Yes, there will be a collection of short inspirational stories. Here’s just a sample of what you will see:
Enjoy the writing.
Signs to the world
I don’t think I ever knew what I was really doing. I never thought it was that grand of an idea. Now, a mere 5 years later they’re saying things I can’t believe. They’re saying that I revolutionized the way people think. I was in a book store the other day and saw a book titled: Jaime Brim, the man who created the new world. My own face was looking back at me. That man I see in the mirror everyday isn’t the man everyone sees me as. People have talked, lectured, written, and wrote speech about those days. I’ve been on so many TV shows I don’t know whose desk I’m sitting in front of anymore. They ask the same questions that I don’t have answers for. So I decided, since everyone is so eager to know, I’ll stop the speculating. I’ll give you my thoughts and opinions first hand. I’ll actually tell you what happened, so people will stop asking and stop guessing. Sometimes though I believe, the guesses sound better than the truth. I wish I was the Jamie Brim of the books and articles, but I’m just Jame.
I was chasing the last of my lemonade across the bottom of a glass on a boring Sunday afternoon. I was trying to avoid the stuff that I had brought home from work, and the wife was finishing a book she had been putting off for months. In essence, I was bored. I finally slurped that last drop up, much to the annoyance of my wife downstairs who yelled at me for slurping. I knew I needed to busy myself. I looked over the stacks of proposals, and watched my son play with his friends. The boys threw a football around while the girls stood on the side lines asking to play, and hating the ball they would learn to hate in different ways once they got older.
I walked downstairs and lured as many neighborhood kids as I could with promises of ice cream and doughnuts. I piled them into my constant reminder of suburban mediocrity, the mini-van, and drove to the art store. I didn’t know what I was doing, or why I was going there. I had dreams of a pollockesque paint fiasco in my front driveway, with all the kids painted head to toe. The mere sight made me chuckle, and that was enough for me to keep driving with the yells and giggles of a child packed mini-van. I let them run rampant through the store to the horror and disgust of the old women and shop keepers. They pulled, yelled, bumped, and destroyed everything they came in contact with. This type of anarchy was exactly what my boredom soaked mind needed. After 20 minutes of watching 15 rampaging 6-8 year olds, I suddenly found myself in front of the poster boards section.
Poster boards have fascinated me since my high-school days. I was always the kid in the group that never did his work and slyly dated a group member so that they wouldn’t be pissed. I would sit, guilt soaked, as far under my desk as I could push myself, and marvel at the pristine glorious picture that erupted into the classroom from these adolescent masterpieces created with nothing but poster board and washable markers. As these visions drown out the yells and screams of the kids I looked at the virgin white boards and decided I must have them. I bought the entire lot of the biggest boards I could. I rounded up the menagerie and arrived in the driveway faster than you could say play date.
I told all of the kids to run and get every kid they could find and every marker they could get their hands on. With 5 bowls of leftover Halloween candy, markers, poster boards, and sugar induced hyper activity I started drawing letters on the boards. The kids colored them with a creativity that any good hyped up junkie or future Disney executive would respect, and we worked into the day. By the time the street light alarm clock that said everyone had to be in their houses arrived, we sat in the middle of a cluster of poster boards any school teacher would be proud to see covering their floor after group day. As the kids left and I stacked the boards up, my son asked what it spelled. I barely knew myself, but then again, it was the plan. I was told by an old English teacher; if you’re going to write something out of your own head, might as well make it say something worthwhile; so I did. I told my son I’d tell him in the morning, and I did what every other parent in the neighborhood did that night; forced my kid into a bath he didn’t want, to clean off all of the washable markers. Too bad they weren’t all markers.
Sunday came around; my wife saw the huge stack of poster boards sitting in the garage and complained about the mess. In all honesty, I don’t blame her. Who would want mounds of markers, poster boards, and colored walls decorating her pristine suburban house? Many of you right brainers out there are raising your hand, but I’ll bet your spouse isn’t. I called all of the parents and asked them if they would let their kids come over, and told them that there would be a neighborhood parade. They all loved the idea, and even the kids who didn’t help wanted to be in the parade.
By 9 am, twice as many kids had showed up. Now, my house sits at the end of a cul de sac. There’s a short road that leads to the main road in the track and that road leads to the highway. I only say this so you’ll understand the way the parade was planned. At the expense of all of the minutes in my shared cell phone plan, I asked all the parents to line up at the end of the cul de sac, and their children would walk pass them in their entire half washed marker splendor. We put the final touches on the boards, I lined them up, and we started walking.
Let me pause here for a moment to tell you a few things that I did not know was going on while this was all happening. Remember, I was avoiding work and bored out of my mind, so I thought a messy, crazy weekend with the kids was a perfect excuse. The whole parade thing was an idea to keep the kids busy for another day, because my son wouldn’t stop asking what we were going to do with all of the posters. In reality, I was done after Saturday. But, kids like to be the center of attention; so why not do something cool for them and their parents. And maybe, I could avoid work and boredom for another day. Unbeknownst to me, there was a woman at the end of the culdesac that was a copy editor for the local paper. The man that lived on the corner of my street that I barely exchanged waves with rushing late to work, was having an interview with a nationwide news channel because of some Tupperware stuff he had created. If this wasn’t enough, there happened to be a really bad wreck on the highway just off of our road so there were 3 news choppers in the air. My little boredom induced parade had the ability to become the most publicized event this side of the presidential speech. So, with these wheels spinning within the wheels of the neighborhood, about 80 pairs of parents including my wife, 100 or so friends of the families, and the other 50 neighbors packed the end of the road to watch their little bundles of joy walk by holding a poster board that they may or may not have colored.
I took the lead, and away we marched into history. Within minutes, more neighbors and cars arrived. In 10 more minutes we were half way down my street and crowds were forming on my well manicured deed restricted neighbors’ lawns craning their necks to see the kids with posters. The children smiled, yelled, hooted, giggled, and hollered. By the time we hit the crowd at the end of the road a mere 15 minutes later, 4 news vans, 3 helicopters, a dozen reporters, and every proud parent watched us make, what has now been called, the most revolutionary statement in the history of our country. We stopped at the highway and put down our signs. I began collecting boards 35 minutes after we left the house. The crowds descended on us like locust. First the parents, then the bystanders, and finally the paparazzi. We had no idea what we did, but the kids took every piece of attention they could.
Sitting at home that night watching the commentators of CNN talk about my plea to the governments of the world, I laughed and guffawed like I have never before. My wife was irate that I would be so daft to not take this seriously, but in reality, I had no idea that it was that serious. To me, it was myself and a bunch of kids with poster boards trying to escape the boredom of the summer. Who would have thought that a bunch of kids, a bored corporate worker, some markers, and some white paper could do so much. I mean really, are these that strong of words:
Please stop the fighting. Just be nice. Just try to get along. If not for the earth, for us.
I guess they are. Since I’m sitting here talking to you, it seems they are.