Catchy (Sitting 14) Abashed … September 17th, 2017

Jonathots Daily Blog

(3433)

Matthew knew.

Yet he was surprised to find out that Landy Loren also knew. She sent him an email.

“Dear friend: Sorry to hear that Tomlinson is not interested in making Jesus popular. I can think of two hundred and fifty million reasons for it being a great idea, but since, so to speak, another lawyer is going to snuff out the light of the world, be comforted that I am dropping my lawsuit. It wasn’t anything personal. Just business, you know. Yours, Landy Loren”

Matthew pondered. Was it that obvious? Was it completely evident to everyone that this request of an eccentric billionaire to try to popularize Jesus of Nazareth was about to go the way of the dodo?

Why? What was the real reason?

Matthew understood that the controversy scared the hell into everybody. Panel after panel met to discuss the idea, and snubbed the possibility as being either irrelevant or irreverent. There was one little boy in a small Midwest town, who quietly said, “I’d like to meet Jesus.”

But generally speaking, the reactions were negative. An angry man in Birmingham, Alabama, bellowed at Matthew, “Jesus doesn’t need your help to do his job!” while an Episcopal Bishop in Chicago, Illinois, wearing the drapings of his profession, spoke in a nearly inaudible voice and asked, “Which Jesus are we talking about?”

Matthew felt abashed–that uncomfortable sensation of being embarrassed for feeling something he wished he didn’t. The whole experience had just left him uncomfortable in his own skin. Where he was usually blithe and carefree, uproariously overjoyed over his abiding indifference, he was suddenly plagued with fits of introspection.

It was maddening.

But he couldn’t deny the bizarre union of souls who had come together, who would never have made acquaintance if it had not been for the project. Finding Soos, Michael and especially re-linking with Jo-Jay had been enriching to his tired soul.

He felt something for Jo-Jay. He wasn’t sure what it was, but it was more than just a passing business interaction. He could tell because when they chatted together, the tones were soft, nearly whispers; and upon leaving her presence, there was the tingle and ooze of romance.

But Matthew was too busy to be romantic.

He was too busy to think about his life.

And he was much too busy to take on any new silly project which no one wanted to happen anyway.

It was when Sister Rolinda showed up at the office to offer her services to the cause that he gained a little piece of insight on his turmoil. Rolinda had been a nun for thirty-eight years in the Roman Catholic Church, and had left (or been ousted, depending on the story you believed) because she no longer wanted to be a sister, but demanded the full status of the priesthood.

The Pope disagreed, along with all of his cohorts. So she left.

She was a sage with a hint of oracle. When Matthew was in her presence, he believed there was a chance she was actually hearing something from the heavens she was trying to translate into Earth words. She was creepy, sweet, kind and prided herself on making the best pineapple upside-down cake this side of the Mississippi. One day she stared deeply into Matthew’s eyes and said, “You have been chosen to do this.”

A chill went down his spine.

For after all, what could bring together a Congressman, a hippie, a prophet, a former Catholic nun and his business partners, who normally had no interest whatsoever in the content of anything, especially their character.

But he realized the longer he waited the more likely it was that Tomlinson would close the door. And once it was shut there would be no way to gain entrance.

He needed to move fast.

He needed to decide if he wanted to go back to being “Matthew the Rambler,” or investigate this new, confused being crawling out of his own skin.

He remembered a statement made by an old man in Des Moines, Iowa, during one of their test marketing meetings. The aged gent had slowly and deliberately stated, “It’d take Jesus to make Jesus popular.”

Matthew agreed.

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … June 21st, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3344)

Standing There

I was just seventeen

Trying not to be mean

When I saw her standing there

Is she terrified?

I am

I brushed my teeth four times

Back and forth, side to side

Even upside down

Yet the foul is returning

My deodorant is so damn unpredictable

Was that a whiff of skunk?

I’m sweating

It’s not hot

She is

I’m not

Does she know that I’m plain?

Yes, plain

Dry toast without butter

Marshmallow minus cream

They say women are from Venus

I, supposedly, am from Mars

Could someone build a spaceship?

Maybe we could date on the moon

And gradually come down to Earth

That sounds romantic

No, wait. Corny

Corny is bad

Like my deteriorating breath

She is fidgeting

Or maybe just exercising

I am not athletic

I bounce the ball

And then watch it roll away from me in disgust

Yes, the ball had an opinion

It mocked my efforts to participate

Doesn’t she do most of the stuff I do?

Just not as noisy or smelly

Is there common ground?

Why are we on the ground?

Many magnificent wonders

I want to talk to her

No, I don’t

Talking is dangerous

It demands sentences

Verbs connecting nouns

Yet I need to communicate with her

Hand signals are out of the question.

And unfortunately, spontaneous making out is rare

Some sort of interaction is required

I wish my dog was prettier

Forget I said that

No, promise you forgot

I like girls

Even when they’re women

I just don’t want a mother

I have one

I will savor the unique experience

Why doesn’t she talk to me?

Maybe she can’t talk

A deaf mute

Why does that interest me?

Did she just check her breath?

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … October 5th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3085)

pohymn-if-i-think-i-be

 If I Think, I Be

In the beginning God created

Shortly thereafter, we mated

To birth our little tykes

With likes, trikes and bikes

We teach a gentle platitude

To counter their nasty attitude

Hoping to become one

A family having fun

But busy they are with the school

Treating us like the doddering fool

They possess all the things

Suburban living brings

And stare at a screen

We pray it’s not obscene

As the time doth truly pass

They grow like weeds in grass

But refuse to mow the lawn

Occupied from dusk ’til dawn

We wait for a while

Just to view a little smile

And yearn for some chatter

The subject doesn’t matter

Then one day they are grown

Launching on their own

Will they make a courtesy call,

Showing care for us at all?

Or retreat to romantic meditation,

To pursue their own procreation?

Yea, the cycle is kept alive

So our species can survive

Yet here we are, your founders

Time slips away, then flounders

But complaining is a tumble to insane

Unleashing grim ghosts and clogging the brain

Therefore if I think, I be

And this be–is truly me.

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Untotaled: Stepping 58 (Later That Same Night) Did I say no? What I meant was … March 14, 2015

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2531)

(Transcript)

So…

I invited my startled, shocked, surprised, nervous, worried, shattered, partially giddy and apprehensive girlfriend over to my motel room that night to share a pizza and discuss our dilemma.

Of course, being teenagers, the first thing we did in a motel room was ravage one another, unleashing the frustration of a five-week absence.

After the brief and awkward romantic encounter was over and the pizza was delivered, we sat and munched on Italian delight, discussing our Middle-American quandary.

Her situation was simple. Obviously, if she had wanted to return to a relationship and marriage, she would probably have found a way to fly back to Ohio to be with me.

She had naturally been wooed from such a committment by the fact that her parents had moved to a bungalow next to the ocean in Guaymas Sonora, Mexico, thirty paces from walking on the beach, and they had thoroughly excited her about being a freshman at the University of Arizona.

Somewhere in the midst of her enthusiasm, she had left two realities out of her thinking: the baby that continued to grow within her loins, and me, who had been the visitor to the same.

Even though the conversation I had with this girlfriend was very tender, fruitful and never escalated to anger, by the end of the evening she candidly shared that she would not return with me. There was just too much to leave behind.

I placed her in a taxi (which she had to pay for) and she was off and away.

As far as I knew, that was the end of it.

I didn’t sleep much that night. Mine was not merely the turmoil of a forsaken lover, but also the annoying prospect of trying to figure out how I was going to get a fifty dollar ticket to return to Columbus, Ohio, and what I was going to do when I arrived, since I had missed the opportunity to sign up for college in the fall.

It was the shortest night of my life because my brain moved at hyper-speed, and before I knew, it was six o’clock in the morning, and I was in desperate need for a plan to get from my motel room, to the airport, and back to my normal surroundings.

Yet I decided to call her one last time.

  • Was it to say good-bye?
  • Was it to ask her if she might reconsider?

Well, I got very little out of my mouth during the phone conversation before she explained that her new girlfriends at the dormitory had been talking to her all night about her decision. One of the young ladies had developed a tremendous dislike for my girlfriend’s father because of how rude he was when he called the dorm, looking for his errant daughter.

These young ladies thought she was a fool for walking away from love to merely study such encounters in books at the university.

So my girlfriend changed her mind.

She said she had packed her bag, would hop a taxi, and be there in less than an hour. She actually arrived. I was a little surprised, considering her history of missing appointments.

When she arrived, she showed me a checkbook her father had given her for college, with a balance of $750.

My dear God, I had never seen $750. We were starting off our journey wealthy.

With that money we were able to purchase our standby tickets and enjoy a swordfish dinner at a fancy restaurant during our Chicago lay-over. We landed in Columbus feeling like Romeo and Juliet, without being dead.

We were certainly not ready for what happened next…

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Cracked 5… December 30, 2014

  Jonathots Daily Blog

(2459)

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Rejected New Year’s Resolutions

A. Learning Greek from a Zionist rabbi in Baghdad

B. Eating from only the white and tan family of foods

C. Spending more time listening to my senile grandma share romantic tales of her youth

D. Installing “clappers” for the lights in funeral homes

E. Devouring more pickled calamari

Picture by Smarttie Panntts

Picture by Smarttie Panntts

 

 

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Untotaled: Stepping 25 (March 12th, 1966) She Kissed Me … August 2, 2014

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2310)

(Transcript)

The romantic sex drive arrives before the license to drive.

At least it did for me.

This created a very uncomfortable situation–three times, I think–where my mother was the chauffeur for my date. It came down to the simple choice of whether to stifle my instincts, as an emerging young man, to be with a female, or to tolerate the primary female in my life–my mother–intervening with her prevalent personality.

On the first occasion of this collision of wills, I invited a young girl named Krissie out to a movie and a hamburger. Unfortunately, the drop-off was some twelve miles away, so we had to endure my mother’s attempts to be relevant to the younger generation. I did not realize there were so many derivations of the word “kids,” but in the process of the thirty-minute drive, Krissie and I were referred to as children, youngsters, teenies, child, students, kiddos and cuties.

Even though I was extraordinarily embarrassed, I was determined to endure the ordeal for the privilege of spending time with this young lady, who had decided I was worth at least one evening’s consideration.

I cannot tell you that the situation became much better after we were dropped off at the theater. I was so nervous that I can’t even remember what movie we went to, and was unable to finish my hamburger, which normally I would have done easily, with an extra one on the side.

The whole time I was trying to figure out if I was talking enough or talking too much. I can’t explain the gauntlet of pain I endured in an attempt to hold her hand.

But soon I realized that she was just as terrified as I was, because when I reached for her dainty fingers in the theater, what I grasped was similar to a wet sponge.

Questions popped into my mind:

  • Do I kiss her?
  • What would she think?
  • Do I know how to kiss?
  • How could I make sure my mother would not see?
  • Would Krissie laugh at me?
  • Would she make fun of me with her friends?
  • What if I don’t kiss her?

Well, my mother picked us up and took us back to the house, and fortunately, Krissie decided to take a detour to the back door of the home, where we would have more privacy from my mother’s purview. My knees were buckling and there was a tiny dribble of sweat careening down my leg.

We climbed the stoop, and before I could even consider my next move, Krissie leaned over and kissed me on the lips, pulled away for a brief second, and then came in and kissed me again.

I barely even noticed the onion from her hamburger.

Without another word, she disappeared into the house.

Rarely in my life have I experienced the euphoria that followed that divine piece of lip-lock. I felt a combination of gratitude along with a notification by mail that I was officially voted in as Master of the Universe.

I was even able to enjoy the ever-flowing conversation with my mother on the way home.

Krissie kissed me.

And like so many other wonderful women who have honored me with their presence, she saw my weakness and helped me turn it into a strength.

 

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Untotaled: Stepping 8–Hanging On (October 14th, 1965)… March 29, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog  

(2189)

(Transcript)

The Fletchers were really nice folks.

They opened up their home after school for the kids to hang out and goof off. I think they did it because their son was a little bit backwards, and they tried to push him forwards with a sideways approach of encouraging kids his age to occupy his space.

The Fletchers had a piano. I played a little bit. Having mastered two years of lessons via the Thompson Book, I had enough acumen on the keyboard to pound out many a song–especially since the rock and roll of the day was usually three chords.

I had two close friends–Mike and Bob. Mike played snare drum and Bob sang (like any thirteen-year-old who lives in a town of fifteen hundred people sings.)

Mike, Bob and I had a master plan. We were interested in three girls–Renee, Dovita and Linda. We decided to invite them to the Fletcher home so that Mike could play his drum, I could play piano and Bob could sing the current radio hit–Hang On Sloopy.

The girls were adequately enticed by our invitation and joined us. I found the key of F and began to enthusiastically simulate the repetitive pattern of the hit song. Mike joined in, both sticks in hand, beating on his single snare. Bob screeched and squalled, imitating the angst of the lead singer of the McCoys, much to the glee and swooning of the young lasses.

We finished our first pass on the tune, ready to begin again, when it suddenly became obvious that all three of the young ladies were attracted to Bob, and Mike and I had been relegated to a backstage position as roadies packing up the cases.

Then I realized a very important truth:

  • Mike wore glasses and was as scrawny as a scarecrow.
  • I wore glasses and was plump as a pig.
  • Bob was perfect and cute as a button factory.

So we played the song again, but it was obvious that Mike and I were mere backups–tools to be used for Bob’s romantic adventures.

We provided the harmony and beat. He got the chicks.

Both Mike and I learned that day why the rhythm gives you the blues. 

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Click here to get info on the "Gospel According to Common Sense" Tour

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Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about scheduling SpiriTed in 2014.

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