Monday, October 15, 2012

The mind is willing but the ox is slow.

Back in the day when my day was still alive I went home for a visit and we sat there watching the tube together.

When dad and I watched TV the rest of the family would generally evacuate because dad and I would start bouncing off of each other and the chaos interrupted the show for everyone else. There were times we could both enjoy a little TV crap together quietly and admit to each other that 90% of it was crap and take it for what it was.

Still, the time I remember most of all were when dad would run a commentary on the show which most of the family hated him to do, but I enjoyed the hell out of it. He was really funny, or at least I though so.

One time we watched the show "Kung Fu" together and although he had never seen it, he pretty much predicted just about everything that was going to happen, and when, only he would make his predictions in a sarcastic tone. It was funny.

"OK, now, the cowboy with the big mouth is going to be the last one to enter the fight and the first one to turn tail and run after what's his face knocks the hell out of the other six."

And that is what would happen.

Of course, the main character, Caine, would say something in his slow inscrutinable way, like the time someone roasting a turkey on a fire offered him something to eat.

"I do not eat game," said Caine.

"Bull$hit," my father would retort to the television set. "In this house you'd eat what the hell was put in front of you or you'd go hungry!"

"Damned right," I'd answer Dad, in a serious tone, but inside I was rolling on the floor laughing myself silly.

We got near the end of the show and Dad said, "Now watch, he's going to say something that makes no sense at all but is supposed to have some deep meaning like he's some kind of Indian guru or something. Let's see, something like 'The mind is willing but the ox is slow' or some such crap. What the hell's that supposed to mean? TV is such a waste. The real reason anybody watches this stupid show is to watch a skinny little dinky Chinaman whale the living dog snot out of eleven cowboys. Besides, who else but a TV actress wallpapers a house in a sexy dress? Everyone else wears work clothes. Hell, for dirty work your mother puts on a pair of blue jeans that look like some damned cowboy threw them away."

Of course, he was right and I had to hold it in. I was dying inside. He was also right about the blue jeans. They did look like hell.

A few days later I was watching one of thost movies with a moral. A white officer gets stuck running a black outfit and has to take them into combat. I was watching it, mostly out of boredom when dad walked in and after a couple of minutes casually said that the officer would successfully lead his outfit, the scared one would die bravely and the officer would be filled with guilt and remorse for having doubting his men and pointed out that there was cold beer in the basement refrigerator.

We went down and opened beers and I asked dad how the black units made out during the war. He told me that they did just about as good or bad as everybody else. Some units were good, some bad. He also pointed out that the hotshot flyboys that ran a couple Messerschmidts off of the tail of a crippled B-17 he was bombardier of were colored boys. (The term 'colored' was then a respectful term of the WW2 generation for blacks.)

He pointed out that the guys in that outfit were pretty disciplined and stuck with them instead of chasing enemy fighters all over hell. Fighter pilots were notorious for chasing enemy fighters all over hell and leaving the bombers to fend for themselves. Dad said the black flyboys would simply run the enemy fighters off and immediately return to escort duty like they were supposed to.

A while later dad stopped being disgusted with everything and decided to just let it amuse him. WHile it was likely a good choice, it wasn't anywhere near as funny as his disgust was.

Over three decades later, I remembered my dad saying 'the mind is willing but the ox is slow' and I used that saying in something I wrote for the Zen shooting team. A couple of people asked what I meant buy that and I told them that I had no clue whatsoever but it sure sounded pretty official.

I was made a member of the team and got a shirt for writing that piece and someone actually made a sticker up with that on it. I put one on my pickup and one morning at the 7-Eleven a cop leaving with his coffee saw it as I was getting out of my truck and curiosity overwhelmed him and he asked me about it.

I told him about the Zen Shooting team and how it came to be because of a rift in the PA state team policies and I told him that the slogan was just a bunch of crap my disgusted father made up when we were watching 'Kung Fu' together years ago because it sounded mysterious.

The poor cop snarfed his coffee when I said that.

Anyway, here's today's post.

Oh, yeah. Ah, so. Man who pee uphill get feet wet.

my other blog is:

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