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Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Stranger

A few years after I was born, my Dad met a stranger  who  was new to our small town. From the beginning,

Dad  was fascinated with this enchanting newcomer and  soon invited him to live with our family. The stranger was quickly accepted and was around from  then on.

As I grew up, I never questioned his place in my family.  In my young mind, he had a special niche.
 
My  parents were complementary instructors: Mom taught me good from evil, and Dad taught me to obey.

But  the stranger... he was our storyteller. He would keep  us spellbound for hours on end with adventures, mysteries  and comedies.

If  I wanted to know anything about politics, history or  science, he always knew the answers about the past, understood  the present and even seemed able to predict the future! He took my family to the first major league ball  game. He made me laugh, and he made me cry.

The stranger  never stopped talking, but Dad didn't seem to  mind.
 
Sometimes, Mom would get up quietly while the rest of us  were shushing each other to listen to what he had to say,  and she would go to the kitchen for peace and quiet.
(I  wonder now if she ever prayed for the stranger to leave.)

Dad ruled our household with certain moral convictions,but  the stranger never felt obligated to honor them.

Profanity, for example, was not allowed in our home - not from  us, our friends or any visitors. Our long time visitor, however, got away with four-letter words that burned my ears  and made my Dad squirm and my mother blush.

My  Dad didn't permit the liberal use of alcohol but the stranger encouraged us to try it on a regular basis. He made cigarettes  look cool, cigars manly, and pipes distinguished.

He  talked freely (much too freely!) about sex. His comments were  sometimes blatant, sometimes suggestive, and generally embarrassing..

I now know that my early concepts about relationships were influenced  strongly by the stranger. Time after time, he opposed  the values of my parents, yet he was seldom  rebuked 
                             ...
And NEVER asked to leave.

More than fifty years have passed since the stranger moved
in with our family. He has blended right in and is not nearly as  fascinating as he was at first. Still,  if you could walk into my  parents' den today, you would still find him sitting over in  his corner, waiting for someone to listen to him talk and watch  him draw his pictures.  
            
            
His name?....

We  just call him 'TV.'  
(Note:  This should be required  reading for every household!)  

He has a wife now....we call her 'Computer.' 
 
Their first child is "Cell Phone".

Second  child iPod

And JUST BORN THIS YEAR WAS a Grandchild:  iPad  

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