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A Bad Case of the Heebie Jeebies May 8, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Animals, Exercise & Fitness, Nature.
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Goofy-Riding-A-BikeLast night, we went for a bike ride at dusk to return a book to the library.

Once arriving back home, we decided to extend the ride to the end of our street and back.

Bad mistake.

By this time, darkness prevailed and objects in our path were mere shadowy spectres . . . including the writhing snake I ran over because I didn’t see it until the last second!


The unfortunate serpent survived the ordeal, scooted off the road, and slithered up the trunk of a palm tree.

Therein lies the source of my Heebie Jeebies ~ I am disinclined to go out for fear that a snake will drop, uninvited, on my head and shoulders as I pass under a swaying palm tree.

I felt bad for the snake as he wriggled to get out of the way, but my compassion for the snake is not alleviating my Heebie Jeebies.

Every time something brushes up against me, indoors or out, I recoil in horror . . . expecting to see a snake flicking its tongue in my direction.

I’ve spent most of the day inside, away from swaying palm fronds.

I may stay inside tomorrow too.

Related resources:  Heebie Jeebies (The Phrase Finder) * Heebie Jeebies (Wikipedia) * Heebie Jeebies (Urban Dictionary)

The Price of Greatness May 8, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Fiction, Humor, People.
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Quotes come in all shapes and sizes.  Some are inspirational or motivational; others are humorous or sarcastic.  

On occasion, what appears (on first hearing) as a serious, straightforward quote, ultimately reveals itself as an ambiguous, tongue-in-cheek observation concerning the world we irreverently inhabit.   

Let’s look, by way of example, at an oft-quoted quote:

The price of greatness is responsibility.  ~ Winston Churchill

While many people are familiar with this quote, few are aware that Churchill uttered these words while speaking at St. Andrews during the 287th Annual Golfing Greats Banquet.  Here, after meticulous research on my part, is the rest of Churchill’s speech from that auspicious occasion:

Many of you in attendance tonight are great golfers.  

Of course, as soon as you step off the course, you are, at best, merely adequate human beings. 

Applause and laughter quickly filled the room, fueled by the liquid libations being quaffed by the Golfing Greats in attendance. 

After a swig of his own drink, Churchill continued:  

As many of you undoubtedly realize, there are parallels between drinking and driving . . . as well as drinking and putting.

Light applause.

Just as drinking is a privilege which should be pursued in moderation, so too with golf.   Please keep it on the course.  Don’t wander around cocktail parties inanely sharing that on the final nine you shot, and I quote, “bogey ~ bogey ~ par ~ par ~ eagle ~ bogey ~ hole in one . . ..”  

If you want the Prime Minister of Great Britain to admire your score, please enclose your unadulterated score card in your next written correspondence to him.  

He promises to give it exactly the time and attention it deserves, just as he does with your annual Christmas Newsletters.   

Loud guffaws, and embarrassed chuckles, as people recognized other golfers, or themselves, in Churchill’s commentary.     

Similarly, just as you have been admonished, by civilian and barrister alike, to “drink responsibly,” I am here to remind you that, as golfers in the upper echelon of the sport, you should always golf responsibly. 

First, and fore-most:  Please yell “F-O-R-E” with F-O-R-C-E as you smash the ball at lightning speeds toward players in proximity to you.  This is not the time to be timid about speaking in public.

Second:  It is poor sportsmanship, and even poorer etiquette, to laugh, snicker, point fingers, or otherwise call attention to the less proficient golfers in your foursome . . . no matter how many times they slice, dice, or wedge the ball.

Third:  Never wrap your golf club around a tree in a fit of anger or pique . . . no matter how poorly “it” has performed its intended function on the hole in question.

Finally:  Allow players, who have witnessed your finesse on the green, a corresponding chance to witness you wave some green on the 19th green.    

Every truly great golfer, even the most frugal Scot, has a concommitant responsibility to spring for the Scotch after a great day on the links. 

With that, Churchill drained his glass, paused to light a cigar, and concluded, “The price of greatness is responsibility.”

Ten (or Twenty) People I’d Rather Avoid May 8, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Mindfulness, People.
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Greedy Gus & Dishonest Darla ~ Anyone who is willing to lie, cheat, steal, or exploit others in order to make a fast buck, including Investment Bankers, the Waltons (of Walmart fame), televangelists, the CEOs of  Exxon-Mobil (and other big businesses), many career politicians, and anyone else who values the almighty dollar above the long-term welfare of the world and its inhabitants.

Harriet the Hypocrite & Larry the Liar ~ People who are fake and phony, and wear masks to hide themselves from scrutiny, including those who say one thing while doing another.  People who are more focused on appearances, than on actual substance.  Those who would rather look good, than do good or be good.  Just remember, you can fool some of the people, some of the time . . . but you’ll never fool the “man in the mirror.”     

Vic the Prick & Warmonger Wanda ~ People who resort to violence as a means of settling disputes, or satisfying their own selfish needs, wants and whims, rather than communicating in an honest effort to explore Win-Win scenarios.  Anyone who advocates the offensive (rather than defensive) use of weapons at a global level in order to get a bigger piece of “the pie.”

Belinda the Bully & Bob the Batterer ~ Anyone who abuses animals, children, spouses, or the elderly in order to prove to themselves (or others) that “might makes right,” or for any other reason stemming from ego-gratification or profit motive.  Enough said.

Judgmental Joe & Prejudiced Paula ~ People who judge others as inferior or lacking by applying outdated stereo-typical labels and classifications, rather than taking the time to get to know the character of the individual in question.  We are not the labels we wear.

Harriet the Hog & Piggy Pete ~ Anyone who refuses to reduce, reuse and recycle out of sheer laziness, apathy, or elitism, including people who live in McMansions, own multiple homes, fly around on private jets, or drive gas-guzzling automobiles in an effort to demonstrate their “worth” to the world, or out of a misguided sense of entitlement to consume  unnecessary resources . . . just because they have the financial means to do so.

Enough already.  We get it.  You’re rich.  Just remember that your financial net worth has nothing to do with your moral worth to the world.

Frank the Follower  & Carly the Conformist ~ People who play “follow the leader,” rather than thinking for themselves, especially those who constantly urge everyone else to “get in line.”  Before arrogantly spouting off accepted dogma, consider having an actual conversation with your intended audience.

Self-centered Stella & Willy the Whiner ~ Anyone who whines about trivia and minor annoyances, like getting cut off in traffic or experiencing a slight delay in a restaurant, without counter-balancing their petty concerns with a look at issues of actual import like global warming, world hunger, natural disasters, and issues of social justice.

Victor the Victim and Helpless Hannah ~ People who spend time bemoaning their fate, and blaming others for their failure to get what they want out of life, rather than being pro-active.  Those who are prisoners of their past, rather than architects of their future.

Boastful Betty & Bob the Braggart ~ Anyone who attempts to increase their worth in the eyes of others by constantly ticking off past accomplishments, rather than focusing their time and talents on demonstrating their current skills and abilities.  As MJ Heiser (a wise writer) said recently, “confidence is sexy, arrogance is not.”

So, who DO I enjoy being around?

Tiggers!  I like Tiggers!

Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind. ~ Dr. Seuss

Aah . . . that’s better!