Catchy (Sitting 55) It Wasn’t a Terrible Idea…… July 1st, 2018

Jonathots Daily Blog


No plan is perfect–except in the minds of those who want to declare it so, to calm their nerves.

And certainly, this particular plot put together by Charmaine and Thomas was only functional if every detail worked in unison.

Trouble began as soon as they hit the hallway heading into the rotunda. Thomas realized how out-of-place he was in his cowboy hat and serape, fearing that they were in danger of jeopardizing the plan. So he quickly removed them, searching for a trash can as Charmaine moved briskly down the hallway in front of him.

Rudyard Simmons, a fifty-three-year-old guard who had served the Capitol for twenty-five years, found it a bit suspicious that someone was disposing of their clothing in the trash, so he eased over to speak with Thomas. Mr. Kinear sprouted some nervous energy, which made Rudyard even more suspicious.

Simmons was a fine, old, wizened civil servant, who actually had achieved his job because his mother had the good sense to name him Rudyard (after Rudyard Kipling) figuring that white folks, who might be considering hiring him some day, would be aware that at least name-wise, he had brushed up against European tastes.

Meanwhile, Charmaine turned around, aware that Thomas was not behind her. Seeing Rudyard making his way toward her cohort, she made a fatal mistake. She panicked.

She instinctively reached for her gun, and before she could cover it up, one of the guards spotted the weapon and screamed to the whole hallway, “GUN!”

When Rudyard heard this, he turned toward the sound of the warning, and Charmaine realized that the scheme was unraveling. She pulled her .38 calibre pistol from her holster and aimed at Rudyard, as several guards moved toward her.

Charmaine fired her weapon at Rudyard, but he, still possessing some cat-like reflexes, ducked, hitting the ground so that the bullet flew over him and struck Thomas in the chest.

Without missing a beat, Rudyard–who had never used his weapon during his entire twenty-five years; never even pulled it from its holster–yanked it out with all his might, swirled around on the ground, pointed at Charmaine and fired, striking her with a bullet in the throat.

The two intruders lay bleeding in the hallway of the Capitol Building while Rudyard’s heart pounded like a marathon runner’s. Charmaine lasted about two minutes before she completely bled out. She was barely able to form any words, but did manage to gush an anguished, “Sorry.”

Thirty feet away, Thomas was dead. Quite dead.

The hallway was now full, as the gallery stood by in stunned silence. Slowly, two of the Capitol armed guards moved over to help Rudyard to his feet. With horror in his eyes, he asked his friends, “Did I kill her?”

No one responded, but instead, took him to the nearby office of the Speaker of the House and sought a doctor to examine him for any wounds.

It really wasn’t a terrible plan. Charmaine and Thomas had conceived to capture the Speaker of the House and take him into the Chamber, holding him hostage until their demands could be met.

Thomas had become a “knight in armor” for millions of Americans who were unable to afford their medications due to the rising costs of drugs. Charmaine had joined him when her mother was forbidden a particular treatment because the insurance companies deemed it unnecessary.

Maybe the two of them should have sought more peaceable means of presenting their plight, but when there’s smoke in the air, it’s difficult to decide which fires to put out.

That night the President of the United States secured time on all networks to speak to the people, but CBS sent a request to have Jubal Carlos address the country, right before the President spoke.

They had no idea if they would be able to connect with him, especially since he had just finished the series in North Carolina with the reporter, Jennifer Carmen. Not only did Jubal take their call, but he agreed to fly to Washington to share.

The network asked him how much time he would need. They were a little shocked when he responded, “Four minutes.”

So five were set aside, just in case, and promptly at 7:55–just prior to the eight o’clock hour when the President was due to speak–Jubal sat on the steps of the Capitol Building with a single camera framing his face.

“Horrified. Shocked. Despaired. These are words that will be used for today’s events in the hallowed halls of our legislature. We should be upset. But in the midst of it, some very powerful and positive moments occurred. His name is Rudyard Simmons and he’s fifty-three years old, and you would have never have known him. Nor would I, had this tragedy not occurred. Had this attack happened five months ago, I’m not so sure Mr. Simmons would have been ready for it. Just because insanity has an agenda–one which is evil–does not mean good people are prepared to do their part. What has happened in our country over the past months has not only built up our love, increased our hope, but it’s made our faith more sturdy.

“Rudyard Simmons saw something that didn’t look right–a cowboy hat and a serape in the Capitol Building being thrown away by an anxious stranger. He wasn’t judging cowboys nor Mexican immigrants. He moved decisively to find out if there was something that needed to be done. Over the past years we have lost our boldness. We nibble at each other. We fuss like little children. But today, a real man boldly walked over to ask a question, and in doing so, threw a wrench into a plan to silence our government.

“I don’t know what the President is going to say. You know I am not a political person. But tonight I am grateful for the boldness of Rudyard Simmons, and more than that, I am thrilled that his faith, along with his works, made sure that there weren’t many dead.”

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Cracked 5 … December 19th, 2017

Jonathots Daily Blog


cracked 5 logo keeper with border

Very Unusual Birthday Wishes

A. “Thought you were dead. Now that I know you’re alive, it gives me a chance to kill you.”


B. “I knew your mother. You could be my bastard.”


C. “We baked your birthday cake. Unfortunately, our dog, Fritzenrod, peed on it, so please don’t eat.”


D. “I was going to buy you a birthday present–then realized you were not that shallow.”


E. “The ancestors of John Wilkes Booth found out you had the same birthday as him. They changed his.

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He’s All Right … July 16, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog


richardRichard is dead.

For six years he has lain low in a grave, in a town not his home or even his casual acquaintance, purchased by a younger brother who selected the plot based upon a reasonable fare.

I have not thought much about him.

Alive, he was my friend–perhaps more honestly presented, I was his friend. He was a man without family, sporting a hair-do that would have been popular during the 1950’s, a bit cranky, with a tender heart which had crusted over through the years, leaving him occasionally willing but more often than not, at the wrong times.

So when he suddenly, inexplicably and nearly intrusively appeared in my dreams last night, I was a bit alarmed. But as I allowed myself to participate in what truly could have been more an apparition or night vision than a simple sleepy-time mirage, I found myself completely engorged in the emotion and revelation of the idea.

It was Richard but it was NOT Richard. He was younger, stronger. The ashen, pale-yellow pallor of his skin was replaced with a bronzed, glowing countenance. Although he still sported his pompadour, it was golden, well-kempt and seemingly free of the need of intrusive creams and sprays.

He was happy.

Perhaps that was the greatest shock of all. I never really saw Richard happy. God knows he tried. He even developed an impersonation of the emotion.

But this was different. He was aglow. He was excited. He was bubbling over with new ideas.

He was running across the top of a high building, breathlessly explaining to me that he believed the concert “needed to be held up here, and required tons and tons of sound and lights.”

He was sharing his ideas with such energy–when I noticed there were actual biceps in his arms instead of dangling flesh, barely disguising skeletal confines.

I looked over, and suddenly, standing next to me, was my friend, Janet. She had ambled up during my focus on the dazzling sight before me. She kept looking at me instead of at the top of the building and our cavorting comrade.

And then suddenly Richard did something completely out of his well-known human character. He pulled money from his pants and held it out to me, explaining that I would need lots of money–an abundance of money–to pull this concert off.

I motioned to Janet to take the money from him and she looked at me, perplexed, but still reached up, and when she pulled her hand down, all that was in it was a receipt for the meal we had just enjoyed.

“Here,” she said, handing it to me. “We should keep this for tax time.”

I was a bit aggravated that she was unable to see our resurrected buddy, who had obviously gone through a transformation beyond all earthly comprehension.

As I turned back to look at him, suddenly he was not more than four inches from my face–and he had translated himself into a litte four-year-old Chicano toddler. Rather than being startled, I found myself giggling. Before I could ask him what had happened, he spoke in a child’s tenor.

“We are all children here.”

I trembled.

I turned and ran away, hid in a room. I was followed by the memory of my young son, Jerrod, circa eight years old. He wanted me to play with him but I was too traumatized by my vision.

“Give Daddy a moment,” I said. “Just give me a moment.”

I closed the door and wept. No, I mean I really cried. And I realized that I had never mourned my friend on his passing. Too many details. Too much pain. And too much disappointment over the seeming meaninglessness of his journey.

But now I cried and I cried.

All at once, he was standing in the room next to me and he placed his hand on my shoulder, although I never felt it, and he simply said, “I’m all right.”

I awakened with tears in my eyes.

I don’t know why I had this visitation. Maybe wherever he is, he had graduated from one status to another and I was invited to the celebration. Maybe I just needed to feel something about his life since I was so vacant of emotion during his death.

Or maybe it’s a message that is important to me and to all of us: He’s all right.

And you know what?

Bless the Lord above:  we’re gonna be all right.


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The St. Peter Principle… June 25, 2012


I do believe that Simon bar Jonah, a fisherman from Capernaum, who was renamed “Peter” by his friend, Jesus, would be quite shocked to discover that he was deemed to be a saint after his demise. Obviously, “grave” changes bring lasting impressions.

Whatever the circumstances of the bestowal of the title, I was delightfully refreshed to be at St. Peter United Methodist Church in Kansas City, Missouri, yesterday morning. Now, I happen to enjoy a congregation that is blended like a great fruit salad, with a few nuts thrown in for good measure. St. Peter did not disappoint. I watched closely as they struggled with the enigma of how to use spirituality to benefit human beings without ending up inhaling the stale sourness of religiosity. Quite a dilemma.

The pastor was an insightful fellow with a twinkle in his eye and a spring in his step, who is certainly ready for a new birth of energy and inspiration. The congregation is peppered with talent, creativity, generosity and human qualities which would make them very appealing to others of their kind.

So what’s the problem?

It’s really quite simple. It’s just difficult to try to create a revival of fresh ideas when you are insisting on maintaining traditions that have long since lost both their nerve and their verve. You can’t haul a corpse around and pretend that you’re anything but an undertaker. So we’ve got to get rid of the body of Christ that’s dead and stinky in order for the real flesh and blood of Jesus to come out and be alive to humanity.

So if those good, new friends at St. Peter will allow me to make a suggestion for their burgeoning awakening, let me just sum it up in three simple statements. As it turns out, these ideas i’m about to present could be classified as heading for each of the chapters of Matthew 5, 6 and 7–dubbed the Sermon on the Mount. Because when you take the trio of principles and join them together, they not only create a message sensitive to the human heart, but one that also stirs the innards of the Almighty.

1. Happiness is our goal. Jesus takes the whole beginning of the Sermon on the Mount to talk about happiness. If you’re willing to sacrifice happiness, you must be prepared to lose contact with mankind and end up with a mere dribble of souls who are determined to be miserable. So, St. Peter’s, we choose to believe that happiness is the natural state that God wants his children to possess. Because we know that Eden, had it been absent sin and rebellion, was full of ecstasy and joy.Happiness is our goal. We work towards happiness. We don’t merely invite people to church, but rather, encounter them outside the building, pray for them, work with them and counsel them until they see a miracle in their lives that makes them want to come in and add their giddiness to the bliss. If happiness isn’t your goal, why do you have a church? There are plenty of places to make people subdued, somber, miserable and to foster malcontents. So, St. Peter’s, tipping our hat to Jesus’ beatitudes, we establish our first principle for operation: happiness is our goal.

2. Moving over to that 6th chapter of St. Matthew, we come up with our second precept. “NoOne is better than anyone else.” Jesus makes it clear that we should stop stomping around, acting like we’re freakishly holy because we fast, pray and give alms, and instead, find a way to do it with joy. (There’s happiness again!) In so doing, we will remove the piety from loving God and replace it with the equality that we have with our fellow-men and women. You can’t have a church if you think you’re better than other people. In that case, what you have is a cult of personality. So the second step in our process is to realize that NoOne is better than anyone else. Even when we’re tempted to feel that we’ve established some new standard of excellent human behavior, we need to laugh at ourselves and realize there are footprints all around where we’re standing.

3. And the final insight I offer to my dear friends in Kansas City is a sound-byte-rendition of the 7th Chapter of Matthew. I feel it is an adequate, if not accurate, representation of Jesus’ thoughts. We don’t judge. We don’t even think about judging. We refuse to have opinions on things that involve dissecting the character of another human being. We giggle at folks who assume they have achieved some sort of supernatural authority to evaluate the deeds of others. We don’t judge. It isn’t that we could judge and we’re deciding not to–it’s that we finally admit that we suck at it, and rather than continuing to offend other people due to our short-sighted views, we have selected to not judge.

These three steps:

  • happiness is our goal
  • NoOne is better than anyone else, and
  • we don’t judge

create a holy environment which proclaims, “We are a church which wants to show you the Father, and then let people be people. If there’s a need for change in them, let the Spirit convict. We’ll keep our eyes on the road so we don’t ‘tail-gate’ our fellow travelers.”

Those three initiative right there will keep you busy with teaching, instruction and edification for years to come. Just finding new reasons to be happy can fill up a month of Sundays. Pointing out the value of “NoOne is better than anyone else” will grant you the material for a dozen series of sermons. And maintaining the starship of “We don’t judge” will launch you into a galaxy of new frontiers.

St. Peter UMC–I love you dearly. But as Jesus made clear–the letter kills but the spirit gives life. In other words, any religion you maintain in your format will eventually drag you down–until you allow yourself to be humans, prompted by the Spirit.

Thank you for granting me your ears, and I relish your prayers as I journey on–and I certainly would love to hear what part of my little scenario you might deem worthy of your consideration.

For I will tell you this: No district office or national headquarters of any denomination will criticize anything you do if you are growing, prospering and helping people.


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