“Son. May I call you that? No? Complete stranger, they say ‘you must give it away to keep it,’ and while I do not know what they mean by ‘it’ or even who ‘they’ might be, I just know that they keep telling me this. Again and again and again. But what do I have to give away? Pray tell, what? My wisdom, that’s what. My easy-won wisdom. And my encouragement.
“They also tell me that life should be worn like a loose Garmin, which I do not pretend to understand. Is it loose on the dashboard? That might be dangerous. You have to keep your GPS on a mount of some kind. You should wear your life like a fully charged GPS or phone—don’t want to get too hung up on terms and technology, because it is the philosophy I am getting at here that is important—wear your life like a portable device that you keep charged up and then hide in the glove compartment when you leave your car in a public parking lot. So don’t wear it at all. Carry your life like an electronic device that requires a two-year contract for you to use it, one that you would consider purchasing a protection plan for, but you ultimately do not, and you chance it.
“Too many people compromise. But not many people make compromises. And at the same time there is no difference between those two thoughts. Too many people live life like a ‘you scratch my back and I’ll call the police because why is a stranger scratching my back on line at Starbucks?’ proposition. Perhaps we should allow people, even strangers, to scratch our backs more often, or even encourage them to.
“Encouragement. That’s what there isn’t enough of in this world. That, and money. Think of it this way: If I encourage you to give me money and you then feel empowered from your beautifully fulfilling a complete stranger’s encouragement to perform a daring and semi-lasting act of charity (make checks out to ‘cash,’ please), well, then both of us are satisfactorily living the right kind of life, according to our mutual consciences and individual needs. It is a satisfaction that goes deeper than society’s ideas of ‘good’ or ‘bad.’ Whether or not I need your money, which I do, I need to guide you, a fellow traveler on this great big blue sphere of ours, to encourage you to find deep inner fulfillment by giving away what you have, so that you may keep it.
“This is not to say I intend to pay you back. I do not. I need the money. But you have an even deeper need, an inner need—at the cellular level, you know, really deep—to do good works, and your back isn’t strong and your legs aren’t fast, so what good are you? And your thinking brain isn’t too cluttered with facts and isn’t as agile or nimble as it once was, so again I ask, how much good can you bring the world? And by the world, I mean me, because who else is in front of you right now? You, my dear complete stranger, have a God-given talent for reaching in your pocket, an insatiable need to do good, and a healthy respect for my need for cash.
“You are an unbeatable team.
“It isn’t often that one person’s needs meet up so perfectly with another person’s needs, as we are witnessing here. You need to do good, I need to encourage you to do good, I need your money, and you need to do good. That is a balance so perfect you could build a foundation for an important future upon it. And I do not often use the word ‘upon.’
“Yes. And by ‘yes,’ I mean think about this: I have a deep-seated need to spread encouragement and verbal rewards, ‘thank yous’ if you will, among my fellow travelers on this great big world, and you need to be thanked, from the bottom of my bottomless need.”
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Tonight! The Magnificent Glass Pelican (MGP) is a live half-hour radio comedy show that my friends and I have written, produced, and acted in for over two decades. Each Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. (tonight), the MGP half-hour is broadcast on 88.7 FM WFNP (“The Edge”) in the Rosendale-New Paltz, New York, area or is streaming live here: The MGP on WFNP. This is at 7:30 p.m. Eastern, and the broadcasts are not archived, so if you can check us out live tonight, thank you.
“Preamble to the Blues” is a monologue I wrote 15-20 years or so ago for the show. Sean Marrinan plays Pop Hinks, and that is Sean with the impressive beard on his face in the photo on the recording. John Burdick plays the guitar. I wrote the words.
“The One Four Five” was written by John Burdick for Pop Hinks. Sean and he perform it:
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