Sit Down Comedy … January 3rd, 2020

Jonathots Daily Blog

(4278)

Sit Down Comedy

“Come on in, Big Jon. We got pizza.”

Big Jon gave immediate heed to the call. He shimmied his way over to the box, lifted the lid, pulled out a piece and started to eat it, crust first.

Then came Scary Gary. When he arrived, the host also welcomed him with the generous offering of pizza. Scary Gary inched his way over and started lifting box lids, asking, “What kind did you get?”

The host, just a wee bit perturbed, replied, “Cheese, pepperoni, sausage and vegematic.”

Scary Gary grabbed a piece of cheese and waltzed into the room.

Then came Fussy Freddie. The host, still cheery, but a bit wary, said, “Come on in! We got pizza for everyone.”

Fussy Freddie paused, then walked very slowly over to the pizza boxes, and without lifting a single lid, demanded, “What flavors?”

The host cautiously replied, “Cheese, pepperoni, sausage and vegematic.”

First, Fussy Freddie did not find ‘vegematic’ humorous. He cited, “May I give you a suggestion? When you hold a party like this you might want to ask your guests what pizza toppings they prefer, so as to honor more tastes than simply your own.”

Fussy Freddie decided to pass on the pizza. He didn’t stay very long—mainly because everybody was afraid to talk to him, knowing that his subject matter was bitching about the party.

Now, let me explain. Over the years I have written about every subject under the sun and now seem to be heading into a new galaxy. But one thing I have stopped doing with my scribblings is presenting too many opinions, or for that matter, trying to be overly informative.

Human beings are simple to understand.

They line up everything they like and then give a name to it.

Whether this is political, religious or secular, their preferences become their faith.

So all I can do is help myself—and everyone I come in contact with—by stating what seems to be permissible for Earth interaction.

You can feel free to pick—in other words, there’s pizza there. Take a piece.

At a certain amount of risk, you can be picky. You can make it obvious that you have a preference of one thing over another.

But my God—don’t be prickly.

Even though we extol the power of our demands as a way of expressing our uniqueness, the human race as a whole considers it bratty to be prickly.

Pick? Yes.

Picky? Be careful.

Prickly? Goodnight, my love, goodnight.

It doesn’t matter what it’s about.

When you hear music, do you pick it up and enjoy it, no matter what style it is? Or do you criticize one style and tell people what you prefer? Or, worst of all, do you insist there’s only one kind of music—the tunes you revere.

Politics.

Pick a candidate. I guess you can be picky. But don’t be prickly. Don’t insist the person you want to vote for is the Second Coming of Charisma.

Religion.

Pick a god. If you’re going to be picky about it, nobody is going to listen to you anyway. And if you get prickly and demand that EVERYONE bow to your God, be prepared to have a large defense budget and find the initiative and end up killing people.

And the greatest notion I can give you on love is, pick someone you know who will probably continue to be thrilled to be with you. Don’t get so picky that you end up hunting out of your jungle and your appeal level. And please, don’t be prickly—unless you want to write a book on the joys of being alone.

  • Pick.
  • Picky.
  • Prickly.

One keeps the door open to humanity, one makes humanity suspicious and the final one just pisses the hell out of everybody.

Morse Code… September 28, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2020)

sausageWhat an absolutely magical and simultaneously bizarre sensation it was last night as I turned onto Morse Road and headed to my gig at Ascension Lutheran. From the 3-C Highway to High Street is about a three or four mile stretch of pavement which explodes with memories from my childhood. I breathed them all in, smiled, heading off toward my evening’s activities.

Right on the corner was the location of Stan’s Restaurant, a place where, as a young boy, my parents would stop to eat dinner after their weekly excursion of puttering around at the Northern Lights Shopping Center. We children were always instructed to order the “chicken in a basket” while my dad had a T-bone steak. We didn’t care. It was eating out.

Right next door was the Lion’s Den Gentlemen’s Store. There was one church in town that didn’t think it was an establishment for gentlemen. They picketed against the pornography and made the newspaper for a season, but as the years have passed, the church is long-gone and the Lion’s Den, prosperous.

Just  down that road was the Northland Shopping Center, one of the first places I took my music group to perform in front of bustling patrons more interested in sales than in a rag-tag music group attempting to gain their attention. We were oblivious. The mall gave us fifty dollars for doing two shows, and we thought we had struck oil.

At that mall I also played the part of Santa Claus, which was suited both to my body type and my financial needs.

Just a few blocks down was a place called Schmidt’s Sausage House. The company still exists, though they long ago moved from the original location. Mr. Schmidt (or whoever the owner was) encountered our music group at a Catholic church, and he liked us so much he asked us to come in and perform on Monday nights, in the hopes of building his crowd by having live entertainment. (I’m not so sure we ever did that for him, but I do have great memories of a “Bahama Mama,” which, by the way, is a sausage, not an exotic dancer.)

And not too far down the road was a place called Lowe’s Theater. It was one of the closest movie-going places to my hometown. It was also the site of my first date with a girl at age sixteen. I can remember that I was so glad when the movie started, so we didn’t have to keep coming up with things to talk about. After much consternation, about three-quarters of the way through the film, I worked up the courage to reach over and hold her hand. I was surprised at how wet it was. I don’t know whether it was my perspiration or hers, but it was the first time I shared sweat with another human being.

And finally, down on the corner of High Street, there used to be a Frisch’s Restaurant. When I was twenty-four years old I sat in that restaurant with a friend and made one of the major decisions of my life. I decided to take my family, in our beat-up van, along with my music group, and move to Nashville, Tennessee and try to make a go of it. I was tired of being a local singer, pretty well-respected for my talent, but completely disdained and criticized for having no money.

That move to Nashville was undoubtedly one of the highlights of my young existence–and changed everything from a dream to a pathway of reality.

So when I went in concert last night at Ascension Lutheran and only fourteen people showed up for the “local boy who’s done good,” I had to laugh. It was another piece of my own personal Morse Code from Morse Road–another memory to add to the scrapbook.

And I guess I’ll just keep adding them–good, bad and ugly–until there are just no more pictures to be taken … because I’m gone.

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

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about personal appearances or scheduling an event

Motelin Just What … May 29, 2012

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Somewhere between $35.95 cents and $169.99 is the average cost of a motel room in this country for one night. Of course, there are places where you can pay much more for a room based upon locale, special events or some little extra accommodation advertised. But generally speaking, most motels will blush with embarrassment once they go above that top dollar.

It is probably one of the most diversely priced items in this country. For instance, if I told you that a gallon of milk ranged between $1.23 and $18.55, you would be up in arms and ready to lynch some dairy farmer in Wisconsin. Yet the motel industry seems to get by with it by maintaining some dubious rationale in its advertising.

I will tell you right now, after having traveled nearly forty years staying in these establishments, which the top fifty dollars of every price is paying for the name, the location, or the privilege of eyeballing staff wearing coats and ties rather than t-shirts and jeans. If that is relatively important to you, then you should pull out that money and spend it heartily.

Thirty dollars of the price of a motel room in the higher range is for the privilege of being with clientele of your particular social ilk. Yes, I am saying it out loud—cheaper motels tend to draw people who don’t have as much money and unfortunately, in this country we contend that those souls are the source of our crime and violence. (Obviously, not so.)

Motels that charge you a lot of money for the rooms refer to these cheaper establishments as “flea bags–infested with bugs, or dens of drugs and prostitution. Of course, once again, very little truth in the matter (although I would not recommend taking out a motel room adjacent to an adult bookstore.)

If you will allow me to put it into perspective for you, a motel room is a simulation of a master bedroom.  Bed, dresser, closet, television set and adjoining bathroom. And nowadays, most of them have microwaves and refrigerators for convenience, which is a consideration we all might have in the future for our own home unit.

There are really three questions you must ask yourself about your motel room for the night that are essential for a good stay:

1. How much room in the room? Unless you have become very familiar with your traveling companion or don’t mind cramped quarters, being able to walk around your room without running into walls or furniture is a plus.

2. Can I park in front of the door or near to my room? One of the biggest misconceptions is that motel rooms that are enclosed, with a parking lost adjoining are safer than those where you can pull up to your door with your car. Honestly, if I were a criminal, I would not want to rob from cars that are right next to the windows of the owner. I would find a nice, large parking lot far from the front desk–and take my pick.

3. Now, this may surprise you. Staying in a motel room is all about the bathroom. You should be careful of those establishments that miniaturize everything in the toilet area so as to condense space so the room can look larger—because all of the plumbing may look Snow White, but it is best suited for the seven dwarves. Especially beware of toilet seats that are round instead of oblong. They tend to be very uncomfortable and are usually encased by a wall on either side, giving you the feeling that you are being wedged into your experience. The bathroom is the key to a motel room. Good lighting, double sinks a plus–or even a sink in the bathroom and one outside the bathroom is really handy. The shower should be easy to get in and out of and have good pressure.

Once you discover these pieces of information, you understand that the most you should probably pay for a motel room is about $75 a night. Everything above that is advertising name, location, staff or a hot breakfast which is offered to you, including eggs, bacon and sausage (which, by the way, is completely unnecessary unless you’re a lumberjack felling trees in the Yukon.)

As you find with everything else in life, there are ways to save money without losing quality. That seems to stymie a lot of folks, including the U.S. government and Congress–because at least half of what people refer to as quality is name-brand assurance that you will be taken care of if something goes wrong.

So the Holiday Inn wants you to pay extra money for their good name over “Bob and Mary’s Motel” down the street–because in the case of some unforeseen difficulty, they want you to believe they would handle it better than Bob and Mary. But since we don’t know what that unforeseen difficulty would be, and no one knows what anyone would do, you end up spending a lot of money for absolutely nothing–similar to buying extra insurance coverage on a car rental.

So I pulled into Denver yesterday and went to my motel, and as always, it ends up being a mixed bag. The room is small but has a lovely bathroom with an accessible shower AND throne. The air conditioning unit needs some work, but we’ve already met the maintenance man and he seems congenial and willing to try. The television set is too big for the room, but that hardly seems like something one should complain about after simply noting it. And the furniture is not made of oak or covered with leather, but instead, looks like your Uncle Charlie made it out in the garage because he’s hoping to someday leave his job at the factory and start a business.

I feel very good every week upon discovering a diamond in the rough and saving money that people have given me so that I can travel—to use it wisely to buy quality instead of merely a name or false assurance. If we could teach the financiers of our nation the same concept and we would begin to barter once again for better pricing on items instead of signing lifelong contracts with companies based on their previous reputations, we could begin to emerge from this dark cloud of indebtedness and arrogant spending with some dignity–and even have a little fun in the process.

Fortunately for me, I have a traveling companion who enjoys cutting a corner here and there as long as she doesn’t lose and arm or a leg. If we could just find people to elect to be our representatives who had similar mindsets, we would be all set.

So those are my discoveries about moteling. To sum it up, if you need a name, or if you are afraid of being next door to someone who makes less than 50K a year, then you will probably end up paying for the higher priced institutions, for the powdered eggs in the morning, convincing yourself it was worth it. But if you realize that buying a name doesn’t mean guaranteeing quality, or sharing the neighborhood with people who don’t have late-model cars but do have contemporary standards and morals–then you can shop around and save yourself upwards to fifty or sixty dollars a night.

Last week I met some of the most interesting people at the swimming pool where we were staying in Grand Junction, Colorado. They were young enough to be my children or grandchildren, and I befriended them, loved them and enjoyed them, discovering many twists and turns in their ever-evolving lives. It was fascinating.

So “motelin’ just what you’re looking for,” as you stay overnight somewhere, realize that money can be easily spent pursuing a security–that is never pre-ordained.

 

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

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