The Polar Plunge is the next weekend. Thousands will gather between Sixth & Ninth Street in Virginia Beach, VA for two days of costume contests, live music, a 5K run, food & drink, a little more drink, a bit more drink, and then a mass Dive into the frigid Atlantic. Click here for more info…

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A co-worker shared this bit of Facebook wisdom with me this morning.

‘Capitalization is the difference between helping your Uncle Jack off his horse and helping your Uncle jack off his horse.’

I laughed myself to tears… I’m that simple, really.

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One of those glorified fast food chains (Applebee’s, TGIF, etc.) has a commercial that claims, “When you’re here, you’re family.”. My family doesn’t charge me for microwaved food and doesn’t expect a tip when I leave. Usually… Stupid marketing is the best way to keep me away from a business.

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In our little area of Virginia, a teen-ager recently killed himself. It was the second time in one year a local kid committed suicide for no clear reason. The deceased teen did well in school, had a traditional family home life and, by all appearances, was a happy, responsible kid. Then he shot himself on his family farm with one of his Dad’s guns. He called the police before pulling the trigger. He even gave them directions to where his body could be found.
Responsible until the end…
Strange to say the least.
Tragic, regardless.

The local papers mourn his loss, as well they would in such a small community. I didn’t know the child well, nor his family. I feel sympathy for them to the extent possible, but that isn’t why I’m bringing it up.

I mention this event because of the inevitable cruelty, ignorance, and judgments that accompanied the suicide. My children, who did know the boy and expressed significant grief, came from home from school livid. One of my kids was nearly speechless with anger. (“Speechless” for those who don’t know us, is not a description used for “Duffys” often…)

Within hear shot of the suicide victim’s Sister, several students at school said…

“Ya know he’s gonna burn in hell now…”
“God gonna throw him in a fire forever…”

I’ve tried to discover the words to express my anger at such words being used by children as a reaction to the death of one of their classmates. I can’t find the proper combination of outrage and vocabulary to verbally express my continued contempt for any person who claims knowledge of what happens after death.

IF a kid believes in God, Heaven, & Hell, shouldn’t they also know manners, compassion, kindness, and basic good sense?

Going with the premise of the kid repeating parental mantras, what kind of adult reacts to a child’s suicide with “Well, there’s another sinner for Hell…”
What sort of God do those people believe in?

Or are they the “CEO Christians” (Christmas & Easter Only) whose religious ‘values’ are as phony as the Vera Bradley purse they bought at Big Lots?

Is there any wonder that traditional Church attendance is suffering at the same time people are looking for spiritual guidance?

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I’m still on the Bucket List train and I have no reason to get off at the next stop.
I’ve always wanted to do Community Theater so I’m now involved in the Southside Area Community Theater production of William Inge’s “Bus Stop”.
I play Will Masters, the church going Sheriff.

Do Community Theater: Check.

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The next post will be fiction, promise. It’s gonna be a dark story straight from the bowels of my darkest places. Adults only, squeamish readers need to look…it’s gonna be ugly people. Ugly.

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Take a kid to the circus.

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-John.

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