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WITandWISDOM(tm) - October 15, 1999
"The only things in the middle of the road are yellow stripes and dead armadillos." - Jim Hightower
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~~~~~~~ SPECIAL THOUGHTS:
By Carl L. Cooper CLeec@juno.com
Everyone in the apartment complex I lived in knew who Ugly was.
Ugly was the resident tomcat. Ugly loved three things in this world: fighting, eating garbage, and shall we say, love.
The combination of these things combined with a life spent outside had their effect on Ugly.
To start with, he had only one eye, and where the other should have been was a gaping hole. He was also missing his ear on the same side, his left foot appeared to have been badly broken at one time, and had healed at an unnatural angle, making him look like he was always turning the corner.
His tail had long ago been lost, leaving only the smallest stub, which he would constantly jerk and twitch.
Ugly would have been a dark gray tabby striped-type, except for the sores covering his head, neck, even his shoulders with thick, yellowing scabs. Every time someone saw Ugly there was the same reaction.
"That's one UGLY cat!!"
All the children were warned not to touch him, the adults threw rocks at him, hosed him down, squirted him when he tried to come in their homes, or shut his paws in the door when he would not leave.
Ugly always had the same reaction. If you turned the hose on him, he would stand there, getting soaked until you gave up and quit. If you threw things at him, he would curl his lanky body around feet in forgiveness.
Whenever he spied children, he would come running meowing frantically and bump his head against their hands, begging for their love. If you ever picked him up he would immediately begin suckling on your shirt, earrings, whatever could find.
One day Ugly shared his love with the neighbors huskies. They did not respond kindly, and Ugly was badly mauled. From my apartment I could hear his screams, and I tried to rush to his aid. By the time I got to where he was laying, it was apparent Ugly's sad life was almost at an end.
Ugly lay in a wet circle, his back legs and lower back twisted grossly out of shape, a gaping tear in the white strip of fur that ran down his front. As I picked him up and tried to carry him home I could hear him wheezing and gasping, and could feel him struggling. I must be hurting him terribly I thought. Then I felt a familiar tugging, sucking sensation on my ear.
Ugly, in so much pain, suffering and obviously dying was trying to suckle my ear. I pulled him closer to me, and he bumped the palm of my hand with his head, then he turned his one golden eye towards me, and I could hear the distinct sound of purring. Even in the greatest pain, that ugly battled-scarred cat was asking only for a little affection, perhaps some compassion. At that moment I thought Ugly was the most beautiful, loving creature I had ever seen. Never once did he try to bite or scratch me, or even try to get away from me, or struggle in any way.
Ugly just looked up at me completely trusting in me to relieve his pain.
Ugly died in my arms before I could get inside, but I sat and held him for a long time afterwards, thinking about how one scarred, deformed little stray could so alter my opinion about what it means to have true pureness of spirit, to love so totally and truly. Ugly taught me more about giving and compassion than a thousand books, lectures, or talk show specials ever could, and for that I will always be thankful.
He had been scarred on the outside, but I was scarred on the inside, and it was time for me to move on and learn to love truly and deeply.
To give my total to those I cared for. Many people want to be richer, more successful, well liked, beautiful, but for me, I will always try to be Ugly.
(Jennie A Moss)
~~~~~~~ THIS & THAT:
ENGINEER IDENTIFICATION Part 2 of 2 [Oct 5 & 15]
(If there's somebody in your life who you think is trying to pass as an engineer, evaluate him with the following to discern the truth.)
6. Clothes are the lowest priority for an engineer, assuming the basic thresholds for temperature and decency have been satisfied. If no appendages are freezing or sticking together, and there is no indecent exposure, then the objective of clothing has been met. Anything else is a waste.
7. Engineers are almost always honest in matters of technology and human relationships. That's why it's a good idea to keep engineers away from customers, romantic interests, and other people who can't handle the truth.
8. Engineers are notoriously frugal (ordinary people sometimes call it "cheap."). This is not because of a mean spirit; it is simply because every spending situation is simply a problem in optimization, that is, "How can I escape this situation while retaining the greatest amount of cash?"
9. If there is one trait that best defines an engineer, it is the ability to concentrate on one subject to the complete exclusion of everything else in the environment. This sometimes causes engineers to be pronounced dead prematurely. Some funeral homes in high-tech areas have started checking resumes before processing the bodies. Anybody with a degree in electrical engineering or experience in computer programming is propped up in the lounge for a few days just to see if he or she snaps out of it.
10. Engineers often hate risk. They often try to eliminate it when they can. This is understandable, given that when an engineer makes one little mistake the media will treat it like it's a big deal or something.
11. The fastest way to get an engineer to solve a problem is to declare that the problem is unsolvable. An engineer can not walk away from an unsolvable problem until - it's solved. No illness or distraction is sufficient to get the engineer off the case. These types of challenges quickly become personal - a battle between the engineer and the laws of nature. Engineers will go without food and hygiene for days to solve a problem.
12. When an engineer says that something can't be done (a code phrase that means it's not fun to do), some clever ordinary people have learned to glance at the engineer with a look of compassion and pity and say something along these lines: "I'll ask Bob to figure it out. He knows how to solve difficult technical problems." At that point it is a good idea to not stand between the engineer and the problem.
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~~~~~~~ KEEP SMILING:
In her own eyes, Esther was the most popular girl around. "A lot of men are gonna be totally miserable when I marry."
"Really ?" said her date, "And just how many men are you intending to marry?"
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The world record for a photographic memory feat is held by a man in Burma who recited 16,000 pages of Buddhist canonical texts from memory.
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