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

Jonathots Daily Blog

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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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Guns, Grass and Whipped Cream … July 30, 2012

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Walking through a poorly lit parking lot one evening, I happened upon three young fellows sprawled out on the hood of their car, smoking marijuana. Now, I assumed it was marijuana because there was only one cigarette which they passed back and forth. I suppose it could have been a lean financial week, and we were dealing with a Winston-Salem product, but for the sake of my story, allow me the assumption.

As I neared their location, I noticed that laying on the car hood in the midst of them was a hand gun. I did not know why. Perhaps later on, they planned on going out into the woods and hunting for game to take home to their lovely wives and dear children. It could be that they were afraid that some fat, aging, traveling author would come along and accost them and they would need to defend themselves. Maybe they had taken it out to clean it in preparation for going to the local shooting range to hone up their skills and make themselves better prepared for an upcoming tour of duty in Afghanistan.

Handgun

Handgun (Photo credit: brendonjford)

I suppose all of these are possibilities, but not what immediately leaped into my mind. What came to my thinking was that I was about to pass by three individuals who were under the influence of grass and had a hand gun, ironically, very close to their hands. Thoughts of the Second Amendment, the right to bear arms, and whether legalizing marijuana would alleviate cartel activity in South America did not come to play in my reasoning. I was wondering if I was going to be able to get to my car with my wallet, watch, health and well-being uninterrupted.What profile should I take? I chose to address them before they looked at me, and fortunately for this traveling journeyman, they peered at me through bleary, bloodshot eyes, nodded in my direction and let me pass.Likewise, just the other night, I was watching television and a commercial came on for whipped cream-flavored vodka.  Honestly, since I’m not a drinker, notions of “yum-yum” did not come to my “tum-tum.” But I wondered, as a businessman, what the target market was for this product?

For instance, when I watch re-runs of Bonanza on TV Land, all of the commercials are about Depends diapers and Medic Alert, which makes sure that if you fall down and can’t get up, somebody will find you before you begin to decay. I immediately understand that I am watching a show being viewed mostly by people who are even older than I am.

But what IS the market for whipped cream-flavored vodka? Could it be a Green Bay Packer fan? I dismissed that. My understanding is that they take even their hot chocolate straight. Then I thought about NASCAR. But it’s only the people who win the Indianapolis 500 who indulge in milk products. Who could they be targeting with whipped cream-flavored vodka?

All at once, fearing that I was a bit jaded, I considered that it seems like the individuals who would be interested in such a product would be young women between the ages of fifteen and thirty. I immediately rebuked myself for such negative projection. Certainly the makers of this product wouldn’t be trying to get young girls to drink more and more vodka because “…well, golly, it tastes like whipped cream.”

You see, I understand what it means to be an adult. I am thoroughly in favor of the Bill of Rights. It would never be my desire to take a gun out of anybody’s hand.

It’s just the arguments that bother me. When the National Rifle Association says, “If you ban guns, then only criminals will have them,” if you will forgive me, I followed that premise through to a conclusion. So therefore, if everyone has guns in order to keep the criminals from possessing an “exclusive,” then EVERYONE is armed and prepared, with the right amount of provocation, to use that weapon to at least threaten someone else. Do we REALLY want a nation where everyone is armed to the teeth, with the capability of intimidating one another at the drop of a hat or the stealing of a lane on the freeway–even if there is never an exchange of fire? As I told you, the young men sitting on the hood of the car did not grab the gun. The existence of the gun threatened me. I could feel the bullets tearing through my vulnerable flesh.

In like manner, if we go ahead and legalize marijuana so that the criminals will not be in charge of marketing it, we may alleviate the economic problem and maybe even the policing of the situation, but don’t we open up the door to a nation with people walking around in a purple haze? Are we really prepared to have our young men and women not only stupefied by video games, but further incapacitated by marijuana? Do we really want to say it’s all right for Charlie Sheen to legally believe he has tiger’s blood?

Freedom is a necessary profile–as long as it’s accompanied by responsibility. Do you want your teenaged daughter, or granddaughter, for that matter, to finally break down and try vodka because it tastes like whipped cream? Is that creating products that are suited for adults? Or is it trying to force immature people into an adult world with the use of a vice–or even a potentially deadly weapon?

Please allow me five question:

1. Does freedom come with adult responsibility?

2. If it does come with adult responsibility, should it be monitored, or even forbidden, for children?

3. If forbidden to children, how do we meter the effects of its existence in a world inhabited by these younger ones?

4. If we’re metering the effects, how can we avoid some sort of regulation?

5. If regulated, how do we protect the adult freedom to partake?

Therein lies the debate. If we were sincerely talking about mature, intelligent adults having a realistic discussion on how to be responsible for their activities, I would say “yea and amen.” But when guns, marijuana and whipped cream vodka are basically being marketed to non-adults as proficiently or even more effectively than they are to their alleged target audience, there seems to be some insincerity, if not hypocrisy.

Please do not tell me that part of humanity is criminal and the other part is Polly Purebread. For I will tell you, when you give people the freedom to use something destructive, no matter how many Sunday School classes they attend, they will eventually use that destructive force. If you don’t believe me, think about the intelligent scientists, the well-educated politicians and the culturally grounded generals who built a bomb in 1940, and by 1945, set it off …. twice.

We can trust ourselves with freedom as long as it is not a weapon, a drug or a tease for us to slide into our more demented parts.

Oh and by the way… I don’t see the makers of the vodka offering the sensible and healthy choice of broccoli-flavored.

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

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