Excuse me while I take a nap. I have chosen to not participate in today.
I’m sure you have seen innumerable variations of me laying in front of the entry door to your friends’ houses. We come in all shapes, colors, materials, configurations, and sizes. Some of us are woven, some are shaggy, some sport a “WELCOME” in large white letters. I am a luxurious green astro-turf square about 2 feet by 3 feet with a lovely white daisy in the corner. My well-to-do cousins cover the playing fields in various stadiums.
Yes, my task is to collect the grime and dust off dirty shoes as they enter the house. Most visitors are considerate enough to wipe several times before crossing the threshold, although a few will step over me in attempts to avoid my purpose in life which is to keep my owner’s sanctuary free of unwanted mud and dirt. Although just a lowly piece of manufactured green astro-turf, I see and know every one who enters my house. I am the front door sentinel who extends a welcome and says good-bye. I am just a doormat.
I recently overheard my owner exclaim excitedly, “What am I, just a doormat? Do they think I am here for them to walk on?”
I don’t understand it. I am a proud doormat who provides a valuable service to everyone who enters the house. Without me the home’s floors would be filthy. Without me the soles of visitors’ feet would probably never get cleaned. Without my lush grassy texture people would miss the massaging action of my fibers. What’s so wrong with being a doormat?
I guess humans simply don’t like being used as a doormat. They don’t enjoy being stepped upon and used indiscriminately by selfish visitors. Being a depository for other people’s dirt, grime, and bad habits doesn’t fulfil their reason for existence on earth. Humans were not created to be good doormats.
That makes me happy. It’s job security. As long as the people in my house place value on their inherent integrity and as long as they maintain a reasonable level of self-esteem and respect, I don’t need to worry that I will be replaced with a talking, moving, thinking human model any time soon.
Next time you visit my house, don’t mistake the owner for me. He’s the bald-headed guy living inside. I’m the bright green piece of astro-turf with a daisy laying outside the front door. I am much prettier.
Ever had an ugly Christmas tree? I mean, even the prettiest of ornaments could not cover the scraggly, lopsided, double-topped stick that Grandpa dragged home from the woods the year the crops were bad and our household was on a Christmas budget that did not allow for a “bought” blue spruce from the neighbor’s tree farm. Grandma whined, but, the tree went up as usual in the living room’s front window for all passersby to see. The saddest thing about that tree was that no amount of thrown tinsel and no arrangement of the strings of lights could justify calling that smattering of pine branches a Christmas tree.
The lights in those days were the kind that would heat to an unsafe level making it necessary to sit in the room at all times when they were plugged in. I often wondered what fun it would be to watch that burning bush being scooted out the front door. My imagination envisioned Grandpa, a diminutive man, in the aftermath of the tree fire, being scolded by his 250 pound spouse and being chased with a broom about the house much as I had seen in my favorite cartoons on TV.
We have made great advances in the season’s lighting options. Neighbors vie to present the most impressive outdoor light show in festive colors and themes. The lights rock and bounce to the rhythm of the accompanying Christmas tunes much to the delight of young and old merrymakers who wind around the streets in a procession of vehicles. Bulbs of the led variety shine brightly and safely on artificial trees which are often equipped with those strings of lights at the factory source. Pre-lit is the tree shopper’s buzz word.
All colors, all shapes, all lengths of lights to choose from and all wonderfully convenient….when they all work. Yes, every American male knows what I’m saying. Long, irreverent hours are spent checking each of the 2500 bulbs on the string of lights trying to determine which one is not properly plugged in causing the entire circuit to remain unlit. We sit on the floor muttering about that smug, smiling, underpaid factory worker in China who assembled this mass of wires and bulbs knowing that somewhere in America a befuddled man will be sitting teary-eyed on his living room floor holding his string of 2500 unlit lights. Often, we head to the WalMart for another cheap string of lights rather than endure the frustration of trying to fix the unfixable.
Perhaps that is the answer to our dilemma. None of these ornaments and lights purchased today were ever intended to give long-term enjoyment. They are not going to become heirlooms for the grandchildren to enjoy as are my beautiful icicles, glass Santas, and stars which my grandmother purchased at the local 5 and 10 cent store almost 100 years ago. Today’s mass-produced ornaments “Made in China” will probably not find a very special place in the grandkids’ hearts or on their Tannenbaums. Like many of us, the decorations are seen as conveniently disposable.
I don’t believe that God cares much about lights that don’t work or ornaments that end up in landfills. But, I know God does not make disposable people. Each life is a valuable heirloom to be cherished and held dearly in our hearts. God does not see undocumented visitors/workers as illegal people. They are his children who have legal status in his kingdom. God does not make worthless people. Each has immeasurable worth in his eyes. God is not about fancy glass ornaments, expensive presents, and bright lights. God is that small glow within that lights the world.
“This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine this Christmas season.”
…..that, my friends, is the question of importance this morning. On the one hand, Facebook is informational and I’m able to follow the groups and organizations such as SPLC, AU, Media Matters, and my Congressmen which keep me informed about issues of significance in my life. On the other hand Facebook is filled with a litany of stupidity and ignorance that somehow also creeps into my daily routine.
Friends on Facebook? Yeah, right. I am “public”, anybody can read me. Of those who follow me are 7 people whom I do not know, and one girlfriend from the foggy days of the 1970s. She scares me more than any of the others. Assuredly, I can access the privacy settings and make myself virtually inaccessible, but, what’s the point in that.
No, as a blogger friend has noted, it should be called “Fakebook”. I like that. It just rolls off the tongue and it is a much more accurate description of what a man can expect when he signs up. Although, during the 2016 campaign, my cadre of Facebook “friends” showed their true colors and most of them deleted me. Hmmmmmm. maybe there is a redeeming value in Fakebook.
I am virtually friendless on social media but, I now know who the loyal people are in my life.
Larry and Gabby have argued over which of them should write the post covering this recent tweet from Trump while golfing in New Jersey.
“Such poor leadership ability by the Mayor of San Juan, and others in Puerto Rico, who are not able to get their workers to help. They want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort.”
Well, howdy, howdy y’all. Seems like I won the argument. Larry just ain’t got the necessary range of adjectives to cover this tweet from the twat-in-chief. He agreed that there comes a time in a man’s life when nice talk, sweetness, love, and compassion don’t stand up to the job that needs to be done. Larry said, “Go for it, Gabby. But remember I got the editing pen.”
Let me see here, buckaroos, where can I begin? Naw, that word will get censored fer sure and my next thought is just too trashy even for a good ole boy like me, and I sure as hell don’t want them women folks out there to blush over any kind of reference to Trump’s genitalia….although a lot could be said about not much of anything. Ever tell y’all the story ’bout the trucker with a master-blaster CB? His radio was so powerful it would shake folks outta bed living in the next state. Turns out his bigggggg radiooooo just compensated for a tiny doohickey. Well, Gabby can’t confirm it but that’s the story and I’m sticking to it. Whaaaat? The driver had a small 2 way transmitter for talking to his co-driver at the loading dock, a DOOHICKY. “Hey Jim, you got the doohickey on ya?” It’s kinda like a thingamajig. Gawwwwwwd, you folks got some dirty minds!
But, I digress. What brought driving truck to mind was them drivers had a need to boost their own weak egos by belittling other drivers. They blamed everyone else on the highway for their own stupidity. Never took responsibility for their own shortcomings. Hell, according to them, they had no shortcomings. They lived in that small-minded, closeted world that screamed me, me, me, look at me. I am somebody. Dammit, I am better than you and you need to agree with me.
Momma, bless her heart, called folks like them piss pots. Y’all know about poor folks who’s so poor that they don’t have a “pot to piss in”. Well, Momma called them hi-falooting, showoffs that lived on the other side of town “pisspots”. “Why,” you might ask? I don’t know, she just didn’t like ’em. Has nothing to do with my story. But, here’s a shout-out to Momma, bless her soul. Went home to be with the Lord in 1992. Now, there was one sweet hearted woman. Went blind when she was just shy of 30 years old, husband left her with a young’un, me, to care for. And, with Jesus hisself as my witness, I swear I never went hungry or without clothes or without love growing up. Didn’t have much, but, I knew I had a helluva lot more than them pisspots on the other side of town.
Me and Trump is the same age give or take a few months. I hear his mom and dad sent him off to military school when he was a young’un. Maybe that’s part of the reason he don’t know how to get out of hisself and show feelings for other folks. Then daddy gave him a couple million bucks to play with out of college, so he really didn’t have much chance to grow up like the rest of us. Kinda stayed in that military school mindset, college boy shenanigans, country club privilege.
Larry was a lil bit concerned that I would unload with a barrage of nasty insults on Trump. Hell, I’d like to even now as I write. But, we all know he’s a poor excuse for a human being and anything I could add is just beating a dead horse. But, it scares me what his message is to our young’uns. What do they see when he goes into his rants on Twitter? What kind of role model is he for our kids?
When we see on the screens all across America the Mayor of San Juan standing waist-deep in shit water pleading for help and Trump’s tweet in reply from the luxury of his golf club in New Jersey is that she shows poor leadership qualities and that the people of Puerto Rico ought to show a little more community spirit….well Gabby’s heart cries for justice on Trump, immediate and swift. And I ain’t asking that of any human powers. NosirreeBob, Gabby’s taking that directly to God Almighty.
Folks, contrary to popular opinion, I ain’t just another pretty face in the crowd. I’ve been educated in the finest of schools, the school of hard knocks. I like quotes.
“Qu’ils mangent de la brioche”
Let them eat cake. Supposedly a great French princess said that when she was told that the poor people had no butter and eggs for brioche and bread was less expensive. Just like our POTUS today, the great princess had no concern or regard for the peasants. Trump puts on a great show, he surrounds himself with the best clowns, and he manages to divide the people with utter chaos, but, we know he’s just a pisspot……..hey, speaking of body fluids, did y’all hear the one about the Russian prostitutes?
This journey I am on, the same journey all of us undertake, has met its share of stone walls, dead ends, and heartbreak. What seemed like a terrific idea yesterday becomes today’s need to backtrack and regroup. A person who comes aside and walks that path with me briefly decides to take the alternate route lying ahead and becomes just a memory of good times. The opportunity not taken shows up later in life as one of those “I told you so” moments. It can be a tortuous life through hell we build for ourselves or a meandering trek through serenity. We have the ability to make that choice.
I write as larrypaulbrown and as gabbygraywhiskers. Larry is the idealist, the one who sees the possibilities of life through rose-colored filters and believes in the innate goodness of mankind and the infinite power of an incomprehensible, undefinable God. Whatever turmoil and hostility abounds in the world, Larry believes it can be conquered by love and compassion.
Gabby on the other hand is a realist. He relates his world view from the experiences of a life deep in the nitty-gritty of addiction, disappointment, and social disapproval. His personality is a composite of the people who have joined in his journey through life. His world view is tempered by the harshness of ignorance and misunderstanding. Gabby is more of an in-your-face kind of man who sees injustice in the world and wants to single-handedly and vociferously confront it and then fix it. The compassion he envisions is backed by a good ole boy creed which ridicules and challenges stupidity. He’s got something to say and, “dang it, you’re gonna friggin listen.”
I continually struggle with these two personas that fill my brain with thoughts and writing material. Sometimes I think that, yes, dementia is finally taking over. But, more often, I simply go with the flow and allow whomever has a pressing need to vocalize to take the pen and fill the page with the my ramblings.
My goal is not to be published, not to become a noteworthy blogger, not to become a recognized name in writing circles. I merely want to touch lives in a meaningful way.
“Aw hell, there Larry goes again with that mushy crap. NosirreeBob, what we’re gonna do is change the friggin world whether the world likes it or not.”
Here’s a shout out to Dr.Rex :
Gabby’s been heavy hearted since Maria destroyed our friend in the Caribbean, Puerto Rico. Dr. Rex on her blog has tirelessly campaigned for the United States government to step up relief efforts and emergency supplies. We get it on with the prayers and whatever support we can muster. Sometimes, it just seems that it ain’t enough.
Dang it all, nobody deserves the supercilious remarks out of the head cheez whiz when he said Puerto Rico was in bad shape before the hurricane and has a huge amount of debt to reconcile. C’mon, butthead-in-chief, where’s your compassion? Aw hell, I forgot, you have none. Never grew up with the rest of us who learned to face life without a silver spoon stuck in our mouth or other orifice.
Well, my fellow buckaroos, Gabby’s got a solution to the money crisis Trump referred to. BANKRUPTCY! Hell yes, what’s good for the goose is just as good for the gander. Actually we’re talking turkey here but I don’t want to split hairs. Four Trump bankruptcies shafted us between 1991 and 2009. Shoot, bankruptcy is as American to them high financiers as apple pie is to us. If deadbeat billionaires can do it, why not Puerto Rico?
And then buckareets, how about them taxes? Why should Puerto Rico pay its taxes to a federal government that don’t support it? And again, let’s just look to the tax-evader-in-chief. Gobble, gobble!
Gabby might slaughter English usage and he might use inappropriate language, but he ain’t stupid. NosirreeBob.
Well Lordy be! Me and Larry been nominated for an award. Shoot, last award I got was for the annual cow pie contest in downtown Homosassa. Afterwards the judges changed their minds when momma told ’em I cheated ’cause I baked my pies in her kitchen stove. I’m guessing y’all don’t know about baked cow pies, makes them real hard and easier to toss.
Well, bless Shawn’s heart for nominating me. She’s just a good ole gal over at I AM MANY THINGS . Here’s the rules for:
There ain’t many verifiable facts about me.
I ain’t gonna nominate too many folks for this award cause most of my buds is too bashful….kinda like me.
Charlie @ CHARLIE COUNTRY BOY
Suze @ OBSOLETE CHILDHOOD
Shawn, it’s been a hoot! Thanks
Now, tell me folks, don’t y’all think Gabby would have been a great cheerleader? I mean, the raw talent just oozes out of every rah, rah, don’t it? I was doing just fine in tryouts until I ended a cheer with “KISS MY ASS”. They simply had no sense of humor, whaddyathink?
Well, now we know the good Lord had bigger things in mind when he led me down the cheerleading path. I’m today a cheerleader for the Big Guy in the sky. YessirreeBob. Y’all call him/her whatever you want and cross your theological T and dot your religious I. In my heart I know that the head honcho coach is the greatest power there is. Ain’t no bigger game on earth than the one that teaches unity, sportsmanship, hard work, and brotherly love. Ain’t no god contrived by man that scores more points on the playing field called life. It’s an inside thing folks. We grab the spirit that’s been put inside us and we run with it. We make a difference in the lives of other people. We act like ladies and gentlemen even when the opposing team is kicking our butts. NosirreeBob, we never give up the ball to intolerance, bigotry, hatred, and racism.
Yeah, I agree that’s enough analogy for one post. Hell, what do y’all expect for free? A five-page sermonette? But, this past weekend with the hoopla over professional football players standing or kneeling for the national anthem is just another indication that your POTUS is deranged. He’s got Russia hacking our elections, Iran testing missiles, healthcare failure looming, young professionals facing deportation, a war in Syria, a war in Afghanistan, an opioid war, and Kim in North Korea threatening to blow us all to smithereens…..and your POTUS is attacking the NFL for being disrespectful. C’mon man, even Gabby with his 1960s style ‘give-a-shit’ attitude and the morals of an alley cat has more sense than that. Where’s Trump’s priorities?
Say what you like about my cheerleading abilities, but y’all know I’m right as a greased pig in the pit with this little exhortation (Larry said that was an appropriate word to use). What my Grandpappy always told me was to be aware of the smoke screens that politicians throw out. They’s just covering the really important bullshit going on behind the scenes. Get out your knee-highs, we’re gonna need ’em.
Folks, I’ve got a confession to make to y’all. Gabby ain’t as smart as he appears to be. NosirreeBob, when the Big Guy upstairs took inventory of all them loose screws floating around in my head, he just sighed and threw away the screwdriver, said something ’bout sending me back to the factory for a major overhaul. Now, the time has come for me to fess up.
Y’all might ask, “Well Gabby, how in tarnation did you come to this conclusion?”
It all started back in the summer of 2016. I was watching Bugs Bunny on the cartoon network when my best bud Larry said, “Hey Gabby, let’s educate ourselves and switch to the news on CNN.”
Now, I forgive Larry for his indiscretion. He just don’t understand how important Bugs Bunny is to my daily routine. A day without Bugs is like a day without vittles. But, I obligingly switched to CNN. On the screen was a fat-assed, old white boy with an orange hairdo that would have turned Bozo, the clown, green with envy.
“Who’s that a-hole?”
“Heck, Gabby, that’s Donald J Trump. He’s campaigning for the Republican nomination for President,” Larry replied.
“Don’t like him. Looks like a left-over, half-baked tortilla with a can of Cheez Whiz dumped over his head.”
Well, folks, that was my first run-in with DJT. In the following months we, Larry and me, saw a lot more of him and just like Grandpappy always taught me I stuck with my first impression. Didn’t like him, he was a gas bag and he ain’t shown any more sense than a squealer trying to suck tit on a bull boar. Just seemed like a downright mean sunuvabitch who aint’ had enough daddy love when he was a young’un.
But, I digress. The point of this story is the friends, neighbors, and family who took me aside when we was discussing the election and told me how stupid I was and how I needed to read more about the candidates. You see, I knew Hillary brought a lot of baggage with her, what with Bill’s dalliance in the White House and their connection with Pizzagate and a bunch of other stuff those right wingers were throwing at us, but she seemed more qualified to serve the people. DJT hadn’t shown anything other than service to hisself and his empire.
But, my friends and neighbors is educated folks, got degrees behind their names and they’s leaders in the community. Can’t say as much ’bout family. Hell, cousin Bubba still believes that tacos are a Mexican conspiracy to rape and pillage in America.
So, when they told me that DJT is the man to make America great again, I gotta think they knew something I didn’t know. Maybe I wasn’t up to snuff about politics like they were. And that’s my confession. I voted for Hillary. Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!
Now, there’s other things I gotta reconsider.
Climate change. Maybe they was right when they said it was a Chinese conspiracy.
Mexicans. Maybe they are nothing but a bunch of drug pushers and rapists.
Undocumented immigrants. Maybe God does make some folks “illegal”.
Gays. Maybe they are an abomination.
Muslims. Maybe they want to take over the world. T
Transgenders. Maybe they aren’t fit to serve in the military.
John McCain. Maybe he is a loser like Trump said.
Poor people. Maybe they don’t deserve to work in Trump’s cabinet.
Rich people. Maybe they all are altruistic and caring folks.
Facts. Maybe there are alternative facts.
Kellyanne Conway. Maybe there was a Bowling Green Massacre.
Putin. Maybe he is a great leader like Trump said.
White supremacists. Maybe some of them are good people like Trump said.
Michelle Bachmann. Maybe Trump is God’s answer to America like she said.
God. Maybe God does love white, Anglo-Saxon protestants more than anybody else.
Trump. Maybe he is a “very smart man” like he says he is.
Okay, folks, Gabby’s got to stop the bullshit. My boots ain’t high enough. NosirreeBob. Ain’t no high-falooting, college degreed boys gonna tell Gabby he’s stupid and needs to read more. Gabby’s gonna keep on slaughtering the English language and talking irreverently. It’s who I am and it comes from the heart.