Loaves & Fishes, With Dip

In this blog entry, I follow up my earlier entry in which Iclear the decks of fragments of ideas which have haunted me over the past year,ideas which began with promise, yet which never quite reached fruition, dyingon the vine, one might say.

I provide them here as a sort of literary cleansing of thesoul.

So I can move on with my life.

And get some shut-eye.

 

{Musical accompaniment: Puccini's Nessun Dorma}

 

***

Poetic License

A certain obscure New England writer used any opportunity tolet the public know he was a poet. In fact, one time he sped around the streetsof his hometown until finally he was pulled over by a police officer. Theofficer approached the man's car and demanded to see his license andregistration.

"Of course, officer," said the man as he handedhim his automobile registration and a laminated card that displayed hisphotograph, his name, and beneath his name, the title "Poet."

Pointing to the card, the officer asked, "What the hellis this?"

"That, sir, is my poetic license," he replied.

Clearly not amused, the police officer swiftly wrote out a$125 ticket: $100 for speeding, and an additional $25 for flagrant use of apoorly executed witticism along a public road.

 

***

Loaves and Fishes

It began as a typical summer Sunday of mowing the lawn andwashing the car, when suddenly people from my past and present began to arriveat my front door. First to arrive was my old college roommate, and his newwife, and her three children from a future marriage. Next was a buddy fromhigh school, who brought along a woman he met recently at a demolition derbycompetition (apparently she was the driver of Car #6 -- a 1977 AMC Hornet).

My mailman arrived with a letter he forgot to deliver on theprevious day. My old woodworking teacher from high school arrived, dressed inoveralls, with a sketch in hand of a new and improved napkin holder he had comeup with. And my priest from the local parish arrived to ask why I had not beenin church that morning.

Then, one by one, family members arrived, some of which Ihad thought dead for years. With all the commotion, neighbors began to mosey byto see what was going on. The last person to arrive was my tax accountant,yelling to me above the din that I was not withholding enough federal tax andwould have to file an estimated tax payment in the third quarter.

With all these people milling about, perhaps two or threehundred people, and with it being the noon hour, I realized that I would beexpected to feed these folks or else risk a social faux pas. Weaving my way tothe kitchen, I found half a bag of potato chips on the counter. In therefrigerator I located three beers, a nearly empty bottle of chardonnay, fivehot dogs buns, and two hot dogs. Knowing this was not enough to feed the crowd nowinvading my house (and spilling out onto my front lawn and back yard), Iremembered from my childhood CCD classes that Jesus once faced a similarsituation when he was expected to feed the multitudes while preaching near thesea of Tī-bē'-rĭ-ăs.

So I made my way into the living room, to the bookshelf, andlocated the Holy Bible. Flipping to the New Testament, I read from the Gospelof John, the chapter in which Christ feeds the five thousand with five loavesand two fishes, and then I turned to address the crowd in my house, saying untothem:

"I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shallnever hunger; and he that believeth in me shall never thirst." (John 6:35)

"That's great, Jack," replied my former collegeroommate, "but I could really go for a hot dog and a beer."

So I tried again:

"I am the living bread which came down from heaven: ifany man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I willgive is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world." (John6:51)

"How about if you at least put out a bowl of chips andsome dip for starters," said my high school buddy.

"And I'd like a glass of merlot!" barked hisdemolition derby date.

I tried one last time:

"Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hatheternal life; and I will raise him up on the last day." (John 6:54)

"Hey, Jack," called out my woodworking teacher,"Where do you keep your napkins?"

Realizing that they would not be fed, the whole crowdeventually filed out and very soon I was left alone with my tax accountant. SoI asked him:

"Will ye also go away?" (John 6:67)

My tax accountant replied as he departed, "Thou hastthe words of eternal life" (John 6:68), referring to the paperwork he leftbehind on my coffee table -- Form 1040-ES: Estimated Tax for Individuals, alongwith all the accompanying instructions, worksheets, and tax rate schedules.

Ä'-mĕn.

 

***

Greatest Mothers of All Time

I had wanted to post a blog for Mother's Day, but it nevermaterialized. In it, I had planned to list the greatest mothers of all timethroughout history, from the very beginning of the world to modern times. Well,here goes:

1 - Eve - Kind of a no-brainer, after all, besides being themother of Cain and Abel she also is the grandmother, great-grandmother, etc. ofall of humanity. When asked her reaction on being selected the Greatest Motherof All Time, she replied, "Well, it's about damn time! It has been 6,000years you know! It would have been nice if you had recognized me while I wasstill alive, instead of posthumously, after I've been dead for six millennia.Humph!"

2 - Virgin Mary - For Christians, the mother of Jesus shouldbe recognized as one of the top mothers of all time. Not only was she themother of the Messiah, but she also volunteered for the PTA and could always becounted on to bake brownies for school fundraisers.

3 - Mother Teresa - Although not an actual mother, she wasan inspiration to many, and a voice for the downtrodden. And besides, she madea wicked peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

4 - Mother Nature - Although not an actual person, per se,she is clearly a force to be reckoned with. Just ask anyone who's been througha hurricane or a typhoon or a tornado or even a rain of toads!

5 - Feodor Vassilyev - Unlike Mother Nature, FeodorVassilyev was an actual person. And unlike Mother Teresa, Ms. Vassilyev was anactual mother. In fact, Ms. Vassilyev, who lived in Russia from 1707-1782, wasthe mother of 69 children - a world record (I think). She had something like 16pairs of twins, seven sets of triplets, and four sets of quadruplets. And yet,somehow she still found time to join a bowling league.

Runner ups for the category of "Greatest Moms of All Time"include: Sarah (Abraham's wife/Isaac's mother), Jochebed (Moses' mother),Martha Washington (if George is the "father" of our country, thenMartha must certainly be the "mother"), Whistler's mother, theMothers of Invention, Demeter (Greek earth-mother goddess), Maya (Buddha'smother), and Jocasta (the mother, and also the wife!, of Oedipus).

 

***

Unresponsive

A recent news story told of the death of a certain fellow.His wife said she realized her husband was dead when she discovered him on thecouch in the living room "unresponsive."

A husband ... on the couch ... unresponsive?!If that's all it takes to declare a guy dead these days, then three-quarters ofthe men in this country are technically deceased!

 

***

Spiritual Scores

In spiritual sports action today, Christianity beat Islam bya score of 2 billion followers to 1.2 billion. Hinduism outmatchedSecular/Agnostics 828 million to 775 million. In a close match, ChineseTraditional Religion edged out Buddhism by a score of 390 million followers to364 million. Tribal Religions/Shamanism trounced Atheists in a blowout, 232million to 150 million. Judaism easily handled Baha'i Faith 14.5 million to 7.4million. And Shinto and Taoism played to a 2.7 million to 2.7 million tie.While today's match between Spiritualism and Wicca was postponed due to a rainof toads. (That darn Mother Nature!)

(Source:www.religioustolerance.org)

 

Jack Sheedy

 

"Nessun dorma, nessun dorma"

(Translation: "None shall sleep, none shallsleep")

(That is, not with my 12-year old dog Lucy and her weakbladder waking me up to go out at all hours of the night!)

 

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