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“Resentment is like drinking poison

and waiting for the other person to die.”

–Carrie Fisher


Lying here in the darkened room on my freshly-made bed, staring at the stars projected on the ceiling by my Spitz Junior Planetarium, I silently ponder the Universe, and the Universe silently and dispassionately ignores me.


When I was young and green and burdened with the implanted beliefs of the people in my little world, I could actually delude myself into thinking that all’s well that ends well, that it’s easy to whistle a happy tune whenever I feel afraid, that if you do unto others they will do likewise unto you, that if you’re really good and search hard for your mittens you’ll get some pie.


I know now, ruminating and reminiscing, that none of the above will necessarily happen. I know now that not everything ends well—but sometimes it does, that if you whistle past the graveyard, you may still be frightened—but sometimes not, that if you practice the Golden Rule, others will seldom practice it right back—but now and then somebody might, that if you work hard and do good deeds you may never, ever be rewarded—but once in a while it can happen.


I’m also in the process of trying to digest the immutable fact that I should be mature enough to find satisfaction in the good things that occur spasmodically and unpredictably, that I shouldn’t spend much of my time resenting the good stuff that doesn’t happen, the bad stuff that often happens.


When will I stop taking the poison?


When will I realize that accentuating the positive is the antidote, that eliminating the negativity is required to live a peaceful life?


And, once I realize this, when will I learn to forget and truly forgive—which are one and the same thing? Remembrance is a burden sometimes.


But now, as I grow, remembrance is the sweetest thing in the starry-ceiling Universe


© Jim Reed 2009 A.D.

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One of the funniest sight gags I ever saw was in a Bob Hope-Bing Crosby movie back in the 1940’s. 

 As a tad, it probably didn’t take much to make me laugh, because the aging process had not yet presented life’s back-stories to me.

Anyhow, in this Hope-Crosby Road movie, Hope has pulled off his shoes and is ready to go to bed. Note that Hope and Crosby always slept together, as did Laurel and Hardy, Abbott and Costello, and a lot of other comic teams. Anyhow, Bob Hope’s toes are showing through the ends of his socks, when Bing says something like, “Better get some shoe polish to cover that up.”

May not sound like much to you, but this was exactly the kind of humor a six-year-old could grasp, and it opened the door to many more sight gags that other comedians would make me laugh out loud over: Abbott and Costello enter a restaurant when the headwaiter says, “Walk this way!” meaning “follow me to your table.” Of course, Costello walks with the same snooty sway as the headwaiter. Now, that was easy to understand and very funny to me and my friends.

Back then, before a theatrical movie began , we’d be entertained by a cartoon, a serial chapter, some previews, and–wonder of wonders–what we called a “Pete Smith Short.” In one of those brief Pete Smith movies, a bus stops, a woman gets off and walks through a shallow mud puddle, then the man behind her disembarks and sinks into the same puddle over his head. Again, how could life get any funnier than that?

The most beautiful sight gag I ever saw was Red Skelton, at the practice bar with several ballerinas, getting ready to place one unbent leg straight out to rest on the bar, which he does. Then, in an astounding act that looked as logical as any six-year-old’s idea of logic can become, Skelton raises the OTHER unbent leg to place it on the bar at the same time. Now, it happened so fast, in those days before slow-mo’ photography, that you just knew for a split second that it would work. Of course, it didn’t, which makes it funny to this day, in my mind. Even later, when Ed Wynn did the same thing, it again seemed logical.

Now, there are worse things than being brought up watching Bob Hope and his contemporaries do silly things on the silver screen. I needed those funny folks to get me through the tough times, and I grew to expect them to be there when I needed them.

And they always were.

Before you send me to the nursing home to languish away my final days, put a stack of old movies in my lap in the wheelchair, and let me watch them. Bring on all the Benny Hill, Mr. Bean, Jerry Lewis, Johnny Carson, Bob & Ray, Laurel and Hardy, Trevor Noah, Red Skelton, Steve Allen, Chris Rock, Soupy Sales, Mort Sahl, Henny Youngman, Phyllis Diller, Jon Stewart, Samantha Bee, Groucho Marx, Clevon Little, Jacques Tati, Jon Stewart, Stan Freberg and company stuff you can afford and let me sit there chuckling at the guys and gals who got me through to this age.

If I’m lucky, I’ll take the chuckles and the sight gags with me.

Thanks for the memories 

(c) 2013 A.D. by Jim Reed

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Percy Taught Me About Forgiveness and Tolerance

After a fifty-year search, Percy the Catface Dog has been found.

This tiny 78rpm vinyl recording stuck with me through the years, and

it taught me early lessons about the horrors of intolerance, bullying and

bigotry. It also showed me how to spot the Good People…the people who

actually are sorry for their mistakes and apologize (sincerely) when they make



Listen carefully to this story (you may have to cut and paste this as a website, since Facebook seems to have such limited access to audio software):




Happy Birthday to Me

Thanks for all your happy birthday wishes. Liz & I spent the day with my brother, Tim, his wife, Jeanie, and my sisters, Rosi and Barbara…at Tim & Jeanie’s home on Signal Mountain in Chattanooga. We laughed hard enough to split a stitch! Received a wind-up toy whale that actually spurts water in your face whilst swimming in the tub…a genuine Creachter Sculpture from Tim…a pumpkin with my name on it…an IQ game we all lost…ice cream cake…an old clip-art book…and mucho other goodies. Mainly, we enjoyed each others’ company. Wish you could have been there but glad you weren’t–might have split another stitch

(c) 2013 A.D. by Jim Reed

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