

Jonathots Daily Blog

(4112)

Sitting Twenty-Nine

A priest, a rabbi, a mullah and a professor of psychology went out into the desert.

Although it sounds like the setup for a joke, it was the actual makeup of a committee which had been formed to handle the situation created by an Israeli boy, dubbed Iz, and a Palestinian lad, Pal.

It was Tuesday—two days before the rally—and the four gentlemen of distinction, who had received permission from the town council to go out and try to reason with the boys so as to avoid a public display of confrontation, lending itself to shame, prepared themselves for what they might encounter.

Everyone agreed it was a noble venture. Blessing was given to the team, a few prayers uttered, plans made, provisions collected, and a scheme devised.

On that same Tuesday morn, Iz and Pal woke up to view four over-dressed grown-ups ascending their hill, breathing heavily and already perspiring in the heat. One was wearing a black shirt with a little piece of white collar. Another, a robe and turban. There was a younger one in blue jeans and a loose-fitting t-shirt, and the final gentleman sported a navy-blue suit with a striped tie.

When the entourage was within ten feet of the boys, the suit and tie spoke up. “Good morning, young men.”

Staring at the four intruders, trying to restrain a giggle because they all looked so very serious, yet appeared like a quartet of Frosty the Snowmen melting in the sun, all the two young fellows could do was shake their heads. They said nothing, so the robe spoke out.  “We’ve come to talk with you boys about what you are doing here.”

Pal held up a banana. “What we were doing was having our morning fruit. Did you know that this one has potassium?”

“Fruit, huh?” said the blue jeans. “What do you guys like to eat?”

Iz chuckled. “Are you here to become our friends, so you can talk us into going back home?”

“Why would home be such a bad thing?” asked the white-collared one in a soft voice.

Pal piped up, tossing his banana peel to the side. “I suppose yours would be just fine. So feel free to return any time you’d like. To your home, that is.”

Both of the boys laughed and gave each other high fives. There was a tightness—an inflexibility—in the air. Iz and Pal were gleeful over their tart responses and precocious language, but the foursome of invaders seemed less than impressed, and absolutely determined to demonstrate their control.

Blue jeans spoke again. “Hey, guys. My name is Mel Rollins, and I’m a professor of psychology at the college.”

“A head doctor!” Pal poked in an attempt to keep things salty.

Mel paused. “Okay,” he said. “That would be fine. I just want you dudes to know that I’m not here to change your minds or get you to do anything you don’t want to do.”

Iz smirked and nodded his head. “Good. Then this should be easy. We want to stay here. We thank you for coming, and please pass the message along that we’re just fine.”

The robe interrupted, absent any civility in his tone. “You children know we can’t do that. I am the mullah at the mosque, and I have a responsibility to carry out the wishes of our people. We cannot allow wayward sons to do as they please.”

“Why not?” asked Pal. “You certainly allow grown-ups to do as they please.”

“Listen, I am Rabbi Molstoy,” spoke the shirt and tie. “What has possessed you boys to do this?”

“Where do you get ice cream?” asked Pal.

The one with the white collar spoke. “Well, first you get milk and sugar…”

Pal interrupted. “No, no! I didn’t ask you how to make ice cream. I asked you where you get it. You see, that’s the trouble with you guys. You want to find the hardest way to do everything—anything that makes you feel miserable enough to appear like you’re really smart. We’re kids. We know you go to the store and buy ice cream. Our goal is to get the ice cream, but not have to make it, or even wonder if it’s got too much sugar in it. That’s you. We just want ice cream.”

Blue jeans eased in. “So, this is about ice cream?”

Iz burst out laughing. “No,” he said. “Get a grip. It’s about us. We want to be friends. Our families won’t let us because one of us is a Jew and one of us is a Palestinian.”

“Now, that’s not true,” said the shirt and tie. “Mullah Tianza and I talk together all the time. Enjoy a meal.”

Pal clapped his hands. “Great, Iz! Did you hear that? We can go home, because there’s no longer a separation between our faiths! There is no mosque and synagogue. There is no killing in the street. The rabbi and the mullah are eating together! So everything has changed. What are we thinking? Maybe we are just crazy boys. Maybe the sun has scrambled our brains. While we’ve been out here the world has reformed and everyone loves each other. How foolish can we be? We should listen to them. Right? Right, Iz? We are absolutely out of our minds.”

Iz looked over coldly at his sarcastic friend. “Wrong,” he replied.

There was a moment of silence. The committee which had come to gather up foolish boys was left standing in the desert heat, staring at one another. Now they had a choice.

Were they going to listen, or had they just come to talk?

 

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Iz and Pal (Bedouin Buddies)


Iz and Pal

Jonathots Daily Blog

(4022)

Sitting Sixteen

The editor sat, staring her in the eyes. He refused to avert his gaze, so she continued hers, hoping to win the standoff.

She could hear herself breathing. The quiet between the two of them made it possible for her to feel her heart beating.

After a moment, he leaned back in his chair. “No,” he concluded. “You’re wrong. The truth is, we don’t ‘got to do’ anything. Just because you’ve lost your objectivity doesn’t mean I’m going to follow you over the cliff.” He shook his head. “Young lady, you’ve got to remember what your job is. I just hate it when people try to do other people’s jobs. Hell—I don’t want my butcher talking to me about tomatoes, and I’m not particularly pleased to have my dentist comment on my haircut.”

He continued. “Here’s the thing. I don’t want my reporters, or in this case, you, pretending that she is really privately working as a social services agent. You’re a reporter, so start acting like one.”

Karin stood tall, walked over to the chair and sat down. “A reporter’s first duty is to find the story,” she said. “Try finding a story without becoming involved in the lives of the people who are dictating to you what you must write on the page. How antiseptic do you think you can become before doing all your work wearing kid gloves? Yes. I won’t deny it. This story reaches me. I guess from your perspective, you would claim it’s dirtied me. But nevertheless, it is a story. If you think I’m too passionate, edit my copy. Or isn’t that what you do?”

He smiled. The editor was always amused at Karin’s spunk—sometimes even drew it out or exaggerate it by generating fictitious conflict. He waved his hands in the air as if surrendering and said, “Okay. What’s your angle?”

Karin paused. She didn’t want to come across too verbose, or worse, off-point. What was her angle? She had already lied and had appeared too high-strung. So where did she intend to go with a story like this one, which was begging to become an obsession?

“Let’s help them.” That’s all she said.

The editor ferociously shook his head. “There you go again, back to saving the world. Don’t you understand, girl, if the world were to blow up tomorrow, I would put out my last edition of the paper ten minutes before the explosion, and have my sales team on the street drumming up advertising—until we were all dead.” He pointed at her. “I’m a newspaper man. I don’t care about solutions. Sometimes they get in my way. I know you don’t want to hear that, and if you ever told anyone that I said that, I’d call you a disgruntled employee and a liar. But I don’t dare care about solutions because if I do, I’m gonna miss the next juicy problem that needs to be addressed. It is not my intention to give you a sermon. I’m just trying to get your head back on straight. I need my good reporter back.”

Karin felt a quick flush of pride over being dubbed “good.” The editor’s compliments were infrequent. He was as cheap with his praise as he was with his pocketbook. But she pressed on.

“Let me go back out there. How about this? Let me see who comes to them. Let me just report how it plays out without trying to affect it in any way.”

“What is it they want?” the editor asked.

“I thought you didn’t care,” chided Karin.

He snorted. “Isn’t what they want part of the story?”

Karin sucked in a deep breath. Maybe she was tired. Maybe it was her religious training. Or maybe she was just being softened by the editor calling her a good reporter. Who could say? But she was plagued by a guilty conscience. She couldn’t go on. Her presentation to her boss was built on sand—the granules of a lie. She had to tell him the truth—so Karin took a few minutes to relate the whole story—the broken-down vehicle, the angry sergeant, the boys, the hand grenade, the confrontation and the fact that the weapon ended up being a dud.

She explained that the grenade was buried in the desert, and how the one boy seemed plagued with some craziness. She finished up by describing the wrestling match and the ride back to the city.

The editor listened quietly and carefully, conscious not to appear alarmed or disapproving.

“So you see,” Karin concluded, “I feel a little responsible for the two fellas. I know there’s a story here, but God forgive me, I need to be part of how this story pans out.”

The editor eyed her for a lengthy span of time. While he mused, she offered one afterthought. “Let me take it just a little further.”

He closed his eyes and shook his head, but then changed it to a nod. He grumbled, “Let me make some calls.”

 

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3 Things … January 31st, 2019

 


Jonathots Daily Blog

(3942)

going crazy

You Can Do While Waiting for the World to Stop Being Crazy 

  1. Don’t follow the Pied Piper. You ain’t no rat.

 

  1. Study history—what works and what has failed.

 

  1. In evaluating what is suggested to you, apply one test. Does it make humans kinder?

 

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Published in: on January 31, 2019 at 1:55 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Jonathots … January 29th, 2019

 


Jonathots Daily Blog

(3940)

handbook for touching

It’s touching.

I’m touched.

Touch me.

From the minute we plop out of the womb, we scream—not for food, not sight, or to hear comforting words—and not to smell chocolate chip cookies.

We scream for connection.

Goddamn it—put me back against my mother’s skin. Let me feel some touch.

Then society, our educational system, religious training and our entertainment industry attempt to make us overly dependent on what we merely see and hear.

Touch is removed except for obvious situations, when we require intimacy.

We are told that touch is dangerous. You can contract diseases. You can over-commit your emotions.

Therefore, we reserve touch and withhold it. Matter of fact, when we even hear the word touch, we associate it with sexuality instead of humanity.

Some ideas persist:

Shaking hands, for instance. But we’re changing that to a fast fist-bump.

Holding hands. Isn’t a high-five enough?

A pat on the back. “Come on! You know I support you.”

There’s a national pastime to make things that draw us closer together seem unnatural. As a result, we cloister into smaller and smaller units, only allowing for fellowship in the catacombs of our own understanding.

I see you. I see what you’re doing. I want to let you know I appreciate it. I touch you.

I hear you. I love the sound. It makes me what to touch you.

I smell your human odor—your fragrance. Yes, I wouldn’t mind being close.

And certainly, I taste you. We are intimate. It makes me yearn to caress you.

It is impossible to foster human progress without touch.

Even as we argue about people coming to our country from other nations, is it not possible for us to honor those who emigrate while still being careful about their immigration? Can’t we be touched by their journey, and still ask them to stand in line and fill out an application? Why must we portray them as evil, nasty, rotten and devious?

When you remove touch, you hamper the hands, and when the hands retreat, the ability to assist evaporates.

Being touched is not a feminine thing, nor is it a masculine no-no. It is the only way that we’re sure we’re alive…and it means something.

 

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Jonathots … January 22nd, 2019

 


Jonathots Daily Blog

(3933)

handbook for touching

Thinking that something which is not real is going to happen is called crazy.

Believing that something that is not real is going to happen is called faith.

Faith and crazy have a lot in common.

This is why, over the centuries, many who thought they were moving in faith ended up looking crazy—and there were those deemed crazy who historically are proclaimed people of faith.

The difference between faith and crazy is what energizes them.

Crazy is energized by fear—fear of rejection, fear of the future, fear of other human beings, or fear of responsibility.

Faith works by love—an appreciation for opportunity, a deep respect for other humans, and a desire to take what is given and work with it.

So how do I know I have the hands of faith instead of the mitts of crazy?

It’s the energy that comes off me, which will tell you whether I’m being controlled by fear or motivated by love.

There’s a story in the Good Book which says a woman touched the hem of Jesus’ garment and was healed because “virtue came forth from him.” There was so much energy of love, hope and faith that it literally radiated from him into her body.

Sounds a little weird, doesn’t it? But we actually refer to it all the time:

  • “I pick up a good vibe from you.”
  • “You have a great aura.”
  • “When you’re in the room, I feel like everything is possible.”
  • “You make things pleasant.”
  • “You make things work.”
  • “You help me believe.”

The power of touch includes the ability to generate the energy of love, which is able to be transferred from one person to another.

Yes—we can infuse our authority and power into another human being.

Yes—faith and love can be passed along, just as we know that craziness and fear can ricochet through mob, turning them into killers.

I’m on a journey to make sure that my faith is not crazy by confirming every day that it is fed by love instead of fear.

 

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1 Thing You Can Do This Week (to be of greater value to the people around you)

1 Thing You Can Do This Week (to be of greater value to the people around you)

 

STAY OUT OF POLITICS

Totally and completely.

Politics is not patriotism.

Politics is not a willingness to be civic-minded.

Politics is not an awareness of the issues.

POLITICS IS A PARTY

Yes, politics is a party with a limited guest list. The only way to get on that list is to agree with the terms of the party and to drink up the punch and suck down the appetizers.

Politics has become a sport.

Politics has led us to believe that lying is natural and often needful in certain situations.

Politics creates clumps of people who feel they’re superior by either a name or a color, and eventually use that arrogance to shut out the other half of the country.

Politics allows you to believe that you can be against abortion but for free expression of gun privileges, despite the carnage.

Politics leads you to believe that you should be ferociously involved in the environment and taking care of every wooly bear that is nearly extinct while simultaneously contending that abortion is not killing.

Politics makes you contradict your own heart.

Politics makes you support people simply because they are not as crazy as the alternative.

Politics is being willing to compromise faith, do away with truthfulness and ignore the needs of some portions of society simply because they favor the other camp.

THE DEVIL’S RELIGION

Politics is what the devil would suggest if he were starting a religion.

The minute you stay out of politics and make it clear that you have no intention of indulging in the verbal nastiness that accompanies it, you will suddenly become a trustworthy human, thinking for yourself and knowing there are things more important than who the next Supreme Court Justice might be.

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Buy Mr. Kringle's TalesClick the elephant to see what he’s reading!

 

PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … June 6th, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3695)

Please Explain

by Jonathan Richard Cring

 

My friend Brillo has a pad

Crazy Larry is really quite mad

Dirty Harry is never clean

Porno Pete, quite obscene

 

Sistah Golda’s the Queen of Funk

Stinky Stephen sniffs of skunk

Reverend Frowner knows the Word

Charlie the Clown is truly absurd

 

Private Gump had Lieutenant Dan

The Potts family owns a special pan

The Bumblebee really rarely does

And Fuzzy Wuzzy has no fuzz

 

Little Boy Blue looks better in red

Are they thankful–the Grateful Dead?

We’re looking for a star without the wars

Windows of opportunity, or are there just doors?

 

It’s never funny to be sent to the farm

And a safety pin can do some harm

You may never find a hat on a cat

And a skinny farm is for those who are fat

 

Words, wishes on the wall

Graffiti or art–it’s your call

I’m not confused, don’t worry about me

Just please explain Chicken of the Sea

Today’s PoHymn is read by Lily, thirteen years old, from Broward County, Florida

 

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