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Wednesday, October 24, 2018

I Should Be the Poster Boy for Colored People

At Christmas I tend to go red-cheeked for the holidays. Tell me that's not colorful!

The NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) is not terribly interested in me as a member. For one thing, I'm not black, native American or Latino. If I were Asian they would only be slightly more interested in me. Secondly, I'm a conservative and vote Republican and that by itself will cost you your colored card. Now if you are Democrat and progressive, you get a pass. Democrats like Rachel Dolezal or Elizabeth Warren can fudge their racial credentials because, unlike me, they are liberals and therefore, by progressive groupthink, cannot be other than what they say they are. Even the palest President in a century, Bill Clinton can get away with calling himself the "first black president" in US History because he carries the right party card.

I would like to make the case that I am, in fact, "colored" despite the abuse I'm going to take from my progressive friends for saying so. Why?  Let me enumerate.....

  1. I am, in fact, not white, but a pale pink - sometimes more of a beige! This is my natural state. If I am white, my wife will say, "You look terrible!" and put me into bed with a hot water bottle and aspirin.
  2. Sometimes, in winter, I am a pale blue!  If I sit too close to a fireplace I turn a nice cherry red.
  3. In summer, I go a nice light brown or tan color. If I spend too much time in the sun, I go a bright red except on my butt which remains a pasty white by contrast.
  4. If I get sick I turn yellow sometimes and again get sent to bed with a hot water bottle and Tylenol (in case it's the flu - she doesn't want me to get Reye's syndrome from taking aspirin)*
  5. Also, the fact is that WHITE is a color. In fact it is all colors put together. Ironically, the color black is actually an absence of reflected colors.
In point of fact, then, I'M A RAINBOW! I'm all kind of colors all at once. Not in the LGBTLSMFT sense, mind you, but I am actually a blending of many colors. So when you are talking about colored folk, I demand you include me in that group. I'm a color too! My politics or religion should have nothing to do with whether or not I'm a colored person. The great truth is that we're all colored people and once we get used to that idea, we can stop shoving people into artificial groups by the color of their skins. A wise man once said that what's really most important is not the color of our skin but the content of our character.

All us colored folk say, "Amen, Dr. King. Amen!"

© 2018 by Tom King

* I know Reye's Syndrome only happens to kids, and I know that I'm 64 years old, but my Sweet Baboo knows me all too well and she isn't so sure I'm grown up enough to be immune to childhood diseases yet.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Self-Pity Memes

There are memes like this all over the Internet - exercises in self-pity. Nobody loves me. Everybody hates me. I think I'll eat some worms and blame you all for all my troubles. So is the meme above true? Will family not cross the street to see you when you are alive but will only show up for your funeral?
That depends on whether or not you've crossed the street to support them. Some people spend their lives sitting in their own little box waiting for people to make them happy, to meet their needs, or to cover their screwups and never quite extend the same effort toward others. If you want people to come see you when you need them, you probably should go see them when THEY need you.

Seeing people whine about how nobody is meeting their needs is really tiring. Some of these memes make it seem like we're all supposed to be little kings and queens sitting on our thrones serviced by others. The truth is we are told to "Treat others as we want to be treated." We are called to action by Christ. If you want people to come to you before your funeral, you need to come to them before theirs.

Jesus doesn't teach by the laying on of guilt. He teaches us through the laying on of responsibility. Have I visited the sick, the disabled, the elderly, the widows and orphans, and even those in prison? Have I done for others the things I wish them to do for me?

If not, you probably shouldn't be whining if nobody remembers you when you get old. Why should they? What have YOU done that anyone should remember you. It is the people who were kind in their lives, who helped their neighbors, who encouraged those in need, and who stood by those who were in pain and suffering, that get visitors when they are in the nursing home. That's because people notice when they aren't around anymore and go looking for them because their departure has left a hole in their lives.

So stop whining. Be a doer of good, not someone who demands that good be done to them. We are under orders to do the first and under conviction to not expect the last. After all, good people live in a world that is hostile to goodness.

  • "If you were of the world, it would love you as its own. Instead, the world hates you, because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. Remember the word that I spoke to you: ‘No servant is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you." - John 15:19-20
© 2018 by Tom King

Saturday, October 06, 2018

A Pain in the, Well...........Everything

You know how actors, comedians and some of us old people develop catch phrases over time? Stuff we repeat over and over a lot. Donald Trump's is "You're fired!" Chef Emeril Lagasse says, "Bam" a lot. The Robot on Lost in Space says, "Danger Will Robinson!" Billy Crystal used to say, "You look mahvelous" when he did his Fernando Lamas schtick. My own catch phrase used to be "I'm working on it." Sheila would ask me if I'd finished something she'd told me to fix and.....

Sheila and I have developed new catch phrases of our own lately. Hers is "I'm sick to my stomach." Mine's "I know. I'm sorry." My other catch phrase is "Ow!" It's something I say when I get up out of a chair (or sit down in one), when I'm bending over or straightening back up again. I say it so often, I sometimes catch myself saying, "Ow" for now reason at all other than I haven't said it in a while.

You see these commercials all the time that ask, "Are you in constant pain?"  I never really thought of myself as being in constant pain before. I have a pretty high tolerance for pain myself. I have ADHD and a profound lack of grace. The only thing I haven't done to myself is broken a bone or cut off a limb. Other than that, I spent most of my youth with one sort of bump or bruise, stitches (32 some-odd) or abrasions for most of the time back then, when I was young and believed myself to be immortal. I seldom went without something or other hurting for longer than a week at a time.

Yesterday, Sheila and I went for a trip on the bus to Tacoma, the next town over to visit her doctor. We got to kidding about the noises we made getting on and off public transportation and I got to thinking. "Hey, is this what they mean by chronic pain? Well, this ain't funny at all!" The trip lasted from 10:30 in the morning till we returned to the house at 7:30 in the evening. It was 9 hours on a total of 8 buses - 4 over and 4 back. I was listening to Sheila tell the story to her cousin and sister on the phone that evening and noticed that the number of buses went steadily upward as she told it from 10 buses to eventually she settled on 12. I did not interrupt because I have been properly threatened that if I don't stop correcting her all the time in front of people, well, let's just say I won't like what happens. I figure accuracy in storytelling can most likely afford to take a backseat in deference to my current lack of major bruising. So you guys can just take your chances where accuracy is concerned when Sheila tells a story involving some kind of misery, discomfort or pain. I'm not saying she's exaggerating or anything, don't get me wrong. I'm just glad she doesn't read my blogs.

The total trip took 9 hours (12 hours if Sheila is telling the story because she throws in having to vacuum the house afterward and do some laundry she didn't get done because we were out and I ran back into town to pick up my freshly repaired computer). We hit the hay around ten o'clock that night. She woke me up again at midnight because she dreamed someone was knocking on the door. I stumbled around the house for a decent period of time so she'd be sure I took the threat seriously and then crawled back into bed. We got up at 8 after 10 hours of sleep and got up this morning to take her to get an MRI of her spine. We were gone for three hours (two Ubers and two buses and the MRI trailer). Sheila gave the house another scrubbing and was asleep by 8pm.

So Sheila is conked out on the couch tonight, while I've been trying to get my printer to work and sleeping sitting straight up at my desk while my printer software downloads.
I finally got it working and am writing this while trying to work up the courage to stand up (ow) and go take off my pants (ow, ow) and climb into the shower (ow, ow, ow) and then pull back the covers and climb into bed. I have to actually do a little jump to get into bed now. Shelia keeps adding memory foam to the top of our Sleep Number bed so that the bed is so high that I actually have to make a little running jump to get up onto the mattress at night. And I can't turn my mattress down to 35 (where I like it), because she rolls down into the hole I create, so I crank it back up to 85 and live with the equivalent of one of those granite orthopedic mattresses for people with very bad backs. Fortunately, in my youth I accustomed myself to sleeping on rocks, hard packed dirt and assorted army cots, so I can sleep on a hard surface. The memory foam helps a little. I do make accommodations for my deteriorating bones and joints, however. I sleep with a big knee pillow so my knees don't get thrown out of joint during the night, I plug in my CPAP machine and sleep the untroubled sleep of a man with a clear conscience. Not sure what she's rolling and tossing about over there and I don't dare ask or I'll have to get up and fix something that isn't right.

All that said, I came to the realization yesterday that I am one of those people who have chronic pain. I don't know how this happened. I didn't notice it happening to me. Sheila's been in chronic misery for years - takes meds by the handfuls. Me? I hardly every take pain medication. I don't pay attention much to things that hurt. It's kind of become my default state. My only compromise with the aches and pains is to say "Ow!" rather a lot more than I used to. Sheila gets tired of the noise after a while and tells me, "Why don't you take something and quit moaning!"

That would be like surrendering and I'm just tooooo stubborn for that. So I say "Ow!" frequently, which bothers Sheila because she it makes her feel guilty or something. I take an aspirin a day for my heart, and a couple of other things, but I'm going to have to pass another kidney stone before I take "pain medication." Sheila says I'm stupid to just suffer like that.

She may be right.

© 2018 by Tom King

PS: I did pass another kidney stone and I did it on Tylenol. Ha!