Friday, October 1, 2004

Take the 75 cents, Samurai. You earned it.

Dear Friends, 

Congratulations to Mike Delodnick from Geneva, PA, the winner of our Heroes in Action children's poetry contest. Mike will receive a $50 gift certificate to Pier 1 Imports and have his poem published at the bottom of this newsletter. Congratulations, again! 

I'd like to take a few moments to tell you about my personal hero, a hemiparetic nun who preaches on the open access Christian TV station. Sister Morgan (as I'll call her) has been the host of the popular "Visions of a Lamb in Christ" for many years.  I changed her name to "Sister Morgan" because I'm about to tell you confidential medical information.

A few years ago, Sister Morgan had a major stroke and was left with a facial droop and misaligned eyes. Now I've seen some sad saps with some tough breaks, but I have never witnessed this kind of determination from a stroke patient. Sister Morgan went back to her televised pulpit less than a week after leaving the hospital. For a few months, every time I would turn the TV on, she would be there in her eye-patch, drooling and slurring through her Hail Marys. 

How best to honor such a bastion of spiritual fortitude and constancy? It turns out, there is some archaic bylaw that prevents her from being canonized into sainthood while she's still alive. (If your Load-of-Crap Meter just went through the roof, I'm totally with you.) Unfortunately, no one even told me about the stupid rule until after I had already gone door-to-door and collected over 30 signatures! 

Then I got to thinking... maybe the best way to honor her would be to do what I do best, and help other people with strokes!

Then I remembered that there is nothing that can be done for those people. In fact, I think I'm going to hold on to those signatures.

Finally, I decided that the best way to show my profound respect for Sister Morgan would be to make a disabled nun a major character in my musical. The Hard Taco song this month, "Twylla's Song," is the ribald yarn of a crippled woman-of-the-cloth, modeled very loosely on Sister Morgan. The principal difference in their respective handicaps is that Twylla is missing four fingers on her left hand, while Sister Morgan suffers from a wedge-shaped brain infarct. Also, Twylla's handicap stems from an ancient curse, while Sister Morgan's handicap stems from high blood pressure and red meat. 

With warmest regards,


"Hats off to Heroes." by Mike Delodnick, age 13

A hero can be 
A big furry dog who helps someone find a manhole, 

A hero can be
A very small boy who's smart enough to tattle on his friends (who are vandals.) 

Heroes are everywhere, like 
A train conductor who gets busy workers home on time

Heroes are everywhere, like
A scientist who knows more about lava than anyone else 
He uses that knowledge to help people. 

Hats off to this hero:
A Samurai who eats worms to win a bet, 

Hats off to this hero:
The guy who pays up to the Samurai without being all grumpy about it.

True heroes are
Jim Varney, Gene Hackman, etc.

False heroes are
Randy Moss, the Coast Guard