Recently I had occasion to dust off and update my resume. As it usually does, the whole thing once more gave me a bad case of “the squirms.” As I sat there pumping up my accomplishments in an attempt to make myself sound like a cross between Dr. Jonas Salk and Donald Trump, I couldn’t help thinking about certain people who brag themselves into a state of sainthood practically 24/7.
Crickets chirping. That’s a favorite Internet phrase that’s usually meant to point out a pause or a lack of response to something that was said during an internet conversation. Like for instance if a commenter said: “Anyone out there sorry to see this splendid summer coming to an end?” Then no one responds and someone says, “Crickets chirping.”
It’s not always easy to figure out exactly what a prophet is telling us. Sometimes, we have to piece together their perplexing words and actions in order to understand their true intent, as the prophet instructs us on how to behave. So it is with the Prophet Samuel.
Samuel Brownback would, on the surface of things, seem to be contradicting himself a bit lately. But I think I’ve figured out his master plan for us Kansans. Perhaps it was revealed to him when he went to pray loudly and publicly, Pharisees-style, with Texas Governor Rick Perry.
If I may be boastful for a moment here, let me just say that you are listening to the voice of a very brave man. I didn’t realize I was brave—in fact, I’ve lived my life fairly oblivious to my own courage for lo, these many years.
But at a recent Sedgwick County Commission meeting, Commissioner Richard Ranzau proposed allowing folks with concealed-carry handgun permits to tote their pistols into many county buildings, including mental health facilities. Commissioner Karl Peterjohn agreed, saying, “I feel safer in a building where concealed carry is allowed.”
When the temperatures get above 100 week after week, when walking the dog makes me realize it’s going to be another 2-shower day, when I can pick fried green tomatoes right off the vine, already fried and I find myself smack dab in the middle of another blistering Kansas summer, I like to kick back and enjoy the silence.
When I got out of bed this morning, our dog Lucy did her usual dance of jubilation. Her front paws shot up in the air repeatedly, making a mockery of gravity, and she wiggled all over, enthusiastic at the sight of my awakening—sighing and huffing, then pouncing about and just making a general spectacle of herself.
Have you ever tried to play a violin? It’s crazy hard. There are no frets on the fingerboard, so you have nothing except your ear to tell you whether you are putting your fingers in the proper places. Meanwhile, your other hand is sawing the taught, stretched horsehairs of a violin bow across those very same strings. Horrible, shrieking noises ensue for the first few weeks, or months, or—sometimes—years. The closest thing to that sound I can think of might be something like what would occur if a high-pitched dentist drill was being applied to the teeth of a cat in heat.