Sit Down Comedy … November 30th, 2018

Jonathots Daily Blog

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Mall Talk

Santa: Jesus Christ!

Jesus: Are you cussin’ or just glad to see me?

Santa: (hugs Jesus and pulls back) I almost didn’t recognize you.

Jesus: That’s because I’m traveling S. I.

Santa: S. I.?

Jesus: (smiling) Savior Incognito. So good to see you, old man.

Santa: Yeah, that’s interesting, because I supposedly have gained immortality, but they’ve stuck me at about seventy-five years of age.

Jesus: Well, I died at thirty-three–that’s where I’m kind of stuck, except I didn’t exactly leave behind a pretty corpse.

Santa: (frowning) Sorry about that.

Jesus: Oh, lighten up, old man. It’s Christmas. We’ll get around to that Easter stuff later.

Santa: Well, what brings you to this mall on this day?

Jesus: I was about to ask you the same question.

Santa: Well, there are so many people dressing up like me now, that it’s easy for me to slip in, as you say, incognito, and play myself at a mall. No one knows the difference.

Jesus: So why this mall?

Santa: The best damn curly fries at the food court. I’m tellin’ you, you’ve got to try them. They’re to die for.

Jesus: Was that another crack at my crucifixion?

Santa: Oh, I’m sorry…

Jesus: (punching him in the arm) Just kidding! You’ve gotta lighten up!

Santa: Well, there’s a lot of pressure. This time of year, you run into this “Christmas war” thing–you know, where you and I are supposed to be enemies. You representing the “true meaning of Christmas” and me being a commercial bungler.

Jesus: Well, don’t people know that you’re real name is Saint Nicholas?

Santa: I’ve always been your greatest fan. I watched what you did with children, learned from how you gave to people. And I took it seriously when you said in your Beatitudes, “Rejoice and be exceedingly glad.”

Jesus: And you even copied my twelve elves!

Santa: (a bit flustered) Well… Not exactly.

Jesus: Well, sometimes they acted like elves. You see, people like to keep you where they found you. Lots of folks met me in church so they think I live there. (whispering) Honest to God, Claus–I haven’t been there for years.

Santa: You’re right. Because with me, they loved the Old North Pole thing. Obviously couldn’t do all the work in one location. I have it spread all over the globe. Every once in a while, I even use Amazon.

Jesus: If people just understood that there’s no bad way to say Christmas. It’s kind of like the word “candy.” You can substitute “chocolate, peanut butter, confection, caramel”–and still, what comes to your mind is…

Santa: (interrupting) …candy. You’re right! You can say “reindeer, Christmas tree, carols, jingle bells or manger.” What comes to my mind is Christmas.

Jesus: So they can call it a holiday. That doesn’t help them. Because the word “holiday” means “holy day.” They can say “Season’s Greetings,” but everybody knows the season is Christmas.

Santa: People just fuss too much.

Jesus: I’d say “amen” but I’m not that religious.

Santa: You really aren’t, are you?

Jesus: Nope–I just love people. I love my Father, I love Mother Nature and I love the idea of life. You know I was born in a barn…

Santa: (laughing) That’s funny.

Jesus: (serious) What’s funny about it? You live in a toy shop with reindeer.

Santa: (serious) Well, I didn’t want to argue with you.

Jesus: (laughing) You really are uptight about this Christmas thing, aren’t you? Tell you what–let’s head off to the food court and you can buy me some of those curly fries and prove to me that they’re the best in the world.

Santa: That’s a deal–if you’ll tell me about the first Christmas.

Jesus: Well, I was just a little baby surrounded by asses.

(Santa is shocked)

Jesus: (poking him in the arm) You know–donkeys. Listen, old man–we’d better hurry and get those curly fries right now. You are desperately in need of some good cheer.

 

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Salient…June 11th, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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There are matters that are too important to ignore or leave to chance. These are salient moments.

Even though it is not the holiday season, I found myself thinking about the song, “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus.”

If you are six years old, the title of this tune is frightening, leading your young mind to believe there’s a divorce in the making, custody battles and certainly a scandal awaiting the great Toymaker to the North.

If you happen to be older–let’s say above fourteen years of age–you don’t have quite the visceral reaction, since you have some inside information which might explain the circumstance. In other words, there might be a reason that Mommy is kissing Santa Claus that the young tyke isn’t fully aware of.

This is the advantage of knowledge, especially when it’s clothed with a great coat of common sense, and sits in a comfortable chair, with calmness.

Yet we, who are supposed to be grownups, are being carried away by all sorts of foolishness and deceptions, as if we are unaware of the possibility of different interpretations.

In politics, we’ve convinced ourselves that lying is an acceptable part of the practice, even though, in our mature minds, we are cognizant of the fact that no liar ever totally gets by with his or her fabrication.

In social interaction, we don’t seem to be able to distinguish the difference between a very poorly executed attempt at flirtation, harrasment, stalking and rape.

And in our religious realms, we deem ourselves to be the judges of humanity, when we were warned by the Judge of All not to don His auspicious robes.

To put it plainly, we are much smarter and more sophisticated than we pretend to be. Just as we know Mommy’s not really kissing Santa Claus, we likewise know that politicians can’t lie without eventually being destroyed, men and women need to learn how to interact with each other without singeing the edges with sexuality, and God needs to be worshipped instead of our fellow-human-beings defamed because they fail to measure up to chapter and verse.

We can do better.

  • We can actually take responsibility for the intelligence we’re supposed to have.
  • We can walk in the mercy we require for ourselves.
  • And we can garner the respect for one another that our own souls yearn to receive.

So for our salient moment:

Be as smart as you need to be by making sure you do not dumb down the world around you by pretending that dumb things should be heard.

 

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Ask Jonathots … December 1st, 2016

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Do you think Christmas is too commercial?

Every year when I watch the original movie, “Miracle on 34th Street,” there is a small speech delivered by one of the young men in the cast. Even though the movie was done in the late 1940’s, he laments, in his soliloquy that Christmas is too commercial.

So it is nothing new.

I would never question the sincerity of those who are concerned about keeping the purity and message of Christmas. But I will say that such complaining is contrary to the story itself.

The first Christmas was a tiny, nearly unnoticed intrusion on a world of commercialism. Augustus Caesar was taxing the empire, innkeepers were making so much money that they had no room for two vagabonds coming in the middle of the night, and the shepherds were busy watching their flocks.

Things were bought, things were sold.

In the midst of that, an absolutely miraculous event occurred–which rattles the world to this day.

The message of Christmas did not need much space to gain place.

If department stores want to make a dollar and other folks wish to focus on decorations and North Pole shenanigans, Baby Jesus still seems to always win out–just like he did that First Noel.

Why?

  • Because “peace on Earth, good will toward men” is necessary to keep the stores open.
  • “Love your neighbor as yourself” creates the environment for capitalism to flourish.
  • And Saint Nicholas probably wouldn’t give a crap about children if he hadn’t learned it from Jesus, who made young ones a strong part of his mission.

So when you hear people sneer about the “commercialism of Christmas,” please understand that the first time angels were heard singing on high, the world was either asleep, gambling or finding ways to increase the profit margin.

Caesar is dead, the innkeeper has passed along … but Baby Jesus is still rocking the world.

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Cracked 5 … December 8th, 2015

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Ideas A New Talent Agent Wants to Institute to Promote Santa Claus

A. An all-black suit:  Bleak, but slimming.

B. Santana Claus: Carols, slick with guitar licks.

C. New reality show from the North Pole: Toying Around. (Spoiler alert–many elves are bi-polar.)

D. Slightly soften “You better watch out” slogan to “Be cool, fool.” (Complete with Christmas rapping…)

E. Getting in front of the rumor that Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer is transgender. The new name is “Rulinda.” 

Rudolph Girl

 

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G-Poppers … November 27th, 2015

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Though a little bizarre, G-Pop decided that Thanksgiving was fine because the grandchildren outnumbered the dogs by one.

Yes–five to four.

A little too close for the sake of sanity but still within the margin of error.

As all the family busied themselves preparing the delicacies they hoped would be the winner of the day, G-Pop just sat in his chair and thought for a moment about how absolutely amazing Thanksgiving and the season leading up to Christmas truly is.

In a way it’s about Santa Claus.

Very few personalities are as much maligned and revered as the Jolly Old Elf. But he does have a special formula for approaching humanity which is a workable format, and seems to gain traction every year.

It’s never out of style. It’s never rebuked so much by the religionists that it ends up being cast aside in favor of Biblical themes, and his presence is not so bound to the manger that those who have no reverence can still acknowledge the relevance.

It’s really a very simple plan of action:

1. Get prepared.

Think about the children and get the grownups to become more childlike.

2. Climb a little higher up on the roof.

You can see better. Ground level often leaves us grim.

3. Once you see better, slide down into people’s living rooms.

For after all, there’s no way to get folks to come to the North Pole–it’s too cold. At least, that’s the rumor. Also, human beings are not interested in becoming elves. So instead, you go to them, you go into their living rooms where they fellowship and nurture one another.

4. Next, bring gifts.

We’re all suckers for a gift. As long as we don’t have to sign on a dotted line, ending up with hidden payments, a free gift opens up the human heart.

We will never be able to intimidate the world into a submission of peace.

We will never evangelize the world into accepting a common Christ.

But we can come into their homes with a great package:

A. God loves.

B. God listens.

C. God learns.

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Untotaled: Stepping 31 (December 18th, 1966) One Last Time … September 13, 2014

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My home was just two blocks from school, so when the bell rang, dismissing classes for the holidays, I hung around. I was in no hurry to make the trek to my house.

It was my birthday and I was vexed by a bit of melancholy.

Maybe it was the reality of turning fifteen and still not loved by any girl, and kind of shoveled to the side by a family that had more pressing concerns.

I borrowed a basketball from the boys locker room and shot some hoops. I was temporarily invigorated by the fact that I set a new personal record for free throws–eight in a row.

When the janitor came into the gymnasium, he frowned. I realized he was going to ask me to leave, so I redeposited the ball back into the slot where it belonged, grabbed my books and headed towards my abode.

Darkness was already beginning to fall on the little central Ohio community. Clouds were clumped in the sky like folded dirty towels, haphazardly stacked on the shelf, precariously threatening to tumble on the floor in the linen closet.

It was gonna snow.

It didn’t take me long to get home, although I shuffled my feet most of the way. I had never seen that little stretch of road so vacant. Everyone had settled inside, lit their fires and were preparing to endure the forecasted six inches of the white stuff.

Strangely enough, when I got home there was no one there. The house was warm, dark and certainly well-suited to my threatening depression. I left the lights off and turned on our old television set.

There was Clara Jo’s Toy Shop. I never watched it–too “baby,” too silly, too girly, too stupid. But today I was in no mood to rise from my chair, turn the dial and find something else.

All at once, she introduced Santa Claus, to come out and talk to the kids. It was like a lightbulb went off in my head, and I realized, “Oh, yeah. It’s Christmas time.”

I cried.

I don’t know exactly why–but as I watched the man on TV pretending to be the saint from the North Pole, I suddenly wanted to believe again.

After all these years of growing up, knowing that the tales spoken of the northern elf were probably not true, I desired him in my life.

I was so lonely. I tried to play the piano, but each song just made me weep. Then I fell silent–so still that I could hear the howling wind foretelling the coming storm. The window panes in the dining room were already fogging over, promising frost.

With some tears in my eyes, I spoke out loud to the television set. “Santa Claus, all I want for Christmas is to still believe in Santa Claus.”

I cried again.

For a minute, it looked like I was going to be inconsolable. Then suddenly, it just stopped. I sniffed and peered at the television set.

I thought to myself that the family would soon be here. I was frightened that they had all forgotten it was my birthday. I didn’t think I had the heart to endure it.

Suddenly Clara Jo began to sing, in her off-key alto pitch, “Here comes Santa Claus, here comes Santa Claus…”

I allowed my mind to wander to Christmases years before. It was December 18th, 1966 and I was fifteen.

And as a chill went down my spine, I thought to myself, “There goes Santa Claus.”

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If You Knew … January 26, 2012

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From Miami, Florida

 

If you knew taking a ten-minute walk every day would lengthen your life by five years, would you do it?

If you knew the person of your greatest affection was truly the very best you ever could have done, would you decide to be more appreciative of their presence?

If you knew that pickled beets, when eaten with Brussel sprouts, promoted longevity, would you adjust your palate accordingly?

If you knew there was basically no difference between men and women except a couple of obvious physical ones, would you reject society’s bigotry, or continue to join in the misguided laughter and fantasy?

If you knew your religion was incorrect and through some miracle, were given the true revelation, which ended up being from another religion’s hearth and home, would you change your affiliation to gain greater insight?

If you knew your car was being made in a foreign country at the expense of people who were suffering under the management of the manufacturer, would you switch to another vehicle to make a stand against tyranny?

If you knew the political party of your choice was actually detrimental at this time to the nation’s better interest, would you abandon your affiliation and change your vote?

If you found out that Santa Claus really did live at the North Pole, and during all these years, there’s been a vast conspiracy to disprove his existence, would you be willing to go back to a childlike heart on Christmas morning?

If you knew there was no difference between the races, would you still insist on keeping them separate?

If you knew money was important to give you the confidence to become a giver, would you work harder to get it, so that you could become more generous?

If you knew there was no God, would you still decide to love your neighbor as yourself?

If you knew that interfering in other people’s lives was the main cause of most of the disruption in our society, could you learn to keep your nose out of other people’s business?

If you knew chocolate chip cookies caused cancer, would you stop eating them, or gamble with the risk?

If you knew that “thank you” were the two most important words in the world, would you swallow your pride and say them more often?

If you knew that hoping for things was unfortunately a convenient way of not doing what you know to do, would you exchange your hopes for action?

If you knew that your mother and father were good people but had human flaws that caused them to teach you faulty logic, could you still love them as people but reject their philosophy?

If you knew more than you know now, would you be glad you knew it, or wish it wasn’t known?

Life is about one major decision. Actually, it’s an answer to a simple question.

Am I looking for answers, or do I want confirmation?

Because the truth of the matter is, if you seek you WILL find. If it’s confirmation of all your feelings, including your prejudices, you will certainly discover enough ammunition to fuel your war.

But if you’re seeking answers, you must be prepared for some of your pre-conceptions to be ravaged so that the landscape can be cleared for beautiful improvement.

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