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Photo by Dan Chapman ©2001 Stanyan Entertainment Group

A Thought for Today

Where do they go, the people in our lives who sail in like green leaves and disappear like snow?


After today there will only be one more Pass it Along in the year 2001, so here’s a special holiday edition that contains a little something to offend nearly everyone. Happy Holidays.


Sometimes I think brother Edward’s sense of humor is even more out of whack than mine. Take this item for instance.


A man was walking down the street when he noticed his grandpa sitting on the porch, in the rocking chair, with nothing on from the waist down.

"Grandpa what are you doing?" he exclaimed. The old man looked off in the distance and did not answer him.

"Grandpa, what are you doing sitting out here with nothing on below the waist?" he asked again.

The old man slowly looked at him and said, "Well, last week I sat out here with no shirt on, and I got a stiff neck. This is your Grandma's idea."


Thanks to Kathy Johnson for the following perspective.


 If you can start the day without caffeine,

if you can always be cheerful, ignoring aches and pains,

if you can resist complaining and boring people with your troubles,

if you can eat the same food every day and be grateful for it,

if you can understand when your loved ones are too busy to give you any time,

if you can overlook it when those you love take it out on you when, though no fault of yours, something goes wrong,

if you can take criticism and blame without resentment,

if you can resist treating a rich friend better than a poor friend,

if you can face the world without lies and deceit,

if you can conquer tension without medical help,

if you can relax without liquor,

if you can sleep without the aid of drugs,

if you can honestly say that deep in your heart you have no
prejudice against creed, color, religion, gender preference, or

THEN, you have reached the same level of development as your dog.


Hey Alabamanians, send your nasty letters to Jane Hernandez not me.


After having their 11th. child, an Alabama couple decided that THAT was enough (they could not afford a larger double-wide.) So, the husband went to his doctor (who also treated mules) and told him that he and his wife didn't want to have any more children.

The doctor informed him that there was a procedure called a vasectomy that could fix the problem. He further instructed him to go home, get a cherry bomb, light it and put it in a beer can. Then, hold the can up to his ear and count to 10.

The Alabama man said to the doctor, "I may not be the smartest man, but I don't see how putting a cherry bomb in a beer can next to my ear is going to help me. SO the couple drove to Mississippi to get a second opinion.

The Mississippi physician was just about to tell them about the
procedure for a vasectomy when he noticed that they were from Alabama. This doctor instead told the man to go home and get a cherry bomb, light it, place it in a beer can, hold it to his ear and count to 10.

Figuring that both learned physicians couldn't be wrong, the man went home confident he’d had a second opinion. So, he lit a cherry bomb and put it in a beer can. He held the can up to his ear and began to count.

"1 ,2, 3, 4, 5..." at which point he paused, placed the beer can
between his legs to finish counting on his other hand.


Another one from Ms. Martin who should be ashamed of herself. Or should she? He, he, he.


A blonde walks into a pharmacy and asks the assistant for some rectum deodorant. The pharmacist, a little bemused, explains to the woman they don't sell rectum deodorant, and never have.

Unfazed, the blonde assures the pharmacist that she has been buying the stuff from this store on a regular basis, and would like some more.

"I'm sorry", says the pharmacist, "we don't have any."

"But I always get it here," says the blonde.

"Do you have the container it comes in?"

"YES!" said the blonde, "I'll go home and get it."

She returns with the container and hands it to the pharmacist who looks at it and says to her, "This is just a normal stick of underarm deodorant."

Annoyed, the blonde snatches the container back and reads out loud from the container, "TO APPLY, PUSH UP BOTTOM."


Susan Badger revisits Joe & Miller, The Brothers Grimm. This is such a warm and engaging story I’m sure it will become a Christmas perennial – however, trust me, this its first and last appearance here.


Not long ago and far away, Santa was getting ready for his annual trip...but there were problems everywhere. Four of his elves got sick, and the trainee elves did not produce the toys as fast as the regular ones so Santa was beginning to feel the pressure of being behind schedule.

Then Mrs. Claus told Santa that her Mom was coming to visit and naturally this stressed Santa even more. When he went to harness the reindeer, he found that three of them were about to give birth and two had jumped the fence and were out, heaven knows where to. More Stress! Then when he began to load the sleigh, one of the boards cracked and the toy bag fell to the ground and scattered the toys.

Totally frustrated, Santa went into the house for a cup of coffee
and a shot of whiskey. When he went to the cupboard, he found the elves had hit the liquor and there was nothing to drink. In his
frustration, he dropped the coffee pot and it broke into hundreds of little pieces all over the kitchen floor. He went to get the broom and found that mice had eaten the straw it was made from.

Just then the doorbell rang and Santa cussed on his way to the
door but when he opened it there was a little angel with a great big Christmas tree. The angel said: "Where would you like to put this tree, fat man?"

And that, my friend, is how the little angel came to be on top of
the Christmas tree..


Ann Martin writes:

“Okay, I'm with this lady!!! If she gets her wish, I think thousands of women across the globe would join me in a one-line salute to this lady. It's a good thing! Many of us wonder if Martha is loud in bed...shouting instructions on the "way we do it my house"...if and when she's lucky enough to land a man in bed!”

Gee, Ann quit beating around the bush and tell me how you really feel. I say you’re being awfully hard on the woman who taught me to put sage leaves under my turkey skin before I roast it (it makes beautiful patterns as it browns)


Dear Santa, I rarely ask for much. This year is no exception. I don't need diamond earrings, handy slicer-dicers or comfy slippers. I only want one little thing, and I want it deeply.

I want to SLAP Martha Stewart. I get all cozy inside just thinking about it. Don't grant this wish just for me, do it for the thousands of women across the country. Through sheer vicarious satisfaction, you'll be giving a gift to us all.

Those of us leading average, garden variety lives aren't concerned with gracious living. We feel pretty good about ourselves if our paper plates match when we stack them on the counter, buffet-style for dinner.

We're tired of Martha's showing us how to make centerpieces from hollyhock dipped in 18 carat gold. We're plumb out of liquid gold. Unless it's of the furniture polish variety.

We can't whip up Martha's creamy holiday sauce, spiced with turmeric. Most of us can't even say turmeric, let alone figure out what to do with it.

Martha avoids take-out pizza (she's only ordered it once), she refuses to eat it cold (No cold pizza? Is Martha Stewart living?) When it was pointed out that she could microwave it, she replied, "I don't have a microwave."

Martha has 40 sets of dishes adorning an entire wall in her home. Forty sets! Can you spell "overkill"? And neatly put away, no less. If my dishes make it to the dishwasher, that qualifies as "put away" in my house!

Martha tells us she's already making homemade holiday gifts for friends. "Last year, I made amazing silk-lined scarves for everyone," she boasts. Not just scarves, mind you, "Amazing scarves".

Martha's obviously not shy about giving herself a little pat on the back. She goes on to tell us, "Homemaking is glamour for the 90s". She says her most glamorous friends are "interested in stain removal, how to iron a monogram, and how to fold a towel." I have one piece of advice, "Martha, get new friends."

There you have it, Santa. If there was ever someone who deserved a good smack, it's Martha Stewart.


Sue Richardson writes:

“Take a few minutes and read these. Think about them one at a time. BEFORE going on to the next one.........IT DOES MAKE YOU FEEL GOOD especially the thought at the end.”


1. Falling in love.

2. Laughing so hard your face hurts.

3. A hot shower.

4. No lines at the Super Wal-Mart.

5. A special glance.

6. Getting mail.

7. Taking a drive on a pretty road.

8. Hearing your favorite song on the radio.

9. Lying in bed listening to the rain outside.

10. Hot towels out of the dryer.

11. Finding the sweater you want is on sale for half price.

12. Chocolate milkshake. (or vanilla!)

13. A long distance phone call.

14. A bubble bath.

15. Giggling.

16. A good conversation.

17. The beach.

18. Finding a $20 bill in your coat from last winter.

19. Laughing at yourself.

20. Midnight phone calls that last for hours.

21. Running through sprinklers.

22. Laughing for absolutely no reason at all.

23. Having someone tell you that you're beautiful.

24. Laughing at an inside joke.

25. Friends.

26. Accidentally overhearing someone say something nice about you.

27. Waking up and realizing you still have a few hours left to sleep.

28. Your first kiss.

29. Making new friends or spending time with old ones.

30. Playing with a new puppy.

31. Having someone play with your hair.

32. Sweet dreams.

33. Hot chocolate.

34. Road trips with friends.

35. Swinging on swings.

36. Wrapping presents under the Christmas tree while eating cookies and drinking eggnog.

37. Song lyrics printed inside your new CD so you can sing along without feeling stupid.

38. Going to a really good concert.

39. Making eye contact with a cute stranger.

40. Winning a really competitive game.

41. Making chocolate chip cookies.

42. Having your friends send you homemade cookies.

43. Spending time with close friends.

44. Seeing smiles and hearing laughter from your friends.

45. Holding hands with someone you care about.

46. Running into an old friend and realizing that some things (good or bad) never change.

47. Riding the best roller coasters over and over.

48. Watching the expression on someone's face as they open a much-desired present from you.

49. Watching the sunrise.

50. Getting out of bed every morning and thanking God for another beautiful day.

Whew! I think we got the message Sue. My blood sugar is racing. Bah, Humbug.


Another Ann (Berzinsky, this time), another note (Hey, I got room in my life for all the Ann’s I can get.)


“Hi Rod, Well, I finally finished putting up the Christmas lights. Well, I didn't exactly finish, I just ran out of places to put them.
(PG&E sent me a thank you card)

If you need help decking your halls, making your list, hanging your stockings by the chimney with care, roasting your chestnuts, jingling your bells, or if you just want somebody nipping at your nose, call me at 1-800-RENT-A-ELF. Love, Ann”

Dear Ann: Oh yeah, says you. I dutifully dialed the number you gave me and got something called “Rent A DJ.” After listening to a three minute ‘rap’ on why I needed a ‘Rap DJ’ for the holiday party I’m not having, I hung up. As ever, Rod

Gee, seems like only a week ago when I said, “See you tomorrow with something for Saturday." Sleep warm.

RM 12/20/2001 Previously unpublished


BJ Elsner writes:

“Here’s something to ponder in the long shadows of winter solstice: Support bacteria. They're the only culture some people have.”

notable birthdays


Alicia Alonso o Andy Dick o Benjamin Disraeli o Phil Donahue o Jane Fonda o Samuel L. Jackson o Florence Griffith Joyner o Jane Kaczmarek o Ed Nelson o Jack Noseworthy o Joe Paterno o Jean Racine o Ray Romano o Joseph Stalin o Kiefer Sutherland o Kurt Waldheim o Paul Winchell o Frank Zappa 

Jane, Fonda, Phil Donahue, Frank Zappa and Joseph Stalin sharing a birthday? Who would have thunk it?

Rod's random thoughts It seems to me the other parts contributing to calendars have too little quiet. Though winter can admittedly contain too much.

I have known some winters to allot a share of joy, not just in the carnival or on the skating pond, but even in December’s silence.

Without the cold for reference we wouldn’t recognize the comfort of warmth.


I’ve seen so many Merry Xmas signs
with Christ squeezed out by laziness
or the printer’s economic need.
The outrage that it once produced
has almost found its way into the attic
with nineteen-sixty’s broken toys.

(Had I not the faces of small children
to mirror Christ for me all year long
I might believe God dead, or sleeping anyway.
Though I doubt there lives a Lucifer
who could make September leaves to fall
or set the tails of dogs to wagging.)

God is living in the mountains,
a recluse from some people’s hearts.
but he’d drop by smiling in the chilly night
and celebrate his first son’s birthday
if we cared enough to keep the porch light on.

-from “The Carols of Christmas,”1971. First published in Woman’s Day, 1969

© 1969, 1971, 1980, 1997, 2001 by Stanyan Music Group & Rod McKuen. All Rights Reserved
Birthday research by Wade Alexander o Poetry from the collection of Jay Hagan o Coordinated by Melinda Smith
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