Cracked 5 … November 14th, 2017


Jonathots Daily Blog

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Last Confessions of a Turkey Before Thanksgiving

A. I tried to plump up my wife so they’d take her instead of me.

 

B. I acted really, really paranoid so the farmer would think I was “a chicken”

 

C. I made close friends with the butcher’s children

 

D. I pulled out all my feathers so they’d think I was diseased

 

E. I stopped using “fowl language”

 

 

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Cracked 5 … November 15th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Other Practical Names Given for Thanksgiving

A.  Turkey Slaughter Day

 

B. “Why Don’t You Get a Job, Loser?” Day

 

C. “We Will Take Your Corn and Land” Day

 

D. “Does Anyone Really Like Green Beans and Mushroom Soup?” Day

 

E. “Thanks for the Electoral College” Day (only at the Trump home)

 

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Cracked 5 … November 24th, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Things You Should Not Add to Your Turkey Stuffing

 

A. Belly button lint, even though it does have a similar texture

 

B. Beaks and claws.

 

C. Left-over spaghettiOs from the daycare clean-up.

 

D. Finger-nail clippings–even though you could pass them off as slivered almonds.

 

E. Sardines–any variety.

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Mr. Kringle’s Tales … 26 Stories ‘Til Christmas

Click here to read all about Mr. Kringle's Tales...26 Stories Til Christmas! Only $5.99 plus $1.25 shipping and handling.

Click here to read all about Mr. Kringle’s Tales…26 Stories Til Christmas! Only $5.99 plus $1.25 shipping and handling.

 

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G-Poppers… November 28, 2014

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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G-Popper

Finishing up a fine meal, friends and family gather and decide to probe the mind of G-Pop.

“Speaking of eating, G-Pop, what do you think of the meal?”

G-Pop: I don’t need a reason to overeat, but thank you for giving me one anyway.

“How about the turkey, G-Pop?”

G-Pop: When our country was founded and the folks were choosing a national bird, it came down between the turkey and the eagle. The eagle won. Now you see how we treat the runner-up.

“Be gentle, G-Pop, and tell us what you think about family.”

G-Pop: Family is where we practice to make sure that what we preach is worthy to be heard.

“Well, since it’s Thanksgiving, G-Pop, what do you think about thankfulness?”

G-Pop: That’s easy. Gratitude is what intelligent people speak out loud when their hearts want to complain.

 

 

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Tanks of Thanks … November 21, 2013

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tanksBefore we gather together to ask the Lord’s blessing, performing our hastening and chastening–yes, just prior to going through the normal list of fundamentals of gratitude with family, friends, finance, faith and freedom–and certainly just short of chomping down on that first bite of turkey and taking a crescent roll to sop up the gravy, may I suggest that we quickly consider and review some lesser-known blessings that often escape inclusion in the quick prayer uttered for Thanksgiving dinner?

1. Of the 12,420 diseases known to man, I have successfully negotiated myself through another year of avoiding most of them. (It appears I am somewhat immune).

2. I am happy to report that I squeaked by from 76 near-collisions in traffic, making it possible for me to not have a “bender in my fender.”

3. Interestingly enough, I almost tripped 54 times without falling on my face–or any other body part, for that matter.

4. Are you ready for this? I successfully found my keys 243 times without cussing.

5. I rejoice in the fact that I have had more good night’s sleep than not.

6. I am not too much fatter than last year.

7. How about this one? I didn’t get audited.

8. I was not caught sleeping during Sunday sermon.

9. My family is mostly healthy.

10. Much to my glee, I didn’t have the job of explaining the government to anybody.

11. I ate some delicious fish, poultry, beef, pork and seafood without feeling too guilty around my granddaughter, who now insists she’s a vegetarian.

12. Laughed more than I cried.

13. More “car running” than “car repair.”

14. Said hello more to new friends than good-bye to old ones.

15. I am delighted to note that I prayed more than I cursed.

16. I learned more than I forgot.

17. Praised more than I complained.

18, Believed more than I doubted.

19. More sunshine than rain.

20. And finally, even though I sometimes acted like a turkey, I still kept my head on this Thanksgiving.

My dear brothers and sisters, I have tanks of thanks.

All I can say is: Dear God, come and fill ‘er up.

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Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about scheduling SpiriTed in 2014.

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click to hear music from Spirited 2014

Thanks for the Turkeys … November 22, 2012

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It was the first thing that came to my mind.

I don’t really like to admit this, because we all like to rewrite the history of what we did, presenting it as a bit more noble than it actually was when it squirted out of our innards. But somewhere along the line, a certain amount of honesty is necessary–otherwise, you end up being bruised and confused by your own lies.

When I discovered that I was having trouble with my legs, the notion of being inhibited in walking was not nearly as uncomfortable to me as the realization that a certain amount of virility, powerfulness and masculinity would be robbed from my profile. For let us be candid–a man sitting in a chair with wheels might be considered one of the classic turn-offs. If it weren’t, someone would certainly have considered using it to pick up chicks at the bar.

  • I didn’t want to be that short.
  • I didn’t want to be that vulnerable.
  • I didn’t want to be that annoying guy sitting around with a ready explanation.

I wasn’t really upset about rolling along instead of walking. It’s just that the stigma attached seemed fairly costly to my manliness and was going to permanently, I guess, rob me of the necessary sexuality to keep me from going bonkers. Do you know what came to my mind at that point?

Turkeys.

Maybe it was because we were coming up on the season–or that my brain just seems to fluctuate between periods of lucidity and inanity–but I realized that the turkey has a really bad public relations problem. You know you’re in trouble with the mass appeal of society when your name conjures images of being a loser.

“You’re a turkey.”

Or the even more pointed example, “You are a REAL turkey.”

It’s hard to hold your beak high when you realize that even if you have smoothed all your feathers and you’re looking your best, people are privately thinking to themselves, “Thanksgiving dinner!”

It must be especially difficult for the turkey because he or she realizes that they came so close to becoming the symbol of American prowess, power and patriotism. Benjamin Franklin, a notable forefather, pushed the bird forward as the candidate to be the nation’s favorite feathered friend. He was outvoted. I’m not sure what the count was, but the bald eagle won. It may be the only occasion when a bald creature won a contest over one with better plumage.

I don’t know what was in the minds of those who voted against the turkey. Was there hidden prejudice? Were they privately thinking to themselves, “That bird can’t fly!” After all, no one is ever going to use the phrase, “Soar like a turkey,” just as no one will ever be able to say, “Run that marathon like Jonathan Cring!”

And the final indignity, do you have to be killed, beheaded, plucked and baked, but for some reason, people step back with a scrunched face, dissatisfied, and think, “It’s not enough. We should stuff him with oysters, bread and seasonings.” And then, on top of THAT, when you’ve made the supreme sacrifice of your carcass–to become tasty–you’re usually smothered in gravy because you’re dry.

Yet, my dear friends, this is not the last indignity. Yes–after people have gorged themselves on your flesh, they have the audacity to insist that it’s your fault that they fall asleep during the football game, because you contain some sort of “hidden drug” which knocked them for a loop.

Do you see the point?

I was greatly encouraged by the plight of the turkey, realizing that I was still able to have a brain and be equated with intelligent conversation instead of relegated to “gobble-gobble.” (Oh, my dear God, is that the source of “gobbledygook?” I’ll have to have Jan look that one up.)

It is also important in this bad public relations swing, to portray the turkey as belligerent, habitually  pecking at things, in order to advertise and promote turkey shoots.

It seems that sometimes in life we all find ourselves in the position of being a turkey instead of an eagle. So on this Thanksgiving morning, and throughout the day, I will commiserate with my fellow-persecuted-old-bird, as I realize that I may have been weakened in some way by my affliction this year, but I’m still not ready to end up face-down on the platter.

I have much to share. I have much to say. And I’m thankful for anyone who has an ear to hear.

By the way … do turkeys have ears? That would be the final insult–or maybe blessing–to be deaf so you wouldn’t have to hear what a turkey you are.

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We Gathered Together … November 25, 2011

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In Washington, D.C.

Family is a collection of souls who share common experiences with often varying conclusions.

This is why those members of your household can be your best friends or your worst enemies. As the contradictory sayings put forth, “absence DOES make the heart grow fonder” but “familiarity has a tendency to breed contempt.”

So when it came time this year for Thanksgiving, I had one son in Miami, one in Los Angeles, one in New York and three in the Nashville, Tennessee, area. So it was logical to migrate the entire herd to Music City, USA. I rented a large house for four days so we could simulate the experience of the growing up years and share fellowship and the better baking of a bird. It was a fascinating experience.

All of these people who once lived under my roof, subjected to my tutelage, are now adults with lives of their own, with emotionally Xeroxed images of their particular interpretation of the philosophies put forth in our little experiment. I love them all–and even like them. But to assume that I agree with everything they do, approve of their actions or would find myself in complete synchronicity with their purposes is utterly ridiculous.

I think there are three phases in having children. Up to the age of five, you infuse manners, kindness, generosity and just general hygiene into them. From five to fifteen, you present yourself as an example–touting the better ways to handle things and also teaching them the value of having a clean emotional life, which lends itself to the possibility of spirituality. From fifteen to twenty-five, you have to gradually release them to their own missions, and also the favor that they will curry with God and man. After twenty-five, the deal is pretty well done and you need to settle in and become their friend instead of insisting on remaining their father or mother. Any other approach creates tension, disagreement and nasty disapproval, which in no way assists a human being towards for ongoing success. It was just wonderful to sit back and stop trying to be a patriarch and instead, reap the benefits of being a retired parent, who now is trying to find out–just like them–how to maintain the integrity of being a good human being.

The evening was further enhanced by the arrival of five friends of my son from Miami–old acquaintances of his from when he used to live in this region.  They brought freshness, energy, appreciation and joy to the excursion. We closed out the night in the master bedroom, playing songs around the piano, with Jan tootin’ her horns–creating the kind of “Kum Bay Yah” moment that makes for a great Hollywood ending. Yes–to a certain degree, I guess life is like a movie, or as Shakespeare put it–a stage. We develop relationship, we advance the plot, we encounter difficulty and we overcome together. (Honestly, anyone you do that with becomes family. And if your family hasn’t accomplished that, then you’re just related instead of relative to each other.)

I will go back on the road for a sixteen-city tour of a Christmas show of my own making. But I will have the memories of all these folks that I had the pleasure of nurturing, who have now found a way of enjoying their nourishment through life–absent of my interference and present of my approval.

Yes, we gathered together, but not to ask the Lord’s blessing.  No, just to look each other in the eyes and know that the Lord’s blessing is available if we will just have the tenacity to enjoy the pursuit of it. I am a father of sons, many of whom have found wives. I am not outdated, but rather, have updated my status to friend and confidante instead of tutor and disciplinarian. Because of that I am still of value to them. After all, in the adult world, spanking doesn’t work, even when error is made. All that truly is valuable is support and a lack of criticism.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of us–and may we continue to realize that what constitutes family is loving your neighbor as you love yourself.

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Here comes Christmas! For your listening pleasure, below is Manger Medley, Jonathan’s arrangement of Away in the Manger, which closes with him singing his gorgeous song, Messiah.  Looking forward to the holidays with you!

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