Monthly Archives: November 2010

The Scam In Afghanistan WikiLeaks Refused To Release

“This will be a very dangerous mission.  Do you accept it?”
“Yes.”
‘You are to take the plans of a Surface to Air Missle to Afghanistan.”
“Real plans?”
‘No, fake ones”
“So that’s scam SAM plans to Afghanistan.”
“Yes, that’s right.”
“Who do I give them to?”
“The tan man.”
“Does the tan man have a name?”
“His name is Stan the Man, but his real name is Dan.”
So I take the scam SAM plans to Afghanistan to Stan the tan Man Dan.”
‘Yes, that’s right.”
“Where will he be?”
“In a Grand Am parked in front of a ham stand.  The ham stand is next to a hydroelectric dam. It’s called the Dam Ham Stand”
“So I take the scam SAM plans to Afghanistan to Stan the tan man Dan in a Grand Am next to the Dam Ham Stand.”
“Yes, that’s right.”
“How do I get there?”
“By tram.”
“So I take the scam SAM plans to Afghanistan by a tram to Stan the tan man Dan in a Grand Am next to the Dam Ham Stand.”
“Yes, that’s right.”
“What will he be wearing?”
“A tam and he’ll be eating canned spam.”
“He likes spam?”
“He’s a fan.”
“Let’s see if I have this. I take the scam SAM plans to Afghanistan by tram to fan of canned spam Stan the tan man Dan wearing a tam in a Grand Am next to the Dam Ham Stand.”
“Yes, that’s right.”
“Anything else?”
“He’ll be with his brother Fran, who has a tatoo of a  lamb, on his hand and he’ll be eating canned ham from the Dam Ham Stand while doing a hand stand.”
“So I take the scam SAM plans to Afghanistan by  tram to fan of canned spam Stan the tan man Dan who’s wearing a tam  in a Grand Am next to the Dam ham stand with his brother  lamb hand Fran eating canned ham from the Dam Ham Stand doing a hand stand.”
“Is that all?”
“No, his wife will be with him.”
“Hold it! I bet her name Anne, Nan, Pam, or Jan?  So I take the scam SAM plans to Afghanistan by  tram to fan of canned spam Stan the tan man Dan who’s wearing a tam  in a Grand Am next to the Dam Ham Stand with his brother lamb hand Fran eating canned ham from the Dam Ham Stand doing a hand stand with wife Anne, Nan, Pam, or Jan.”
“How on earth did you come up with Anne, Nan, Pam, or Jan? Here name is Barbara. ”

This was a little somthing I wrote some time ago. I like to hand it to a guest at gatherings in my home and ask them to read it. The next time you have guests drop by print a copy and hand it to them to read for everyone.

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Why We Don’t Have Peace of Mind

 

Do you not agree there is far too much aggression and violence in the world today.  It just seems that we are prone and drawn to it.  We can’t resist it.  Everybody is against it, nobody wants it, but everyone irresistibly watches it and sponsors know it. Even if there were never again a violent movie we somehow can not get away from it.

For example, high school mascots or nicknames; Wildcats, Panthers, Pirates, Tigers, or the Fighting Irish. All are rapacious beast, social pariahs, or ill-mannered rouges. Hardly what we want our children to imitate.  Certainly there are better ways for students to exhibit whether or not their schools are the best, other than pummeling themselves into submission on the athletic field like licentious primal brutes. Why not try test scores?  Imagine a school promoting high grades.

Why not give schools kinder and gentler names like; the Bunny Rabbits, Puppy Dogs, The Graceful and Elegant Swans, The Philosophical Philanthropists, or The Friendly and Hospitable Norwegians.  Imagine the effect on our society.  These kids would never riot or take drugs.  They would be docile domiciled drones. 

Nearly ever community displays a monument to war – a mighty and brave general mounted on a spirited steed with sword drawn and ready to lead his charges into certain death or the removal of the head of another equally valiant soldier.  No wonder we are drawn to violence – it is glorified.  How about that same general picking his nose. We all know they did it some time or other.  It is an fact that Napoleon was the first to have his men where buttons on their sleeves to discourage them from wiping their noses.  Military men were booger pickers.  So why not a statue commemorating it.

The other day I took a walk in the park.  It was one of those beautiful serene vibrant autumn days in which every color seemed to blend poignantly like a visual symphony.  I marveled at the complexity and yet the simplicity of creation’s splendor. For a moment I was at one with nature, feeling as though I was an intricate part of a grand and lavish motif.  My lungs filled with the fresh air of perpetuity and tranquility.  My mind was attentive and imaginative.  I was swept afloat like a leaf. But suddenly my senses plunged into basin of gloom. In the midst of all this resplendent beauty – a Howitzer cannon! We are surrounded by everything that reminds us of distruction, conflict, and war.

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I Tawt I Taw A Puddy Cat

 
Sergeant Conrad was a loathsome diminutive creature who nourished himself and delighted in the misery he inflicted on others. He was exceedingly good at it.  He was a duty sergeant for our student company in my Army days. He bunked in a squad room in our barracks and watched every move we made.  

The barracks were never military enough for him. He was aggressively demanding. Every flaw was exaggerated as if we had committed treason and punished accordingly. 

For five consecutive weekends we were confined to our barracks.  If we were aboard a ship we would have tossed him to the sharks.  It
seemed as though every waking minute was filled with epithets of hatred toward him. We went to our commanding officer, Captain Kelly, but even though we had the strange feeling he sympathized with our plight his military logic dictated he should sustain those in his chain of command.

One confined Saturday night Conrad was dousing himself quite heavily with a combination of Hai Karate, English Leather, and Old spice.  He smelled like a barber’s convention.  He swaggered down the aisle of the barracks dressed in red leather Bostonians, bell bottomed chinos, and a black velvet vest.  He thought he was hot.  He smirked at us like he was the only cat that was going to get a canary.  He sang Devil With a Blue Dress On very badly. He left for a night on the town which we were certain would end up womanless.

I don’t know if it was the beer or the beer, but somehow we started to think about our company mascot, Corporal Puddy Cat, a fifty or so pound not fully grown mountain lion.  That cat hated Conrad  as much as we did.  At times he wrapped it’s leash tight around his fist so the cat was unable to move and then smack it across the snout.  That cat reacted inhospitably at just the scent of Conrad. 

We thought we could seize upon this hatred and use the cat in some iniquitous manner. We grabbed a blanket and staggered to the cat’s pen.  After several inebriated and ungainly attempts we managed to wrap the cat in the blanket.  A guy in our barracks named Booker, picked the lock on Conrad’s room and we released the cat.  We knew that the scent of Conrad along with the concuction of Hai Karate, English Leather, and Old spice would send the cat into a violent frenzy, but we planned nothing beyond that.  Nineteen year olds have a hard enough time formulating enough thought to change their socks let along plan a crime. Back at the cat’s cage we dug out from beneath the fence to make it look as if the cat escaped. Conrad’s window was opened to appear as if the cat entered through it.  We were amazed how calculating and conniving our thinking abilities were after so many beers.

At 12:30 A.M. Conrad sauntered into the barracks singing Good Vibrations (off-key).  He shut the door to his room behind him.  We
weren’t prepared for what followed.  We thought the cat would hiss a few times and Conrad would scream for help, we would count to ten and rush in with a blanket recapturing the cat.  Instead what we heard was a conflagration of sound and fury-thumps, bumps, bangs, and slams and then sudden silence.  We rushed to the room with the blanket. Cornered by the cat was Conrad shaking and twitching as if  being shocked by electricity. 

Monday morning at formation Captain Kelley wanted to know if foul play was involved.  No one said anything, but our squad was summoned to his office.

“I know it was you guys,” he said.  “You had the motive and opportunity.”

“The cat dug his way out and went through Conrad’s window,” somebody said.

“Only one problem,” Captain Kelley said.  “You guys must have been a little too drunk for your own good.  If that cat dug its way out, why isn’t the pile of dirt on the inside of the cage.  The dirt is piled on the outside.”

We all looked at each other in amazement.  How could we have overlooked such an obvious item (It had to be the beer of course).

“Go rearrange the evidence before the inspectors get here,”  Kelley said. 

The trauma caused Conrad to have a nervous condition for which he spent a month or so in the hospital. He was discharged early. We, on the other hand, spent all four years of our enlistment. Conrad probably had a smile on his face all the time he sat in the bingo bingo ward. I imagine in his old age he still wears that smile sitting in a rocking chair on his front porch with a purring cat on his lap.

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Phone Homeward Angel

  Many harbor the desire to return home – a childhood home. It perhaps may come from the desire to recapture a lost time or memory, also to relive an event or resolve a psychological or emotional need.
  Writer Thomas Wolfe in his book, Look Homeward Angel, concluded one could never go home. The reality is that you have changed and others have changed. It is never the same. Expectations are never realized. Often such an experience leads to disappointment and sadness. Given that knowledge, yet we want to go back. For some life is not complete without that last visit home to confirm or disavow long-held notions of nostalgia, emotions, and people.
  The other day I wanted to call an old friend – a friend whose telephone number I called many times and knew by heart, but for some reason it did not flash up in my memory as it had in the past. Quickly I accessed two other numbers in my memory, but I did not know to whom they belonged. It was a mystery why these numbers seemed pop up in a rhythm that seemed so familiar. In time, I recognized them as my home phone as a teenager, and another home phone from over twenty years ago. I began to wonder: if calling an old number may not have the same effect as going home? Could it me cathartic?

“Hello, my name is Kenton and I used to have this number back in the seventies. I suppose you used to get a lot of my calls.”
“Yes I paid them.”
“I was wondering if a girl named Sally ever called?”
“She did.”
“You did, for how long?”
“But you’re divorced now.”
“Yeah, I know. That could have been me.”
“Hey I remember the days when I got those service reminders for my car. Did you get them for a while?”
“Here’s a funny one, from this number I called the White House and actually talked to Nixon. I had black Crown Vics follow me to work for a month. If you go to the Nixon library you can find a transcript of that tape.”
“How did you know there was an interruption?”
“Yeah, all from that number.”
“They had it memorized at Juicy Joe’s Pizza Parlor. I imagine Joe is not so juicy any more. I heard he died three years ago.”
“You still get a discount. Hey that proves Joe’s spirit lives on or good karma follows your phone number too.”
“Did you know that when you dial your number it plays ‘Yankee doodle went to town?’
“No way it is the opening bars to Yellow Submarine.
“Yeah I was drunk, but if you thought it was Yellow Submarine you had to be stoned.”
“Yes, I know it has a medical use, so does Jack Daniels.
“My number got mixed up with a psychic’s. I had a lot of fun with it. Three people got married. Three got divorced. That’s the national average. I informed on five cheating spouses, picked four lottery winners, and two Super Bowls.”
“Yeah right, all from that number. I sure miss that number. By chance could I come over and just answer my old number for a day?”
“Well than do you mind if I just call now and then to see how my old number is doing.”
“Sure I trust you, but I just want to make sure it’s…. it’s used properly.”
“No I’m not suggesting anything improper. I just miss my old number.”  
“My number! Oh no I never give out my number. Find your own old number buddy!”

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Did Norman Rockwell Draw With His Pants Down Or Up?

 

Was there ever a Norman Rockwell era? Did families like the Huxtables (The Bill Cosby Show), the Cleavers (Leave It To Beaver), or Andersons (Father Knows Best) ever exist? Was there ever a time and place of innocents to raise a family like Walton Mountain (The Walton’s) or Mayberry (The Andy Griffith Show)?

The entertainment media has gradually conditioned the public into accepting TV programming like Two and a Half Men. The clips to draw one to watch it should be enough to repel one. It is saturated with sexual baseness and degrading humor. Because it is really really funny it continues to air. In other words, ‘funny’ is the criteria over perverseness and lewdness. It seems as though to be funny we must pull down out pants.

Over the years social commentators, writers, producers, directors, actors, politicians, and the like have said that the Rockwell America or the likes of the Cleavers and Huxtables never existed. They have said that their projects deal with realities of life.

Entertainment can either lift you up or drag you down. One must not be fooled into thinking that what one laughs at is uplifting. Nevertheless what we find not funny, but rather entertaining says volumes about who we are. We can hardly hold back from laughing at a clever gag or amusing situation. It is almost a reflex, but it takes effort and consciousness to remain relaxed and paused to be entertained.

The Huxtables, Cleavers, Andersons, Waltons, Taylors, and the Rockwell interpretation of life did exist. It was not in just one family or framed illustration, but it was the bringing together of all the good that existed then. Now it seems that all that is perverse, base, and degrading is brought together in one family and packaged as entertaining and funny.

Several years ago I forced my son to watch a Red Skelton program with me. At first he was determined not to like it because it was “some old guy trying to be funny.” Within three minutes he was hooked. He was overcome by the subtleties of Skelton’s finely honed craft. He even pointed some hidden from my attention.

Our sense of humor and morality is a genetic gift, but it has to be trained by being exposed to the right things. Like our skin when exposed to too much sun light it becomes burned. In time it becomes hard and leathery. If our minds, sensibilities, and conscience are thus exposed to a rash of unwholesome entertainment, it too can become hard and leathery.

Norman Rockwell painted what he saw. He looked for the goodness that existed. The perverse was present and around him, but he chose not to exploit it.  Rockwell captured people doing or trying their best. He painted with his pants up and not down.

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