We watched as the man stood at the end of the road, in a victory stance, announcing his next conquest.
“You hear me!? I want to fight!”
His t-shirt was missing, revealing tattoos on every inch of his skin up to his neck as he growled through the shadows.
He stomped toward us, fists clenched.
I was sitting down on the stoop. He walked up and stuck his face in mine and shouted more profanity-laced threats.Two minutes later, he was on the ground, weeping like a lost child in Wal-Mart.
I’ll tell you what happened — and how I made him cry in a bush — in a moment.
Last Friday night, I learned the second lesson of 99 Things Every Millennial Man Should Know (a book I’m putting together in 90 days using James Altucher’s The Choose Yourself Guide to Self-Publishing)…
99 Things is a compendium of powerhouses (heavyweight boxer Ed Latimore, “Gentleman Mystic” Billy Red Horse, kung fu master and mentalist Jonathan Pritchard, and much more) imparting their wisdom.
Hours before I was to leave for C.J. Midlam’s house (self-published author of The Windows Around, we spoke of last week), I received the second chapter to 99 Things, written by Kung-Fu master Jonathan Pritchard (see below).
It was about self-defense through de-escalation of violence.
I read it, appreciated its approach, then left for the long drive to Dayton to hang out with C.J. at Germanfest.
Little did I know, the very tactics described in Pritchard’s piece would potentially save my life.C.J. and I started at a bar, Dayton Beer Co., and downed a couple beers.
Soon, we found ourselves downtown, gulping down Jager Bombs (hey, as they say, when in Rome). Then another bar, called “Therapy,” a truly God-forsaken place, in which we had a gin and tonic and I silently vowed never to return. And then, we headed to C.J.’s home.
It was a nice night, we agreed. We relaxed outside on the stoop, under a soon-to-be midnight moon.
As we talked, a man rounded a dark corner down the street, heaving like a wild banshee.
His body flailed as he stormed through, kicking up dust and debris like a bull in heat. His shirt was missing. His pants, drooping. Tattooed from neck to toe.
He was the “bad guy in the dark alley” your mother warned you about.
He raised his arms up like he’d just finished a marathon, stopped, and yelled, “I want to FIGHT somebody! F*CK!”
We took a look around and a realization crept up our spines from our inner-bellies. It was just us on this lonesome street. So, naturally, he headed in our direction. “Well, this should be interesting,” C.J. said. “Yep,” I said.
“What’s up, bitch?” the breathy man said, one hand on his belt. I was still sitting on the stoop. An easy target, a sitting duck.
He ran up, stuck his face in mine, and said “What’s up? What you want? Huh!?”Pritchard’s piece popped in my mind. Time to put it into action.
It must’ve been the Jagermeister in my veins, but I was irrationally placid. Cool as a cucumber.
I said, “Hey, it’s OK.”
He stuck his face closer.
His breath was hot. It stunk of an ancient rage.
My ego almost grabbed me…
There was a loud moment inside my head where I screamed the obvious: “Get out of my face.”
But I didn’t say it. Instead, I tried something else, “Look, you’re a good person,” I said.
Like that weird alien in that Steven Spielberg movie, I reached up and touched his heart with my index finger.
“Here,” I said. “Right here.”
And, you know what, I meant it. I felt it.It was genuine. I was in the moment. I was with this man, not against him. Not judging him. I felt what’s best described, although the term is lacking, as compassion.
And, some. blessing. how. it worked. First, he whimpered. Then, he staggered back and crumpled like a cheap suit.
He fell into a bush and began to weep. I tried to help him up, but his bones had melted into his skin. He slumped to the ground like a bowl of Jello.
This grown man, tattooed from head to toe, possibly gunning for a night gig at MS-13, transformed into a toddler. He didn’t want to fight. He just wanted someone to love him. Be his friend. Tell him everything would be OK. Touch his heart. Teach him how to walk.“I have no friends!” he shouted. “I want friends,” he cried.
A dark figure emerged from whence he came. A female figure. It approached as C.J. and I hoisted the man on our shoulders.
It was his mother. “Come on! The cops are looking for you,” she said. “Thank you boys so much. Thank you. Thank you.”
“I love you mom,” he said. “Try to walk, honey,” she said.We tried to walk with him for a bit, but it proved more difficult than anticipated.
He goose-stepped all over the street. He would extend his left leg in front of me, on his right, and would do the same with his right to C.J. on the left.
We finally carried him, leaving his legs to drag behind. His pants began to loosen, and then dropped right down to his ankles. Cojones exposed, flapping in the breeze.
His mistake that morning to meet the day au naturale was the first of many, it appeared.
“Uh,” C.J. said, “Hey, Mom. This is a job for Mom.”“Oh, no,” she said, looking back.
We rounded the corner, that blasted corner that started this whole thing, and dropped him in the backseat of his mom’s Buick. We did our good deed for the night, and might have avoided being stabbed.
So, yes, please pay heed. And recognize nothing, not even violence, is inevitable.
Published under a creative commons license here.
* In 2012 the NFL had an issue with Tim Tebow kneeling for each game to pray, they also had an issue with Tebow wearing John 3:16 as part of his eye-black to avoid glare, and made him take it off.
* In 2013 the NFL fined Brandon Marshall for wearing green cleats to raise awareness for people with mental health disorders.
* In 2014 Robert Griffin III (RG3) entered a post-game press conference wearing a shirt that said "Know Jesus Know Peace" but was forced to turn it inside out by an NFL uniform inspector before speaking at the podium.
* In 2015 DeAngelo Williams was fined for wearing "Find the Cure" eye black for breast cancer awareness.
* In 2015 William Gay was fined for wearing purple cleats to raise awareness for domestic violence. (Not that the NFL has a domestic violence problem...).
*In 2016 the NFL prevented the Dallas Cowboys from wearing a decal on their helmet in honor of 5 Dallas Police officers killed in the line of duty.
* 2016 the NFL threatened to fine players who wanted to wear cleats to commemorate the 15th anniversary of 9/11.
So tell me again how the NFL supports free speech and expression, all of a sudden... It seems quite clear based on these facts that the NFL has taken a position against any action by NFL players demonstrating RESPECT for any issue: For God, social causes such as mental health, cancer, domestic violence, for cops killed arbitrarily for being cops, for the Memory of 9/11...
BUT they will allow demonstrations of DISRESPECT for our National Flag, our National Anthem, for America, and for the American People, if it will help mollify a particular Group and its supporters. That is who and what the NFL now is shown itself to be.
Pass this post along to all your friends and family, if you believe it worthy of sharing.
Honor our military; too many of whom have come home with with the American Flag draped over their coffin.
by Chris Campbell
In Scotland, many moons ago, a nickname was used for the more… “wry-mouthed” (AKA, smarta**)… of the Scots…
They would call them “cam buel.” “Cam” meaning crooked and “buel” meaning mouth.
Then, along came a waggish clan chief who took his sardonic wit as a source of pride. So proud was he, in fact, he took the nickname (which was hardly ever used as a term of endearment) on as a surname. And, thus, a family was created — the Campbells.
And, indeed, their mouths are as crooked as ever.
Crooked Mouth Farm
Fast-forward to 2018, zooming into a tiny town in the middle of Nowheresville, Ohio — up pops Crooked Mouth Farm. (Just closed on it three days ago.) Right now, it’s little more than a welcome log, 2 acres and an idea — that EVERYTHING you need can be found on top of the dirt in your own backyard.
There’s a grander vision…This idea, perhaps in the far future, will propagate throughout the lands — “CROOKED FARMS.”
Crooked Tail… Crooked Teeth… Crooked Spine… whatever. And, the modest farm in Ohio will be like the tiny Starbucks in Seattle. A historic landmark. The beginning. But, I’m getting ahead of myself. (Hey, a man can dream.) getting ahead of myself. (Hey, a man can dream.)
The First Principle…
One of the many goals of the farm is to show how anyone can utilize less than two acres and make a living. (And, why they should begin ASAP.)
It’s also to show anyone how they can live a more self-reliant, sustainable lifestyle — with good, fulfilling work.
The first principle: Kill the “lawn.” Those days are over.
Every square inch of your land can be used for something. It’ll take a lot of time and work, of course. But, I’ve found plenty of people excited about this vision. And, if you start, too, help will always be on the way. The grander the vision, the bigger the hands. Here are just a few ideas in the Crooked Mouth vision…
Camps and Tiny Housers
First, we’ll be open to visitors. Maybe even starting in Spring. A room will open up in the house for Airbnbers. And then, we’ll have a spot for a tiny home and a “glamping” experience. (Another reason to do this: If people want to help on the farm, there will always be plenty of free beds.)
Tiny houses, if you don’t know, are all the rage. If you have one, you can rent it on several sites… Airbnb, TryItTiny, VRBO, TinyHouseListings, and more. We’re starting with a vardo (see: gypsy wagon) that’ll sit on the farm — amongst the goats and, perhaps, alpacas. (We’ll fix it up in the meantime.)
Further, anyone with a little bit of land can rent out a camping spot on Hipcamp. So, we’ll build a couple spots to camp on the farm, too. One, we plan, will be in an old fort bed we’re building out to be an (extra tiny) “cabin” on a tree mezzanine.
“Did you hear about that farm with the lavender-flavored snails?” There are lots of small farms around me. And, of course, they’re all struggling to compete with the big boys. Don’t compete. Be different. Being small and nimble is an advantage. Make the slow-moving big boxers constantly play catch up with the ever-changing tastes.
The trick is, then, getting a sense of what the market wants. And what it’s open to.How? I’ll ask.
In a couple of weeks, for example, a chef will move in for the winter to teach me the ins and outs of what chefs want from local farms. Trendy stuff… weird, exotic things. Like snails that taste like sage (because that’s all you fed them). Interesting microgreens. Quail eggs. Rare/seasonal mushrooms. Stuff like that.
Talented individuals will be invited to give small workshops in Crooked Mouth Lab, a barn located in the back of the farm. (Which we’ll expand to a bigger barn later… just have to build it first.) Learn everything from bitcoin to woodworking to butchering to blacksmithing…
The classes will focus on how ANYONE can begin living a self-reliant, sustainable lifestyle. (Ex. Why Quails Are Better Than Chickens 101)
Keep Your Day-Job/Invest Wisely
With rural areas getting faster and faster Internet connections, remote workers (SEE: HALO-FI… Fire your ISP for “$7 Internet” — and make a killing), more than ever, can work from anywhere in the U.S. Meaning, digital nomads and creatives can do their full-time jobs from the farm — not having to worry about depending solely on what the farm provides to stay afloat. The opportunities to make money online are nearly endless — we’ll go through no shortage of them in future episodes.
It’s no small feat…But, build out a space that’s beautiful enough, even if it’s small, and people will be tripping over themselves to have their intimate weddings or kid’s birthday bash there. (As an aside, schools, too, can get involved, kids can get in the dirt — learn where REAL food comes from.)
Climb in the treehouse. Hang out in the gypsy wagon. Drink wine in the barn. Pet the pigs, alpacas and crack up over the fainting goats.
And tell everyone you meet about that one time at Crooked Mouth Farm. And how it inspired you to start your own small homestead. And explain how little “leisure” farms are becoming the spark to a wildfire — and creating a mass-resurgence of self-sufficiency in America. Not out of fear, though. Because it’s fun.
That, at least, is the vision.
This article published under a Creative Commons License Here
Read more: http://patrioteponym.webnode.com/news/presenting-crooked-mouth-farm-the-vision/
Pa never had
much compassion for the lazy or those who squandered their means and
then never had enough for the necessities. But for those who were
genuinely in need, his heart was as big as all outdoors. It was from him
that I learned the greatest joy in life comes from giving, not from
It was Christmas Eve, 1881. I was fifteen years old and feeling like the world had caved in on me because there just hadn't been enough money to buy me the rifle that I'd wanted for Christmas. We did the chores early that night for some reason. I just figured Pa wanted a little extra time so we could read in the Bible.
After supper was over I took my boots off and stretched out in front of the fireplace and waited for Pa to get down the old Bible. I was still feeling sorry for myself and, to be honest, I wasn't in much of a mood to read Scriptures. But Pa didn't get the Bible, instead he bundled up again and went outside. ...
"Come on, Matt," he said. "Bundle up good, it's cold out tonight."
I was really upset then. Not only wasn't I getting the rifle for Christmas, now Pa was dragging me out in the cold, and for no earthly reason that I could see.
We'd already done all the chores, and I couldn't think of anything else that needed doing, especially not on a night like this. But I knew Pa was not very patient at one dragging one's feet when he'd told them to do something, so I got up and put my boots back on and got my cap, coat, and mittens. Ma gave me a mysterious smile as I opened the door to leave the house Something was up, but I didn't know what.
Outside, I became even more dismayed. There in front of the house was the work team, already hitched to the big sled. Whatever it was we were going to do wasn't going to be a short, quick, little job. I could tell. We never hitched up this sled unless we were going to haul a big load. Pa was already up on the seat, reins in hand. I reluctantly climbed up beside him. The cold was already biting at me. I wasn't happy.
When I was on, Pa pulled the sled around the house and stopped in front of the woodshed. He got off and I followed. "I think we'll put on the high sideboards," he said. "Here, help me." The high sideboards! It had been abigger job than I wanted to do with just the low sideboards on, but whatever it was we were going to do would be a lot bigger with the high side boards on.
After we had exchanged the sideboards, Pa went into the woodshed and came out with an armload of wood - the wood I'd spent all summer hauling down from the mountain, and then all fall sawing into blocks and splitting. What was he doing?
Finally I said something. "Pa," I asked, "what are you doing?" "You been by the Widow Jensen's lately?" he asked. The Widow Jensen lived about two miles down the road. Her husband had died a year or so before and left her with three children, the oldest being eight. Sure, I'd been by, but so what?
Yeah," I said, "Why?"
"I rode by just today," Pa said. "Little Jakey was out digging around in the woodpile trying to find a few chips. They're out of wood, Matt." That was all he said and then he turned and went back into the woodshed for another armload of wood. I followed him. We loaded the sled so high that I began to wonder if the horses would be able to pull it.
Finally, Pa called a halt to our loading, then we went to the smoke house and Pa took down a big ham and a side of bacon. He handed them to me and told me to put them in the sled and wait. When he returned he was carrying a sack of flour over his right shoulder and a smaller sack of something in his left hand. "What's in the little sack?" I asked. Shoes, they're out of shoes. Little Jakey just had gunny sacks wrapped around his feet when he was out in the woodpile this morning. I got the children a little candy too. It just wouldn't be Christmas without a little candy."
We rode the two miles to Widow Jensen's pretty much in silence. I tried to think through what Pa was doing. We didn't have much by worldly standards. Of course, we did have a big woodpile, though most of what was left now was still in the form of logs that I would have to saw into blocks and split before we could use it.
We also had meat and flour, so we could spare that, but I knew we didn't have any money, so why was Pa buying them shoes and candy? Really, why was he doing any of this? Widow Jensen had closer neighbors than us; it shouldn't have been our concern.
We came in from the blind side of the Jensen house and unloaded the wood as quietly as possible, then we took the meat and flour and shoes to the door.We knocked. The door opened a crack and a timid voice said, "Who is it?"
"Lucas Miles, Ma'am, and my son, Matt... could we come in for a bit?"
"We brought you a few things, Ma'am," Pa said and set down the sack of flour. I put the meat on the table. Then Pa handed her the sack that had the shoes in it. She opened it hesitantly and took the shoes out, one pair at a time. There was a pair for her and one for each of the children, sturdy shoes, the best... shoes that would last. I watched her carefully. She bit her lower lip to keep it from trembling and then tears filled her eyes and started running down her cheeks. She looked up at Pa like she wanted to say something, but it wouldn't come out.
"We brought a load of wood too, Ma'am," Pa said. He turned to me and said, "Matt, go bring in enough to last awhile. Let's get that fire up to size and heat this place up"
I wasn't the same person when I went back out to bring in the wood. I had a big lump in my throat and as much as I hate to admit it, there were tears in my eyes too. In my mind I kept seeing those three kids huddled around the fireplace and their mother standing there with tears running down her cheeks with so much gratitude in her heart that she couldn't speak.
My heart swelled within me and a joy that I'd never known before, filled my soul. I had given at Christmas many times before, but never when it had made so much difference. I could see we were literally saving the lives of these people.
I soon had the fire blazing and everyone's spirits soared. The kids started giggling when Pa handed them each a piece of candy and Widow Jensen looked on with a smile that probably hadn't crossed her face for a long time. She finally turned to us. "God bless you," she said. "I know the Lord has sent you. The children and I have been praying that he would send one of his angels to spare us."
In spite of myself, the lump returned to my throat and the tears welled up in my eyes again. I'd never thought of Pa in those exact terms before, but after Widow Jensen mentioned it, I could see that it was probably true. I was sure that a better man than Pa had never walked the earth. I started remembering all the times he had gone out of his way for Ma and me, and many others. The list seemed endless as I thought on it.
Pa insisted that everyone try on the shoes before we left. I was amazed when they all fit, and I wondered how he had known what sizes to get. Then I guessed that if he was on an errand for the Lord, that the Lord would make sure he got the right sizes.
Tears were running down Widow Jensen's face again when we stood up to leave. Pa took each of the kids in his big arms and gave them a hug. ... They clung to him and didn't want us to go. I could see that they missed their Pa, and I was glad that I still had mine.
At the door Pa turned to Widow Jensen and said, "The Mrs. wanted me to invite you and the children over for Christmas dinner tomorrow. The turkey will be more than the three of us can eat, and a man can get cantankerous if he has to eat turkey for too many meals. We'll be by to get you about eleven. It'll be nice to have some little ones around again. Matt, here, hasn't been little for quite a spell."
I was the youngest... my two brothers and two sisters had all married and had moved away
Widow Jensen nodded and said, "Thank you, Brother Miles. I don't have to say, may the Lord bless you, I know for certain that He will."Out on the sled I felt a warmth that came from deep within and I didn't even notice the cold. When we had gone a ways, Pa turned to me and said, "Matt, I want you to know something. Your Ma and me have been tucking a little money away here and there all year so we could buy that rifle for you, but we didn't have quite enough.
Then yesterday a man who owed me a little money from years back came by to make things square. Your Ma and me were real excited, thinking that now we could get you that rifle, and I started into town this morning to do just that, but on the way I saw little Jakey out scratching in the woodpile with his feet wrapped in those gunny
sacks and I knew what I had to do. Son, I spent the money for shoes and a little candy for those children. I hope you understand."
I understood alright... and my eyes became wet with tears again. I understood very well, and I was so glad Pa had done it. Now the rifle seemed very low on my list of priorities. Pa had given me a lot more. He had given me the look on Widow Jensen's face and the radiant smiles of her three children.
For the rest of my life, whenever I saw any of the Jensens, or split a block of wood, I remembered, and remembering brought back that same joy I felt riding home beside Pa that night. Pa had given me much more than a rifle that night, he had given me the best Christmas of my life.
Don't be too busy today... share this inspiring message. Merry Christmas and God bless you!
Reprinted for the season from the Old Eponymn site.