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.

 

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G-Poppers … December 23rd, 2016

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Christmas is one of those rare occasions when we actually get to lead with our heart, lighting up our soul, renewing our mind, to energize our strength.

Too often we become “soulish,” espousing doctrines dusty with meaningless detail, or “mindful,” relying on the existing training in our brain.

Perhaps worst of all, we surrender to the notion that our “body of work” is really just our body.

Christmas is different.

Christmas breaks all the rules of conventional wisdom by asking us to be emotional instead of prescribing medication to inhibit it.

Christmas is when we have a choice to become the best child of our possibility instead of languishing in adult complaining.

Christmas is when we insist that there has to be joy instead of yielding to the nonsense of “nothingness.”

Yes–Christmas is a state of “somethingness.”

It is a dream which becomes a plan and is implemented by a spirit of giving and surprised by receiving.

Without Christmas, we would imitate our “sick-in-bed” face 365 days a year–a frown that leaves us pale, with a sense of hopelessness.

Christmas is beautiful–if for no other reason than the fact that it pisses off arrogant, self-righteous, intellectually elite and bigoted souls.

It exposes the Scrooge while pointing at the Grinch and making us consider the power of the Little Drummer Boy.

It is “somethingness.”

It is daring to conceive a dream, and then being willing to chase it through the snow “on a one-horse open sleigh.”

We need Christmas much more than Christmas needs us.

We need a Baby Savior. Otherwise, we are drawn into the pit of the pernicious boredom of theologians.

To break our chauvinism, we require that the Prince of Peace was born of a woman–without the assistance of a penis.

It shatters our images of dreary sameness.

And when it arrives we guzzle from its trough like dying men plucked from the desert.

So here’s to the state of “somethingness.”

Here’s to your joy.

Here’s to our hope.

And from G-Pop to you, Merry Christmas.

 

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Good News and Better News … October 31st, 2016

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coldwater-back-wall-1From everything I hear in the news media, our country is “angry.”

People are mad.

I’m not really sure what they are so upset about, but I guess that’s why pundits get to dress up and over-explain.

Yesterday when I arrived at the Coldwater United Methodist Church, I met people who are trying really hard to be kind and gentle in an atmosphere of crudeness and despair. Even the pastor of the church is beginning a new phase of her life, expanding the horizons of her ministry–completely and totally by faith.coldwater-set-2

Even though we accept the veracity of the reports about the frustration in our country, the constant repetition of complaint does nothing to alleviate the pain.

But it really revolves around a three-step process:

1. Stop being mad at me.

Yes, I need to stop being mad at myself. Most of the antagonism I feel toward other people is centered in my own dissatisfaction with my choices–especially when it comes to lying. For after all, once we start deceiving ourselves and others, we’re grouchy and fussy because we fear there’s the chance we’ll be challenged or get caught. So the best way for me to stop being mad at myself is to set in motion no lying–and that goes for exaggeration, too.

2. Stop being mad at others.

No grudges.

The grudge is always a piece of pride we fester because we’re not willing to discuss our feelings, fearing that we just might have to compromise. When we no longer insist that other people are “just so stupid that we couldn’t possibly reason with them,” we begin to address the animosity we have with mankind as a whole.

3. Stop being mad at God.

Most Christians would insist they feel nothing but love for their heavenly Father. But since He is our Dad and we are His children, there’s a good chance that occasionally we’ll be pissed off over the household rules–especially since religion comes along and puts the doctrines in stone. You can’t have a relationship with God through religion.

So–no religion.

Religion will not make you closer to God. It makes people prejudiced, self-righteous and nasty.

So I contend that a good portion of what I am called to do is remove the arrogance of anger so that the congregation can manage to forgive themselves, others and God.

That’s the good news.

The better news is: when you have no lying, no grudges and no religion, you find it much easier to relax and enjoy your relationships.

coldwater-jesus-note-3

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Ask Jonathots… September 13th, 2016

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I have some very intelligent conservative friends, but they seem like they will give up all logic concerning this election. Why will they give up their logic just to see their candidate prevail?

During a very brief period of deprivation, I ended up living on a farm with a fine gentleman who generously afforded me a chance to regain my feet.

I was grateful for the mercy. I wanted to help.

One day I asked him if there was anything I could do, and he led me over to some firewood. He requested that I stack it up against the side of the house. I agreed.

I had never done this before. So when I came to the side of the house, I saw two wooden planks on the ground, and thinking they were castaways, I removed them so I could place the wood in neat piles. Try as I might, I could never get the wood to stack correctly, and every time I thought I had figured out the right angles, it would slide down and fall to the side. I worked on it for three hours but made little progress.

When my benefactor returned, he asked me where the boards were that were supposed to be lying on the ground near the house. I explained I had removed them because I thought they were unnecessary. He laughed.

He said, “You need the two boards down on the ground. Otherwise the wood won’t stack right. The ground is too uncertain to keep things straight.”

Such is the case in this election year.

In an attempt to stack up ideas, goals, agendas and proposals, we have removed the planks that make everything work.

Very good people have ignored their basic truths in an attempt to elect their candidate. But you see, when you remove the boards–the principles and abiding notions of humanity–the ideas just don’t stack up.

I do not know what your planks of principle may be. I only have two:

  • No one is better than anyone else.
  • Don’t judge.

When I lay those down as the foundation for my thinking, my ideas and opportunities begin to stack up better. If I remove them, I find myself becoming too partisan, selfish, self-righteous and unfortunately ignorant.

Your conservative friends, just like your liberal ones, have decided to ignore the fallacies of both candidates. Why? Because they foolishly believe that the end justifies the means.

In an attempt to appoint Supreme Court justices, secure the borders or even promote the overuse of entitlement, they have abandoned the planks.

So my best advice in handling these last days leading up to the election is for each and every one of us to find our planks of purpose again, and then stack up these candidates in relationship to them.

For me, I would have to ask which candidate is the least offensive to “no one is better than anyone else” and “don’t judge.”

Based upon that decision, I would make my selection.

So when you talk to your friends–be they conservative or liberal–start the discussion by asking them what are the two greatest planks of their principles.

Then stack the wood accordingly.

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Dear Man/Dear Woman: A Noteworthy Conversation … August 6th, 2016

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Dear Man Dear Woman

Dear Man: People are making tons of money by promoting the gender wars–books, seminars, movies and television programs accumulate a huge haul of cash by continuing to foster the irreconcilable differences between men and women.

 

Dear Woman: I suppose that’s true, but what do you plan on doing about it?

 

Dear Man: I’m just explaining that as long as there’s money to be made, there won’t be a willingness to come to the truth of the matter.

 

Dear Woman: And what is the truth?

 

Dear Man: The truth is, we will continue to think that women are the weaker sex and that they are irrational, until we sit down and have a great dialogue and risk losing this dishonest money in favor of seminars and shows that illustrate the two genders working together.

 

Dear Woman: That’s not gonna happen.

 

Dear Man: I don’t know whether it’s gonna work in the end, but we could make a beginning. Let’s start with the fact that you are taught that I am irrational, and I am taught that because you feel that way, you are irrelevant.

 

Dear Woman: Interesting. So what you’re saying is, if you find me irrelevant, I more than likely will naturally conclude that you’re irrational for feeling that way.

 

Dear Man: And if you’re constantly hounding me about being irrational, I will find you irrelevant.

 

Dear Woman: It seems like there’s no solution.

 

Dear Man: Every solution begins with a door, and I think I know where to go in.

 

Dear Woman: I’m all ears.

 

Dear Man: The toilet seat.

 

Dear Woman: Oh, no. No way. That old battle has been fought to a bloody end.

 

Dear Man: That’s because we think it’s impossible to handle. Here’s the truth–a man lifts the toilet seat to piss because he doesn’t want to pee on the seat. That’s already considerate. To lift the toilet seat he has to reach down and bring it up. At the end of his business, he reaches over to flush the pot. At that point his hand is mere inches away from tapping the seat and letting it fall back down.

 

Dear Woman: I understand that. But it doesn’t happen. So if you keep complaining about it, you’re spitting in the wind.

 

Dear Man: It doesn’t happen because we fail to realize that lifting the toilet seat in the first place is a consideration. It requires some effort. It actually takes less effort to knock it back down than it does to lift it.

 

Dear Woman: It may make sense to you, but just mentioning the problem puts men on edge–defensive–and makes women look like self-righteous complainers.

 

Dear Man: Are you telling me that if you were at boot camp and the drill sergeant got in your face and ordered you to put down the toilet seat, you would be unable to learn it?

 

Dear Woman: No. I would do it because I was threatened.

 

Dear Man: So why aren’t you threatened by appearing to be calloused, uncaring and unwilling to change?

 

Dear Woman: I suppose because it’s my way, as a man, of saying that this particular thing will be done my way. Is that what you want to hear?

 

Dear Man: Is it the truth?

 

Dear Woman: The truth is, I don’t think I can remember it every time. So I don’t want to try.

 

Dear Man: You wouldn’t have to remember it every time. If I saw you do it occasionally, it would open my heart–to realize when I finish the toilet I could lift the lid for you. Nobody’s going to die by lifting or dropping a toilet seat. But if we would just show one another that we’re aware, even half the time, it would go miles on the journey to understanding.

 

Dear Woman: It’s not easy.

 

Dear Man: But it is simple. It can be done. And even if it’s done infrequently, the fact that I cross your mind is meaningful to me, and the fact that you think about a woman being in your life when it comes to the bathroom, is powerful for you. We have to get along in every room of the house–not just the bedroom.

 

Dear Woman: So you want me to do this?

 

Dear Man: Do you want to try?

 

Dear Woman: No. But you make so much damn sense that I’d rather try than argue about it.

 

Dear Man: Isn’t that a step?

 

Dear Woman: Yeah. I suppose so. But it feels like a step into a big pile of poop.

 

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Jesonian: Reverend Meningsbee (Part 12) Obsession… July 17th, 2016

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Reverend Meningsbee

A damnable itch, festering in the brain, simpering to be scratched.

Meningsbee was enraged.

He was wounded.

He couldn’t decide if he was more angry or hurt.

But on the drive home, grasping a moment of maturity, he decided to keep the events of the failed Bible study to himself. Yes, when asked about it, he would play dumb and refer all questions to the other parties involved.

And there would be questions. The congregation had great faith that Meningsbee would be able to come into the living room setting of Sammy Collins’ home and use his spirit and charm to initiate healing.

Maybe that’s what bothered him the most–a complete sense of failure; a rage over being out-foxed by this common possum, Swanson. How did he ever let himself be in such a vulnerable position that this upstart could make him look foolish and insignificant?

Even though he decided that the mature–or as he called it, the Jesonian–way of handling the event was to remain silent, his brain was inflamed with an inferno of retaliation.

And the more he considered his noble choice, to turn the other cheek and pretend it never happened, the more a self-righteous slime made him feel pious–superior to his adversary. Then an aching anger chased that religiosity, leaving him bound in a week-long fit of overwhelming obsession.

Fortunately, he succeeded in dodging all the phone calls from church members by proclaiming that he would share his findings on Sunday. This seemed reasonable to all of them. Why tell the story fifty times when you could tell it once, and have it done?

But what would he tell?

Even though Patrick Swanson did not ask him to keep their conversation in confidence, he knew that anything he would relate about the plans of this worship leader would come across petty–and of course, be easily denied.

He’d had such great hopes.

Meningsbee had come to Garsonville with the spirit of a servant, but now he was realizing that he still had a mind to be king.

Yes, in his more enlightened moments he was willing to be patient and wait for good things to come his way, but that damnable itch insisted on being recognized.

He got so worked up that he ended up with some sleepless nights that invited a common cold to further aggravate him. Sneezing, blowing his nose and sipping some tea and honey for a scratchy throat, he wondered if he could skip the Sunday service due to illness.

Implausible.

Things had to be handled, and unfortunately, it was his hands.

He didn’t pray enough, he didn’t study anything, he over-ate, over-thought and over-reacted.

He reluctantly dressed for Sunday morning and headed out the door. He had no message.

He had never come to spend time with the Heavenly Father so ill-prepared. All he had inside him was poison. But he drove to the church and stepped to the door.

A few people tried to hug him and he was able to maneuver away by explaining his contagious condition. Fortunately, the congregation easily handled prayers, offering, testimonies and even a song.

Then everybody grew quiet, the building completely still, waiting for Pastor Meningsbee to speak.

He stood to his feet, vacant of inspiration.

He walked slowly, as a man treading to an execution. He turned and looked into the hopeful faces of those who yearned for peace with their neighbors.

Suddenly tears filled his eyes. He feigned a sneeze and grabbed a Kleenex to draw attention away from his sudden emotional outburst.

Catching his breath, he picked up a Bible nearby and held it in the air. He stood there for a long moment, waiting for the Holy Spirit to give him utterance. There was none.

Yet the congregation was waiting.

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Confessing … November 28th, 2015

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XXX.

I confess so I can heal.

If I deny, I remain sick.

For the sake of this essay and season of confession, let me refer to it as “Thanksbumping.”

It’s that uncomfortable moment when older folks such as myself decide to openly share some insight with younger folks who absolutely have no interest in the input whatsoever.

It is tricky. It can slip up on you when you merely believe you’re sharing your heart, and almost always is interpreted as intrusion.

I thought I had outsmarted “Thanksbumping” this year by controlling the amount of time I spent with my family, while also promising myself to keep my convictions to my own inner pleasure.

I did really well the first night, but at the second joining together, subjects came up for which I had great passion.

I spoke up.

It did not go well.

I quickly retreated and spent the rest of the evening trying my best to imitate invisibility.

At the Thanksgiving meal the next day I was much better, and had learned my lesson.

But I must apologize to myself, to my Father in heaven and to those who once sat under my tutelage, for accidentally continuing to “tutle.”

Before you become self-righteous and insist that you never do such a thing, let me gently and mercifully explain that our children perceive any intervention which they have not requested as a breach of their territorial waters.

So as I confess this to you–that I did better at “Thanksbumping” this year but am still not without reproach–let me give you three hints to keep you out of this iniquity:

  1. Avoid giving opinions without hearing a question coming your way.
  2. Don’t offer contrary views in a climate where well-established ideas are being revered.
  3. And certainly, don’t attempt to do any sideline parenting.

It may be difficult to succeed at being a bystander when you feel as if you should be included and treasured, but it is the nature of our species.

It is the changing of the guard.

And to have a good Thanksgiving, you must make sure you dodge the “bumping.”

 

confessing chairs

 

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