The tree that never had to fight,
For sun and sky and air and light,
But stood out on the open plain,
And always got it’s share of rain,
Never became a forest king,
But lives and dies a scrawny thing.
The man who never had to toil,
To gain and farm his patch of soil,
Who never had to win his share,
Of sun and sky and light and air,
Never became a manly man,
But lived and died as he began.
Good timber does not grow in ease,
The stronger the wind, the stronger trees
The farther sky, the greater the length
The more the storm, the more the strength,
By sun and cold, by rain and snow,
In tree and men good timbers grow.
Where thickest lies the forest growth
We find the patriarchs of both.
And they hold counsel with the stars
Whose broken branches show the scars
This is the common law of life.
Friends Of Caveman Circus:
“Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habit. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.”
- Lao Tzu
Story time, children. Gather round.
Many years ago, when I was in high school, I worked at a movie theater. Allow me to preface the story by saying that I pride myself on my ability to accomplish tasks that I find unpleasant. My parents own several section 8 rental properties around Youngstown, and I had been roped into innumerable “This house is a mess, we’re not paying anyone to clean it, we feed you, here’s a bucket, get started” adventures in my short life. I had dealt with festering diapers left in the open air for months in summer, rotten food, spoiled milk, animal corpses, used hypodermics, anything you could imagine. Cleaning the grease trap in the concession area did not phase me. I was woefully unprepared this day.
I arrived in my polo shirt and slacks through the lobby entrance as some of the theaters were letting out. I could tell immediately something was amiss. One of the managers had put the caution tape we normally used to mark defective chairs over the door to the women’s restroom, and was standing in front of the door looking worried. When a patron would try to enter, the manager would stop them, nod apologetically, make a brief “mia culpa” gesture with her hands, and usher them away. When she saw that I had arrived, her eyes immediately brightened and she waved emphatically for me to come over.
“Jenkins,” she said, “You want to do something for me? There’s gas cards in it for you.”
This should have been my tip off. Gas cards were highly prized commodities in the theater, being given only for the most exemplary service. To receive multiple gas cards was unheard of.
“How many gas cards?” I asked.
“What do you want me to do?”
“There’s a mess in the first stall. I want you to clean it up.”
“Sure, no problem,” said 17 year old me, ready to earn the easiest 30 bucks in gas cards of my life. I was naive, and did not expect the horrors that awaited me.
I was allowed entry into the women’s restroom, and the first thing I noticed was the smell. It was the foulest thing I have ever smelled to this day. Imagine that a dozen homeless people are filming a scat porrn with a dead dolphin inside a sweat lodge inside a paper mill next to the Jersey River in August. That pales in comparison to the unholy aroma permeating the room; its soft pink tiles ironic in the face of such an insidious odor.
If you’re an MMA fan like me, this video will hit all the right emotions within you. The music and the editing is beautifully crafted together.