Thursday, December 27, 2007

Joe Willie On The Shrimpbox: "A Dog's Purpose"

"A Dog's Purpose"
(from a 6-year-old)

Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine
a ten-year-old Irish Wolfhound named Belker. The
dog's owners, Ron, his wife, Lisa, and their little boy,
Shane, were all very attached to Belker, and they
were hoping for a miracle.

I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer.
I told the family we couldn't do anything for Belker,
and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure
for the old dog in their home.

As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me
they thought it would be good for six-year-old Shane
to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane
might learn something from the experience

The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as
Belker's family surrounded him. Shane seemed so
calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I
wondered if he understood what was going on.

Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully

The little boy seemed to accept Belker's transition
without any difficulty or confusion. We sat together
for a while after Belker's death, wondering aloud
about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than
human lives.

Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up,
"I know why."

Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his
mouth next stunned me. I'd never heard a more
comforting explanation.

He said, "People are born so that they can learn how
to live a good life -- like loving everybody all the time
and being nice, right?"

The six-year-old continued, "Well, dogs already know
how to do that, so they don't have to stay as long."

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Joe Willie On The Shrimpbox: All I Needed To Know About Life I Learned From Santa

All I Needed To Know About Life I Learned From Santa

1. Encourage people to believe in you.

2. Always remember who's naughty and who's nice.

3. Don't pout.

4. It's as much fun to give as it is to receive.

5. Some days it's ok to feel a little chubby.

6. Make your presents known.

7. Always ask for a little bit more than what you really want.

8. Bright red can make anyone look good.

9. Wear a wide belt and no-one will notice how many pounds

you've gained.

10. If you only show up once a year, everyone will think you're

very important.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Joe Willie On The Shrimpbox: "A Different Christmas Poem"

"A Different Christmas Poem"
By Michael Marks, December 2000

The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.

Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.
The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.

My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know,
Then the sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.

My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.
Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.

A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.

"What are you doing?" I asked without fear,
"Come in this moment, it's freezing out here!
Put down your pack; brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!"

For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts..
To the window that danced with a warm fire's light
Then he sighed and he said "It's really all right,
I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night."

"It's my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.
No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me.

My Gramps died at ' Pearl on a day in December,"
Then he sighed, "That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers."
My dad stood his watch in the jungles of ' Nam ',
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.
I've not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile.

Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue... an American flag.
I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.

I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother..

Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall."
"So go back inside," he said, "harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I'll be all right."

"But isn't there something I can do, at the least,
"Give you money," I asked, "or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you've done,
For being away from your wife and your son."

Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
"Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.

For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us."

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Joe Willie On The Shrimpbox; "One Dime"

"One Dime"

Bobby was getting cold sitting out in his back yard in the snow.
Bobby didn't wear boots; he didn't like them and anyway he
didn't own any. The thin sneakers he wore had a few holes in
them and they did a poor job of keeping out the cold. Bobby had
been in his backyard for about an hour already. And, try as he
might, he could not come up with an idea for his mother's
Christmas gift. He shook his head as he thought, "This is
useless, even if I do come up with an idea, I don't have
any money to spend."

Ever since his father had passed away three years ago,
the family of five had struggled. It wasn't because his
mother didn't care, or try, there just never seemed to be
enough. She worked nights at the hospital, but the small
wage that she was earning could only be stretched so far.
What the family lacked in money and material things, they
more than made up for in love and family unity.

Bobby had two older and one younger sister, who ran the
household in their mother's absence. All three of his sisters
had already made beautiful gifts for their mother.
Somehow it just wasn't fair.

Here it was Christmas Eve already, and he had nothing.
Wiping a tear from his eye, Bobby kicked the snow and
started to walk down to the street where the shops and
stores were. It wasn't easy being six without a father,
especially when he needed a man to talk to. Bobby
walked from shop to shop, peeking into each decorated window.
Everything seemed so beautiful and so out of reach.

It was starting to get dark and Bobby began reluctantly to
walk home when suddenly his eyes caught the glimmer of
the setting sun's rays reflecting off something along the curb.
He reached down and discovered a shiny dime.

Never before has anyone felt so wealthy as Bobby felt at
that moment. As he held his new-found treasure, a warmth
spread throughout his entire body; he walked into the first
store he saw. His excitement quickly turned cold when the
salesperson told him that he couldn't buy anything with only a dime.

He saw a flower shop and went inside to wait in line. When the
shop owner asked if he could help him, Bobby presented the
dime and asked if he could buy one flower for his mother's
Christmas gift. The shop owner looked at Bobby and his
ten cent offering. Then he put his hand on Bobby's
shoulder and said to him, "You just wait here and I'll see
what I can do for you."

As Bobby waited he looked at the beautiful flowers and
even though he was a boy, he could see why mothers and
girls liked flowers. The sound of the door closing as the
last customer left jolted Bobby back to reality. All alone in
the shop, Bobby began to feel alone and afraid. Suddenly
the shop owner came out and moved to the counter.
There, before Bobby's eyes, lay twelve long-stemmed red
roses, with leaves of green and tiny white flowers all
tied together with a big silver bow. Bobby's heart sank
as the owner picked them up and placed them gently into
a long white box. "That will be ten cents, young man," the
shop owner said, reaching out his hand for the dime.
Slowly, Bobby moved his hand to give the man his dime.
Could this be true? No one else would give him a thing for
his dime!

Sensing the boy's reluctance, the shop owner added,
"I just happened to have some roses on sale for ten cents
a dozen. Would you like them?"

This time Bobby did not hesitate, and when the man placed
the long box into his hands, he knew it was true. Walking
out the door that the owner was holding for Bobby, he heard
the shop keeper say, "Merry Christmas, son."

As he returned inside, the shop keeper's wife walked out.
"Who were you talking to back there and where are the
roses you were fixing?"

Staring out the window, and blinking the tears from his
own eyes, he replied, "A strange thing happened to me
this morning. While I was setting up things to open the
shop, I thought I heard a voice telling me to set aside a
dozen of my best roses for a special gift. I wasn't sure
at the time whether I had lost my mind or what, but I set
them aside anyway. Then just a few minutes ago, a little
boy came into the shop and wanted to buy a flower for his
mother with one small dime. "When I looked at him, I saw
myself, many years ago. I, too, was a poor boy with nothing
to buy my mother a Christmas gift. A bearded man, whom I
never knew, stopped me on the street and told me that he
wanted to give me ten dollars. When I saw that little boy
tonight, I knew who that voice was, and I put together a dozen
of my very best roses." The shop owner and his wife hugged
each other tightly, and as they stepped out into the bitter
cold air, they somehow didn't feel cold at all.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Joe Willie On The Shrimpbox: They're spending your money!

This is too true to be very funny
The next time you hear a politician use the
word 'billion' in a casual manner, think about
whether you want the 'politicians' spending
YOUR tax money.
A billion is a difficult number to comprehend,
but one advertising agency did a good job of
putting that figure into some perspective in
one of its releases.
A. A billion seconds ago it was 1959.
B. A billion minutes ago Jesus was alive.
C. A billion hours ago our ancestors were
living in the Stone Age.
D. A billion days ago no-one walked on the earth on two feet.
E. A billion dollars ago was only 8 hours and
20 minutes, at the rate our government is spending it.
While this thought is still fresh in our brain, let's take a look at New Orleans It's amazing what you can learn with some simple division . .
Louisiana Senator, Mary Landrieu (D), is presently asking the Congress for $250 BILLION to rebuild New Orleans . Interesting number, what does it mean?
A. Well, if you are one of 484,674 residents of
New Orleans (every man, woman, child), you
each get $516,528.
B. Or, if you have one of the 188,251 homes in
New Orleans , your home gets $1,329,787.
C. Or, if you are a family of four, your family
gets $2,066,012.
Washington , D.C .. HELLO!!! ... Are all your calculators broken??
Tax his land,Tax his wage,Tax his bed in which he lays.Tax his tractor,Tax his mule,Teach him taxes is the rule.Tax his cow,Tax his goat, Tax his pants,Tax his coat.
Tax his ties,Tax his shirts,Tax his work,Tax his dirt.
Tax his tobacco, Tax his drink,Tax him if he tries to think.
Tax his booze,Tax his beers,If he cries,Tax his tears.
Tax his bills,Tax his gas,Tax his notes,Tax his cash.Tax him good and let him knowThat after taxes, he has no dough.
If he hollers,Tax him more,Tax hi m until he's good and sore.
Tax his coffin,Tax his grave,Tax the sod in which he lays.Put these words upon his tomb,'Taxes drove me to my doom!'
And when he's gone,We won't relax,We'll still be after the inheritance TAX!!Accounts Receivable TaxBuilding Permit TaxCDL License TaxCigarette TaxCorporate Income TaxDog License TaxFederal Income TaxFederal Unemployment Tax (FUTA)Fishing License Tax Food License TaxFuel Perm it TaxGasoline TaxHunting License TaxInheritance TaxInventory TaxIRS Interest Charges (tax on top of tax),IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax),Liquor Tax,Luxury Tax,Marriage License Tax,Medicare Tax,Property Tax,Real Estate Tax,Service charge taxes,Social Security Tax,Road Usage Tax (Truckers),Sales Taxes, Recreational Vehicle Tax,School Tax,State Income Tax,State Unemployment Tax (SUTA),Telephone Federal Excise Tax,Telephone Federal Universal Service Fe e Tax,Telephone Federal, State and Local Su rcharge Tax,Telephone Minimum Usage Su rcharge Tax,Telephone Recurring and Non-recurring Charges Tax,Telephone State and Local Tax,Telephone Usage Charge Tax, Utility Tax,Vehicle License Registration Tax,Vehicle Sales Tax,Watercraft Registration Tax,Well Permit Tax,Workers Compens ation Tax. STILL THINK THIS IS FUNNY? Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago, and our nation was the most prosperous in t he world. We had absolutely no national debt, had the largest middle class in the world, and Mom stayed home to raise the kids.
What happened? Can you spell 'politicians!'
And I still have to 'press1' for English.
What the heck happened?????

Monday, December 3, 2007

JoeWillie On The Shrimpbox: Quality Control

"Quality Control"

When you have one of those "I Hate My Job" days,
try this:

On your way home from work stop at your local
pharmacy and go to the thermometer section, and
purchase a rectal thermometer made by Johnson
& Johnson.

Be very sure you get this brand. When you get
home, lock your doors, draw the curtains and
disconnect the phone so you will not be disturbed.

Change into some very comfortable clothing and
sit in your favorite chair.

Open the package and remove the thermometer.
Now, carefully place it on a table or a surface so
that it will not become chipped or broken.

Now the fun part begins. Take out the literature from
the box and read it very carefully. You will notice that
in small print there is a statement:

"Every Rectal Thermometer made by Johnson &
Johnson is personally tested and then sanitized."

Now, close your eyes and repeat out loud five times,
"I am so glad I do not work in the thermometer
quality control at Johnson & Johnson."

Have A Nice Day And Remember, There Is Always
Someone Else With A Job That Is More Of A Pain
In The Butt Than Yours!