Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Munch Ado about Nothing

Last summer, we had some construction projects going on around campus. I decided to have lunch with the crew—it’s fun to fraternize with folks from whom one can get a straight answer without having to form a committee.
The first day I joined them, a fellow named Gus unwrapped a sandwich and said, “Oh, no, not again! Sardines and mustard.” He shook his head, his expression leaving no doubt about his displeasure and disquietude. “Oh, how I loathe sardine and mustard sandwiches!”
He asked if anyone wanted to trade. No one did. Gus didn’t even rewrap the sandwich; he balled it up, slam-dunked it into his lunchbox, and flipped the lid.
I felt kind of sorry for ol’ Gus.
Next day, the same thing happened. “Sardines and mustard: Is there a sorrier sandwich anywhere on Earth? I can’t eat that $#!+!” Slam! Splat! Seethe!
This went on for three days. You know how a chronic complainer can start to get on your nerves and wear you out after a while. Finally, on the fourth day, one of the other guys said, “Gus, for cryin out loud, if you hate sardine and mustard sandwiches that much, why don’t you just ask your wife to stop makin ‘em?”
Gus’s eyes widened; he sat up straight and said, “Wife? I’m not married. I make my own sandwiches!”
Now, if you and I are feeling a bit smug and uncharitable, we might be tempted to cast aspersions, expressing doubt about the man’s mental wellbeing. But, before we do, let’s take a step back and ask ourselves if we might not be guilty of the same thing as Gus. I don’t mean the sandwiches. Let’s dive a little deeper: What was Gus doing?
He was complaining bitterly about something over which he had complete control.
Of course, you and I would never do that. . . . 


(This is not an original story, just my version of it. I do not remember where I first heard/read it. th)


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Seasonal Affectation Disorder

Away in a Walmart, standin in a line
You should see the jolly elves I’m waitin behind
Blowin borrowed money and cussin at their kids
Oh, what fun. “Let’s git ‘er done!” Let’s don’t and say we did
Brightly colored plastic crap all shiny and new
Jesus. Happy birthday to You

Rockin around the liquor store, God rest those merry gents
Good eggs with bad noggins and uncommon scents
Here we come a wassailin, best get out of the way
The Guy who turned the water into wine was born today
May your days be merry and your red noses blew
Jesus. Happy birthday to You

Ice and snow? On with the show! A plastic reindeer scene
Fall on your knees and bust your Blitzen figurine
Memories of Christmas past hang on the tree and walls
Hark the heirloom angels; hang the family balls
Some doodad that Dad had and a Play-Doh kangaroo
Jesus. Happy birthday to You

Ho-ho-ho-ho, ho-holy cow, ho-holy night
There are so many things our senses to excite
Eleventh hour sale! Ho-hum-pa-rum-pum-pum
Bargains galore! Oh, all ye faithful come
Act deranged and jostle strangers, unto others do
Jesus. Happy birthday to You

Get up at the crack of dawn to watch the kiddies grin
Santa gets the credit while your credit’s gettin thin
What child is this unwrappin all that junk we can’t afford
Then later on that afternoon they’re cranky and bored
The most precious gift of all? We ain’t got a clue
Jesus. Happy birthday to You