Sometimes "Being The Fool" is The Only Salvation You Have

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"Hey, folks! Gather around. I am proud to announce probably the most non-standard story you have read all day long."

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A misunderstood friend, the Court Jester

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People label this man a fool

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Ready for take-off

Date: June 1

Time: 12:02 a.m.

Item: on this date I began “writing outside the norm” instead of my usual slap-stick word-play hub-style. But the same side-splitting, gut-wrenching can still be found inside my new vehicles—Kenneth


Heard one time there was this elegant man in his mid-30’s, a sharp-dresser, good-looking, eloquently-spoken, highly-educated, spoke six foreign languages, Ph.d, Business Management, vice-president of his ad firm in San Diego was called upon to speak to a graduating class of high school students who had learned of his fame, power, and influence.

Mid-way through his well-versed, well-written speech, he discovered that he had mistakenly-left a key page of his oration in his motel room. Not showing fear, cowardly-sorrow, or panic, he quickly, and without being noticed, pushed the wooden podium into the floor carrying him with it. Waves of laughter tore through the auditorium. Girls were squealing, jocks were heaving and teachers were just too tickled to stay stone-faced.

After his “spontaneously-engineered” fiasco, or so it appeared, students all but crushed him with their praise and admiration—begging for his autograph and access to his life’s story.

Once again, the fool saves the day.

Brass band dressed as women at Silleteros Parade

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Business meeting with a "Dunce" sitting in the corner

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Sharp-dressed Jester

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Danny Kaye in, Kirkham A Movie A Day

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Artwork makes fun of Lebron James

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Do you know a Jester personally?

Small wonder, the fool. He goes by many colorful names: Court jester; Village idiot; Numb skull, and other titles of degradation. But he goes on. Moving ever so smoothly into the dignified, the stoic, and professor’s bedrooms as well as the drunkard’s beer, without being tagged. Must be nice.

Casual, and Concerned Observations

America has once again forgotten the beneficial umbrealla of being a fool. America, when it had its last growing pains, hit its stride, leaving behind a valuable, oh so priceless card trick that has in its time, bedazzled, razzled, confused and amused the most-intelligent to the lowest form of life in “Thugdom.” The fool. Who else could pull-off a last-minute play of danger, stickly-negotation, and still stand, with slick pants shining as he somersaulted all the way to the bank? The fool.

Fools are pure fun. I speak of a “real,” good-hearted, harmless fool. Not a gainful-minded, triple-tongued, fool with four faces and each a devil, but a good old fool who befriends the friendless, touches the departed, and somehow, maybe magically, becomes loved as if a spell were cast upon him and his hat with bells.

So when did mom’s and dad’s begin teaching their offspring that being or acting a fool was somehow a bad thing? Oh, yeah. Live a sensible life and don’t “act a fool” in class and Johnny, you will “have the world by the gallaces.” But explain this. The “Class Clown.” (reminds me of my ‘Reviving The Children’s Birthday Clown Business).

But if Johnny, not being perfect as the idealiac-post-war American mindset, were to just have a mortal lapse as we all do, and actually “act a fool,” what then? Slap on the wrist? Lecture from the local police chief and a visit from their priest when Janie, Johnny’s super-looking, Donna Reed-looking mom complete with pearls, the night she is serving meatloaf with mashed potatoes.

Johnny, after all of the consoling and reprogramming, will be okay. He even looks better. His cheeks are red again just like the red in the American flag.

But if Johnny were to sneak behind the local dry cleaners with his curious buddies to try a sip or two of Old Crow, and then “act a fool,” he has jumped from a slap on the wrist, the lecture from the police chief and minister to “being intoxicated in public. But ma, he was “behind” the dry cleaners and only took one sip and threw-up. And ma, the only “acting a fool,” Johnny did was to talk like Father Bingleman, the priest. It was so funny. If the Alcohol Breathalizer had been invented Johnny would be home free.

All that a Class Clown did was make people happy. And that was a bad thing? Oh, yeah. Studies must be studied. Things must be learned. School curriculum is a solidly-set piece of granite that each child must cross just to hold a cheap piece of paper, and wear a certain color robe and mortar board upon the head, just to be called a “graduate.” And this graduate was the adored “Class Clown.” Oh, if the principal handing-out the cheap paper only knew.

So what is to become of the Class Clowns who graduate from high school and college then blend into a civil-society? No, Adolph Hitler did not have the right idea. No, being a Class Clown may be juvenile and cannot be considered a job, so the thinking, cunning Class Clown, now an adult, does the only intelligent thing: Runs for Congress and wins. Now he can continue being a Class Clown, but just when The House is in session and introducing ridiculous bills such as: Funding The Circus Tent Factories that just happen to be in this once-hailed, Class Clown. What timing.

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"You know! I have been

outta town for a week

and

look at what people

are now reading

. . .stories about fools!"

"Sayyyy, this piece about fools and jesters is rather a mind-blowing experience, but I best not tell the wife, Judy."

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Do you know any fools on a personal level?

I was going to lecture today on “How Americans Can Reap Big Rewards From Being a Fool,” and now I think, now that I have slept, I will speak briefly on this sensible-subject. Sensible only if you inspect it.

Being a fool is more than a universal, well-oiled tool that is used only if you have things to grind, say an axe. It’s far-more complex than that. We “sideline experts,” can look, gawk, ogle and analyze the “garden variety” fool and be befuddled with our various predictions as to what he will do next and plenty of “If it were me, I’d . . .” So admit it, Bucko. Not being able to read a fool’s mind is very frustrating.

How being the fool (a momentary salute to John Lennon and Paul McCartney for “Fool On The Hill) can work to our advantage is not an acorn found by a blind pig. It’s been right there—staring us down waiting on us to let the notion of being a fool mentor us to be able to sneak and slip-by “Johnny Law,” or other authority-figures who are “out for blood,” and not pure, virgin justice.

If you are pulled-over by a State Trooper (with a complete get-up, bulging stomach, aviator sunglasses, and slow drawl) an obvious traumatic experience, both the getting pulled-over and the State Trooper. “License, registration, and proof of insurance, boy-eeee,” The Trooper says then spits tobacco juice on the ground.

You hand the officer what he has asked for.

“Hold it a minute, bud-eee. I’ll be back with ye.” The Trooper says as he waddles back to his cruiser.

Then the “Mental Torture Game” begins. The Trooper stays, stays, and stays in his cruiser while your mind is working so much that it grinds a main gear at the worries you are having. Did I pay that parking ticket I got back in Santa Fe? Did my D.U.I. I got ten years ago go on my record? Are just two thoughts you are feeding on.

“Here, boy-eee,” The Trooper says digging into a new pack of chewing tobacco. “Everthang’s okay.”

“What did you stop me for, officer?” you ask nervously.

“Awww, (spit), ye know, uhhh, it’s like is,” The Trooper stutters. “Just seeing who all wuz driving illEEgul.” (spit, spit).

“So, I can go?” you sheepishly ask.

“Go? Go whur?” The State Trooper snaps. Then you know that it is time for “being the fool” to come to your rescue.

First a look on your face just like Linda Blair, Exorcist. Next, delirious laughing mingled with almost-undrstandable jibberish: “Heeee-heeeee, eeee, work, man. Work, work, work! (get out of the car and dance like a ballerina in the highway) I make bunny rabbits every day. Every day a rabbit who hops like this . . .Heeeee-eeee-e---eee, (turn somersault) head toward the State Trooper with eyes glazed and stupid smile on your face.

“Now, eazzzy, boy-eee. I don’t want eeeny truuuble, son. Get back in that thar car and git outta heah!” The scared Trooper says as he is running toward his Cruiser. See? “being the fool,” has saved you some severe legal headaches that “Buster,” the State Trooper was planning to give you for speaking in perfect diction.

When “being a fool,” really pays off is when you have to visit an I.R.S. agent to explain your tax returns from years 1988 back to 1980. You stroll into the I.R.S. agent’s office. He is not a stupid piece of lumber like the State Trooper. You will really have to do your best performance as a fool to get free of this fix.

“Sir,” the I.R.S. agent says. “I am only concerned about this one deducation that you made to The New Mexico Federation For The Preserving of The Black Desert Owl,” and that’s it.

“Well, sir,” you reply. “What are you concerned about?”

“You gave $4500.00 to a federation and an owl and both entities do not exist. I checked.” The I.R.S. agent says shaking a manila folder at you.

It’s that time.

You place your hands on your hips. Then move your head from side to side to crack your neck. With that done, and still no answer for, “Dick Webster, I.R.S. agent,” who is very impatient. You then start moving your knees inside and out standing in one place with your face covered. “Webster,” alarmed, moves his high-back chair closer to the wall.

Like an Army soldier, you snap to attention staring straight-ahead. You remain silent for a moment. Then go into a great impression of Adolph Hitler doing one of his finest brain-washing speeches that led the German people to follow him as did the snakes did St. Patrick.

Before agent “Webster,” can speak, the Hitler speech suddenly stops and you go into a fantastic routine with your Lon Chaney, Jr., act doing “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” and slowly start limping toward “Webster,” with your eyes set in your head.

“Webster,” yells, “No problem! I will write down something! Please leave!” And you continue your hunch-back routine all the way down the hall to the elevator because you know that “Webster” is watching you from behind his office door. But the “being a fool” worked again.

My last point to be made is that of a local minister who, for some reason, had a really wild night last night which was Saturday night, and now you are too hung-over to deliver the morning sermon.

You are so thankful to have long-winded Sunday school teachers who will eat-up the time so you can snooze in the pastoral office in peace and quiet. And that also applies to your choir-leader and choir who just love to sing those Old Time Cotton Field Spirituals as long as the minister will let them. They usually start around 11:10 a.m., but today is different. The choir starts at 10:50 a.m. making their singing time a total of 45 minues total, just long enough for you, the church pastor to “sleep-off,” those Seagram Seven’s and Margarita’s that some backsliders in his church were buying for you most of the night. But you are not one to condemn, just preach “love.” Your 23-years of sobriety ended with a ker-plunk last night. And I won’t talk about those “fast women” who hang-out at sleazy bars, what they did to you.

It’s time. The choir, winded, takes their place off of the stage. You, the church minister, can barely walk up those eight-steps from the floor to the crystal podium. You are sweating-profusely. Underneath your Pastoral Robe, your white shirt is sticking to your torso. You are grateful that the congregation does not have Superman’s X-Ray vision, or they would be seeing a drowning man.

Your hands shake. Your tongue is thicker than the bologna “Big Sugar,” serves on his famous “Big Sugar’s Famous Bologna Sandwiches,” at his diner, “Sugar’s,” just a block from your church. Oh, how you could use one of these sandwiches right now. You haven’t eat for two whole days—just slugging that liquor like you did in the old days before you heard the call to preach.

You drink a sip of the cold water “Deacon Tony,” always leaves on the podium for you. That is his only job. For going on 36-years, that is all “Deacon Tony” has done is provide you, or whatever pastor was running the church, glasses of ice-cold water.

“Brothers, sisters, visitors, I am so glad you are here,” you manage to say. “Today, uhhh, I, uhh, feel as if the Spirit has led me into another green pasture . . .(crowd yells, “Amen,” in near-harmony), and I, uh, needs to do something a littul different.” Your hands are now shaking worse. And the sweat has now soaked your boxer underwear.

“Go ahead, Bro. Lester,” “Mrs. Jazmine Carsisle,” the church’s oldest members yells.

“I am going to do . . .(organ plays a sharp blast), some sign language for a few minutes, instead of letting my dry, I mean, old mouth bring the message,” you announce while wiping fountains of sweat on your head and forehead.

“I bleve he’s got the flu,” a few parishioners whisper.

‘Naaw, dat’s gest de Spirit,” another parishioner replies from across the sanctuary.

Miracles happen. Your variation of “being the fool,” sermon sign language works like a new wheelbarrow on a construction site. But you sense, with fifteen-minutes left of your time, that you need a new “kick,” to your sign language sermon. Sweat has now soaked your shiny, black, pleated pants. You are praying in your heart that you can disrobe and finish in your street clothes—knowing that a sweat-soaked man is the sign of a hard-working man that your congregation will appreciate and not ask any questions about last night.

Enter a tap-dancing preacher. Not even Gregory Hines, legendary tap-dancer could have thought this quick. “Being the fool,” has saved not only your sermon, but your job. The crowd loves your new techniques of delivering the Sunday morning message.

Your tap-dance routine accompanies the sign language part of the message: “Jonah’s Hard Head Gets Him In Trouble At Sea,” Your feet, although not as young as they once were, are “dancing up a storm,” feet going up in the air and back again. It’s miraculous how your shoes even stay on your flying feet.

To close, you jump up with both feet and slap your hands together near-to 13-times in a row. Now you are one exhausted preacher as you collapse on all-fours on the stage just like The Godfather of Soul, James Brown, who once sang and danced on this very stage.

You heave for breath. The crowd gathers around and get suddenly-concerned at this hideous wheezing coming from your tired lungs. “Brothers, sisters (wheeze) I was once (wheeze) a smokuh in my sinner times,” you try to explain while panting like a dog who has ran 20-city blocks.

The crowd, after telling you a lot of “Great job’s,” and “Way to go, preacher,” starts to thin-out. You cannot move unless you rest on the edge of the stage for another ten minutes.

“Need me to stay and assist you,” a “Sister Trixie LeDuke,” an ex-pole dancer now-reformed, offers.

Although the thought of a woman in her mid-40’s who still looks good is tempting, you decide to do another wise thing besides getting yourself home without being arrested last night.

As you make your way to the front door, you see two elderly church members slowly walking in front of you. So as a gentleman and man of God, you allow them to take their time getting out the door.

“I don’t think I will be attending any more services here, ‘Lois,’” an elderly church member, “Jean Calbert,” says to “Lois Knight,” her oldest friend.

“And why not?” “Lois” asks.

“To see that pastor ‘being the fool?’ . . .no thanks,” “Lois snaps.”

You chuckle. And chuckle again. If “Lois” and “Jean” only knew.

"Oh, dear. I sure hope that Bill is not loafing with his shady-Buddies in that smoky club reading stories about fools."

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Comments 4 comments

Rebecca Furtado profile image

Rebecca Furtado 2 years ago from Anderson, Indiana

This is pure wit. You jester I am sure about fools. I cannot wait until you write about the village idiot. :)


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 2 years ago

I am a small person and I was teased a lot about it when I was a child. I was picked on because of my size, and in so doing, I was criticized when an average sized or large person wouldn't have been. I learned at an early age that if people were laughing at me, I would laugh with them and cut up rather than let them humiliate me publicly. Sure enough, it worked. When it wasn't any fun anymore, they stopped picking on me. I guess learning to act the fool saved me a lot of grief. The guy who threw the podium was ingenious, but the pastor did go overboard. I wouldn't have gone that far. Funny anyway.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Hi, sweet Rebecca,

Thanks so much for your nice remarks. I like your Shakespearian tone in the comment. Village Idiot? Hmmm.

Maybe. And thank you.

Your Friend, Kenneth

P.S. What's two and two? A car full.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

MizBeJabbers,

Thank you for such a great comment. I appreciate you so much.

My wife did this when she moved to Adrian, Mi., when she was little. She laughed WITH the ones laughing at her.

They soon quit, but years later she told me she had bottled-up a lot of hurt and after she and I talked it out, she was fine.

And for soon to be 39 years, I have preached self-esteem to hear and I think that it has worked. She is not the same retiring, shy rural blossom I married years ago. Today she is a retired department manager from Walmart, 27 years; empowered; leads a children's class at church and talk about confidence. She is now teaching me.

It couldn't have been better.

Please come back and talk to me.

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