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WITandWISDOM(tm) - November 16, 1999

~~~~~~~ THOUGHTS:

"Life is not a race, but a journey to be savored each step of the way." - Author Unknown

(E-zine: DIVERSIONS DIGEST http://www.worldstart.com/diversions.htm)


If you have ever gone through a toll booth, you know that your relationship to the person in the booth is not the most intimate you'll ever have. It is one of life's frequent non-encounters: You hand over some money; you might get change; you drive off. I have been through every one of the 17 toll booths on the Oakland-San Francisco Bay Bridge on thousands of occasions, and never had an exchange worth remembering with anybody.

Late one morning in 1984, headed for lunch in San Francisco, I drove toward one of the booths, I heard loud music. It sounded like a party, or a Michael Jackson concert. I looked around. No other cars with their windows open. No sound trucks. I looked at the toll booth. Inside it, the man was dancing.

"What are you doing?" I asked. "I'm having a party," he said. "What about the rest of these people?" I looked over at other booths; nothing moving there. "They're not invited."

I had a dozen other questions for him, but somebody in a big hurry to get somewhere started punching his horn behind me and I drove off. But I made a note to myself: Find this guy again. There's something in his eye that says there's magic in his toll booth.

Months later I did find him again, still with the loud music, still having a party. Again I asked, "What are you doing?" He said, "I remember you from the last time. I'm still dancing. I'm having the same party." I said, "Look. What about the rest of the people ...." He said. "Stop. What do those look like to you?" He pointed down the row of toll booths. "They look like ... toll booths." "Nooooo imagination!" I said, "Okay, I give up. What do they look like to you?" He said, "Vertical coffins." "What are you talking about?" "I can prove it. At 8:30 every morning, live people get in. Then they die for eight hours. At 4:30, like Lazarus from the dead, they reemerge and go home. For eight hours, brain is on hold, dead on the job. Going through the motions."

I was amazed. This guy had developed a philosophy, a mythology about his job. I could not help asking the next question: "Why is it different for you? You're having a good time." He looked at me. "I knew you were going to ask that," he said. "I'm going to be a dancer someday." He pointed to the administration building. "My bosses are in there, and they're paying for my training."

Sixteen people dead on the job, and the seventeenth, in precisely the same situation, figures out a way to live. That man was having a party where you and I would probably not last three days. The boredom!

He and I did have lunch later, and he said, "I don't understand why anybody would think my job is boring. I have a corner office, glass on all sides. I can see the Golden Gate, San Francisco, the Berkeley hills; half the Western world vacations here ... and I just stroll in every day and practice dancing."

By Dr. Charles Garfield


~~~~~~~ THIS & THAT:

Three postcards were found in a book at the Northern Michigan University library. Each card was from the same person, but addressed to three different people.


Dear Mom and Dad,

Thanks for sending me on vacation. We've toured a lot of interesting places. The historical society was really fascinating and I learned quite a bit about Marquette, Michigan, in its mining days. We've even tried some of the local food since we've been here.
Love, Connie.


Dear Sue,

Hi! I finally woke up and felt awake after one week of totally intense partying! I figured it was a good time to write before we start again. The guys up here are sensational! I went out with a different one each night. Well, take care, and don't party too much!
See ya, Connie.


Dear Jim,

Boy, I sure do miss you! I wish you could be here so we could share the fall scenery together. I haven't been doing too much here, just visiting and touring around quite a bit. I can't wait to see you!
Love and Kisses, Connie.

By Carol Kent, "Detours, Tow Trucks and Angels in Disguise," a 1996 NavPress book

(E- zine: THE TIMOTHY REPORT http://www.swanlake.twoffice.com/contact3313.html )


At church, a lady from the congregation was presenting the children's sermon. She walked up to the front of the church and said, "May I have all of the children?"

As the children walked forward, several parents responded "yes."

One quick-witted father said, "for how long?"

(E-zine: CLEAN HEWMOR Mailto:clean-hewmor-subscribe@welovegod.org)

~~~~~~~ TRIVIA:

What's the largest desert on Earth? . . . Earth's largest unbroken desert is currently the Sahara Desert, which covers most of northern Africa. Stretching from coast to coast, the Sahara is about 4,800 kilometers across (3,000 miles), about the size of the contiguous United States.

4000 years ago the Sahara was a land of grassy prairies with buffalo, elephants, lions, and antelopes. Then the climate shifted quite suddenly and the Sahara dried up, forcing massive changes in the human societies of the region. No one knows why the climate shifted, but there are several theories.

Before the Sahara dried up the largest desert would have been the Australian central desert, which is about 3400 kilometers across (2100 miles). There are deserts across a very broad stretch of central Asia but they are broken by mountains with forests.

More about the Sahara Desert:

A Sahara photo gallery:

(E-zine: THE LEARNING KINGDOM http://www.tlk-lists.com/join/ )

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