Sunday Morning Lessons


— Bumper sticker of the week: Someone less dumb for President.

— Quotes of the week: “Think how stupid the average person is, and realize that half of them are stupider than that.”

         “When cheese gets its picture taken, what does it say?” George Carlin

— An old age question you need to ask yourself: Are you living longer or dying longer?

— Embattled Philippines President Arroyo sets up “truth commission”: I like that, a “truth commission.” The truth commission is to look into possible voter fraud concerning her election. That’s a good one. This sounds like something Bush would do.

— Ex-offenders and voting: Laws keeping ex-offenders from voting are a disgrace to our democracy. It is wrong to keep someone who is actively working to rehabilitate themselves from participating in elections. These type of laws offend the basic principles of a democracy and diminish us as a people.

— Ways to trick your brain:

• First, you need to make sure you have one. Count backward from 100 by 7. If you’re from East Galesburg, you can start from 7.

• Vote Republican. That will definitely trick your brain. In fact, you may not even need one.

• Your brain has a left side and a right side. You can tell which side is dominant by the way you vote. Obama — left. Keyes — right.

• Go to Oquawka and all the while tell yourself its Cancun. This will either trick your brain or you’ll be arrested for impersonating a river rat.

• Tell yourself you can do anything, than jump off a ten story building. This may trick more than just your brain.

• Look in a mirror and pretend you see someone who really has their act together. This is real tricky.

• Now, give your brain a rest. Stop thinking altogether. There, now you’re back to normal.

— Dying is not all its cracked up to be: It’s already been five years since I almost bit the bullet, passed on, crossed over, croaked, bought the farm, kicked the bucket. We joke about it, until it stares us in the face. Death, that is. Then it’s not so funny. You come face to face with being here one minute, gone the next. I sometimes wonder how things would have been had I died. You come to a painful realization that things would have gone on. The most you can muster up is, you hope you would be remembered. Your only shot at immortality — being remembered. But for what?

— My quest for gold: The alchemists’ quest was to turn base metals, i.e. lead, into gold. In a slightly altered, somewhat perverse, modern variation, my quest is to turn dog poop into gold. I’d settle for silver. Owning three dogs, I have plenty of material to work with. About as good as I’ve done so far is getting the trash man to cuss when I put the poop out with my other trash. When he squishes it all together, I can hear him cussing two blocks down the street. Come to think of it, I guess that is kind of a golden moment.

— Sunday morning: I can remember one particular Sunday morning as vividly as I can remember yesterday. I was 12. After Sunday School, my father would take me to the tavern. In a German community, this was basically a right of passage. I learned how to play pool and the pinball machine. This particular Sunday morning, I learned a lesson about life I never forgot. A black man, I would guess around 60, stopped by the tavern for a six pack on his way to a nearby creek, I’m guessing, to fish. The other guys at the bar, all friends of my father, encouraged the bartender to send him on his way without any beer. My father walked over to the cooler, got out a six pack, handed it to the gentleman, who proceeded to walk out. I’m not sure that they exchanged any words. And no one in the bar said a word, one way or the other. What strikes me most about the incident, then and now, was the silence. No one saying a word, including my father. Ever. I was to make of it what I would.