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Friday March 13, 2009

End of Days

"On every summit you are on the brink of an abyss."
          Stanislaw Lec

Hi folks,

Three days of rain has effectively quenched the extreme bushfire danger around here, somewhat, thank Goddess- but just when you thought it was safe to hug a tree again, Melbourne has a friggin’  4.6 earthquake! (We felt it!)  Now, Cyclone Hamish, a category five system, is starting to hammer the Whitsunday Islands, off the coast of Queensland,  with winds of up to 295 km per hour. What the frog is next? A PLAGUE OF LOCUSTS?  Is it the Last Days already? I thought we had a few more years before the glaciers melted, the oceans boiled and true believers were lifted out of their Blahniks and St Vincent de Paul.  It’s enough to make you turn to the cro-magnon knuckle-draggin’  fundamentalist Christo-Islamic-Koranic-Biblic-Kaballa thumpin' whatchama callits. It’s enough to make me want to connect my Air GenItalia to a Guantanamo Bay eMeter, like Tom Cruise, and zap out straight to Xenuville. It’s enough to make me retreat to a remote mountain sanctuary, like Leonard Cohen, and get a few whacks from Yoda’s Stupid Stick. It’s enough to make me start talking in tonguekisses with Mel Gibson’ s dad. I could go on. I will. It’s enough to make me endure enough plastic surgery, like Michael Jackson, so my chin resembles Margaret Thatcher’s camel toe.  (Ok. I’m good. I’ll stop now.)

In Sunni Islam, according to the Quran, the End-of-Days will be marked by these minor signs:

Spread of Fornication. (Not necessarily a bad thing but damn those whores and buggers for all eternity! And that’s just my family.)
Spread of Musical Instruments. (Wanker musos. Burn your guitars, you bastahds! Oh, I forgot. We already did that back in the 60s.)
Dying of Grey Hairs with Black Dye. (You know who you are.)
Increase in Earthquakes. (Well, we just had a baby one here in Melbourne.  But it’s a start.)
The Raising of the Despicable People to Positions of Importance. (Say no more.)
Appearance of Women in Clothes Which Do Not Cover Them. (Yeah baby!)
Spread and Increase in Writing. (Whew! Thank Goddess nobody is taking that one seriously yet. Saved by the dumbbells.)

But, folks, fear ye not the End of Days!  As that Well Known Despicable Person Previously in a Position of Importance, Georgio W Burning Bush, once said: BRING IT ON!  Australians aren’t afraid of a few locusts, flies, frogs or lice.  In fact, I’ve included a few End-of-Days recipes for each one of these critters down below for you. (Hey, if you gotta go, you gotta go, so might as well eat Four Star with available ingredients, eh?)

Speaking of earthquakes, the last big tremor I experienced was when I was living in Maui back in the 70s. I was sitting on an outdoor crapper, over a large open pit, when the ground started shaking. My pants were down around my ankles but you should have seen me hop! Wrong place to be sitting during an earthquake, my friends.

I hope to see many of my Victorian readers at Montsalvat, 3 pm, this Sunday to join JUDY SMALL, LIN VAN HEK, DIFFICULT WOMEN AND KAVISHA MAZZELLA in concert, with me, to celebrate International Women’s Week. Details below -  but if any of you are still under the illusion that the time is past for ‘Women’s Lib’, as it used to be called, read the following article:

Blinded Woman Seeks Eye-for-Eye Justice
An Iranian woman living in Spain said on Wednesday she welcomed a Tehran court ruling that awards her eye-for-an-eye justice against a suitor who blinded her with acid. Ameneh Bahrami, 30, told Cadena SER radio, "I am not doing this out of revenge, but rather so that the suffering I went through is not repeated."
Late last year an Iranian court ruled that the man - identified only as Majid - who blinded Bahrami in 2004 after she spurned him, should also be blinded with acid based on the Islamic law system of "qisas", or eye for an eye retribution, according to Iranian newspaper reports from November.
But Bahrami, who moved to Spain after the attack to get medical treatment, said on Wednesday that under Iranian law, she is entitled to blind him in only one eye, unless she pays E20,000 ($A39,223), because in Iran women are not considered equal to men.
"They have told us that my two eyes are equal to one of his because in my country each man is worth two women. They are not the same," she told Cadena SER.
Bahrami explained that she was now waiting for a letter from the court to go back to Iran for the punishment to be carried out.
Cadenda SER said that after undergoing treatment in Barcelona, Bahrami recovered 40 per cent vision in one eye but since then doctors have not been able to prevent her from going totally blind. She also suffered horrific burns to her face, scalp and body.
She says she now survives on E400 ($A785) a month in aid from the Spanish government.
The woman said Majid would be blinded by having several drops of acid put into one eye, whereas she had acid splashed all over her face and other parts of her body.
It was not immediately possible to make contact with Bahrami on Wednesday. No one at the Iranian Embassy was available for comment either.




Only 100 or so tickets left! Hurry up and book if you want to come!

Join three of Australia’s most unique singers and writers in The Barn, of Montsalvat, to present a folk festival-style concert celebrating the International Week of Women and to raise funds for the local Bushfire Appeal.

Australian folk music icon, JUDY SMALL, is one of the most influential singer-songwriters ever to come out of Australia. Her memorable songs have been covered by folk music luminaries like Ronnie Gilbert, Eric Bogle and The Corries.
‘"Mothers, Daughters, Wives" is one of the great anti-war songs of the century but Small's work is exquisitely diverse, ranging from the haunting simplicity of "Song for Jacqueline," to the . . . political fervor of "You Don't Speak for Me," and the narrative beauty of "Mary Parker's Lament."’   Lawrance M. Bernabo

LIN VAN HEK & DifficultWomen have performed internationally, and at every major folk festival in Australia. Musical Director: Joe Dolce.
' DifficultWomen is in turn funny, poignant, and angry. It dazzles with brilliant intensity created by the power of Lin Van Hek's acting and the luminosity of the writing. " The Christchurch Press

ARIA award winner, KAVISHA MAZZELLA, singing in English and Italian, brings her traditional and original, contemporary music inspired by her rich multicultural heritage.
"Her voice flows like tears of joy and sorrow, there’s a saltiness and warmth of sensuality here that sings the great bitter sweet song of life." Colum Sands BBC Radio Ulster UK

Montsalvat ,7 Hillcrest Ave. Eltham.  
SUN  MAR 15th
3:00 pm
Tickets $20/$25
ph Montsalvat bookings; 9439-7712
Media: 0419 103 484


Love ya, Joe!
You're such a damn fine read on a Friday morning - and I'm only a 10th of the way through!
Ciao, Margaret

Ciao Giuseppe,
 An inspiring confection, as usual, with particular relevance for us Recovering Cathaholics. I loved the Horse Story as well as your opening gambit on the confessional, which has thankfully all but disappeared in the Netherlands, as elsewhere. Rumour has it, though, that Benno is employing technology to resuscitate use of the First Rite (auricular confession) en route to stamping out the sacrament of Reconciliation, introduced globally after naughty, insurrectionist Vatican II. Evidently the trialing, in Spain, has had a few hiccups as the accompanying video demonstrates. Happy viewing!
Bestissimo, Michele

You are quite the complete person, Josephus, and I am proud to know you, however slightly. It was all those years ago that we shared space in that prison called Harvey HS. Somehow, after several decades, we have arrived at almost the same place. Interesting, no? Bill Lemke

Thanks Bill, and for your regular contributions to the newsletter. I think fondly of my time at Harvey High. I often imagine myself burning it to the ground. I remember Miss Hamilton, who used to let me operate the tape recorder in French class, Coach Wetzel’s enormous chest and square jaw, my chemistry teacher, Mr Elmer’s bald pate, Mr Quinn, the pervert, trying to feel up us ten year old boys at the local comic book shop, going to the movies with the girls from the trashy trailer park who’d let you feel THEM up, throwing bottles and rocks at the police during the riots at Euclid Beach, and the wonderful late-night circuses & carnivals on the sand down at Fairport Harbour, - until Lake Erie caught on fire that time from too much oil in the water. Seems like just yesterday, Bill.)

Hi Joe:
As always, very grateful for your newsletter's grommets of wisdom!
As for what to reply to idiots' insults, I like the phrase,
"Your WHAT hurts?"
As for a reply to someone who ripped you off, I think of dearest Brother Lou [Gottlieb] quoting the Torah:
"Allow yourself to be defrauded."  
Now that's REAL enlightenment!! I usually take it a step back and just figure that
I'm a one-man Marshall Plan lend-lease to the person involved. You'd
have to be my age to understand those terms, I guess, if you pass
this on to your dear readers.
As for the rest, Instant Karma is a great invention, and I've seen it work numerous times, on myself and on others.
Keep up the gorgeousities! Ramon Sender

Hey Joe .................
A sad day for we have lost a talented man last week for the dreaded 'jack the dancer'. Trevor Wilson. Trev you may remember was the bass player for 'The La De Das' the great kiwi band that smashed our shores long before the Endz [and 'some other' NZ band]. Trev lived here in Sydney in total obsurity and I for one hailed his talent as a unique song writer and brilliant player.
Well worth a mention............sadly.  g r a v e y

Hi Joe Sensei
Thanks for another satisfying weekly. Re: "Hi Folks" - given your concession that you are not an expert debater and assuming you are not an expert martial artist either, (even if you were) I'd be interested to know how you can say that debating is as complex as any martial art.
Cheers, Walt
PS     It's Garfunkel
PPS    Midge Ure is a fkn nuisance. If anyone emails the wee bawbag, tell him he's well overdue fur a Glesga scheme bootin'.
PPS A sentence using the 9 different ways "ough" can be pronounced...
"A rough-coated, dough-faced, thoughtful ploughman strode through the streets of Scarbourough; after falling into a slough, he coughed and hiccoughed.”
(uff, oe, aw, ow, oo, er, u, ugg, off, upp)

(Note: Grasshopper Walter, even the most cursory perusal of the ‘Debater’s Bible’  (see link) will reveal the complexity of the study required to reach the heights of the art.
I do know how to argue a bit (as I am doing now)  - but I know nothing about the art of serious debating.
I recommend a great film with Denzel Washington ‘ The Great Debaters,’  based on the story  Melvin B. Tolson, a professor at Wiley College Texas, who,  in 1935,  inspired students to form the school's first debate team, which went on to challenge Harvard in the National Championships.
Kind regards  and remember grasshopper,
brazil wax on, brazil wax off . . . .
Master Joseph, Third Dan Black Garter Belt, ‘The Way of the Intercepting Baccala’ )

Hello Joe,
I would like to thank you for the reminder about debating. it came at the right time for me, when i was starting to engage in a debate with someone on the internet and it started to take my energy and time. As a thank you i would like to remind you about Dale Carniegie's advice “The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.” Carnegie points out that as soon as you start arguing with someone, you’ve lost the fight. In any case, whether you lose it or win it you lose. Anyway, i like your newsletter although i never get through to the end as it has so much in it. All the best,  Zulya Kamalova

(Note: Folks, for those of you unfamiliar with Zulya’s music, check it out.  A native of Tatarstan-Udmurtia region of Central Russia, she is the leading proponent of Tatar and Russian music in Australia.  Regarding Dale Carnegie -  he once wrote, ‘Don’t tell me you can’t speak in public. If I were to punch you in the mouth, you would stand up and give the best speech of your life!’   His wife, Dorthy Carnegie, also wrote a classic 50s book entitled, ‘ How to Help Your Husband Get Ahead.’ Those were the days, eh?)

Captain Beefheart's Ten Commandments For Guitarists

1. LISTEN TO THE BIRDS That's where all the music comes from. Birds know
everything about how it should sound and where that sound should come from.
And watch hummingbirds. They fly really fast, but a lot of times they aren't
going anywhere.

2. YOUR GUITAR IS NOT REALLY A GUITAR Your guitar is a divining rod. Use it
to find spirits in the other world and bring them over. A guitar is also a
fishing rod. If you're good, you'll land a big one.

3. PRACTICE IN FRONT OF A BUSH Wait until the moon is out, then go outside,
eat a multi-grained bread and play your guitar to a bush. If the bush
doesn't shake, eat another piece of bread.

4. WALK WITH THE DEVIL Old delta blues players referred to amplifiers as the
"devil box." And they were right. You have to be an equal opportunity
employer in terms of who you're bringing over from the other side.
Electricity attracts demons and devils. Other instruments attract other
spirits. An acoustic guitar attracts Casper. A mandolin attracts Wendy. But
an electric guitar attracts Beelzebub.

5. IF YOU'RE GUILTY OF THINKING, YOU'RE OUT If your brain is part of the
process, you're missing it. You should play like a drowning man, struggling
to reach shore. If you can trap that feeling, then you have something that
is fur bearing.

6. NEVER POINT YOUR GUITAR AT ANYONE Your instrument has more power than
lightning. Just hit a big chord, then run outside to hear it. But make sure
you are not standing in an open field.

7. ALWAYS CARRY YOUR CHURCH KEY You must carry your key and use it when
called upon. That's your part of the bargain. Like One String Sam. He was a
Detroit street musician in the fifties who played a homemade instrument. His
song "I Need A Hundred Dollars" is warm pie. Another church key holder is
Hubert Sumlin, Howlin' Wolf's guitar player. He just stands there like the
Statue of Liberty making you want to look up her dress to see how he's doing

8. DON'T WIPE THE SWEAT OFF YOUR INSTRUMENT You need that stink on there.
Then you have to get that stink onto your music.

9. KEEP YOUR GUITAR IN A DARK PLACE When you're not playing your guitar,
cover it and keep it in a dark place. If you don't play your guitar for more
than a day, be sure to put a saucer of water in with it.

10. YOU GOTTA HAVE A HOOD FOR YOUR ENGINE Wear a hat when you play and keep
that hat on. A hat is a pressure cooker. If you have a roof on your house
the hot air can't escape. Even a lima bean has to have a wet paper towel
around it to make it grow.
(thanks to Alex Smith)

What I’m Reading This Week

Prison Diary of Ho Chi Minh

The Fall of Jerusalem,
by Josephus.   If you think Tarantino and Scorsese are violent, read this account of the siege of Jerusalem by the Roman legions. Gut-churning, told by Josephus who was there.

Selected Poetry of Chogyam Trungpa, introduction by Allen Ginsberg.  Ginsberg’s spiritual mentor. But not a very good poet. What is it about these late 60s male poets? Kerouac, Gary Synder, Allen Ginsberg, Leonard Cohen – they all got hooked on Buddhism and Zen masters.  How come none of the women poets and writers working during this time needed to do this: Mary Oliver, Sylvia Plath, Margaret Atwood,  Jean M. Auel,  A. S. Byatt,  Adrienne Rich,  May Swenson, Elizabeth Bishop, Anne Sexton,  Maya Angelou?  Is it a testosterone thing? Well,  I guess it’s a slight improvement on Mozart, and the generations before, who were all into Freemasonary and secret handshakes and wearing aprons and the like.  Hell, I wear an apron when I bake but that’s about it.

 Seven Centuries of English Poetry, similar to the Oxford Book of English Verse, but includes American poets and a much more contemporary selection.

Dead as a Doornail,
by Charlaine Harris. This is one of the series of books that the new series, True Blood, is adapted from. Vampires, werewolves and were-panthers. I wonder if they make smaller items like were-turkeys and were-ferrets? Just a thought . . .

What I’m Watching This Week

Cadillac Records
, produced by Beyonce. A great dramatisation of the beginnings of legendary Chess Records.  Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Howling Wolf, Chuck Berry, a teen-aged Etta James, Leonard Chess – they’re all there.

Generation: Kill, 2008 HBO television miniseries.  A Rolling Stone reporter, embedded with The 1st Recon Marines chronicles his experiences during the first wave of the American-led assault on Baghdad in 2003.

directed by Bryan Singer. With Tom Cruise & Kenneth Branagh. Good film worth seeing. Portrays in great detail the strategy and mechanics of just how close the assassination attempt and coup actually came to getting rid of Hitler.

The Kingdom,  
directed by Peter Berg. (2007) With Jamie Foxx, Chris Cooper &  Jennifer Garner. A team of US government agents is sent to investigate the bombing of an American facility in the middle east. One of the most exciting and unpredictable opening sequences I’ve ever seen.

Beulah Land ,
directed by Harry Falk. (1980)  With Lesley Ann Warren & Michael Sarrazin.  Mini-series detailing the lives of two Civil War families. 80s production values and a bit Mills and Boone, but enthralling story.

The Girl Who Silenced the United Nations for 6 Minutes
(thanks to Emma Declario)

Kids 'think Auschwitz is a type of beer'
Hundreds of British schoolchildren believe Auschwitz is the name of a beer, religious festival or type of bread instead of the infamous Nazi death camp, a new survey shows.
More than 1,000 high school students aged between 11 and 16 were asked what they knew about Auschwitz, where about 1.3 million people died during World War II.
Ten per cent said they were unsure, while eight per cent believed Auschwitz was a country bordering Germany, two per cent said it was a beer, another two per cent said a religious festival and one per cent said a type of bread.
Six in 10 students also had no idea about Hitler's Final Solution - a plan to exterminate all Jews - with a fifth saying they thought it was the name of peace talks to end the war.
Ninety seven per cent, however, were able to identify Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler from a photograph.
The London Jewish Cultural Centre, which commissioned the survey to mark the DVD release of WWII drama The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas, said the results indicated that thousands of British students lacked an understanding of the Holocaust.
It estimated that among Britain's 4.5 million 11- to 16-year-olds, 90,000 believed Auschwitz was a drink and 45,000 thought it was a type of bread.

Idiot Wind
William Rivers Pitt

‘You're an idiot, babe.
It's a wonder that you still know how to breathe.’
Bob Dylan

One thing is certain: martial arts movie star Chuck Norris does not like President Obama. Not at all. Not one little bit. Norris dislikes Obama so much, in fact, that he discussed running for the office of president of Texas, which doesn't exist, as part of a larger move by him and a variety of other right-wing groups to overthrow the American government and return honor and decency to the country. No, really, he said all that, and more. The best part is where he writes, "Remember the Alamo!" Great stuff. (full article)

Chuck Norris Rave:
"I may run for president of Texas! I'm not saying that other states won't muster the gumption to stand and secede, but Texas has the history to prove it." (article)

(Note: Makes you long for the good old days when Bruce Lee whooped his butt in the coliseum.)

the next year   
(a portrait of  js bach)

johann sebastian bach is born
twenty-two years later    bach marries maria barbara bach age 23  a distant cousin
the next year   daughter catharina dorothea is born
two years later    son wilhelm friedemann is born
three years later   the twins maria sophia and johann christoph are born
                               johann christoph dies shortly after birth
                              maria sophia dies after 1 month
the next year    son carl philipp emanuel is born
the next year      son johann gottfried bernhard is born
three years later     son leopold augustus is born
the next year        leopold augustus dies age 1
the next year     wife maria barbara dies

the next year    bach  age 36 marries anna magdalena wilcke age 20
                         a princely court singer at cothen
two years later       daughter christiana sophia henrietta is born
the next year             son gottfried heinrich is born
the next year                 son christian gottlieb is born
the next year             daughter elisabeth juliana friederica is born
                                  daughter christiana sophia henrietta dies age 3
the next year           son ernest andreas is born
                                dies 1 day later
the next year               son christian gottlieb dies age 3
                                   daughter regina johanna is born
the next year         daughter christiana benedicta is born
                             dies 3 days later
the next year   daughter christiana dorothea is born
the next year      son johann christoph friedrich is born
                           daughter christiana dorothea dies age 1
the next year             daughter regina johanna dies  age 4
                                  son johann august abraham is born
                                   dies next day
two years later       son johann christian is born
two years later    daughter johanna carolina is born
two years later       son johann gottfried bernhard dies age 24
three years later         daughter regina susanna is born
 eight years later    bach dies age 65
ten years later    wife anna magdalena dies age 59

three years later      son gottried heinrich dies age 39
eleven years later         daughter catharina dorothea dies age 65
seven years later             daughters johanna carolina and elisabeth juliana friederich
                                       die ages 43 and 55
the next year          son johann christian dies age 46
two years later    son wilhelm friedemann dies  age 73
four years later       son carl philipp emanuel dies  age 74
seven years later          son johann christoph friedrich dies age 63
fourteen years later         daughter regina susanna dies  age 67

~ Joe Dolce ~

(The real lyrics Joe Cocker Sang)
(thanks to Alicia Bay Laurel)

A Wink Could Control iPod, Other Gadgets
A wink, a smile or a raised eyebrow could soon change the music on your iPod or start up the washing machine, thanks to a new Japanese gadget.
The device looks like a normal set of headphones but is fitted with a set of infrared sensors that measure tiny movements inside the ear that result from different facial expressions. The gizmo - called the "Mimi Switch" or "Ear Switch" - is connected to a micro-computer that can control electronic devices, essentially making it a hands-free remote control for anything.  (article)



 ‘Reasonable Doubt: The Single-Bullet Theory and the Assassination of John F. Kennedy.’

Documentary film

The key investigator for the government was Dr.Joseph Dolce.
He is shown on camera discussing the results of his ballistic experiments that disproved Arlen Specter's Single Bullet Theory. This was recorded in a meeting memorandum on April 21, 1964 with Warren Commission attorney's. They did not like Dolce's results and therefore did not include him as a witness in front of the Warren Commission. But the results remain essential and negate the official theory. Dolce points out--again, on camera--that he proved with experiments that the Single Bullet Theory is false.



When the plagues come, and you’re finding it hard to get the fresh produce, here are some tasty ways to prepare locust, frogs, lice and flies.

“ They had another Dish made of a sort of Locusts, whose Bodies were about an Inch and an half long, and as thick as the top of one's little Finger; with large thin Wings, and long and small Legs. ... The Natives would go out with small Nets, and take a Quart at one sweep. When they had enough, they would carry them home, and parch them over the Fire in an earthen Pan; and then their Wings and Legs would fall off, and their Heads and Backs would turn red like boil'd Shrimps, being before brownish. Their Bodies being full, would eat very moist, their Heads would crackle in one's Teeth. I did once eat of this Dish, and liked it well enough....”
William Dampier 1687

36 frog legs (use 18 frogs or 36 one-legged frogs)
4 tbs oilve oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 lb tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 tbs chopped parsley

Saute the garlic, onion and celery in olive oil. Remove the garlic when its brown.
Continue cooking the veggies until tender. Add the tomatoes, stir and cook for 12 minutes over medium heat. Set aside when done.
In the meantime, dust the frog legs with flour.
In a large skillet, heat 4 tbs butter. Add the legs and cook over medium heat until just brown.
Adjust the seasoning in the sauce with salt and pepper. Pour over legs.
Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes.
Sprinkle on the parsley.
Serve and enjoy.

“Collect a quantity of the finest wood-lice to be found (no difficult task, as they swarm under the bark of every rotten tree), and drop them into boiling water, which will kill them instantly, but not turn them red, as might be expected. At the same time put into a saucepan a quarter of a pound of fresh butter, a teaspoonful of flour, a small glass of water, a little milk, some pepper and salt, and place it on the stove.  As soon as the sauce is thick, take it off and put in the wood-lice.
This is an excellent sauce for fish.” Vincent M. Holst, Why Not Eat Insects (1885)

1 1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. powdered milk
3 eggs
1 c. oil
3 c. flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
Half cup flies, cleaned, gutted, skinned and de-boned (have your fly monger do this for you.)
1 1/2 tsp. lemon extract
1 1/2 tsp. butter flavoring
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
Grated lemon peel from 2 lemons

Cream together sugar, powdered milk, eggs and oil. Add flour, salt and baking powder alternately to creamed mixture with 1 1/2 cups milk. Add remaining ingredients. Beat 1 to 2 minutes. Pour into muffin pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.

A Connoisseuse of Slugs

When I was a connoisseuse of slugs
I would part the ivy leaves, and look for the
naked jelly of those gold bodies,
translucent strangers glistening along the
stones, slowly, their gelatinous bodies
at my mercy.  Made mostly of water, they would shrivel
to nothing if they were sprinkled with salt,
but I was not interested in that.  What I liked
was to draw aside the ivy, breathe the
odor of the wall, and stand there in silence
until the slug forgot I was there
and sent its antennae up out of its
head, the glimmering umber horns
rising like telescopes, until finally the
sensitive knobs would pop out the
ends, delicate and intimate.  Years later,
when I first saw a naked man,
I gasped with pleasure to see that quiet
mystery reenacted, the slow
elegant being coming out of hiding and
gleaming in the dark air, eager and so
trusting you could weep.
~ Sharon Olds ~

Newsletter Archive  and  Recipe Index


St. Peter At The Pearly Gates

Saint Peter is checking ID/s at the Pearly Gates, and the first guy in line
is a Texan.  "Tell me, what have you done in life?" asks St. Peter.  The
Texas says, "Well, I struck oil, so I became rich, but
I didn't sit on my laurels - -  I divided all my money among my entire family
in my will, so our descendants are all set for about three generations."

St. Peter says, "That's really something.  Come on in.  . . . Next!"

The second guy in line has been listening, so he says,
"I struck it big in the stock market, but I didn't selfishly just provide
for my own like that Texan guy.  I donated five million to Save the

"Wonderful!" says Saint Peter. "Come in. - -  Who's next?"

The third guy has been listening and says timidly with a downcast look,
"Well, I only made five thousand dollars in my entire lifetime."

"Heavens!" says St. Peter.  "What instrument did you play?"
(thanks to Alex Smith)