An Idea Whose Time Has Come

My long lost cousin is a very astute observer of trends, after all, he has letters after his name, LLC. He was telling me the other day that there is a glut of unmarried women and a shortage of bachelors. This is happening in epic proportions.

One reason this is happening, according to LLC, is that the modern, upward mobile female has become very choosy. They want the whole package: good looking, 30-40 years old, single professional, humorous, energetic, caring, who likes cats. No smokers or drinkers wanted.

My cousin said: “If my old lady had been that particular, she’d still be living with her parents and working at the supermarket, instead of enjoying cooking and cleaning for me, while I’m sitting here having a couple of beers with you.”

These females are so busy with their careers, they don’t notice that the good young men are being snatched up.

So now, even nerdy men are seen as a good catch. The women aren’t so choosy now. We overheard in the tavern, a young woman talking to a man and she asked him if he liked skiing.

“ No,” he said, “ I collect coins.”

She said: “ God, that’s an erotic pastime! Tell me more.”

So, will the future be filled with old biddies who have only their cats to talk to?

“ Well, cousin, what’s the solution to the problem?”

“The solution is time sharing polygamy!”

I thought for a minute.

“ You mean like time sharing “ condos” in exotic locations?”

“ Yes, like that, but this would be time sharing between a man and two or three women.”

I started laughing, but I soon stopped, maybe this was a viable solution.

“ The man would be married to each of them and spend every other week with each one. One man for every two or three women, problem solved.”

And I added: because they would have time apart, they would love each other even more.

“ Wonderful idea, LLC, did you ever get any feedback?”

“ Oh yes, I mentioned the idea to an upward mobile young female. And she said, I’m a complete JERK! “

“ Well, with that attitude, she’s better get used to growing old with her cats.” I said, putting my arm around my cousin.

“ There’s no appreciation for a good idea.”

A Tale Of Two Smut Photogs

My cousin told me a story that he said had been passed down through the family over the generations.

It takes place in the early 1930’s. There on the west side of Chicago, lived a neighbourhood photographer. Now, he barely made ends meet with his photog business. So he had to supplement his earnings with a side line. He took nude photos of women that were willing and flogged them in taverns and factories. These were what used to be called “ dirty pictures”.

It was the depression so the tainted women posed for a pittance. They were empty-faced, big chested women that life had seemed to pass them by.

The photog’s pics were sold over and over again, circulating around the neighbourhoods. This was the way smut was distributed before adult porn shops and dirty magazines.

One day this photog decided he needed a younger model to make more money. So he asked a beautiful eighteen year old girl if she would be interested in posing. Well, she told her mother and father straight away. Her father owned a corner grocery store and had several other younger children. He was very angry over the incident.

He went over to the photog’s house and banged on the door. The frightened photog didn’t open the door. The grocer yelled that if he ever came near his daughter again he would kill him.

Some weeks later, the grocer was attending one of his children’s graduation. He noticed the photographer taking pictures of the children.

“ What is that creep doing here?” He asked the principal.

“ That man is the official graduation photographer!”

“ He’s not taking my child’s picture,” said the grocer.

He then got out of his chair and punched the photog in the face. The picture taker fled the building.

The grocer explained to everyone that he had driven a smut dealer from their midst. The principal called in another photog to take the pictures.

My cousin said that within a week the photog had moved from the area, never to be seen again.

Now, my cousin thought about that story when he saw on the news, a men’s magazine owner/photog being interviewed about some lewd pictures in his mag. It occurred to my cousin that since the 1930’s there has been great changes in the way people view things.

The poor photog of the depression had to flee his home and get lost. In contrast,these days, the millionaire men’s mag owner/photog is touted as a god.

The old time smut pusher got little room to explain himself, and anyway no one would have listened or cared.

Today’s smut pusher suggests there is a journalistic necessity to publish photos of women in suggestive poses. People, now, listen to this explanation seriously, and continue to buy the magazines.

So, my cousin says, and I agree with him, there is little difference between the 1930’s smut pusher and today’s men’s mag owner/photog. The only difference is the financial gain of today’s smut man.

My cousin continues by saying the big difference is that both the 1930’s photog and the grocer were born before their time! Thus the outrage then. Now, there is hardly any outrage.

Then, my cousin joined the crowd around the men’s magazine rack. The new issue was out!

My Cousin Meets The Ghost Of Shakespeare Past

When I asked my cousin what he thought of Shakespeare, he said he preferred Harry Potter. I pointed out to him that there is wizardry and witches in Shakespeare. I decided to take him to one of the Bard’s plays. We went to see Romeo and Juliet, a romantic tragedy, and he liked it.

He confided in me that he once played Romeo in a school play. But, sadly, the teacher replaced him, saying he didn’t suit the part. So he harboured bad feelings about Shakespeare all these years.

He said he always wanted to be an actor, but people kept putting his acting down. And then Christmas time came, the time for magic, and a strange event happened.

It was a mild December evening, which conflicted with all the yuletide decorations, fake snow on the store windows  and tinsel everywhere.

Even though it was unseasonably warm, my cousin felt a chill go up his spine. He shivered as he stood listening to the Sally Army band. A crowd had gathered to sing along with the band. My cousin shuffled his  feet, he felt that chill again.

The band was playing the “Twelve Days of Christmas”, the by-standers were singing, and when they came to the Twelfth Day, a voice whispered behind my cousin.

“ Have we no wine, here?”

My cousin turned around to see a small man, bald on top but with a fringe of long straggly white hair and a grey short pointed beard. The man’s deep set, dark eyes seemed to penetrate my cousin’s very soul. He felt colder than ever.

“ No wine here, mate, off-license across the street.”

All of a sudden, George, one of my cousin’s workmates, nudged him.

“ Hey, are you going to act in the Work’s play before Christmas break? There’s an audition Monday night at the Actor’s Guild Hall.”

George was loaded down with brightly wrapped Christmas presents.

“ I’m not sure,” mumbled my cousin.

George hurried off down the street.

“ Why don’t you audition, acting is the window to the soul.”

The little man was still there!

“ Hey, who are you? What do you want?”

“ My name is Will Shakespeare! I want you to be the actor you always wanted to be.”

“ You’re pulling my leg, you don’t even look like Shakespeare. And anyway, he’s dead.”

“ No one really knows for certain what I look like. There were no photographs in my day. There were only likenesses from paintings. Three likenesses in particular, two of which were by artists working after my death and one rather good one, but maybe of someone else altogether!”

“ Come on, everyone knows what Shakespeare looks like. Everyone knows all about you, you wrote plays.”

“ Yes, I acted and wrote plays but people really don’t know much about me. I was born in Stratford, got married, produced a family, went to London to ply my trade, then returned to Stratford, made a will and died. That’s what people know.”

“ But you are a well known figure in history.”

“And also one of the least known figures in history,” whispered the man.

My cousin was dumb-struck!

“ To get back to my question. Why don’t you audition for the play?”

“ I was rebuked once, doing one of your plays and it soured me. But I’ve always wanted to act.”

“ Then you should act, and I will guarantee you will get a part in the Work’s play.”

“ How do you know, you Shakespeare impostor!”

My cousin turned around but Will Shakespeare was gone. As he walked home, he wondered if the man was a figment of his imagination. It started to snow.

Monday came and he decided he would audition after work. He turned a corner near his factory and there was Will.

“ I’m going to audition for the play. Will you come with me for encouragement?”

“ My boy, I’ll be there in spirit.”

And then Shakespeare slowly disappeared before my cousin’s eyes. Was it all a dream? Was the man a ghost? Maybe, but my cousin was determined to audition. He felt he had some new found confidence.

He got the part of Romeo in the Work’s play. It was magic!

Walking out of the Guild Hall, he noticed a picture, on the wall, among many pictures of past members. It was Will!

The caption read:

Will Shakespeare, Director, Actor, Writer and Member Recruitment Officer.

From 1960 to 1980. Died, April 23rd, 1980,on his 52nd birthday.

This Christmas was truly magical for my cousin.

Luck, Fairness And Justice, Is There Any?

Luck, fairness and justice, three concepts that many of us think we don’t get much of. This fact could depress us. But, luckily, we can change this around for ourselves.

Thomas Jefferson said, “ I’m a great believer in luck, and the harder I work, the more I have of it.”

What is luck? To most people it means good fortune, advantage or success, that happens to a person purely by chance. If you wait for this definition of luck to affect you, you will wait a long time, maybe all your life! So many people go through life lamenting, “ I’m so unlucky, nothing seems to go my way.”

But, does it have to be this way? Can you make your own “luck”?

People crave fairness for themselves, and in the world. You and I would like everything to be, at least, moderately good or satisfactory in life. Ideally, people would like everything to be free from bias, inequity, dishonesty and injustice. But is this the way it is? No!

So, the concept of fairness is easily explained, but impossible to implement. Fairness is sort of an innocence of mind.

The world wouldn’t function if everything had to be exactly fair. Everyone’s self-interest would have to be satisfied. This would promote conflicting demands and social chaos. People would be bumping into each other, literally and figuratively. Even nature would be stunted. Nature isn’t fair, animals eat other animals. This isn’t fair to the ones being eaten. Tornadoes, floods and all kinds of natural disasters are not fair to the ones affected. But this is all part of the balance of nature.

Everyday the world and it’s inhabitants are unfair in some way. But, we are all conditioned to look for fairness in life, and when it doesn’t happen, we tend to feel anger, anxiety and frustration.

Can we make our own fairness?

Aristotle defined justice as the principle that equals should be treated equally and unequals  treated unequally.

We all have an instinctive need for justice. But so many people feel the world is full of injustice, and the only way to live, is to do an injustice to someone before they do one to you. One of the paradoxes of life is that people have a need for justice, but they deal with inequity by doing more injustice to others to get even.

Another negative attitude toward justice is the way some people view the legal system. It’s as if the rich and influential are judged by a different set of rules than the masses.

Justice is defined as the quality of being just and equitable. It’s the quality of moral rightness. But can we, as individuals, help justice survive and satisfy our need?

The world runs on the basis of struggle, and with struggle comes inequities. Out of this comes a feeling that there is no luck, no fairness, and no justice. What can we do to turn our attitude positive?

So, luck, fairness, justice, is there any? As we have seen, externally (outside yourself), in the outside world, there is little to none. But internally (within yourself), I say, yes, there can be luck, fairness and justice in your own personal world.

Can you make your own luck? Yes, but how? By working hard to attain your goals. It all depends upon your mental attitude toward “bad breaks”. Successful people turn the so called “bad breaks” around to their advantage, if this isn’t possible, they learn lessons from them.

In the final analysis, if you stick to your goals and grasp opportunities, the “luck” comes.

Can we make our own fairness? Yes, I believe you can, if you stop comparing yourself to what others have or do, and start comparing yourself with yourself.

You are a unique person in this unfair world, so you must begin to see your emotional life as separate from what others say, do, or have. When you compare yourself by your own standards, you are creating your own fairness.

Can we serve our instinct and help justice survive? Yes, I believe we can, by developing new thinking. Believing that a situation doesn’t have to be unjust, if enough people decide they want to change it for the better. And you can start the ball rolling by not doing injustices to others.

We can all do our little bit by helping get a new law passed or supporting some cause that we believe will bring more justice to the world. Right action with good will toward your fellow humans will help justice along the way.

You have the power to choose, so your destiny is in your own hands. You can make your own “luck”. You can create your own fairness, and you can help justice survive.

Remember, whatever happens in the outside world, is not as important as your attitude toward it.

Good luck and happy expectations.

My Cousin’s Nightmare Trip

In a motel room, somewhere in northern Minnesota, in the middle of nowhere, sits my cousin, on the edge of a bed, his head in his hands. He slowly lifts his head and scans the room, looking at the kitsch furnishings. He feels dizzy as his foggy mind asks questions:

What is he doing here? Why did he come here? How long has he been here?

He can’t remember the nature of the business that brought him here. What he does know is that he is very angry about something!

There is a picture, hanging crooked on the wall, of a village church. He stares at it then the faces of some people flash before him.

Now, it all started to come back to him. The six hour drive almost to the Canadian border. One of his wife’s relations had died and they were going to the funeral.

When they arrived at the motel the girl at the desk couldn’t find his reservation or process his credit card. She couldn’t even find keys to the room.

Time was getting on and they were in danger of missing the viewing of the deceased. He told the girl they were there for a funeral and he asked for directions to the chapel. The girl had no idea where it was even though there was only one in town. It was good there was a phone book handy. They got to the body viewing okay. But the next day they had to travel to another little burg sixty miles north to a small church for the funeral ceremony. Now, this church was so tiny they had to sit in the basement and watch the proceedings on remote TV!

Then it was time for the interment, his wife told him to pull out onto the road and wait for the procession. My cousin, by this time just wanted to go home. He looked in his rear view mirror, and low and behold, the procession was headed in the other direction! He had to turn around fast to catch up to it. They were going to a different cemetery than the one near to the church.

Now, the time came when he had to socialize with his brothers-in-law after the burial.

One of them, according to my cousin, only talks bull-shit! He’s about sixty years old and he claims to be a Korean War veteran. Impossible, the war ended when he was a child. Then in the next breath he talks about being a Viet Nam vet, he was in the army but never in Viet Nam. My cousin swears this guy is nuts.

The other horse’s ass, he means brother-in-law, is a supervisor at his company and feels my cousin and his wife are in the lower class and he shouldn’t socialize  with them for fear something will rub off. My cousin was ready to blow his fuse, but he bit his tongue.

My long lost cousin was now longing to get away from this no-man’s land. There was nothing to do there, unless, as my cousin said, you were a farmer “ who is outstanding in his field”.

On the way home, he had an opportunity to cut off the horse’s ass on the highway, he and his wife cheered as they sped away.


“ Wake up, darling, it’s time to head off for the funeral,” his wife smiled.

“ Oh, no, I just had the worst dream about this trip.”

“ Don’t worry, darling, it will be nice meeting some of the family again.”

My cousin sat up on the edge of the bed and put his head in his hands.