by Mike of New York, NY
A priest, a Southern
Baptist preacher, and a rabbi all served as chaplains to the students
of Northern Michigan University in Marquette .
They would get together
two or three times a week for coffee and to talk shop.
One day, someone made
the comment that preaching to people isn't really all that hard. A real
challenge would be to preach to a bear. One thing led to another, and
they decided to do an experiment. They would all go out into the woods,
find a bear, preach to it, and attempt to convert it.
Seven days later,
they all came together to discuss their experiences.
Flannery, who had his arm in a sling, was on crutches, and had various
bandages on his body and limbs, went first. "Well," he said,
"I went into the woods to find me a bear. And when I found him, I
began to read to him from the Catechism. Well, that bear wanted nothing
to do with me and began to slap me around. So I quickly grabbed my holy
water, sprinkled him and, Holy Mary, Mother of God, he became as gentle
as lamb. The bishop is coming out next week to give him first communion
Reverend Billy Bob
spoke next. He was in a wheelchair, had one arm and both legs in casts,
and had an IV drip. In his best fire-and-brimstone oratory, he claimed,
"WELL, brothers, you KNOW that we don't sprinkle! I went out and
I FOUND me a bear.
then I began to read to my bear from God's HOLY WORD! But that bear wanted
nothing to do with me. So I took HOLD of him and we began to wrestle.
We wrestled down one hill, UP another and DOWN another until we came to
a creek. So I quickly DUNKED him and BAPTIZED his hairy soul. And just
like you said, he became as gentle as a lamb. We spent the rest of the
day praising Jesus."
The priest and the
reverend both looked down at the rabbi, who was lying in a hospital bed.
He was in a body cast and traction with IVs and monitors running in and
out of him. He was in really bad shape.
The Rabbi looked up
and said, "Looking back on it, circumcision may not
have been the best way to start."
by Don of Pasadena, CA
Two men are
sitting at the bar at the top of the Empire State Building drinking,
when the first man turns to the other one and says:
last week I discovered that if you jump from the top of this building,
by the time you fall to the 10th floor, the wind around the building is
so intense that it carries you around the building and back into the window."
just shakes his head in disapproval while wiping the bar, but says
The second guy says,
"What? Are you insane? There's no way in heck that could happen!"
true," said the first man, "let me prove it to you."
He gets up from the bar, jumps over the balcony and plummets toward the
street below. When he passes the 10th floor, the high wind whips him around
the building and back into the 10th floor window and he takes the elevator
back up to the bar. He meets the second man, who is astonished.
I saw that with my own eyes, but that must've been a one-time fluke. That
was scientifically impossible!"
prove it again," says the first man as he jumps. Again, just
as his body hurtles towards the street, the 10th floor wind gently carries
him around the building and into the window. He takes the elevator back
to the bar. Once upstairs, he successfully urges his dubious fellow drinker
to try it.
the heck," the second guy says, "I've seen that it works,
so I'll try it!" He immediately jumps over the balcony - plunges
downward - rapidly passes the 11th, 10th, 9th, 8th floors ...his body
hits the sidewalk with a loud "splat."
Back upstairs, the
bartender who had been silent the whole time turns to the first drinker,
and shakes his head. He says,
know, Superman, you're a real jerk when
We had never been to
Lake Tahoe. The first time the name registered in my memory was when it
was mentioned in the movie "City of Angels." A group of friends
planned to go the weekend before the start of school and invited us to
go with them. It was only a few days before our departure that we were
told it would be snowing. I thought it was going to be bright and sunny.
The last time I faced
snow in all its glory was way back in college when the snow reached a
depth of 4 feet in Washington, D.C. My wife and daughters had never seen
fresh snow. So we were looking forward to the experience.
Wednesday, the day
before departure, there were news that a blizzard was expected at Lake Tahoe
the whole weekend. We thought that was the end of our trip but one of our
groupmates said a blizzard was the perfect time to see fresh snow. "Let's
pray for a blizzard!" my friends Danny and Edwin shouted.
(Maria, a good friend
of mine, told me later that "only nuts and daredevils
went to Lake Tahoe last weekend." She was right. Talk
about self awareness!) The trip from the Los Angeles area to Lake
Tahoe took us an uneventful 8 hours. There was no blizzard in
we decided to walk around the malls, When we stepped out of our
15-seater van, snow suddenly started to fall. We wished there was more. We
took pictures beside the dirty snow mounds to prove we had at least seen
snow. Suddenly, the wind changed direction and snow flurries began to fall like
cotton balls. In minutes, everything was blanketed in a white carpet. It was as
if we were inside one of those decorative Christmas balls
that you shake to produce a winter wonderland. The kids were throwing
snowballs at each other. Families were taking turns posing for next year's
Christmas cards. It was beautiful. Christmas was over but I found myself
singing "Winter Wonderland".
Saturday we headed
back. Equipped with snow tire chains, we headed down the mountain amidst
the blanket of snow that fell the night before. We must
have gone less than a mile when the tire chains began to flap alarmingly.
Apparently, the chains were a size too big and the resulting slack caused the
them to pound against the underside of the van. I braved the cold winds and the
slush on the road and tightened the chains with a shoestring. It worked
well enough until we found a hardwate store where we bought industrial-strength
wire. We were about to purchase a $4 wire cutter but the cashier nodded
his head and said "This cutter is too small to really cut anything
... what you need is this $9 one." Edwin, our designated driver,
looked at me and I knew his thoughts: "this salesman is trying to
sell us something we don't really need." But we decided to play safe
and bought that expensive piece of equipment. That was the first miracle.
THE ROAD DOWN THE
Our tire chains
were only on our rear tires. Every few miles I had to get out
of the van to tighten them. Sometimes it would be the left
rear tire, sometimes the right. It was an exercise in creativity,
skill and patience. My bare hands tightened those wires so often
the smell of cold steel lingered in my hands after a while.
equipped with snow tires and chains were allowed to drive down the mountain.
It was a slow procession through the slush. By now the
windows of the van had become thoroughly covered in mist. It seemed like we
were inside a submarine. Every now and then I would jump out to
adjust the chains. It was a real test of patience. Despite everything,
we were still able to admire the incredible beauty of the postcard-
perfect pine forest.
the mountain, snow slowly turned into rain. Vehicles pulled over
as drivers started removing tire chains. We decided to follow suit. I heaved
a sigh of relief because that meant the end of my ordeal as the
tire chain mechanic. However, what was supposed to be an easy
task turned into a nightmare as I realized that the tire chains had gotten entangled
around one of the tires. I was forced to lie down under the van, right on a
muddy slush of snow, in order to get a good view of the problem.
Edwin and I realized that the only way we could remove the chain
was to cut it with the industrial-strength wire cutter
that we almost didn't buy. If not for that wonderful invention, we
would have been dinner for the abominable snowman.
Feeling very much
relieved, we began whistling as we continued down the mountain for
a few more miles. And then it happend. The wind changed its mind and the
rain turned to snow once again. Ice collected on the road and vehicles
started to wobble uncontrollably ... including ours. I could see terror
etched in Edwin's face as prayers to the Almighty began to echo inside the
vehicle. After a few more slips on the icy road it was becoming too dangerous.
Edwin pulled over. I got up to greet my old friends once more -- the tire chains.
I knew one set was already damaged so I knew my real test was just about
to begin. I prayed that God would let this cup pass.
Suddenly, the cavalry
appeared. A government-issued, tax-paid snow plow came galloping
down the hill ... and melting all that sleet of ice that had formed on the
surface. I jumped back inside the van and we trailed behind that merciful
angel until we reached freedom. Freedom!
It took us another 8 hours
to get home but that was okay because we had just passed the most dangerous part
of our trip. Later on we found out that the icy road we had traversed was shut
down a few hours after we left.
It was a woonderful
feeling to be back home, warm and dry. In my quiet moments I asked myself if I regreted
driving up and going through the blizzard. Are you kidding? Paraphrasing
Maria's remark I came up with this poem:
We laugh at blizzard monsters,
'cuz rarely they we see.
We're blind to wintry dangers,
'cuz Nuts and Daredevils ... we be.