I can't remember the names of all of Snow White's dwarfs, but I don't feel bad about that. I mean, I do remember one - Grumpy. Actually I've heard the Grumpy shirt is one of Disney's big sellers. Yeah, I might know why. Grumpy is a kind of mood a whole lot of people are in these days.
On a family vacation, we had some time to do some extra biking. There was a lake nearby. It was fun to go around the lake...well, sort of fun. See, there were these long, downhill stretches, "Oh man, just flying down that hill! It was fantastic! Then guess what came right after that. Yeah, the uphill climb, and that was grueling, sometimes painful. And guess which lasted longer...the downhill thrill or the pain of going uphill?
You know, you can learn something from a cab driver, even if his vocabulary is R-rated-or maybe even X-rated in this case. I was on a trip to an airport in a cab a while back. And well, without even knowing it, I must have hit some trigger in this cab driver. Oh, man! All of a sudden I couldn't believe what started to come out of his mouth. He started to pour out all kinds of racial hatred, and he said, "I don't really care about anything in the world or anybody but myself, and let those starving people starve, and let those poor people be poor." Wow!
I had just finished presenting one of our outreach parenting seminars and I had talked near the end about how we tend to copy the ways that our parents raised us. Well, this man came and told me that he had noticed something a little different the first time his wife cooked a roast for him. I wondered where this was going. Well, he said she cut off the ends of the roast! He said, "Well, that's strange," but he let it go. And then, after a few times, he said, "Honey, why do you do that?" And she said, "Well, my mother did it." He said, "Why did she do it?" She said, "I'm going to ask her." So she asked her mother and her mother said, (You guessed it!) "Well, my mother did it." She said, "Well, do you know why my grandmother did it?" The mother said, "Well, actually, while she was still alive I asked her one time." She said, "Yeah, I'll tell you why I cut off the ends of the beef. My pan was too short!" So, here are three generations doing what great-grandmother did long after the reason for doing it was history!
Frankly, I just don't know how mothers of young children do it all. I've realized it again and again. While I was watching our daughter and our daughters-in-law and all they have to juggle taking care of our grandchildren. I mean, one day our daughter was trying to do one of those juggling acts trying to get her 18-month-old son ready to leave on a winter day. She also had a lot to load in the car. So, while she was shuttling back and forth, she accidentally let the door to the house close behind her and it locked. Her son was inside. Her keys were in the house - safe. Every door and window turned out to be locked, of course. Her son was oblivious to the problem. There were no neighbors close by.
I have two adult friends who own Princeton University sweatshirts. Al has one because he put in four very challenging years at the university and he graduated from there. And the other day I met a friend, Dave, at the grocery store, and he had his Princeton University sweatshirt on. I said, "I didn't know you went to Princeton?" Well, you know me; I get most of my exercise jumping to conclusions. No, he informed me that he had bought that shirt at a discount store for $12. He said, "Oh, I didn't go to Princeton, I just wear the shirt!"
We've always found our family in the comic strips. Yeah, frequently one of the kids would come to me with some cartoon in the newspaper and say, "Here we are, Dad!" And it was often that comic strip - maybe you've seen it - Family Circus. The man behind it obviously has had children of his own. I mean, whenever the parents find a mess, or something eaten or missing, they of course start asking the children who did it. Needless to say, no one ever takes responsibility. No, the parents always end up concluding that it was "The Ghost of 'Not Me.'" Hey, does he live at your house - The Ghost of 'Not Me'? Listen, I know a Father who has a hard time getting His kids to say, "It was my fault." The kids? Yeah, you and me.
I was a young teenager when I faced my first issue with gun control. My dad took me out hunting pheasants. I was a rookie with that 12-gauge shotgun. The first time a pheasant roared out of those cornstalks, it scared me so much, I couldn't fire a shot. I had no gun control.
It was as late as mid-August that year and people in 24 states were watching the water rise. For so many months flash flood warnings or watches, and the rain just kept falling. We were in some of those monsoons. In a nearby community, the water rose a foot every ten minutes. I'd never heard of anything like that. I mean, there was barely time to get out.
Yeah, it's been more than a century since the unsinkable ship sank and some 1,500 passengers died. You know, of course, I actually have my boarding pass for the Titanic. I really do! They gave it to me at the entrance to a Titanic artifacts exhibit I went to. (I am not that old that I have an original. No.) Now, it doesn't have my name on it. It says, "J. Pearse, Crew." See, having the name of someone who was really there that night, I guess, made what I saw a whole lot more personal. That was the idea.