Archive - August, 2010

The legend continues, Part Four

Shortly after I posted Part Three of this riveting series, I received a mysterious phone call from a someone who would only identify himself as a former co-worker of PCB. I began to pepper him with questions, but he cut me off. He told me he suspected his phone was being tapped and that we would need to meet in person. After assurances were made that his identity would be concealed, a secret meeting was set up. The following is a transcript of said interview:

katdish: Thank you for meeting with me Mr. Brim…

YT: WHAT DID I TELL YOU ABOUT USING MY REAL NAME? Yellowtail. Just call me Yellowtail.

katdish: Sorry, Yellowtail. It won’t happen again. You mentioned in our brief phone conversation that you might have information as to the whereabouts of the Pornographic Cheese Butler (PCB).

YT: Yes. Never cared for that guy, but not even a freak like him deserves that kind of treatment.

katdish: What kind of treatment?

YT: Now, hold on. Let’s back up a bit. Back to when this all started. You know, when you and your picture snapping, blog writing self got your beloved PCB fired.

katdish: Oh, come on! You can’t be serious! No one even READ my blog back then. How could that post possibly have gotten him fired?

YT: That post had 49 comments! How can you say no one read your blog back then?

katdish: True…but most of those comments were Helen’s ideas for butt tattoos.

YT: Butt tattoos? What kind of sick freaks read your blog?

katdish: All kinds, really. But enough about my imaginary friends. What happened to PCB?

YT: Word on the street was that some local big wig with the Southern Baptist Convention got wind of your nekkid butler friend and demanded that he be taken out of the store. You might want to talk to your friend Mary about that.

katdish: Mary?….Oh, you mean Marni?

YT: Whateva…

katdish: Marni would never turn PCB in to the SBC. Besides, she’s not even that kind of Baptist. She’s like a renegade Baptist. But we’re getting off topic again. Where did he go from there?

YT: Well, I shouldn’t be telling you this, but there’s a dark side to the glamorous life of a wine and cheese display butler. We’re all promised prominent displays at fancy places, but there are only so many gigs to go around. PCB’s conniving twin brother Horace made some back room deals and landed a choice gig in Walla Walla wine country, but once you’re relegated to the grocery store circuit, your days are numbered. Especially when you’re in the habit of showing your bare @$$ for the world to see. Once you’re asked to leave a grocery store, there’s really one place to go.

katdish: AND??? Where is this place? Come on Yellowtail, I’m dangerously close to exceeding my word count here.

YT: There’s this organization. Strictly off the books, if you know what I mean. When a butler is “retired”, he’s sent to a warehouse. And these warehouses? They’re like the roach motel. Once you go in, you never come out. Capeesh?

katdish: Oh, that’s horrible! Poor PCB! These warehouses? Is there one located in the Houston area? Is that where they’re keeping PCB?

YT: Look…I could get in a lot of trouble for even meeting with you. If I tell you where this place is…

katdish: Yeah, yeah…mum’s the word! Come on Brim…er, Yellowtail! You gotta tell me where he is!

(The remainder of this interview cannot be published, but if what YT told me is true, this blogger plans to report back here on Thursday with irrefutable photographic evidence that PCB and many more unfortunate wooden butlers are being held against their will in a warehouse close to the Port of Houston. (Cue the Mission Impossible theme music.)

Stay tuned….

Tolerating me (by Billy Coffey)

image courtesy of

image courtesy of

The letter was from the American Civil Liberties Union, and the first thing I did was check the address to see if the nice lady who delivers our mail accidentally gave me someone else’s envelope. A letter from the ACLU? To me? Didn’t seem likely. I don’t consider myself to be their type, seeing as how I’m one of those backward country folks who clings to his guns and religion.

As it turned out, the letter was really a survey—ACLU PERSONAL FREEDOM SURVEY, it said—that warned “(my) decision to speak up is more important than ever, as the ACLU takes on a reenergized extremist movement determined to create an America where everyone is forced to live by that group’s narrowly-defined beliefs and values.”

Sounded scary enough, so I did my duty as a concerned citizen. I started filling out my survey. After all, they promised they were “vigorously working to protect” the things I believe in. It was the least I could do.

But then I came to the first question:

I believe that the separation of church and state is crucial to the health of our democracy and that government should stay out of Americans’ personal religious beliefs and practices.

Four choices were given—Do Not Believe, Somewhat Believe, Believe, Strongly Believe. Uh-oh. Really? I marked Do Not Believe. Even though I want my government out of my faith, I also want to know what the people in my government believe. Even if they believe in nothing. Because in the end, what we believe defines what we are.

Question 2: I believe that attempts to limit the rights of people to marry and/or adopt children based upon their sexual orientation not only hurts families but violates the most fundamental precepts of American freedom and must be resisted.

It was about this point when I realized these questions were written in such a way that if I disagreed, I would be made out to be an evil man. I marked Do Not Believe anyway. Because I have a right to think that, correct? That’s the whole point of the ACLU. Correct?

The other questions weren’t any easier—one about how “reproductive choices must be defended” and another about how wrong it is “for extremist advocates of creationism and intelligent design to impose their religious beliefs by interfering with the teaching of evolution in public school science classes.” One about how wrong it is “to use taxpayer dollars to fund abstinence-only education programs that promote a particular religious doctrine.”

I finished them all (Do Not Believe turned out to be my favorite answer) and decided that I would likely never hear from them again since I was pretty much the sort of person they seemed intent on scuffling with. Evidently, I was part of the “reactionary forces that want to create an America where everyone is forced to live by their narrowly-defined beliefs and values.”

(Not true, by the way.)

But if you ask me a question, the odds are pretty good I’m going to give you what I think is the best answer. If we disagree on that, well that’s just fine. I’ll have no problem tolerating you. But you’d damn well better tolerate me, too.

That means not calling me Islamophobic because I don’t think a mosque should be within a two blocks of where the Twin Towers once stood, and not calling me a racist because I disagree with someone who happens to be black.

It means not calling me narrow-minded because I stick to what I believe.

And not calling me reactionary because I’ll stand up for them.

To read more from Billy Coffey, visit him at his blog What I Learned Today and follow him on twitter at @BillyCoffey

The nuts and bolts of Christianity

Many of you have seen this quote here before. I share it again because lately I’ve read much debate about what our roles as Christians should be. And while I’ve read plently of opinions about “how” we should be Christians, I’ve yet to see a better opinion as to “why”.

The only thing worse than the joke you don’t get is the explanation that is bound to follow: an explanation that, while it may help you see why you should have seen the humor that you so lamely missed, is little likely to make you laugh. It may provoke you to muster a sympathy snicker so as to avoid more of an already tedious and misdirected lecture. It may inspire a mild giggle of recognition, but it will hardly ever raise a real belly-laugh, which was the original desired effect. And so, here I go — me and a dozen thousand other people — trying to explain a joke that we would do better to learn to better tell. I am setting out to explain again why Jesus is the only true hope for the world, why we should put faith in Him, and what all of that won’t mean. I am collecting the information, selecting from what I hope will be usable as evidence, arranging my findings into arguments, framing it for presentation and recognizing that, while it may be fine as far as it goes, it doesn’t go far enough.

But then I remember two things. The first thing I remember is how I once won an argument with a heathen friend of mine who — after I had whacked away his last scrap of defense, after I had successfully cut off every possible escape route that he could use, after I backed him into an inescapable corner and hit him with a great inarguable truth — blew me away by simply saying, “I do not want to be a Christian. I don’t want your Jesus Christ.” There was no argument left to be had or won. Faith is a matter of the will as much as it is of the intellect. I wanted to believe in Jesus. My friend wanted to believe in himself. In spite of how convincing my reason was, my reason was not compelling.

So the second thing I remember is this: I am a Christian because I have seen the love of God lived out in the people who know Him. The Word has become flesh and I have encountered God in the people who have manifested (in many “unreasonable” ways) His Presence; a presence that is more than convincing, it is a Presence that is compelling. I am a Christian not because someone explained the nuts and bolts of Christianity to me, but because there were people who were willing to be the nuts and bolts, who through their explanation of it, held it together so that I could experience it and be compelled by it to obey. “If I be lifted up,” Jesus said, “I will draw all men unto me.”

So, here I offer what is possibly the worst thing that can be offered: an explanation of a joke. And, what makes this more inexcusable than the fact that this is that, is the added fact that this is an explanation of a joke you’ve already gotten. I offer it anyway. I offer it in the hope that it might somehow encourage you to live out your lives and, by your living, tell the joke that I, in my writing, so feebly attempt to explain. Love one another, forgive one another, work as unto God, let the peace of Christ reign in your hearts. Make it your ambition to lead quiet lives. Obey. Greet one another with a holy kiss. No one will argue with that.
~ Rich Mullins

Rich Mullins (October 21, 1955 to September 19, 1997)

Wilford Brimley, naked gymnastics & praying for your ungrateful heart

I want to apologize in advance for the length of this post. I cut quite a few tweets, but still…Apparently I had way too much to talk about with my imaginary friends on the twitter this week. (And yes, Darlene, they are in backwards order, because I’m lazy like that.)

And now, the best of me (or not) on the twitter this week:

Okay, folks! See you in a couple of days. Send pizza.

#FF @peterpollock My go to geek and website/host guru who tolerates my bossy self.

@karenzach Just remember Karen, you are very special. Just like everyone else. (in reply to karenzach @katdish glad to be one of thousands)

Hey! I just hit 2000 followers! (Not literally, of course.)

@amysorrells Okay…that took a moment to sink in. Now, I’m thoroughly grossed out. (in reply to amysorrells @katdish might that be because no one replaced the TP?)

@MarketerMikeE You’re welcome. And mmm….Taco Bell. (in reply to MarketerMikeE @katdish you made me laff outloud in Taco Bell. Thank you)

@SurfCorp Your hair looks fabulous today, Jacques (in reply to @SurfCorp Make someone successful today. Refer them for a job, fix their flat, compliment their hair, pay them to wash your car. Do something nice)

Usually, my dog doesn’t stink. We go about our lives taking this for granted. Then one day I wake up & he smells like @$$. This is that day.

I don’t know! >RT @br8kthru: @katdish send me another $32.50 & I’ll absolve you from your email chain too. What would you do without me?

Also, please pray for my ungrateful heart, as I am once again going to break another email chain.

@br8kthru Your love offering check is in the mail (in reply to br8kthru @katdish this is what I’m here for. Unfortunately, now you owe me $32.50. :))

@br8kthru Thanks, Jason. It gives me peace to know a holy man will be praying for me. (in reply to br8kthru @katdish you and your DVD are in my prayers…)

Okay…totally kidding. Sort of.

It has been said there are no small prayers, so would you join me in praying the UPS man delivers Season 6 of #Lost today? Thanks!

#FF @marni71: In a word, snarktacular!

I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore!!! (This is what my kids will hear when they get home.)

For hilariously inappropriate yet accidental #hashtags, #FF @CandySteele

Okay. I’ll do a #FF: For great, in-depth stories about dog poo, follow @redclaydiaries

@redclaydiaries Why, thank you evil twin! (in reply to redclaydiaries I haven’t #followfriday’d in FOREVER. Here’s one: @katdish because she’s my evil twin & she’s THIS CLOSE to 2000 followers.)

@CassFrear Good morning! Now I have to google “inimitable” to see if you just insulted or complimented me. (in reply to CassFrear @katdish Morning, you inimitable blogger you! #FF)

Now, that’s more like it >RT @HeatheroftheEO: #FF @katdish Because she’s not sweet

Thanks for the #FF, but are you sure you don’t have me confused w/someone else? >RT @AuthorShauna: #FF @katdish because she’s sweet

@karenzach She could introduce you to the wooden butler of Walla Walla (in reply to karenzach @katdish I have got to get over to meet Darlene. WW is about half-an-hour from me.)

@katiemoon Just so you know, I went ahead and gave myself 5 points. Cuz you’re not the boss of me. (in reply to katiemoon @katdish nope. no points for that.)

@katiemoon I wrote a “change of transportation home” note to a teacher today. Does that count? (in reply to katiemoon When was the last time you sent a handwritten note to someone?)

“Nothing tears a family apart…like a pack of wolves.” – Jack Handey

Just returned from ciriculum/PTA nite at Jr High. Quote: “This will be our only fundraiser this year. Until the next fundraiser”. Huh?

@jewda4 Thanks Jeff. After reading that tweet 3 times, I think I understand what you said. I think I need to refill my ritalin meds.

And….the thats have it! Thank you @Helenatrandom @mansibhatia @St1jere @keithjennings @lightherlamp @Jngla

And by “nerds”, I mean, brilliant wordsmtihs, of course.

Quick! Grammar Nerds: Which is correct?: “something that was better” or “something which was better”? Or does it matter?

Wilford Brimley in Rock me Dia-bee-tus:

@HeatherSunseri You’re so thoughtful. I keep offering to buy my husband a swimming pool, but he won’t accept my gracious offer. (in reply to HeatherSunseri @katdish Well, i’m thinking i need to get the box set for my hubby. i’m already looking forward to my selfless gift.)

@HeatherSunseri I have a 9 and 13 year old. And no, when I watch #lost, I lock myself in my office & don’t talk to anyone. (in reply to HeatherSunseri @katdish Hey, Katdish, don’t you have a ten or eleven year old? have you let them watch #lost ?)

@JeanneDamoff Awesome! I’ll make up some commemorative bible bookmarks to mark the occassion. (in reply to JeanneDamoff @katdish I don’t think people actually meet for a “prayer chain.” But if @marni71 promises to wear her sweater and headband, I would come.)

@Helenatrandom I think @billycoffey’s 4th book should be about us. (in reply to Helenatrandom @marni71 @katdish I’m sure he’ll make it up to us at the next workshop. @billycoffey)

@marni71 Perhaps @buzzbyannies or @helenatrandom could provide a meal for the meeting in the crockpot of love. (in reply to marni71 @katdish We all should. Let’s start a prayer chain. I might have an embroidered sweater and headband somewhere, so I can head up the chain)

@marni71 I’m gonna pray for @billycoffey’s ungrateful heart. (in reply to marni71 @katdish I know. Here we’ve been soooo nice to him and @billycoffey yells at us and kicks @Helenatrandom out. So rude.)

@marni71 Yeah! What a jerk! @billycoffey (in reply to marni71 @Helenatrandom That’s just harsh. You’re the peace-maker among us. See if I ever sign up for his stupid workshops again…) (@helenatrandom @marni71 No worries Marns. I was at the same workshop. He had me escorted out by @weightwhat…)

@marni71 Oh, please….@billycoffey would be honored to have our esteemed company. (in reply to marni71 @katdish He yelled, he snapped his fingers and even counted to 5. And we still wouldn’t shut up. Poor Billy.)

@marni71 Some dreams really do come true, Marns. (in reply to marni71 Last night I dreamed I was attending a writing workshop led by @billycoffey. And he kept telling @katdish and I to stop being loud.)

Automated gas pump: Is this a debit card? Me: Yes. Automated gas pump: We no longer accept debit cards Me: Your timing sucks.

Already written over $200 in checks to cover misc. school activities. Good thing we don’t pay outrageous school taxes. Oh, wait. Nevermind.

@Helenatrandom If I was a kid in school, I think you’d be my favorite teacher.

@JeffHolton Well if he does, I claim intellectual property rights. (in reply to JeffHolton @katdish I think it’d also make a good title for a Jimmy Buffet song.)

Okay, not really. I totally ripped that off from @MarketerMikeE . If you DO google “Pornographic Cheese Butler” you will find my blog

Someone googled “Pornographic Cheese Butler” and found this blog post: The Legend Continues, Part 1

@CassFrear Katdish beauty tip #2: Dont get pedis in dark, seedy nail salons, U may get an eyelash in your big toe

Shocked my daughter doesn’t know God Bless America. So I start belting it out, loud and proud… “From the mountains, to the prairie, to the oceans….something, something! God Bless America, my home sweet home!

@CassFrear I am a wealth of beauty information. Okay, maybe not so much… (in reply to CassFrear @katdish Have you considered a series on beauty tips, katdish-style?)

Katdish beauty tip: If you’re bangs are too long, using a flat iron on them is not recommended. #hairfail

My son’s latest chore is emptying the dishwasher, so I use 3-4 cups a day like he used to do. I’m all about teachable moments.

@dutchhillgirl He’s a little slow… (in reply to dutchhillgirl @katdish Yeah! You tell him. LOL @billycoffey I thought we already established that women are always right?)

@billycoffey Maybe you need a new cowboy hat. You’re head’s getting too big for that one. (in reply to billycoffey @katdish I don’t have to. I know @weightwhat likes me best.)

@billycoffey Oh, stop trying to flatter your way into @weightwhat taking your side.

@weightwhat Cyber fist bump

RT @weightwhat @katdish I think you should put school stickers on @billycoffey’s car. He’s clearly not supportive enough of your kids.

@duane_scott @billycoffey says I’m a bad mom for not putting school stickers on my car, but he’s just being disagreeable. (in reply to duane_scott Would someone mind sharing what Im voting for? // RT @katdish: @billycoffey Blind devotion does not impress me.)

@billycoffey Jealous, much? (in reply to billycoffey @karenzach She only appreciates it when it’s directed at her.)

@billycoffey Blind devotion does not impress me. (in reply to billycoffey @katdish Three for me. @duane_scott is with me, too. And he doesn’t even care what it is.)

RT @billycoffey: @katdish Ha! @pauharri is on my team.//Then he’s dead to me.

@billycoffey Oh, please. You should be used to me being right by now. (in reply to billycoffey @katdish Never!)

I have 4 in agreement with me, and one opposed. Majority wins. @billycoffey is wrong. (in reply to @billycoffey @katdish You’re a horrible mother.)

Am I a bad mom if I don’t want to put school decals on my car? I really don’t like putting that stuff on my back window.

@Helenatrandom RT @weightwhat: @katdish GAAAAAA!!!! (in reply to Helenatrandom @katdish Wouldn’t you just hate to be the one with the job of polishing the pommel horse after that competition?)

@Helenatrandom And the person using the pommel horse next.(in reply to Helenatrandom @katdish I think they should at least wear a cup on the pommel horse. For the sake of the spectators…)

Last week I tweeted about vanilla scented garbage, this week naked gymnastics. I am a wealth of information. Tell your friends.

@Helenatrandom Great minds (in reply to Helenatrandom @katdish pommel horse.)

@weightwhat Ewh! Or the pommel horse! Gaaa! (in reply to weightwhat @katdish And don’t even get me started on the uneven bars.)

@weightwhat Yes. The balance beam event alone makes me shudder. (in reply to weightwhat @katdish Wow, that brings up a lot of unpleasant mental pictures.)

Snort! I just deleted a spam comment from “naked gymnast”. Now there’s a niche market.

What I did today. Subtitled: A girl and her hatchet.,

I’m going to cut down some tree limbs, and possibly set them on fire in the 55 gallon drum out back. Ah, I heart no deed restrictions!

Daughter just yelled at her bro: You think you’re the King of Awesomeness, but you’re SO NOT! (Snort!)

@beckfromfrogandtoad I’m all ears. Like my mom says, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, come sit next to me.”

The legend continues, Part Three (I know, right?)

image courtesy of google images "Walla Walla wine tasting"

If you’ve been following along at home (The legend continues, Part One and The legend continues, Part Two), you are aware that a butler matching the description of the Pornographic Cheese Butler who once resided in my local grocery store was spotted in Walla Walla wine country, Washington by roving reporter Darlene aka A Simple Country Girl. You also know her reports have raised suspicions that this is not, in fact, my beloved PCB.

Today, an exclusive interview will give you further insight into this unfolding saga.

And now, in her own words, Darlene:

Okay, I had my husband and son wait in the car while I went inside the place next door to the Bare Buns Butler. It was a winery’s uptown wine-drinking room (what do ya call it? it’s not a bar with beer or a pub with really big mugs of beer)…nice background music, brick wall on one side, wood wall on the other, wood floors, large comfortable looking chairs ever-so purposefully placed to encourage conversation and wine-drinking. The light was gentle (can light be gentle?). Both of the ladies talked in calm, low tones. there was a bar of sorts, fancy tile and ready for wine glasses. I was wearing my skorts, hiking shoes, and a pit-sweaty t-shirt. My sunglasses were atop my head. I had just come from the parent – coach soccer meeting, followed by dinner (I had a veggie laden salad with lots of avocados)…

Now that the scene is set:

Them: Good evening, how are you?

Me: I am good. Thank you. I have an odd question for you, actually more than one question.

One of them: Okay

Me: Do you own that part of the building over there? (pointing to the left)

One of them: It is owned by the same owner that has this place.

Me: Well you see, I have this friend in Texas. I had seen pictures she had taken of a wooden butler dude. He turned up missing one day. (Can anyone turn up missing? Really, that is what I said.) Then I saw this wooden butler next door peaking over a sign. Do you know anything about that fella?

One of them: Yes.

Me: Well, how long has he been here?

One of them: For about one and a half years.

The other one: Yeah, at least. He used to be down there at a furniture store.

Me: Oh, okay.

Now they are looking at me funny–or maybe they were high on wine.

Me: When I first saw him and recognized him I told my friend in Texas. She asked me to find out about his background.

One of them: How horrible. I cannot believe someone stole her wooden butler. She must be so disappointed (she may have said “disturbed”). How long has he been missing? Where are they looking?

Me: I didn’t say he was stolen. He turned up missing. He used to hold cheese in her grocery store. Krogers or something. It must be a southern chain.

One of them: Well I wish someone would steal this guy or the owner would get rid of it. He is really creepy. Really creepy. I have never liked him.

The other one: Yeah, and he has lived in other places in this town for about 10 years.

Me: I thought you just knew about his last couple of years.

The other one: He has been in Walla Walla for at least ten years.

One of them: He is really creepy. I can’t stand him. I don’t like him. (She needed another drink, perhaps.)

Me: Okay, Thanks so much. I know this is really weird but I just had to ask.

One of them: I wonder if she will ever find her butler? She must really be sad that someone stole him.

Me: (walking away) Okay, see you later.

Both of them: Thanks for coming in. Come back when you can sit down and have some wine!

So what have we learned?

Based on this interview and previous photographs, I think we can conclude that this is not my missing PCB. Perhaps a brother? A very creepy brother? Further investigation may be needed on this subject.

I want to express my great appreciation for Darlene’s top notch investigative reporting and interviewing skills which made this story possible. But the story doesn’t end here. You see, I’ve been doing a bit of digging myself and what I’ve unturned may be too upsetting and graphic for those of you with weak constitutions. I am compiling my final notations and cross-checking a few sources ( = integrity), and will give you my full report on Tuesday of next week. In the meantime, hug your wooden butler today and tell him how much he means to you. You may never get another chance.

The legend continues, Part Two

Yesterday, thanks to the keen eye and observation skills of undercover photographer and reporter Darlene, aka A Simple Country Girl, I was able to break the story of a possible PCB sighting. In case you missed it, you can get up to speed by reading The legends continues, Part One here.

This story continues to evolve, and to be honest, it’s been a bit of emotional roller coaster of highs and lows for this blogger. Below you will find the results of Darlene’s second trip into Walla Walla wine country:

My official/initial BBB findings:

Apparently BBB has been relocated to wine country. His new dwelling place is a large store-front window. Interestingly there are two sets of doors. The first of which are locked shut and covered from the inside with hoards of white paper painted with oddball faces, hence the name you see on the glass door, Walla Faces. Also, BBB doesn’t seem to mind that those paintings reflect on his window, making him appear to be wearing a checkered skirt of sorts.

Upon inspecting his face, he looks happy and content.

His shoes look slightly worn, but no toes stick through (unlike his pants) his footwear.

And in trying to get a glimpse of his bunnage, I had to smash my face up against the window pane and peer between the wall and the strategically placed poster. Gasp! He had the vertical crack we are born with, but (uh, no pun, well, just a little one) he had amassed (oh behave!) a horizontal crack as well. Bare Buns Butler now sported an apparent wooden waiter anomaly with 4 sets of buns. I wonder, had he moved from Texas to Washington in order to escape any negative talk about his unfortunate cracking-up? Anyway, I could not get a shot of his backside because of my zoom lens. I was prepared for incognito shooting from across the street, not this person-to-person close-up action I was fortunate enough to encounter.

Much to my dismay, my son said two men were watching us from the inside of the store. And when we came back several minutes of later, he peeked under the Walla Faces poster and the men were there, apparently waiting for us. (After I made some keen observations, we ran off and then drove off in the Dodge.) We managed to make an interesting discovery, half of the building was empty, save for rows of chairs facing the opposite wall. Perhaps they were preparing for a meeting about BBB and whether or not crack caulking was in his wooden future? Or perhaps BBB was going to serve wine at an artsty-fartsy gathering? This is going to remain a mystery as we skeddadled on home.

From the blocked windows and the face paintings and the bottles of wine, I was not able to ascertain whether it was a winery storefront or an art gallery. Either way, BBB seems to be right at home with his tray of wine and lack of cheese. Hence the name change. Oh my, I just had a thought, what if he is actually an identical twin to PCB? I heard there has been an increase in oddball twins.

As an aside, look at the last two images I took in another storefront window. Is that Big Bird? (I never have been much of a Sesame Street fan.)

And what is with the dude’s eyeballs? Has he always looked like that? Perhaps he really, really misses Sesame Street and does not like Main Street at all. I reckon he is not thrilled with the store sign he is forced to hold.

Yes, “Hot Poop” is the name of the store. This town is beginning to freak me out a little bit…

Having read her report and seen the pictures with my own eyes, I’m inclined to believe that this is not, in fact, my beloved Pornographic Cheese Butler, because this guy appears to be wearing pants. But who knows? Perhaps pants have been provided for him. Tomorrow, I will share with you a transcript of an actual interview obtained by our intrepid roving reporter. Prepare yourselves. The findings are quite shocking…

The legend continues, Part One

The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell and Bill Moyers currently takes the top spot on the stack of books I’m reading. For those of you unfamiliar with Joseph Campbell, he was considered an expert on mythology and believed symbols of mythology and legend surround us, embedded in the fabric of our daily lives. He had an uncanny ability to recognize these connections and communicate their meaning. In his conversations with Bill Moyers, he expressed concern that the children of this generation no longer embrace  powerful mythologies and spirituality, resulting in “destructive and violent acts by young people who don’t know how to behave in a civilized society.”

I share Campbell’s concern for what I see as a real decline in civility and graciousness. I also believe that some myths and legends are born, others are made. One such legend was born on the last day of March, 2009 in a humble cheese and wine display at the back of a grocery store. I speak, of course, of your friend and mine, the Pornographic Cheese Butler:

Seemingly gracious wine and cheese steward from this angle, right? Not so fast!

Alas, as quickly as he was introduced to you all, we had to bid him a sad farewell. As Marni lamented in the comments section of Say it ain’t so, Kro! Say it ain’t so!,Oh pornographic cheese butler, we hardly knew ye, and now you’re gone.”And while saddened by the quick departure of our beloved PCB, I could not ascertain the whereabouts of our pantsless wooden friend. I suppose I should have suspected something sinister after speaking to his replacement:

PCB’s replacement, Woodrow Brimley (rumored to be the younger brother of Wilford Brimley of “Cocoon” and “Di-a-bee-tus!”fame) had only this to say: “Cry me a river lady! I’m 3 feet tall, bald, wearing white panty hose, and I’ve got a bolt stuck through my hand! Now leave me alone, I’m trying to pimp some Yellowtail (that’s what she said).”

But the interwebs is a strange and wonderful place. You just never know who you may meet. On August 13 of this year, new bloggy pal and alert reader Darlene, aka A Simple Country Girl sent me an astonishing report via email. The following is only a brief portion of what has become a full-blown investigation:

Bare Buns Butler Investigation Report:

Three days ago just as the light changed on Main Street, I happened to glance over my right shoulder and looked out the passenger car window. What I saw made me gasp aloud. Although I could not keep my gaze fixed, I was certain that I had seen Katdish’s missing Bare Buns Butler. I drove home and immediately contacted her with my potential siting.

Katdish persuaded me to go back to town with my camera and take some photographs and make notations. Although I wanted to immediately oblige, I couldn’t find an excuse to head that way twice in the same day. So today, with my six-year old son and camera in-tow, we drove through downtown. Dear reader, you must understand that downtown Walla Walla is not the most enticing place for a gigantic Dodge pick-up with large metal bumpers and a big front-end winch. It is more suited to the wine-seeking tourists driving shiny little Mercedes. Despite my attempts to blend in with the locale (by sucking in my abs and pretending my legs were tanned by a vacation on the Riviera), my diesel hummed loud and stuck out like a sore thumb. The tourists literally stopped and stared as I meandered through the boutique-lined streets and wildly searched for BBB at every stoplight. To my dismay, I could not find him.

Dejected, I drove off for our one real errand, miles away.

Perhaps the reason I could not find mister Bare Buns Butler was because when I first saw him I was in the low-riding Subaru and now I was riding high in the Dodge. En route to home and during our second trip through downtown, I drove even slower and searched even harder. Just near the last light, I saw mister man’s wooden head peaking out over a sign. Much to my delight there were two empty parking places nearby. Good thing two spots were open, because my non-covert vehicle overlaps the sides of the painted places.

Before leaving home I had attached my zoom lens to my camera because I wasn’t sure how close I could actually get to the subject, uh suspect, uh wooden butler man. Unfortunately this proved to be detrimental to snapping any close-ups of Bare Buns Butler’s defining features. Despite this disappointment in fulfilling my spy-like duties, you will find attached the several angles from which I did manage to sneakily snap some photographs.

Could this be our beloved Pornographic Cheese Butler???

Stay tuned…the plot thickens.

Teaching self esteem versus self respect

image courtesy of

Self-respect and self-esteem are not synonymous. Here are the definitions:

a proper sense of one’s own dignity and integrity
self-respectful , self-respecting adj

1. respect for or a favourable opinion of oneself
2. an unduly high opinion of oneself; vanity

(Source: Collins English dictionary)

And this from All About Life Challenges:

Are self-respect and self-esteem the same? An individual with a healthy self-respect “likes” themselves — even when encountering the inevitable failures in life. To esteem something is to “hold in high regard.” Self-respect and self-esteem are quite different. Self-esteem balances precariously upon a comparison with someone who’s always “a little better.” When we esteem someone or something, we face serious trouble if we do not measure up to those standards. Our esteem may ebb and flow, whereas a healthy self-respect (liking ourselves) is always grounded in what we are (and are not) — not in what we can or cannot accomplish. I love to ice skate. I love to watch professional skaters. For years I took private lessons and trained on a personal skating rink. Yet I am not an exceptional skater. Realizing that I am not “Olympic material” doesn’t affect my self-respect.

I think we do a huge disservice to our children when we stress self-esteem instead of self-respect.

Self-esteem teaches:
“I can be anything I want to be in life.”

Self-respect teaches:
“If I set realistic goals, work/train/study diligently, I greatly increase my chances to realize my dreams.”

Self-esteem teaches:
“I should always be treated with respect and dignity.”

Self-respect teaches:
“I have an expectation of being treated with the same respect and dignity I afford others, but when that doesn’t happen, it doesn’t mean I have a right to demand it nor does it mean I’m not respectful or dignified.”

Self-esteem teaches:
“I’m a winner just for showing up.”

Self-respect teaches:
“I’m good at some things. If I’m the best, I may be rewarded. When someone else is rewarded for something they excel in, I applaud their reward and can appreciate their achievement.”

Self-esteem teaches:
“I am special. I have the right to express my individuality by the way I dress. No one has the right to censor my creative spirit.”

Self-respect teaches:
“I am a unique individual. I can express my individuality without disrespecting/offending the expected and accepted norms of a given group dynamic.”

Self-esteem teaches:
“I am entitled.”

Self-respect teaches:
“I am worthy.”

I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty much over the self-esteem bandwagon. It’s a heck of a lot easier to teach kids to conform to their surroundings than it is to attempt to conform the surroundings to the kid, and I’m pretty sure they will survive with their individuality and unique personalities in tact.

“Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful. I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me.” ~ 1 Corinthians 4:2-4

For more posts on the topic of Children, visit Bridget Chumbley’s place, One Word at a Time.

Hit the redneck (by Billy Coffey)

photo of Radivoje Lajic from

photo of Radivoje Lajic from

You could say Radivoje Lajic and I have a few things in common, at least on the surface.

We’re both country boys for one, though what I call country happens to be the mountains of Virginia and what Radivoje calls country happens to be Gornji Lajici, a small village in northern Bosnia. We’re both content to live our own lives and mind our own business. And then there’s the fact that deep down, we both just want to be left alone. We want our lives free of drama and spectacle. We want to quietly go on our way and just keep doing what we’re doing.

Problem is, that doesn’t seem to happen very often with Radivoje. And sometimes it doesn’t happen very often with me, either. Things get in the way. Specific things.

In Radivoje’s case, it’s the aliens who won’t leave him alone.

Since 2007, Radivoje’s small house has been hit six times by meteorites. He has the space rocks to prove it, too. Experts at Belgrade University have confirmed them all as genuine. He even sold one of them to a university in the Netherlands so he could put a new steel girder reinforced roof on his house. He was tired of patching all the holes.

For their part, scientists are still trying to figure out how and why poor Radivoje has been forced to endure this. The odds of anyone getting hit by a single meteorite are about 0.000000136%. The odds of getting hit by six of them? Incalculable.

There is some speculation that either his house or his town sits on some supercharged magnetic field, but nothing has been proven. And even if it was, that wouldn’t explain the fact that all of this seems to happen only during a heavy rain. Never in the sunshine.

A mystery, the scientists say. But not to Radivoje. He knows what’s going on. To him, it’s pretty obvious:

“I have no doubt I am being targeted by aliens. They are playing games with me. I don’t know why they are doing this. When it rains I can’t sleep for worrying about another strike.”

Funny, yes. Funny to me, anyway. I don’t know why this is happening, but to think aliens are floating up in space playing a game of Hit the Serbian seems a bit of a stretch.

But then I thought it over and decided that maybe if Radivoje has his facts wrong, then so do I. Because if you substitute “aliens” for “God” in his quote above, you might just have me.

There are times in my life when I feel like God is targeting me. Lots of times. Many more than six. I suppose in that regard, Radivoje’s gotten off pretty easy.

I’ve been known to believe that God plays games with me. He’ll dangle some blessing right in front of my eyes and then snatch it away the second I reach out for it. He’ll answer little prayers like getting me a good parking spot at the mall but not big ones like not letting my kids get sick. And there are always those infernal lessons He’s intent on teaching me, things like patience and humility and trust, things I’m sure will build me up later but always seem to make me feel torn apart now.

To make matters worse, those lessons always seem to come at the worst possible time. Not when my life is sunny, but when it’s raining on my insides. And the rain always seems to pour harder then, because I’m left worrying what He’s going to do next.

“I have no doubt I am being targeted by aliens. They are playing games with me. I don’t know why they are doing this. When it rains I can’t sleep for worrying about another strike.”

I get that. I get it because there are times when I have no doubt I am being targeted by God. He is playing games with me. I didn’t know why He is doing that. When it rains I can’t sleep for worrying about another strike.

I can’t say there isn’t a little bit of Radivoje Lajic’s thinking in me. I have my moments when I think God’s in heaven playing Hit the Redneck. And chances are good that you’ve felt the same more than once about your own life. As for me, I’m going to work on that.

To read more from Billy Coffey, visit him at his blog What I Learned Today and follow him on twitter at @BillyCoffey

Love is Here…

Always has been…

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