Monthly Archives: October 2017

The Great Halloween Sleepover

One of my favorite days of the year is finally here – THE GREAT HALLOWEEN SLEEPOVER!  Every Halloween Wicked Mawmaw and Diabolical Pawpaw (yours truly!) host the grandgoblins for a night of food, candy, scary movies, food, candy, and more candy.  The goal is to deprive them of sleep by showing scary movies all night, stuff them with pizza and hot dogs, let them eat all the candy and popcorn they want, and come morning, send them home to their parents sleep deprived and cranked up on sugar.  Could a night be more fun and diabolical?

It’s an all night rug-rat party!  From 7:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. the grandgoblins rule the roost.  The rules are simple.  They are forbidden to bite or maim each other, they cannot sit in Diabolical Pawpaw’s chair unless they are curled up in his lap, they cannot go outside and torture the animals, they are forbidden to tinkle on the floor in the bath of horrors, but most of all, they are required to have a good time.  Parents can come, but they are not welcome if they are picky about how much pizza, hot dogs, and candy their child eats; worried about their child getting sticky, wet, or egged; or they are a stickler for their child getting a good night’s rest.  This night belongs to the kids and the grandparents.  However, Wicked Mawmaw and I are not insensitive to the parents; we do provide each child with a barf bag.

The event kicks off with the Witches Pit of Fire complete with ghost stories and roasted ghost droppings.  From there, it is twelve hours of non-stop mayhem.  Movies to make your flesh crawl, things that go crash in the night, boogeymen hiding behind doors, and bloated tummies are the norm.  There is plenty of Diabolical Pawpaw’s Atomic Fallout Popcorn to munch on during the movies, and in between there is the highlight of the evening – Wicked Mawmaw’s Oven Dung Cookies!  She was lucky to get them baked this year before the yellow tape went up around the oven.  We are not sure if the tape marks a crime scene for another half-baked goblin, or if it simply restricts access to the oven as it undergoes conversion to a crematorium.

I can’t wait until Friday night!  I have filed the dog’s toenails, painted the cat black, invited the most detestable goons and goblins, sawdust has been poured on the floor, and special guest appearances by childhood’s greatest nightmares have been arranged.  The setting is set for the perfect night of fright.  I can already hear the screams – oh what music to my ears!

Halloween Sleepover Announcement-1

©Jack Linton, October 26, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

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To Have a Great Day, Do these 10 Things

Everyone wakes up hoping to have a great day, but unfortunately, too many people do not have a clue how to make it happen.  The quality of their day is left to chance, luck, or placed in someone else’s hands.  Fortunately, having a great day, every day, is not difficult, especially, if you take responsibility for your happiness and DO the following:

  1. START your day by looking in the mirror. Take a deep breath, stick out your tongue at what you see, wink at who you see, wiggle your ears, laugh at what you see, but most of all, thank God you have eyes to see, a tongue to stick out, ears to wiggle, and a chance to breathe another day.  Do not despair about yourself – you are the best you have;
  2. DRESS like you are proud to be alive: wear deodorant, wear clean clothes, comb your hair, and brush your teeth before you leave your house;
  3. RELAX and take the day as it comes.  Do not try to conform the day to your desires.  Slow down!  There are no instant replays or do overs in life, so make the best of every moment, and do not take your one shot at living for granted;
  4. READ at least thirty minutes; seek to learn something new;
  5. COMMIT to three good turns – one for family, one for someone you don’t know, and one for yourself;
  6. DO at least one thing you don’t want to do;
  7. BE silly!  Do something completely off the wall and different for you.  Do not be afraid to be happy and enjoy life; you have earned it, and deserve it!  Laugh!  God did not put you on earth to be sad and create gloom.  He put you here because he believed you make the world a better place to live;
  8. TELL at least one person you love him/her;
  9. TREAT yourself! At the end of the day, if you have accomplished everything on this list, treat yourself to your favorite ice cream and toppings in front of the mirror, if you completed at least six items on the list, smile in the mirror and give yourself thumbs up, if you accomplished less than six, but gave it your best, stand in front of the mirror and pat yourself on the back.  Why stand in front of the mirror to treat yourself?  So, you get accustomed to what a happy person looks like!
  10. GIVE thanks! At the end of the day, thank God for his blessings, and before you sign-off, do not forget to tell God you are ready for tomorrow if he is willing and will walk with you.

For those willing to take responsibility for their happiness, post this list on your bathroom mirror and on the refrigerator.  Use the list daily!  Your happiness begins with you, so give yourself permission to be happy, and see what happens.  Put yesterday to bed, and before you worry about tomorrow, live the life out of today;

JL

©Jack Linton, October 19, 2017

American Gun Control:  The Lottery that Kills

There are those who say events such as the mass murder in Las Vegas this past week are random acts of violence carried out by sick individuals cloaked in evil.  They say there is no way to stop such violence or predict when or where such horrific events will take place since it is governed by the haphazardness of diabolical thinking.  It is like predicting a lottery – impossible.  As in Shirley Jackson’s short story, “The Lottery,” these tragic events have become a recurrence in our lives where the only winning ticket is a losing ticket.  The crazies hold that losing ticket, and the only defense decent people have is to pray the crazies strike somewhere far away from them and their loved ones.

In the “The Lottery,” Shirley Jackson dramatizes the permissiveness of society to permit pointless violence and cruelty.  In her story, she portrays the people of a small community as blind followers in the inhumane stoning of a fellow villager.  They demonstrate little regard for consequences as long as they are not the one stoned.  The same permissiveness could just as well be written about our society’s response to the pointless violence and inhumanity we have seen in such places as Columbine, Sandy Hook, Aurora, and Las Vegas.  As a nation, we cringe at the horror, but like the villagers in “The Lottery,” we are reluctant to do anything about it.  Truly saddened for those who lost their lives or loved ones, we pray for the victims, then turn away thankful it did not happen to us or our loved ones, and go back to leading our lives as if it could never happen to us.  Across the country, we condemn the act, but speak cautiously of corrective actions for fear of offending those who think differently about the issue.  Our inability to address the issue is the very permissiveness Jackson speaks to in her short story.

As a nation, we loathe the violence, but we are politically and helplessly insecure to stop it.  Politicians reside in the pockets of the stone lobbyists, they keep quiet for fear of political consequences at the poles, or like so many of the citizens they represent, they embrace a non-wavering interpretation of an amendment never intended to put Americans in jeopardy.  Many citizens stand opposed to common sense solutions out of personal insecurities that the government can’t protect them, and criminals will have all the stones and they will not.  As a result, the nation lives in constant dread of mass violence, not knowing which city, town, or village might be its next victim.  The bottom line is too many Americans ignore the connection between their continued inaction and inability to address the mass violence issue and the body count of those ungodly attacks on America.

Too many oppose removing the tools of carnage.  They shy away from taking the stone from the assassin’s hand reasoning he will simply replace it with a stick or gravel, and the carnage will continue.   They ignore that the stone allows the killer to maximize casualties, which is the very reason mass killers choose stones to carry out their attacks and not gravel or sticks.  Their argument always disintegrates to stones don’t kill people, people kill people, and they have a point, so in the name of humanity, the aim of society should be to rid itself of both stones and killers and not quibble about which is eradicated first.  Granted, a citizenry without stones will not cure the crazy problem, but it will serve to make the madness less deadly.

Having been raised in the South, I grew up with guns, and I believe strongly in my Second Amendment right to own firearms for sport and protection.  However, I do not believe there is any common-sense reason why any citizen should possess military style weaponry designed for one purpose – to kill people.  Those weapons belong only in the capable hands of the military and law enforcement.  If all citizens were blessed with common-sense, a sense of morality, and a sane mind, I might think otherwise, but that is not the case.  At present, it is far too easy for the crazies to get their hands on high powered military style weapons, and that needs to change immediately.

Unfortunately, right now, we are at the mercy of a killing lottery run by the crazies and condoned by our inaction.  They control when, where, and the extent of the bloodshed they inflict.  In the name of common-sense, the loved ones who have been massacred, and those who will be slaughtered unless we do something to drastically reduce the ability of maniacs to wage war on innocent men, women, and children, it is time we placed lives above politics, money, and personal insecurities.  In an interview, Shirley Jackson said, “I hoped to shock the story’s readers with a graphic dramatization of the pointless violence and general inhumanity in their own lives.”  I wonder what graphic dramatization of pointless violence and inhumanity it will take to shock our nation.  It does not appear the bloodshed at Columbine, Aurora, Sandy Hook, or Las Vegas has been horrific enough to put an end to the insane bloody lottery game we are playing.

JL

©Jack Linton, October 8, 2017