The nasty, cruel, cynical cartoon showed the open doorway to Hell. Coming from the left was a long line of people about to enter. On the right, the interior of Hell showed the residents roasting just outside glowing blast furnaces and boiling in oil. At the door was the devil welcoming each new entrant with the line "Welcome to Hell — here's your accordion." And he gave each one an accordion.
I got the Sunday paper and scanned to see what was in the news and what the issues of the season were.
This has been a great year for apples. The kind that grow on trees, that is. The apple crop this year will definitely be bigger than last year's, maybe even a record. In talking to the locals, I keep hearing that there are more and better apples this year than ever. That's terrific news for those of us who love apples — and especially apple pies.
It's Monday morning, it's overcast, damp, chilly and gloomy outside and it's back to the grind. The search for inspiration or enthusiasm seems dismal if not hopeless at this hour. Yesterday, 26 pro football teams played. Half of them lost. Most won't play for another week. Yet today or tomorrow over 1,300 players are expected to show up for practice, lift weights, run through drills, watch game films and go through the labor of preparing for next week's game.
Are you a snob? Do you have too much money? Do you enjoy "fine dining?" Do you enjoy bragging? If your answer is YES to all four questions, let me suggest a perfect event for you.
Want relief? You are all familiar with placebos. Placebos are non-medical sham-pills — sometimes called sugar pills. They have been used in medicine for generations. Amazingly, sometimes they provide relief. This is often thought to be because people have the ability to heal as a result of their own psychological expectations. In other words, if you're taking fake medicine that you believe will provide relief, you actually experience relief.
I keep getting better acquainted with human error — my own human error. Last week, in a careless, clumsy move, I knocked over a full cup of coffee and spilled it all over the carpet. I had a witness: Eartha was there and watched the entire disaster. I was furious with myself, called myself, "stupid" and some other nasty names. Then I pointed at Eartha and said, "You're lucky you didn't do that." I said it like a threat. Why in the world did I lose my normal, calm composure?
Jesus may have first said this, or Moses, or Aristotle, or Abraham Lincoln or my dad — I can't seem to find the origin, but the statement was "leave fingerprints behind when you leave the earth." It makes sense — we only pass this way once, so we should make sure our presence counts after we've left the scene. During the last month, we've lost Sen. John McCain and singer Aretha Franklin. Both have left giant fingerprints we shall see for generations. But we don't have to be famous or heroic in order to leave fingerprints behind.
Danny was our paperboy. Once a month his job was to call on all his customers to collect for the papers. These days the paper collects through automatic monthly bank installments — much better for paper boys (and girls) and much better for customers. Several days before the monthly collection day, we had been to a junior and senior high band concert and saw Danny playing drums in the junior high band. So I asked him about it. I said: "Danny, we saw you playing drums in the junior high band at the concert the other night. How do you like playing your drums?"
I see in the paper that this is the time for candidates to file for city council and school board elections. Every two years about this time, we need volunteers to step up to the plate to do what good citizens do for their cities, counties, townships and school districts — put their names on the ballot and run the risk of losing at election time. Who wants to lose? Or is it the risk of winning that is intimidating?