Wallets or Billfolds: Is There a Life Lesson in Considering Them?

I want to share some food for thought. It might not be very tasty to some, however, if we stretch our minds way way way out, we might be able to somehow find some philosophy in it.

The thought, or more correctly, the query is: Are billfolds called billfolds because they fold bills as they close or are they called billfolds because the billfold itself folds while containing bills? It doesn’t seem like it would be worthy of consideration but, as I said be, we might be able to pull some meaning out of it.

First, let’s consider the question without scratching the surface. If they are called billfolds because they fold bills then only the ones that fold in half or in thirds would rightly be called billfolds but could also be referred to as wallets. The longer ones that either clasp and sit in a purse or stick way up out of, most commonly, a cowboy’s or farmer’s pocket could only be called wallets. This creates a situation in which all billfolds are wallets but not all wallets are billfolds. Hooray.

If they are called billfolds because the fold while containing bills they are all wallets and/or billfolds depending upon your preference. Unless someone has invented a rigid item with a slot into which you slide bills without folding the bill or the item. We won’t go into that, however, because then we would have to determine whether, if the item were made of a single piece of material, would it mean that it was simply permanently pre-folded and therefore a billfold? Also, if it were made of multiple pieces, therefore undeniably not folded, with a hinged piece that opens for bill retrieval would manipulating the hinge count as folding? Getting into that, though, would be a nightmare of technical babbling that would render us all confused and angry so I shall avoid this at all costs and stick with the original question which, probably, is confusing and angering anyone reading this more than they’re enjoying anyway.

With that all behind us, let’s look at what, if any, lesson we may draw from the distinctions between wallets and billfolds. This seems weak to me, but it’s the best I’ve got: No matter what they’re called, and whether or not anyone is offended by one term or the other, wallets and billfolds by either name perform their functions impervious to our meanderings. Both are designed for a certain purpose and, though the designs may differ, they do what they are designed to do. Perhaps if we, as people of all different titles and statuses and colors and countless other distinctions, perform our functions impervious to the tags that others may pin upon us, we will be a stronger people more capable of higher thought because our minds are free of the stresses of worrying about what other people think we are or are designed to do.

And so you see, even the most ridiculous of thoughts can be used to edify if we try hard enough.

I bid you adieu…and a don’t.

Adieu…be a wallet if you’re a wallet, even if others think you’re a billfold. We are all in this together and have basically the same purpose despite our physical differences.

A don’t…think I profess it to be easy. A wallet is an inanimate object and does what it does due to our manipulation. I understand that we, as thinking, feeling beings, will have a harder time with this. This was all simply my attempt to draw meaning from a random thought I had. I hope it made some sense to you.

 

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End of the World Prophecies End, The World Survives; A Possible Solution to the Age-old Conundrum

Perhaps you’ve heard the most recent Doomsday report that claims the world will end Saturday. If you haven’t, the end of the world has been predicted for Saturday, September 23, 2017. Get ready.

Or don’t bother. We all know that it won’t happen (not all of us, I guess. Most of us). The Mayans were wrong. Perhaps more fairly put, the people who “interpreted” an ancient calendar with no surviving users were wrong. Nostradamus was wrong, (I’m no expert on Nostradamus but surely he’s prophesied on this) web bots were wrong. Biblical scholars, Jewish scholars and crack-pot prognosticators have all been wrong. It isn’t because they are stupid or uneducated. Perhaps it is simply because the world has already ended and we are already in some sort of after-life.

It’s very simple to throw out theories like this. Rest assured, I have substantial evidence to back my claim.

Let’s consider technology. High-end tech labs continue to churn out products at a pace that is nearly as unbelievable as the products themselves. I heard on the radio the other day about a phone security app that gives access to you only after scanning your face to be sure you are an authorized user. Apparently this even adjusts itself over time so that it continues to recognize you even as your face droops with age. Amazing! Slightly scary. Fraught with bugs? We should know the answer to that in about ten or twenty years. I also heard about a pair of pants that will vibrate one leg or the other to notify you that you need make a turn as you progress toward your destination. That’ll be off the market as soon as someone allows their pants to lead them into the path on an oncoming train. Maybe the pants are smart enough to detect trains. At the very least you could call someone smarty pants and literally be correct. It’s about time. Thank you, techno geeks. But I digress.

The unbelievable nature of these products and the speedy  jumps of technological history could be attributed to the fact that the world has already ended. This would go a long way to explaining why these unrealities are realities. They could simply be mass hallucinations inspired by something in the atmosphere we believe we are breathing in.

If we were already in an after-life setting this would also explain Bigfoot, UFOS, ghosts, ESP and every other new-age idea and supernatural experience. People don’t die, they just leave behind their “body” and become invisible.( Or maybe there’s some after- life after the after-life. I hadn’t considered that until just now.) Some people have really seen Bigfoot. Some people have actually been abducted by aliens. People can really read minds and make the Statue of Liberty disappear and keep their teeth white and do any other unbelievable thing because the science we profess to understand doesn’t apply here like it did before the world ended.

Anyway, just food for thought.

I bid you adieu…and a don’t.

Adieu…think about it.

A don’t…overthink it.

Multiple Burnings; Perhaps I Should Be Concerned

About a week ago I nearly burned down my house. It wasn’t purposeful, despite Freud’s input on the subject of accidents. I had the grand plan in mind of making a Halloween decoration. I bought a plastic skull on a pedestal at the dollar store with the idea of putting a candle in the top and answering the door for trick or treaters while holding it and offering an Alfred Hitchcocky “Goood Eeev’ning” before dispensing treats (and bookmarks depicting my children’s book. A shameless marketing ploy, forgive me).

“Here’s a nice led candle!” My wife wisely stated as I fantasized about the most spookiest time of the year.

“Real.” I dumbly asserted. “I want to be authentic.”

So we bought real candles. The tapered kind. I decided I wanted wax dripped all over the non-authentic skull. I carefully cut a perfectly sized hole in the skull and placed one of my candles inside. I (dumbly) waited until the next day when my wife was at work and set the thing on the kitchen counter. I lit the candle and let it burn while I did dishes. After dishes, I cooked breakfast and ate while watching documentaries on YouTube. After this I checked the candle, saw that it was nearly halfway burned down and thought to myself I’ll go to the bathroom and then blow out the candle. 

Only, I didn’t blow out the candle. I went to my room, sat in my bed and played Fallout. A guilty pleasure I sometimes engage in due to my obsession with survival skills and post-apocalyptic living. Several times during my foray into fantasy I considered going to get my glasses. They were on the kitchen counter. Several times I decided that not getting up was preferable to reading the dialogue on the screen.

After a while I began to smell something. I wondered absentmindedly why someone would be burning plastic.

The smell got stronger, and I absentmindedly wondered why they were burning so much plastic.

I didn’t become concerned until my English Mastiff, Stella, burst through my bedroom door, whining. She hid as well as she could under my bedside table, which wasn’t very well at all. She’s a monster. Basically she hid her nose under the bedside table. Several things clicked in my brain then, and I sprang from my bed uttering words I am normally loathe to use. I tripped over my blankets, my dog, my own feet. I ran to the kitchen to find a flaming puddle of molten plastic on my counter and, somehow, another on my floor a couple of feet away. The house survives but I’m going to replace a countertop and a good chunk of floor.

Unfortunately for my wife, she decided to keep me.

Last night I was attempting to light a candle the authentic way, with a wooden match. My wife was standing nearby, to her detriment. I’ve realized she loves me to her detriment. As I struck the match, the tip caught fire then broke cleanly from the…handle?…of the match and landed, flaming, on her shirt. We both stared at the tiny conflagration for a moment before I punched her in the stomach to save her life. Not hard, mind you, just hard enough to save her life.

In less than I month I’ve nearly burned down both my house and my wife. It seems it runs in my family. My dad has had some very close calls with fire most, as are mine, of his own making.

My poor mom. My poor house. My poor wife.

I bid you adieu…and a don’t.

Adieu…avoid me. Just avoid me. If you value your life and the in-charred status of your home, body and belongings avoid me.

A don’t…judge me. Pyromania is a genetic trait.

A Few Short Video Ideas; Cameras, Actors and Post Production Needed: Part 2

I posted a while ago about some ideas I had for some videos that I cannot produce due to my lack of interested friends, cameras, post production wizards, software…the list goes on. Here are a few that I forgot.

The scene opens on a street packed with limos and lamborghinis (I don’t have any of these either). The camera pans as exquisitely dressed people are helped out of the cars by…whoever helps rich people out of their cars. There are several cuts to showcase the class of individuals arriving, highlighting the fact that the women are dripping diamonds and the men are so well shaven that they look as if a whisker has never dared grow upon their distinguished faces. The camera follows the people into a beautiful opera house or theater (whatever I can afford to rent, so probably nothing more than a cardboard room painted real nice). They are ushered to plush chairs surrounding tables that are extravagantly dressed where they are served foods so fancy I can’t even pronounce the names of the dishes. There is much snobbish chatter. A decadent dessert is served and, as the people begin to eat it, the lights dim and a hush falls over the room. A conductor in tails and bow tie steps to the center of the stage and bows. He turns his back to the crowd and the lights on the stage rise with the curtain to reveal an impeccably dressed orchestra with Strad violins and the other instruments’ Strad equivalents. The conductor raises his baton and as he drops his arm the silence is filled with the worst music anyone has ever heard. A few shots of rich folk dropping their champagne glasses and other such whatnot and fade to black.

The next is similar. The scene is some sort of talent show. I ascend the stage, lean in to the microphone and say something like “I’d like to play you a song I wrote. It’s very special to me and I hope you like it.” I close my eyes and play some beautiful guitar riff. Let’s pause for a second. I need to explain something. I make a noise that has been compared to the noise people think a pterodactyl would make. It once reduced a high strung manager of mine to a near seizure. Back to the video. As I lean in to the microphone to start singing, I simply open my throat and screech right into the mike. Cut to the audience as they wince and seize and run away.

Next, a non-offensive-noise based video. I saw a video once of an old lady skydiving and her dentures fly out of her mouth. I acquire the rights to use that video. Then I add it to a video of my own making. We open with the first few seconds of the skydiver. We cut to a toothless person in front of the mirror. A tear rolls down the cheek of the toothless person. He or she (to be determined) runs to their front yard. Cut back to the skydiver’s dentures flying out of her mouth. Cut back to the toothless person who falls to their knees and raise their hands and face to the heavens screaming “Dear God, when will I ever have teeth again?”  As the sentence is completed, the skydiver’s dentures fall perfectly into the mouth of the supplicant and he or she chomps a couple times and falls prostrate. This one has an alternate ending. Instead of falling perfectly into the mouth the dentures embed themselves into the cheek of the supplicant before the screen fades to black.

Finally, a religious play on Star Wars. Or a Star Wars play on religion. We open on a scene depicting Jesus and Judas Iscariot at the last supper. Jesus waves his hand at Judas and says “You will not betray me.” Judas says “What do you think you are, some kind of Messiah, waving your hand around like that? I’m an Iscariot! Miracles do not work on me. Only Silver.” Fade to black.

I bid you adieu…and a don’t.

Adieu…feel free to contact me if you’d like to help me produce these.

A don’t…feel offended if you are a Christian or a Star Wars fan. I don’t mean to demean either Christianity or those obsessed with Star Wars. I find both to be wonderful ways to live, and merely think the Star Wars and religion crossover is funny.

If you like my blog feel free to visit my facebook page @williamennisauthor. My philosophy on writing is available there. Likes, follows and, of course, book purchases are always greatly appreciated. A portion of all royalties I receive will go to programs that strengthen and enrich families.

Cooking With Kiddos; A Recipe From My Son

We made pancakes for breakfast a few days ago. My son, who is five, helped out. He was quite eager to pour the ingredients into the bowl. He was so eager, in fact, that he would try to yank the measuring cup from my hand while I was still filling it. We ended up with quite a mess and some decent pancakes. My pancake recipe isn’t what I want to share with you, though.

As I was cooking, and constantly reminding my son that he couldn’t flip the pancakes because the cast iron griddle was very hot and very easy to accidentally touch when your fine motor skills aren’t fine tuned just yet, he was busy behind my back. I didn’t notice until I heard a small grunt and the statement “I’m very strong!” coming from the vicinity of the refrigerator.

Knowing that this is his favorite brag when he is lifting something he shouldn’t, I turned to find that he had taken a gallon of chocolate milk out of the fridge and was stooped over, trudging toward the table with it and grunting like a caveman dragging home a brachiosaurus.

I said “If you wanted a drink you should’ve asked for help.” After which I bent to bear the burden for him. He began twisting violently and screamed “No! No! No! It’s for my recipe. I don’t need help. I VERY STRONG!”

“What recipe?” I asked, truly interested, as I wrested the full gallon jug from his grip.

“My recipe!” He proudly stated as he pointed at the measuring cup overflowing cloudy white water onto the kitchen table. From the top of the cup protruded the handles of the measuring spoons. They looked to be at their ease, reclining against the lip of their fellow utensil. I could almost imagine little stainless steel elbows hanging over the rim as if the spoons were enjoying a dip in some therapeutic culinary hot tub.

“What is that?” I asked, laughing as I tried to determine the contents of the cup. From what I could tell it contained the left over flour that had adhered to the cup, water, vanilla and maybe salt and black pepper. I inquired again as to the true contents of the cup to which the 5 year old responded “It’s my recipe. It’s gummy sour.”

“Gummy sour?” I retorted, incredulous. “Well, dump it out please, it’s making a mess.”

“No”, he said, “we have to cook it.”

“Cook it how?” Growing more incredulous.

“In the stove.”

“Ok, well, clean up the mess.”

I went back to flipping flapjacks and, to my surprise, when I set the platter of pancakes on the table, the surface was clean and the “gummy sour” was nowhere to be found. I thanked my son for following instructions and we had breakfast.

It wasn’t until lunch time that I realized how serious he was about cooking his gummy sour. There, on the top shelf of the fridge, dripping cloudy white water onto the clear top of the crisper drawer, sat the vile concoction my son had composed, the measuring spoons still lounging against its edge.

Thankfully he didn’t notice when I dumped it out. As intriguing as gummy sour sounds, I never would’ve been able to reduce that mixture to gumminess and if, by some chance, I had, I never would’ve been able to scrape it off the pan. Despite its lack of gumminess I’m thinking he mastered the sour part.

I didn’t taste it to find out.

I bid you adieu…and a don’t.

Adieu…take your children’s culinary ideas with a grain of salt. If my son devised the recipe it’s probably mostly salt anyway.

A don’t…eat anything my son cooks. Ever. Even when he’s older and more experienced in the kitchen.

A Few Film Ideas; Actors and Film Equipment Needed…A Cry For Help

I have a few ideas for parody videos. I had planned to produce them and post them to youtube but I suffer from a lack of cameras, camera operators, actors, props and the ability to do any post-production fine tuning. So I’ll live vicariously through verbal explanations.

My first is a parody of The Terminator. In my version Terminator comes back, in nude style as always, feeling bad for all the damage and death he has contributed to. He has a one track mind and, without even stopping to steal any clothes, approaches the first house he finds and knocks on the door. A man answers and shows surprise at being visited by a naked muscle man.

“What do you want?” He asks, quizzically and a bit alarmed.

The Terminator, hoping to avoid any confusion, states “I am the Ex-Terminator.”

“I didn’t call any exterminator.” The homeowner says, annoyed.

“Not the exterminator the Ex-Terminator.” Ex-Terminator says, again trying to convey that he means no harm.

“But I don’t need an exterminator. I don’t have any bugs!” the homeowner asserts.

“Neither do I, my programming is perfect.” The Terminator says in a proud dead-pan.

Fade to black.

Imagine a foreign visitor passing a nice suburban home with a small fence around the front yard. As he passes he waves at one of the home’s occupants who is sitting on the porch. The person on the porch utters some slur against foreigners. The foreigner, just familiar enough with our language and customs, realizes he’s been insulted. He screams “I take of fence!” And then pulls out some wire cutters, snips off a small section of fence and runs away with it. On his face is a look suggesting he feels he’s followed proper protocols. Cut to the person on the porch, zoom in on their confused expression, fade to black.

A fireworks stand stands in a parking lot. Above the stand is a sign that says used fireworks. We take a tour through the stand from a customer’s viewpoint. This provides opportunities for sign gags such as a sign stating “only used once” on a box of already exploded firecrackers or “nearly new” on the sticks that bottle rockets come on. We’ll see boxes of parachute men and already spun spinners and whistled whistlers, charred at the ends and sad looking. By the register is a box of charred nubs that used to be punks. All through the video we will hear the proprietor making poor sales pitches in the background. I haven’t written those jokes yet. The customer exits and we fade to black.

It’s quite likely I’ll never be able to produce these. If you’d like I give you permission to make them as long as I get writing credit and the opportunity to place an ad for my books in the video. As long as we’re on the subject of my book you’ll forgive me for saying that you might as well buy one for your children, future children, grand children, friend’s children (any children, really) or yourself. “How Sir Donkey Legs Became a Knight” is available at amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com or xlibris.com. Remember that a portion of all royalties I receive will go to programs that enrich and strengthen families.

I bid you adieu…and a don’t.

Adieu…feel free to contact me if you’d like to produce youtube videos with me.

A don’t…forget to imagine whenever possible.

 

Evolution of a Living Language

My brothers and I used to make up words. Maybe all kids do this. It isn’t that the words we made up have been incorporated into the English language. I don’t claim that we have in any way contributed to its evolution. If nothing else our own private additions would devolve our ability to understand each other.

For example, we used to pronounce short vowel sounds as long ones. Hilarious with the first I long becomes a common greeting-larious. We didn’t stop there. We separated the syllables and added it’s. To me and my brothers if something was funny it was “Hi Larry, it’s us.” It wasn’t long before I decided there should be a formal version which is “Greetings Lawrence, it is we whom you have been expecting.” Using this statement in lieu of laughter made no sense to our parents no matter how many times we tried to explain it.

We used nasto the clown as a synonym for gross things and uggles the clown as a synonym for each other’s ugly faces. Somehow light was moasip and dark was soamip. There were others, I’m sure, but nothing comes readily to mind. These last few examples were the cream of a less than creamy crop, but they led into my desire to use actual words in such a way as to render a simple statement unintelligible to anyone too disinterested to bother deciphering his or her own language.

I bid you adieu…and a don’t.

Adieu…know that I realize this whole post was a load of male bovine fecal matter.

A don’t…think that I don’t realize reading it is equivalent to a nocturnal equine female.