Alisa Lund's BrightStar - Misc - Quotes & Jokes  
Alisa's BrightStar
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Quotes & Jokes
 
 
 
Eyes
 
 
Click on the title you want to read, and you will magically be transported there!   Most of these things (if not all!) were e-mailed to me, and I thought they were worth sharing!
 
If you have any good ones that can be put on here, email them to me.   Of course, many do get by me without getting on here, but only so much time!
 
Jokes Warm fuzzy stories
Tickle me Elmo (PG-13)Important things life teaches you
Why I fired my secretaryWomen's History Month
Having a bad day?Memo from God
Car Help lineA Mommy Story
No Room at the InnDog or Cat
ClassifiedsThe American GI
Blonde in a snowstormA Soldiers' Christmas
 
 
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Tickle me Elmo
 
 
A women desperately looking for work goes into a toy manufacturer.   The Personal Manager goes over her resume and explains to her that he regrets he has nothing worthy of her.   The woman answers that she really needs work and will take almost anything.   The Personal Manager hums and haws and finally says he does have a low skill job on the "Tickle Me Elmo" line and nothing else.   The woman happily excepts.   He takes her down to the line and explains her duties and that she should be in at 8:00 AM the next day.
 
The next day at 8:45 there's a knock at the Personal Manager's door.   The "Tickle Me Elmo" line manager comes in and starts ranting about the woman just hired.   After screaming for 15 minutes about how badly backed up the assembly line is, the Personal Manager suggested he show him the problem.
 
Together they head down to the line and sure enough Elmos are backed up from here to kingdom come.   Right at the end of the line is the woman just hired, she has pulled over a roll of the material used for the Elmos and has a big bag of marbles.   They both watch as she cuts a little piece of fabric and takes 2 marbles and starts sowing them between Elmo's legs.
 
The personal managers starts to kill himself laughing and finally after 20 minutes of rolling around he pulls himself together and walks over to the new employee and says: "I'm sorry I guess you misunderstood me yesterday.   What I wanted you to do was give Elmo two test tickles!!"
 
 
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Why I fired my Secretary
 
 
Two weeks ago, was my forty-fifth birthday, and I wasn't feeling too hot that morning anyway. I went into breakfast, knowing my wife would be pleasant and say "Happy Birthday," and probably have a present for me.
 
She didn't even say "Good Morning," let alone any "Happy Birthday." I thought, "Well, that's wives for you. The children will remember." The children came in to breakfast and didn't say a word.
 
When I started to the office I was feeling pretty low and despondent. As I walked into my office, my secretary, Janet said, "Good Morning, Boss, Happy Birthday." And I felt a little better; someone had remembered. I worked until noon.
 
About noon, Janet knocked on my door and said, "You know, it's such a beautiful day outside and it's your birthday, let's go to lunch, just you and me."
 
I said, "By George, that's the greatest thing I've heard all day. Let's go."
 
We went to lunch. We didn't go where we normally go; we went out into the country to a little private place. We had two martinis and enjoyed lunch tremendously.
 
On the way back to the office, she said, "You know, it's such a beautiful day. We don't need to go back to the office, do we?"
 
I said, "No, I guess not."
 
She said, "Let's go to my apartment."
 
After arriving at her apartment, we had another martini and smoked a cigarette and she said, "Boss, if you don't mind, I think I'll go into the bedroom and slip into something more comfortable."
 
"Sure," I excitedly replied.
 
She went into the bedroom and, in about six minutes, she came out...carrying a big birthday cake, followed by my wife, children, and dozens of our friends.
 
All were singing Happy Birthday.
 
...... and there on the couch I sat ......
 
              ...... with nothing on but my socks ......
 
 
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Having a bad day?
 
 
A man was working on his motorcycle on his patio while his wife was in the kitchen. The man was racing the engine on the motorcycle and somehow, the motorcycle slipped into gear. The man, still holding the handlebars, was dragged through the glass patio door and the motorcycle dumped him onto the floor inside the house.
 
The wife, hearing the crash, ran into the dining room, found her husband on the floor cut and bleeding, the motorcycle laying next to him and the patio door shattered. The wife ran to the phone and called the ambulance.
 
Because they lived on a fairly large hill, the wife went down several flights of steps to direct the medics to her husband. After the ambulance arrived and transported the husband to the hospital, the wife uprighted the motorcycle and pushed it outside. Seeing that gas had spilled on the floor, the wife obtained some paper towels, blotted up the gasoline, and threw the towels in the toilet.
 
The husband was treated at the hospital and was released to come home. After arriving home, he looked at the shattered patio door and his damaged motorcycle. He then became despondent, went into the bathroom, sat on the toilet and smoked a cigarette. After finishing the cigarette he flipped it between his legs into the toilet bowl while still seated.
 
The wife was in the kitchen, heard a loud explosion and her husband screaming. She ran into the bathroom and found her husband on the floor. His trousers had been blown away and was suffering from burns to his buttocks, back of his legs and his groin.
 
The wife again ran to the phone and called an ambulance. The same ambulance crew was dispatched and the wife met them at the street. The medics loaded the husband onto the cot and began carrying him down to the street.
 
While they were going down the steps to the street,accompanied by the wife, one of the medics asked her how her husband had burned himself. When she told them one of the medics began laughing so hard, he tipped the stretcher and dumped the husband out. He fell down the remaining steps and broke his arm.
 
Now That's a Bad Day!
 
 
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Car Help Line
 
 
General Motors doesn't have a 'help line' for people who don't know how to drive, because people don't buy cars the way they buy computers.. but imagine if they did...
___________________________________________________________________
HELPLINE: 'General Motors Helpline, how can I help you?'
CUSTOMER: 'I got in my car and closed the door, and nothing happened!'
HELPLINE: 'Did you put the key in the ignition and turn it?'
CUSTOMER: 'What's an ignition?'
HELPLINE: 'It's a starter motor that draws current from your battery and turns over the engine.'
CUSTOMER: 'Ignition? Motor? Battery? Engine? How come I have to know all of these technical terms just to use my car?'
___________________________________________________________________
HELPLINE: 'General Motors Helpline, how can I help you?'
CUSTOMER: 'My car ran fine for a week, and now it won't go anywhere!'
HELPLINE: 'Is the gas tank empty?'
CUSTOMER: 'Huh? How do I know?'
HELPLINE: 'There's a little gauge on the front panel, with a needle, and markings from 'E' to 'F'. Where is the needle pointing?'
CUSTOMER: 'I see an 'E' but no 'F'.'
HELPLINE: 'You see the 'E' and just to the right is the 'F'.
CUSTOMER: 'No, just to the right of the first 'E' is a 'V'.
HELPLINE: 'A 'V'?!?'
CUSTOMER: 'Yeah, there's a 'C', an 'H', the first 'E', then a 'V', followed by 'R', 'O', and 'L'...'
HELPLINE: 'No, no, no sir! That's the front of the car. When you sit behind the steering wheel, that's the panel I'm talking about.'
CUSTOMER: 'That steering wheel thingy. Is that the round thing that honks the horn?'
HELPLINE: 'Yes, among other things.'
CUSTOMER: 'The needle's pointing to 'E'. What does that mean?'
HELPLINE: 'It means that you have to visit a gasoline vendor and purchase some more gasoline. You can install it yourself, or pay the vendor to install it for you.'
CUSTOMER: 'What? I paid $12,000 for this car! Now you tell me that I have to keep buying more components? I want a car that comes with everything built in!'
_____________________________________________________________________
HELPLINE: 'General Motors Helpline, how can I help you?'
CUSTOMER: 'Your cars suck!'
HELPLINE: 'What's wrong?'
CUSTOMER: 'It crashed, that's what's wrong!'
HELPLINE: 'What were you doing?'
CUSTOMER: 'I wanted to go faster, so I pushed the accelerator pedal all the way to the floor. It worked for a while, and then it crashed-and now it won't even start up!'
HELPLINE: 'I'm sorry, sir, but it's your responsibility if you misuse the product.'
CUSTOMER: 'Misuse it? I was just following this damned manual of yours. It said to make the car go to put the transmission in 'D' and press the accelerator pedal. That's exactly what I did-now the damn thing's crashed.'
HELPLINE: 'Did you read the entire operator's manual before operating the car sir?'
CUSTOMER: 'What? Of course I did! I told you I did EVERYTHING the manual said and it didn't work!'
HELPLINE: 'Didn't you attempt to slow down so you wouldn't crash?'
CUSTOMER: 'How do you do THAT?'
HELPLINE: 'You said you read the entire manual, sir. It's on page 14. The pedal next to the accelerator.'
CUSTOMER: 'Well, I don't have all day to sit around and read this manual you know.'
HELPLINE: 'Of course not. What do you expect us to do about it?'
CUSTOMER: 'I want you to send me one of the latest versions that goes fast and won't crash anymore!'
____________________________________________________________________
HELPLINE: 'General Motors Helpline, how can I help you?'
CUSTOMER: 'Hi! I just bought my first car, and I chose your car because it has automatic transmission, cruise control, power steering, power brakes, and power door locks.'
HELPLINE: 'Thanks for buying our car. How can I help you?'
CUSTOMER: 'How do I work it?'
HELPLINE: 'Do you know how to drive?'
CUSTOMER: 'Do I know how to what?'
HELPLINE: 'Do you know how to DRIVE?'
CUSTOMER: 'I'm not a technical person! I just want to go places in my car!'
 
 
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No Room at the Inn
 
 
By the time the sailor pulled into a little town every hotel room was taken. "You've got to have a room somewhere," he pleaded. "Or just a bed, I don't care where."
 
"Well, I do have a double room with one occupant - an Air Force guy," admitted the manager, "and he might be glad to split the cost. But to tell you the truth, he snores so loudly that people in adjoining rooms have complained in the past. I'm not sure it'd be worth it to you."
 
"No problem," the tired Navy man assured him. "I'll take it." The next morning, the sailor came down to breakfast bright-eyed and bushy tailed. "How'd you sleep?" asked the manager. "Never better." The manager was impressed. "No problem with the other guy snoring?" "Nope. I shut him up in no time," said the Navy guy.
 
"How'd you manage that?" asked the manager.
 
"He was already in bed, snoring away, when I came in the room," the sailor explained. "I went over, gave him a kiss on the cheek, and said, 'Goodnight beautiful,'
 
...and he sat up all night watching me."
 
 
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Classifieds
 
 
Some are better than others.   The following were actually taken from recent classified ads in newspapers:
 
 
1 MAN, 7 WOMAN HOT TUB -- $850/offer
 
AMANA WASHER $100. OWNED BY CLEAN BACHELOR WHO SELDOM WASHED.
 
SNOW BLOWER FOR SALE...ONLY USED ON SNOWY DAYS.
 
FREE PUPPIES...PART GERMAN SHEPHERD - PART DOG
 
2 WIRE MESH BUTCHERING GLOVES: 1 5-finger, 1 3-finger, PAIR: $15
 
TICKLE ME ELMO, STILL IN BOX, COMES WITH IT'S OWN 1998 MUSTANG, 5L, AUTO, EXCELLENT CONDITION $6800
 
COWS, CALVES NEVER BRED... ALSO 1 GAY BULL FOR SALE.
 
83 TOYOTA HUNCHBACK -- $2000
 
STAR WARS JOB OF THE HUT -- $15
 
FREE PUPPIES:
1/2 COCKER SPANIEL -
1/2 SNEAKY NEIGHBOR'S DOG
 
FREE YORKSHIRE TERRIER.
8 YEARS OLD. UNPLEASANT LITTLE DOG.
 
GERMAN SHEPHERD 85 lbs.
NEUTERED. SPEAKS GERMAN. FREE.
 
FREE 1 CAN OF PORK & BEANS WITH PURCHASE OF 3 BR 2 BATH HOME.
 
FOR SALE: LEE MAJORS (6 MILLION DOLLAR MAN) - $50
 
NORDIC TRACK $300 HARDLY USED. CALL CHUBBIE
 
HUMMELS - LARGEST SELECTION EVER "IF IT'S IN STOCK, WE HAVE IT!"
 
HARRISBURG POSTAL EMPLOYEES GUN CLUB
 
GEORGIA PEACHES- CALIFORNIA GROWN - 89 cents lb.
 
NICE PARACHUTE: NEVER OPENED - USED ONCE - SLIGHTLY STAINED
 
AMERICAN FLAG - 60 STARS - POLE INCLUDED $100
 
TIRED OF WORKING FOR ONLY $9.75 PER HOUR? WE OFFER PROFIT SHARING AND FLEXIBLE HOURS. STARTING PAY: $7 - $9 PER HOUR.
 
NOTICE: TO THE PERSON OR PERSONS WHO TOOK THE LARGE PUMPKIN ON HIGHWAY 87 NEAR SOUTHRIDGE STORAGE: PLEASE RETURN THE PUMPKIN AND BE CHECKED. PUMPKIN MAY BE RADIOACTIVE. ALL OTHER PLANTS IN VICINITY ARE DEAD.
 
EXERCISE EQUIPMENT: QUEEN SIZE MATTRESS & BOX SPRINGS-$175.
 
OUR SOFA SEATS THE WHOLE MOB AND IT'S MADE OF 100% ITALIAN LEATHER.
 
JOINING NUDIST COLONY! MUST SELL WASHER & DRYER $300.
 
GROUND BEAST: 99 cents lb.
 
GAS CLOUD CLEARS OUT TACO BELL.
 
OPEN HOUSE - BODY SHAPERS TONING SALON- FREE COFFEE & DONUTS
 
FULLY COOKED BONELESS SMOKED MAN - $2.09 lb.
 
 
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Blonde in a snow storm
 
 
It was snowing heavily and blowing to the point that visibility was almost zero when the little blonde got off work. She made her way to her car and wondered how she was going to make it home. She sat in her car while it warmed up and thought about her situation. She finally remembered her daddy's advice that if she got caught in a blizzard she should wait for a snow plow to come by and follow it. That way she would not get stuck in the snow drift.
 
This made her feel much better and sure enough in a little while a snow plow went by and she started to follow it. As she followed the snow plow she was feeling very smug as they continued, and she was not having any problem with the blizzard condition. After quite some time had passed she was somewhat surprised when the snow plow stopped. The driver got out, came back to her car and signaled for her to roll down her window. The snow plow driver wanted to know if she was all right as she had been following him for a long time.
 
She said that she was fine and told him of her daddy's advice to follow a snow plow when caught in a blizzard. The driver replied OK with him and she could continue if she wanted, but he was done with the Walmart parking lot and was going over to K-Mart next.
 
 
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The Important Things Life Teaches You...
 
 
~ 1 ~ Most Important Question
 
During my second month of nursing school, our professor gave us a pop quiz.   I was a conscientious student and had breezed through the questions, until I read the last one:   "What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?"   Surely this was some kind of joke.   I had seen the cleaning woman several times.   She was tall, dark-haired, and in her 50s, but how would I know her name?   I handed in my paper, leaving the last question blank.
 
Before class ended, one student asked if the last question would count toward our quiz grade.   "Absolutely," said the professor.   "In your careers you will meet many people.   All are significant.  They deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say 'hello'.   I've never forgotten that lesson.   I also learned her name was Dorothy.
 
 
~ 2 ~ Pickup in the Rain
 
One night, at 11:30 PM, an older African-American woman was standing on the side of an Alabama highway trying to endure a lashing rain storm.   Her car had broken down and she desperately needed a ride.   Soaking wet, she decided to flag down the next car.   A young white man stopped to help her - generally unheard of in those conflict-filled 1960's.   The man took her to safety, helped her get assistance and put her into a taxi cab.   She seemed to be in a big hurry!   She wrote down his address, thanked him and drove away.
 
Seven days went by and a knock came on the man's door.   To his surprise, a giant console color TV was delivered to his home.   A special note was attached.   It read:   "Thank you so much for assisting me on the highway the other night.   The rain drenched not only my clothes but my spirits.   Then you came along.   Because of you, I was able to make it to my dying husband's bedside just before he passed away.   God bless you for helping me and unselfishly serving others."
 
Sincerely,
    Mrs. Nat King Cole
 
 
~ 3 ~ Always remember those who serve
 
In the days when an ice cream sundae cost much less, a 10 year old boy entered a hotel coffee shop and sat at a table.   A waitress put a glass of water in front of him.   "How much is an ice cream sundae?"   "Fifty cents," replied the waitress.   The little boy pulled his hand out of his pocket and studied a number of coins in it.   "How much is a dish of plain ice cream?" he inquired.   Some people were now waiting for a table and the waitress was a bit impatient.   "Thirty-five cents," she said brusquely.   The little boy again counted the coins.   "I'll have the plain ice cream," he said.
 
The waitress brought the ice cream, put the bill on the table and walked away.   The boy finished the ice cream, paid the cashier and departed.   When the waitress came back, she began wiping down the table and then swallowed hard at what she saw.   There, placed neatly beside the empty dish, were two nickels and five pennies - her tip.
 
 
~ 4 ~ The Obstacle in Our Path
 
In ancient times, a king had a boulder placed on a roadway.   Then he hid himself and watched to see if anyone would remove the huge rock.   Some of the king's wealthiest merchants and courtiers came by and simply walked around it.   Many loudly blamed the king for not keeping the roads clear, but none did anything about getting the big stone out of the way.
 
Then a peasant came along carrying a load of vegetables.   On approaching the boulder, the peasant laid down his burden and tried to move the stone to the side of the road.   After much pushing and straining, he finally succeeded.   As the peasant picked up his load of vegetables, he noticed a purse lying in the road where the boulder had been.   The purse contained many gold coins and a note from the king indicating that the gold was for the person who removed the boulder from the roadway.   The peasant learned what many others never understand.   Every obstacle presents an opportunity to improve one's condition.
 
 
~ 5 ~ Giving Blood
 
Many years ago, when I worked as a volunteer at Stanford Hospital, I got to know a little girl named Liz who was suffering from a rare and serious disease.   Her only chance of recovery appeared to be a blood transfusion from her 5-year old brother, who had miraculously survived the same disease and had developed the antibodies needed to combat the illness.   The doctor explained the situation to her little brother, and asked the boy if he would be willing to give his blood to his sister.   I saw him hesitate for only a moment before taking a deep breath and saying, "Yes, I'll do it if it will save Liz."
 
As the transfusion progressed, he lay in bed next to his sister and smiled, as we all did, seeing the color returning to her cheeks.   Then his face grew pale and his smile faded.   He looked up at the doctor and asked with a trembling voice, "Will I start to die right away?"   Being young, the boy had misunderstood the doctor; he thought he was going to have to give his sister all of his blood.
 
 
~ 6 ~ I've got two choices
 
Jerry was the kind of guy you love to hate.   He was always in a good mood and always had something positive to say.   When someone would ask him how he was doing, he would reply, "If I were any better, I would be twins!"
 
He was a unique manager because he had several waiters who had followed him around from restaurant to restaurant.   The reason the waiters followed Jerry was because of his attitude.   He was a natural motivator.   If an employee was having a bad day, Jerry was there telling the employee how to look on the positive side of the situation.   Seeing this style really made me curious, so one day I went up to Jerry and asked him, "I don't get it!  You can't be a positive person all of the time.   How do you do it?"
 
Jerry replied, "Each morning I wake up and say to myself, Jerry, you have two choices today.   You can choose to be in a good mood or you can choose to be in a bad mood."   I choose to be in a good mood.   Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be a victim or I can choose to learn from it.   I choose to learn from it.   Every time someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their complaining or I can point out the positive side of life.   I choose the positive side of life."
 
"Yeah, right, it's not that easy," I protested.   "Yes it is," Jerry said.   "Life is all about choices.   When you cut away all the junk, every situation is a choice.   You choose how you react to situations.   You choose how people will affect your mood.   You choose to be in a good mood or bad mood.   The bottom line:   It's your choice how you live life."
 
I reflected on what Jerry said.   Soon thereafter, I left the restaurant industry to start my own business.   We lost touch, but often thought about him when I made a choice about life instead of reacting to it.   Several years later, I heard that Jerry did something you are never supposed to do in a restaurant business, he left the back door open one morning and was held up at gun point by three armed robbers.   While trying to open the safe, his hand, shaking from nervousness, slipped off the combination.
 
The robbers panicked and shot him.   Luckily, Jerry was found relatively quickly and rushed to the local trauma center.   After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, Jerry was released from the hospital with fragments of the bullets still in his body.
 
I saw Jerry about six months after the accident.   When I asked him how he was, he said, "If I were any better, I'd be twins!   Wanna see my scars?"   I declined to see his wounds but did ask him what had gone through his mind as the robbery took place.   "The first thing that went through my mind was that I should have locked the back door," Jerry replied.   "Then, as I lay on the floor, I remembered that I had two choices - I could choose to live, or I could choose to die.   I chose to live."
 
"Weren't you scared?   Did you lose consciousness?" I asked.   Jerry continued, "The paramedics were great.   They kept telling me I was going to be fine.   But when they wheeled me into the emergency room and I saw the expressions on the faces of the doctors and nurses, I got really scared.   In their eyes, I read, 'He's a dead man.'   I knew I needed to take action."
 
"What did you do?" I asked.   "Well, there was a big, burly nurse shouting questions at me," said Jerry.   "She asked if I was allergic to anything.   'Yes,' I replied.  The doctors and nurses stopped working as they waited for my reply.   I took a deep breath and yelled, 'Bullets!'   Over their laughter, I told them, "I am choosing to live.   Operate on me as if I am alive, not dead."   Jerry lived thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because of his amazing attitude.   I learned from him that every day we have the choice to live fully.
 
Attitude, after all, is everything.
 
    ~  Work like you don't need the money.
    ~  Love like you've never been hurt.
    ~  Dance like nobody's watching.
 
(I don't know how true they are, but always good for the soul.)
 
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In celebration of Women's History Month
 
 
You were born a daughter.
You looked up to your mother.
You looked up to your father.
You looked up to everyone.
 
You wanted to be a princess.
You wanted to own a horse.
You wanted your brother to be a horse.
You wanted to wear pink.
You never wanted to wear pink.
You wanted to be a veterinarian.
You wanted to be president.
You wanted to be the president's veterinarian.
 
You were picked last for the team.
You were the best one on the team.
You refused to be on the team.
You wanted to do well in algebra.
You hid during algebra.
You wanted boys to notice you.
You were afraid the boys would notice you.
 
You started to get acne.
You started to get breasts.
You started to get acne that was bigger than your breasts.
You wouldn't wear a bra.
You couldn't wait to wear a bra.
You couldn't fit into a bra.
You didn't like the way you looked.
You didn't like the way your parents looked.
You didn't want to grow up.
 
You had your first best friend.
You had your first date.
You spent hours on the telephone.
You got kissed.
You got to kiss back.
You went to the prom.
You didn't go to the prom.
You went to the prom with the wrong person.
 
You spent hours on the telephone.
You fell in love.
You fell in love.
You fell in love.
You lost your best friend.
You lost your other best friend.
You really fell in love.
 
You became a steady girlfriend.
You became a significant other.
You became significant to yourself.
 
Sooner or later, you start to take yourself seriously.
 
You know when you need a break.
You know when you need a rest.
You know what to get worked up about, and what to get rid of.
You know when it's time to take care of yourself,
time for you to do something that makes you
stronger, faster, more complete.
Because you know it's
never too late to live life.
 
And never too late to change one.
 
 
"Friends are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings
have trouble remembering how to fly. "   -anonymous.
 
 
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Memo From God
 
 
        Memo From:         God
        To:                         All who believe in me
        Subject:                 Life’s Problems
        Date:                     Eternity
__________________________________
Good Morning. I am God. Today I will be handling all of your problems. Please remember that I do not need your help. If the devil happens to deliver a situation to you that you cannot handle, DO NOT attempt to resolve it. Kindly put it in the SFJTD (something for Jesus to do) box. It will be addressed in MY time, not yours. Once the matter is placed into the box, do not hold on to it or attempt to remove it. Holding on or removal will delay the resolution of your problem. If it is a situation that you think you are capable of handling, please consult me in prayer to be sure that it is the proper resolution. Because I do not sleep nor do I slumber, there is no need for you to lose any sleep. Rest my child. If you need to contact me, I am only a prayer away..............
 
                Love, GOD
 
 
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A Mommy Story
 
 
My little boy came into the kitchen this evening while I was fixing supper. And he handed me a piece of paper he'd been writing on. So, after wiping my hands on my apron, I read it, and this is what it said:
 
      For mowing the grass, $5.
      For making my own bed this week, $1.
      For going to the store $.50.
      For playing with baby brother while you went shopping, $.25.
      For taking out the trash, $1.
      For getting a good report card, $5.
      And for raking the yard, $2.
 
Well, I looked at him standing there expectantly, and a thousand memories flashed through my mind. So, I picked up the paper, and turning it over, this is what I wrote:
 
      For the nine months I carried you, growing inside me, No Charge.
      For the nights I sat up with you, doctored you prayed for you, No charge.
      For the time and the tears, and the cost through the years, No Charge.
      For the nights filled with dread, and the worries ahead, No Charge.
      For advice and the knowledge, and the cost of your college, No Charge.
      For the toys, food and clothes, and for wiping your nose, No Charge.
      Son, when you add it all up, the full cost of my love is No Charge.
 
Well, when he finished reading, he had great big tears in his eyes. And he looked up at me and he said, "Mama, I sure do love you."
 
Then he took the pen and in great big letters he wrote: PAID IN FULL.
 
 
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Dog or Cat
 
Have you ever realized that while children are dogs -- loyal and affectionate -- teenagers are cats. It's so easy to be a dog owner. You feed it, train it, boss it around. It puts its head on your knee and gazes at you as if you were a Rembrandt painting. It bounds indoors with enthusiasm when you call it. Then around age 13, your adoring little puppy turns into a big old cat.
 
When you tell it to come inside, it looks amazed, as if wondering who died and made you emperor. Instead of dogging your doorsteps, it disappears. You won't see it again until it gets hungry -- then it pauses on its sprint through the kitchen long enough to turn its nose up at whatever you're serving. When you reach out to ruffle its head, in that old affectionate gesture, it twists away from you, then gives you a blank stare, as if trying to remember where it has seen you before. You, not realizing that the dog is now a cat, think something must be desperately wrong with it. It seems so antisocial, so distant, sort of depressed. It won't go on family outings.
 
Since you're the one who raised it, taught it to fetch and stay and sit on command, you assume that you did something wrong. Flooded with guilt and fear, you redouble your efforts to make your pet behave. Only now you're dealing with a cat, so everything that worked before now produces the opposite of the desired result. Call it, and it runs away. Tell it to sit, and it jumps on the counter. The more you go toward it, wringing your hands, the more it moves away.
 
Instead of continuing to act like a dog owner, you can learn to behave like a cat owner. Put a dish of food near the door, and let it come to you. But remember that a cat needs your help and your affection too. Sit still, and it will come, seeking that warm, comforting lap it has not entirely forgotten. Be there to open the door for it.
 
One day your grown-up child will walk into the kitchen, give you a big kiss and say, "You've been on your feet all day. Let me get those dishes for you." Then you'll realize your cat is a dog again.
 
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The American GI
 
Time Magazine prepared a list of the 10 most influential people of the century in each field to mark the end of the century. The 10 most influential scientists, politicians, entertainers, sports figures, musicians, artists, and industrialists. This month they published the 10 most influential people (overall) of the century.
 
They named "the American GI" the most influential person of the century. It is the only one that is not a single individual. General Powell wrote the introduction to the award.
 
Subject: Colin Powell's Tribute to the American GI
 
As Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, I referred to the men and women of the armed forces as "G.I.s." It got me in trouble with some of my colleagues at the time. Several years earlier, the Army had officially excised the term as an unfavorable characterization derived from the designation "government issue."
 
Sailors and Marines wanted to be known as sailors and Marines. Airmen, notwithstanding their origins as a rib of the Army, wished to be called simply airmen. Collectively, they were blandly referred to as "service members."
 
I persisted in using G.I.s and found I was in good company. Newspapers and television shows used it all the time. The most famous and successful government education program was known as the GI Bill, and it still uses that title for a newer generation of veterans. When you added one of the most common boy's names to it, you got GI Joe, and the name of the most popular boy's toy ever, the GI Joe action figure. And let's not forget GI Jane.
 
GI is a World War II term that two generations later continues to conjure up the warmest and proudest memories of a noble war that pitted pure good against pure evil and good triumphed.
 
The victors in that war were the American GIs, the Willies and Joes, the farmer from Iowa and the steelworker from Pittsburgh who stepped off a landing craft into the hell of Omaha Beach. The GI was the wisecracking kid Marine from Brooklyn who clawed his way up a deadly hill on a Pacific island.
 
He was a black fighter pilot escorting white bomber pilots over Italy and Germany, proving that skin color had nothing to do with skill or courage.
 
He was a native Japanese-American infantryman released from his own country's concentration camp to join the fight.
 
She was a nurse relieving the agony of a dying teenager. He was a petty officer standing on the edge of a heaving aircraft carrier with two signal paddles in his hands, helping guide a dive-bomber pilot back onto the deck.
 
They were America.
 
They reflected our diverse origins.
 
They were the embodiment of the American spirit of courage and dedication. They were truly a "people's army," going forth on a crusade to save democracy and freedom, to defeat tyrants, to save oppressed peoples and to make their families proud of them. They were the Private Ryans, and they stood firm in the thin red line.
 
For most of those G.I.s, World War II was the adventure of their lifetime. Nothing they would ever do in the future would match their experiences as the warriors of democracy, saving the world from its own insanity. You can still see them in every Fourth of July color guard, their gait faltering but ever proud.
 
Their forebears went by other names: doughboys, Yanks, buffalo soldiers, Johnny Reb, Rough Riders. But "GI" will be forever lodged in the consciousness of our nation to apply to them all. The G.I. carried the value system of the American people. The GIs were the surest guarantee of America's commitment.
 
For more than 200 years, they answered the call to fight the nation's battles. They never went forth as mercenaries on the road to conquest. They went forth as reluctant warriors, as citizen soldiers. They were as gentle in victory as they were vicious in battle. I've had survivors of Nazi concentration camps tell me of the joy they experienced as the GIs liberated them: America had arrived!
 
I've had a wealthy Japanese businessman come into my office and tell me what it was like for him as a child in 1945 to await the arrival of the dreaded American beasts, and instead meet a smiling GI who gave him a Hershey bar. In thanks, the businessman was donating a large sum of money to the USO. After thanking him, I gave him as a souvenir a Hershey bar I had autographed. He took it and began to cry. The 20th century can be called many things, but it was most certainly a century of war. The American GIs helped defeat fascism and communism.
 
They came home in triumph from the ferocious battlefields of World Wars I and II. In Korea and Vietnam they fought just as bravely as any of their predecessor, but no triumphant receptions awaited them at home. They soldiered on through the twilight struggles of the cold war and showed what they were capable of in Desert Storm. The American people took them into their hearts again.
 
In this century hundreds of thousands of GIs died to bring to the beginning of the 21st century the victory of democracy as the ascendant political system on the face of the earth. The GIs were willing to travel far away and give their lives, if necessary, to secure the rights and freedoms of others. Only a nation such as ours, based on a firm moral foundation, could make such a request of its citizens. And the GIs wanted nothing more than to get the job done and then return home safely. All they asked for in repayment from those they freed was the opportunity to help them become part of the world of democracy-and just enough land to bury their fallen comrades, beneath simple white crosses and Stars of David.
 
The volunteer GI. s of today stand watch in Korea, the Persian Gulf, Europe and the dangerous terrain of the Balkans. We must never see them as mere hirelings, off in a corner of our society. They are our best, and we owe them our full support and our sincerest thanks. As this century closes, we look back to identify the great leaders and personalities of the past 100 years. We do so in a world still troubled, But full of promise. That promise was gained by the young men and women of America who fought and died for freedom. Near the top of any listing of the most important people of the 20th century must stand, in singular honor, the American GI.
 
General Colin Powell, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is now chairman of America's Promise.
 
 
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A Soldiers' Christmas
 
 
TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS, HE LIVED ALL ALONE,
IN A ONE BEDROOM HOUSE MADE OF PLASTER AND STONE.
I HAD COME DOWN THE CHIMNEY WITH PRESENTS TO GIVE,
AND TO SEE JUST WHO IN THIS HOME DID LIVE.
 
I LOOKED ALL ABOUT, A STRANGE SIGHT I DID SEE,
NO TINSEL, NO PRESENTS, NOT EVEN A TREE.
NO STOCKING BY MANTLE, JUST BOOTS FILLED WITH SAND,
ON THE WALL HUNG PICTURES OF FAR DISTANT LANDS.
WITH MEDALS AND BADGES, AWARDS OF ALL KINDS,
A SOBER THOUGHT CAME THROUGH MY MIND.
 
FOR THIS HOUSE WAS DIFFERENT,
IT WAS DARK AND DREARY,
I FOUND THE HOME OF A SOLDIER,
ONCE I COULD SEE CLEARLY.
 
THE SOLDIER LAY SLEEPING, SILENT, ALONE,
CURLED UP ON THE FLOOR IN THIS ONE BEDROOM HOME.
THE FACE WAS SO GENTLE, THE ROOM IN SUCH DISORDER,
NOT HOW I PICTURED A UNITED STATES SOLDIER.
 
WAS THIS THE HERO OF WHOM I'D JUST READ?
CURLED UP ON A PONCHO, THE FLOOR FOR A BED?
I REALIZED THE FAMILIES THAT I SAW THIS NIGHT,
OWED THEIR LIVES TO THESE SOLDIERS WHO WERE WILLING TO FIGHT.
 
SOON ROUND THE WORLD, THE CHILDREN WOULD PLAY,
AND GROWNUPS WOULD CELEBRATE A BRIGHT CHRISTMAS DAY.
THEY ALL ENJOYED FREEDOM EACH MONTH OF THE YEAR,
BECAUSE OF THE SOLDIERS, LIKE THE ONE LYING HERE.
 
I COULDN'T HELP WONDER HOW MANY LAY ALONE,
ON A COLD CHRISTMAS EVE IN A LAND FAR FROM HOME.
THE VERY THOUGHT BROUGHT A TEAR TO MY EYE,
I DROPPED TO MY KNEES AND STARTED TO CRY.
 
THE SOLDIER AWAKENED AND I HEARD A ROUGH VOICE,
"SANTA DON'T CRY, THIS LIFE IS MY CHOICE;
I FIGHT FOR FREEDOM, I DON'T ASK FOR MORE,
MY LIFE IS MY GOD, MY COUNTRY, MY CORPS."
 
THE SOLDIER ROLLED OVER AND DRIFTED TO SLEEP,
I COULDN'T CONTROL IT, I CONTINUED TO WEEP.
I KEPT WATCH FOR HOURS, SO SILENT AND STILL
AND WE BOTH SHIVERED FROM THE COLD NIGHT'S CHILL.
 
I DIDN'T WANT TO LEAVE ON THAT COLD, DARK, NIGHT,
THIS GUARDIAN OF HONOR SO WILLING TO FIGHT.
THEN THE SOLDIER ROLLED OVER,
WITH A VOICE SOFT AND PURE,
WHISPERED, "CARRY ON SANTA,
IT'S CHRISTMAS DAY, ALL IS SECURE."
 
ONE LOOK AT MY WATCH, AND I KNEW HE WAS RIGHT,
MERRY CHRISTMAS MY FRIEND, AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT.
 
 
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