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Posts published in July 2009

Elephant Story

In 1972, Joe Miller was on holiday in Kenya after graduating from Tulsa Junior College.

On a hike through the bush, he came across a young bull elephant standing with one leg raised in the air. The elephant seemed distressed, so Joe approached it very carefully. He got down on one knee, inspected the elephant’s foot, and found a large piece of wood deeply embedded in it. As carefully and as gently as he could, Joe worked the wood out with his knife, after which the elephant gingerly put down its foot.

The elephant turned to Joe, and with a rather curious look on its face, stared at him for several tense moments. Joe stood frozen, thinking of nothing else but being trampled. Eventually the elephant trumpeted loudly, turned, and walked away. Joe never forgot that elephant or the events of that day.

Thirty years later, Joe was walking through the Tulsa Zoo with his family. As they approached the elephant enclosure, one of the creatures turned and walked over to near where Joe and his family were standing. The large bull elephant stared at Joe, lifted its front foot off the ground then put it down. The elephant did that several times then trumpeted loudly, all the while staring at the man.

Remembering the encounter in 1972, Joe could not help wondering if this was the same elephant.. Joe summoned up his courage, climbed over the railing, and made his way into the enclosure. He walked right up to the elephant and stared back in wonder. The elephant trumpeted again, wrapped its trunk around one of Joe’s legs and slammed him against the railing, killing him instantly.

Probably wasn’t the same elephant.

This is for everyone who sends me those heart-warming bullshit stories.

Palin Mania?

Enough is enough already!   Since Friday afternoon I’ve heard nothing but speculation and rediculous accusations as to why Sarah palin decided to step down as Govenor of Alaska.  Granted her reasons are her own, however it was well within her right to resign with or without notice, warning, or reason (current and future).

  • Dodging some huge legal scandal?  I doubt it.
  • Seeking higher office?  Maybe.
  • Tired of the BS!?!  Very likely.
  • Running for a Senate seat in ’10?  Who knows?
  • Running for Prez in ’12?  Again who knows?

Let it go already!  How much money has already been wasted with allegations that have been proven false (that surprisingly cost nothing to alledge)?  Why waste more time, money, and precious electrons posting speculation? I’m certain when Ms. Palin wants  to let the rest of the world in on her plans she will do so.

Meanwhile, why not set back and enjoy the weekend before O’Boogger starts taxing backyard BBQ’s for releasing CO2 from propane or charcoal briquettes, adding a failure to conserve tax/fine on the water used to fill your swimming pool, or the Gas Tax on the cattle from which your steak and burgers originated.

Seriously, don’t we all have better things to worry over than what Ms. Palin *might* be planning in the future?

Dinner with Obama, a parable

**Dinner with Obama, a parable **

Once upon a time, I was invited to the White House for a private dinner with the President. I am a respected businessman, with a factory that produces memory chips for computers and portable electronics. There was some talk that my industry was being scrutinized by the administration, but I paid it no mind. I live in a free country. There’s nothing that the government can do to me if I’ve broken no laws. My wealth was earned honestly, and an invitation to dinner with an American President is an honor.

I checked my coat, was greeted by the Chief of Staff, and joined the President in a yellow dining room. We sat across from each other at a table draped in white linen. The Great Seal was embossed on the china. Uniformed staff served our dinner.

The meal was served, and I was startled when my waiter suddenly reached out, plucked a dinner roll off my plate, and began nibbling it as he walked back to the kitchen.

“Sorry about that,” said the President. “Andrew is very hungry.”

“I don’t appreciate…” I began, but as I looked into the calm brown eyes across from me, I felt immediately guilty and petty. It was just a dinner roll. “Of course,” I concluded, and reached for my glass. Before I could, however, another waiter reached forward, took the glass away and swallowed the wine in a single gulp.

“And his brother Eric is very thirsty.” said the President.

I didn’t say anything. The President is testing my compassion, I thought I will play along. I don’t want to seem unkind.

My plate was whisked away before I had tasted a bite.

“Eric’s children are also quite hungry.”

With a lurch, I crashed to the floor. My chair had been pulled out from under me. I stood, brushing myself off angrily, and watched as it was carried from the room.

“And their grandmother can’t stand for long.”

I excused myself, smiling outwardly, but inside feeling like a fool. Obviously I had been invited to the White House to be sport for some game. I reached for my coat, to find that it had been taken. I turned back to the President.

“Their grandfather doesn’t like the cold.”

I wanted to shout, ‘that was my coat!’ But again, I looked at the placid smiling face of my host and decided I was being a poor sport. I spread my hands helplessly and chuckled. Then I felt my hip pocket and realized my wallet was gone. I excused myself and walked to a phone on an elegant side table. I learned shortly that my credit cards had been maxed out, my bank accounts emptied, my retirement and equity portfolios had vanished, and my wife had been thrown out of our home. Apparently, the waiters and their families were moving in. The President hadn’t moved or spoken as I learned all this, but finally I lowered the phone into its cradle and turned to face him.

“Andrew’s whole family has made bad financial decisions. They haven’t planned for retirement, and they need a house. They recently defaulted on a sub-prime mortgage. I told them they could have your home. They need it more than you do.”

My hands were shaking. I felt faint. I stumbled back to the table and knelt on the floor. The President cheerfully cut his meat, ate his steak and drank his wine. I lowered my eyes and stared at the small gray circles on the tablecloth that were water drops.

“By the way,” He added, “I have just signed an Executive Order nationalizing your factories. I’m firing you as head of your business. I’ll be operating the firm now for the benefit of all mankind. There’s a whole bunch of Eric’s and Andrews out there and they can’t come to you for jobs groveling like beggars.”

I looked up. The President dropped his spoon into the empty ramekin which had contained his creme brulee. He drained the last drops of his wine. As the table was cleared, he lit a cigarette and leaned back in his chair. He stared at me. I clung to the edge of the table as if were a ledge and I were a man hanging over an abyss. I thought of the years behind me, of the life I had lived. The life I had earned with a lifetime of work, risk and struggle. Why was I being punished? How had I allowed everything to be taken? What game had I played and lost? I looked across the table and noticed with some surprise that there was no game board between us.

What had I done wrong?

As if answering the unspoken thought, the President suddenly cocked his head, locked his empty eyes to mine, and bared a million teeth, chuckling wryly as he folded his hands.

“You should have stopped me at the dinner roll,” he said.