Not Long Tales … October 29th, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

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12.

Cam-Pain

The season had arrived for the thirty-first official mayoral race in the little village of Garrettsburg, Oregon, population 4,322 individualists.

Three candidates stepped forward to offer themselves for consideration. As was the custom in the community, these contestants were not identified as Republican or Democrat. They were perused for their ideas, their popularity and whether they maintained a personable profile in all their dealings.

The first was the present mayor, Derrick Collins. He was one of those gentlemen caught somewhere between the barnyard and rock and roll. His favorite wheels—a motorcycle. His favorite beverage was a beer. Home-brewed if possible.

One of the challengers was Maxwell Jones, a slender man who taught history and civics at the high school. He favored classical music, though if you pressed him, would admit some fondness for the Moody Blues. He wore wingtips, polyester pants which desperately tried to reach to his shoe tops, and oversized sweater vests in an attempt to appear hunkier.

The third comer in the race was barely worth mentioning, since she was a woman and there had never been a female mayor in Garrettsburg history. It wasn’t that the community was gender-biased—just that so far, no woman had fancied the position. Her name was Rachel Luxor, and she was of some foreign extraction—and even by Oregonian standards, a bit frumpy.

Each one of these race runners had a different approach.

Maxwell immediately went after the issues. There were four he had in mind: expanding the park, sanitation pickup twice a week, cleaner water and better fireworks on July 4th. At the last minute, he added another one to his list of four, which unfortunately for his symmetrical mind, made it five. But it was important: filling in the potholes.

His strategy was to stay on point with these points to make his point. Matter of fact, that became his slogan: “Maxwell Jones will stay on point with these points to make his point.”

On the other hand, Derrick Collins was not quite so energetic. Already occupying the job, knowing the job and the city having printed business cards with his name on them, he felt very secure in his domain. What Derrick decided to do was, anything that Maxwell brought up to achieve—well, Derrick just took it to the next City Council meeting and proposed it himself. He figured it was perfect. If the proposal passed, it would then be to his credit, and if the Council thumbed their noses at the idea, then it really wasn’t his fault. So no matter how much Maxwell railed on an issue, Derrick just took the issue, put it to a Council vote and removed any potential for Maxwell following through on a campaign promise. So it seemed that Derrick Collins would once again be voted into the Mayor Chair.

Now, the two men and one woman had made a pledge to one another. A vigorous campaign would be waged, but there would be no dirty tricks. No insults. No personal attacks. And no punches below the beltline.

Well, since Derrick cheated—at least that’s the way Maxwell saw it—the promise was negated. A poster was printed with a picture of Derrick Collins drinking a beer at the monster truck extravaganza the previous fall. Underneath it was printed, boldly, “Here’s your man—if you want a redneck.”

The folks of Garrettsburg were not what you would call sophisticated, but they certainly did not want to be considered rednecks. Once this circular circulated through the community, Derrick decided the gloves had come off. He printed his own poster, showing Maxwell reading a book. Beneath the picture was the caption, “Your socialist at work.”

Once again, none of the citizenry were raging political animals, but they were pretty sure they did not want to be socialists.

The buckets were gathered, the lines were drawn, and the mudslinging began.

Maxwell said that Derrick once called an African American a Negro.

Derrick found a book report written by Maxwell back in high school, where he referred to Darwin’s volume, The Origin of the Species, as an “evolving read.”

According to Maxwell, Derrick was sympathetic to terrorists.

According to Derrick, Maxwell just might be one.

They scoured for dirt—back and forth. At first the community watched, pretending to be horrified, while lapping up every word.

On and on it went. It got nasty.

The two men refused to be in the same room with each other, which made things difficult since they ate lunch every day at the only diner in town. Therefore, it was agreed that Derrick Collins would arrive at 11:30 and eat until 12:15, when Maxwell would come from the school and eat from 12:16 to 1:00 P.M. Of course, that one minute in between did create some problems as the two jousters occasionally bumped into each other, like two bulldogs, growling and snorting.

Yet what was particularly aggravating for both camps was the fact that polling was not determining if the attack ads were successful—mainly because the populace was holding out its opinion, wondering what the next accusation might reveal.

There was no longer any discussion about filling potholes, and the quest for cleaner water dribbled away. It was a war of words and the two men were trying to put poison into each syllable.

Election Day rolled around. A gray cloud hung over the town—and not just emotionally. Since it was Oregon, and there were often gray clouds, the rain came pouring into the village like the wrath of heaven. It curtailed voter turnout.

Matter of fact, by midday, so few people had voted that the candidates decided to drive around town banging on doors, begging people to wade to the polls and cast their choice.

The weather also interfered with the counting of the ballots, so it was the next day, around one o’clock, before the tally was totaled. It was then posted on the window of the Garrettsburg newspaper, for all to read:

Derrick Collins got 32% of the vote.

Maxwell Jones also got 32% of the vote.

A tie.

But Rachel Luxor, from her backseat position, ended up winning with 34% of the vote (two percent of the electorate voted for a combination of Beyoncé, Tom Hanks, the Rock, Kim Kardashian and Tom Brady, the Patriots quarterback.)

There was a collective gasp that went through the community—well, maybe not the whole community, but certainly City Hall and the high school, where Derrick and Maxwell joined in a mutual head scratching, trying to figure out the source of their defeat.

It was perplexing.

After all, Rachel Luxor—now, Mayor Rachel—had campaigned on only one issue, with one slogan.

The issue was better school lunches. And the slogan?

“Carrots for Garretts(burg).”

 

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Cracked 5 … July 27th, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

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Cracked 5

Social media was set ablaze this week when a YouTube of Tom Brady jumping off a cliff into a lake with his six-year-old daughter became a great source of controversy and criticism.

So in our Cracked 5 this week, I would like to offer:

Real Things Tom Brady Should Not Do with His Six-Year-Old Daughter

 A.  Share a six-pack.

 

B.  Send her to a Baptist church where she learns to be submissive to men.

 

C.   Tell her there is a monster lizard living under her bed.

 

D.  Inform her she is only worth 74 cents on the dollar.

 

E.  Introduce her to his “tight end.”

 

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Cracked 5 … February 21st, 2017

 

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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cracked 5 logo keeper with border

Things They Find Themselves Doing in Washington, D.C. Now That Both Parties Have Given Up on Governing the Country

A. Increasing the phallic jokes about the Washington Monument

 

B. Avid voting on “Best Deep Dish Pizza” in D. C.

 

C. Starting investigations on their investigations

 

D. Installing Viagra dispensers in the Capitol lounge

 

E. Campaigning to have Tom Brady come and play for the Washington Red Skins

 

cracked-5-politician

 

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Good News and Better News… February 6th, 2017

 

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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tom-brady

I thought I was going to watch a game–America’s annual gala event, the Super Bowl.

There were banners, bands, stars, announcers, hoopla, hot dogs, beer and two teams dressed up real special for the occasion.

At first, it appeared I was correct. The whole thing was playing out like a normal football game. Touchdowns. Turnovers. Terrible plays. Terrific catches.

And then, all at once, it changed.

Suddenly displayed before my eyes was the difference of participating and competing–and also the chasm between competing and striving.

First of all, every player on both teams showed up to participate. They knew their places. They were familiar with their assignments. They were in a position to perform very well, as long as nothing went horribly wrong.

A goodly portion of them were also pre-conditioned to compete. That means a fumbled ball would not send them into a depression, and they were ready to cash in on the trends of the game so as to gain an advantage.

But by the time the third quarter rolled around, it was obvious that there was only one player who showed up to strive.

He was not satisfied to have merely participated in seven Superbowls unless he could win the present one.

Although he initially had joined his team in having an “off day,” he removed the indignity of being the runner-up.

Yes, it is difficult to explain the difference between Tom Brady and everybody else on that football field. Quietly and with determination, he raised his game, increased his stats, and those around him who showed up to compete, joined him and defeated the participants.

I’m sorry–it made me think about the church.

We have exactly the same situation brewing in every sanctuary in America.

  • We have those who participate: “I believe in God.”
  • We have those who compete: “I believe in Jesus.”
  • And we’re looking for souls who will strive: “I am a follower of Jesus.”

Many people consider all three to be spiritual profiles, but there’s only one mindset that transforms humans from being participants and competitors into individuals who strive for excellence because they know the purity, the joy and the domination of such a maneuver.

Tom Brady is a follower of the mechanics, the psychology and the mission of football. He will not be overcome by mere participants and competitors.

In this day and age, believing in God and even trusting in Jesus does not position us to be more than conquerors.

The good news is that Jesus of Nazareth came to set an example–in word, deed and sacrifice–of what it means to win.

The better news is, if you’ll do more than participate and compete, you can strive and overcome.

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Confessing… May 16th, 2015

   Jonathots Daily Blog

(2582)

II.

I confess so I can heal.

If I deny, I remain sick.

832 miles.

It was the entire round trip from our home to a tiny village in Tennessee, which had opened a coffee-house and kindly invited our fledgling music group to come and share.

They promised to give us dinner and to pass the hat for whatever audience might make its way to the 500-square-foot enclosure.

We jumped at the chance.

We were tired of rehearsing, and considered ourselves quite prepared for public consumption. We scraped together the money to get gasoline, a bag full of snacks and we took off.

It was exhausting, exhilarating, haphazard, crazy, silly, inspiring and probably dangerous.

We didn’t care about the peril. I was just 20 years old and had not yet received my shipment of good sense.

The drive down wore us out and after we finished our little show, the 18 souls who had gathered to hear us collected an offering of $31.22. We thought we had discovered Solomon’s gold.

So when we hopped back in the car to head toward home–with no plan whatsoever on how to actually get there–the first 100 miles zoomed by, as we buzzed with tales of our escapade.

But then, as if struck by a “sleep angel,” we all grew suddenly weary and were in grave danger of running off the road. So we decided to do something none of us had ever done before.

We stopped and took out a motel.

The young lady from our troupe who purchased the accommodations came out and explained that she bought the room for just one person, because if she had included all four of us, there wouldn’t have been enough money.

I had the opportunity at that point to object–or at least feign a concern–but I didn’t.

I felt if we got by with it, it must have been “God’s will.”

So half an hour later, when we were lounging around, getting ready to doze off, there was a sharp knock at the door. It was the innkeeper.

Three of us leaped up and hid in the shower stall behind the curtain while our single, legal member answered the door.

The innkeeper pushed his way in, walked into the bathroom, pulled back the disguise and there we were. He was infuriated.

He demanded that we immediately leave, refunding a fair portion of our money, pushing us out the door and into our car–where we departed, cursing him for what we considered to be his evil spirit.

Somehow or another we made it home.

Candidly, it never occurred to any of us that we were wrong. And if there was a bit of guilty conscience, it was swept away by what we considered to be the owner’s volatile personality.

I thought about that incident today.

I wondered if there was any of that 20-year-old boy still left in me, who thought that “the ends justified the means.”

I do know this–whenever we look for an easier or cheaper way, we open the door to a cheater’s path.

Is there any of that in me?

Is there any part of the grown man I am who would trust my own deceptive tongue instead of risking doing it the right way?

motel we count heads

 

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G-Poppers… May 15th, 2015

   Jonathots Daily Blog

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G-Popper

G-Pop sat down to consider what he was going to say.

He was pretty sure that a son, grandson or granddaughter might be asking him his feelings on the “Deflategate-Tom Brady-New England Patriots” story.

He wanted to make sure he didn’t say something stupid or crass. Often the best way to avoid such rhetoric is to relate the incident to your own life instead of the lives of those who are presently on the public stage.

G-Pop thought about years earlier when he played tennis with his family around five times a week–his two sons, in their late teens, his wife and himself. Perfect for doubles. Even though his sons and his wife were good, G-Pop was stronger, faster and better.

But he remembered with a bit of shame that he would often call a ball out when he wasn’t truly sure it hit the line, or he would insist that one of his shots was in, and argue with his sons until they relented.

He told himself it “was just part of the game.” What do they call it? “Gamesmanship.” That’s it.

For you see, G-Pop had a history of winning, and he wanted to continue it, closing the door on anybody else to even have a chance to stand toe-to-toe.

As G-Pop thought about that time in his life, he didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. It was so childish–but he remembered that it made sense at the time.

It established his dominance

It proved his power.

But it also discouraged his sons from excelling, because even when they did, there was the threat that the playing field would not be fair.

A phrase came to G-Pop’s mind: “A higher truth.”

Yes, there is truth, but then there’s the higher truth, which has been levied on those who have been given great grace and ability.

That higher truth is simple:

When you are blessed, don’t blast everyone else in order to hold your blessing.

When you are blessed, compete instead of retreat.

Tom Brady is arguably one of the best quarterbacks of all time. This realization should institute confidence in his soul. Instead, it has made him afraid of losing.

G-Pop had to admit to Tom that he, too, was afraid of losing, and was willing to make marginal calls to maintain his supremacy with his family in the tennis matches.

Because of that, they probably grew up thinking to some degree that their dad was a cheater instead of a winner.

They also grew up never knowing exactly how close the contest might have been if all the calls had been fair.

There is a higher truth. It is demanded of those who have been given much…and from them much is expected.

 

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