Iz and Pal (Bedouin Buddies)


Iz and Pal

Jonathots Daily Blog

(4064)

Sitting Twenty-Two

Karin was embarrassed.

She had promised “the boys in the sand” that she would come up with some answers—or just do anything contrary to their belief that she would do nothing–so she took some time to gather together a sampling of the gifts donated during her phone solicitation. Matthew stared at her in disbelief—partly because of the frenzy of nerves that had overtaken her in accumulating the items, but mostly because he couldn’t figure out how this particular collage of “things” had any central theme.

They drove until Karin was able, through trial and error, to remember where the encampment was. Then, much to her surprise, she saw that many other of the gifts had been delivered to Iz and Pal, including the portable toilet, orange construction cones, fruit baskets, and what appeared to be bags of hamburgers. She shook her head, unable to conceive how anybody had been able to find the location.

As she climbed the hill with her trinkets, she observed the boys opening and closing the door to the toilet, poking their heads inside and giggling. “It’s a toilet!” she shouted.

They jumped back, startled. She covered the remaining distance quickly, and gently patted Iz on the shoulder. “I didn’t mean to scare you,” she said tenderly. “So, what do you think of your new toilet?” She stood back, holding out her hand as if introducing royalty.

Iz shook his head, perplexed. “Why do we need a toilet?”

“Well,” said Karin slowly, “don’t you get kind of tired of, like, burying your stuff in the desert?”

“No, actually it’s kind of fun,” inserted Pal. “I mean, every once in a while you forget, and you dig up one of your old…”

Karin interrupted. “I got the idea!” She lifted her hand to stop any further explanation. Suddenly remembering her guest, she turned to Matthew, who had just arrived. “Iz and Pal, this is Matthew Bradley, and he is here to take your picture.”

Matthew stepped forward. “Hey, dudes. You see, I’ll take this box and point it at you, and what you look like will come through this lens…” He paused to point at the front of the camera and continued. “And from this lens it goes onto what they call film, and makes a picture of your faces.”

He said each word slowly and deliberately, like a missionary schoolteacher. Karin intervened. “Matthew, they are not Aborigines. They have seen cameras, and they’ve had their picture taken. And by the way, they don’t think you’re stealing their souls. Just tell them how you want them to stand.”

Matthew paused, rubbing his chin. “Karin, what is the theme of the picture?”

Karin rolled her eyes, trying to make sure that Matthew didn’t notice. “Theme? There is no theme, Matt. I need a picture of these boys so I can get more attention for their situation.”

Matthew signed, impatient with her ignorance. “Well, if you just wanted a picture you could have picked up one of those disposable cameras,” he said, disgusted. “Listen, Karin, I’m more than a ‘photo guy.’ That’s your problem. You see me as so, so, so very small…”

Karin realized that what she deemed logical he felt was unappreciative. She eased over and gave him a sideways hug (so as to avoid his breath) and said, “Matthew, I’m sorry. I just don’t know about picture themes. What do you think?”

Matthew, immediately healed by the gratuitous apology, was elated. He suggested the two boys embrace as a symbol of their friendship, but since the boys had never really embraced before, it looked terribly awkward. Then, in a brief flicker of pure dumb luck, they managed to hug each other and turn to the camera with huge, cheesy grins.

It was an inspiring moment.

“What are you going to do with the picture?” asked Pal.

“I’m going to try to make your picture famous,” Karin replied, “so you don’t have to be.”

The boys nodded (the way twelve-year-olds do when they don’t really understand adult talk, but also don’t want to hear any more.)

Truthfully, Karin didn’t really understand herself.

Yet several hours later, in a small darkroom, Matthew developed the photo and presented it to Karin. Never in her journalistic life had she seen a picture reflect such clumsy warmth and genuine homespun tenderness. A tear came to her eye, which she reached up and dried quickly. It was no time to be sentimental.

There were still cows to get into the barn.

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Catchy (Sitting 25) I’ll Fly Away (Old Glory) … December 3rd, 2017

Jonathots Daily Blog

(3510)

Turns out a new Lear jet cost twenty million dollars.

Matthew discovered this alarming fact because Jubal wanted to purchase one.

Amazingly, a Las Vegas businessman, Bob O’Connell, who was totally intrigued with the notion of popularizing Jesus, offered his used Lear jet with only 1,020 landings, for a reasonable twelve million.

Jubal insisted that Matthew snatch it up. Mr. Carlos had an idea. He decided the key was to take the same message to the same people if you wanted the same results. For after all, Jesus made the point that his campaign hid the contents of the mission from the wise and prudent souls of the time and delivered it unto the common man and woman.

So Jubal wanted to rise every morning at 5:30 A. M. and fly the Lear jet into small towns all over America, to hold lunch-time rallies in the biggest park close to the landing spot, giving away free hamburgers and cokes, playing great music, and delivering an inspiring piece of Gospel.

After these rallies, which were to be completely spontaneous with no one knowing where the next one would be from day-to-day, Jubal and his entourage would get back on the jet and fly back to Vegas for a nighttime meeting in Clark County.

They located an abandoned warehouse, which they purchased for $120,000, and were able to suit it up as a decent, but rustic, auditorium for another hundred grand. It was called “The We House”–and it was a place for souls to gather to find simplicity and abundant joy.

Town after town was selected for the daytime rallies:

  • Bismark, North Dakota.
  • Butte, Montana
  • Cheyenne, Wyoming
  • Traverse City, Michigan
  • Bangor, Maine
  • Waco, Texas

Jubal, Matthew and the band, along with a couple of extra wives and friends, used the plane trips to sleep and rest coming and going, and used the energy from the towns to rejuvenate their spirits.

Whenever they landed in a community, the local hamburger establishments jockeyed for the right to offer their burgers to the populace.

Jubal Carlos had a phrase which he passed onto all these budding entrepreneurs who were trying to get in on the ground floor of a good idea and promote their product at the same time. His response was always the same: “Thank you for your products, but no thank you. We shall not promote you.”

Amazingly, this didn’t seem to make any difference. Hamburger and coke people begged to be part of the unfolding.

Posted on the Lear jet was a series of “NOs”:

NO sponsors

NO bitching

NO divas

NO give-up

NO drugs

And NO interviews

Yes, this was an intricate part of Jubal’s plan. Under no circumstances were any people to talk to the press, conduct any interviews or answer a question from those with journalistic intentions. Although there was a feeding frenzy for data, Jubal and the gang remained mum.

It didn’t take long. People began speculating on the location of the next day’s noontime meeting. When a rumor sprouted that Jubal was spontaneously showing up at some church in America once a week on Sunday morning, church attendance suddenly spiked, with many hoping they would accidentally stumble on the musician/prophet.

And the evening sessions at “The We House”–often conducted in candlelight–were rich with emotion, tuneful and carried a mingling of melancholy and joy which nearly struck one down with its gentleness upon entering the room.

Four weeks into the promotion, news reports started to circulate about the past history of band members or how some girl had infiltrated the troop as a groupie to gain a sexual rendezvous with the nation’s now most famous drummer.

This worried Matthew–but Jubal’s answer was easy. “We’ll put out daily press releases about our weaknesses. Each member of the band, each person in the entourage, will confess one of their faults or sins and release it over social media long before the press can pounce on it.”

At first people were interested in the flaws of the Lear Jet Revival membership. After that, they thought it was silly, and eventually everyone got bored with finding out the sins of the travelers, which were not that dissimilar from their own.

Church attendance continued to climb.

News organizations were offering hundreds of thousands of dollars for any interview with staff from the movement.

And people were becoming sensitized to the relaxation, simplicity and immersion in joy.

Matthew marveled. Jubal was breaking every rule of Madison Avenue, but was promoting better than any organization or corporation he had ever seen.

If anything became complicated, they just stopped, thought and prayed until it got easier. If anybody attacked them, they agreed with the truthful parts and ignored the foul.

Two months in, the country was stirred and stalled by this mixture of rallies and evening meetings. People began to hop into their motor homes, cross the country and camp out on the grounds of the warehouse and nearby RV parks.

Soon the warehouse was too small–but a bigger warehouse would make things less intimate. They had a pleasant problem.

What can you do to keep something beautiful going once it starts getting popular?

 

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Jesonian: Reverend Meningsbee (Part 29) The Crowd of the Press … November 13th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3124)

Reverend Meningsbee

On Thursday, shortly before dawn, a crack team of seventeen go-getters–including technicians, make-up artists, investigators, reporters and what they call the “camera darlings” who actually speak on the air–arrived from the USBN, the United States Broadcasting Network.

One of their representatives had come into town two days earlier and spoken to the elders, pastors, school administrators and parents who were chosen to be part of the series proposed about the Garsonville community. Meningsbee was invited, but only stayed long enough at the meeting to lodge his objection, suggesting that a measure of privacy was warranted for the experiences that the town had endured over the past few months.

He was ignored.

The townsfolk could not wait to be inspected by the lenses of the intruding horde from the West Coast. Although Meningsbee refused to be interviewed, Patrick Swanson, who still had his church out at the Holiday Inn Express, was scheduled, as was Sammy Collins, the Bachman family, numerous teenagers from the high school and David’s mother. (She had asked Meningsbee what he thought about the offer to share her story, and even though he discouraged her, she still felt it would be good for some other parent to know the warning signs of a depressed child who was contemplating suicide.)

Patrick Swanson planned on taking full advantage of this publicity, and touted that his congregation was known as Swanson’s Sweethearts.

Sammy Collins got wind of it, and during his interview, shared about their vision of being Collins’ Crusaders.

As the promos began to be aired on the station, the congregation at Meningsbee’s church wondered if it might be a good idea to develop a nickname. Trying to keep from laughing, the Reverend donned a serious expression and replied, “Maybe you folks could be called Mening’s Bee Stingers…”

No one found it humorous. (Often the wit of the pastor escaped the understanding of his faithful.)

Meningsbee stayed out of it, figuring it would only last a few days.  Then a rumor spread through town that the USBN had decided to do a full six weeks worth of broadcasts about burg, based upon the information they had uncovered.

Meningsbee was suspicious.

For you see, there was a time in history when journalism was the reporting of a story, but now, having to fill twenty-four hours of space, journalists were attempting to make things into stories. What were they up to?

A small hint was given when the advertisement for the series was released on air, entitled, “GarSINville … what is happening amidst the corn?”

This obvious slight escaped most of the townspeople.

They were grateful for the attention and hungry to be heard.

They were desperate to feel important.

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