Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Direct Line to God!

I spent all day yesterday at JPS Hospital learning how to install EKG monitors. As some of you know, I am starting a new job selling Cardiovascular equipment to hospitals and JPS is a customer in my territory.

If you are not familiar with the fine work of this hospital, it is where most "less fortunate" and homeless go for care. It is a great place to watch people and, if you are so inclined, to look for good stories.

I just so happened to meet a woman yesterday that provided me with a fairly entertaining few minutes and would like to share my visit with her.

I was sitting in the main lobby waiting for the others in my group to show up. I had been there for about 15 minutes, when a woman in her late 50s or so walked up to me. She was holding 2 plastic sacks full of clothes and looked like she was homeless (I cannot confirm this through my conversation with her). Here's how it all went down:

Woman: "Sir, I just got discharged from here and don't have money for bus fare. Can you help me out?"

Me: "How much is bus fare?"

Woman: "Three dollars, but anything you can give is fine."

I open my wallet and all I have is $3, but I pull it out and give it to her anyway. She takes the money and continues to talk to me:

Woman: I" know you from somewhere. How do I know you?"

Me: I work down at the Union Gospel Shelter. Have you seen me there? Are you a resident at the shelter?"

Woman: "No!" Looking at me like I'm crazy for asking. "New York City?"

Me: "No. I've never been there."

Woman: "Brooklyn? I think it was Brooklyn."

Me: "No Ma'am. I live here and never been to New York."

Woman: "I know your parents. Who are your parents? I know them."

Me: "Well, my dad passed away and Mom lives in Amarillo."

Woman: "Your mother is a famous actress, isn't she? I know your Mom and she's a famous actress."

Me: "Sorry. No, she's a retired school teacher."

Woman: "Are you in ministry? Are you a minister?"

Me: "No, Ma'am. I'm not in professional ministry. I do like to think that I'm in ministry, though."

Woman: "I knew it. I can tell that you know God. Can you do me a favor?"

Me: "Sure. What is it?"

Woman: "Please pray for the children. Just pray for them."

Me: "I sure will."

Woman: "Oh, and when you talk to God, tell him to give me a call."

With that, she turned and walked out the front door.

I have to go now. I have a call to make.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

You are what you smoke - You giant "Butt"!

Well, if I didn't alienate myself from enough people last week, let me see what I can do now.

For most people who know me, they have heard me on my "Cigarettes out the window" rant. But, just in case you missed it, let me give it to you via blog.

Where to start, Where to start...
...Oh, how about that I think every person who throws cigarettes (lit or not) out the window of a vehicle should be strung up and put on public display to show the world their "Butt". I feel so much stronger about this than I will write in my blog because it will damage my witness and may not put me in such a glowing light, so I'll try to scale this back while still attempting to get my point across.

First of all, I don't know how anyone can ever be dumb enough to start to smoke, but that is everyone's perogative and I will not even attempt to go there. However, when those who do smoke think that the world is their ashtray and can drive all over God's beautiful earth and flick cancer sticks out their window makes it mine and everyone else's around business. What can they be thinking? I have tried many times to put myself in their shoes and gone as far as actually rolling down my window and pretending to throw something out of my window to see how it made me feel. It just doesn't compute in my tiny little pea brain.

Do they think that we don't see this red hot, smoking filter with fire oozing from it hit the ground and bounce across the pavement? Do they think that, since it's just so dang "good"for them and makes them look so "cool" that they need to bring even more attention to their themselves? Maybe. Does the fact that they may very well be the reason that these raging fires are mysteriously popping up everywhere? Do they care that animals are choking on them thinking that they are food? Do they care that its illegal? Do they care that most people look at them like they are (as my Dad use to put it) "Low Rent?" Probably not.

I have to make a confession that very well may put me in a "crazy" category all my own. But, its not a place that I'm not already familiar with. So, I'll go ahead and tell you that I have taken my complete rage for this act to a new level. I have found 2 websites that allow you to report litterers to them, and they, in return, will contact the litters by mail telling them that they were witnessed littering and enclose a bumper sticker and auto trash bag. It's a very kind letter, but it will let them know that they are being watched. At one point, I was reporting 4-5 week, but my wife said that I had become obsessed and to give these people a little grace. So, I've scaled way back.

Please know that I do not hate these people. I make plenty of mistakes every day myself. I simply get angry seeing others have no regard for others around them. I must also admit that I grew up in a family (in the 70s) where my Dad thought that it was perfectly fine to throw out anything not nailed down inside the car. I remember when we'd pass through a town and pick up food at the Dairy Queen on our way to see our Grandparents. After everyone in the family was finished my Dad would say, "Wait until we get outside of town to throw that out". Then, my brother and I would try to hit a highway sign with our stuffed DQ bag. So, I am also guilty of the littering thing. But, something happened after I grew up and I realized that I don't want to be the guy who make the Indian cry or cinge Smokey's Bear fur. All I ask is that smokers will think about others before tossing smokes out the window. It's not that hard to wait until you get home to throw them away.

If anyone wants to re-Butt on this and tell me how shallow I'm being, I'm willing to listen. However, if you are on board with my thoughts and want to report litterers as well, here are the links:

Good Times!