Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Food Court-ology – the basic study of creatures that come to the City’s Watering Hole at the Mall – Part Two

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Food Court-ology – the basic study of creatures that come to the City’s Watering Hole at the Mall – Part Two
It had to be Christmas that brought out the really different people. Mind you Peterborough has large number of very different people – but this Holiday Season the Mall was filled with more than usual… thus the assumption that they came from other places… or came home for the holidays.
Let me explain.
Standing in front of me was the strangest looking guy that I have seen for a long time. He was tall and when I looked up my eye caught the attention getter that he was sporting. He had huge ear plugs in his earlobe. By huge I mean they were at least two inches across. His poor earlobe was stretched to go around the ring plug he has selected for that day.  The skin of that stretched part was almost purple but stayed at a rose red colour.  He and his studded female friend in the line had just come in from outside. And OUTSIDE was about Minus 14 C!
The poor ear lobes were just on the verge of freezing I imagine.
Now how do I know all this… well it is my task as I pursue my Food Court-ology that I look closely.  And having him situate himself in the food lineup – right in front with my nose almost in the ear plug ring – I could see quite well.
Mr. Ear Plug Ring Guy may be the nicest guy you could ever meet, but he seemed to bristle with the plugs and studs in other parts of his body.  Like he was saying, “I am purposely weird to make you freak out as you see me. I may be your Cancer Specialist or Cardiologist in a year of so… until then you have to just deal with what you see.”
No kidding this ringed and stapled and punched out and studded up next generation will be looking after us oldies soon.  And other than be freaked out when the guy comes in with no earlobe(as it froze and then fell off) I guess he can advise me on my personal hygiene as a Senior sitting in his Office as  Doctor.
No kidding… at the Mall there are all kinds of Geeks and Freaks that are there just for the observing.
Not long after seeing the dude with the plugs/rings I was reading an article in the latest National Geographic Magazine. The article was about a group of Aboriginal people leaving near the Amazon River in Brazil. They have their children’s ears pierced and a plug inserted – about the size of a Magic Marker. They believe that the extra hole in the ear opens the mind to understand better.  Their word in their language for “Stupid” is simple described as “no hole in the ear”!  In other words if you don’t have a plug in your ear – you are dumb or stupid!
Relating that back to the dude in Lansdowne Place Food Court, I can easily assume the statement I make about his being a Doctor in the near future is true.
I am off again to do more study at the Mall’s Food Court today. Too cold outside to do much more – so inside for coffee and watch people again.  University students and High School students are still off – so it should be a good day to collect more data.
~ Murray Lincoln ~
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Sunday, December 29, 2013

Food Court-ology – the basic study of creatures that come to the City’s Watering Hole at the Mall – Part One

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Food Court-ology – the basic study of creatures that come to the City’s Watering Hole at the Mall – Part One
Every day or so we make our way to the Local Mall, Lansdowne Place, to shop, and then eventually have a cup of coffee.  My wife does the shopping and I continue my personal study which I have labeled, “Food Court-ology”. 
What is “Food Court-ology” you may ask?
Well the Food Court at any Mall is a gathering place for all kinds of local species.  It is a lot like the huge watering holes you will see in Africa where all kinds of different “animals” gather for a long drink after a hot day of walking.  Some are there to drink and some are there to capture their prey for that night.  The Watering Hole is the attraction and all kinds come. The Food Court is the very same – all kinds come.  And they all come for different reasons.
In my “Food Court-ology” course of study I have identified a number of kinds of characters.  They are all of the same species but very different in their attitudes and displays of their personhood.
Let me explain and show what I have seen.
There are the Teenies, young teen girlies that are just discovering that they are the complete center of the universe… and being that they are all together and each in their own way at the center of the universe where everything revolves around them… there is a great struggle in that each one is trying to hold that CENTRAL POINT… but only one can stay at that place.
The conflict comes as they try to unseat the other.
Now along with the Teenie Girlies come the Odd Ball Teenie Guys.  These creatures are just discovering that they are different than their siblings back home. They have hair growing in odd places and nearly all have not learned how to dress for public presentation.  They are generally “gooberish” in that they wear clothes that don’t fit and do not match anything.  Their hats are positioned at an array of possible spots on their heads.  The hat can be pulled down tight with the ears almost covered… or the ears can be out somewhat but below the mass of hair that sticks out at weird places. Should someone grab his hat off his head the mortification factor nearly causes the young dude to die on the spot. (It is usually one of the Teenie Girlie creatures that steals the hat as she is looking to be the center of the universe.)
The Teenie Guys are to be stepped on, used as foot rests, and generally looked upon with simmering disgust by the Girlies… until she takes his cap and a struggle ensues.
Next comes the “Senior Highers” or “Abouttograduate Teeners”. These gals are so far advanced in their world progress that they want nothing to do with trying to be the center of the universe – they simply are.  They flip their hair a certain way, gently keep pulling down one of their three layered tops over their skin tight leg coverings – which can he tights, blue jeans or whatever will show your growing butt off best.  While sitting with their close friends of that moment, their eyes constantly flash glances out to a moving world around them. Should a guy that they knew in Grade Nine happen by… and he has evolved into a hunk with his hunk friends hanging with him… fluttering of recognition will take place… a smile and then a small wave. Then the gush and double gush as he comes to the table with his wary friends.
Have in mind a Female Lion just having stopped a fantastic Bush Buck… and the Bush Buck’s friends are looking on very carefully… “Like dude… she is not the only thing here at the Watering Hole! Danger! Danger!”
Then there are the “Seniors of the Mall” – retirees from the community. The ones that are too old to go south because of high insurance costs.  These “Seniors of the Mall” have their own ruts at the watering hole… and don’t you forget it.  If perchance you get there a little earlier than their group you will cause some regal stare downs if you are sitting in their place or at their table.  One time not long ago the Mall Food Court was full. One of the “Seniors of the Mall” had situated himself at their favorite table for his 3 PM meeting with his group… but it was 1:30 PM – a little early.
To have some fun I sat down at one of the six empty chairs which immediately ruffled his feathers and he told me that these seats were saved.  I informed him that his group wouldn’t be here till later… and I would be done my coffee by that time.  He wouldn’t look at me.
Lord oh Lord – you would think that we were back in high school and the favorite cafeteria table again!!!
Food Court-ology is a real course in Human Interaction at a favorite watering hole…
More to come soon… where you can meet or see the Freaks and Geeks, Weird-o-s and simply Sad People…next posting.
~ Murray Lincoln ~
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Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas – Transformed into a “socialist’s festival for peace”

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Christmas – Transformed into a “socialist’s festival for peace”
Yes you read that right – Christmas was transformed into a “socialist’s festival for peace”. It happened in Germany – East Germany to be exact when the Communist Government of Russia took control of its people.  Being that their Government was “atheist and anti-materialist” and wouldn’t allow Jesus nor Santa Claus to be part of their communities – they had to give it some kind of name that no one else used!
It isn’t that way any longer after the 1990 fall of the Wall and the transformation that started to take place.
But even though the political leaders of the time forced these radical ideologies on its population – the wood carvers would not stop doing what they had always had done – carve beautiful creations – just the way they always had.
I found this interesting article about the undying spirit of people that deserve better treatment than they had received.  My hat goes off to these amazing people of Germany – the Wood Carvers.

You might like to read more about what actually took place in this article from the Global Post - Germany: “How Christmas survived communism”

Mind you – today they are trying their hardest to maintain “Father Christmas’” place in their society versus the American/Coca Cola style of Santa Claus… which is most of our Western World’s way of looking at the old dude.
One part of my soul and self is German – I think you would classify it as at least 25% with Great Grandparents coming to the USA first from Germany, and then eventually to Canada.  When I read the article something inside me stood up proudly and said, “Ja. Vielen Dank Holzschnitzer
~ Murray Lincoln ~
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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas’ Old, Old Story told again this evening

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Christmas’ Old, Old Story told again this evening
As we sang the old carols again this evening there was a warmth in the sanctuary.  Together in the dimmed light we enjoyed the pleasant memories that flooded each of us from a long time ago.
Each year Northview Church gets together on Christmas Eve to remember again the time long ago when Jesus was born.  If it was the actual date or not – it doesn’t matter for any of us. We were raised to remember Jesus’ birthday.
Tonight at the end of the service the Children’s Pastor Heather brought out a large Birthday Cake and the kids came forward to blow out the candles together – for our benediction to a wonderful service together. Then each child was given a balloon on a string to help remember what we did.
It was a creative night with much to think about.
I smiled as we left the building to enter the cold wind outside.  For a number there tonight it may be their last time to do this. They are getting old and frail. Others are moving away. Things change whether we want it to or not.
That fact alone makes this night special. It makes each moment together meaningful.  I have learned to take nothing for granted – at all.
It is Christmas Eve as I write this… and I say – “Merry Christmas to each of you – wherever you may be this year!”
~ Murray Lincoln ~







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Friday, December 20, 2013

Christmas Sadness - Joy, Peace, Love

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Christmas Sadness - Joy, Peace, Love
Joy, Peace, Love, and all kinds of Happy People – everywhere!  Well maybe not in the Malls and at stores as they finish their last minute shopping.  Some are a little frazzled to say the least.
But the church sign states that Christmas is all about Joy, Peace, and Love.
But that is not necessarily true.
Some of my friends have lost loves ones this year.  The place setting that is normally for that special family member is now empty.  One chair is not needed.  There is a void.
The family will not get a Card this year from Grandma because Grandma, who was always all things “Christmas” – decorations, and Christmas Treats, extra baking and all that she did, is gone. It will not happen. Grandma is gone.
One family I know lost their 16 year daughter and this year she will be dearly missed. Even approaching the Christmas Tree and the start of giving out of the gifts will not be the same. When the rotation took place and Dad gave out each gift, his daughter had a unique place as being in the middle of all the kids… and there will be no gifts for that one.
If that family pauses to consider the Joy, Peace, and Love – it will have a different meaning for sure.
No one will be able to describe the empty and hollow feeling that comes from knowing that Dad will never laugh again with the family.
No one will ever be able to tell you what it is like to want to call the person that you call each year at this time to share your memories of the past 12 months. They can no longer answer the call. There is no one home… in fact the home was sold earlier in the year when the death took place.
This time of year special people are empty and homes are too quiet.  I think of my friend’s family as they are no longer there for the celebration – and I can do nothing to help.
I wanted to yell out to the church with the sign… “That won’t happen for everyone – take the sign down!!”
Yet I have to remember that the God that allowed his Son to come in an expression of His Great Love – lived like we live and loved the same too.  And Yes God – I do believe in that wonderful message of Joy, Peace, and Love.
I pray for all those that lost loved ones this year and the year before.
I am also praying for all the folk that are recovering in the hospital. Guys like Paul Munro that is 53, just had a massive stroke and may lose a number of his abilities to cope with life.  Their family will concentrate around his bed this year… celebrating will change. But Paul is alive and the stroke could have been worse.
I pray for my Uncle Irving today.  This weekend he will enter a Hospice home to begin the last days with the help that he will need. Irving has found out that the cancer that he had has now developed in his brain and it is very serious. He has lived a long life – but will be dearly missed.  Having this all happen at Christmas is very difficult for all the family… as some of them spend time with their kids along ways from where Dad and Mom are… then face the New Year with the next step his “home going”.
Then again it is closer to home each day for my wife and me. Each morning I go into to wake my mother I am never sure if she will be able to get up one more time. Her hope is to die quietly in her sleep. And now at 92 – almost 93 – I am never sure if last night was her last night with us.  As her abilities and mobility decrease I wish that she could have her final wish… but until that happens there will be one more Christmas with us.  Then I think in every action that we do together… could this be the last time I help her.
Joy, Peace, and Love are there, but at times it hard to remember how I should act.
God, please help my friends that are facing this difficult season.  Thanks so much.
~ Murray Lincoln ~
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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Ordinary to Extraordinary – from John Maxwell

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With the Christmas Rush on now - this is far better than I could write for today ~ Murray Lincoln
Ordinary to Extraordinary – from John Maxwell
What do you think of when I say the word “ordinary?” These are the words that come to my mind: Common. Usual. Normal. Boring. Average. Something you see everyday.
What about “extraordinary?” I think of: Amazing. Incredible. Uncommon. Unusual. Special. Above average. New.
In the English language, only five little letters separate “ordinary” from “extraordinary:” extra. And while “extra” can be defined as “outside,” in English it also means “just a little bit more.”
The word we use is not as important as the idea: the distance between ordinary and extraordinary is shorter than you think. For too long, people have thought there was a huge gap between normal and special. They’ve assumed that “above average” was far above “average.” Unfortunately, once you believe that, it’s easy to conclude that since you’re “average,” you’ll never be anything else; that there’s no way to claw your way up to “above average.”
I’m here to tell you that you’ve made the gap too wide. In life, an extraordinary performance is often separated from an ordinary one by the slightest of margins. What if your ordinary life could become extraordinary with only the smallest of changes? Would it be worth trying?
Here are some “extras” that can help you close the gap between ordinary and extraordinary:
A little extra effort. There is a price to be paid for achievement. Sometimes it’s a large price. But sometimes just a little extra effort can yield significant results. What price are you willing to pay for success?
A little extra time. To give something time, we need something other than perseverance. We need patience with the process of growth. I believe that many of us overestimate events and underestimate the process. But we’ve got it all wrong. As I wrote in the Law of Process in The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, leaders develop daily, not in a day.
A little extra help. I love this saying: “If you see a turtle on top of a fence post, you know he had help getting there!” Why do I love it? Because I’m a turtle on a fencepost. I know that I didn’t get to where I am in life on my own. I’m just not that smart, gifted, or fast. The truth is that those who reached “extraordinary” had help getting there. And many types of success can only be achieved with help. If you refuse to ask for – or accept – it, you limit yourself and your work to a lower level of achievement.
Remember that ordinary and extraordinary are not far apart. If you accomplish just one of the above “extras,” your work will begin to be above average in that area.
If Ordinary People …
Gave a Little Extra Effort,
Spent a Little Extra Time,
Sought a Little Extra Help …
They Would Become Extraordinary!
~ Murray Lincoln ~
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Monday, December 16, 2013

Contrasting Christmases – Old and New

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Contrasting Christmases – Old and New
This time of year is treacherous for people following a diet. In our house specially that is true. I am married to an absolutely wonderful cook that is at her best when Christmas time comes along.  The smells in our house are amazing over these past few days. MmmMMMmmmM!
I watched a TV program last night that was showing what the folks did in Victorian England for their Christmas celebrating.  Very interesting.
I learned that “wassailing” would have you singing to trees or cows.
Wikipedia states – quote – “The tradition of wassailing (alt sp wasselling) falls into two distinct categories: The House-Visiting wassail and the Orchard-Visiting wassail. The House-Visiting wassail, caroling by another name, is the practice of people going door-to-door singing Christmas carols. The Orchard-Visiting wassail refers to the ancient custom of visiting orchards in cider-producing regions of England, reciting incantations and singing to the trees to promote a good harvest for the coming year.”
Not only did they “wassail” their trees in the Orchard they also “wassailed” their cattle and livestock in the barns. The idea was kind of like a blessing.
In the rural farming areas where the farmers worked hard to provide for his family it was important that everything was blessed and working well.
In our family we have enjoyed “mincemeat” pies – which is a mixture of raisins and currants along with fruity flavoured filling in a light pastry.
However this pie was originally a different kind of “mincemeat”. The different kind included Turkey or Goose, Chicken, Pheasant and Pigeon plus other birds.  These are all wrapped together in a special baking pan.  Bake it and then cool it and eat later.
But again a Google search suggested the following – Yorkshire Christmas Pie – quote “First, bone a turkey, a goose, a brace of young pheasants, four partridges, four woodcocks, a dozen snipes, four grouse, and four widgeons; then boil and trim a small York ham and two tongues. Season and garnish the inside of the fore-named game and poultry, as directed in the foregoing case, with long fillets of fat bacon and tongue, and French truffles; each must be carefully sewn up with a needle and small twine, so as to prevent the force-meat from escaping while they are being baked. When the whole of these are ready, line two round or oval braizing-pans with thin layers of fat bacon, and after the birds have been arranged therein in neat order, and covered in with layers of bacon and buttered paper, put the lids on, and set them in the oven to bake rather slowly, for about four hours: then withdraw them, and allow them to cool.”
That is the ancestor of “Mincemeat” tarts and pie. Hmmm?
It was interesting to hear how they fed the animals more food on Christmas day… mainly because by supper time they might well have been stuffed full and maybe a little drunk – not able to go out and do the chores in the barn – feed and water the animals….
Christmas has certainly changed.  Foods – gifts – traditions and the whole thing is much more – much more!
I like what I have now.
Oh… BTW… in order to get the coloured ribbons and other coloured cloth… different plants and roots were used to colour the item. But in order to make the colour fast – to set the colour they added “stale urine”.  Yuk!
Today’s Christmas is okay by me.
~ Murray Lincoln ~
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Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Magic of Playing the Spoons

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The Magic of Playing the Spoons
It was one of those amazing moments when everything happened all at once.  I am not sure that I have found the words that describe the moments that were taking place.  We were all caught up in what was happening.
And for myself nothing could be more true.  I had spent hours upon hours preparing the wood carvings and now they were being used and appreciated by everyone that was close enough to hear what was happening.
Yes you read that right. They hear the wood carving – not just see or touch the carvings.
What am I talking about?  That something is the variety of Wooden Spoons that I have created and use at the Wood Carving Shows that I present my wares at.
The original idea of paying the spoons is as old a spoon itself.  In the Wikipedia presentation of all things “Spoons” it states, “In Canada, the spoons accompany fiddle playing in Qu├ębecois and Acadian music. They are rarely seen in other parts of Canada.
“Playing the Spoons” can be done with the spoons we eat with or Wooden Salad Spoons.  But if you will take some time to read a bit of this link “Spoons – Musical Instrument” you can catch the thought that perhaps the original percussion was played on Sheep Bones – ribs to be exact… which was called “Playing the Bones”.  And it is all related to playing the Castanets… two hand held pieces of wood that are rattled together.
On the Web Site dedicated to Folk Music I read that “Some people think the playing of the bones was part of a spiritual tradition that loosed the spirit of the animal, or channeled the animal's positive spiritual benefits.Link
History is rich with information about two pieces of wood, bones or metal spoons being hit together while great music is being played.
I am convinced that the Playing of Spoons (or Bones) wakens a deep excitement in everyone that hears this special and “pioneer” kind of music being played.
I have been playing the spoons for a number of years now – BUT – nothing could be compared to what took place a Lang Pioneer Village last Saturday and Sunday night at their Christmas by Candlelight – December 7 & 8.  My Spoons were played – oh were they ever played… and I have the video evidence that shows the magic of what took place over the 8 hours of time(off and on) we were together.
Something to note, most of the folk that took up the spoons and began following along had never tried the playing the spoons before.  The magic of the spoons captured player after player.  It took a mere minute or maybe two before the spoon musicians had a fair grasp of what they should do.  That was especially true with four young ladies that joined me for the two nights as volunteers.  They were Emma (my granddaughter) and her three friends from High School, Danika, Myah and Brooklynne.  Wow – were they ever good.
Here are the Video Links that will allow you to get caught up into the moment with these young players.  One of the Links show what power is involved with what was happening – even Santa Claus (Father Christmas) joined in the playing of the spoons!!!

Longer video – Misty Hollow Carving at Lang Pioneer Village 2013 Christmas by Candlelight

Video contributed by Jacques B. Surveyer, a Guest at Lang Pioneer Village – Spoon Players at Lang Pioneer Village”

Each set of spoons that I have carved and produced has a unique sound. Each one set played by itself has a certain way that it blends into the music being played.  But putting the sets of spoons together, each with their different sounds, was plain magic. And for me as the wood carver there was nothing more of a “Wow Moment”. It was truly magical!!!  What I had created was now doing exactly what I hoped it would do.
Hey… if you have nothing to do some day and just happen by the place where we are playing the spoons… I would love to have you join in with us and do some music together.
~ Murray Lincoln ~
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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Compliments of my friend Terry Manley

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Compliments of my friend Terry Manley
( I have been so busy doing the Santa’s helper thing this month – the Blog Posting has fallen behind.  My friend Terry saw my predicament and contributed the following. Thanks Terry!)

Grins and Snickers
I was in the six item express lane at the store quietly fuming.
Completely ignoring the sign, the woman ahead of me had slipped into the check-out line pushing a cart piled high with groceries. Imagine my delight when the cashier beckoned the woman to come forward looked into the cart and asked sweetly, "So which six items would you like to buy?"
(Wouldn't it be great if that happened more often?)
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Because they had no reservations at a busy restaurant, my elderly neighbour and his wife were told there would be a 45 minute wait for a table.
"Young man, we're both 90 years old," the husband said. "We may not have 45 minutes."
They were seated immediately.
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The reason Politicians try so hard to get re-elected is that they would "hate" to have to make a living under the laws they have just passed.
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All eyes were on the radiant bride as her father escorted her down the aisle. They reached the altar and the waiting groom. The bride kissed her father and placed something in his hand.
The guests in the front pews responded with ripples of laughter. Even the priest smiled broadly.
As her father gave her away in marriage, the bride gave him back his credit card.
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Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.
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Three friends from the local congregation were asked, "When you're in your casket, and friends and congregation members are mourning over you, what would you like them to say?"
Artie said, "I would like them to say I was a wonderful husband, a fine spiritual leader, and a great family man."
Eugene commented, "I would like them to say I was a wonderful teacher and servant of God who made a huge difference in people's lives.."
Al said, "I'd like them to say, 'Look, he's moving!'"
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Smith climbs to the top of Mt. Sinai to get close enough to talk to God.
Looking up, he asks the Lord. "God, what does a million years mean to you?"
The Lord replies, "A minute."
Smith asks, "And what does a million dollars mean to you?"
The Lord replies, "A penny."
Smith asks, "Can I have a penny?"
The Lord replies, "In a minute."
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John was on his deathbed and gasped pitifully, "Give me one last request, dear," he said.
"Of course, John," his wife said softly.
"Six months after I die," John said, "I want you to marry Bob."
"But I thought you hated Bob," she said..
With his last breath John said, "I do!"
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A man goes to see the Rabbi. "Rabbi, something terrible is happening and I have to talk to you about it."
The Rabbi asked, "What's wrong?"
The man replied, "My wife is going to poison me."
The Rabbi, very surprised by this, asks, "How can that be?"
The man then pleads, "I'm telling you, I'm certain she's going to poison me. What should I do?"
The Rabbi then offers, "Tell you what. Let me talk to her, I'll see what I can find out and I'll let you know."
A week later the Rabbi calls the man.
He says, "I spoke to your wife on the phone for three hours. You want my advice?"
The man said, "Yes" and the Rabbi replied, "Take the poison."

I was always taught to respect my elders, but it keeps getting harder to find one.
~ Murray Lincoln ~
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Digital Image from Misty Hollow

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