Dabble

Dabble: (v) to work at anything in an irregular or superficial manner

I would like to introduce myself.

My name is Mr. Dabble.

I can’t think of a word that more describes what I have done throughout my life than dabble.

As a teenage boy, I was interested in Southern Gospel Quartets. That particular dabbling had me doodling for a while. So if I’m ever in a gathering where such old-time music becomes a point of conversation, I can hold my own.

Then, for a long time, I was involved in the music industry in Nashville, Tennessee—at least up to my armpits, though it never quite reached my eyeballs.

I met famous people.

I recorded in famous studios.

And I appeared on stage in a variety of ways—from having my own music group to doing backup singing for a Las Vegas show.

I dabbled for a season by taking my clan on the road and having my own little Partridge Family—singing, traveling in a car, pulling a trailer, wearing colorful costumes and attempting to believe that we sounded good enough to be doing what we were doing.

I dabbled with writing novels.

I dabbled by flying coast to coast putting on shows.

I dabbled in writing classical music for a symphony we began in Tennessee.

I dabbled in screenplays. Thirteen of them turned into independent movies, which won awards at film festivals.

Why did I dabble?

Because I am a curious sort.

I have never believed that fame is possible—mainly because it is unsustainable. So the second-best option is to continue to try new things, and conquer them one by one, and have your own personal awards ceremony for your efforts. The nice thing about this is that you never come in second, but can always bestow top honors upon your performances.

The question might be asked by sane men and women everywhere:

What would have happened if you had focused, and not dabbled?

For instance, what would have been the conclusion if you had begun with screenplays and faithfully stayed with them?

I don’t know.

Because then I wouldn’t be a dabbler.

And I wouldn’t be able to write this article about my dabbling.

Currency

Currency: (n) something that is used as a medium of exchange; money.

Respect the buck and the buck won’t stop.

That’s what I believe.

American currency is very simple.

The one-dollar bill.

Keep a bunch of ’em around. They’re nice when you want to pick up an impetuous purchase like a candy bar. They’re also magnificent for giving to people on the street.

Here’s a suggestion: Out of each paycheck, take about twenty-five or thirty of those onsies, keep them in your pocket and find as many unique experiences as you can for passing them on, bidding them a fine journey.

Then there’s the five dollar bill.

The five-dollar bill is born to be “walleted.”

It is the price you’re willing to pay for a repair in your house without looking up too much information on the Internet.

It is a great currency to give to young people under the age of ten—for they still think it’s mucho money, appreciate it, and you can buy their love (which is what you wanted in the first place).

Also, it is a great piece of tender because Abraham Lincoln will allow you to bet him anywhere in Las Vegas—as long as you don’t move up to…

Yes.

The ten-dollar bill.

This has Alexander Hamilton upon it—which is perfect! Hamilton was one of those careful types, fearful that the United States would be cursed with bad credit if there weren’t some sort of organized National Bank. His critics were frightened that such an institution might squeeze the populace. (Thank God that never happened.)

And don’t you think Mr. Hamilton is perfect for gasoline? He will really take you places.

He’s also a great bill to use for an offering at a church or charity. Ten dollars is not chintzy, like the fiver might be—and since we don’t have a fifteen-dollar-bill, not as expensive as Andy Jackson.

The twenty.

Andrew’s currency is terrific for making loans to people you know will never pay you back. Contrary to popular opinion, you are able to assist friends and family with what they call a loan as long as it never exceeds twenty dollars. And if they know this from the outset, they won’t bother you if it’s more than a Jackson. And if they do borrow it and never bring it back, well, hell. It’s just twenty dollars. (And every once in a while, when the moon is blue, they might just pay you back.)

Now, all the other brethren of bills should be kept in the bank.

Why?

Because you’ll spend them on things you don’t necessarily need, but you insanely want to purchase because you’re carrying a fifty-dollar-bill or a hundred-dollar-bill on you.

I know there is additional currency.

Five hundred. A thousand. Perhaps others.

But most of the people reading this article will not have much contact with them.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Conservative

Conservative: (adj) a person who is averse to change

I have never and will never jump off a cliff with a bungee cord.

Unless the airplane is going to crash, I have no intention of sky diving.

I don’t think it’s a good idea to take my monthly rent and gamble it in Las Vegas.

I have noticed that having sex with too many different partners opens the door to veneral disease.

I find it unwise to run red lights in heavy traffic.

Eating jalapenos seems to be an interesting idea until a couple of days pass and you find out why you shouldn’t eat so many of them.

Even though I am desperately against judging people, I would like to distance myself from certain folks who are about to be judged by the Natural Order.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Some daredevils would read this list and say, “Aha! A conservative!”

I also believe in loving my neighbor as myself.

I think we are the caretakers of the Earth and should be careful how we use it, lest we lose it.

I do not see anything wrong whatsoever with racial mixing, and for us to become unified in the human race.

I am curious about whether solar energy could be useful for us, so we don’t have to burn the juices of dead dinosaurs or steam up coal chunks with smoke destroying the atmosphere.

I don’t believe there’s a great difference between men and women, but instead, promote the idea of equality.

I think religion is fine as long as it’s not religious, making people feel less, thinking that God will love them more.

I don’t evaluate people based upon their bedroom habits–since it is not my intention to share a bedroom with them.

A politician from Mississippi would read my list and say, “Aha! A Yankee liberal!”

And you wonder why I have grown weary and exhausted with categories and titles.

 

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Coal

Coal: (n) a combustible rock consisting of carbonized plant matter

For a season as a young man, I traveled with a gentleman who had a low-budget Las Vegas-type show, and performed at conventions, carnivals and county fairs.

One summer, we were scheduled in a West Virginia mining town for their city-wide carnival, fair and jubilee–all mixed into one. There was no motel in town, so the sponsor found homes for the entertainers to sleep overnight. Most people got to pair off–in other words, two to every house.

Except me.

I ended up driving about seven miles into the hills, and stayed with a family who had a shack that could have been a prop-double for Loretta Lynn’s “Coal Miner’s Daughter.”

I was still dressed in my stage clothing and upon my arrival, the people stared at me like I had twelve heads. They offered me a meal of brown bread and beans with side-meat and molasses. It was delicious.

But they never stopped peering at me. I was just a kid, so I was really spooked.

I attempted communication. I tried to express interest in coal mining. The only thing I knew about coal was that when I was a boy, my dad had a coal furnace that warmed the loan company we owned. It was my job ever so often to go down and stoke the coal into the furnace. So I had picked up a piece or two and analyzed it. It’s quite an attractive rock. (You can understand that if it got the chance to hang around for several hundred thousand years–how it might become a diamond.)

So ridiculously, and clumsily, I might add–I shared my limited awareness, and even ventured calling it “bituminous” just to show off a bit.

The family had no toleration for my ignorance. Every question I asked was met with a two-word grunted answer. Usually, “Huh. Maybe.”

It was an uncomfortable evening–mainly because I was miserable and felt out-of-place with this common sort.

So imagine my surprise when I woke up the next morning to buckwheat pancakes, scrapple and coffee. The mom of the house had also taken an old shirt, sewn up all the holes and presented it to me as a gift.

For you see, while I thought they were giving me a hard time–unwelcome in their home–they, on the other hand, were actually sitting over there, quietly trying to figure out some way to bless the stranger.

That afternoon during our performance, I wore the shirt they darned for me, and the family sat near the front, grinning from ear-to-ear.

It brought me to tears.

I realized that even though I was having a hard time making money, I did not have to live in an old shack and descend into a coal mine, risking my life, to eek out enough money for my beans.

 

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Aloha

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Aloha: (exclam.) a Hawaiian word used when greeting or parting from someone.

I made a decision to tour in Hawaii. I picked up a really good deal for tickets, complete with car rental, motel and the works when I was traveling through Las Vegas. I spent ten days in Honolulu.

One of the more embarrassing parts of my trip was when I deplaned and there were girls in hula skirts putting plastic leis over the heads of arriving passengers, welcoming them, saying “Aloha.”

I looked at the girls. They were about eighteen to twenty-one years of age, and certainly had aspirations beyond being greeters in an airport. Worse, some of the guys getting off the plane ahead of me were goofy, and tried to flirt with them, which made me nervous and not certain about how to respond. After all, they were young enough to be my daughters.

So in a moment of awkwardness, when they placed the lei around my neck and said “Aloha,” I replied, “Aloha. I hope you get a better job soon.”

I meant it as a compliment, but as often happens with me, it was as awkward as Grandma falling down the stairs.