Sit Down Comedy … June 21st, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

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God.

Would you stop talking about God?

Unless this God of yours has a goddamn idea on how to overcome this god-awful mediocrity.

I, for one, am fed up with anyone or anything that needs to be worshipped.

I can barely get someone’s attention at McDonald’s.

Where does God get off thinking we should stand up for thirty minutes, sing atrocious songs with insipid lyrics, and feed His ego—when He owns title and lien to the whole mess of the Universe?

And by the way, stop promoting books written by Bedouin prophets who believe that demons cause sickness. (By the way, they don’t.)

No more God talk until we have God walk

Here’s the problem—to be religious, you must buy into religion.

They won’t let you be religious by taking God in your everyday life and trying to love people. You have to purchase the whole package—kind of like a gym membership. You sign on the dotted line, it sounds like a good deal, you think you might be interested. But after you go there and realize you can’t measure up to the clientele who are lifting their heavy burdens, you don’t ever want to go back.

Religion says: God is in heaven.

I say: God is on Earth, or what’s the big deal?

Religion: God is to be worshipped.

But I say unto you:  God is a lifestyle—a way of living. Otherwise, if we’re just going to meet Him when we die, why mess around with Him now?

The church says God is a Savior.

I happen to believe that God is life abundantly. He’s just as interested in my pizza choices as He is my Bible study.

They will preach to you that God is a spirit. I happen to believe that God is the person next to me. If I treat him or her poorly, I register “suck” on the meter.

Of course, we’ve all heard that God is contained in the Bible. I will object and say that I think that God is my living word, if I dare to use my words for better living.

God is a Creator? Sure.

But more importantly, God is creating—even strange essays written by folks like me who might perturb those who pursue more of a divine sensibility.

And there are those who feel they can judge other people and tell you that God is Law.

May I proclaim to you that God is love, and if He isn’t, He’s not of much use to us at this point in our history.

OMG.

Stop talking about it, unless you’re prepared to bring something to Show and Tell.


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Catchy (Sitting 23) Dorbe and Candy … November 19th, 2017

Jonathots Daily Blog

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Matthew was elated.

Not only did the great hamburger give-away get coverage from all the major networks, but McDonald’s chose to throw in 5,000 free hot apple pies in appreciation for the large order. Every newspaper carried the same picture–a little four-year-old boy sitting on a curb eating a hot apple pie, Coke next to him, with a huge smile on his face.

It was epic–the fresh burst of optimism which had been absent in the media for years. There had been attempts to create positive stories, but rarely did one seem to fall from the heavens, right into the laps of weary journalists.

Matthew wanted to do something special for Jubal, so while Carlos finished up at the rally, Matthew raced back to the complimentary suite that had been provided and made a few phone calls. The last contact was to the GG Escort Service.

So when Jubal Carlos arrived at the suite a couple of hours later, Matthew greeted him at the door, giggling from the effects of two slurped-down martinis.

“I’ve got a surprise for you, my friend,” said Matthew.

Jubal smiled. “I don’t know whether I can take any more surprises.”

Matthew chuckled. “I think you can take this one,” he said, with a slight slur in his speech. “You see, what I did was I called the GG Escort Service. Do you know what GG stands for?”

Jubal was surprised, but played along. “No. What does it stand for?”

Matthew patted Jubal on the back. “It stands for ‘Good Girls.’ You see, they promise that all their ladies are good girls. And I thought a good fella like you and a good fella like me deserved a couple of good girls.”

Jubal crossed the room and sat down on the plush couch. “I don’t understand. Why did you do that?”

Matthew, still standing at the door, responded, “I thought you might like to relax. Sit back. Have some fun.”

“Didn’t we have fun today?” asked Jubal.

“I meant you have fun,” said Matthew.

“I did,” replied Jubal.

“Are you gay?” asked Matthew.

Jubal stood to his feet, angry. “No, I’m not gay. I just don’t know why we’d want to end this day with women that you’ve purchased.”

“Sorry,” said Matthew. “I’ve already paid for them. They’re in the other room, waiting for us.”

“They’re here?” inquired Jubal, panic in his voice.

“Yes,” Matthew answered. “And calm down. You’ve had sex before, haven’t you?”

Jubal stepped across the room. “Yes, I’ve had sex before. I’m a Las Vegas musician. Are you an idiot?”

Matthew tried to lighten up the moment. “Yes, matter of fact, I am an idiot. I thought you might like to have some female companionship.”

Jubal stepped closer to Matthew. “You don’t get it, do you? This is just a game to you. It’s like you’re playing with Mommy and Daddy’s money. Or worse, it’s Monopoly money, so what difference does it make? So you think you can go out and buy whatever you need.”

Matthew was pissed. “Hey, back off, fella. You don’t know anything about me.”

“I know you think you can buy love,” spit Jubal.

“I’m not buying love, and we’re not little boys in grammar school,” said Matthew. “It’s just sex–and a chance to have it without having to apologize, explain or woo.”

Jubal returned to the couch, sat down and turned away from Matthew. “This is not my life. This is not what I would do. I thought we would come here, order some steaks, celebrate our independence and maybe even be grateful for what happened. Do you get it? People came together today. It wasn’t a mass shooting. It wasn’t a hateful demonstration. It was people eating hamburgers, listening to music, believing.”

Matthew shook his head. “You worry me, buddy. I thought you were a professional. You know–someone who had been around the block a few times. But you’re acting like you buy into this.”

“I’m not acting,” said Jubal.

As he finished his thought, the door of the bedroom opened and in walked two lovely women in their early twenties.

“What’s the holdup?” said one of the girls.

Matthew spoke up. “I’m sorry. My friend is just a little tired.”

The second girl walked over to Jubal, rubbed his shoulders and said, “That’s okay. I’ll do all the work.”

Jubal slowly turned around and looked her in the eyes, and asked, “What’s your name?”

Matthew interrupted. “I named this one ‘Yes’ and this other one ‘O-h-h-h, yes.'”

Matthew laughed uncontrollably, apparently having consumed more than two martinis. Jubal ignored him and took the young lady by the hands, and asked again, “No, what’s your name?”

She squinted, and then cautiously replied, “My name is Dorothy Beth, but my friends call me Dorbe.”

“Where are you from, Dorbe?” asked Jubal.

“Yankton County, South Dakota.”

Jubal motioned for her to sit down and she eased her way onto the cushion. “I’ve never been to South Dakota,” said Jubal. “What’s it like?”

Dorbe thought for a second. “Well, it’s like North Dakota. Just a little further south.”

Jubal laughed. “You are very funny, Dorbe.”

He stood up, walked over to the other young lady, took her hands, and said, “What’s your name?”

She glanced at Matthew, who just shook his head, so she replied flatly, “My name is Candy Cane.”

Matthew rolled his eyes. “No, your real name.”

She placed her hand on her hip and blurted, “It is my real name. My mother loved Christmas.”

Jubal thought that was funny, too. “My friend, Matthew, tells me you’re good girls.”

“No, that’s our escort service,” said Dorbe. Candy Cane threw her a darting glance.

Dorbe stared back, and said, “He’s a nice guy. I thought I could say ‘escort service.’ I don’t think he’s a cop.”

Jubal motioned for Candy Cane to sit down, too. She complied.

“No, I’m not a cop,” said Jubal. “But I do try to be a good guy. And so does my buddy, here. He’s just like all of us–he gets some things mixed up. You see, he’s the guy that’s thinking about starting a campaign to make Jesus popular again.”

“I read about that in the newspaper,” said Dorbe.

“When did Jesus get unpopular?” inserted Candy Cane.

Jubal stepped toward Matthew. “You see, my man? These ladies don’t think Jesus is unpopular. You know why?”

Matthew shook his head, like he was caught in a bad dream. “No, but I’m sure you’ll tell me.”

“It’s because they’re working people,” replied Jubal. “They’re the kind of people who not only know Jesus, but they want to be friends with him.”

“You do know what we do for a living?” interrupted Dorbe.

“Hush, bitch,” said Candy Cane in the nicest way possible.

“Yes,” answered Jubal. “I know what occupies your time. But not tonight. You see, my friend and I were about to order some steaks. Or was it lobster? How about both? And we were wondering if you lovely ladies would join us?”

“You know we’re already paid for, right?” asked Dorbe.

“I suppose,” said Jubal. “But I want to give you a choice. You can keep your money and leave, or you can stay here and eat a delicious dinner with us and join in conversation.”

Just conversation?” Candy Cane asked, suspicious.

“Just conversation?” Matthew repeated.

“Yes,” said Jubal. “There is so much to talk about, so much to celebrate, so much to be thankful for that we don’t have to go weird to have our fun.”

Dorbe shook her head. “You are an odd man. Are you a preacher? Don’t get me wrong–I’ve been with a lot of preachers.”

“No, Dorbe, actually I’m a drummer. Congas.”

Candy Cane stood to her feet and clapped her hands. “Oh, I love congas! They’re just so … drummy.”

“I couldn’t have said that better myself,” said Jubal.

“Yes, you could,” said Matthew.

“So what do you say, Matthew? Shall we order in some dinner for our ‘Good Girls?'” asked Jubal.

Matthew stood quietly in the doorway, where he had been stuck the entire time. He was still waiting for an exciting evening of pleasure, and was being offered dinner and talk.

He didn’t understand Jubal. He was aware of people who were self-righteous, or just hated sex–but Mr. Carlos didn’t seem to fit into either of those categories. There was something mysterious about the story of this man that he knew he would have to uncover so as to protect himself–and the money.

But not tonight. Tonight belonged to Carlos. Tonight was a time to submit to the common good.

Tonight was a celebration with two good guys and two good girls.

 

Donate ButtonThe producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

Sackcloth and Ashes … February 13, 2013

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ashesLong ago, when fire-breathing dragons stomped across the earth and a gallon of gasoline cost less than milk, prophets would occasionally ramble into town, condemning the deeds of the wicked, speaking forth the chilling but effective sound bite, “Repent or die.” Even more disconcerting was how little the prophet actually cared about whether his message was received in a positive light, and often actually would have preferred it if death was the result of his invitation. I suppose there were those cities which would resist the opportunity to save their lives–we wouldn’t be that familiar with them because they are no longer on the landscape. But often the ruler of the nation would comprehend the seriousness of the situation and repent, ordering all of his subjects to do so, demonstrating their regret by adorning themselves in sackcloth and smearing ashes all over their bodies.

Time marches on. (Or does it creep? I’m not sure.)

We now have advanced in our self-esteem to the extent that we would never consider lowering ourselves to wear sackcloth and display bacteria-ridden ashes on our faces. Yet it doesn’t change the fact that we are still doing many of the same ridiculous practices that should require a bit of reflection, if not repentance brought on by the threat of doom.

I’m not a prophet. (I guess that would make me a non-prophet organization. But I digress.) Yet, to me there are three obvious things that need focus in this country as primal objectives, allowing for a discussion about the implementation of how to achieve them, but not whether they are righteous and necessary.

1. Let’s stop killing. There you go.  I’m not picky. Let’s stop killing babies so much. Let’s stop killing people with capital punishment. And let’s stop starting wars because we have a big military and they get out of practice if they hang around the base too much with no real combat experience. I think it’s a good start. Every time you stop something in life, two things happen: you cease a few things and you start up other things. Stopping killing would probably take away some of our rights in this country. But it would give us a sense that we were trying to address a murderous history of rampage that seems to be threatening to infest our national DNA. Yes–stop killing. Then have the debate about how to actually make it a practical or legal application.

2. Stop stealing. Let’s not ask people to do jobs that we don’t want to do and then continue to insist that they live in squalor and poverty in order to serve us. Let’s stop taking away from people their praise-worthy actions and pretending they’re lesser fellows. Let’s greatly discourage corporations from becoming so greedy to feather their nest that they kill off all competing birds. Let’s stop stealing. That would be good, right? We could decide that refusing to steal is a good thing and then have a healthy debate on ways to initiate integrity.

3. Why don’t we stop destroying? If there is any chance at all that we are party to affecting the climate on this earth, why don’t we just grin and bear it? Why don’t we find out what we can do and instead of arguing about whether it is pleasant or within our wheelhouse of understanding, and just stop the destruction. Why don’t we become the nation that makes it “uncool” to be unfeeling? Why don’t we stop destroying our own psyche by peppering our young people with violence and encouraging them to use technology incessantly–which is gradually fostering an epidemic of indifference?

Why don’t we stop destroying our bodies? Why can’t we encourage farmers to raise more vegetables so you can get a tomato at the grocery store for less money than a greasy eight-hundred-calorie hamburger at McDonald’s?

Certainly it would demand that we abandon hypocrisy. It would require that we forfeit some of our abstract definitions of freedom to provide for the common good. The same people who extol the beauty of marriage–which is the setting aside of sexual freedom, the possibility of many partners to cling to one–feel grieved over the notion of making it more difficult to get a gun for themselves in order to possibly save the lives of those on the perimeter of their understanding.

I don’t think we’ll ever get our nation to sport sackcloth and ashes. But I do think we could sit down and agree that killing, stealing and destroying are really bad things, and even though we may have varying definitions, in the long run, we could come up with a FEW ideas limiting death, thievery and destruction.

Ash Wednesday–a religious holiday when people commiserate for an hour or so about whether they treat those friends around them with enough respect and if they should eat less chocolate.

Maybe it’s time for some real repentance. In the absence of a prophet who isn’t afraid of the king, queen and parliament, let me proclaim, stop killing, stop stealing, stop destroying.

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

While I’m Looking … February 5, 2013

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eyeballWhile I’m looking for a happy millionaire, a cool cat, a pleasant planner, a thoughtful thinker, a Christian Christian and a content God, I do believe it would be a good idea to pursue some of the things I’ve learned while trying to uncover these treasures.

For instance, I have discovered that the best way to be happy is to show up with your own batch of good cheer instead of assuming it will be provided upon your arrival.

The best way to be a cool cat? Be aware of the world around you, care about what people are saying–and only share when you know it’s going to edify and help someone.

Even though people exchange pleasantries all the time, I have learned that the best way to come across pleasant is to always lead with a smile–even if a frown is thrown back in your face.

And in this era of knowledge being pushed constantly, with tons of statistics backing up every point, I like to flush my brain out and become the thoughtful human being I need to be by living out a simple principle: whatsoever things are good, think on those things. There are people who may accuse me of having my head in the sand, but I think that’s preferable to tossing my mind in the gutter.

To honor the beauty of the word “Christian,” I have selected the following profile: I always imagine that Jesus has asked me to keep an eye on his house while he’s out of town. If my neighbor did that, I would be conscientious. If my neighbor asked me to watch his home, I would take care of it the way I know that HE takes care of it. And if my friend trusted me enough to watch over his abode, I would make sure that when he returns, it’s just the way he likes it. Jesus loved people, hated pretense and was not terribly interested in religious practice. He’s left us in charge of his roof and doorstep. We might want to respect his wishes.

And finally, while I’m looking for a content God, I am going to choose to believe that God most certainly must be more gracious, merciful and nicer than me. It amazes me that some people worship a divine being who is NOT as courteous and loving as they themselves. I do not know why I would want to give my devotion to a spirit which I would not want to spend ten minutes with, sharing a McDonald’s hamburger. Yes–most certainly God has to be better than me. Otherwise, I’m sorry–He doesn’t get to be God.

I figure these practices and initiatives are gonna keep me busy–and also, might prevent me from becoming cynical about my quest for finding these particular individuals. Because who knows? Maybe they don’t even exist. But if they don’t, my world does not become better by knowing that. So I will continue to look for…

  • a happy millionaire
  • a cool cat
  • a pleasant planner
  • a thoughtful thinker
  • a Christian Christian
  • and a content God.

After all, it’s not that painful to go around and investigate. Truth be told, I’m having the time of my life.

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

Mutual… January 11, 2012

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You gotta plant a whole lot of seeds to get a garden. Undoubtedly. It helps if you know what you’re planting and if you try to keep the same seeds in the same row, but now I’m being a little picky. Let’s just return to the concept of mass scattering.

What we all want out of life is a mutual experience. You have to be a real misfit to think that you’re going to travel through your lifespan without having to give up something to someone else. Not only is that selfish, but absolutely ridiculous. Human life is a journey to achieve as much mutual satisfaction as possible.

I like you–you like me. I work with you–you work with me. I compliment you–you compliment me. I enjoy you–you enjoy me.

Life has to be mutual to be good–otherwise you either spend all of your time giving, ending up resentful, or believe your mission is to take, putting yourself in the position of being the villain.  Here’s how I think it works: (1) Everyone deserves a smile. (2) Everyone requires a greeting of acceptance. (3)  Everyone needs a moment of understanding. (4) And finally, everyone craves appreciation.

This is true for me, also. But if I expect the average American worker, who makes minimum wage plus a few quarters,  to extend these courtesies to me simply because I have walked into their establishment and want them to curtail their ego long enough to acquiesce to my needs, I am an absolute idiot. Everybody in America is faulted with one major piece of pending fiasco: we all want to be rich but we aren’t. It makes us act like we’re better than we actually are, puts a chip on our shoulder and causes us to be overly sensitive to the body language and attitudes of others. It’s what creates foolish clashes of personality and presumptuous behavior, promoting strife.

Not for me, folks. When I realize I am going to be staying in an area for a fortnight, I lead with tenderness, mercy, gentleness, interest and curiosity. I also allow myself a bit of self-deprecating humor, to let them know that I don’t take my own concerns too seriously. The minute people are disarmed by my presentation of simplicity, they warm. And frankly, if they don’t, I just don’t return to that establishment. I am fully aware that mutual is what makes the human journey successful–two individuals sharing a common respect for one another.

It’s why most marriages go south. Someone becomes “mother” instead of “lover,” or “daddy” instead of “equal.”

Mutual is what makes life work. But here’s the key: mutual begins with me. I can’t wait for the girl at the McDonald’s counter to awaken from her sleepiness to provide adequate service my way. It is my job, function and purpose to enliven her spirit so that when she sees me coming, a switch goes off in her heart to the open position instead of the closed one.  Likewise, if I don’t express an interest in my bank teller, I shouldn’t anticipate that a friendly greeting will always be awaiting. And if I leave my motel room a mess and fail to give a tip to my hard-working housekeeper, I shouldn’t look for extra mints on my pillow.

America stalls because everybody is waiting for the other person to make the first overture towards excellence. We call it individuality. We call it “standing up for oneself.” We call it self-esteem. But whatever we call it, may I tell you that it does not work and it leaves us standing at a distance, peering at one another in suspicion.

Mutual begins with me. f I want love, I need to manufacture some and carry it around in my knapsack. If I want respect, I need to extend that courtesy to every human worker I meet instead of assuming they’re my servants.

The reason “the meek inherit the earth,” as Jesus said, is that they’re smart enough to realize that if SOMEBODY doesn’t step back for a moment, we will continue to run into each other. If SOMEBODY doesn’t consider the bigger picture, we soon will be vacant of a landscape of possibility. Yes, the meek are the intelligent. They understand that mutual begins with ME. So when I treat the maid at my motel like she’s a real person and not just my personal towel-bearer, it is so much easier for her to desire to be near me, to help me and to want to serve me.

For let me tell you, there is nothing spiritual in the concept of “an eye for an eye.” I understand that three religions in our world have based at least part of their philosophy on this principle, but the notion leaves you victoriously holding someone’s eyeballs in your hand, never having achieved any perspective on what they actually see.

Mutual begins with me. Mutual is not “of Omaha.” It’s about me. And very quickly you will identify the individuals who are merely waiting for courtesy so they can respond in like manner, and the tiny handful out there who are just so bruised and damaged that right now they can’t even respond to a treatment of mercy.

I have enjoyed my stay in southwest Florida, but it’s because I have taken everyone I have met and assumed that they are a field, devoid of seed, and decided to plant my compassion first and see what grows. The best relationships I have in my life are mutual ones. They are the people who respect me because I respected them first, and they don’t lose anything by giving it back my way.

If you’re going to sit around and wait for the world to notice how valuable you are and to give you your props before you extend to them the position they desire, you will find yourself at odds with humanity, holding a darkened view of your brothers and sisters, and having a religious attitude of looking for judgment day more than the mercy-seat of God.

Mutual–let’s do it to each other until we both feel good.

I’ll tell you what … I’ll go first.

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Jonathan wrote the gospel/blues anthem, Spent This Time, in 1985, in Guaymas, Mexico. Take a listen:

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To see books written by Jonathan, click the link below! You can peruse and order if you like!

http://www.janethan.com/tour_store.htm

Stinky Jobs … December 17, 2011

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Live from Palm Coast, Florida, in A Spirited Christmas

 
 There are stinky jobs.
 
Truthfully, I’m not a great proponent of work in general. Matter of fact, I’ve been known to sit around for an hour discussing a better way to do a five-hour task in three hours, ending up with a sixty-minute savings in exertion. People who like to work sometimes scare me because generally speaking, they enjoy presenting other abnormalities like saving money and daily exercise programs–two other things I’m not particularly fond of pursuing.
 
But there certainly is some work that’s stinkier than others. For instance, I would not like to be the campaign manager for a candidate who’s running fourth in the polls in a four-person contest. You would still have to show up every day to headquarters, with doughnuts and coffee for everybody, a smile on your face, hiding newspapers from personnel and making sure the television set was off so as not to discourage the work force. You would still have to listen to all the speeches–knowing that a final selection would be a concession one. Stinky job.
 
Here’s another one: being the manager at the late night shift at a McDonald’s and having the responsibility of throwing away all the extra hamburgers not purchased during the day. I’m sorry–I would want to look at all those brave burgers and adopt them, probably stuffing them down my pants to hide it from the staff, only to drive too slowly on the way home because I was worried about my thievery, and get picked up by a policeman who notices my nervous mannerisms and asks me to step out of my vehicle, to discover during his search that I was toting beef in my shorts. (You can see, I’ve thought this through…)
 
While we’re on the subject, let me mention another stinky job. I don’t think I’d want to be a defense attorney for a serial killer who had murdered twenty-three nuns while they were kneeling in prayer. What could you say? “Come on, folks! We’ve all wanted to chop SOMEBODY up and put ’em in a burlap bag and toss ’em in a Goodwill bin for redistribution.  Haven’t you?”  (After all, genuflecting can be annoying.) Nasty business.
 
But truthfully, one of the most difficult employments–a stinky job–would be the promotion of the word “tinsel.” First of all, it’s a seasonal occupation, since no one really uses the stuff any time other than Christmas. Tinsel is out of the question at a Bar-Mitzvah. Immediately you would have the needful goal of separating the word “tinsel” from its two inferior cousins–“glitter” and “glamour.” Am I right? Because whenever anyone wants to refer to something shallow, they cite “tinsel and glamor” or “tinsel and glitter.” Yes,”tinsel” would have to create more profound relationships. I mean, if you’re going to sell this to the public, you would have to try something like “tinsel and prayer.” How about “tinsel and debate?” One of my favorites would be “tinsel and charity.” If you think about it, it’s really unfair. Because even though we associate tinsel with triviality, we all have it as a guilty pleasure during holiday times and use it to decorate our trees and surroundings.
 
Here’s another quandary. There are those who become confused about whether tinsel is the garland that goes around the trees or if it’s the icesickles that are strewn upon the boughs.  (Yes, the beginning of all prejudice is falce perception …)
 
How could you promote “tinsel” when it is used so fervently by the faithful but in moments of weakness is betrayed and cast aside as meaningless drivel? Yes–that would be a stinky job.
 
Yet I will tell you this–even if a Jehovah’s Witness who did not celebrate Christmas was to suddenly pick ONE thing to commemorate the birth of a savior, it just might be tinsel. Flashing lights would be out of the question. Manger scenes? Graven images. But tinsel would be pretty, while still maintaining some purity.
 
What WOULD be the correct way to improve the popularity of tinsel? I men, as an idea, not merely as a product. Do you agree with me? It would be a stinky job.
 
It would almost be as difficult as trying to promote a daily column on the Internet by a bizarre writer who actually thinks about stuffing Big Macs down his trousers.

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Here comes Christmas! For your listening pleasure, below is Manger Medley, Jonathan’s arrangement of Away in the Manger, which closes with him singing his gorgeous song, Messiah.  Looking forward to the holidays with you!

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To see books written by Jonathan, click the link below! You can peruse and order if you like!

http://www.janethan.com/tour_store.htm

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