Contemplation

From three years ago, a message about self-awareness.

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Self-awareness

Contemplation

Weren’t part

Of an egret’s

Innocent game

Even though

The self

Reflected self

Were one

And, the same

The rippled

Reflected self

Was perceived

As a stranger

http://www.jasontaylorphotography.com/–

 

 

Real-Life Whodunits

I compromised with the two dogs this morning.  Took them on a short walk down the street.  They seemed to be satisfied with that, since I’m going to be gone most of the day.

Second week of jury duty and I’ve been summoned to report in today.  Unlike last week when things were pretty slow.

Too bad I watched that TV episode last night about the death of a juror.  Who was to blame?  It was the ex-husband.  He did it the slow way with psychological torture–destruction of the final vestiges of her self-esteem.

What’s in store today?  Will I be selected for a trial, or continue to languish in the jury pool?  That’s yet to be revealed.  There’s no lack of real-life whodunits.

Weird Laws For $200, Alex…

A living trivia category for over thirty years, was the tiny hamlet of Paradise, located in a corner of Michigan’s upper peninsula.  Townsfolk could take social media publicity no longer.

A popular fishing and vacation destination, the “Please refrain from playing Jimmy Buffet music–thank you for your cooperation,” signs in store windows were hard to explain.  The law was impossible to enforce.

“I wouldn’t care if I never heard that “Cheeseburger in Paradise” song, ever again.  And I think most everybody here would agree with me,” Mayor H. Claven Clifford II said at the town meeting.

“If I get another request from a Hollywood media producer, to be interviewed about our being anti-Jimmy Buffet this or that–I’m gonna’ scream.  I swear, Buffet got more publicity from our denial, than he would have gotten otherwise.”

“My father, who was mayor at that time, is probably turning over in his grave.”

“Permission to speak?” Asked Councilman L. E. Muenster.  “Don’t you think it’s time we overturned this asinine piece of legislation?”

“Permission granted.  However, I would caution the councilman to watch his choice of words.  Did you wish to make a motion?”

“Yes, I move that city ordinance 192-85 prohibiting the playing of Jimmy Buffet songs within city limits be overturned.”  The motion passed, almost without objection.

In tiny Paradise, Michigan, it had been against the law to play Jimmy Buffet songs in businesses or public buildings.  It went back to the mid-eighties, when a merchant applied for a license to open a local “Cheeseburger in Paradise” restaurant.

Needless to say, Jimmy Buffet’s lawyers weren’t pleased; threatened legal action if the name wasn’t changed forthwith.  Mayor H. Claven Clifford, not to be outdone, sent a petition to Buffet’s people.  The village of Paradise wasn’t much of a competitive threat–he pleaded.  Paradise, MI was denied–left to its own fates.

Times changed–the years went by.  Most townspeople became indifferent to Paradise’s “Anti-Buffet” ordinance.  After all, Paradise was best know for “pasties”–tasty, homemade meat pies.  And Paradisians were satisfied with the fame that pasties brought their fair city.

Whitefish Point was nearby, and had a museum dedicated to Great Lakes shipwrecks.  Included in the exhibits, was a tribute to the wrecked, Edmund Fitzgerald.  The lake waters began to clear.

The Jimmy Buffet, “Cheeseburger in Paradise” debacle faded from memory.  Gordon Lightfoot, who popularized the “Ballad of the Edmund Fitzgerald,” although Canadian, remained as close to being a local favorite son, as anyone else would ever get.

 

http://www.jeopardy.com/–

 

Ultimatums

They seem cruel now–but, back then they were attempts to gain control.  Different from admonitions, these were warnings; do/don’t do this, or this will happen.

“Come on, I’m going.  I’m not telling you again.  OK, you can just stay here at Aunt Edna’s.  Your Bubba bear is going to miss you.”

A few tears, later and the recalcitrant youngun’ came dragging along.  He wasn’t about to abandon his favorite teddy bear.

Behind Rose’s Market was an outhouse and a storage building.  The small town grocery store, was an after school meeting place.  Old men from town, met in the back, by the oil-burning stove, for their daily gossip fest.  Charlie Rose, the proprietor, gave a familiar warning.

“Get away from that shed–the boogeyman will get you.”

Grandparents gave an ultimatum or two.  Some of them quite macabre.

“Don’t play on the telephone.”  Or, Nelson Fenton, proprietor of the local independent telephone company, would come and, “Cut our ears off.”

Ultimatums came from everywhere, from aunts and uncles, teachers, townspeople.  They were battles of wills; attempts to maintain order.

“If you don’t stop crying and behave, I’m going to take you to the doctor and get you a shot.”

That usually did the trick.  No kid I knew liked getting shots.  Working in health care later, I discovered this approach, hindered more than it helped.

“Hit your sister again, and I’ll swat your butt.”  Direct and to the point–nothing else needed to be said.

Along the path to maturity, these ultimatums were no more cruel, than those elsewhere in the animal kingdom.  Mother cats cuffed misbehaving offspring; carried them by the scruff of their necks when necessary.  All creatures had to learn their places.  There were consequences for misbehavior.

 

 

 

Lots of Good Wishes!

A non-specific bout of upper respiratory distress has affected both my wife and myself.  The timing could not be worse.  A long journey lies ahead.

I suspect it has a lot to do with extreme changes in weather.  Warm one day and cold the next.  The body hasn’t had a chance to adjust.  I’ve heard spring peepers the last two mornings.

Most people wouldn’t complain about it being 75 at nine on a December morning.  Two-hundred fifty miles north of here, it’s thirty-something degrees.  Icy Upper Midwest winter weather has already delayed the trip.

By the time I return, Christmas will be over for 2016.  Hopefully all will be well by that time.

To everyone that follows my miscellaneous ramblings, have a Merry Christmas–a safe and happy Holiday Season!

 

“Merry Christmas from Charles Claus, the Christmas heron”–image, http://wwwlynnjordanphotography.com/