On Excuses: A paraphrases of Peter C Bell

Every morning when the sun comes up a gazelle wakes. It knows that it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be eaten.

Every morning when the sun comes up, the lion also wakes. It knows that it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve.

In the end, it doesn't really matter whether you are a lion or a gazelle; when the sun comes up you had better run like hell...

Charles R. Swindol
The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life.
Attitude to me, is more important
than education,
than money,
than circumstances,
than failures,
than successes,
than what other people think or say or do.
It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill.
It will make or break a company…a church…a home.
The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we embrace for that day.
We cannot change our past … we cannot change the fact that people act in a certain way. … We cannot change the inevitable.
The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude…
I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.
And so it is with you…we are in charge of our ATTITUDES.”

Toni Morrison on Happiness

“That’s really irrelevant ... What is all this running around after happiness?  Why don’t we just do something constructive, something creative, and then if that makes us happy, fine.  If it doesn’t, at least we still have tilled the garden, baked the bread, taken care of somebody or written the book.” 

Woody Allen on Goodness:

It seemed the world was divided into good and bad people. The good ones slept better..... while the bad ones seemed to enjoy the waking hours much more.

Ronnie Shakes: on Attitude

I was going to buy a copy of The Power of Positive Thinking,
and then I thought:
What the hell good would that do?

Plato on Learning

Bodily exercise, when compulsory, does no harm to the body; but knowledge which is acquired under compulsion obtains no hold on the mind. Plato, The Republic. Book VII. 536

On Leadership

Neither a borrower nor a lender be;
Neither a follower nor a leader be.

Jeff Marder on life in America

"We live in an age when pizza gets to your home before the police."

Richard Harkness on Committees

What is a committee? A group of the unwilling, picked from the unfit, to do the unnecessary.

On Aspirations:

In a survey taken several years ago, all incoming freshman at MIT were asked if they expected to graduate in the top half of their class. Ninety seven percent responded that they did.

Scroll hanging in a Zen Buddist Temple

One may do as one will, but one must take the consequences

David Lee From The Porcine Canticles 

©1984 by David Lee Copper Canyon Press, P.O. Box 271
Port Townsend, WA 98368


The Muffler and the Law 


You got a sow in heat? John sez
this morning when he called
I sed oh yas John I got four right now
John sez it wouldn't one
be that big black one would it?
I sed yas she's in I'm going to turn her
in with the boar this afternoon
John sez I'll be right down
to get her I want to borrow that sow
he hung up

John brought his beatup truck
to my house with his big spotted boar
loaded in the back and a partition
so another hog could be put in
but the boar couldn't get to it
he drove right out to my loading chute
by the time I got there
John was trying to load up my big black sow
I sed John what are you doing?
John looked at me like I was crazy
he sez you gonna hep me or stand there?
I didn't say anything else
I helped John load up my big black sow
and John drove off with her
in his truck he never did say where


Late afternoon John drove up
to my house he honks
he yells Dave come hep me unload
this big black sow of yours
she's done bred
I don't need her no more
he drives out back
to the loading chute
and unloads the sow
before I can get there


John I sed what the hell's going on
I mean you come get my big black sow
drive off without telling me anything
and you bring her back bred
to your spotted boar
what if I didn't want her bred to him?
John sez no charge
so it was all right then
I was going to tell him he could take
the other three sows that were in
for a ride all day tomorrow if he wanted
but John shut the gate on his stock racks
and sat down on his tailgate

it was this deputy sheriff
John sez so I said which? John sez
that one in Richfield
last week going to the auction in Salinas
I run over this rockslide
on the cutoff by Cove Fort
I busted my muffler pipe loost
and all the brackets I had to stop
on the summit and fix it all up
with bailing wire
it took an hour almost and I was late
for the auction so I had to go
the muffler was loost
and it made a noise
but I didn't have no more time
I had to hurry

I got to Richfield
here comes this law
his red lights on and his siren honking
right in the middle of town
I got out and sez I'm late to the auction
he slams his car door and put his hand
on it he puts his other hand right down
on his gun sez I don't know whar
YOU from mister but in MY town
we got a law here
I'm standing there with a truckload of hogs
people driving by slow looking at me
right in the middle of Richfield
I sez I'm late to the auction again
what I done wrong this time?
he sez in my town we got a law
against loud mufflers so you gone have
to pay you a fine for it mister
I sez look I done hit this rock slide
coming and busted
I tried to wire it up but couldn't
you look under here you can see
I'm late to the auction
his red lights was still going

I bent down to show him the wire underneath
he jumped in his car and taken out
his microphone he called this other law
so I stood up he sez you stand right there
I sez whar? he sez right there
he jumps out his car and puts his hand
on his gun again sez you trying
to resist arrest on me
I sez no I'm trying to show you
the bailing wire under here
holding up the pipes and the muffler
where I hit the rock on the mountain
but I cain't hold the muffler on right
and the auction starts in fifteen minutes
he sez you just stand right there still
I got a reaforcement coming
we gone arrest you


I sed what happened John? John
sez the other law he come
and they both wrote me out a ticket
for loud mufflers and resisting arrest
and the other one that come
sez he believed I was speeding too
but they never wrote a ticket for it
and that's too bad cause I was
late for the auction

I sez can I go now but the law
he sez you got to pay your fine
I sez the auction started five minutes ago
and I got to get there
the other law he sez why you
going to the auction you selling hogs?
I never sez a word to that dumb sonofabitch
he's standing right there by my truck
loaded up with twelve top hogs
wallering each other in the middle of town
all the cars driving by watching
the first law sez you got to foller us
to the J.P. I sez isn't it no other way?
he sez you trying to bribe a officer of the law?
I sez hell no I'm trying to get to the auction
the other law sez whar?
and the first sez Salina they sell hogs at that one
I sez that was ten minutes ago
the other law sez you selling these hogs?
but I wasn't talking to him
the law sez you want a regular judge
you can come back next Friday
but the fine goes up for that
I sez can I go now? and the law sez yas
but the other one sez not till you
get that muffler fix

I had to get my truck towed
to a filling station four blocks away
and the muffler pipe welted
he charged me fourty-seven dollars
and sixty five cents to do it
I could have done it for a dollar
at home if I had my tools
by then the auction was over
I had to drive all them pigs home
after I'd loaded them up that morning
to take to the auction at Salina


I sed that's too bad John
John sez I couldn't sleep about it
for a man to talk to me that way
all he had to done was to look
under the truck so he could see
it wasn't my fault
I tried to fix it best I could

he sez the fine would go up
so I sez to myself John it's done costed
fifty dollars almost so you
might as well get your say out of it
but I didn't have no sow in heat
so that's how come I called you

I sed John I don't understand
John sez I drove to Richfield
with that panel between the hogs
my spotted boar he about chewed it
in two trying to get to your big black sow
but he couldn't so I went right to the spot
where that law pulled me over
in the middle of town
I stopped my truck and got out
climbed up on my stockracks
I took out the panel
let the boar go to her

I sed you did what? John sez
by god she wasn't quite ready yet
she squolt and here come the cars to see
I bet they could hear her half a mile
and here come the law
with his red light on
he sez what the hell is you doing?
I sez I'm here to pay my fine
he sez you get that truck out of here
with them pigs people's watching
I sez whar? he waved his arms he sez
everwhar see them they all coming
I sez I got to pay my fine I come to go
to court he sez whar? I sez right here
lord it was horrible my spotted boar
he slobbered all over your black sow
it was hog slobber on both her ears
that law he's as red in the face
he finally sez you get to your truck
you foller me I sez that's fine
but go slow I got a load of pigs in mine
I caint be jostling them any
we drove to the courthouse


Judge he says what's going on?
law he sez you honor he's disturbing peace
Judge he sez how? law he sez
he's got these pigs in his truck
and they copperlating in the middle of town
Judge he sez whar? law he sez
right out there so Judge gets up
he looks out his winder there's my truck
but now my spotted boar he's done
he lain down he wasn't getting up
pooped Judge sez all I see is a hog
law he sez but they was scruting!
Judge he sez don't you talk that way
in a court of law you hear me?
all I see is a hog and it isn't no law
that sez this man cain't haul no hog
through town in his truck yet
so I sez you honor I want you to listen
to my side of this so I told him
the whole story about the muffler
and that law and how I missed the auction
he looks at that law he sez
is it the way it happened like he sez?
law he commenced to squirming
but he has to say yassir you honor finally
I told him how it costed me fifty dollars almost
to get it fix and I had to be towed
four blocks with twelve top hogs in the truck
Judge he sez cased dismissed and he sez
to me he's sorry about it all
specially the fifty dollars so I sez it's the way it is
cain't be nothing done now
I didn't have no more hard feelings
so we shaken hands and I left

law he's mad as hell outside waiting
he sez mister you ever come to my town
I'll make you sweat I'll
arrest your ass and throw you in jail
I sez mister deputy sheriff law
you listen here you listen good
you ever bother me again for anything
next time I'll pull a trailer and bring
eight sows and three boars all together I'll park
in front of the schoolhouse and take out the panel
I'll go in and tell them you sez for me
to meet you there and where are you
you posta have the money for me for them hogs
if you don't believe it you just try
and I sez then so you just get out of my way
I walked on past him and went and left
he never sez one more word to me


so here's your big black sow
John sed and he stood up
she's done bred to my spotted boar
but you don't owe me nothing
I ain't never won one with the law before
so I reckon this one's on me
John closed his tailgate and leaned in
and patted his spotted boar
on the head and then John got in
his beat up truck and drove home for supper