MONDAY THOUGHTS

Cheech and Chong in Judge Judy’s Court:  Let the laugh riot commence as those two loveable stoners from the past cavort in court.  They’d get tossed out on their behinds.  Judge Judy wouldn’t find anything about them amusing.

Angry Man Dinner:  “How do you satisfy an angry man?”  With the “Angry Man” frozen, ready to eat, TV dinner.  Marketed to knuckle-dragging, boorish, unrepentant, males of the species.  They know who they are, sitting in reclining chairs.  Perched in front of the television, guzzling beer in dirty, stained T-shirts and undershorts.  “It’s six o’clock, I’m hungry!” “Woman, where’s my dinner?” “It’s in the freezer.”  “I’ll get it right away, Dear.”

Uvula Monologues:  One of the lesser known body parts is the uvula.  It’s the little thing hanging down at the back of your throat.  As some men get older it gets flabby.  The snoring sound is amplified, to the consternation of wives everywhere.  Now, that I’m getting older, other body parts have chimed in.  …Creaky joints, stomach growls.  All of you!  Just shut up already!

Certified Guilt Free:  Why not market products certified to be 100% guilt-free?  It would help ease the consciences of millions of guilt-ridden American consumers.  For those concerned about sustainability, global warming, carbon footprints, organically grown consumables.  Incidently, from “Star Trek” and “Mr. Spock,” aren’t we carbon-based life forms?  Could there be a use for clothes dryer lint?  …A paper mache substitute?         

Somewhere Past Nashville

A beautiful morning

Just another day

Twenty miles from nowhere

Crowded streets of mind

Familiar truth resounded

Green rolling meadows

Horses chased shadows

Sweet tea, lemonade

Trees, lots of shade

There my heart ran free

Looked for redemption

Forgiveness never came

Journey never ended

Why did it always rain?

Somewhere past Nashville

EVERYTHING’S FOR SALE

Election year suspense is building.  My in box is overflowing.  The air is rife with campaign rhetoric.  It’s easy to become discouraged.  Don’t let it get you down!  Please vote for the candidate of choice.  The national debt is a frequently mentioned topic.  Instead of playing the blame game, why don’t we do something about it?  I hope that got your attention.  For those following along, it’s $16,160,520,887,972 at this writing.  Simply put, we spend more money than we take in.  No one wants to cut funding for pet projects–so nothing gets done

I’m proposing creative ways to generate positive cash flow.  Solutions to satisfy everyone, notwithstanding political affiliation.  I’ve borrowed heavily from the corporate world, professional, and college sports.  Why? Because in the cutthroat, competitive, corporate world, everything’s for sale–nothing’s sacred.  Professional and college sports teams are money-making entities.  They’re part of big business.  In “corporate speak,” deficit spending is the “revenue stream flowing in retrograde.”

A national lottery?  Ireland has its sweepstakes.  There’s a Canadian national lottery.  Spain has the famous “El Gordo.”  Drawings would be monthly.  …Tickets ten dollars each.  Jackpots a minimum of 500 million and could potentially reach a billion dollars or more.  Profits would be plowed into the national deficit.  Imagine winning a billion dollars!  Now, that’s some buying power.  I could buy an island and set up my “Grand Duchy of All About Me & My Bling-Bling.”  Me, a reclusive billionaire? I think I could handle it.

Corporate named national landmarks?  It’s done in both college and professional sports.  Major corporations pay millions for name placement on sports stadiums.  College bowl games are named for corporate sponsors.  Why not have corporate naming of national landmarks?  The Statue of Liberty is a perfect example.  It could be sponsored by Liberty Mutual Insurance.  …A perfect fit?  The logical next step would be the “Capital One” United States Capitol building.  Why not Coors Brewing Company sponsorship of Rocky Mountain National Park?

Corporate sponsored holidays:  From my fictitious Research and Development group.  I vetoed their Independence Day proposal.  Christmas Day was off-limits–already overcommercialized.  However, Hershey’s Chocolate sponsorship of Ground Hog Day was doable.  It would honor the groundhog, the fine folks of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, and their annual celebration.

Officially licensed products:  This Halloween, children and adults, will sport Obama and Romney masks.  Why not collect licensing fees?  Any image of a major political figure sold for profit would need to be licensed–including “bobble-heads” and “chia pets.”  T-shirts and coffee mugs, possible slogans, “It’s fun to watch C-Span!”  “The Congressional Record, Read it! You paid for it!”

Miscellaneous ideas:  Advertising in the Congressional Record.  Advertisements, similar to those on taxis and buses, on government motor pool vehicles.  Product endorsements?  …Idea rejected …Would alienate those favoring the opposing political party.

Far fetched?  Be that as it may, the subject matter was quite serious.  In my opinion, this is still the greatest country in the world.  Take a break from  campaign rhetoric and think about the future.   Please do your part, make an informed decision, vote this November 6th!  Please excuse me, while I fantasize about the “SUPER GINORMOUS AMERICAN SWEEPSTAKES.”  “Yes Dear, it’s even bigger than “Publisher’s Clearing House!”

 

INSTINCT OR FEAR

It happened in the early nineties between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  A nearby shopping center geared up for their busiest season.  Winter firmed its grip–it was cold, cloudy, and damp.  My thoughts turned to what was for dinner that evening.  My last job of the day was in a nearby subdivision.  Its winding streets and cul-de-sacs were typical suburbia.  I was a communications technician for one of the major “Baby Bell” companies.  Before the dominance of cell phones, parents often had second telephone lines installed for their children.

Remote wire connections having been made, I searched for my subscriber’s house.  I parked, walked to the house, and knocked on the door.  A “thirty something” young woman answered the door.  I displayed my identification card and explained my presence.  She told me the second line was a surprise Christmas gift for her children.  The  telephone terminal was a short walk from the house.  Overgrown shrubbery surrounded it on three sides.  I was thankful to have a windbreak.  With orange handled socket wrench, I opened the terminal lid.

Now, to locate the customer’s dial tone, match it to the service wire from the house.  I crouched down, connected my test phone.  My subscriber’s test tone came through loud and clear.  That was a good sign.  Maybe this job would be easy?  Would I be home in time for dinner?  I was lost in thought, then heard running footsteps.  That, in itself, wasn’t unusual.  There was a nearby school bus stop.  Suddenly, I had the sensation of not being alone.  I looked to my left, saw a nickel-plated twenty-five caliber “saturday night special” pointed at my face.

The young man holding it couldn’t have been older than eleven.  He wore a dark-colored hooded sweatshirt, pulled up over his head.  Without hesitation, I asked, “are you gonna’ shoot me or what?”  The young man looked as surprised as I was.  He responded, “Oh, I thought you were somebody else.”  Indignantly, I replied, “Well, I’m glad you didn’t shoot first and ask questions later.”  “I’m the telephone man–hooking up a second line for someone in the neighborhood.”  “It might be somebody you know.”  My would be assailant left.  I didn’t ask any questions and finished the job.

That wasn’t my first on job brush with fate.  The other occurrence, was a few years earlier, in a run down trailer park.  I’d been sent out to hook up a subscriber’s main line.  To accomplish this, an old line had to be disconnected, at a different location.  The buried terminal was opened and work commenced.  Suddenly, there was the sound that only a pistol shot could make.  A bullet whistled past my head.  It seemed the occupant of a nearby trailer didn’t like my presence.  In their twisted logic, I was an outsider, prying into their secret world.  …Racially motivated? …Drug or alcohol induced paranoia?  I didn’t stick around to find out.

Neither time did I feel fear.  Maybe that was due to military training?  I’d been a medical corpsman and administered emergency medical care.  My emotions kept in check to aid the sick and injured.  My automatic response to the young man with the pistol implied, “I’m doing important work here, stop screwing around with me.”  In both instances, it wasn’t until later, my knees got shaky.  It was a sobering thought, a colleague had been murdered, on the job, a decade earlier.  …Her young son left to grow up without his mother.  The scenes played over and over in my head.  What if this or that happened?  Was it instinct?  …Stupidity?  …Dumb luck?  …Divine intervention?  I’m grateful to still be here.  I lived to fight “telephone wars” another day.

EXCUSES (Why Nothing Gets Done & Relationships Fail)

Too fuzzy, too cozy, too lazy, too crazy

Too sleepy, too bored, too tired, too scared

Too hot, too not, too needy, too greedy

Too soon, too late, too passive, too forward

Too timid, too shy, too short, too tall

Too kind, too mean, too dirty, too clean

Too specious, too precious, too facetious

Too round, too flat, too tacky, too plain

Too mighty, too flighty, too brazen, too brash

Too serious, too mysterious, too boisterous

Too punctual, too tardy, too raucous, too bawdy

Too perky, too sleazy, too silent, too shrill

Too smug, too flip, too friendly, too distant

Too dreadful, too delightful, too frightful, too hopeful

Too daring, too caring, too alluring, too demure

Too mature, too physical, too musical, too pensive

Too expensive, too humble, too proud, too loud

Too arrogant, too penitent, too impertinent, too important

Too stoic, too merry, too maudlin, too giddy

Too deep, too shallow, too solid, too hollow

Too sunny, too cloudy, too zany, too rainy

Too trivial, too menial, too little, too late

Too often, too hard, to explain!

REALITY CHECK

A waste of time?  I wasn’t a junior high kid seeking peer approval.  I’m sixty-four years of age for heaven’s sake.  Blogging was supposed to be an avenue for self-expression.  If I spent a couple of hours per day, it wasn’t a burden.  If it interfered with daily activities, it became an obsession.  Were my expectations out of line?   Didn’t people understand that I wrote about subjects that were most important to me–my relationship with my maker and my family?  If they couldn’t deal with that, then to hell with ’em.

What was I seeking?  …Accolades, recognition, notoriety?  It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.  Politicians, have to be, all things to all people.  Advertising is part of mass culturization.  I refuse to crank out drivel for audiences applauding like so many trained seals.  What was the best way to break out of my funk?  …With a reality check.  Fame and fortune eluded me years ago.  Paparazzi and hordes of fawning sycophants could be annoying.  Something I’ll never know about.  Now, for something completely different–here are some miscellaneous thoughts.

Free parking?  Those residing in major urban areas deal with parking issues every day.  The rest of us are spared–except during the holiday season.  I was wondering, could a person select a parking spot, then cover the car with crime scene tape?  Then, voila, instant free parking–anytime, anywhere.

Decorating tips?  Interior decorating is not my cup of tea.  Is the trend of using dark colors on walls outmoded?  Here’s a thought.  Dark colors absorb light.  Additional lighting costs more and wastes energy.

Getting even?  This was borrowed from recent headlines.  Call in an anonymous tip that Jimmy Hoffa’s remains are buried under your neighbor’s driveway.  Sit back and watch the forensic team destroy your grouchy neighbor’s property.

It’s Al Capone’s Vault:  I’ve vented my frustrations.  I no longer felt like Geraldo Rivera at the reveal of Al Capone’s vault.  It’s time to walk it off and move on.