|Prior Date||Back to Archive Index||Next Date|
WIT & WISDOM - October 9, 1998
"Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don't give up." - Anne Lamott 
~~~~~~~ SPECIAL THOUGHTS:
"A few months before I was born, my dad met a stranger who was new to our small Tennessee town. From the beginning, Dad was fascinated with this enchanting newcomer, and soon invited him to live with our family.
The stranger was quickly accepted and was around to welcome me into the world a few months later. As I grew up I never questioned his place in our family. In my young mind, each member had a special niche. My brother, Bill, five years my senior, was my example. Fran, my younger sister, gave me an opportunity to play 'big brother' and develop the art of teasing. My parents were complementary instructors -Mom taught me to love the word of God, and Dad taught me to obey it. But the stranger was our storyteller. He could weave the most fascinating tales.
Adventures, mysteries and comedies were daily conversations. He could hold our whole family spell-bound for hours each evening. If I wanted to know about politics, history, or science, he knew it all. He knew about the past, understood the present, and seemingly could predict the future. The pictures he could draw were so life like that I would often laugh or cry as I watched.
He was like a friend to the whole family. He took Dad, Bill and me to our first major league baseball game. He was always encouraging us to see the movies and he even made arrangements to introduce us to several movie stars. My brother and I were deeply impressed by John Wayne in particular. The stranger was an incessant talker Dad didn't seem to mind - but sometimes Mom would quietly get up - while the rest of us were enthralled with one of his stories of faraway places - go to her room, read her Bible and pray.
I wonder now if she ever prayed that the stranger would leave. You see, my dad ruled our household with certain moral convictions. But this stranger never felt obligation to honor them. Profanity, for example, was not allowed in our house-not from us, from our friends, or adults.
Our longtime visitor, however, used occasional four letter words that burned my ears and made Dad squirm. To my knowledge the stranger was never confronted. My dad was a teetotaler who didn't permit alcohol in his home - not even for cooking. But the stranger felt like we needed exposure and enlightened us to other ways of life. He offered us beer and other alcoholic beverages often. He made cigarettes look tasty, cigars manly, and pipes distinguished.
He talked freely (probably much too freely) about sex. His comments were sometimes blatant, sometimes suggestive, and generally embarrassing. I know now that my early concepts of the man - woman relationship were influenced by the stranger. As I look back, I believe it was the grace of God that the stranger did not influence us more. Time after time he opposed the values of my parents. Yet he was seldom rebuked and never asked to leave. More than thirty years have passed since the stranger moved in with the young family on Morningside Drive. He is not nearly so intriguing to my Dad as he was in those early years. But if I were to walk into my parents' den today, you would still see him sitting over in a corner, waiting for someone to listen to him talk and watch him draw his pictures.
His name? We always just called him TV." 
~~~~~~~ THIS & THAT:
A family had twin boys whose only resemblance to each other was their looks. If one felt it was too hot, the other thought it was too cold. If one said the TV was too loud, the other claimed the volume needed to be turned up. Opposite in every way, one was an eternal optimist, the other a doom & gloom pessimist. Just to see what would happen, on the twins' birthday their father loaded the pessimist's room with every imaginable toy and game. The optimist's room he loaded with horse manure.
That night the father passed by the pessimist's room and found him sitting amid his new gifts crying bitterly. "Why are you crying?" the father asked. "Because my friends will be jealous, I'll have to read the all these instructions before I can do anything with this stuff, I'll constantly need batteries, and my toys will eventually get broken." answered the pessimist twin.
Passing the optimist twin's room, the father found him dancing for joy in the pile of manure. "What are you so happy about?" he asked. To which his optimist twin replied, "There's got to be a pony in here somewhere!" 
~~~~~~~ KEEP SMILING:
A young fellow with long-hair was trying to enter a swim club. However, he was stopped by the owner who tried to explain that for health reasons long-haired people were prohibited from using the pool.
"Get a haircut, and you're welcome to swim in the pool," suggested the owner.
"Some of history's greatest men had long hair," said the young man.
"Those are the rules," hammered back the owner.
"Moses had long hair."
"Moses can't swim in our pool either." 
Why does "let the cat out of the bag" mean?
In 18th century England, British tenants who farmed land that belonged to gentry were required to pay part of everything they produced as rent. To avoid paying some rent, many cunning farmers secretly sold some of their pigs without reporting the transactions.
Often, these farmers would hide their pigs in a heavy bag, or a poke (which, by the way, is why the phrase "pig in a poke" means "something that's offered in a disguised way").
Eventually, crafty salespeople realized that, in their haste, customers who engaged in these illegal deals didn't bother to look inside their bag, which made it easy to pass off a cat as a young pig. Once the buyer arrived at home, however, the secret came out in the open, as he let the cat out of the bag. - "Why You Say It" by Webb Garrison 
 (Karen Weber via Fast Eddie's Funnies http://recommend-it.com/l.z.e?s=154533)
 (Owen Lorian via MONDAY FODDER email@example.com)
 (Bill Stebbins via Teresa's Jokers http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Delphi/5655/)
 (Nancy Carson via Keith's Mostly Clean Humor KSullivan@worldnet.att.net)