The Ill-Mannered Man ~ A Parable

 

Once upon a time… in the Land of Reality… there lived an ill-mannered man who was oblivious to the obvious… namely… that his overbearing, obnoxious, mean demeanor… the very boorish characteristics, which had impressed his equally boorish boss… were impressing nobody else!

Indeed… such dubious qualities were not even qualities at all. As such, his (so-called) profession’s service to society could only prove to be a disservice. Worse yet, he could not even begin to fathom how he had become his own worst enemy. Beyond a shadow of a doubt… his deplorable behavior was precisely the reason why few, if any, respectable folks ever wanted to do biz with him… why virtually nobody ever wanted to even welcome him into their lives.

He was the classic, textbook example of the peddling shoddy wares, door-to-door, high-pressure salesman. And… whenever he came a knockin’… that’s when the “fit” really hit the “shan”!

Anyone who had made the fatal error of ever opening their doors… even slightly… soon learned… the hard way… that he’d jam in his foot. Even when folks applied sufficient pressure to make him take one step backwards… long enough to moan out his, “OUCH!”… his role as a bad actor was far from over. He’d come back again and Again and AGAIN to camp out on their doorsteps for days, weeks… even months.

While the victimized folks could’ve… indeed should’ve… summoned the constable… well… since it was too easy to simply close their doors’ curtains… well… that’s as far as everything usually went. They figured this pest would eventually go away… after all… nobody could possibly be so dense… so insensitive… as to not realize that NO means NO!

Right?
Wrong!

One day… as a parade just happened to be marching down the street… with the flash of a thick wad of cash… the ill-mannered man managed to spirit away the living-on-a-shoestring, big bass drum player. At that point, both proceeded to shout inward to the tenants… in unison, repetitiously and at the top of their lungs… WE WON’T LEAVE! LET US INSIDE! He even pounded his clenched fist on the door to keep time with the banging away drummer… all of this attaining a decibel level that could’ve raised the dead.

Human nature being what it is… the ill-mannered man’s ill-conceived plot… his orchestrated, socially unacceptable taunts could only make this duo’s presence all the more unwelcome.

Soon the constant, cumulative vibrations began to severely rattle both the tenants’ nerves and their entire domicile… to the point where their heads exploded and their no longer happy home came crashing down. They could not possibly survive. And… not being able to step back in time… even the ill-mannered man met a similar fate.

However… the news wasn’t all bad. The big bass drum player wound up the sole survivor. And in a flash… he did feel remorse over his having ever become a party to such an ugly scene. In the days to come… having learned his lesson well… he even managed to track down and rejoin his marching band… to re-enter the parade of life… to once again… play joyous sounding music to the masses.

And with the ill-mannered man having been hoisted by his own petard… everybody within the Land of Reality lived happily ever after.

 

The morals to our story…

If you’re strapped for cash, don’t be tempted by the fast buck’s lure.

If you’re ill-mannered, don’t ever expect principled, civilized persons to cozy up to you.

 

 

 

 

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Everyday Will Be Sunday (Sunday Song Series)

With Passover and Easter both being observed at this time, I figured a spiritual selection would be an apropos addition to our Sunday Song Series… an ongoing mix tape of sorts that we’ve been experiencing for… counting today… 32 weeks.

The dictionary defines Gospel music as…

“A fervent style of black American evangelical religious singing, developed
from spirituals sung in Southern Baptist and Pentecostal churches.”

Dorothy Love Coates and the Gospel Harmonettes not only live up to those above words but also amply prove that the soundtrack to organized religion does not, necessarily, need to be subdued and somber to be uplifting.

Even though I believe that religion primarily, truly, dwells within one’s head and heart… i.e., sans any real need for attending services within a brick and mortar church, synagogue, mosque, temple, etc.… well hell… just knowing songs such as Everyday Will Be Sunday are getting sung each sabbath, I could become sufficiently motivated to join such a flock.

And speaking of joining… our Sunday Song Series will be meeting back here seven days from now. I cordially invite you to be part of our ongoing adventure where the phrase… musical diversity… rules supreme.

 

A Non-Preachy Sunday “Sermon”

Give a listen to a selection from Carole King’s “living room” jam session… her catchy “little tune”… Pleasant Valley Sunday… is jam-packed with big thoughts.

Listening / reading between the lines, we can all get a better sense of what really does (and does not) matter in life.

 

 

The Power of Positive Thinking / The Power of Prayer

 

Have you ever had an experience where the power of positive thinking and/or the power of prayer significantly and unexpectedly bettered some aspect of your life?

In my case, this involved my 30 year career in retail management / sales… 20 of those with company “A” and 10 with company “B”. Throughout that entire epoch my ability to cope with difficult to please superiors had been repeatedly put to the test. But one case, in particular, proved to be a Herculean task.

Part One

Her very initials, L.A.W., accurately summed up her laying down the law stance. While intrinsically, there’s nothing wrong with that, it was her poisoned with suspicion, management “style” that bordered on paranoia… her bad ‘tude, which made for a toxic work environment. It was her belief that no employee could possibly resist the temptation to ripoff both cash and merchandise from our company.

Her treating me like a criminal didn’t sit well. I had never stolen anything… not even a pen or paper clip. In addition to my personal integrity, I could take great pride in my qualities of courtesy, dependability, punctuality, efficiency and accuracy. Hell, I would’ve turned in an honest day’s work even if no manager had shown up. Ironically, my being a model worker only made her suspect me more. From her POV, that had to be an act, right? WRONG!

Well, soon after her arrival she rolled out her extreme internal security measures. Rather than allowing her to rummage through my brown paper lunch bag prior to my going out into the mall, I found it best to eat my lunch in the stock room. As for visits to the restroom? She had that locked up tight. Whenever anyone needed “to go” we’d have to ask her to escort us right up to the door!

My coworkers were feeling just as demeaned as I. One day while we were commiserating, clear out of the blue (and out of her earshot), I referred to LAW as “the can opener” and that nickname stuck. I could go on but I’m sure, by now, you’ve “breathed in” enough of her atmosphere of distrust.

Needless to say she was negatively impacting store morale. Even our District Manager could easily sense the undesirable undercurrents. Eventually, LAW got reassigned to another store and, soon after, put in her two weeks notice. I felt so relieved just knowing that our paths would never cross again?

By 1999, some big shot executive decided that the approaching new millennium meant time was ripe for a corporate shakeup. That restructuring took the wrecking ball to my low level management position… limiting my options to two. Either be demoted or take a hike. I chose the latter.

Part Two

My transitioning to a new workplace turned out to be a lot easier than I’d expected. Company “B’s” store was in the very same mall… catercorner to Company “A”! Even better, I’d already worked for their store manager who, btw, had always wanted to add me to her staff. Alas, less than three years later, my old/new boss had moved on to greener pastures.

An even bigger ALAS… three years after that… guess who had come back to haunt me? Yep, none other than LAW!

Gossip being a big part of retail world, my colleagues soon discovered I had worked for her, before, and so I became the go-to guy to answer all their worried, “what’s she like” queries. Opting to remain professional, I’d refrain from any badmouthing. After all, I hadn’t seen LAW in years… maybe she had changed? Ergo, my noncommittal reply went something like this, “I can get along with almost anyone. If you can, too, there’ll be no problem.” But, hell, even I wasn’t totally buying into my pep talk.

Since I had accrued over two weeks worth of vacation time, I decided to go on a safari… a job hunting safari. It was following one particularly, exhausting day of interviews, when I opted for an early bedtime. Just as I was drifting off to sleep I went to my own go-to guy to ask…

“God, considering the dozens of retailers LAW had to choose from, why mine?”

The next morning, I awoke to a rapidly fading dream. Upon concentrating deeply, all the sudden my memory clicked. I had dreamt about a long ago conversation with my mother. We were trying to figure out how best to stop schoolyard bullies from making my life miserable. Since my principal was of the gruff, insensitive, “Just man up and take it, sonny!” mindset, there could be no help from him. That’s when Mom suggested I turn to a higher authority… the highest authority. She mentioned Matthew 5:44.

“But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you…”

I now realized my problems with bully LAW could be dealt with similarly. I could even tap into my own submission of applications and resumes routine. This had to be quite similar to what LAW had just experienced! I began beaming my prayers upward, throughout all my remaining vacation days… especially between job interviews.

“God, won’t you please help my new boss LAW. There must be at least one other personnel manager who could make her a job offer she can’t refuse. Lavish her with better pay… a primo benefits package… a better 401K… the works! Nothing is too good for LAW!”

Well, I soon found myself glumly heading back to work… expecting the worst… yet… upon punching the time clock on my first day back… my grinning, assistant manager told me that, in my absence, there’d been a sudden shake up of the status quo.

Part Three

Within mere days of hiring on, LAW had put in her two week’s notice! Seems, somehow (?), some way (?) she had gotten a much better job offer. Go figure, huh? Even better… since our four assistant managers were fully capable of running the store without her… our District Manager had decided to cut her free much sooner.

Bottom line, I never had to even cross paths with her… not even once… not so much as even a fleeting glance at each other… or in her case… her stock-in-trade, suspicious, “if looks could kill” glower.

Even my “failure” at finding a new job had to have been God’s way of preventing me from leaving Company “B”… something I had never really wanted to do.

While some might chalk up my experience to mere co-incidence, I’d say there’s much to be said for the power of positive thinking… the power of prayer.

Hmmm… all the sudden I find myself in an especially positive mood. So… uh… please excuse me while I head off to find a place of solitude… uh… to begin praying that a certain fake prez will get a much better job offer… preferably within the private sector.

 

 

Hush Money & Blank Checks

Neither Donald Trump’s (alleged*) extramarital hookup with porn star Stormy Daniels (real name Stephanie Clifford) nor the (allegedly*) $130,000 political hush money coughed up to silence her seems to faze the run-of-the-mill, Evangelical Christian who has lost his / her moral compass. Nope, not as much as an ounce of outrage… as one would expect from any holy roller worth his / her salt.

I mean… where the hell is the litany of fire and brimstone sermons heavily referencing Biblical passages… oh… say… Sodom and Gomorrah… pillars of salt… etc.?

Well, it would seem that, in contemporary times, Evangelicals are not looking back… not looking down their noses… not looking anywhere else but up to their bad boy Donny. These… uh… well… let’s just refer to them as lowercase “c” christians… harbor an atypical, attitudinal mashup… an unorthodox mix of laissez-faire and beating around the bush.

To better illustrate how they’ve been rationalizing and equivocating about something that’s unambiguously wrong, check out this FOX “News” softball interview where Pastor Robert Jeffress tiptoed through the theological and political minefield, thusly…

“Evangelicals still believe in the commandment: Thou shalt not have sex with a porn star. However, whether this president violated that commandment or not is totally irrelevant to our support of him. Evangelicals knew they weren’t voting for an altar boy when they voted for Donald Trump. We supported him because of his policies and his strong leadership.”

Hmmm… I’ll refrain from digressing, extensively, by setting aside the pastor’s whopper about “strong leadership”.

Since it’s been more than half a century since the last time I counted myself among the devout, churchgoing Catholics, forgive me if I’m a bit rusty, here, but… oh… what the hell… I’ll give it a go anyway.

While Alex Pope’s “To err is human to forgive divine” is a core tenet of many a religion… I do seem to recall that any granting of absolution is provisional. The prerequisite, here, is that the sinner, with all his heart, must desire to mend his wicked ways, vow to never sin like that again and, working towards those goals, be actively seeking spiritual guidance.

Yet, to my knowledge, Pastor Jeffress has neither mentioned that Trump is remorseful and ISO such advice nor has that holy roller (who must have a hole in his head) ever mentioned he is currently (or soon will be) helping to extricate and elevate the so-called prez from his dens of iniquity / amoral abysses.

To sum everything up… I am not a father, either theological or biological, but, nevertheless, I will still offer some fatherly advice to Pastor Jeffress.

1. Never forget that your BFF, the thrice wed, twice divorced so-called prez, neither respects womankind nor views marriage to be the sacrament it is. Marital infidelity is his MO. And, if he cannot remain faithful to poor Melania, there will come a day where he will not remain a faithful servant to Evangelicals.

2. It is also conceivable… and staying totally within his vast range of character flaws… for that misogynist to selfishly think only about his own pleasure. Consequently he would abdicate and delegate all responsibility for birth control usage to his conquests.

3. Remaining mindful of all the above… any cad who’d think nothing about hauling out his checkbook to cover up his tawdry affair… will someday… if he hasn’t already done so… also think nothing about cutting a check to foot the bill for an abortion… perhaps more than one.

Hmmm… considering how you Evangelicals have a zero tolerance for all abortion… were it ever proven your bad boy Donny was ever a party to that…

Would you still cut that bad ass a blank check?

 

 

* Just to stay in CYA mode

The Roy Moore MO?

 

WARNING: Today’s content may be upsetting to some readers.

Of all the brainwashed Evangelicals and other fools who still support U.S. Senate candidate, Alabama Republican Roy Moore, it’s pretty safe to speculate that some of them are parents of female minors. What’s been so astounding is that, in spite of five women now accusing Moore of sexually assaulting and/or harassing them in the distant past (when they were in their early and mid teens) the support from Moore’s voter base remains unwavering… in some cases has even been intensifying!

The insanely defiant and inappropriately indignant Moore has been trying his damnedest to bogusly portray his accusers as liars… misrepresent himself as the victim of some unfounded, political, ideological and theological, media driven witch hunt. He’s been hemming and hawing during media interviews and ranting and raving from the campaign trail stump… as if what? High decibel leveled rampaging and roaring could ever transform anyone’s lies into truths?

Of course, it’d not be going out on a limb to call out Moore as a liar. Even U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan no longer believe him.

Much worse than Moore’s ruthless, political ambition is his intimation that he has always been sweet and considerate prior to sexually assaulting his underage victims. Check out this creepy, far from reassuring example of that pig’s hogwash…

 

“I don’t remember dating any girl without the permission of her mother.”

 

Good gawd almighty! Are we to believe that Moore has actually ding-donged the doorbell, tipped his cowboy hat and in his thick southern accent, interlaced with his lecherous laughing, drawled out to countless moms…

 

Roy: G’day, li’l lady! Allow me to introduce myself. I’m Roy Moore and I’m running to be the next U.S. Senator to represent the great state of Alabama. I can already tell by your purdy li’l smile that you’ve heard of me! Well, to get right down to it… I could not help but admire your underage daughter when I ogled and whistled at her… tailed her ever so closely last Saturday night at the Gadsden Mall. However, since I am so gentlemanly, I’m approaching you first to let you in on all the salacious plans I have for her. You see, I plan to molest your little girl… deny her all the carefree days of her youth… traumatize and flat out ruin her entire life. And then, as soon as I tire of her, I’ll promptly dump her. Now, I do hope you’ve raised your little missy to be submissive to whatever demands I will make of her… as in… no questions asked. Indeed, I do fully expect your young’un to worship me… OR ELSE!

Mom: Uh… I dunno… maybe you had better talk to her Pa, too… he’s the man of the house and always makes the major decisions.

Roy: I thought you might hesitate. You cannot possibly view giving me permission to uh… date… your minor daughter to be a major decision. Ma’am, you’ve offended me! And I do find myself growing a bit peeved, too. So, let’s just cut to the chase! I could make life very difficult for your entire family. That’s because a high and mighty man, such as I, has many deeply rooted connections. Yes indeed, I do own dozens of good ol’ boy lawmen and… uh… well… let’s just say that since they’d be all too happy to take the law into their own hands to do my bidding, you’d be a damn fool not to fully cooperate with me here and now. To that end, I fully expect you to sign this legal waiver, which not only makes your daughter mine… all mine… but also absolves me of all legal and financial responsibility should she ever wind up… uh… well uh… let’s just say… in a family way. After all, any baby making would be all her fault… not mine. So, li’l lady, what’ll it be?”

Mom: Oh Mr. Moore, I don’t know how or why I could’ve ever doubted such a fine, upstanding big man such as you. Speaking on behalf of my husband, I know we both would be honored to have someone as famous and saintly as you violate our little girl. We’d even love to make a sizable contribution to help with your campaign. Now, where do I sign?

Roy: Right by that little ol’ X. Now you be sure to press hard so it appears clearly on all five copies. And do fetch your checkbook, too!

Mom: I know you two will have lots of fun! (turning to shout up the staircase to her daughter). Honey, a nice man named Roy… who’ll soon be our U.S. Senator… is on his way up to pay you a li’l visit! Now you be sure to do whatever this great man tells you to do… no matter what… ya hear?

 

 

I sure as hell do hope that that above conversation is nothing more than a work of fiction. For, if it is not, any mom or pop who’d ever let any sexual predator take indecent liberties with their own daughter should be reported to Child Protective Services… ASAP! Prison sentences for all the guilty parties would be in order, too!

 

Check out related articles HERE and HERE.

Sunday Mass Mass Murder

Another mass murderer opened fire here in America… the most gun sick society in the world.

This time the bloodbath took place yesterday… on a Sunday… in a church.

I extend my heartfelt condolences to all who tragically lost folks near and dear to them and my best wishes for the fastest, fullest recovery humanly and medically possible to all who were maimed.

Whenever duly concerned folks mention the desperate need for even minimal gun control, America’s cowardly, so-called prez cringes at the mere thought of offending his sociopathic, gun barrel sucking, National Rifle Association besties…no… strike that… beasties. That’s no big surprise considering how the NRA does own him lock, stock and barrel.

#45’s typical, utterly worthless response has been to utter that now-is-not-the-right-time to be discussing this matter… in this particular instance, he said that now is “a little bit soon”.

As if what? It’d be a show of disrespect to all of the dead and wounded?

As if what? He’s concerned about upstaging the survivors? (Is it even possible for a narcissist to ever worry about that?)

As if what? The grieving families would be deeply offended were he to lift even one of his small handed pinky fingers to help avert future mass shooting incidents… act proactively so others need not experience such sorrow?

Truth is that the incidents of gun violence / mass murder are becoming so frequent that, were we to apply the present White House occupant’s whitewash… i.e, his phoned in, now-is-not-the-right-time illogic… each and every time… well…

It’ll NEVER be the right time to discuss this literal life and death matter.

Might this alleged leader actually be yearning for / counting on more mass murdering carnage… i.e., so he can run out the clock on whatever time he has left in the Oval Office… i.e., wind up signing zero gun control legislation into law?

Let’s get real. It’s impossible to imagine how the so-called prez, who always uses superlatives to refer to himself and his business acumen… who fancies himself to be God’s gift to humankind… cannot walk and chew gum at the same time.

The so-called prez needs to redirect his jaw’s energy… less prattling and more chewing… start his exercise regimen by first chewing up and spitting out the tasteless NRA and next reinstating a rule which he killed… the Obama era stipulation that made it tougher for mentally ill individuals to have free access to guns.

 

Read more here

Dallas, TX Baptist church organist, Diane Bish’s rendition of Amazing Grace