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Some Humor

Some Humor

I cut off way too much of my hair yesterday… Sigh. So… here are some jokes that friends and relatives have been sending. Enjoy…

‘Hi honey. This is Daddy. Is Mommy near the phone?’

‘No, Daddy. She’s upstairs in the bedroom with Uncle Paul.’

After a brief pause, ‘But honey, you haven’t got an Uncle Paul.’

‘Oh yes I do, and he’s upstairs in the room with Mommy, right now.’

Brief Pause. ‘Uh, okay then, this is what I want you to do. Put the phone down on the table, run upstairs and knock on the bedroom door and shout to Mommy that Daddy’s car just pulled into the driveway.’

‘Okay, Daddy, Just a minute.’

A few minutes later the little girl comes back to the phone. ‘I did it, Daddy.’
‘And what happened, honey?’ He asked.

‘Well, Mommy got all scared, jumped out of bed with no clothes on and ran around screaming. Then she tripped over the rug, hit her head on the dresser and now she isn’t moving at all!’

‘Oh my God!!! What about your Uncle Paul?’

‘He jumped out of the bed with no clothes on, too.

He was all scared and he jumped out of the back window and into the swimming pool. But I guess he didn’t know that you took out the water last week to clean it. He hit the bottom of the pool and I think he’s dead.’

Long Pause.

Longer Pause.

Even Longer Pause.

Then Daddy says,

‘Swimming pool? Is this 546-7213?”

One evening a husband, thinking he was being funny, said to his wife ‘Perhaps we should start washing your clothes in Slim Fast. Maybe it would take a few inches off of your butt!’

His wife was not amused, and decided that she simply couldn’t let such a comment go unpunished. The next morning the husband took a pair of underwear out of his drawer. ‘What’s this??’ he said to himself as a little ‘dust’ cloud appeared when he shook them out. ‘April,’ he hollered into the bathroom, ‘why did you put talcum powder in my underwear?’

She replied, ‘It’s not talcum powder……It’s ‘Miracle Grow.’

An old man lived alone in New Jersey. He wanted to plant his annual tomato garden, but it was very difficult work, as the ground was hard. His only son, Vincent, who used to help him, was in prison. The old man wrote a letter to his son and described his predicament:

Dear Vincent, I am feeling pretty sad, because it looks like I won’t be able to plant my tomato garden this year. I’m just getting too old to be digging up a garden plot. I know if you were here my troubles would be over. I know you would be happy to dig the plot for me, like in the old days. Love, Papa

A few days later he received a letter from his son.

Dear Pop, Don’t dig up that garden. That’s where the bodies are buried. Love, Vinnie

At 4 a.m. the next morning, FBI agents and local police arrived and dug up the entire area without finding any bodies. They apologized to the old man and left. That same day the old man received another letter from his son.

Dear Pop, Go ahead and plant the tomatoes now. That’s the best I could do under the circumstances. Love you, Vinnie

Two sisters – Bubbles and Barbie – had promised their seafaring Uncle to bury him at sea. In due time, he did pass away and the two blondes were determined to keep their promise. They set off from the beach with their uncle all stitched up in a burial bag and loaded onto their rowboat.

After a while Bubbles says, ‘Do you think we’re out far enough, Barbie?’ Barbie slipped over the side and finding the water only knee deep said, ‘nope, not yet Bubbles’. So they rowed out a little farther….

Again Bubbles asks Barbie, ‘Do you think we’re out far enough now?’ Once again Barbie slips over the side and almost immediately says, ‘No, this will never do, the water is only up to my chest. ‘

So on they row and row and row, and finally Barbie slips over the side and disappears. Quite a bit of time goes by and poor Bubbles is really getting worried when suddenly Barbie breaks the surface gasping for breath.

‘Well is it deep enough yet, Sis?’ ‘Yes, finally. Hand me the shovel.’

A nice, calm and respectable lady went into the pharmacy, walked up to the pharmacist, looked straight into his eyes, and said, ‘I would like to buy some cyanide.’

The pharmacist asked, ‘Why in the world do you need cyanide?’

The lady replied, ‘I need it to poison my husband.’

The pharmacist’s eyes got big and he exclaimed, ‘Lord have mercy! I can’t give you cyanide to kill your husband. That’s against the law! I’ll lose my license! They’ll throw both of us in jail! All kinds of
bad things will happen. Absolutely not! You CANNOT have any cyanide!’

The lady reached into her purse and pulled out a picture of her husband in bed with the pharmacist’s wife. The pharmacist looked at the picture and replied, ‘Well now, that’s different. You didn’t tell me you had a prescription.’

A little boy goes to his father and asks ‘Daddy, how was I born?’

The father answers, ‘Well, son, I guess one day you will need to find out anyway! Your Mom and I first got together in a chat room on Yahoo. Then I set up a date via e-mail with your Mom and we met at a cyber-cafe. We sneaked into a secluded room, where your mother agreed to a download from my hard drive. As soon as I was ready to upload, we discovered that neither one of us had used a firewall, and since it was too late to hit the delete button, nine months later a little Pop-Up appeared that said:

‘You got Male!’

A husband wrote the following letter for his wife and left it on the dining room table:

‘To My Dear Wife. You will surely understand that I have certain needs that you, being 54 years old, can no longer satisfy. I am very happy with you and I value you as a good wife. Therefore, after reading this letter, I hope that you will not wrongly interpret the fact that I will be spending the evening with my 18 year old secretary at the Comfort Inn Hotel. Please don’t be upset – I shall be home before midnight.’

When the man came home late that night, he found the following letter on the dining room table:

‘My Dear Husband. I received your letter and thank you for your honesty about my being 54 years old. I would like to take this opportunity to remind you that you are also 54 years old. As you know, I am a math teacher at our local college. I would like to inform you that while you read this, I will be at the Marriott Hotel with Michael, one of my students. He is young, virile, and like your secretary,18 years old.

As a successful businessman who has an excellent knowledge of math, you will understand that although it may appear that we are in the same situation, there is one mathematical difference:

18 goes into 54 a lot more times than 54 goes into 18.

Therefore, I will not be home until sometime tomorrow.

One night, after the couple had retired for the night, the woman became aware that her husband was touching her in a most unusual manner. He started by running his hand across her shoulders and the small of her back. He ran his hand over her breasts, touching them very lightly. Then, he proceeded to run his hand gently down her side, sliding his hand over her stomach, and then down the other side to a point below her waist. He continued on, gently feeling her hips, first one side and the other. His hand ran further down the outside of her thighs. His gentle probing then started up the inside of her left thigh, stopped and the returned to do the same to her right thigh.

By this time the woman was becoming aroused and she squirmed a little to better position herself.

The man stopped abruptly and rolled over to his side of the bed.

Why are you stopping darling?’ she whispered.

He whispered back, ‘ I found the remote.’

On their way to a justice of the peace to get married, a couple has a fatal car accident. The couple is sitting outside heavens gate waiting on St. Peter to do the paperwork so they can enter. While waiting, they wonder if they could possibly get married in heaven.

St. Peter finally shows up and they ask him. St. Peter says, “I don’t know, this is the first time anyone has ever asked. Let me go find out,” and he leaves.

The couple sit for a couple of months and begin to wonder if they really should get married in Heaven, what with the eternal aspect of it all. “What if it doesn’t work out?” they wonder. “Are we stuck together forever?”

St. Peter returns after yet another month, looking somewhat bedraggled. “Yes,” he informs the couple, “you can get married in Heaven.”

“Great,” says the couple, “but what if things don’t work out? Could we also get a divorce in Heaven?”

St. Peter, red-faced, slams his clipboard onto the ground. “What’s wrong?” exclaims the frightened

“Good Grief!” St. Peter exclaims, “It took me three months to find a priest up here! Do you have ANY idea how long it’s going to take for me to find a lawyer?”

Through a Glass Darkly….


A Sunday school teacher was telling her class the story of the Good Samaritan, in which a man was beaten, robbed and left for dead. She described the situation in vivid detail so her students would catch the drama. Then, she asked the class, “If you saw a person lying on the roadside, all wounded and bleeding, what would you do?”

A thoughtful little girl broke the hushed silence, “I think I’d throw up.”


The Sunday school teacher was carefully explaining the story of Elijah the Prophet and the false prophets of Baal. She explained how Elijah built the altar, put wood upon it, cut the steer in pieces, and laid it upon the altar. And then, Elijah commanded the people of God to fill four barrels of water and pour it over the altar. He had them do this four times.

“Now,” said the teacher! , “can anyone in the class tell me why the Lord would have Elijah pour water over the steer on the altar?”

A little girl in the back of the room started waving her hand, “I know, I know,” she said, “to make the gravy!”


The Sunday School teacher was describing how Lot’s wife looked back and turned into a pillar of salt, when little Johnny interrupted, “My Mummy looked back once, while she was DRIVING,” he announced triumphantly, “and she turned into a telephone pole!”


A Sunday school teacher said to her children, “We have been learning how powerful kings and queens were in Bible times. But, there is a higher power. Can anybody tell me what it is?”

One child blurted out, “Aces!”


Nine year old Joey was asked by his mother what he had learned in Sunday school. “Well, Mom, our teacher told us how God sent Moses behind enemy lines on a rescue mission to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. When he got to the Red Sea, he had his engineers build a pontoon bridge and all the people walked across safely. Then, he used his walkie-talkie to radio headquarters for reinforcements. They sent bombers to blow up the bridge and all the Israelites were saved.”

“Now, Joey, is that really what your teacher taught you?” his mother asked.

“Well, no, Mom. But, if I told it the way the teacher did, you’d never believe it!”


A Sunday school teacher was telling the youngsters about Daniel and the Lions’ Den. She had a picture of Daniel standing, brave and confident, with a group of lions around him. One little girl started to cry. The teacher said, “Don’t cry. The lions are not going to eat Daniel.”

The little girl said, “That’s not what I’m crying about. That little lion, over in the corner, isn’t going to get any food.”

Death, the Afterlife, and Human Being

Death, the Afterlife, and Human Being

We all die. I don’t know whether or not there is an afterlife, and neither does anyone else.

People have a range of beliefs. Some people believe in a heaven of fluffy clouds. Some people believe in a hell of unending torture. Some people believe in a gray space of limbo.

Some believe that one’s place in the afterlife can be purchased with money or obedience or membership or works or sacrifice or mantras.

Some believe that your spirit rejoins the energy of the cosmos, or that you will sing with the stars. Some believe that souls return to the timeless space of eternal Dreaming. Some believe the afterlife will be a difficult journey of some kind, or an entrance into an eternal perspective where all times and places exist together.

Some believe that death is a transition into another realm or dimension, or a pause before starting up another life here through reincarnation.

Some believe that in death, everyone wanders around in an underground cavern.

Some believe that necromancers (the more accurate translation of the biblical “witch”) communicate with the dead, so there must be a place where individual consciousness continues. Some believe that sacrifices or homage ought to be paid to ancestors because they get more energy and can continue their existence that way.

But nobody knows.

We can comfort ourselves with the notions that someone who has died is now with God, or in a better place, singing with the angels, carrying messages, dancing a skeleton dance with us, guarding us and looking down from the stars.

But nobody knows.

It is understandable that the thought of our ultimate non-being causes anxiety.

It is understandable that we want to feel more important when we contemplate the sublime majesty of the universe – and all its possible parallel universes.

It is understandable that comforting mythologies exist that attempt to mitigate the pain of loss and grief and injustice and feelings of powerlessness and meaninglessness that confront us.

Thomas Aquinas proclaimed that one of the sublime joys of heaven had to be witnessing the agonies of those who have hurt us.

When I am sad and anxious about death, I imagine an ideal afterlife. I’ve imagined it in great detail – my fantasy living space, with a community of loving friends and family who are now everything they were meant to be, and surrounded by wonderful smells and tastes (note that I’m not willing to give up a sensual existence of some kind). There is a part of me that persists in the hope that whatever is sufficiently envisioned may exist.

I pray, yes I do. I entreat benevolent entities at all levels of whatever hierarchical or distributed spiritual systems could possibly exist. Male and female and beyond gender. Sure. But I don’t know.

We are the only beings that we know of who live with the knowledge that someday we all – without exception – will die. Heidegger called it Being-towards-death. We can repress and cover-up this knowledge, but that is an inauthentic kind of living.

I taste eternity, but eternity – well, it isn’t human. It’s an everything-ness that overwhelms me, and while it may bring a kind of ecstasy that is beyond language or explanation, it doesn’t seem – to me – to promise an afterlife.

I have a very difficult time believing in consciousness without mind. Perhaps mind can somehow extract itself from the brain’s electro-magnetic impulses, like bees leaving a hive, and find some other form of containment. I don’t know (pause… and neither does anyone else, got it?).

For various reasons (and no reason), it’s a good time to note of some of the thoughts that have been helpful to me, and which have given me some alternatives to the pathological visions that I was imbued with when young.

Living, learning, and navigating around through the admittedly limited form of our existence has been deeply improved and enriched for me with the following attitudinal choices:

Focused Attention. Curiosity and Questioning. Appreciation and Gratitude. Compassion and Caring and Kindness.

They are momentary choices, of course, but the more often you can really pay attention and observe, allow yourself to be curious and to ask questions, feel appreciation and gratitude, and open yourself up to receiving and giving kindness and feeling compassion for self and others… well, the better life seems to be: more real, more textured, more meaningful, more everything.

Tomorrow we may die, but no-one and no-thing can ever take away that we have existed.

The universe is unimaginably large, but our bit of life and history has its place in the timeline and we all help to create and uphold the rich fabric of the cosmos. In our human niche, bound by space and time, we are ourselves – and we affect others and we are all affected by one another and we are all together (Koo koo ka-choo).

The fact that I once saw the sun shining over ochre cliffs is not erased because it was a momentary event. Although it has passed, it is not gone. Although I may misremember or reinterpret it, the very value of that experience is that it happened – on that day, with someone dear. The light was just so, I was in a particular emotional state, I paid attention to it, I was curious about ochre because of its beauty, I was grateful to be there in that moment, and I carry that moment with me. I even have a photograph, but it doesn’t capture the spirit of that moment. It is only a reminder. The aromas, the feeling of the wind, the high-altitude mood, all of it – it happened then, and then the moment was gone (ok, yeah, a little reference to “Dust in the Wind” but stay with me here).

The bits of our lives that we most value are transitory by their very nature.

Everything changes, and if it didn’t, we really would be in hell – and never out of it.

Without passing through (and within and as part of) our human streams of time and space, outside of the ever-moving lines and processes of chaos meeting order, we would have nothing, nothing at all.

While you move in time and space, while you can perceive and question and appreciate, be just as authentic and kind as you can.

Value that spark of eternity in all of us, and dwell there from time to time – alone or in communion – but know this: We exist on the borders, moving, changing, living and dying.

Our lives are so special because we each have our own ways of experiencing, our own limited perspectives, our unique – and yes, transitory – associations and configurations of memory and projection and imagination and meaning-making.

We are human. We have a niche in this cosmos, and it can be very very complex and rich.

Even in pain and suffering and injustice, there are moments of bliss and celebration and laughter and love. With the knowledge of death, and the fundamental ignorance about life after death, be grateful for your span of days.

Our limitations are precisely what enable us to experience and construct our context, our meanings, our lives and our loves.

Las Conchas

Las Conchas

Driving out of Los Alamos, we found the place that I had been seeking at the Las Conchas Trailhead in the Jemez Mountains. If I had been hiking alone, I would have started here, and wandered for days.

We saw a rockclimber there, too.

But it started to rain again, and all of the camping was too far in to haul…

To a Recovering Jehovah’s Witness

To a Recovering Jehovah’s Witness

Dear C –

As always, take what is helpful to you and reject what doesn’t ring true to your inner self…

If there is a spirit of the cosmos, and if that spirit is what we mean when we talk about “God”, then I have to believe that the spirit is a spirit of Love that holds everything together and makes everything related and connected in a million, mysterious ways. All our words about God are simply ways to place God within a human frame of reference. It’s all metaphor, all of it. We don’t really have the words to describe or understand.

Don’t get hung up on names. Only humans care about names. Come back to that question later, when you don’t have so much scar tissue about it (smile). Yes, pray. Pray if you can. Pray for wisdom and understanding and forgiveness and compassion and clarity and joy and laughter and caring.

Listen to yourself breathe. Maybe you remember the old childhood mantra, “In with the good air, out with the bad.” Let strength and caring in, breathe out despair and depression.

Find and follow your own path, your own light, your own connection. You are unique and all the cosmos wants of you is to be yourself in the best way you can. Support others, care for others. You have an internal sense of ethics and care and attentiveness already – build on that from within. Even biblically (and please remember that the collection of texts that we call the bible is just that, a collection of texts – from several cultural moments and places, and it’s been censored and edited to please very specific audiences), it is said that the kingdom is within you. Spirituality is a lifelong journal journey, not just a moment when you have all the right answers and then you are done.

As for family, what can I say? Yours is being spectacularly intrusive. I would intervene if I were you, but that’s entirely your own decision. At the very least, some basic ground rules for contact with your kids should be established. If it gets any uglier, you could consult a lawyer for the best way to proceed. Meanwhile, tell your daughter something like that some people believe in the end of the world, but that you don’t believe that God wants to torture and kill people. Something like that would go a long way toward undoing the damage. Tell her something, something calmly, lovingly, to ease her fears. Something at a level she can understand.

My son (6) asked me if I thought my father had gone to heaven. I told him that some people believe in a heaven, but that I didn’t know, and that nobody else really knew either.

He asked, “Do I have to decide for myself what I believe?” Yes.
“Do I have to decide _right now_?”
No – (smiling inside) and you might change your mind from time to time.
“Well, then maybe do you think his skeleton will come out and dance with us on Halloween?”

I sort of don’t think so, but if you like, we can do a dance, and pretend that he’s laughing, which is what he might do if he were still here.

We did a dance, and Ben laughed the whole time. It was fun.

With kids, you’ve got to be creative, and not let it get so heavy. Your words mean more to your kids than anybody else’s – but if you’re upset, they’ll know that too. Keep it light and reassuring.

Even without these issues, you are not the only one who cannot rely on biological family! It’s sad, but it’s reality. Even Jesus said – these are my family, these are my brothers and sisters.
And he really didn’t have anything to complain about with his own family if you believe the stories….

I have “adopted” parents and brothers and sisters and cousins. Friends can be family too. Somewhere there is a father and an older brother to give you advice. Somewhere you already have a friend to call, and you’ll have more, because as you refocus you will have more and more to offer to others – understanding, caring, welcoming, laughter, joy.

I read a study not long ago that said that the words that people most wanted to hear from someone else weren’t “I love you”, but instead, “It’s going to be all right.” So let me say to you – Everything is going to be all right. It is. It might be hard, but you’ve gotten this far, and you’re strong enough to refuse abuse and to step out of situations of abuse – physical, emotional, spiritual. Your own self-respect and sense of self-worth is what you have to continue to build on here.

Not all Jehovah’s Witnesses believe they are “better than everyone else.” There are solid good people who are rank and file JWs. The odds are against them, because JWs are so set up – in all sorts of ways – to believe that they are better, that God likes them more, that they are superior. They are told that they are the only ones who matter, and that the only good work that matters is to make more of them. They also block internal questioning or criticism or debate – and train the JWS to believe that independent thinking and reflection and research and meditation are somehow displeasing to God.

JWs are also so controlled by the dictates from the Watchtower publishing corporations that it is easy to understand the longing for personal power, even in these hidden forms. When the lack of power is at issue all the time, when the people willingly take on the identities of sheep and slaves with “overseers”, then the whole issue of free will and religious self-determination gets cross-wired with other things. Statistically, there is also more mental illness, sexual abuse, domestic abuse, pedophilia, and so on as well. It’s a pathological situation.

Still, there are good people in every religious group. Some of it depends on simple timing – when they were brought in, with who, what they are used to, how things connected for them, and so on. Many people are just simply doing the best they can, believing that what they do is right. But yes, of course I have noticed what you’re talking about. To be fair, I think most religions at the edges have people who miss the whole point in just that way –

When kindness and caring are lacking, so is love. Cold, hard, rule-based, totalitarian forms of religion are anti-spiritual (at least, that’s my opinion). They are actually anti-religious, since they don’t “retie or rebind together” but rather “split apart.” There is some form of that, some legalistic fanatical wing, in every organized religion – as we see on the news every night. Is it a war god, a god of death, that they worship? I don’t know – but you have to decide for yourself which is better, what kind of god would be the god of love, and worthy of praise.

It is easy to let someone else take over your spiritual responsibilities. Self-righteousness is very comforting. Humility is more difficult.

The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society hardly ever talks or writes about grace – actually they reject the word “grace” altogether, and their alternate word “loving-kindness” is employed only under very specific conditions. They want that free salesforce out there under their control…

But what kind of God would count the hours selling books and yet turn attention away from the fundamental cruelties to others that JWs endorse? You can’t “earn” some kind of salvation, redemption, or love – least of all by counting hours knocking or by mindlessly following the (often-changing) dictates of a set of corporations based in New York. Actually, I think it’s very funny that they started calling it the “Truth” – with a capital T! That signals enormous insecurity.

Ask yourself every kind of question you can and watch the questions get better. Grow into habits of caring and tolerance and kindness, and watch what happens to you. Small moments matter. Love grows. Kindness blooms. You’ll feel it.

Think of how you are with your children in the most special kind of moment, and imagine:
THIS is how God would view you – as precious, as unbelievably beautiful and real, with kindness, with love.

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