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April 2009
Dear Readers,

I was standing on line the other day reading about some bachegaloop who gave his wife an internal organ, without which she would have expired, and then she turns around and uses the gift of life to give him the horns, and he was agitated, to say the least. Wanted it back. Which is to say, he wanted his life back the way it was when he would give her a piece of him, no questions asked. Which was not happening. Sad, all around, if by sad you mean kind of funny. But it just goes to show he didn't understand about giving with a gracious heart. Even if you give your innards, expecting something in return, even basic decency, not really a good idea. You might get it, but mostly likely you won't, and then what was a good thing turns bad. What's the use of that? Better to take the heat up front and refuse to give if you've got to give with conditions. Now if you have conditions, that's fine, but make them clear, so people aren't surprised when you try to collect.

Then I was wondering if there were people I'd give a kidney to, no questions asked and I realized, yes, I had a list. Which got me to wondering even more, if there were other lists I had, and yes, there are. Who knew? Then I got to wondering even more, if it's a good idea to know what your lists are and even more than that, who is on which one. Which I think it is. Because that's prepared, and prepared, as much as you can be in this crazy life, is good. As long as you don't count on it. Now you may never have had these thoughts, but I don't blame you. How many of you are me? None. Which is why I get asked questions all the time, even if people don't really want the answer they get.

Here are the lists you are keeping whether you know it or not.

1. People you'd give a kidney to, no hesitation.

2. People whose heart you would rip out if you could

3. People you Hear and Obey

4. People who can do no wrong.

5. People you'd throw yourself under a bus for

6. People you'd drive the bus over

7. People you annoy

8. People who annoy you (not the same as #7, go figure)

9. People you'd go in with on a lottery ticket

10. People who'd be good on a treasure hunt

I'm not saying these are good lists to keep, I'm just saying we keep them, unless you're a saint, in which case you're list free. Have you ever seen the book, Lists of the Saints? No I don't think so, because there is no such thing. Which proves my point.

Dear Madrone,

My neighbor and I have been arguing and we agreed that we would listen to whatever you say because you are not an idiot. (Like some people that I live near). Here's the argument. My neighbor says that the more money he has the happier he'd be, and I say you can't wear more than two diamond studded pinky rings at a time. What do you think?

Contented, Fort Drum

Dear Contented,

You're both right. More money would make him happier, and you're fine whatever.

Just keep in mind, it's never JUST about the money. Moolah stands in for any or all of the following- respect, safety, muscle, love. And it can't promise you health or get you more than the time you need to complete your work on this earth, which you both seem to think includes this argument. My aunt Regina used to hit me over the head with a wooden spoon every time I'd start in with what she called a gravy waster. That's when you take good tomato sauce and put it someplace it has no business being, like in a glass of milk or on undercooked pastini. This question is one of those.

God bless, Donna

PS. It IS possible to wear more than two diamond studded pinky rings at a time, although it isn't recommended. True story: My brother's cousins' godfather's grandfather wore four, but he ended up losing both pinkies at the Automat, while trying to extract a BLT. The doors jammed, and medics came on the scene too late to save the fingers. It was news at the time.


 


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Pamela Bongiorno Monk is a full time faculty member of Penn State University, where she teaches creative writing, both fiction and non fiction. She pursues freelance writing, authoring plays and feature articles. She has broken nearly as many rules of family as she has enforced.

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