Monday, July 26, 2004

220, 221 - Whatever It Takes

A quick coda to the previous post. The flip phrase "fistful of dollars" doesn't do justice to that part of the story. On that Sunday morning at church, I shared the Reader's Digest version of the story to two classes and suggested anyone interested in contributing to the cause could see me afterward. I asked God to multiply the first five dollar bills handed me and He did, to the tune of $221.

After we had helped our new friends, I totaled up the cost of getting the power turned back on, putting them up for a night in a hotel room, and buying them a random sack of groceries. Take a wild guess what it came to. If you said something other than $221, please move back two posts and deposit 75 cents.

I guess God just likes to show off sometimes. I, meanwhile, remain a work in progress. While my kids have repeatedly suggested we call our new friends to see if they want to go to church or other such functions with us, I actually went out of my way last week to avoid the outstretched hands of two guys on a street corner because I knew the boys would want to stop and help and frankly I wasn't up for it at that particular moment.

I hope you're getting the moral of this story: if you introduce your children to Christ, your life will never be the same - it'll be way less convenient. And before you know it, stuff will start adding up to 221. And through it all you may discover the road to heaven has stop signs at street corners where people need money and gas and food and you. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Like Father, Like Son

It's been said no one is totally useless in life; they can always serve as a bad example. The guy with the big melon pictured to your right is living proof. Couple of weeks ago, the fam and I were leaving Wal-Mart (which, by the way, is usually my favorite part of going to that particular establishment). I noticed a guy positioned at the exit holding a cardboard sign. I thought about asking him what he needed, but it didn't seem especially practical with a van full of family. I pulled out onto Southwest Drive, only to hear Andrew - spiritually mature beyond his 7 years of age - say, "Maybe we should help that man."

Exactly. We wheeled around and introduced ourselves. Turns out, the guy needed a little gas for his car and a friend or two to go to bat for his and his brother's families who've just landed in Abilene.

A few days later, thanks in part to a fistful of dollars collected from our friends at Highland, we helped get their electricity turned back on. They trusted us enough at that point to let their three kids come with us to Vacation Bible School.

I have no idea how the plot will thicken in the ensuing chapters of this story. But I do know the Author has a knack for happy endings. And because my oldest is way more like his Heavenly Father than his earthly dad, these characters might actually be excited to turn the page.

Saturday, July 17, 2004

For Whom The Boone Tolls

A friend of mine we'll call "Val Durrington" phoned me yesterday as I was driving from Tulsa back to Abilene. He said, "Let me guess - you're somewhere on I-44 between two toll booths." He wasn't watching me on Harry Potter's Marauder's Map, though a succession of toll clerks magically made $14.75 vanish over the course of two days. All that money they suck out of interstate motorists, and it's still...Oklahoma.
Here's what I saw when I finally exited:
- Call off the dogs. I've found Dr. Hook. They'll be appearing at the Musclecar Truckfest in Anadarko, OK later this month. Looks like the comeback tour is ahead of schedule.
- It was either truth in advertising or a bizarre coincidence. At the Sprint PCS store on 71st St. in Tulsa, I met a guy with a wooden leg. As I left the parking lot, I passed a truck with a sign on the door that read "Pegleg's - Buy, Sell, Trade Cars."
- I did not see the 900-foot Jesus who once appeared to Oral Roberts, but I must admit I wasn't looking for him, specifically.
- I'm not sure I've ever had more fun ordering dinner than I did at Fish Daddy's Thursday night when I asked for a "cuppagumbo." Go on. Say "cuppagumbo" right now wherever you are. If you don't immediately perk up and lose 3-5 dress sizes, I'll gladly put you on the same "preferred" e-mail list I'm on, which allows me to receive discounted Viagra and other products of a sensual nature, such as low, fixed-rate home loans.
That was the last free paragraph of this post. To continue, please deposit 75 cents.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Double Feature

How sick would someone really be whose two favorite movies this year are The Passion of the Christ and Anchorman? 'Cause I know someone like that. And I'd like to get help. For him. Or her. If indeed there's something wrong with that. Which of course there is...

Stay classy.

Watch Out For Ron Burgundy's Guns. They'll GetchaPosted by Hello

Friday, July 09, 2004

"My Name Is Dick - Do You Know What That Means?"

Al Campanis and Jimmy the Greek are laughing in their whitewashed tombs. They've each moved down a notch on the list of Dumbest Things Ever Said By Public Figures thanks to the fine work of Richard Riordan, former mayor of Los Angeles and soon to be the ex-Education Commissioner of California.

Last week in Santa Barbara, Riordan was meeting some of the students in an elementary school classroom when a 6-year-old girl, Isis D'Luciano, told Riordan her name meant "Egyptian goddess." Confused, or maybe drunk - it was already mid-morning by then - Riordan responded, "It means dirty, stupid girl," then chuckled the chuckle of a man whose reputation and public life was flashing before his very eyes. When the little girl repeated the correct meaning of her name, Riordan replied, "That's nifty!" proving his vocabulary was every bit as anachronistic as his sense of political correctness.

The story took an even more bizarre turn at that point when the superhero Isis, not seen since Saturday mornings in the late '70s, appeared out of nowhere and kicked the crap out of the commissioner.

Isis Educated Riordan On The Proper Way To Speak To Girls Posted by Hello

This incident further proves every politician should whenever possible try to emulate former President Bill Clinton, whose exchange with the little girl would've no doubt gone like this:

Isis: "Do you know what my name means?"

Clinton: "That depends on what your definition of 'is' is, Isis."

(Then again, upon remembering how hot JoAnna Cameron, the actress who played Isis in the TV series, was in those days, Clinton would've likely appointed a special investigator to determine her whereabouts and availability. He might have even shouted, "Shazam!" which is not just an expression of excitement but also Isis's crimefighting cohort.)

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Changing The Litter In The Boone Box

Can low-carb communion bread be far behind? Does the Atkins symbol in a sanctuary constitute a graven image?

I have enough urgency in my life without gas station credit card machines demanding that I "remove card quickly."

Is the hand sanitizer phenomenon one big, biohazardous hoax? Will we soon discover, as the Seinfeld characters did about the fat-free frozen yogurt that really wasn't, that we've been had? Are teeny, tiny, little bacteria fraternities doing the backstroke in this goo? I feel dirty just broaching the subject.

George W. Bush - Dick Cheney + John McCain = (4)more years

And finally, as the first half of the baseball season ends with the Texas Rangers leading the American League West, I'd like to wish everyone a Happy Armageddon.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

You Say Potatoe...

No sooner had John Kerry announced John Edwards as his running mate than Republicans began publicly questioning whether Edwards was qualified to be Vice President. I applaud the GOP for their willingness to ask the tough questions about those who would govern this nation.

After all, Dan Quayle left sum mitey big shoos two fil.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

The Lucky Sprem Club

If men are indeed from Mars and women's tennis players are named Venus, then what planet was Ted Watts on when he umpired a second-round match at Wimbledon between Croatia's Karolina Sprem and the aforementioned Miss Williams?

Watts mistakenly awarded a point to Sprem in a second-set tiebreaker. No one noticed, including the players, and Williams wound up losing the tiebreaker and the match. While he'll never sit in the chair at Wimbledon again, Watts can look forward to a bright future as either a star of those "Wanna get away?" ads for Southwest Airlines or Florida's Secretary of State.

SportsCenter immediately concocted a piece on the greatest officiating blunders of all time. But Watts' whiff made me think of two things for which I'm exceedingly grateful:

First, my screw-ups aren't televised...with the exception of things like "butt darts" and "youranalysis", which I brought upon myself.

And second, the number of good breaks I've received so far outweighs the bad it seems blasphemous to even put them on the same scales.

In the case of the latter, though I've dangled my share of chads, no recount is necessary.

Monday, July 05, 2004

Let's Get Behind This...And Put The War In A Full Nelson

I believe we may have finally found some common ground with the world of Islam in this geopolitically tumultuous time. Muslim fundamentalists are promising to protest women's wrestling in the Olympics, calling the sport "vulgar and indecent." I couldn't agree more. If I want to watch surgically-repaired women shamelessly groping one another in skimpy outfits, I'll go to the half-price sale at a north Dallas Nordstrom's. (Come to think of it, that would make for great Olympic theater.)

While we're at it, let's jettison rhythmic gymnastics, the four-day opening ceremony, professional athletes, John Tesh, Olympic mascots...