Mabookies On Parade

The picture may not be the best quality picture; after all I used my Redneck photo copier to take it, i.e. I took a picture of a picture using my phone, but it is one of my favorite memories from a time long ago. The three people pictured in this photo are me and my friends Terry and Angel, and was taken 16 years ago while on a mission trip in the Philippines. I added the words “Mabookies On Parade” and had it printed for the three or us. We often referred to it as our “album cover” even though we never recorded any music.

The term “mabookie” came from the remastered version of A New Hope (Star Wars episode 4 which is the first movie, but the fourth in the franchise). In it, Jabba the Hutt referred to Han Solo as mabookie and the subtitles defined the term as “my boy”. Terry and I adopted this phrase and began calling each other by this nickname and it took on a life of it’s own. Later we added Angel to the group; even though she’s a girl she was our mabookie too.

One of the reasons I love this picture is because it reminds me of all the laughs we had together. I know you can’t tell from the picture, after all we were making an album cover at the time and were going for the serious artist pose. But when the three of us got together, there was laughter galore.

It probably helped that we were kindred spirits and had the same quirky sense of humor. There have been very few people on this planet who “get me” but these two did and my life is so much better because of them. I believe if every person on this planet had two friends like these the world would be a better place. I’m truly blessed to have been a part of this cadre of fun loving people.

Terry died a few months ago, taking our trio down to a duo, and while it’s been hard with him gone, Angel and I had the opportunity the other night to get together and watch our favorite movie So I Married An Axe Murderer together. It was so nice to have her there with my family; eating, laughing and enjoying each other’s company. It was just like old times and I hadn’t realized how much I missed the good times we all had together.

And as I sit here writing this and looking at this picture I can’t help but thank God He brought these two people into my life so many years ago. They truly have helped to make me a better man, and the laughter they brought into my life I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world. Thank you Terry and Angel for all you’ve done for me; mabookies for eternity.

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Are You Part of the Working Dead?

“Time to make the donuts.”  These words were uttered by the Dunkin Donuts spokesman, Fred the baker for sixteen years.  Their commercials showed Fred getting out of bed early each morning and as he was leaving for work he would say this famous catchphrase.  I used to say this when it was time for me to go to work as well, and I think for a while my kids thought I worked in a donut shop as well as the shoe store.

Going to work and doing the same thing day in and day out can be monotonous to say the least.  In a conversation at a graduation party the other night, I was talking with the grandfather of the girl we were celebrating, and he told me in August, it would be his thirtieth year employed by the company he worked for.  He said, “Last week, I was driving to work, like I’ve done five days a week for the past thirty years, and as I pulled in the parking lot, I thought, ‘how did I get here’?”  He said he felt like he was on autopilot; he remembered leaving his house, but nothing else.

Have you ever felt like this?  I call it being part of the working dead.  You’re moving through your work life like a zombie with no real sense of direction or purpose.  You clock in, do your job and collect your pay check.  But before you know it, thirty years have passed and what do you have to show for it, a gold watch?  Do they even give out watches at retirement any more?

I understand as men we have to provide for our family; this should be one of our primary goals in life.  But this doesn’t mean we have to trudge through each day without a little zest in our lives too.  You need to be looking for little things which can bring joy to your work life and revel in them.  It would be awesome to get on a cruise ship any time I want, but this isn’t realistic.  However laughing hysterically when a co-worker hooks a fake snake to another guy who is scared of them can make your day.

I guess to bottom line it for you; you’ve got to find things to help you make it through the monotony of your work life.  Planning big events in life are great and you should, but don’t spend time only waiting for those big events and miss out on the little opportunities to find some joy every day.  Don’t stay a part of the work place living dead, come to life while doing your job. After all, it’s the little things which make life worth living.