Catchy (Sitting 27) Loose Ends … December 17th, 2017

Jonathots Daily Blog

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Matthew felt like he was dragging his own corpse behind him across the Arctic Tundra, in search of a fire.

He was disgusted with himself. Wonderful, marvelous events were transpiring, but he felt abandoned. He had become such dead weight that Jubal and the band decided not to have him come along on the daily trips across the country.

He didn’t argue. He felt so damn out of place.

Everyone was so energized, so jubilant, so jazzed by the whole idea–but he sat around counting the hours until the drum stopped beating and he could get back on the plane and go home to a nice cappuccino.

Even Soos had become enamored with the revival–filled with the same spirit that inhabited Mr. Carlos.

So this morning, when Jubal took off on the plane without telling Matthew where he was going, discovering by watching “Good Morning, U.S.A.” that the troop had landed in Haiti and was performing an impromptu concert in front of thousands of citizens, while handing out bread and cheese, Matthew was not upset. He just sat back and shook his head. Everything was so screwed up.

The business he had begun with Randall and Landy–S.E.E.D.S.–was turning to weeds. Some of the clients were disgusted with the whole idea of “God-speak,” and the ones who weren’t were too wacky for his taste.

Last week he had lunch with Randall and Landy, who sat across from him munching on salads and sipping Chablis like two jilted lovers. He had no idea how to explain where he was coming from or what he was going to do. Matter of fact, his life was just a series of loose ends, untied from all reality.

Jo-Jay had been out of pocket for weeks, pursuing some conspiracy against Jubal.

Sister Rolinda got herself in trouble with the Catholics by referring to the Pope as a “chauvinist,” suggesting that his head was beginning to fit into his pointed hat.

Worst of all was Prophet Morgan, who was jittery and upset about being ignored, and had broken the pact of secrecy with the press, doing two interviews, which, according to backstage sources, paid him three thousand for one and two thousand for the other. So two weeks ago, Prophet had appeared on “Tell All” with Bart Champion, and three days earlier, he was on “Rasur’s Edge with Carlita Rasur.” Ms. Rasur was so capable at her craft that she got Prophet all worked up into tears, as he apologized over the air for his relatives, who had once owned slaves.

Morgan looked ridiculous on television–an anachronism–pompadour hairdo, gray gabardine suit with a large, wide tie. Both Bart and Carlita tried to get secrets out of him, but since Prophet knew very little, they were quite disappointed with the information about scrambled instead of fried eggs, and Jubal’s insane appetite for black licorice.

The whole world seemed crazy to Matthew.

Michael Hinston wouldn’t take his phone calls anymore. Matthew tried not to be offended, but the last time he telephoned, he could hear Michael in the background, whispering instructions to his secretary. “Tell him I’m not here!”

Matthew just didn’t fit in.

On one hand, there was the burgeoning awakening of a Jesus movement going on in his midst, while at the same time old friendships, dreams and goals were sliding away into a pit of meaninglessness.

Rising from his chair, he picked up his cell phone and called the airport. “I need a one-way ticket to Washington, D.C.”

Matthew had decided to try to find Jo-Jay, and maybe surprise and corral Michael. The last time he had seem either of them, they were in the nation’s capitol.

 

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Catchy (Sitting 26) Amaze On … December 10th, 2017

Jonathots Daily Blog

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She struggled to regain consciousness as the sweat poured off of her forehead into her lids, burning her eyes. She closed them tightly, trying to think, which was virtually impossible because her head was throbbing.

Where was she? Who was she, for that matter? What was going on?

Her whole body stung with a variety of wounds. Gradually she opened her eyes, blinking away the perspiration, to stare down at herself. She was lying flat on her back, wearing a bra and what appeared to be cargo shorts, pinned to the ground by a very heavy snake.

Horrified, she resisted the inclination to stand up screaming. As the snake crawled across her belly, she felt the undulations of its skin against hers, propelling itself forward.

She nearly went crazy. Instead, she forced herself to wait. She waited until the snake had stilled itself, and then, in one swift motion, she grabbed it with her hands, leaped to her feet and threw it into the air. She hadn’t realized how heavy the snake was, so it didn’t go very far. She scurried quickly away to what she hoped was a safe place.

Looking around frantically, she realized she was in a jungle. She had never been in a jungle before, but from everything she had heard or read, this appeared to be a rain forest. The heat was suffocating and the humidity so high that water was dripping from the leaves. The ground beneath her was teeming with life, giving an eerie sense of continual movement.

As she looked down, she saw that her legs were covered with little black bugs, which she tried to remove and as she did, tiny red welts remained as residue. But she patiently pursued the task.

On her left, she noticed a small pile of supplies. She rummaged through a knapsack and found two large canteens, which she opened and discovered held water. There were also power bars, a flashlight, matches and a map. On the map was a note, scrawled in magic marker, which read: “Compass in front pocket of knapsack. Walk north. You will find civilization.”

Stunned, terrified, abandoned, Jo-Jay burst into tears. How did she get here? She thought back to the last thing she remembered. She had gone to a Thai restaurant to meet up with an informant, who was supposed to give her a contact on the CLO and a fellow named Joshua.

Arriving at the restaurant, she was greeted by a lovely woman of Eastern extract, who motioned Jo-Jay to follow her down a narrow hallway, through a door and some hanging beads. Jo-Jay recalled pulling back the beads.

And then… well, now waking up with a snake on her chest.

As she stood, convinced she was doomed to die, she conjured the words of her Grandma, who explained that the only truly priceless gift in life was in all circumstances finding a reason to be grateful. This gave Jo-Jay a blessed laugh, considering how little there was to be grateful for out in this wilderness.

But she did have water. And apparently her abductor possessed some sort of conscience, to spare her life and give her a fighting chance to become suburban again.

It then occurred to her that the longer she stood there, the more the communication in the animal kingdom would view her as a target instead of a participant. So she grabbed the compass and knapsack, located north and started walking.

Three hours. Five hours. Was it seven hours? It seemed like even more. She trudged through the jungle.

At first she was totally horrified by the tiny stings on her legs and swatting at the creatures that tried to suck the moisture from her eyeballs. But she finally calmed her spirit and energized her body. She stopped every hour or so to eat a bite and drink a little.

When it occurred to her that evening was coming, she realized she could not survive a night in the jungle.

Suddenly she had an instinct to stop and listen. Over the sounds of chirps, squeaks, hisses and howls, there was another vibration–actually kind of a mumble.

She thought it resembled human voices.

She quickly turned in the direction of what she hoped was life. As she stumbled forward, she emerged and found herself in a clearing. Fifty yards across the expanse stood a man, woman and two children.

Jo-Jay screamed, “My God, my God! I need help!”

The man turned and ran toward her as the woman followed and the children trailed. When they arrived, she related her story–as much as she knew.

They listened intently, and then explained they were the Paulsons from Winterset, Iowa, missionaries to the local tribe, and were clearing off this section of jungle to build a church.

Jo-Jay tried to explain her situation and her own mission, which seemed to confuse the provincial Paulsons. She calmed down and then simplified. “I need to get back to America as quickly as possible.”

Reverend Paulson explained that four times a year, he drove their big truck three hundred miles into Brasilia, the capital, to get supplies, but that he had just completed the journey last week and there was no fuel for the truck.

Jo-Jay asked about other transportation. None.

Airplane. None.

Boat. No water that would take her anywhere she wanted to go.

She felt hopeless. She couldn’t stay with these missionaries until the next supply run. She needed to get back.

Something was very wrong–some danger in the air, which she needed to relate to her friends.

Questions cluttered her mind and suffocated her thinking. Why did they spare her? Why did they abduct her? Why did they feel it necessary to take such drastic measures for such a silly little thing as a bunch of Jesus rallies in the United States?

Then one of the children spoke up. “Papa, we do have fuel.”

Jo-Jay pursued. “Do you? Do you have fuel?”

The reverend nodded his head. “Yes, but it’s for us to survive for the next three months.”

Jo-Jay giggled, baffling the family. “Tell you what,” she said. “If you will drive me to Brasilia, I will guarantee you all the fuel you want, and as a donation, will pay for you to make another run of special supplies for your congregation.”

Reverend Paulson stared at the woman before him, adorned only in a bra and cargo shorts, with a doubtful, furrowed brow.

Jo-Jay looked down at herself and laughed. “Listen–I usually dress better than this. I have the money, if you can give me the time.”

Right in the middle of the clearing, the Paulsons knelt in prayer, as a family, as Jo-Jay, slow to join in, caught the idea and knelt down herself.

Papa prayed. “There are no accidents, God the Father. We know this. So meeting our friend today has to have some meaning. You told me that I cannot take that which was given for your work and give it away for others. So I come to You and ask which is more important–this woman’s request, or taking care of those you have commissioned to us.”

He kept his eyes closed and remained silent. The family joined in the profile. As Jo-Jay listened, she assumed he was going to take care of his own. It was only logical. After all, some crazy woman comes out of the jungle, you don’t follow her like she’s a freakin’ Pied Piper.

After a few moments, the reverend opened his eyes. The family peeked out to see if it was time to stop. Reverend Paulson looked at his wife and children, and said not a word. One by one, a smile appeared on each face and they nodded. He, the last of the four, smiled and nodded also.

He turned to Jo-Jay and said, “God wants us to go to Brasilia.”

They wasted no time. They hiked three miles to their camp, climbed into an old truck and drove through the jungle, making their own road as they went.

Jo-Jay became quiet, thinking to herself.

For heaven’s sake, what the hell is going on? 

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Catchy (Sitting 24) For So They … November 26th, 2017

Jonathots Daily Blog

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Many frat pranks and moon-doggies ago, Michael Hinston carried a double major in college. History and political science.

Michael’s reasoning was that the history would tell him the mistakes to avoid, and the political science would open doors to teach him to become the kind of civic leader to change the world.

Now, as a congressman, he spent most of his time raising money. Because he had to be elected every two years, at least one of those years was a perpetual fund-raising bash. The rest of his time was divvied among family, uncomfortable parties and meetings with people who were desperately trying to get his vote.

Lobbyists.

It might be fine if they would actually work in the lobby–but they invaded the hearth, home and even mind of every congressman. Michael had once pledged to himself that he would never be involved in scandal. He hated the word. It sounded rotten and smelly. But he found, as a congressman, that he was already at the mercy of organizations, corporations and causes which seemed to be inexplicably linked together into one gigantic chain around his neck.

The latest was a visit from the Christian Liberty Operation (C LO). They met with him to discuss the Jubal Carlos situation in Las Vegas, and shortly after the meeting, Mr. Carlos was arrested, which set in motion a whole series of events which were very displeasing to the C LO

They made it clear. They were upset.

Even though Michael was not in charge of arranging Jubal Carlos’ arrest, he was blamed for the mischief that had been perpetrated because of the flawed plan. The CLO wanted this “popular Jesus idea” thwarted, and now it was gaining national attention.

It was especially disconcerting to Michael when Jo-Jay showed up at his door, a bit surprised herself. For she had been given a tip about where the original order had come from–to hassle Jubal Carlos. The tip she received led to an address, which placed her on the front doorstep of Michael’s home.

So it was an extraordinarily fretful exchange between the two old university friends. Michael did his best to convince Jo-Jay that her contact was completely mistaken–that he knew nothing about any Jubal Carlos or organizations trying to bring him down.

Jo-Jay was nice–but Michael knew, deep in his heart, that she did not believe him. Jo-Jay was a bullshit sniffer. For years he had admired her ability to detect lies and deception, but now he just wished she would keep her nose to herself.

Jo-Jay apologized for the inconvenience, made a lame attempt to suggest they “connect later,” and headed down the sidewalk, seemingly out of his life.

But something was wrong. She was onto him. She knew that he knew more than he claimed.

Michael didn’t know what to do. The honest truth was, he was scared to death of the people he was working with and the lobbyists who were tramping into his life. They were much too energetic, much too determined and much too violent in their mannerisms.

Yet he knew if he failed to report the visit from Jo-Jay, there would be punishments. He didn’t even know what that meant, but was positive he didn’t want to find out. So he called the Christian Liberty Operation and updated them on the visit.

Less than half an hour later, there was another knock on his door. He opened up, and standing before him was a tall, broad-shouldered man, about six-foot-four, with black eyes.

Michael was startled.

The gentleman at the door asked if he could come in. He introduced himself simply as “Joshua,” and for the next ten minutes he questioned Michael about Jo-Jay.

Who was she?

What were her political leanings?

Was she a religious woman?

What was her relationship with Jubal Carlos?

Was she part of the scheme to popularize Jesus?

Where did she hang out?

But what chilled Michael’s soul was when Joshua asked one final question. Do you know anything about her allergies?

Michael didn’t. Michael was suspicious. Michael should have asked this “building of a man” why Jo-Jay’s allergies were of any interest to him. He stayed silent.

Michael was afraid for his old friend.

But Michael did what he had learned to do over his months of living in Washington. He answered the questions, nodded his head and offered no objection.

The next day, a letter arrived on stationery from the CLO. The stationery read, “Christian Liberty Operation,” and the by-line was, “For so they persecuted the prophets before you.”

It was unlike any professional letterhead Michael had ever seen. It seemed sinister. Even though the words “Christian” and “Liberty” were displayed in the title, there was something about the operation that chilled him to the bone.

Who was Joshua, and why did he want to know so much about Jo-Jay?

More importantly, who was Michael Hinston, and was he going to warn his old friend?

 

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

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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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Catchy (Sitting 22) Meanwhile … November 12th, 2017

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Soos got busy.

Having placed the shoddy-quality video she shot at the jail up on YouTube, she worked very hard with her understanding of the Internet, attempting to force traffic in its direction. She had some awareness of how to accomplish this, but it was still a rather hit-and-miss proposal. But seven hours later, there were 350,000 hits, and it was growing by 100,000 an hour. By the end of the day, the viewings were nearly two million.

Not only were people checking out the video, sharing it, reposting it and talking about it, but an organization called “The Defense of the Innocent” had decided to make the case their pet project for the week.

They started a crowd-funding campaign to get Jubal Carlos out of his bind, and within a day and a half, they had raised over a million dollars.

It became the subject of conversations on talk shows. People were discussing it at their jobs. It even crossed over the generation gap, with mothers and fathers finding something to converse about with their teenagers.

The Defense of the Innocent did not waste any time trying to get to the bottom of how a drummer for Las Vegas Casinos, who had a heart for the homeless, had ended up in the clink. Within three days they had tracked the conspiracy back to a Washington lobbyist, who then disappeared on a flight to South America. The organization continued its investigation, finding that the request for the arrest of Jubal Carlos had come from somewhere in Congress.

Calls flooded the Clark County jail. The sheriff was inundated with emails, letters and all sorts of communications, accusing him of persecuting a generous man.

But things really got poppin’ when the famous acts appearing in Las Vegas, who had enjoyed Jubal’s accompaniment on the skins, began to speak out, which generated even more press and stirred up a whirlwind of questions.

Pressured, frustrated and not certain why the whole thing had begun in the first place, the Clark County sheriff ordered Jubal released for time served.

However, Jubal had to negotiate to get Matthew out since it was a completely separate matter. But the sheriff was in no mood to make a stand, so after only six days, the new comrades, Matthew and Jubal, came strolling out of the Clark County Municipal Building–free.

They were immediately surrounded by reporters. A crowd of several hundred people had gathered on the steps to hear Jubal speak. There was only one question:

“Mr. Carlos, what do you plan to do about the false imprisonment that you’ve undergone?”

Jubal stood for about three seconds, and then responded, “Nothing.”

This brought a hurricane of inquiries hurled in his direction, all with the same theme:

“But you were mistreated…”

“Injustice was done…”

Jubal patted Matthew on the back and said, “This is my buddy, Matthew. He’s kind of like a tax collector.”

There was a smattering of laughter.

“I thought I’d take him down to the homeless section, see if I can get somebody to grab my congas, call up my band, ‘The Pebble Pushers,’ and have a celebration concert.”

“When will this happen?” one of the reporters asked.

Jubal shrugged and said, “How about three o’clock this afternoon? Everybody’s invited.”

As they walked away, Matthew furrowed his brow and whispered to Jubal, “What are you doing?”

Jubal laughed. “I don’t know, but it sure sounds like fun.”

Calls were made.

Soos was contacted to get ahold of The Pebble Pushers and rig up some sort of sound system.

Prophet Morgan, who had just come from the blackjack tables with his yearly bonanza of funds for the poor, started spreading the word all through the casinos.

Jo-Jay quickly found a courtesy suite at one of the famous hotels so Matthew and Jubal could clean up and get ready for the afternoon activities.

And a spot was found in a park near the homeless haven for the impromptu concert.

At three o’clock, Matthew and Jubal arrived to an amazing scene. There were thousands of people. There was a stage made up of old crates, boxes and palates–the perfect venue for Jubal Carlos and The Pebble Pushers. Sitting on top of the makeshift stage were Jubal’s famous double set of congas, waiting for a good beating.

Jubal took the stage, to the screams and applause of an appreciative audience, giddy on the elixir of defiance.

Jubal announced, “I know people always say this, but I truthfully, honestly, gloriously and faithfully want to thank each and every one of you for helping me gain my freedom. It is not my doing, but it is a work of God–because people came together. Do you understand what I mean? When people come together for something good, it is the presence of God. So let’s play some music, let’s dance, let’s celebrate and let’s see if they will take me in this time for actually disturbing the peace.”

The crowd cheered.

For the next hour-and-a-half, Jubal and the band played song after song, driving the audience into a state of frenzy.

All at once, in the midst of a particularly vibrant number, Jubal stopped and called Matthew to the back of the stage. Stepping aside from his drums as the band continued to play, he stepped down to speak to Matthew.

“Listen, here’s what I want you to do. How many McDonald’s do you think there are in this town?”

Matthew shook his head. “I don’t know. Fifty? A hundred?”

Jubal replied, “Good. These people are hungry. I want you to go to all those McDonald’s and buy up all the McDoubles and small fries that they have in stock and bring them out here.”

Matthew blanched, eyes widened, and said, “What??”

Jubal continued. “And while you’re at it, pick up thousands of bottles of water.”

Jubal headed back to the stage, and Matthew grabbed his arm. “How am I going to do this? I’ve only got fifty bucks on me.”

Jubal frowned. “Don’t you have millions in the bank for this promotion?”

Matthew nodded. “Yeah… but how does this fit into the promotion?”

Jubal laughed. “Well, I think we’re gonna get a lot of press if we pass out a McDouble and a small fry to everybody in this audience. What? About five or six thousand? If we give them bottles of water and we continue to rock the park, the press will stay as long as the music’s hot and the hamburgers are tasty.”

Matthew shook his head. “It’s a great idea. I just wish I had the people to do it.”

Jubal pointed to the crowd. “Grab some people from the audience. You’ll have plenty of helpers. And while you’re getting the burgers and fries together, I’ll continue the concert. And you can roll in with a bunch of vans filled with meat, cheese and potatoes.”

“This is crazy,” said Matthew.

Jubal paused.

And then, as if struck by a great notion from the heavens, replied, “No. It’s the beginning of our Good Cheer Revolution.

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Catchy (Sitting 21) ‘Why’ Is a Nasty One … November 5th, 2017

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“So what brought you here?” asked Carlos, as he eased his way up to find a more comfortable spot on the bunk.

Matthew glanced around at the stark confinement of the cell and laughed. “I wonder how many times that question’s been asked in this jail.”

Jubal laughed very loudly, the way a man does when he’s nervous and doesn’t exactly know what to talk about and is grateful for a joke to fill the space.

Matthew said, “As I was telling you, we have this plan on how to use the money…”

Jubal interrupted. “No, I figure we’ve got more time than that. I already understand that story line. I was talking about what brought you to the point in your life where you want to take on some crazy idea to advertise Jesus of Nazareth.”

Matthew quickly fired back. “Money.”

“Nothing else?” inquired Jubal.

Matthew smiled. “We all keep pretending there is something else, don’t we? We discuss high-sounding values, which end up smashed to smithereens by the time they get through a budget meeting. Or somebody runs for President, promising a chicken in every pot, when actually they’re trying to figure out how much money they can make off of legalizing pot. My friend, it’s all about money, because without money, we can’t pay the light bill to sit in a room and argue about high-sounding ideals.”

Jubal tilted his head, frowning. “I guess I would be surprised with your answer–might even call it cynical–except, well, I live in Las Vegas. If they could, they’d wallpaper the casinos with money, just to tempt the tourists to come in and gamble to get it.”

“I know there are things that are important,” Matthew continued. “I know you have to have values you treasure. Otherwise, when you close your doors at night, you’d be terrified, with a gun in your hand, because the world is so screwed up.”

“The world is a screwed-up place, but we’re part of the screw-up, right?” inserted Jubal.

“I don’t like to think of myself as screwed-up,” said Matthew. “Imbalanced, a little greedy. Maybe sometimes I drink too much alcohol. But I can tell you–there are more times I don’t drink enough.”

Jubal laughed–this time, just a little. “So is it hypocritical to advertise a God that you don’t necessarily believe in?”

Matthew objected. “I didn’t say I didn’t believe. Goddamnit, you can’t live in this country without believing. You can’t do business. and expect to get customers if you’re going to deny their God. I just place God where he belongs.”

“And where would that be?” challenged Jubal.

“Watching,” replied Matthew calmly.

“Let me go with that,” said Jubal. “So let’s say I’m walking down the strip, and I see two men fighting and they’re really hurting each other–and I decide to watch. Who in the hell am I?”

“Smart,” replied Matthew quickly. “Look at you. You’re not a big fellow. What in the hell do you think you’re gonna do? You’re gonna get tied up in the mix-up and you’re gonna get hurt. And truthfully, every time we start believing that God cares or that God loves the world, all we do is start blaming Him for every little piece of shit we’ve come up with. I guess maybe I love God more than other people. I don’t want to believe in Him so much that I blame Him for everything.”

Jubal sat quietly for a moment. He decided to change the subject. “In about an hour, they’re going to give you the choice between a bologna and American cheese sandwich and a turkey pot pie.”

Matthew, grateful for a different topic, leaped in. “Well, I personally love a turkey pot pie.”

Jubal shook his head. “No. You loved the turkey pot pie your mother made when you were a kid. This variety comes in two forms–burned on the top or raw.”

Matthew laughed. “No, you’re wrong. It’s just like my mother’s.”

He sat for a second and then asked, “Why aren’t you eating?”

Jubal replied, “I don’t know. It seemed like a noble idea. I mean, I’ve heard of people fasting to make their point. I didn’t make any point–I just got hungry. And now, every time I shift my legs I can smell myself. Honestly, Matthew…that is your name, right?”

Matthew acted affronted. “How can you ever play the son of God if you can’t remember my name?”

“Play the son of God…” Jubal reflected. “Sounds wrong, doesn’t it?”

Matthew stormed. “No. What’s wrong, my friend, is for you to be in jail, smellin’ like my old dog, Bogo, because you were out helping the homeless.”

Carlos squinted. “What do you mean, smellin’ like your dog, Bogo?”

“When I was a kid, my dad found an abandoned sheep dog, and decided to bring him home. He was adorable and loving, but he had so much hair that every time he took a dump, some of it would stick to his fur. Being a good pup, he tried to clean it off himself, which was gross beyond all measure. But every few weeks my dad would point to Bogo, and I knew that meant I had to go and wash his behind and trim his fur. I remember that smell. I have not inhaled it since I was a kid–until I walked into this cell today.”

Carlos smelled his shirt. “Are you saying I smell like the back side of your crappy sheep dog?”

“Identical,” panned Matthew.

Jubal lifted his hand as if making a pledge. “I promise, the next time they offer soap and water I will participate.”

Matthew gave him a thumbs up and said, “Even though I’m not a religious man, I can say amen to that.”

“I’m not a religious man,” said Jubal. “When I’m working in the casinos and I see the pretty titties on the showgirls or some groupie who thought my drumming was particularly divine and tempts me with her entirety, I’m just as horny as the next guy. No, Matthew–I would make a terrible religious person. That’s why I decided to follow Jesus.”

Matthew quarreled, “Jesus was religious.”

“No, he wasn’t,” said Jubal. “If he had been, religious people would have really dug him and sinners would have run away in terror. Instead, sinners cuddled up to him, ate with him, drank with him, slept by the fire with him. It was the religious people who were terrorized.”

“Yeah, I get that,” said Matthew. “I’ve heard that old song and dance. But you see, move ahead and he’s nothing but an emaciated Jew hanging on a cross. Look at it this way. When we were kids we studied Zeus, Apollo, Mars, and Athena in class.”

Jubal nodded. “Yeah, we did. Except you mixed Greek and Roman gods.”

Matthew stood to his feet to accentuate his point. “You see, that’s what I mean. Nobody cares anymore. Even when we studied them in school, we didn’t study them as a religion. It was called mythology. They were myths–even though any Greek or Roman of the time would have vehemently objected to term. It’s all just a bunch of crap. The only reason the stories still exist is because they’re so childish and dumb.”

Jubal interrupted. “So I guess what you’re trying to say is that just as Poseidon and all the other gods disappeared and became part of an old culture, that the same thing will happen to Jesus?”

Matthew shrugged, easing back down onto the bunk. “Not for a while. It’ll start with Jonah and the whale, Noah and the ark. But eventually all these stories that have been called sacred will become mythology.”

“It’s been two thousand years,” Jubal noted.

Matthew considered the thought. “Yeah, I know. I’ve even had some moments when I thought having a God would be a good thing. Honestly, my friend, being around you has made me doubt some of my doubts. But we’ve already eaten away at a lot of the stuff. Because after all, what’s the difference between an emperor who thought he was a god, living in Rome, and the Pope?”

“Let me make something clear,” said Jubal. “I’m not asking you these questions because I’m trying to convert you.”

“Good luck if you are,” punctuated Matthew.

Jubal resumed. “No, I’m just trying to figure out who I’m working with. I’m just trying to decide if I should work with it. I’m just trying to clear my head about what parts of the story I believe and what parts are myth to me. Mostly, I’m trying to learn about you without asking ‘why.’ Matthew, I hate the word ‘why.’ It’s usually mean-spiritied, challenging, ferocious…”

Matthew chuckled. “I never thought of it that way, Jubal. ‘Why’ is the nasty one, isn’t it?”

“It is,” Jubal agreed. “But unfortunately, it’s the one that always demands to be answered first.”

 

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Catchy (Sitting 20) Jail Jargon … October 29th, 2017

Jonathots Daily Blog

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Matthew was arrested.

The charge was obstruction of justice/interfering with the duties of a peace officer. He didn’t really care.

They finger-printed him, took his mug shot and he was escorted through two green, metallic doors into a holding area with a large L-shaped cell, occupied by about twenty or so people.

Matthew immediately noticed that all the detainees were sitting on one side of the cell and Jubal Carlos was on the other. He was a bit confused about the separation–until he was placed inside and came close to Jubal. Mr. Carlos explained that since his incarceration, he had refused to eat or bathe. He smelled like a rotten tomato at a manure factory. All the inmates had decided to leave him alone to literally stew in his own juices.

Jubal looked horrible–already gaunt, ashen, with a bit of sweat dripping from his brow. He was happy to see Matthew, though perplexed as to why he was gaining a partner.

“What happened?” Matthew asked.

Jubal drew a deep breath, looked around to make sure no one was listening and replied, “I don’t exactly know. I was down in the homeless area, passing out bologna and American cheese sandwiches, when I was suddenly surrounded by what looked like a battalion of policemen–clad in armor! I protested, so they added the charge of “resisting arrest” onto my indictment. They explained that a complaint has been levied against me by a woman from New York City, who was visiting in Vegas, and she said I accosted her, demanding donations for the street folk, and she felt threatened.”

Matthew squinted. He hadn’t known Jubal very long, but the chance that this pacifist had stirred up a sea of violence seemed highly unlikely. Something was obviously going on. He paused, trying to figure out whether he should assimilate into the scene along with Jubal, or share the vision he had for taking Jesus to the streets.

Instead, Matthew opted to ask for his phone call. He chose to dial up Jo-Jay. She was once again right on top of matters, and had a lot more information than Matthew.

She explained that Prophet Morgan had gone off to the blackjack tables for his yearly fund-raising campaign for an orphanage he funded in Honduras. Sister Rolinda was in the streets of Las Vegas, passing out condoms to the prostitutes, Soos was already on her way to the Clark County Jail, having picked up through the grapevine that Jubal was in there and assuming that Matthew would not be far behind.

Matthew gave Jo-Jay one instruction. “Find out the source of the arrest of Jubal Carlos.”

She jumped on the opportunity. No question or doubt. What a dynamic lady she was. It would have been so easy to whine–discontent over such an ill-defined mission. Instead, she decided to learn as she went and hope for the best.

As soon as he hung up the phone, one of his jailers told him he had a visitor. It was Soos. Matthew was confused by Soos’s appearance–she was limping and had what appeared to be a colostomy bag hanging from her side.

“What the…?” Matthew wasn’t able to finish his thought before Soos grabbed his arm and guided him back toward the clink. Being placed safe inside again, the keeper of the crooks brought Soos a chair so she could be comfortable during her visit with Matthew.

Matthew continued to stare at Soos in disbelief. “What the hell is going on?”

Soos motioned for him to be quiet, whispering, “I found out they wouldn’t let anybody see you or Jubal, here, unless it was a relative or an emergency, so I told them I was your sister and I was on my way to have an operation to be further disemboweled for my cancer treatment.”

Matthew gasped. “You what?”

Soos continued. “Figuring they would need to see some evidence of my condition, I went to the medical supply house, picked up this colostomy bag and some other contraptions that made me look real endangered.”

Matthew shook his head and Jubal chuckled.

“Don’t encourage her,” Matthew said to Jubal.

Jubal reached through the bars, took her hand and shook it. “Brilliant, my dear.”

Soos looked Jubal in the eye. “Thank you. Do you know how bad you smell?”

Jubal laughed. “No…but thank you for making me aware.”

Matthew began to explain the situation to Soos, but she stopped him. “I only have ten minutes. That gives you five minutes to tell Jubal what we’re trying to do with this campaign, and five minutes for me to take the I-Phone I snuck past the guards in my colostomy bag, so I can make a video of Jubal and put it on the Internet, and see if we can’t get him out of here.”

Matthew was speechless, dazzled.

Soos went on. “Oh, you’re such a man. I don’t have time to explain the details to you. Just trust me. Let me tell Jubal. Here’s the way it is, Mr. Carlos. We’re trying to get Jesus popular again, and we thought the best way to do that was to get you to travel around the country, in character, playing the part and the heart of Jesus, so that once again there would be a visual for the young people, and in so doing, the same controversy, presence, and maybe power, would be generated.”

Matthew tried to interject but Jubal touched his arm and silenced him.
“You explained that so well,” he said to Soos. “It would have taken my brother here two hours to do that. I don’t know if I want to be Jesus or not, but I would like to get out of here, eat a nice steak and take a shower.”

Soos, tipping her head back to avoid the odor, agreed. “We think that would be a good thing, too.”

“So what do you want me to do?” asked Jubal.

Matthew started to give stage direction. Soos interrupted. “Listen, Mattie Boy, I’m on a roll, so let me handle this.”

Matthew felt it was a poor time to have a business argument in the Clark County Jail. He submitted.

Soos paused, thinking, then looked at Jubal and said, “I want you to be Jesus, and I want you to tell people what Jesus would feel about being in the Clark County Jail, accused of a crime he did not commit.”

Jubal crinkled his brow, then bowed his head. After about fifteen seconds, he lifted it up and spoke to Soos. “I think I’m ready.”

She cautiously removed her phone from the bag and pointed it in his direction. “Action.”

Jubal began. “I was in prison, and you visited me. I am in prison, and I’m so lonely. I do not know what I’ve done wrong. I have tried to love people–and they told me these folks were not lovable. I passed out a bologna sandwich, and was informed I was disturbing the peace. I’ve tried to bring my music to the world. I have brought the rhythm of joy, and now I find myself quite alone–without anyone to be my champion. I’m not afraid. I’m not sad. I haven’t given up on anything I believe. And if I’m supposed to stay in here until my sentence is completed, then praise God. But if I could get out, I would do even more. I would climb a housetop and shout. I would find an injustice and expose it. And I would find ways to sprinkle hope and faith on everything I see. My name is Jubal Carlos. There’s nothing special about me except whatever I can do special to bless others.”

He bowed his head again.

Matthew was in tears.

Soos smiled. “That’s a wrap,” she said. “Now let me get to work.”Donate ButtonThe producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

 

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